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  • Locked thread
Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:

sitting twist brawl
750 words, 4 sept 2359 pst
Japanese cowboy Die Hard

ed for twistinghere battle

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Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Sitting Here posted:

ed for twistinghere battle

same, ed

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

The Fog Draws A Castle In The Sky 1,388 words Heroic Fantasy Medical Drama

I work in a hospital. I’m always tired. After work, I’ve barely enough energy to hit up the supermarket. Maybe I get a pizza. Maybe, fish fingers. I once had a boyfriend who said I cooked the best soup in the world. It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked soup.

When I sink into the couch and think about my day, it seems normal. Busy as usual. There was another fire drill. An old man was nice to me. Sally told me that she kissed Greg from research. But if I think hard, really focus, the memories blur. The nice old man’s words don’t make sense. Is there even a research department? Is there a Sally? The images are unsteady, change in front of me, like I’m shuffling a deck of cards. My head hurts.

I’ve bought weed from a kid down by the council flats. He shorted me, but what am I gonna do? I watch Youtube tutorials on how to roll a joint. Mum calls, but I don’t answer. I’m too exhausted.

I eat fish fingers. I roll up, take a drag, and I remember what really happened at work:

#

They bring a new one in. Blue skin, seven foot tall, big wings, and the left one’s broken. Green blood and feathers everywhere. Breathing, barely.

“Sea-Orc patrol found him”, a Nameless Nurse says. I try to peer beneath its hood, but it’s too short and too quick. I still don’t know what they look like.

“Go Anita!” Anton throws me a thumbs up. I blush, like I always do around him. Anton’s the only other human here. He’s a vet so he does the animals, and he’s got dimples when he smiles, which is often. He’s bent over a lion with an anaconda for a tongue, beast and reptilian both riddled with arrows. I want to ask him what he’s doing after work, but I’m not sure what actually happens after work. There’s a fog in my mind, obscuring memory.

This is what it looks like, where we are: white stone floor, marble pillars choking in vines. Above, a purple sky where two suns hang. There’s a tower behind us, but we’re not allowed inside. Some distance away, the battlements are white-grey. Lean over, and you see clouds beneath, and you piece it together - you’re in a castle, floating high in the air. On a clear day, squint: far beneath on the ground, the Last War rages. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the clash of steel and the screams.

I tend to blue-skin’s wounds, pull out arrowheads. Nameless Nurses appear bearing anything I nee, antisceptic, scalpels, thread. When he’s stabilised, the nurses cart him off, and then I tend to a wizard with two heads who won’t stop arguing, and then a blue-haired elf. The wounded keep coming. When my shift ends, Anton winks and waves goodbye. I promise myself I’d ask him out tomorrow. But where could I take him?

Then I come out of the hospital, nod to the security guards, walk down Victoria Street past the cabs and the flickering streetlights and the wind. Above me, a black sky where only one moon hangs.

#

The phone rings. It’s mum. Wait, what was I thinking about?

“Have you met a nice boy yet?”

Our conversation is short and frustrating as usual. When it’s over, I’m confused. I was thinking of about something important. I can’t remember what. But then I smoke another joint, and Anton and the castle in the sky come back to me.

I don’t even know his last name. I search Google for Anton veterinarian, I flip through the yellow pages, I call Antons at random. It’s fruitless.

I write myself a note and stash weed in my coat. The next day, I go to work. I work in a hospital.

#

At the castle, they let us have a cigarette break when we work especially hard. There’s something in my cigarette packet - a note and a small canister. I read the note. It’s strange but I follow my own instructions, hollow out half my Malboro, mix the tobacco with the cannabis, pour it back in. Anton watches, amused.

“Want some?” I ask. He declines, lights a Chesterfield.

“How do you think it’s going?” he asks, meaning: the war beneath us.

“Nurses won’t tell me much,” I say. “But the casualties are getting worse. Many dragonbreath burns today. Ugly.”

I get to the part with the weed, inhale deep. A distant memory stirs, rubs its eyes. What was I supposed to ask him?

“Hey Anton, how long have you been here?”

He squints. “Not sure. I was here before you were, though, but not for long. Sorry, memory’s foggy today.”

I take another drag. Memories open doors in my mind and burst through them. I speak quickly:

“Anton, what’s your full name? Where do you live?”

“My full name?” he says. “Funny, it’s slipped my mind. Kovalski or Kuznetsky or something? I live in Australia.”

There’s Nameless Nurses at our side. ”Break is over”, they tell us. I ignore them.

“Which city? Here, take a drag. It’ll help you remember.”

A gust of wind snatches the cigarette out of my hand, and over it goes, past the battlements and into the sky. “Break is over.”

“I’m not sure where I live, exactly” he says, eyebrow furrowed. The Nurses are dragging him away. He doesn’t struggle.

“Find me! My name is Anita Rachel Evans. I live at 206 Bell Street, Coburg! My phone number is…”

Nameless nurses swarm around me and I’m pressed up against the battlements. “Do not do that again,” they say.

“I work hard for you,” I say. “You have to give me something in return. I demand a price.”

“We cannot do anything”, the nurses say. "We are but nurses."

“Then take me to whoever can,” I say. “Otherwise I quit. I’ll throw myself off the castle if I have to. I remember everything now. Take me to whoever’s in charge.”

They take me into the tower, the one we’re not allowed to go in.

#

Inside, it looks like a hospital. I sit in an office, honest-to-god. Unwashed windows. Linoleum floor. Periodic table on the wall, only there’s way more elements than normal. My chair squeaks when I move.

The Nurse Mother sits behind a desk covered in papers. She wear a purple robe with the hood off. Her face is completely smooth, like the surface of an egg. It’s topped by long hair the colour of seaweed.

“What’s going on?”, I ask first, and then try all sorts of things, like “Why me?” and “Where am I, really?” and “Why do you make us do this?”, but there was no reply. Finally, I ask:

“I demand to see Anton. In my normal life.”

“That will not be possible. You are too useful. We are sorry.” When she speaks, a small slit appears where the jaw would be, and her entire face ripples like the surface of the ocean. Makes me nauseous.

“I’m not asking to leave,” I say, thinking that I should really be asking to leave. “I’m asking for Anton. I want to be with him outside of work.”

“There is a price. It will not be like you think.”

#

I work in a castle. It floats through clouds, in a sky that’s overseen by two suns during the day, and three moons during the night. Anton and I sit on the roof of our tower and watch them, sometimes. I make him soup sometimes. He tells me it’s the greatest soup in the world.

There are things I miss. I hope the weed dealer kid is saving up for college. I hope mum is OK. I write her letters, though she’ll never read them. There’s not much else to miss, though. All in all, the price was right.

During the days, we patch up soldiers and beasts from the Last War. My mind isn’t a haze anymore, and I’m no longer tired - but it’s the world that’s a haze, like everything that happens and everything that exists is a wisp of fog, but if you take a few steps to the side, they’ll will shift and change form, just like that. But we stay still. We don’t want to move. We like these shapes.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Sitting Here posted:

ed for twistinghere battle


very well.

in recognition of the vicious and long-running enmity between you two and the weirdly superbly arbitrary tri-brawl that birthed it, this will be a three parter

TWIST, you've already done a brawl with this theme, but it wasn't very good was it? second chances are so rare in this world that we must always make the most of them.

and SITTINGHERE, you just got beaten by a sleazy-sun yuck-yarn I rattled out while yawning. gotta sting, don't it. channel that, if you would.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2015 around 11:25

worlds_best_author
Aug 23, 2015


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Yay! Supernatural Romance could be just the kick in the pants your writing career needs!
Tangled Web
1093 words

I’m idling in my car outside of a nondescript apartment complex, checking the time on my phone with one hand as I keep my knee steady with the other. Despite the fact that I definitely saw this night coming, I'm still anxious as hell.

She finally comes out, the one good thing in my life; all dye-red hair, knee-high boots, and Buddy Holly glasses. "Sorry I'm late," Steph says as she gets inside. She turns around and we kiss and for a brief moment, all is well. "Slow down," she giggles and breaks away.

"I'm just enjoying what we have while it's here," I tell her as I shift my car into drive and take off.

"Joseph," Steph smiles and shakes her head, "you keep trying to tell the future! It's such a bad habit."

I take a deep breath. "Yeah, about that..."

***
"You're serious, aren't you?"

We're sitting inside Guzman's, a local, Mexican restaurant. Thankfully, it's the middle of the week, so there’s not as many people inside. "We've been friends for three years, Steph; why would I start lying to you now?"

"Even if you weren't”, she said apprehensively, "why tell me now?"

I shift uncomfortably in my seat. "Because, a year before I started having these visions, one of my classmates was forced into an exorcism by his parents," I said and looked away, my eyes glazing over. "He was never the same after that and I knew from that point on that I can’t even tell my own parents about what was going on with me."

I can see the disbelief in her eyes. "Watch, our waitress is going to get our order wrong," I tell her. "We ordered the menudo? She's gonna give us the albóndigas soup."

Our waitress, a tall girl with princess bangs named Tabitha, shows up with a pair of steaming bowls on a platter. "Here y'all go!" she says and serves us our soup. I say nothing: what should be hominy and beef tripe is instead meatballs and vegetables. Steph stares into the bowl. "Um, Tabitha," I say, "we didn't order this."

She looks at her order book. "Ohmigod, I'm so sorry!" she says and takes the bowls back. "I'll be right back.”

I watch as Tabitha serves the albóndigas soup to the right couple: a visibly pregnant woman and her anxious boyfriend. After seeing them, I see something deeply unpleasant and screw my eyes shut.

"Babe, what's wrong?" Steph asks.

"Something I saw," I told her. "You still don't believe me."

Steph sighs and plays with her ponytail. "Honey, it's just, this is all too much to take in right now. I mean, I don’t know where to begin.

Tabitha serves us our menudo and a small platter of condiments. The rich aroma of hominy, beef tripe, and chili pepper stock filled the air and put me at ease. Steph takes her first bite and her eyes grow. “This is too good," she said, "not even my grandma makes it like this!"

"I told you Guzman's had the best menudo," I smiled and dig in shamefully, pausing only to add in onion and lemon. "It's almost like I'm psychic.”

Steph rolls her eyes as she dips a piece of tortilla in her broth. "Do it again, then."

"You'll believe me then?"

"Maybe,” Steph says mischievously.

I shrug. "Okay. Wanna know why our waitress got our order wrong?"

"Sure."

"One, she’s an aspiring model."

"That doesn't surprise me, she's gorgeous."

"Two, she sent an application to ‘The Price Is Right’ the other day," I said and took another spoonful of my wholesome menudo. "That's why she's so nervous."

Steph laughs. "You're serious, aren't you?"

"Winner gets a margarita."

“Deal,” she says flags our waitress down. "Excuse me, Tabitha?"

"That's right!" she answers with a vivacious smile. "Did y'all need anything?"

"Me and my boyfriend are curious," Steph says with a Cheshire cat grin, "You look so beautiful, are you a model?"

"I am!" Tabitha gushes. "In fact, I just sent my headshots to CBS!"

"Really," Steph says as her smile fades. "What show?"

"'The Price Is Right', of course!"

I order a margarita and wait until our waitress is out of earshot. “Tabitha's gonna get a rejection letter soon and fall into a deep depression,” I tell Steph in a low voice, “Where that's gonna take her, I don't know."

"Why don't you use your ability to help people then?" She asks me. "You know, 'With great power comes great responsibility' and all that?"

"You'll see," I say. Once we finish our meal and pay, we walk outside Guzman's into the warm, summer night. I grip her shoulder as we approach my car. "Remember that pregnant lady sitting across from us?"

"No-"

"Silver Toyota, Arizona plates," I say and point. "Call and ambulance and make sure she's okay, I'm gonna run inside and grab towels and water."

Steph Stares at me as if I'm speaking in tongues. "Now!" I shout as she snaps as we break away. I hear a mother-to-be crying in agony and a panicked new father calling for an ambulance.

***

Hours later with free gift certificates to Guzman's, we're on our way back to her apartment. "That was so brave what you did there!" Steph says with stars in her eyes as I drive us back to her apartment.

"Kid's hosed beyond all hope," I tell her, and rub my temple with my free hand. "The dad's an abuser and the wife's his sycophant."

I see the stars fade from her eyes. "You wanted to know why I don't help people, that's why. Peter Parker has it better than I do-I know for a fact that most people are beyond hope. So I save myself from the grief by not helping," I tell her as I feel my surgery scar in my right shoulder ache. "I learned the hard way that fate is one of the very few binaries out there."

"Where does that leave us, then?"

We stopped in the driveway of her apartment. I shifted myself towards her. "Steph, I love you."

“I love you too, hon."

"Then do you want to know?" I asked her. "Do you honestly want to know?"

She drops her head. After what seems like an eternity, she finally answers. "No, I never want to know.”

We kiss and time stands perfectly still. For a moment, I let go that I know for a fact that this is our last night together. At that moment it's just me and her, and nothing else matters.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


The Wolf in the Forest, 1398 words Urban Supernatural OR Buddy Cop Space Western

Nguyen was leaning against the bulkhead, while I handled negotiations.

“50 credits, and we’ll get rid of this Anderson fellow,” I said. The mayor of the colony, a fat European man, gave me a panicked look before I added, “Legally.”

“I’ll need to discuss it with the other-” He starts.

“It’s your decision, by the colony charter.” I tee him up. “He’s already killed your last Sheriff. Only reason we’re here in the first place.”

“Yes, but it’s proper to-” Pink mouth quivering.

“75 credits,” Nguyen interrupted, on cue. “100 if you stall.”

“Everything done to Guild standards,” I add. “Completely by the book.”

He sighs and gives the nod. “Mister Nguyen, Miss Zhuo, you’ve got a contract. I declare you our Sheriff and Deputy.”
#

"So how do you think they got Miyako?" I asked. Miyako had been the previous Policemen’s Guild Sheriff on this colony. We had finally settled into our 'sheriff's station', such as it were, and I finally felt comfortable talking.

Nguyen shrugged his shoulders. "The man was getting old. The wolf only needs to catch you once, Zhuo."

I doubted his indifference. He had mentioned Miyako a few times, from back in his Navy days. Then again, I've been his deputy for ages, and couldn't imagine him crying at my funeral. "So how do you want to handle Anderson?" I asked.

He gave another shrug. "We try to nail him for Miyako, solid. Hang him before Governor Cheong intervenes. He wouldn’t be the first thug to try and take over a colony’s stake"

"How do you know he's friends with the Governor?" I asked, foolishly.

"Everyone's friends with the Governor Cheong." Nguyen gave me a wry smile. "Even me."
##

The "bar" was an insult to the term - no proper fermentation plants, and jammed into a spare fuel tank from the landing. Three of Anderson's men were raising hell, probably on orders. They weren't even drunk yet - and they were armed. Violation of the new colonial rules.

I slide up behind the big one. I had my trusty blaster, fully charged. Nguyen took up a position at an angle to me, with a vector on the other two. The locals saw us before the boys did, and started to scuttle away - subtle at first, then all at once. By the time the boys turned around, it was just us, the boys, and the bartender left. Good - a witness made things easier.

The big one had a fat face and what I guessed was an Irish or Italian look to him. He tried to bulk up and make me feel small - a bit difficult when I had an inch or two on him, both ways.

"You must been that bitch they hired." He gave a fat face grinned, and licked his lips. "Something I can help you with, Officer?"

"Firearms aren't allowed within the colony's stake," I replied, cool and loose. "We'll have to confiscate them."

"We never heard that rule before!" screeched one in the back, before the big one glares at him.

"We're telling you now," I replied. "So put them on the bar real slow."

"Yeah?" The big one gave a mockingly plaintive look. "And when would we get our blasters back?"

"Same time you get any contraband back." I leaned in real close, let him smell the sweat on my skin, let him feel me challenging his manhood. "You don't."

He doesn't like it. Things are practically textbook. "I'm not letting some bitch sheriff grab my gun!"

"I'm not the sheriff," I said, stepping back so I could bring the blaster up easy and the big one can get a look at Nguyen. "He is."

Nguyen fixes the big one with that dead eye stare, the one that's soulless and fearless from watching men freeze and explode in the vacuum of space. The two lock, and for just a flash... I think the boy is going to back down. He grabs his pistol and pulls it loose. I bring the blaster up, and vaporize his lower torso. Nguyen follows up with two sizzling pops, and the other two boys are missing a good bit of skull.

All three managed to get their weapons loose before we blasted them, so no trouble there - looked like big boy even got a shot off into the ground, maybe. With the witness here, it should be no trouble even in a Guild audit. I look at her now, the bartender. She's good, I suppose, although I was too strictly hetero to be a good judge. Swedish or something, with blond hair and a full figure.

She's not cowering, or staring in shock - just breathing real heavy, red and shaking. It takes me a second to realize she's not scared, and not looking at the bodies. She's got both eyes locked on Nguyen, hot and bothered. I glance back, and notice Nguyen is returning the look, face blank. But he's eyes got some life behind them, a twinkle.

Well. I guess everybody's got a type.
###

"I'm thinking about settling down, Zhuo." He waited from some gasp of shock from me, like I didn't see this coming a month ago. "I think I'll ask Matilda to marry me."

"Too old to walk through the forest anymore?" I asked, lightly. He seemed awkward, unsure of himself

"Seems like as good a place to stop as any," he replied. "And Matilda is a fine woman."

I fixed him in my sights, waiting for the unspoken “But…” that was coming.

"It's Anderson," He said finally. "I know she was with him first, his little squeeze in the colony. Still is."

Poor man was drifting, delta-V on empty. I had to throw him a line. "I think she loves you when she's with you," I said finally. "And she loves him when she's with him. And if I had to guess, she's not any happier about it than you are."

He groaned, like bulkheads in deep space. "And no way we nail Anderson on Miyako, not what'll stick before the governor. He's got some nerve, showing his face around here after all this."

I had to wonder at it a little bit. The sheriff was getting old, alright, and the wolf was always hunting.
####

The bar cleared out, real fast, leaving an empty space in the middle for me and Anderson. A nice little dance floor for two - about the largest big of free space you’d find with oxygen.

"What did you call me?" He said as quietly as a snake.

"A coward, Anderson. A yellow coward who bought his commission in the Marines." I was loud, relaxed, perhaps a little drunk. "Take the shuttle leaving in 20 ticks, and I'll even let you live to prove it."

"Big words from the only bitch armed here. Would you murder me in front of everyone, shoot an unarmed man?" He spoke quietly, in control, but I saw the little vein jump and pulse.

I pulled the extra pistol and holster off my hip, and kicked it over to his feet. He picked it up, and paused. I saw the thoughts crossing through his mind. Why would a drunk deputy, picking a spontaneous fight, have the extra pistol necessary to make it a proper duel? But he was holding the pistol already, and the trap had already been sprung.

"Put it on. Or show your boys your tail and run." I dropped the act now, spoke just as calm and quiet. He put the holster on his belt, and looked me in the eye. He was faster, but his aim was off. I’d have the burn scars forever. I ignored it, aimed, and hit true - a single shot, in the chest, just to the left. No miracle or medicine can save a man with a bit charcoal for a heart.

By the time someone ran and got Nguyen and Matilda, I was on the shuttle. By the time he got to the bar, the shuttle was preparing to depart. I figured he had just enough time to understand what I did, before we broke atmo and blinked away.

I figured Nguyen deserved it. I figured he'd walk through the forest enough days, been lucky and tough and clever. But you get old, you know, and the wolf - he only has to get lucky once.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


The Wolf in the Forest, 1398 words Urban Supernatural OR Buddy Cop Space Western

Nguyen was leaning against the bulkhead, while I handled negotiations.

“50 credits, and we’ll get rid of this Anderson fellow,” I said. The mayor of the colony, a fat European man, gave me a panicked look before I added, “Legally.”

“I’ll need to discuss it with the other-” He starts.

“It’s your decision, by the colony charter.” I tee him up. “He’s already killed your last Sheriff. Only reason we’re here in the first place.”

“Yes, but it’s proper to-” Pink mouth quivering.

“75 credits,” Nguyen interrupted, on cue. “100 if you stall.”

“Everything done to Guild standards,” I add. “Completely by the book.”

He sighs and gives the nod. “Mister Nguyen, Miss Zhuo, you’ve got a contract. I declare you our Sheriff and Deputy.”
#

"So how do you think they got Miyako?" I asked. Miyako had been the previous Policemen’s Guild Sheriff on this colony. We had finally settled into our 'sheriff's station', such as it were, and I finally felt comfortable talking.

Nguyen shrugged his shoulders. "The man was getting old. The wolf only needs to catch you once, Zhuo."

I doubted his indifference. He had mentioned Miyako a few times, from back in his Navy days. Then again, I've been his deputy for ages, and couldn't imagine him crying at my funeral. "So how do you want to handle Anderson?" I asked.

He gave another shrug. "We try to nail him for Miyako, solid. Hang him before Governor Cheong intervenes. He wouldn’t be the first thug to try and take over a colony’s stake"

"How do you know he's friends with the Governor?" I asked, foolishly.

"Everyone's friends with the Governor Cheong." Nguyen gave me a wry smile. "Even me."
##

The "bar" was an insult to the term - no proper fermentation plants, and jammed into a spare fuel tank from the landing. Three of Anderson's men were raising hell, probably on orders. They weren't even drunk yet - and they were armed. Violation of the new colonial rules.

I slide up behind the big one. I had my trusty blaster, fully charged. Nguyen took up a position at an angle to me, with a vector on the other two. The locals saw us before the boys did, and started to scuttle away - subtle at first, then all at once. By the time the boys turned around, it was just us, the boys, and the bartender left. Good - a witness made things easier.

The big one had a fat face and what I guessed was an Irish or Italian look to him. He tried to bulk up and make me feel small - a bit difficult when I had an inch or two on him, both ways.

"You must been that bitch they hired." He gave a fat face grinned, and licked his lips. "Something I can help you with, Officer?"

"Firearms aren't allowed within the colony's stake," I replied, cool and loose. "We'll have to confiscate them."

"We never heard that rule before!" screeched one in the back, before the big one glares at him.

"We're telling you now," I replied. "So put them on the bar real slow."

"Yeah?" The big one gave a mockingly plaintive look. "And when would we get our blasters back?"

"Same time you get any contraband back." I leaned in real close, let him smell the sweat on my skin, let him feel me challenging his manhood. "You don't."

He doesn't like it. Things are practically textbook. "I'm not letting some bitch sheriff grab my gun!"

"I'm not the sheriff," I said, stepping back so I could bring the blaster up easy and the big one can get a look at Nguyen. "He is."

Nguyen fixes the big one with that dead eye stare, the one that's soulless and fearless from watching men freeze and explode in the vacuum of space. The two lock, and for just a flash... I think the boy is going to back down. He grabs his pistol and pulls it loose. I bring the blaster up, and vaporize his lower torso. Nguyen follows up with two sizzling pops, and the other two boys are missing a good bit of skull.

All three managed to get their weapons loose before we blasted them, so no trouble there - looked like big boy even got a shot off into the ground, maybe. With the witness here, it should be no trouble even in a Guild audit. I look at her now, the bartender. She's good, I suppose, although I was too strictly hetero to be a good judge. Swedish or something, with blond hair and a full figure.

She's not cowering, or staring in shock - just breathing real heavy, red and shaking. It takes me a second to realize she's not scared, and not looking at the bodies. She's got both eyes locked on Nguyen, hot and bothered. I glance back, and notice Nguyen is returning the look, face blank. But he's eyes got some life behind them, a twinkle.

Well. I guess everybody's got a type.
###

"I'm thinking about settling down, Zhuo." He waited from some gasp of shock from me, like I didn't see this coming a month ago. "I think I'll ask Matilda to marry me."

"Too old to walk through the forest anymore?" I asked, lightly. He seemed awkward, unsure of himself

"Seems like as good a place to stop as any," he replied. "And Matilda is a fine woman."

I fixed him in my sights, waiting for the unspoken “But…” that was coming.

"It's Anderson," He said finally. "I know she was with him first, his little squeeze in the colony. Still is."

Poor man was drifting, delta-V on empty. I had to throw him a line. "I think she loves you when she's with you," I said finally. "And she loves him when she's with him. And if I had to guess, she's not any happier about it than you are."

He groaned, like bulkheads in deep space. "And no way we nail Anderson on Miyako, not what'll stick before the governor. He's got some nerve, showing his face around here after all this."

I had to wonder at it a little bit. The sheriff was getting old, alright, and the wolf was always hunting.
####

The bar cleared out, real fast, leaving an empty space in the middle for me and Anderson. A nice little dance floor for two - about the largest big of free space you’d find with oxygen.

"What did you call me?" He said as quietly as a snake.

"A coward, Anderson. A yellow coward who bought his commission in the Marines." I was loud, relaxed, perhaps a little drunk. "Take the shuttle leaving in 20 ticks, and I'll even let you live to prove it."

"Big words from the only bitch armed here. Would you murder me in front of everyone, shoot an unarmed man?" He spoke quietly, in control, but I saw the little vein jump and pulse.

I pulled the extra pistol and holster off my hip, and kicked it over to his feet. He picked it up, and paused. I saw the thoughts crossing through his mind. Why would a drunk deputy, picking a spontaneous fight, have the extra pistol necessary to make it a proper duel? But he was holding the pistol already, and the trap had already been sprung.

"Put it on. Or show your boys your tail and run." I dropped the act now, spoke just as calm and quiet. He put the holster on his belt, and looked me in the eye. He was faster, but his aim was off. I’d have the burn scars forever. I ignored it, aimed, and hit true - a single shot, in the chest, just to the left. No miracle or medicine can save a man with a bit charcoal for a heart.

By the time someone ran and got Nguyen and Matilda, I was on the shuttle. By the time he got to the bar, the shuttle was preparing to depart. I figured he had just enough time to understand what I did, before we broke atmo and blinked away.

I figured Nguyen deserved it. I figured he'd walk through the forest enough days, been lucky and tough and clever. But you get old, you know, and the wolf - he only has to get lucky once.

Social Studies 3rd Period
Oct 31, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Tyrannosaurus posted:

Film Noir Urban Fantasy'

Greg Davis, Private Investigatorc
1389 words

Slim. Blonde. Confident. All the boxes ticked to be just my type, except for the little rune pinned to her chest. The little rune letting me know she could roast me or freeze me with a thought. Funny, I’d never seen anyone with a rune in that color before - or a mage quite like her.

“Gruguk Davis?” she asked, and I grunted in response. She seemed like such a tiny thing, but everything seemed tiny when you were closer to the ten feet mark than most.

“Depends on who asks and what time of day, really,” I said. Not that it did me any good with my name on the door, right under the title of Private Investigatorc flippantly suggested by my landlord. She smiled and ignored my remark.

“I’ll be honest with you, Mr. Davis-”

“Greg will do just fine, Miss.”

The polite smile on her face slipped somewhat, and I could see the way her fingers twitched at her side. My own hand moved to one side beneath the desk, closer to the drawer that kept my pistol. Most orcs relied on their fists, but sometimes you needed something with range.

“I’ll be honest with you, Mr. Davis. I am not particularly fond of your type,” she sniffed, and I watched her nose wrinkle as she approached the desk.

“Did you come here to insult me, or…?”

A gloved hand slid into her handbag and I tensed. Instead of a weapon, however, she withdrew a pair of bulging envelopes and handed the smaller one over. I peeked inside and whistled at the stack of bills stuffed inside. More money than I’d ever had in my life sat in my palms, but only for a minute - plucked away just as quick as it came to my hands.

“I want you to find my brother, Mr. Davis. I happen to know he has fallen in with a bad crowd, but divination can’t find him, at all. He has… valuable information on him. I will contact you soon with further information. The first envelope - your payment for finding him. The second, well.”

She held a finger to her lips, and something in the room clinked. Icecubes filled my glass, and when I looked up she was gone - only the ice, her last words, and the smell of perfume lingering as trace as her visit.

“When you find him - kill him, would you?”

---

I couldn’t believe I said yes. But when someone comes along and gives a lifeline to your sinking ship - and a good one, at that - you take it. Anyone could be bought. Right?

Kathy called the next day and provided the information. Pete - her little brother - had supposedly been kidnapped by one of the smaller gangs across town in a play for money and power. The only question was - which?

No ransom call yet, either. And what could a kid know to attract the attention of a gang? Why would his sister want him dead? None of it made any goddamn sense to me.

Mulling over the case, such as it was, I decided that there was only one place to start: with the leader of the gang himself, Big Tony. Asking around on the streets and checking in with my connections revealed that Tony seemed rather generous of late. Why not go to the man himself and test that generosity?

---

That was a rhetorical question, of course.

I felt a pang of jealousy as I entered Big Tony’s office, after what seemed like forever of waiting at the bar. I towered over the man, and yet his office didn’t seem cramped in the slightest. It even seemed more opulent than my visit years before.

“Gruguk, it’s been so long! Please, sit!” Tony grinned from ear to ear, gesturing at his flunkies with his cigar. “Gentlemen! Don’t just stand there like idiots. Get the orc chair for Mr. Gruguk, will you? Chop to it, if you please.”

“Nice place, Tony. New desk? Looks like maple, if I had to guess?” I asked as I sat in the oversized chair, making sure to note where his bodyguards remained. The “big” man made a show of laughing and shaking my hand as we settled down to business.

“Cut the crap, Greg. We both know why you’re here. You think you’re the only man in this town who keeps his ears to the ground? Please.” Any man who thought he was the only one listening would get a rude awakening in little time. But I thought it best not to debate the point and only gave Tony one of my winning smiles mixed in with a second-place shrug.

Drugs, booze, rackets, the whole thing? It’d probably be better for everyone if you were behind bars for it all. Me? I don’t care. Hell, Tony, if I gave a drat about every crook in this city, I wouldn’t have a single care left for myself.

“But taking a kid? That’s low. Even for some second rate roaches like yourselves.”

Tony blew smoke in my face and laughed.

“Sometimes, Greggy, old pal, I wonder if you really keep up as much as you say you do. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I did take the kid,” he began, snuffing out his cigar. “Tell me, if I don’t even make a call, what do I get out of the whole thing, other than a whiny brat asking for his mama?”

“Something valuable. A bargaining chip. The kid knows something? Something to force out another gang.” Either Big Tony had set the bait for a trap or was somehow even worse a poker player than I was. His face changed at the last suggestion, and I could see the guards approaching out of the corner of my eye.

Tony made some gesture to distract me that I barely acknowledged, waiting for the right moment. I jumped and threw the chair backwards, slamming it into one of the goons, knocking him right out of the fight. The other came at me with a knife and managed to take a chunk of coat and thick orc skin before getting a fist to the face.

To his credit, Tony was a quick man prepared for such occasions. Even with such a quick brawl, he escaped around us, out into the bar. Already, more of his flunkies were waiting for me and bullets filled the air. Not fast enough, with how slow on the draw they were. More than a few bullets grazed my skin, but fewer still found their mark.

I drew my own weapon as I dove behind the bar/ Most of Tony’s men left themselves needlessly exposed, counting on overwhelming firepower. One by one, I dropped them, careful not to crush the little gun between my fingers. In the confusion of the battle, Tony emerged from a side room, clutching what seemed to match the shape and size of Pete’s description - and exited the building. Against my better judgement, I gave chase behind him and emerged into an alley.

Where Tony sat, slumped against a wall a single hole in his forehead. Kathy whirled about, and before I knew it, several more holes opened up inside of me as well. A gun? What happened to the magic?

“You seem surprised, Mr. Davis. Tell me, even a dimwitted detective of your nature must have known something was wrong about all this. But I suppose it doesn’t matter. You did manage to do such a lovely job of finding Pete for me.” Another shot. I stumbled at her as the blood loss and exhaustion finally began to take its toll. “And really. Did you think I wouldn’t be tracking you, even if I couldn’t find Petey?”

“Tell you what. I’ll even be a good sport for you,” she said, leaving both her - passed out - brother and one of those drat envelopes next to me. “When - if - you wake up, you’ll have something. I always make good on my promises. More importantly, after all this? The cops won’t get anything out of poor, traumatized little Petey.”

I reached out for her one last time as she laughed all the way out of the alley. I swung my head around to look at the poor kid and to briefly wonder at his future - and then I knew no more.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



Tyrannosaurus posted:

Lost World Heist/Caper

1035 words

The Heart of Adventure

flerp fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2015 around 03:57

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Fire in the Water
(1192 Words)
Ecothriller-Action-Adventure


Hannah Elsenburg’s fingers tapped repeatedly on the keyboard as she searched the database. She had been on the trail of NovaChem Pharamaceuticals for months now, after noticing unusually high rates of cancer and liver failures in the towns near their factories. The statistics were in line with a tainted water supply, but the factories in question were subject to regular EPA inspection, and each of those inspections had come back clean.

And so Hannah had snuck into the offices of NovaChem headquarters, by posing as the representative of a would-be private investor with hinted-at fortunes ready for the right company. She had found a spot of luck, with the password and username written down and stored in the desk of the computer she was currently at. That said, the data was too thick for easy analysis, and so, with a heavy sigh, she tapped in a command, and the database began uploading into a flash drive.

***

Two months later, Hannah’s morning run was interrupted by a phone call. Panting, she came to a rest at a bench and answered promptly. The voice on the other end was James, a friend of hers with an eye for financial analysis. He spoke in rushed tones. “I’ve finally found something!”

Hannah had come to think of the NovaChem investigation as a dead end. So long had passed with no word that she had just assumed that there was nothing to be found. James said, “There’s a whole lot of junk in there, and almost everything is clean. But get this, there’s this annual payment that’s not attached to any other accounts, and we’re talking a big one. Seven figures! So I cross referenced that with the packet you sent me, and I found that it corresponds, give or take a week, with the inspection review by your boss, Reynolds.”

***

Reynolds was not the sort of person to throw away anything, especially if it was the sort of thing that he could use to hang over someone’s head. And so, Hannah had stayed after her regular hours for overtime and waited quietly for Reynolds to head out for the day. She crept into his office and made her way for the painting on his back wall, the perfect place to hide a safe. Sliding the painting to the side, she discovered a dial lock and pursed her lips in concentration.

It took about a half hour to figure out the code, going through all the combinations of numbers that she had found while researching Reynold’s personal life. Finally, she entered the date of his divorce from his first wife and was answered with a click. She swung the door of the safe open and began rifling through the file folder within, scanning over document titles. Her search was interrupted when the door creaked open, and she spun to see Reynolds entering. “Ah, those additional security measures finally prove useful,” he said.

She resumed her search and spoke to him without looking his way, hoping to keep him distracted. “So, why did you do it?”

“I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Reynolds said. He stalked his way to his desk and began rifling through his drawers.

“NovaChem,” Hannah said. “I know you’re responsible for covering up their leaks.”

Reynolds paused in his own search, and his voice dropped, becoming little more than a whisper. “It’s about the numbers, you see. They save lives. Millions, at the very least. And at what cost? A few hundred, maybe a thousand?”

“Not to mention the millions that you get in compensation.” Hannah finally found a sub-folder that she needed and turned to walk towards the door.

“Well, I’m not complaining about those,” Reynolds said. He dashed forward, intercepted Hannah’s path, and pressed a letter opener into her stomach. “You move and I cut. I don’t want to hurt you Elsenburg, you’re a good worker. Very efficient. Very attentive. The agency could use more people like you. But I’m going to have to ask you to put the folder down and forget about this.”

Reynolds twisted the letter opener a bit against her. “Think about the lives,” he said.

Hannah punched him hard in the jaw. Reynolds jammed in the letter opener before he collapsed in a heap on the ground. Hannah limped out.

***

“It looks like he managed to miss all of your vital organs,” James said. He wrapped gauze tight around Hannah’s stomach until she winced.

“I’ll consider it a win, then,” Hannah said. She leaned forward as much as she could to examine the documents she had taken from Reynold’s office. “I got to get these things to the FBI. I don’t know how high things go up in the EPA.”

“The FBI?” James said. “Isn’t that a bit-” A firm knocking at the door interupted him.

Hannah rose to her feet and stretched her side to feel out her most sore parts. “Are you expecting anyone?” When James shook his head, Hannah peeked out the eye hole of the door. On the other side were two serious looking men in black suits, trying to go for an FBI look. But the cut of the suit was just a bit off, and their builds spoke of hired muscle rather than federal agents.

“Is there another way out of here?” Hannah said.

***

Hannah clung to the documents as she rode in the back seat of the taxi taking her to the nearest FBI office. She spared a glance out the back window and allowed herself to relax when she saw the lack of a tail. She still jumped when her phone rang, though. The number came up unidentified and she hesitated, until the driver glanced back at her.

“Hello?” Hannah said.

The voice on the other end spoke with an easy confidence, though was unfamiliar to her ears. “Miss Elsenburg, are you sure that wish to go through with this?”

“Who is this?” Hannah looked out the windows once again, trying to spot something out of the ordinary, but nothing caught her eye.

“I’m just a man with some interests that correlate with your current activities. I can appreciate your commitment to your investigation, but you have to consider the cost.”

Hannah laughed, her voice tightening. “You’re breaking the law. People are dying, and who knows what the long term impact on the environment will be from those chemicals that you’re dumping.”

“You don’t understand how much it would delay all our operations to bring things up to code. Do you have any idea what the toll in human lives will be if we have to stop for so long?”

“I’m sure that there are others just waiting to take on the extra burden. I think we’ll do just fine without you.” Hannah swiftly shut her phone down and slid it back into her pocket.

***

A factory closes and a ripple spreads. Jobs are transferred or lost, funds are shifted and rearranged, capacity is altered elsewhere to adjust for the sliding of the supply and demand curve. A young boy fishes from a river, the water deep and blue and impenetrable.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


1399 words

Singularity
The singularity exhibits radical gravity fluctuations. I calculate a moderate chance of overshooting into the singularity itself.

“Can’t risk docking and getting pulled into the Prometheus’s decaying orbit. I’ll have one orbit before my chance to slingshot back and escape the singularity’s gravity field. Got an ETA on that?”

If the Prometheus maintains orbital velocity, approximately one hour, one minute, and thirty two seconds.

“Engage the airlock Virgil.”

A klaxon blared into the tiny room, followed by a metallic clunk. There was a loud hiss as the doors flung open. The depressurization threw Jason into the abyss. He spun violently. His ship drifting out of sight into the stars. The Prometheus interceded in and out of sight against the backdrop of the event horizon like a buoy on moonless waves. The Prometheus grew large. Jason braced for impact.

He slammed into the hull and tumbled down the length of it, his extreme spin battering him with each rotation. His visor cracked.

“Virgil! Magnetic coupling!” His boots jerked and locked to the hull. Jason’s momentum carried him backwards, he smashed into the unyielding steel. He felt a crunch. His suit lurched upright, locking his knees with force. His cry lost in the depths. It was getting cold.

Oxygen supply damaged. Contents bleeding. Total supply loss in sixty three seconds.

Snatching the thermite charges from his utility belt, he fashioned them into a cross and placed it on the hull.

Forty five seconds.

“Detonate.”

The cross erupted in a brilliant light that refracted and danced across the cracked visor. The corners peeled outward as the compartment decompressed.The pressurized atmosphere crashed over him like a tsunami. He just needed to stay conscious.

Pressure equalized. Thirty seconds.

No time to crawl in. He readied a small metallic disk with a glowing red light..

“Vent remaining oxygen supply. Decouple.”

He went weightless for a moment, breathed his last breath, and vented his oxygen. It sent him blasting forward. He turned to face the breach and found the lightless void of the event horizon seeping in. He pressed the light in the disk and threw it. It blinked once as it sailed into the breach. It sprayed a cloud of fine mist and flash frozen it, sealing the hull.

“Containment confirmed. Repressurization in progress.” Blared the PA. His lungs blazed in pain while darkness creeped into his vision. The artificial gravity came back online, dumping Jason to the floor. He sank into unconsciousness.

An unblinking black eye watched him.It was cold, like a shark’s eye. It was a shifting sea of shifting shapes. He free fell towards it. The shapes revealed a form. writhing tentacles drifting on the cosmic winds.

Devour. Become one by consuming and being consumed. The candle is snuffed by the darkness. The divide is removed. All shadows become equal in the absence of light.

Jason awoke on the floor gasping. He popped his helmet and pulled himself to his feet. He leaned against a wall and shook his head.

“Virgil, can you scan the ship’s life support systems and tell me where the crew is.”

Life support scan indicates seventeen living crew members, all located on the bridge.

“Huh. Ship didn’t respond when hailed.”

Bridge is located on level four. Lift is located across the kitchen compartment.

***

The mess hall was the first ominous sign. Blood spatter contrasted against the whitewashed walls. Words stained the walls.

The flesh is a prison. The thought echoed.

“Virgil, is there something else here?”

The gravity fluctuations may be causing distortions.

“Distortions? What kind of distortions?”

Theoretical.

“Great.”

They were interrupted by a wet hacking sound emanating from the kitchen, Jason drew his combat knife and crouch low next to the door. He peered through the doorway. A dismembered torso lay on the butcher’s table. Limbs suspended from meat hooks dripped dark coagulated globs like crimson stalactites. A pot boiled.

“Fresh…” Mumbled the figure as it emerged from the darkness. The chef had gnawed away his lips. His eyes were two festering gaping holes, exposed to the bone, as if clawed out. Pus oozed and crusted around his hollow sockets. It stood still for a moment sniffing the air.

“The eye kissed my mind. I am one with the realm of shadows. You too will see!” The monster shouted as it charged with it’s butcher cleaver held high. Jason deflected the blow with his combat knife, but the force knocked the blade from his hand. The monster was over extended. A swift headbutt sent it reeling. He pinned the beast against the fridge with a side kick. It snapped it’s lipless jaws at him and grasped his leg with both hands.

“Magnetic coupling!” There was a slight hum. The monster screamed in pain. Jason’s boot passed through its chest and attached to the fridge door. The creature spat blood, wheezed, convulsed, and became still.

“Deactivate.” The corpse slumped to the ground, blood cascading from the gaping chest wound. He leaned against the stove to steady himself. He absentmindedly turned off the burner under the boiling pot. He looked inside. A human head leered back, eyes burst and flesh falling from the bone.

The elevator was close. The bridge was within reach. He summoned the lift.

***

The lift arrived to the fourth level. The doors slide apart to reveal the bridge. It was massive. The controls and navigation laid out in front of a massive viewport that encompassed an entire wall, as was in turn encompassed by the event horizon in the distance. The captain’s chair was attached to an upper deck, giving it a view of the entire bridge. The crew was there. Their empty sockets slowly converged on the figure who disturbed them.

“You have intruded on our ritual. You will be next.”

“What ritual?”

“A sacrifice to the great devourer for his blessing.”The captain’s chair whirred as it turned to face him, revealing blue eyes and full lips.. “Life is a disease. The devourer promises equality and order in darkness.”

“The great devourer? You mean the singularity? Are you the captain?”
“No, I am the herald. In my previous life I was the comms officer. I listened and listened and the devourer spoke to me. First I thought I was picking up an alien signal. I unearthed a god. This is his will. You will see. Seize him! Give him true sight, let him see the shadows as they are.”

The former crew began to advance on Jason. He replaced his helmet.

He drew a thermite charge. It was a longshot

“Magnetic coupling!” Shouted Jason as he threw the charge. It arc and impacted the viewing window, detonating simultaneously as his boots hummed. The light seemed to blind the sightless ones. The captain’s roar of rage was lost in the explosive decompression. The glass was tempered, the breach less than a foot in diameter. The sightless ones desperately tried to cling to nearby consoles but it was no use. The breach didn’t relent. One after another the creatures were pulled into the narrow gap and were forced through like toothpaste from a tube.

The captain was last to go. He held on to his seat as long as he could but the breach pulled him and folded him in unnatural ways. The paste streaked toward the singularity.

Return trajectory to ship approaching.

“Quick, Virgil, rotate the ship to face the Argo!”

The sea of black gave way to the ocean of stars. His ship was going to pass by.

“Activate the prometheus's self destruct!” Jason commanded as he drew his final charge.

The ship’s PA came to life again.

“Self destruct in five minutes.”

Jason detonated the other charge, shattering the viewport entirely.

“Activate the Prometheus’s reverse thrust! Disengage coupling!”

Jason flew from the bridge. He maintained velocity and trajectory and was coming into the argo hot. The Prometheus lost orbital velocity and sank closer to the abyss. He could swear he saw tendrils reaching out, as if for him.

The Prometheus imploded to an infinitely small point before exploding out in a vicious energy ring. The blast propelled Jason faster into the cosmos.

His air supply was still damaged. He held his breath and braced for the g force. The Argo was close. He could make it.

He slammed into the open airlock. He watched the energy shock wave spread across his view like a ripple in an ocean of the infinite.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


a life for a life for a life

The car left the road, and her father did not survive. There's more to it than that- the clinging darkness of autumn that made the bend hard to see, the almost-balletic paths the fragments of shattered windshield carved through the air, the reek of blood and oil and the sound of her own sobbing: a single moment tattooed into her memory. It was a red '89 Toyota Corolla with a scratchy cassette player and sticky seatbelts. It smelled like sweat and bad deodorant, until the moment it didn't. There's more to it than that, but at the end of the day only two things mattered: the car left the road, and her father did not survive.

She found him spreadeagled on the grass embankment, with his white shirt soaked in red blood. He tried to speak, but only blood came out. She was twelve, and tried to staunch the bleeding but didn't know how. Her hands were wet with his blood when he died. There was so much of it- more than one man should hold. In the years that followed, the memory twisted in the back of her mind until it was a flood that swept her up and drowned her, and she awoke with the smell of blood and oil lingering in her nose. She tried to save him, but could not. She didn't tell him she loved him one last time. She tried to, but the words stuck in her throat behind the sobbing. Only two things mattered: the car left the road, and her father did not survive.


Emily sat with her back to the wall, and took a deep drag on the joint. The hospital were short-staffed, but she'd booked this holiday months ago. Craigy and Shavaugn could handle the ambulance alone today. The red book lay on the floor in front of her; filled with pictures of people in hospital beds. Every few pages there was a black square of cloth, and a name, and two dates. One big square on the very first page: William Lund, August 4th 1965- June 27th 1996. The writing was shaky. There was a ten-year gap between that square and the next photo, then the photos came regularly, almost-daily, for over a year. The book was a debt that she owed herself- every life she couldn't save, she paid for with the ones that she could.

“You should smoke more of that stuff, you know,” said William. His body was translucent, and the details of the room behind him swam and shifted as he moved. He twirled a pen in his left hand. To an onlooker, it would've been spinning wildly in the air.

“You're a terrible dad,” she said.

He shrugged. “You don't come visit much any more. Your mother never smoked, so I haven't spoken to her in years. Since, well, you know,” he said, then winced.

For an instant, the room smelled like oil, then it was gone again. The words hung in the air, accented by the pungent smoke. Emily's phone buzzed. She took it out and saw Craigy's picture on her screen. She let it ring a few more times, hoping to wait it out. It didn't stop. She dragged her thumb across the touchscreen, and answered. She wanted to say something clever, but it came out as “C! 'sup?”

“Em?” said Craigy. “You need to get down here now.” His voice was totally flat. That in itself was worrying.

She paused for a second. She was too high to drive, and far too high to save a life. “Can't,” she said.

“The gently caress you can't,” said Craigy. “Shavaugn's concussed, and I can't drive and attend at the same time. We're right near your house, Em. Their driver smashed into the back of us, and he's CTD.”

Circling the drain. One of the pieces of lingo HR had banned, that still came up from time to time. Not dead, but close enough. Her least favourite sort of patient: the one who was alive and breathing, but so close to death that there was no point even trying. The sort of patient who left you with bloody hands, bad dreams and bolts of black cloth in your scrapbook.

“K,” she said. She swallowed. “I'm coming.”

Her hands were too heavy, and her head was too light. She'd only add another death if she tried to get there in this state. She turned to William. “Dad,” she said, “you gotta drive.”

“Is that what you kids call ghost riding the wh-”

He stopped when he saw the look on her face. “Right,” he said, “let's go.”

Emily barely even remembered leaving the house. She and William both sat in the driver's seat. He wasn't cold, quite the opposite: it was like sitting in a warm bath. The sensation calmed her. She put both hands on the wheel, and William put his own hands on top of them. He smelled of sweat and bad deodorant.

The journey was a blur. They arrived to find Shav conscious but clearly not with it, and Craigy bent over a fat, middle-aged man on the tarmac. C's hands were soaked with blood. Emily's own blood turned to icewater as she saw the man's car: a red Corolla, windshield smashed in, headlights staring like two dead, angry eyes. Probably not an '89, but close enough. It had smashed into the ambulance, then flipped onto the footpath. The car got the worse of it. Her high was already wearing off, and the shock of recognition sent what remained of it scurrying away.

She stumbled out of her own car, and felt William's warmth moving alongside her. As the high faded, so did he. He was saying something, but it was as if he was speaking from a great distance- she couldn't make out the words. The car left the road, and the father –

In the backseat of the ruined car, she saw it: a booster seat. Empty, but that was besides the point. If this man didn't make it home, there's be another kid who grew up dreaming of blood and oil. Another mess of a person who was scared to let people in, because they couldn't bear the thought of losing them. Another kid trying to pay back some karmic debt they'd never really owed- restless and tired, never able to put down the pen and say “enough”- never able to close the drat book.
The price of life is not life. That would be too easy. She knelt down beside the injured man. It didn't look good. His eyes were glazed over, and a trickle of black blood oozed from the corner of his mouth. He was still breathing, though. Maybe that was enough.

“How's the ambulance?” she said.

Craigy nodded. “Beat up, but it'll run,” he said.

The man was too big for one person to lift, but together they hauled him onto a stretcher, and into the back of the ambulance. Craigy went into the driver's seat, and Shavaugn mutely joined Emily in the back. Again, the journey was a blur. It was touch-and-go, but he was still breathing when they got to the hospital. The triage nurse took one look at the patient and started whirling her arms while nurses and physicians swarmed the ambulance to get the man out. He was still breathing. His eyes were open. He, his stretcher and the attending medical staff disappeared through the flapping double doors. It was only once he was completely out of sight that Emily realised her hands and her clothes were soaked with blood.
The car left the road, and the father –

Wasn't her problem any more. She'd done all she could, and then some. How do you pay back a life lost? You pay it back as best you can, in little ways or big ones. Warmth enveloped her, and the smell of sweat and bad deodorant. She smiled, and knew that her father was smiling with her.

There was once a girl and her father, in their car. The car left the road, and her father did not survive-

but she did.


Maybe that was enough.






1400 exactly. Supernatural medical drama.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



quote:

Cosmic Horror Children's Fantasy

Ever Wish You Were Royalty?

Djeser fucked around with this message at Jan 1, 2016 around 05:42

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.




The Last Tree in New Amherst
(1,150 words)
Cyberpunk Fairy Tale


*snip*

See Archive

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at Dec 30, 2015 around 17:03

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

Remembering St. Kilda
884 words

Genres: Dark fantasy and alternate history

He tosses aside the bones of the last puffin. The stubs on his back itch. They will grow tonight. Inch by inch, meal by meal, they jut outwards, unfurling. The humans had scaled the cliff stacks for eggs. He must climb for wings. He shall escape Hirta. He shall cross the sea.

He must be strong. He must be fast. He can no longer brood in the fishstained homesteads, or skulk the soldiers' base to the smells of rifle oil and polish. A hundred miles of sea are stirring. Something comes, swiftly, terribly.

He is not made to climb. A brollachan is not made for anything. But he remembers claws, how to grip, as he hauls himself upwards. He remembers the old human songs, lost now, as the waves stretch towards him. He wishes he remembered wings. So he climbs.

The shrill wind rises, and the heavens open. Rain whips across him. The slick stones begin to slip out from under his fingers. He roughens his skin like a fish and goes on.

There was no Saint Kilda. The Norse named these specks of rock in their own tongue. Later chroniclers were confused and did not care to check. The brollachan scrabbles, slips, falls-

The lightning strikes but does not fade. He sits in midair, blinded by the light. He tries to turn, but cannot: the light holds him fast. Gently, he is floated back to the cliff face. He turns.

The thing dims, and it is fire in armour. Armour that gleams, bronze and golden. And wings. Feathered, rippling wings.

“You need not cling here, night thing. I am Ishmael. I have beaten the swords into ploughshares.” It points with a blazing finger. “Once my Work is done here, there shall be peace on Earth and life everlasting.”

The brollachan remembers his beak. No, his mouth. “I cannot stay here.”

“Then God be with you on your climb.”

“No,” he croaks, “I must leave these islands.”

The angel shrugs. Rays ripple across the water. “Then leave how you came, little myth. I cannot carry you.” It turns, angles-

“Wait.” He remembers more words, now, spilling them out as fast as they come. “What is the year?”

Ishmael tilts its head. “It is the Year of Our Lord nineteen-thirty nine.”

He remembers counting. Eight years. Eight since the boats left. Eight. The brollochan looks the angel up and down. He remembers what angels are. He remembers the old gambits. Tales were told about them, once.

“I challenge you! To... to riddles!”

A flaming sword is in its hand. “Surely you jest.”

“You cannot refuse. It is the Rules.”

“And you know them, so far from land?” It laughs. “If I win, you will allow me to finish the Work. A reasonable enough boon. A service to all. And if you win?”

“If I win,” he voices, his mouth rolling around the sounds, “I will have your wings.”

The fire rises. “Careful, little one. You toy with furious purpose.”

“Do you fear me?”

“Ha! You may go first.”

He adjusts his grip on the rock. How did riddles go? He looks east, towards Scotland over the water. He remembers how riddles go.

What waves with no hands, roars with no mouth?

It looks at him. Its light sparkles in the waters. “Obvious. The sea.” It recites.

Give me food, and I will live;
give me water, and I will die.


He pauses. He knows this one. He thinks back to centuries spent lurking on the hills hunting goats, snippets of stories from distant figures. He remembers listening to the songs, the games.

“Fire.” He spits the word. “I go again.”

The angel motions for him to be quick.

He remembers how riddle contests go.

I am cold as steel, yet I stir men to fight;
Where they die, I alone thrive.


The angel starts. The wind gusts and the flames shudder. “You- That is hardly a traditional riddle-”

He grins. “Is that your answer?”

Of course that is not my answer!”

“Then what is it?”

“It...” The fire flails into a sullen silence.

“It's one of ours,” he says. “It is a sword.”

It sags, but the Rules are iron everywhere, even St. Kilda.

#

It is a fresh evening on Hirta when he awakes. The air is still. He remembers the wings. They sprout from him like spring growth. He flaps them experimentally, trying to recall. New muscles tense and slacken. He wonders if this is what it is like to remember people.

Thoughts turn. He remembers the Work. He remembers the devastation and the peace. He remembers the sword.

It is in his hand. It burns.

The brollachan walks down through the village. The spinning wheels and gutting tables are where they always were. They burn quickly. The houses, damp sod and driftwood, take a little longer. The sky goes red.

The base he leaves to last.

First the buildings catch. The smells go acrid, sharp. The fires rage in the wind, and make their way down into the earth, towards the armoury. Ammunition dumps go up in scattered fooms.

They unfurls their luxuriant wings, that glimmer in the flickering firelight. They remember St. Kilda. Then they fly.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


the wheel says: Medical Drama and Weird Fiction

The First Cut(s) (1022 words)

Sadie brushes herself off, having just slipped into her scrubs. Only one more operation before her shift ends. If she can get through it without 'slipping under', maybe the dreams tonight wouldn't be so bad.

Right before she stows her phone away in the locker, she checks one more time for any new messages. There's only one, but when she sees the sender, she nearly drops her phone on the ground.

She picks it back off the floor, stuffs it away, and pulls on her gloves. She can't afford to think about her father today, not when she's about to extract the shattered remains of someone's ribcage from their intestines. Everything he did to her was years ago. It shouldn't matter anymore. Face flushed, she rushes to the OR.

Her hands are trembling as she pushes the door open. She drops them to her sides but sees her assistant glance at them when she enters. Not good. In an attempt to calm herself, she does a quick inventory of the operating theater. The patient has been prepared, and she can see the scalpel gleam reassuringly, alluringly from its position on the medical tray.

Sweat rolls down her brow. If she slipped under now, her shaking fingertips wouldn't be a problem anymore, but-

"Are you okay, Sadie?" her assistant asks, frowning slightly.

"I'm fine." But she's already wasting time. She needs to steady herself, or she'll be pulled off the procedure.

"You don't seem-"

The glint of cold steel is too much. She slips under.

"I'm fine," she says, loud, firm, and unmistakably cold. The chill pervades her senses, just like it had that first time, when she had nothing else but the cold cadaver in front of her to distract from her bruised, aching body.

Her hands are firm and composed. She picks up the scalpel from its position on the tray, marveling for a moment at the fine edge of its blade.

She presses it to the body on the operating table. "Making the first incision."

A blur of motion, light, and sound passes by, and the next thing she knows, Peter is congratulating her on another perfect operation. She steps out of the operating room without another word, but before the steel can melt away, she freezes, because that is her father, right in front of her. Even as she is now, she finds herself incapable of response.

"Sadie!" He booms, loud and boisterous. Heads turn as he holds his arms wide open, as if for a hug. "It's so great to see you!"

She doesn't move. When she finally manages to control herself, she manages to get out, "It's a pleasure to see you again, father."

His eyes narrow, but he keeps up the jovial act. He drops his arms to his sides, and asks, "Why so cold to your old man? How have you been?"

"I'm fine." A corner of Sadie's mind suspects that under normal circumstances, she would've had a panic attack. "Now, if you'll excuse me..."

Before she can turn to leave, he grabs her wrist. "Sadie, please. What do I have to do for you to forgive me?" His pleas are clearly having an affect on the bystanders, but it's all Sadie can do to keep herself from jerking out of his grip.

Her skin crawls. People are staring. Her colleagues are grinning, clearly expecting a heartwarming reunion scene to follow. She starts to flush, and to her horror, the world begins to get a little warmer.

"You -" You don't have to do anything would be the appropriate words here, but as Sadie flushes, she realizes her tongue has frozen. Her head begins to pound.

She can't do this. She can't go through with this. She jerks her hand away out of Amir's grasp, and the hallways lets out a silent gasp. Everywhere, all she can see are shocked faces.

In a minute, their faces would smooth out, but she'd be able to see their verdict from their eyes. They'd start to whisper behind her back, calling her heartless, cruel, a stone-cold bitch. She blinks away the sweat from her eyes.

Amir's staring at her, and only a couple more seconds remain until he puts on that familiar facade for the crowd. A scene would play out in the hallways of her workplace once again: the uncaring, bratty daughter rejecting the loving, repentant father's olive branch.

He puts a tremble in his voice. "Sadie?"

Abruptly, the sweat cools on her brow. All heat within her is quenched, and something settles inside her gut. She dives, sinking deeper than she had ever before, and she smiles.

"Oh, father. You don't have to do anything." The words are cold, remote, but she takes her father's hand while saying them. The crowd around them sighs in relief.

Then Amir lets out a gasp of pain. When he tries to pull away, she tightens her grip, and it's only when she feels warm liquid flowing past her fingers does she bother look at their joined hands.

Blood is welling up from between their clasped palms and is slowly dripping to the floor. The hallway is now deadly silent, with horrified stares at the red drops on the smooth linoleum.

When she finally lets her father go, he staggers back, clutching his bleeding hand. Red liquid still wells up from the deep cuts across his palm - four clean slashes, looking for all the world as if they were made by a scalpel.

Sadie examines the thin latex of her surgical gloves. The stains from the last operation remain, but the rubbery surface is unbroken. Curious. She experimentally snaps it back against her hand, and everybody present flinches at the sound.

Her grin widens as she looks back up at Amir, and he takes a couple trembling steps back. Finally, she turns to leave.

"Just make sure to go see the front desk about that, okay? Those cuts look nasty."

For some reason, she really wants to go fetch one of those cadavers the interns practice on. She flexes her fingers and grins. Cutting stuff up never sounded so appealing.

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



quote:

Yay! Cosmic Horror and Ghosts/Hauntings is sure to be a spooky delight!
The Forest
1151 words

Ezekiel decided to go live in the forest when he was twelve years old.

His groundings had gotten more frequent and more severe. Eventually, he thought, he might never be let out of his room. But the forest, where no one would ever bother him, would be perfect. Who knew what strange magic lived there, undisturbed for centuries?

He snuck out at the witching hour, about three in the morning. By this time his parents would be in the deepest part of sleep. He took the path on the outskirts of town that everyone else just walked by.

As he journeyed into the forest he felt like he was being swallowed whole. With every gale of wind the leaves danced and the trees reached for him, taking him further in. Soon the canopy was so thick he couldn’t see the sky. With every step he could feel himself leaving his old life further and further behind.

When he was deep in the forest heart he stopped, because someone was watching him.

It was a girl, long hair, tattered dress. Like she had materialized from the shadows, made out of the same stuff they were. But her skin was pale and her eyes shone.

“I’ve never seen you here before,” she said.

“i’ve never been here before,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to, though.”

“It’s so good that you’re here,” she said. “I need your help.”

“I just got here,” he said, frowning. “I think I’m the one who needs help.”

“No, no,” she said. “We need to make an offering to Cti-bo, the god at the edge of the universe. If we don’t, I’ll disappear.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Why?”

“Because I’m his dream,” she said, “and if we don’t feed him, he’ll wake up.”

#

He was following her now, through twisting trails, scraping against bark and branches and tripping in the wild grass. She was effortlessly gliding through the growth.

“Wait,” he said. “What does Cti-bo eat?”

“All creatures of the forest, great and small,” she said, brushing a wisp of hair from her face. “Lucky for us. I don’t know what I would do if he only ate bears.”

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“Looking for bait,” she said. “I know where the sweetest berries grow.”

As she said this she glided through a thicket of branches. He pushed them aside and found that she was standing in a grove, a circular area ringed by the thick verdance. The moonlight, now free to shine through the break in the trees, reflected off her pale skin so that he almost felt blinded. He squinted. She was pointing at a nearby bush.

“There are some on that bush,” she said. “Come on, grab them!”

She was right. They were a dark crimson, as if the bush was bleeding.

Not knowing what else to do, he picked a handful of berries. Taking off his hat, he carefully placed them inside the brim.

“Great!” she said. “Now all we need is the trap itself. You can probably make it out out of grass and twigs.”

“I have no idea how to do that,” he said.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll show you.”

As he bundled the trap together he felt the girl’s eyes on him. They were fragmented and distorted, and set against her skin, kaleidoscopic.

“Are you sure you’ll disappear if Cti-bo wakes up?” he asked.

“If Cti-bo wakes up,” she said, “it’ll be bad for everyone.”

When he finished the trap he set it down and baited it. “What now?” he asked.

“Now we wait,” she said. “You could maybe sleep or something.” Her eyes were like nebulae. “Everyone needs to sleep sometime.” His eyelids grew heavy. He felt himself falling forward, the grass rising up to meet him.

#

He dreamed of Cti-bo, locked away in the black tower at the edge of the universe.

Cti-bo was in flux. As he watched faces appeared and disappeared on him like passing strangers. In spite of this he dozed peacefully, though he was stretched out awkwardly.

Cti-bo’s room was warping, too. As he watched, Cti-bo’s bookshelves shifted shape and size. Sometimes books spilled out of them, falling to the floor, gone in an instant. Paintings appeared, disappeared, fantastic landscapes and swirling colours. Creatures too, creatures with fangs and tentacles and antennae that stretched out of frame.

He was standing in front of Cti-bo, feet on the (hardwood? stone? carpeted?) floor, and as he watched Cti-bo lazily turned over to face him. Cti-bo’s eye twitched and the lid split and the split began to widen...

He woke up.

He was damp. The grass was wet, like it had been collecting dew, even though it hadn’t rained. He heard movement, a sharp cry.

“The trap worked!” the girl said. “Hurry up and kill whatever it is so we can feed it to Cti-bo!”

“Kill it?” he said stupidly.

“Do you eat stuff that’s alive?” she said.

He was moving over to the trap. It was shaking back and forth and the crying was more intense. Gingerly, so that whatever was in there wouldn’t escape, he checked it.

It was a rabbit. Brown fur, whiskers that reminded him of the antennae he’d seen in some of Cti-bo’s paintings. Its mouth was stained red. As he stared at it it stopped crying and twitched its nose nervously.

“Use a rock,” she said. “Smash it. There’s one over there.”

He picked it up. It narrowed to a jagged point, like the remnants of an ancient spear.

The rabbit was quivering, staring at him with glassy eyes.

He gripped the stone tight. Felt it digging into his skin. He could feel his heart pounding. His blood sang in his ears.

“I don’t want to be nothing,” the girl said.

He tossed it aside. In a quick movement he tore the trap apart, watched the rabbit scamper off.

“No one deserves to be shut away forever,” he said.

She looked at him. Tears in her eyes. The kaleidoscope starting to turn now, the colours all swirling together. Light shining through the water like prisms. Bursts of light from other suns, millions of lightyears away. The edge of the universe and every star in between.

“Go home,” she said.

He found the path out of the forest and took it, feeling her eyes on him the whole way.

As he walked up to his house the sun had already risen. The sky wasn’t the usual rosy pink of dawn, but a darker, more violent shade.

He slipped through the door silently and went to his room, where he paused. He looked at his bookshelf. He had read all the books countless times. He looked at the superhero poster that he was too old for. He felt the floor with his foot. Everything felt so… static.

He lay on his bed and waited for everything to change.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

wordcount: 1340ish

Thirsty

“It’s beautiful, baby, thank you,” slurred Annika as Toby slipped the bracelet onto her wrist. Its silver links glittered in the candlelight - a sparkling constellation against the darkness of the restaurant’s black tablecloth. “And this … design?” She touched the seven-pointed star engraved in the face of the bracelet’s central disc. “Devilishly exotic! You’re too kind.” She grabbed the second bottle of champagne from the center of the table and sloshed its contents recklessly into the two waiting flutes. “But I’m so thirsty! Here, let’s toast your exquisite taste.” Barely waiting for him to touch his glass to hers, she downed the clear, bubbly liquid in a single swallow.

Which was the last she remembered of that evening.

***

Annika awoke with a sandpaper mouth and a relentless, throbbing headache. The clock radio beside her bed played an obscenely chirpy tune in its tinny, monophonic manner. She slammed her fist down like a hammer somewhere near the sound, but only succeeded in nudging the station dial elsewhere. Curling up into a fetal ball, she screwed up her eyes against the already bright morning light and listened to the static-infused news.

Economic ruin in Europe threatened the livelihoods of millions of people she had never met and didn’t care about. Milk prices were too high, in rude disregard of the government’s expectations of them being too low. A cab driver had been killed in his own cab. News every hour, more news on the hour at midday.

Annika's eyes flicked open. Eleven o’clock? Already? Well, crap!

She bounded out of bed and almost buckled under a wave of nausea. Leaning her forehead against the cool wall, she swallowed several times to quiet her heaving stomach. Christ, so thirsty - I need water, stat. Can’t face work yet. Maybe some greasies from the local takeaway but, first, water.

Six glasses of the city’s finest fluoridated later, her mouth still felt like she’d been licking a mud hut for a week but the throbbing in her head had subsided to a single, deep bass drum. She staggered about her bedroom, throwing together an outfit out of discarded items, pausing only to admire her new bracelet. It looked older in the daylight, maybe even a little tarnished. But still beautiful. That Toby - such a darling.

Mostly dressed, but still mobile-less, she used the landline to dial her phone, and aurally triangulated its location underneath her bed. Just how drunk was I? She flicked to the phone log, usually a good way to retrace her steps after a hard night out. There were several calls and texts from Toby, from when she had initially failed to find the romantically hidden-away restaurant, an outgoing to call to Tungsten Taxis, and five messages from work, all subtle variations on the “where the bloody hell are you?” theme.

She hooked her high heels to her feet, grabbed her fake Gucci handbag and an extraordinarily large pair of sunglasses and sped out the front door as fast as she could totter. The bus stop was just past the takeaways, and the faint waft of greasy meats tickled her nostrils. She swallowed several times. I am actually salivating. It won’t hurt to have a look inside. I’m already completely late.

“You look like poo poo, Miss Annika,” said Jerry, jumping down from the countertop where he had been busy not preparing for the lunchtime rush. “Hard night?”

“Shhh,” said Annika, quietly. “Just give me something rare and greasy ... and a soda, Q-blast or something. I have never been so thirsty in my life!" She handed him a vague amount of money.

“Nice bracelet,” said Jerry, admiring her wrist. “You hear about that cab driver? Happened just round the corner. They say he was completely drained of blood. Freaky poo poo, no?”

***

Annika’s headache was somehow even worse by the time the lift opened up on the sixth floor of the Hellagar building. Every person she passed seemed to make it worse, adding their heartbeats to its relentless rhythm as staccato bursts of pain. She hid behind her sunnies and slunk into her office.

Jeez, does the A.C always have to be so dry in here? She moved to the tiny window, one of the few that was able to be opened on this floor, and duly opened it - allowing the smoggy breeze to coolly caress her face. She took a sip from the bottle of Q-blast she carried, then another, and another until she had finished the bottle. Beneath her, sirens blared. Looking down, an endless stream of cop cars, plus at least one ambulance, sped past the pulled-over traffic.

She crossed to her desk, and turned on the radio. It was set to the news talk-back station she’d used to demonstrate to an underling exactly how stupid the general public really were.

“This just in,” said the radio. “A bloodless bloodbath at Jerry’s Burger Bowl. Police have cordoned off an area of Hathaway street after what early reports have called a replica of last night’s Tungsten Taxi Terror. Concerned members of the public have posted photos on social media and it’s not looking pretty there, folks. I hope the ambulance brings enough plastic bags. Here’s the weird thing - there was no blood anywhere, just...bits. Check out our website for details.”

Annika sat for a moment, unsure of whether to be shocked or not. She decided she should be, and, shocked, flicked through her phone contacts until she reached Toby. Good old Toby. He’ll know what to do - he’ll say ‘don’t be a goose’ or ‘what the hell are are you on about?’

Toby’s phone rang until Toby’s answerphone answered. “Dammit, Toby,” she barked into her mobile. “I don’t have time for this not-answering-the-phone poo poo. Call me.”

Talking loudly made her hangover throb. She grabbed some aspirin from her desk and headed for the Ladies’ Room. The wall-to-wall mirror showed she’d gotten some kind of sauce all over her chin and down her blouse. drat burgers! She wet a paper towel and dabbed at the stain fruitlessly for a while. Then she turned on the tap, swallowed the aspirin and stuck her head under it like a child at a drinking fountain.

She heard the door open, and glanced up at the mirror’s reflection but there was no-one there. She continued guzzling water.

“Excuse me,” said a sultry baritone from immediately behind her. Annika spun round, and almost jumped out of her skin at the tall, caped gentleman smiling from too far inside her personal space. “I believe you have something of mine.”

“Jeez, you scared me,” she said. “What the hell are you doing here - this isn’t a unisex bathroom. The Men's is across the hall.” She tried to move past him, but he reached out and snatched her forearm. Her bracelet shone beneath the fluorescent bulbs.

“The bracelet of Von Augann. I feared it lost, but it has returned to the world. I have followed its trail, your trail, since it re-emerged, and I will have it back.”

“You’ve been following me? Oh my God - The taxi driver? Jerry? You sick bastard! Hey, hands off, my boyfriend gave that to me.”

The man’s voice became stern. “Von Augann’s jewelry is not for mortals. It creates thirsts that the living cannot quench, that their minds cannot encompass.” Still with her wrist in his improbably strong hand, he moved to rip the bracelet from her.

***

Annika’s phone rang and Toby’s picture flashed on its screen.

She picked up. “Toby! Finally. You will not believe the day I’m having. Look - sod work. Let’s play some hooky, wag, whatever you want to call it. Yes, let’s, Toby. Looking forward to it. Loving the bracelet, by the way. Well worth whatever you paid. Hey, I’m dying for a drink. Meet up at Perdillo’s? We can toast your exquisite taste once more.”

She stepped over the desiccated husk of something that lay on bathroom floor. Jeez, what a mess. Those cleaners need a rocket up them.


weird vampire fiction

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


I'm out, gents and ladies.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


250 Word Judgebrawl Results

3rd- Newtestleper

Overly vague, hard to follow.

2nd- sebmojo

Good for a cheap laugh.

1st- sittinghere

Evocative.

e-didn't realize there was a deadline on judgement. oh well!

SlipUp fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2015 around 11:15

Kaiju15
Jul 25, 2013



Beowulf and Gilgamesh
1179 Words
Epic Buddy Cop

As Beowulf fiddled with the radio with a big, dumb grin, Gilgamesh tightened his grip on the wheel, and wondered how he managed to wind up here. Finding himself alive in the year 2015 took some getting used to, but finding himself saddled with this kid was a bridge too far. Bo was on homicide right up until he tore some poor fucker’s arm off, and the brass decided that he needed an older, more experienced partner to set him straight. Technically, Gil was the only guy on the force (or in the world for that matter) older than Bo, so they wound up working vice together. Now he was trying to keep his poo poo together while this Scandinavian douchebag mumbled his way through Kanye West’s “Power” and checked his gun and vest for the umpteenth time. Enkidu, his old partner, would have left his godsdamn radio alone. Well, he would have left it alone if there were a radio back then.

“Are you this fidgety every time you make a bust or are you just doing this to piss me off?” Gil blurted.

“Hey, man. I’m just trying to get in the mood,” Bo shot back.

“Did you have to hum to yourself like an idiot whenever you had to do poo poo as king of wherever-the-gently caress, kid?”

“First of all, gently caress you. Respect my process. Second, gently caress you. It was Geatland, and it was way better than whatever Mesopotamian hellhole you used to rule. Third of all, gently caress you and stop calling me kid!”

Gil chuckled and shook his head, returning his attention to the road. They were on their way to bust Raul Mendoza, a major cartel boss who had taken up residence in New York City, at one of the sketchy abandoned warehouses that bad guys tended to hang out. If I were King of New York, I’d demolish all those abandoned warehouses. They’re an eyesore, and they do nothing but attract criminals, he mused. Maybe after I retire from the force.

Gil was a few thousand years past the normal retirement age. But, what’s retirement to someone who can’t die. It was kind of funny. He’d spent so much of his youth searching for immortality and then making such a big show about accepting that he would die only to be brought back to life in this strange time. It was almost unfair. He was the only several thousand year old cop that he knew of other than the idiot in the seat next to his, so it’s not like he had anyone to ask about what he was supposed to do with his time. Some retirees go off to a nice beach somewhere to die, while others (present company included) argue that the key to a happy retirement is to stay busy. “I’m getting too old for this poo poo”, he muttered to himself.

“You and me, both,” Bo scoffed.

---------

“gently caress backup,” Beowulf hissed. “We both handled way worse than this in the good old days, so let’s take this fucker out!” They had ditched the car in a nearby alley and approached the warehouse on foot, guns drawn. The guards that they’d come across on patrol were no match for a Beowulf-sized fist to the face and wouldn’t be waking up any time soon.

“Fine, but in the good old days we weren’t expected to bring anyone in alive,” Gil ordered. “On the count of three, we go in and bring him out alive! One… two… three!”

Bo and Gil kicked down the doors and didn’t get all the way through “NYPD! Freeze!” before the bullets started flying. At least four armed guards on the catwalks above the warehouse opened fire with clearly illegal AK-47s as the heroes dived for cover behind nearby crates. The two popped out from cover and plugged one guard a piece and noticed that Mendoza was running for the back exit.

“You take these assholes out! I’m going for Mendoza!” Bo yelled before sprinting across the center of the warehouse. Gunfire trailed behind him for a few moments before Gil gave them their own hot lead to worry about.

“Be careful, you dumb motherfucker!” Gil called out as he put new holes in one of the perps’ neck and collarbone. The remaining mook started unloading on his position with a seemingly unlimited stream of fire.

Gil checked his magazine. Empty, with one bullet in the chamber. Of course. Gil made a mental note to kick Bo’s rear end next time he saw him and then started to reassess the situation. He had a bad guy with way too many bullets between him and whatever trouble Bo had gotten into, one bullet and only a vague idea of where the bullets were coming from. As he leaned back against the rapidly bullet-filled supply crate, he noticed the reflection of the gun’s muzzle flare in the nearby window. Bingo.

“Lights out!” he yelled as he dove sideways and fired his last shot into the light fixture above the merc and sent it crashing down on his head. The goon let out a high pitched scream as he lost balance and toppled from the catwalk. Gil was on his feet and sprinting for the rear exit before the poor sap hit the ground.

When he got outside, Gil found Bo with a thoroughly subdued Mendoza. From the look of things, Mendoza had a badly dislocated shoulder which, all things considered, was an improvement over dismemberment.

“He’s not very chatty anymore,” Gil mused.

“I explained his right to remain silent,” Bo returned.

Gil considered this for a moment and decided that it was better not to ask. “You did good out there, kid”.

“You did, too, but I swear on my father, I’ve told you half a hundred times not to call me kid and yet you still do it,” he complained as he checked the cuffs and got ready to move the perp.

At that moment, the warehouse door slammed open and one of the bloodied gunman from earlier leveled his assault rifle at Bo. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as Bo tossed Mendoza to the ground and Gil took an involuntary dive to get between the gunman and Bo. Bullets tore into Gil’s shoulder and side as Bo hurled a very non-regulation knife between the eyes of the gunman. Gil and the gunman hit the ground with a pair of damp thuds.

“poo poo, Gil!” Bo said as he rushed down to put pressure over the entry wounds on Gil’s body.

Gil let out a few painful coughs and took a few labored breaths before saying, “I guess everyone has to die sometime, eh?”

“Shut the gently caress up, you’re gonna be fine. The vest slowed them down. What the gently caress did you do that for, you loving rear end in a top hat?”

“You’d have done the same for me.”

“poo poo, no. You’re supposed to dive away from the bullets. I expect my partners to have at least that much sense.”

“Well that’s comforting, kid…” Gil said as he lay back and closed his eyes.

Ovaltine
Mar 23, 2012


The New Prize
1400 words

Cyberpunk political intrigue


VIVIAN

"You better hold her still, or this is gonna cost us all," Creasey said, holding the needle, and Vivian did as she was told. They couldn't coax Addie to go under anaesthesia, not after the last time. The cost of a real gas man would have been prohibitive, anyway. This was better. Vivian pinned her sister's arms down tightly as she could, trying not to picture the bruises that such forcefulness would have caused on her old body.

Creasey threaded the cord in with the rest of her wiring, until it was indistinguishable as far as Vivian knew.

She bit her lip. "Will they be able to tell?"

"Depends on how well you've programmed her," he said. "How's her acting ability?"

"She'll do her part," Vivian said. She hadn't wanted to mess with her sister's wide eyed sincerity. Perhaps, as her uncle had argued, time would have ground away that part of her personality, like it had done to the rest of them. But it hadn’t happened when Addie was alive, and Vivian couldn’t make that call.

"I'm hearing reports that the government has a bot in play, too," Creasey said, stitching Addie back up again. "Maybe Qi’s faction, too. You think this is the first time some schmuck tried to go around them at a taping? There's a lot of desperate people out there."

"Don’t call her a bot after you spent all morning sifting through her guts," Vivian said. She turned back to her sister. "Hey kiddo," she said, tucking Addie's hair behind her ear. "You back with us?"

"I didn't go anywhere," Addie said. This time, it was true.

HUOJIN/

<<Once you're inside, you're on your own.>> Huojin’s handler told him via his neurotransmitter. As though he was unaware that he was totally expendable. <<So play it cool.>>

<<You’re saying I shouldn’t announce my intentions on American TV?>>

She sighed. <<I’m saying get your hands on this tech. Your country is counting on you.>>

<<Not just me. Is our guy on the ground ready?>>

ADDIE

Addie was still raw from surgery when they left for the studio. Her pain wasn’t real, but tell that to the clump of meat and wires and secondhand toaster parts currently masquerading as her brain. She pressed a hand against her belly, but stopped in case Vivian saw.

"It's weird they still shoot this in meatspace," she said.

"The show's older than Gramps," Vivian said. “It was an institution even before the government seized control of it.”

The rules of the game were simple. A “randomly selected” group entered the game and bid against each other for prizes. The prizes ranged from the trivial (luggage, minor neural upgrades, a week in Cancun) to the more sought-after items (cybernetic implants were quite popular). Rich people would pay to watch people scrap over their leftovers. Everybody else watched too: some to vicariously enjoy the winning bid, others as light entertainment alongside their TV dinners. Recently, rumours of a new prize had begun to circulate.

“If Creasey’s right, the place’ll be crawling with people trying to get that tech,” Addie said. “It could be a trap. Maybe the government’s gonna ferret out Cutler’s faction. Maybe -”

“gently caress the government. gently caress Cutler. We could get Mom and Dad back, sis,” Vivian said.

Addie looked down. Right.

RICH

They didn’t pay Rich to host. His current existence, fueled though it was by augmented parts, carefully monitored implants and the discretion of his bosses, was the sole positive of this gig: every day he hosted was another day he spent alive. He’d heard talk of them hiring an upgraded chimp for the part, but nothing yet. Focus groups suggested the fanbase preferred tradition, and Rich fit the bill with his carefully cultivated puns and expensive suits.

Still, he’d been getting calls from some major players. Politicians, mob bosses. It wouldn’t hurt to let some of them through. Rich already did it on a small scale: people would do anything to be on the show. If he didn’t facilitate them, they’d just pay hackers for the privilege.

Right now, though, Rich had a show to put on, and a life-changing prize to give away.

FELIX

They waved Felix’s guy through easily enough. He’d heard Cutler’s people were trying to get the intel as well, but he doubted they’d even show up tonight - not in person. The Chinese on the other hand…

He sat down in the stands with the other contestants, trying to keep his movements as smooth as possible. The guy whose body he’d hacked didn’t have particularly sophisticated systems; it made him an easy target but meant keeping him believable was more of an ordeal. His hands kept trying to clench against Felix’s will.

The other contestants all had that same look: Please let them pick me. Felix didn’t give a drat about that snazzy new entertainment system that was up for grabs. They were all so easily controlled, following the government’s script to the letter. Let them pick me. Let me pick the right price. Let me win the thing that will make me whole. Fools. They deserved what they got.

VIVIAN

Vivian sat in the parking lot, watching via neural stream. Addie went in alone, claiming Vivian’s presence would only make her nervous. Vivian didn’t really buy it, but Addie was the one taking the risks, so she got to call the shots.

The first part of the scheme went off without a hitch. Rich Mosby brought on contestants in his smarmy fashion (”Come on down!”), and Addie eventually got called up. One of the people called up before her was a dentist named Gary. The guy had a strained grimace on his face, his hands twitching as though beyond his control. He made it through to the showcase after sharing a meaningful glance with the host. Vivian tapped her neurotransmitter. “The dentist’s hacked,” she said, as a hairdresser won a trip to Hawaii. No reply, but of course Addie was concentrating hard on the game, and acting natural.

“You got this, sis,” Vivian said, as Addie spun the wheel successfully, going through to the final showdown. “He’s not the only one with an in. The showcase is yours for the taking.”

And so are Mom and Dad, she thought, but left it unsaid.

ADDIE

The last time Addie saw her parents was right before the accident. That wasn’t exactly the truth, but that was the memory she’d been left with. They’d all had a nice lunch together, and then her parents had taken Vivian to the airport. That was where Addie’s memory ended, because Vivian had programmed it that way.

The last time Addie saw her parents was in that car. But even that wasn’t real. Addison Grubauer was the one in that car, and Addison Grubauer was dead. So were Mom and Dad.

The host was asking her to guess the price for the big, top secret prize. Like Addie needed to guess.

She’d win. But was that the right thing?

No. She shouldn’t win. She shouldn’t be here at all.

And her parents -

HUOJIN

Huojin hadn’t expected a fight but here he was, unable to gain control of his guy. Either somebody had hacked Gary, or he’d gotten greedy and double-dipped. Either way, Huojin needed to assert control. He couldn’t let the device fall into other hands. <<Give over to me>>

The dentist staggered forward. Two members of the security team moved forward with him, the jig being well and truly up. Dammit. Game over. Unless -

FELIX

Well, gently caress. Unless -

ADDIE

The price was right there in her head, waiting to be voiced. Addie could feel the hackers trying to force their way into her systems. She didn’t know if the answer was coming from them or herself or even Vivian. She wished it could come from her parents.

Addie pointed at the box behind the host. "My parents are inside?"

Rich pasted on his made-for-TV smile. "That's right, Addison! They can be yours, too, for the right price!" Addie could see his eyes darting between her and the dentist, clearly wondering how to salvage the episode.

“And if the price is wrong?”

Rich made a discomforted noise. “Well, you know how it is, Addison -”

“They’ll be destroyed, right?”

“Well - yes.”

Addie exhaled. “Sorry sis,” she said, and then she gave her final answer.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Mayday
1399 words
Western Heist/Caper

Five months of preparation and the plan had gone to poo poo in just as many seconds.

Jacoby held a hand to his face and squinted at the wooden deck, through his fingers and the blood and the sharp pain in his eyes. There was no sound, nothing except the dull pounding in his head. No more music came out the steamboat saloon, no laughter or cussing. Somewhere inside, a lonely chair scratched across the wooden flooring.

Jacoby staggered to his feet and hurled himself against the outside wall, squatting down below the broken colored window. He wiped blood off his face. The guard he’d shot lay sprawled across the deck, blood trickling down from between his eyes, his hand firmly grasping a still-smoking revolver.

Dumb loving rednecks always gotta shoot first.

More chairs squealed inside. Steps on the wooden floor. Jacoby steadied himself against one of the many chests that were haphazardly scattered across the steamboat. He snuck towards the rear. With his free hand he tore the glass shards from his brow. They hurt more going out.

The dynamite still dangled from his belt safe and sound. That was the good news. The bad news was, as soon as anyone stepped close to that saloon door the deck would be crawling with trigger-happy klansmen.

More steps, now faintly from the rear of the ship, ran towards him. He couldn’t be going there. He definitely couldn’t be going inside the saloon. The best course of action would have been to hurl himself back into the river and swim for it. But he wouldn't leave this ship without a prize.

He aimed a prayer heavenward, made a leap, and jumped across the railing, climbing down the outer hull of the ship.

#

Inside the saloon, the excitement of the poker tourney had made way for a much more primal form of tension. Men in colorful suits sat around poker tables, one hand on their guns and the other on their chips.

“Well," Bartholomew said. He folded. “Two shots.”

“Mhhhh…”

Their host, Colonel Stevens in his fancy white cavalry uniform, half-strolled and half-snuck towards the saloon door, handing out reassuring looks like candy. He didn’t want to seem in a rush, but he was. Nothing moved outside.

“Suppose the colonel’s guard doesn’t just fire at you unless you are of the unwanted complexity.”

“You think it’s Jacoby?”

“No, Izaac, I think another black guy swam all the way through the Mississippi so he could embark on Col. Stevens’s steamboat and get himself whipped to death.”

No guard had reported back yet, so Jacoby had probably won that fight. But if he was still outside, then the colonel was just about to find him.

“They’re gonna hang his rear end over the rear and whack him with the paddle wheel,” Izaac said, chewing on his tobacco. “Need a distraction.”

“Any ideas?”

“Thief!"

All around them, multiple punches landed simultaneously. People stumbled into each other, furniture was trajected back and forth and before you knew it the saloon was filled with grunts, violence and chips flying through the air like confetti. The brawl spread like wildfire.

On the other end of the room, Colonel Stevens had stopped. He exchanged a few words with one of his guards, looking straight at them.

“Nice work,” Bartholomew said. He barely ducked under the chair that sored past his head. It splintered against the wooden support, breaking an oil lamp that distributed its hot contents all over the floor. Whoops.

Back at the door, the guards already moved towards them. Colonel Stevens was gone. Bartholomew nodded their way, and Izaac didn’t need more than a cursory glance to get the jist. Jumping over the kindling oil fire, they ran down the stairs, guards behind them.

#

“I’m pretty sure those are fighting noises,” the captain said, half-yawning the words.

“Don’t worry about it, darling. Sleep now.” Jen gave him a pat on the head. The humid heat below deck and the gentle sweep of a ship at sea helped lull the captain into sleep. The stuff she’d put into his champagne did the rest.

The captain snored safe and sound in his bed, and Jen found the ship’s master key where she’d seen him put it, in the upper drawer of the cupboard. She twisted it in her hand. You could do a lot of fun things with this.

The loud knock nearly stopped her heart. Then Jacoby, face bloody and contorted, waved through the bullseye. That definitely stopped her heart.

“What the hell?” she said when she opened it.

“Guard caught me on the upper deck.”

“Is he dead?”

“Can we talk about this inside?”

“friend of the family,” someone shouted. A shot cracked through the air.

“Like, now.”

Jen stumbled aside and Jacoby swung through the window just as the crackle of rifles picked up. She handed him the key. “This place will be crawling with armed, drunk hillbillies you know.”

“Jen, armed and drunk hillbillies are just hillbillies.”

“We need to go.”

“I’m not leaving with empty hands. The colonel pays today.” He went out the room and collided with what at first appeared to be a homeless person.

“Hello, Izaac,” Jen said. She made no attempts to help anyone up.

Another shot tore through the air, this time from inside. Bart darted around the corner, gun drawn.

“Oh, Jacoby,” he said. “Your being here is highly inappropriate.” He popped around the corner, shot twice. “We’re leading these guards away from you.”

“Good job,” Jacoby said.

“We set fire to the saloon,” Izaac said.

“Good job!”

“Seriously, the ship is burning, we gotta go.”

Finally someone was talking sense. But Jacoby didn’t budge. He told them the same he’d told her. He wasn’t done.

“Fine,” Izaac said, “you know where the safe is. Go loud. Blow it up. We got this.”

And Jacoby was gone.

#

Izaac was a crack shot, but there were many guards and only so many bullets. Had to make ‘em count. Aim, breathe, squeeze. One gunslinger got cocky, sprinted down the corridor after them. Izaac fired off a round that propelled him back into his buddies.

Jen and Bart were clearing corners ahead and Izaac followed, dragging the bulk of the guard deeper into the ship, opening doors for cover, popping out and back in, firing, running. The chase lasted minutes, maybe. But there was no shortage of angry, armed klansmen on this boat.

The air got so thick with bullets that they took the next set of service stairs to evade onto the upper deck. Outside, the air stank of gunpowder, and burning saloon. Bullets blew past Izaac, slammed into the crates they used for cover. The riflemen were everywhere. To their left. To their right. Down the stairs. You couldn’t hear yourself think. And then it went quiet, safe for the fire.

“Gentlemen,” Colonel Stevens’s unmistakably thick voice thundered, “I suggest you surrender.”

“Get hosed,” Izaac said.

“Come now, friends.” Izaac peeked over the chest. Colonel Stevens walked towards them leisurely, no gun in hand. Everyone else had their rifles leveled. “We only want the friend of the family.”

“Ask and ye shall receive,” Jacoby’s voice came from below them. He probably pulled his climbing stunt again. The colonel stepped towards the railing, leaned across, and laughed.

“Idiot,” he said, “Your friends, I will shoot them. But for you I have other plans. You, friend of the family, you will suffer.”

“Well yeah,” Jacoby said, “you could probably come rushing in and shoot all of us. Or, you could be fixing that hole in your engine room.”

“What ho--”

The explosion ripped through the air like God’s thunder. It shattered the ground, shook everyone aboard and led to various discharges. The colonel swore, lost his balance. It was the last thing Izaac saw before he jumped.

#

The fire was righteous and magnificent and lifeboats full of panicked racist assholes bumping into each other was just the cherry on top.

“My dress is ruined,” Jen said. “Idiot.”

“I hope you’re not too bothered about being empty-handed, what with us being alive and all,” Bartholomew said.

Jacoby smiled into the fire. “Empty-handed? History will know me as Jacoby Freeman, the runaway slave who returned to sink Colonel Stevens’s prized steamboat. That is the best reward.”

“Actually,” Izaac said, “it would have sunk anyway because we burned it.”

“Izaac,” Jacoby said, putting a gentle hand on his friend’s shoulder, “shut the hell up.”

Killer-of-Lawyers
Apr 22, 2008


New Year, new thread!

Killer-of-Lawyers fucked around with this message at Jan 4, 2016 around 17:52

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010



WARNING:
Crushes tea, and tea-related rebels.


Slippery Tilde

Wrathful

PROMPT: Crime and Cosmic Horror with a narrative of The Price is Right.
WORD COUNT: 1122

*Snip* Here's the google docs.

Thyrork fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2016 around 20:49

Bompacho
Nov 28, 2005


Happiness is a wheel of double tasty gloucester rolling down a hill at 70mph - 965 Words
Hardboiled sports story

I walked past the church-goers, solemn and pious, dressed in their Sunday best. Some of them stared at me, mostly the kids, a couple of them giggle. Some of them pretended not to look. I offended their Christian sensibilities. I hated to imagine what they’d do if they knew I’d been drinking since seven this morning.

Perhaps I should have planned my route better given the costume I was wearing.

Nah, gently caress ‘em.

This day would be about my happiness. I wasn’t going to find that in a church. Not unless the communion crackers came with a slice of hard cheese.

I tucked my pitchfork under my arm so I could straighten the foam horns on my head and adjust my cape. Today was about doing something for me.

When I finally get to Cooper’s Hill. A few people are already gathered for the cheese rolling. I start sizing up the competition. There’s a guy in a gorilla suit. I could tell he was a pro. People who’d rolled before always wear more clothing for padding and to avoid grass burns.

A few people were just wearing their regular civies,

There could be a sleeper or two amongst them who might put on a good tumble, I thought. Generally the drunkest competitors will run, or tumble, down the hill the fastest. There's something about an inebriated stagger and fall that gets you down the hill faster.

There’s a real rookie. Probably an out of towner. Any guy deciding to wear a bright green mankini to the cheese roll had to be. From the back he had a bad case of hungry-bum and from the front. Let’s just say that fruit definitely wasn't ripe.

Still no sign of Errol, the son-of-a-bitch. We’d both been heavy cheese rollers since ‘04. He was a hard man, harder than the cheese he chased. Somehow, he’d always turn up as the polar opposite of my costume. I was Robin Hood, he was the Sheriff of Nottingham. I came as Spiderman, he’d come as Venom.

This year I had him. As Satan I had tights, and though my cape was a liability, it was better than what Errol would be wearing if he came as an angel. Let’s see how you roll in robes or a dress you bastard.

The MC blew the whistle for us to line up. It rang forth with shrillness of a siren’s call. The gloucester wheel would be mine this year. I could already taste it. As we lined up across the top of the hillside, the MC begins announcing the rules.

“Rule 1: The cheese gets a one second head start,” he announced.

Like it needed it. It hit 70mph on a good roll. One year the drat thing had rolled off course, got air, and took out a bystander. Bludgeoned to death by a runaway cheese wheel. Try being the knock on the door to that grieving family.

There was a tap on my shoulder.

“Rule 2: No deliberate collisions,” the announcer continued.

That rule was kind of a moot point. If cheese was the feature of the platter then pain was the olives and quince paste.

I looked back at the man who tapped me on the shoulder. He wore a disheveled beard and crown of thorns I looked him up and down.

Errol was Jesus

No.

Just Errol dressed as him. He’d gone Christ-on-a-cross style with the loincloth. “No clothes?” I asked him with a smile.

Secretly I worried, was he a harder man than I thought.

“Rule 3: Whoever catches the cheese. Wins the cheese.”

No just the cheese, but eternal glory. Your name emblazoned on the pub wall with countless other rollers through history.

“That cheese is mine,” Errol Christ whispered in my ear.

The whistle blew and we took off. Some people started slow, leaning back into the hill and tiptoeing down carefully. Amateurs, they clearly hadn’t had enough dutch courage.

Mankini started rolling ahead in a slow tumble. Another rookie mistake. You roll too soon you lost momentum too early.

I sprinted trying hard as I could to stay upright. Leaning forwards at the opportune moment to let gravity do the work. I started my tumble, perfectly timed.

THUNK

It hit me hard from the rear. I hadn’t found Jesus, but he’d found me. Together we tumbled. A spinning pile of intertwined arms, legs, arsehole and elbows. We’d started out as Christ and Satan but together we probably looked more like Vishnu rolling down that hill. Somersaulting and cartwheeling.

I caught a glimpse of the cheese, its course has stayed almost true. I’d dropped my pitchfork somewhere up the hill. With any luck it might have lodged itself in Errol’s arse.

We started losing momentum. We hit a divot in the hill and I felt my arm and whatever was underneath it snap. Errol and I both screamed. Adrenaline kicked in and the hill had leveled out. We got up and pulled ourselves apart. We were both hobbling towards the cheese as it slowed at the base of the hill. We were gaining on it now.

It bumped against the hay barrier and bounced backwards. spinning like a coin before it falls flat.

A flash of neon green overtook Errol and I.

No way.

Mankini. He’d maintained his roll all the way down. The divot must have slowed us. He dove on the cheese. Claiming it for his own.

***

Errol and I sat in the first-aid tent. Each of us nursing a broken arm. I’d broken my left radius, he’d broken his left ulna. Opposites again. Another cheeseless year.

“So, what costume you wearing next year?” Errol asked.

Like every year, I told him to gently caress off.

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


LAPD

WC: 517

Denzel Washington gave a groan of disapproval and shook his head in the corner.

“Looks like my partner over there doesn’t believe you,” Officer Conway mused from his seat. “Now why would that be?”

The criminal looked relaxed, sitting on the other side of the table, but his foot was jackhammering up and down underneath it.

“Look, man, that’s how it went down. I don’t know what to tell you.”

Conway slammed his hands down on the metal desk and leaned forward, meeting this criminal’s eyes with his cool blue gaze.

“You think this is a game, Dunlap? You think this is a game? What do you think, partner, is this a game?”

What might have been a laugh escaped Denzel’s lips. It had no effect on his deadpan face.

“Look, is that thing supposed to scare me or something?” Dunlap was clearly uncomfortable next to the star of stage and screen.

“Who, Denzel? What do you mean? We thought you just might want his autograph.”

Denzel snapped his teeth together playfully, eyes locked unblinkingly at the perp.

“Seriously, I said I’d take a lie detector test or whatever. Having this thing in here has to be against some regulation or something.”

Denzel Washington struggled against the chains that bound him to the hand truck in the corner. He was hungry.

Conway sat back in his chair and twiddled a pen between his fingers.

“Just think of this as your classic good cop/bad cop. Denzel here is our good cop. And me… well, if the good cop’s a walker, you can guess just how bad I am.”

Dunlap scoffed. “Yeah, whatever man, I get it.”

The zombie detector thing was in its incipient stages, but Conway felt good about it. Already the walker had an obvious effect on the interviewee. What’s more, every time the perp lied, Denzel had a reaction. He was an incredibly accurate lie detector. He might get this one past the commissioner yet.

Conway kicked his chair to the wall. “You don’t get it yet!” Denzel started to get a little riled. “I’d feed you to this rotting corpse sooner than I’d see you walk out that door. So you better get your rear end in gear and tell me something worth knowing.”

Dunlap was making GBS threads himself. He’d crack any second. That promotion was calling Conway’s name.

“Look man, I told you, I walked in the place, had a look around, and walked out. I didn’t know there was a body! I didn’t even take anything! It wasn’t me, you gotta believe—“

The rest of Dunlap’s words stopped in is throat, where Denzel was chewing on his jugular.

“Dammit! Goddammit!” Conway thumbed the catch off of his holster, flicked the safety, and let go two rounds into Denzel Washington’s head. The shots nearly deafened him in the hundred-square-foot room. Two officers rushed through the door and started tending to the wailing Dunlap.

This was going to be a great one to explain to the commissioner.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

deleted

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2016 around 22:00

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

CLOSED

Yay! Time to judge!

And also to call in the bans

SadisTech
Jun 26, 2013

Clem.


Differing Views

1400 words Biopunk/Chick-Lit

Of course, there had to be the usual celebratory after-work drinks when Sita got promoted to Level 3. She excused herself from the company-approved establishment as early as possible, claiming that her latest mods were giving her a slight headache as they bedded in. Her co-workers insisted on seeing her out the door with the Gengram corporate anthem, badly out of time and out of tune. She smiled politely and waved to them.

Fifteen minutes later she was boarding the high-speed night maglev out of the city, overnight bag slung over her shoulder and feed visor clamped securely to her china-doll face.

The train was running minimal illumination; most of the passengers were night shift algae vat workers heading to their shift in long hours of darkness. As Sita made her way down the carriage, they turned to watch her, their catseye retinal mods flaring green in her low-light vision and rendering the train a hallway of the damned.

Sita found a seat beside a middle-aged woman who’d had ape grafts to boost her arm and shoulder strength. She grunted and made a bit of extra room, pointedly not looking Sita in the eye. It was a rare thing for emblazoned corpstaff to ride with manual laborers. Train security would have noted Sita instantly and logged the blue glowing chevrons of the Gengram logo that were stamped prominently on her visor and shoulder patch. They’d come down hard on any Code infractions, and none of these min-wagers wanted any piece of that.

Sita focused her gaze on the cursor at the left corner of her vision until it blossomed into her custom UI. With a quick, practised series of blinks she brought up her messenging app and tapped out a message to her sister.

Sita V (Gengram): Coming home for w/end. Crash ur couch? Have to have that conv w Mum.

The response came only a couple of minutes later.

Dana Vengeles: More notice would have been good. Couch is OK. Mum isn’t happy you haven’t been in touch for 3 months. You’ll have your work cut out for you.

Sita V (Gengram): Busy! Working toward promotion, just got 2day. Hence need for conv. B there in 45 ish.

Dana Vengeles: I’ll send the car to the station for you. It’ll still have you authorised to ride. See you soon.


The maglev station was a steel and concrete skeletal sketch of a building, in stark contrast to the dilapidated buildings surrounding it. There were no big farms or industrial parks nearby, and no-one got on or off the train except for Sita. She strolled down the concrete ramp to the side of the cracked, unkept roadway, and waited in the pool of light beneath the single street lamp.

The electric whine of the self-drive car came as a welcome relief when it came into view, its headlights washing across crumbling facades. It was an older model, and the metallic red paint was peeling, but it beeped cheerfully as it recognised her biometrics and she felt like she was home already.

The old house was still well maintained. Dana met Sita at the door and stiffly took her bag from her. “Mum’s been in the kitchen since I told her you were making a surprise visit. Cooking real food and cursing your name. You’d better go say hello before you do anything else.”

Sita nodded. She looked at her sister’s face. Dana’s skin was all natural, earthy tones. She had freckles on her cheekbones and a couple of small zits in the crease above her chin. She was beautiful.

Sita unclipped her feed visor from the magnetic mooring points embedded in her skull and raised a hand to her own glossy cheek. This week she was wearing a retro vinyl-look epidermis with subtle ivory tones, and her eyes were huge, lustrous and emerald green.

Dana stared at her for a moment and then gave a small laugh. “Always the slave to fashion,” she said.

“I have to be! It’s expected,” Sita protested, and then she laughed too, and they hugged each other tight, and the awkwardness was gone.

Dana lead Sita into the kitchen, where she was greeted by an upraised spoon thrust toward her eyes. It threatened her at close range, pieces of long-grain rice adhering to it.

“This is how my eldest daughter comes home? With no warning, no chance to gather the family around to greet her? Slinking in after dark like a criminal, after months with no call, with not even an email?”

“I’m sorry, Mum,” said Sita. “I’ve been busy. I’ve missed you. I have some news –“

“What we will do is, you will help me to finish this risotto, and Dana will make sure the protein strips are cooked just so. And then we will eat, and drink, and you can give me your news. Now cook.”

They made the dinner. It was very different to the food that Sita was used to, but it was good. It had been made by hands, and not for money, but for love, and that knowledge gave it a savour that the finest real-meat cordon bleu could never have.

“I got a promotion to Level 3 at work, Mum,” Sita said over her bowl of rice.

“That’s good, that’s good. More money then? Is that why you’re here? We don’t need it from you, darling.”

“It… is more money, but that’s…” Sita shrugged. “That’s neither here nor there. What does count is the benefits I get now. Full family health cover. I can sign you both up right here.”

Dana leant forward. “Full health cover? What does that include?”

“There are lists of everything online. It’s comprehensive for minor tweaks and fixes, most major items covered with a small copay. But the real exciting thing is that the full range of mods produced by Gengram has ninety percent cover.”

Sita’s mother put down her fork and sat back, looking between her daughters.

“Ninety percent?” said Dana, her eyes wide. “But that means…”

“Yes. It means that the Fountain treatment would be less expensive than, say, a small car. I could pay for it tomorrow.”

Mum slapped her hand on the table. Her daughters jumped and turned to look at her with identical guilty expressions, despite the variance in their appearances. Her stern expression softened.

“Oh, you two, such sisters. Always such sisters. Playing your little script for me.” She shrugged. “I know you want me to think about this thing. You’ve asked before. And I say, I have thought about it.”

“Mum…” said Sita.

“No! What do I want with youth again? I have earned these lines on my face. I raised you two and lost your father. Worked the farm while it made money and now I sew things for rich people willing to pay stupid dollars for hand-made. I have lived as much life as the Lord is pleased to give me, and I’ll live out whatever He has left for me.” She shrugged again. “I am comfortable. And that is all the talk we need to have about that.”

“Mum…” said Dana.

“Climbing into a tank! Coming out your age! Younger, even. No, I said.” She turned to Sita. “So, your promotion. I don’t even really understand what you do for your work. Tell me about it.”

Sita took a breath and sat back. “I… well, I code unified conceptual referent infusions.”

“Some… memory thing, you told me before. What does it mean, though?”

“I make knowledge that people can have without having to learn it. I make ideas that can be shared between people with just… an injection, or a pill. Built up from basic sensory impressions, but a lot more complicated. It helps communication. So when I say ‘up’ or ‘blue’ or ‘seat’… you know that we’re talking about exactly the same ‘up’ or ‘blue’ or ‘seat’ because we have the same mental picture of those things.”

“It sounds very difficult.”

“It is. But it’s valuable. It helps people… to see clearly. To change their minds.” Sita met Dana’s gaze. “Anyway, Mum, I’m tired. I brought some good wine from the city. Shall we have a drink and turn in?”

Dana looked at her for a moment. “I’ll pour,” she said. “And then, yes… bed.”

She stood and took wine glasses down from the shelf. “Lots to talk about in the morning.”

SadisTech
Jun 26, 2013

Clem.


oh FFS

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

my prompt was political intrigue and bangsian fantasy.

edit: fast judging is good judging as any fule kno

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2015 around 10:26

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010



WARNING:
Crushes tea, and tea-related rebels.


Slippery Tilde

Feeling Repentant because your entry this week is poo poo? I know I am, and I have just the cure for post-posting blues! Why its mercilessly tearing into your fellows of course!

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...5#post449103287

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?week=159

Pick your sin group and write a critblurb for every other story within! What, you didn't join in the orgy? What are you, some kind of prude? WELL CONGRATULATIONS ANYWAY, because now you get to pick a group! Rip and tear into your sin of choice!

Its more productive then trying to post edgy FJGJ pictures!

Thyrork fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2015 around 10:30

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


bye

anime was right fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2015 around 05:59

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


bye

anime was right fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2015 around 05:59

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

anime was right posted:

lol what does this look like the caredome, gently caress that i didnt even enter this week and im gonna fjgj

fjgj

fjgj

fjgj

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

SlipUp posted:

250 Word Judgebrawl Results

3rd- Newtestleper

Overly vague, hard to follow.

2nd- sebmojo

Good for a cheap laugh.

1st- sittinghere

Evocative.

e-didn't realize there was a deadline on judgement. oh well!

naw you judged and that makes you a judge

if Twist wins their brawl, his judgment stands. If sittinghere does it's her choice which she wants.

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010



WARNING:
Crushes tea, and tea-related rebels.


Slippery Tilde

anime was right posted:

lol what does this look like the caredome, gently caress that i didnt even enter this week and im gonna fjgj

fjgj

fjgj

fjgj

The gently caress is this poo poo, if you're going to bring the game, at least bring a picture.


anime was right posted:

also, gather your party was a really weaksauce crit week so maybe crit that instead where i believe a significant amount of people got a lone burp from broenheim and that was it



(This is also a good idea, but admitting that would be breaking kayfabe )

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Thyrork posted:

The gently caress is this poo poo, if you're going to bring the game, at least bring a picture.




(This is also a good idea, but admitting that would be breaking kayfabe )

end him

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flerp
Feb 25, 2014



interprompt

exploding into poo poo

200 words

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