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  • Locked thread
Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




In with Body Shifter: http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...20635/page.html

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

Incantation me.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

magical teen bomb squad



Grimey Drawer

In, I desire you teach me one of these magic spells.

Social Studies 3rd Period
Oct 31, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER



In. Spell me.

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



in with altering your perception of time

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



ZeBourgeoisie posted:

Gimme some magic. In

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...21510/page.html


WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

So mote it be. Gimme a spell, you craggy hag.

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...21889/page.html


Thranguy posted:

Incantation me.

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...17004/page.html

jon joe posted:

In, I desire you teach me one of these magic spells.

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...10937/page.html


C7ty1 posted:

In. Spell me.

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells.../5059/page.html

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Twist is a judge, BTW. I'll be back later today to assign more spells.

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Part 1: Thunderdome Startup Crits, Week #172

Domers lazily relied on the supernatural this week. I hope your haints are pleased with you; I ain't.

I Can't Believe It's Mort!

This is a typical monkey's paw story that replaces the paw with an app. There's nothing new here beyond the horrible flesh melting butterman, oh god, why? Schoolboy admires girl, schoolboy is too cowardly to approach girl, schoolboy's cowardice is rewarded with disaster for himself, a bully, and the girl. Why does she also have to die? What are we supposed to take away from this? The monkey's paw tale usually has a moral attached -- that wishing for something, coveting it without putting in the effort to attain it, leads to ruin for the wisher. How is your hot, buttered boy even speaking at the end given that he is just a melting butter grotesque surrounding an ooey digestive center?

This is horrifying and memorable in the bad way: for the sole spectacle of a kid turning into sapient butter and murdering two other kids. You established what Mort wants -- Sam! -- and a tentative villain -- Tony! But Mort is the obstacle to friendship or even childhood romance with Sam. Merely wanting someone else does not make him sympathetic. His characterization is paper thin. You can't rely on your readers feeling sympathy with him just because he's longing at a distance. Tony isn't an obstacle here at all. He's an unrelated party who just likes to talk poo poo. He's not separating Mort from Sam. He's the one dimensional antagonist whose only stake is trolling Mort. Sam has more (weird butterphilic) characterization than the protagonist, but she's only there to be longed for and then gruesomely, painfully killed.

The good thing that came out of this is the Oystermen vs Buttermen showdown. You're trying on some bold ideas, but you need to concentrate on the basics: delivering a story with characterization and plot, and without betraying the expectations you establish through the narrative.

Extra Time

This one made me smile. The use of dialect didn't bother me at all; I didn't find it particularly heavy-handed. Unfortunately, that sort of technique will always be polarizing. Some people simply hate it. Me, I read Trainspotting and loved it, so it's to my taste. Looking over your past entries, it seems like estranged father-son stories are kind of Your Thing. I'd like to read more from you where it doesn't involve the protagonist's father complex.

The issue of the phone number disappearing from the cell and being irretrievable came from nowhere, though. It's never implied or explained that this is Phantom Snapchat. It's a mobile; most data is recoverable. Was this just to force the conflict? Is the story really stronger for random numbers being called, or would it have been alright to get the right number the first time?

Death Before Bad Reviews

I was prepared to like this third entry in the supernatural apps category, as fantasy is extremely my jam. Actually, it's not even terrible for a first time entry. You fell down because you never utilized the conflict you established here (young upstart witch starting her own small business in the territory of a well-established crone -- you've set up a youth vs elder conflict and a tradition vs technology conflict and perhaps even a minority vs bureaucracy conflict all in the first scene). What I hate more than anything is having my expectations set up to fail -- and not in a clever, I've subverted your tropes way, but in a boring, random resolution where the protagonist doesn't even have to lift a finger way. The story fell apart when Mrs. Twarda told Aniela how things were gonna be and Aniela meekly accepted Mrs. Twarda's terms. The issue of bad reviews hardly even matters in the end, so why the title? Bad non-ending.

User Reviews - Ghostview Plus

I appreciate that you're exploring more experimental, epistolary style, but sometimes that format also hamstrings your story structure. I think the other judges appreciated this one for the novelty. I've already read a lot of short fiction in this format, so I turned out to be the difficult judge in this instance. You kind of buried the real story here -- whatever happened between kelleydavis12 and kelleysmom -- and gave it almost no space.

This line: "I watched it roll down her cheek, becoming slow and syrupy with foundation as it travelled" contrasted badly with "Then she let me kiss her for a while, it was great." The tone & diction whiplash is downright terrible and lacks comedic effect. Is that what a review by this kid would look like? I don't buy it. The same unnatural detail is present in Brochacho69's section: "I had to sort of scrape them off with my hand, and my fingers got covered in silver-grey dust from their wings." It goes too far. I would be less thrown off by less imagery from these two guys (whose main concerns weren't melting foundation or wing scales, but rather sex and partying). It feels inauthentic.

You went whole hog with THA*DEBUNKER and Randall_Smithers_III, and as a result, those reviews read much better. The tone is consistent, the diction is consistent, these are actually pretty good -- I like that THA*DEBUNKER actually establishes a little linkage/setting information, even if it's a bit of a cliche for this to be actual voodoo.

Galen, Free Version

Overall tolerance for meta-narratives seems to trend towards "don't." It's a fine line between nose-tweaking cleverness and grating smugness. This read a little too far towards the smug side. The idea is actually quite interesting, but you probably shouldn't write about your lead judge in the future unless explicitly invited to do so.

Norm-policing aside, the concept is interesting. You can see this in Pathologic as well: a system out of balance tends to self-correct in interesting but painful ways. The plot falls apart with how the humor characters intertwine with Black's app. Why does Black give Premium away to Yellow? Why is his function pay-walled? And Sanguine Big Red's section is much too heavy-handed.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



is thunderdome real, or advanced?

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Djeser posted:

is thunderdome real, or advanced?

I only play TD on the original gameboy.

SadisTech
Jun 26, 2013

Clem.


in and stick a spell up me

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



SadisTech posted:

in and stick a spell up me

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...19665/page.html

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


how did I not win my story had lots of penises in it. Penises = quality duh.

Fumblemouse I challenge you to a brawl to restore my honour.

but mostly because I'm bored and I want to brawl Fumblemouse.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013





Spell forSummoning a judge spell

you will need the following items for this spell:
-prompt
-thunderdome
-stories (optional)
-believe

Casting instructions for Spell forSummoning a judge spell:
put the prompt on a internet forum say the words bUMBO ZUMBA RUBMA TOMBA so mote it be and wa la the spell is done!

email me if this works wiccadude98@hotmail.com

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

how did I not win my story had lots of penises in it. Penises = quality duh.

Fumblemouse I challenge you to a brawl to restore my honour.

but mostly because I'm bored and I want to brawl Fumblemouse.

Of all the literary Muffin folk
Some you'll find ambitious
Some quick with wit in what they've writ
And some blandly nutritious
Some Muffins might achieve HM
and see it as auspicious
(Especially when the judge's chair
has proven so capricious)
So many strokes of Muffin folk
Would find the thought delicious
But the most ungrateful
hateful
plateful
Must surely be the
Surreptitious

I'll eat you for breakfast and then build a nest in your corpse, Muffin Man.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Fumblemouse posted:

Of all the literary Muffin folk
Some you'll find ambitious
Some quick with wit in what they've writ
And some blandly nutritious
Some Muffins might achieve HM
and see it as auspicious
(Especially when the judge's chair
has proven so capricious)
So many strokes of Muffin folk
Would find the thought delicious
But the most ungrateful
hateful
plateful
Must surely be the
Surreptitious

I'll eat you for breakfast and then build a nest in your corpse, Muffin Man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i6rFjNQUwE

Silmarildur
Jan 30, 2005

Thats what I'm Tolkien about.

In with the "No Mind Technique" http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...12802/page.html

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Fumblemouse posted:

Of all the literary Muffin folk
Some you'll find ambitious
Some quick with wit in what they've writ
And some blandly nutritious
Some Muffins might achieve HM
and see it as auspicious
(Especially when the judge's chair
has proven so capricious)
So many strokes of Muffin folk
Would find the thought delicious
But the most ungrateful
hateful
plateful
Must surely be the
Surreptitious

I'll eat you for breakfast and then build a nest in your corpse, Muffin Man.
Who will judge us? Who will Fiji our Geegee?

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

Surruptumble Muffinmousebrawl

So, since you both love dicks so much, whip them out and toxx.

Also, since you both love dicks so much, write a story about dicks. 1500 words max, and no funny stuff. Literally. No comedies. Okay, you can try and be funny some, but the stories should have a serious, dramatc core. Also, no erotica.

1500 words, due 12/20 11:59 pst soI can get them measured by Xmas.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Crits for Week CLXV: Lazy Beggar, Boaz-Jachim, worlds_best_author, Entenzahn, Jocoserious, Sitting Here, Thranguy, Meinberg, Fumblemouse, Grizzled Patriarch, and WeLandedOnTheMoon!

Take your seats, class. I want to talk to you about prompts. Several of you made the main prompt of this week an afterthought, writing stories to which school was not at all central. I'm looking at you, Lazy Beggar, Thranguy, dmboogie, and Fuschia tude! Put those phones away and pay attention! Some of you were burdened with complex flash rules and possibly lost focus on the main assignment, but since you asked for those rules, my exasperation outweighs my sympathy a trifle. Individual judges care about prompt adherence to different degrees; it still usually won't hurt to do more than vaguely wave a hand in the direction of the challenge you were given.

Other than that, the week was on the lighter side of all right. Nothing horrified! The worst story of the lot would have gotten a pass in plenty of other weeks, the best were genuine pleasures, and the middle ground never got below kind of dull or kind of tedious--not wonderful things to be, but for "kind of dull" to be the worst offense is refreshing in our institution.


Lazy Beggar, "Trade-offs"

You lucky son of a gun. Somehow you escaped without a mark of shame despite giving only the faintest nods your first flash rule and the whole bloody prompt. One offhand model of economics did not suffice; your protagonist could have been working on a historical model, a statistical model, or any number of other types of research project, and the story would have been exactly the same. Could you explain how it would have been different if he'd been working in a laboratory or government office instead of a college, if I asked? These aren't insignificant points. You essentially failed the challenge everyone was presented as well as one of your individual challenges because--from the look of things--you got caught up in your second flash rule and handwaved the rest.

Your reasonably sound prose spared you, I think. It definitely wasn't your protagonist, who did nothing but watch another world go by. (Okay, correction: he punched someone in the nose. That didn't move the plot along very much.) You conjured a sense of melancholy that worked in your favor, but if you aimed for romance with Emile and his girl of the past, you missed. When I considered what Emile had done, I realized his need to peep on some poor woman who had no power to stop him reminded me of Edward Cullen.

For all its missteps, I couldn't get upset about a basically okay story amidst a horde of the same. You spun pathos out of the flash rule you followed, and Emile's lack of control fed the helpless, hopeless mood of the piece--and as empty as this was, it never aggravated, the glossing over of that whole "prompt" thing aside.

*****************************************************************************************************

Boaz-Jachim, "1087 words"

It's good to see, from this vantage point in time, that the unusual formatting and title were anomalies and you went on to do better.

Plausibility. Consistent tone. Your story had not these things. You got full marks on the prompt: not only did this take place inside a school, but multiple levels of the school experience were right at the heart of it. This entry tried to show the conflicted feelings of an adolescent toward his past and future. It took Jason's hatred too far, though--when he hefted a wrench with the idea of maybe beating the mascot to death, that yanked the piece away from the land of Teenage-Boy-Confronts-a-Living-Metaphor-for-His-Emotions and into the realm of There's-a-Monster-in-the-Basement-but-I-Can't-Tell-Whether-It's-the-Lion-or-the-Kid. From semi-poignant slice of life to borderline horror, in other words.

As for plausibility, Jason was very calm about getting hauled into the boiler room by a living mascot. One might have thought that would surprise a person a trifle. Jason's easy acceptance of the ridiculous gave the story a goofy feel, but it wasn't really a goofy story--see the aforementioned thoughts of murder--so his lack of reasonable reaction ultimately bugged me. Two boys left to clean out their lockers completely alone and unsupervised didn't strike me as believable either. You gave your readers too many dubious things to swallow.

If everything else had been as solid as your ending, in which Jason probably still hated the mascot and yet cared about it too much to listen to Alex's insults, you would have had a decent-to-good story on your hands; I'd like to see you come back to Thunderdome and write some more.

*****************************************************************************************************

worlds_best_author, "Covering the Spread"

Kaishai posted:

You may want to keep in mind that while the school experience is different for everyone, I'd rather read about the academic side than about parties, sports, or filming porn in the dorms.

Many are the paths to Thunderdome success, but few indeed are those that include submitting what the prompt post explicitly discourages. I didn't forbid sports or parties, however--there was the chance someone could spin one of those topics into a story so good that it justified the choice. No such luck here. This wasn't great, and it needed to be to make your choice ballsy instead of ill advised.

School wasn't much of a presence in Benji's life. What spared you from the disapproving look I'm still giving Lazy Beggar was that he did what he did for the sake of his brother's college education. In that sense, school mattered; you didn't write much about Benji as a student, but the whole story was about José's college dream. Benji's conversation with Yadi, aside from some sloppy mechanical work (you missed the period after the muddled sentence “Because it’s me who’s asking to help,” and the line of dialogue that followed it lacked its closing quotation mark), was fair. You sketched their complicated relationship while keeping the dialogue mostly credible.

Here's where it stumbled: Benji knew that because Yadi was cheering and smiling, she meant to keep the money. If he had such insight into her character that he could tell she'd never be so happy about helping José, why did he ever believe she would do it? Wishful thinking? I wanted more than a smile and a cheer to condemn Yadi. As-was, that scene came too close for my taste to giving a character knowledge that he shouldn't have had for the sake of moving the plot along.

And then Benji got a gun and went to threaten or maybe kill his cousin because he got played. That wasn't out of nowhere at all! Wait, yes it was. Benji was a cheater and not a saint, but from "cheater" to "potential murderer" was rather a jump. It also left the story incomplete. There was no resolution without an answer to what he did with that gun.

*****************************************************************************************************

Entenzahn, "Roses"

Oh, this wasn't so bad. Simple, plotless, and predictable, sure, and it spun its wheels too much, which was rather a feat in 486 words. It would be so easy to cut this down and lose absolutely nothing. The sentences were basic to the point of being dull for adult readers. You did that on purpose because you were writing from the point of view of a child, probably, but it read instead like it had been written for a child's reading level. Did you think in short bursts as a kid? Terse Dick-and-Jane sentences? I didn't. Kids are complicated. Look at Robby. This style. It hurt you. More than it helped.

One example of something you could have chopped: "But then she was an English teacher. She probably had a lot of nice words in general." You'd already said she taught an English class, and you'd just established that Robby was prone to losing track of a train of thought, so that digression was redundant all around.

The emotional sketch of a kid at the height of his first crush, making a bit of a fool of himself without knowing it, worked for all of that. It was sweet how innocent and sincere Robby's affection was and how it made him love words, however briefly. I liked it--not that such an uneventful vignette was going to come near the crown, but you know? It made me smile a little bit. There are far worse things.

*****************************************************************************************************

Jocoserious, "Flame"

The process by which I add stories to the Thunderdome Archive was unusually relevant this week, since it meant I knew the twist in your story before I read it: I check the last lines of entries to make sure I've copy-and-pasted everything, you see. This had an odd and interesting effect. Neither of my co-judges knew you'd written about Martin Luther King, Jr. until they reached the end. And they both hated it. I, who knew all along what you were on about, didn't mind the story! It wasn't good; too little happened and the only resolution you offered was the revelation of the boy's identity. You depended on our knowledge of MLK, Jr. to finish the job for you. Tsk. But as a biographical piece, read with the awareness it was a biographical piece, it was no worse than bland.

I figure that makes this a stark illustration of the damage twist endings can do to a reader's reception. The other judges reacted to your last line as though it was a punchline and the joke was on them. I don't know whether they would have been less hostile if the story up to that point had been less boring. Maybe? I doubt it helped. I just know they were displeased, one of them so much so he pushed hard for you to lose. My less vitriolic response suggests to me that if you'd given Martin's full name early on (although I'm stumped for a graceful way you could have done that--maybe through Mr. Lee), you would have stayed in the middle of the pack with the other writers of dull but essentially harmless entries.

Mind you, with or without the twist, this wouldn't have been a story. It was a character sketch. You speculated on how young MLK, Jr. felt and acted before a speech. Well and good as far as it went, but it didn't go far and had no real chance even in a week in which the high-ranking stories were essentially character sketches too. In those, the characters did things!

But although I trusted the other judges' opinions--they'd read the story as it was meant to be read--I didn't hate this, and I even think it worked decently well as a historical vignette.

*****************************************************************************************************

Sitting Here, "June 3rd, 6th Period"

I thought you might DM. It surprised me when neither of the other judges particularly wanted that. You wrote no characters, no plot whatsoever, with purposefully lovely mechanics--at least I hope, for your sake, that "Who'm" was purposefully lovely--and in a pain-in-the-rear end format that added humor to the enterprise in exactly one place, that being Question 3. It was gimmick-ridden in the all-but-worst way. (I can't say worst. I remember the "story" that was "told" in browser histories.) Trust me: if this didn't make one laugh, it died in agony on the screen.

Almost. Almost. This experiment was nearly a disaster. Yet though I disliked seventy percent of it, the final answer had... something, something that was almost cool as these idiots attempted to connect with their teacher in a way that hinted at compassion, maybe. I saw a rough trace of humanity emerging from the chrysalides of adolescent boys. That, assuming it was intentional, salvaged the rest just enough that I couldn't make up my mind whether it should be marked with shame. The majority vote made the call.

It's far better to submit something than to fail, and as wild swings go--this was still bad. It could have been worse, but I can't muster more praise than that.

*****************************************************************************************************

Thranguy, "What Tinies Do"

That flash rule crabrock gave you was a bastard. My sympathy would be as boundless as the sea if you hadn't requested it with the forewarning his rules were going to be difficult. Even as is, scraps of pity remain, which probably explains how you escaped a DM: you worked with what you were given, though in doing so you skimmed over the actual prompt. How would this story be different if Chesa and Brendan were pranking the boss of a company rather than a principal? The throwaway reference to problems on the blackboard would have to go, but otherwise I doubt much would need to change.

The gist seemed to be that an indeterminate number of small humanoids, Tinies, were attempting to move a man's couch into his office as a prank, because that was the sort of thing their kind did. (This came off as "Because the writer said so!" It reminded me of issues I'd had with your Museum Week entry, in which so much of the plot and mythology seemed pulled out of nowhere and weren't grounded in anything. Of course we all make things up as we go, but with SF/F, I think you have to be careful to avoid sounding like a kid playing Let's Pretend. Whatever rules you conjure should feel like a natural part of your setting. You did a better job with that here than in Museum Week, because the Tinies echoed real-world legends about little people playing pranks on humans, but their motivations were weak. I'll come back to that.) This was part of a larger scheme to get the man's keys and so keep anyone from bringing a cat into the college offices or kitchens or wherever. The couch got stuck, and one of the Tinies, Brendan, ultimately resolved the problem with applied physics and geometry.

Lots of problems there. The story was over half dialogue, for one thing. More tedious banter. Brendan's maneuvering was the only thing to actually happen. Chesa talked and talked and talked and talked and never developed a distinct personality or character to make me give a darn about her plots. Neither did Brendan, and the concept of fairy-like people scheming to prevent a cat from moving in--by the way, why couldn't these fair folk have picked the locks?--just wasn't interesting enough to hold the story up alone.

Your first five paragraphs gave no hint that the Cavenaughs weren't ordinary, human guys--I could see two or three brothers trying to shove a couch up stairs, easily--so ordinary, human guys were what I pictured. That all the characters were tiny came as a surprise, and not as a good one. You should probably have opened with that card face-up on the table.

You tried to give your fairy-like people a reason for playing tricks on men. The Tinies needed food, and they wanted to keep humans from bringing in cats to protect it. I didn't buy that. I don't think putting a cat in college kitchens would be at all likely. The time period had to be somewhat modern given a fold-out couch, so wouldn't the college have used traps or poison, or called exterminators? All of it read like you were trying hard to make this couch scene part of a larger story, but it didn't work because the larger story was pretty dumb.

I respect that you tried. You took the "inside a half-moved couch" part literally, and that limited your options. I suspect the idea was more that someone was pinned against a wall or railing by the couch, but the phrasing was what it was, and I can't blame you for thinking you were stuck with it. You did a pretty good job with the Geometry rule. The main thing I would hold against you is all the talking, so it's a relief to know the next story of yours I critique will have a lot more action.

*****************************************************************************************************

Meinberg, "Graduation"

You hid the nature of the passage and what exactly graduation entailed from me, but in nearly every paragraph you dropped a hint to remind me that you were keeping a secret. I found this more aggravating than intriguing, like a child whispering, "I'm not telling!" every few breaths. The prose was also a shade overwrought, aiming for Lovecraftian--it might have been all right if it hadn't been for the reminders of Secrets in the Dark and Deep, but those things together made for a tedious read. Until the end, which turned the story into a joke and almost validated everything.

After that flare of amusement, however, I thought again and acknowledged that I'd read a one-thousand-word set up for a punchline that hadn't been that good. The final sentence improved my impression of the rest, but that shouldn't have been its job. The rest ought to have been enjoyable and interesting. It could have been both, the latter certainly, but it played wink-wink-nudge-nudge for too long. If you trimmed some of Eric's musings from this, you'd still have a gag piece. The humor might be worth the time spent getting there, though.

*****************************************************************************************************

Fumblemouse, "Practice makes perfect"

I learned from this story that hand width is an issue in playing piano, but if I were going to revise this, I'd make it more clear that the problem has to do with chords and octaves. When I first read it I kept asking myself, "Why can't he move his hand?" That "tidal wave cresting" phrase particularly had me imagining a lot of motion, so that missed note didn't make sense.

Anyway! Other than that--your dialogue is a little "As you know, Bob," in spots. '"[...] We’ve got the practical on Monday, and that’s fifty percent of our performance and teamwork grades. That’s only three days away!”' Tony wouldn't need to be told this. It's too obviously for the reader's benefit. I'm working on this set of critiques and the set for Mad Tom o' Bedlam Week at the same time, so I can warn you you're going to see this complaint again soon.

You could cut the entire Saturday sequence, I suspect: it established that Tony likes Simone, but that had already been hinted at and was established again in the Sunday section. You hammered on the point a bit. Tony was the more passive partner in the Tony/Dean banter, so I didn't learn much new about him. Maybe you should keep that conversation but shift it so that it gives Tony a character trait other than "small hands" and "likes Simone"?

For all of what I just said, this was comfortably in the week's top five for me. The love story was simple, but sweet, especially with Simone being proactive in it. The worst I can really say is that it could have been either shorter or richer; it works as it is, could easily be made better, and yet was pleasant to read.

*****************************************************************************************************

Grizzled Patriarch, "Junior Has the Spirits"

A school was technically present and important after a fashion, symbolizing peace, innocence, and education in matters other than war. The story centered on learning, with Junior as the teacher and the protagonist his student. You'd have to stretch to call this a school story, though. Your unexpected take on the prompt was one I respected, but I would have liked to see you play it straight.

"War is hell" was the sentiment at the heart of this piece. It's a theme you like to explore. You made the point here with excellent words and description. However, the sub-themes conflicted. The protagonist was frightfully malleable, easy ideological prey for a charismatic mentor figure, and his mind was willing to drink in whatever it was given; either Mr. Bagnaba or Junior would do as a source. He stood in for children as a whole. So far, so good. Lopo contradicted that, though, with his refusal to submit to demands he remove his sheet even though it meant his death. His denials might have been meant to prove his strong spirit, but Lopo donning the sheet in the first place suggested he'd been traumatized past total sanity instead. Where were you going with that, other than some striking images? The protagonist never seemed to care.

Maybe that was the whole problem, come to think of it. The protagonist never seemed to care about anything until the final two paragraphs, and in those he described all the things he didn't think about. I realized those things horrified him. But since he'd never had an emotional reaction before that point, his journey from emotionless automaton to emotionless automaton wasn't a satisfactory one. Junior was the interesting character, the one with some personality and a past, and this tale should have been told from his viewpoint and given him some sort of arc and resolution. I suspect this felt like it had no ending not because it didn't--the protagonist's transformation into a proper child soldier was complete--but because its end focused on the wrong figure.

The transition from Junior-as-a-source-of-mercy to Junior-as-omniscient-Dr.-Doolittle was far too abrupt. The last section felt rushed overall. The first section was the only one shown as it happened rather than described after the fact, and it was the strongest in terms of character. Probably not a coincidence. If I were you and revising this, I'd try to bring back that in-the-moment perspective for the finale.

*****************************************************************************************************

WeLandedOnTheMoon!, "≤"

I'm not seeing what the present tense added to this one. It didn't need or particularly benefit from a sense of immediacy. In a couple of places you fumbled it, such as in "Sarah was never going to light the world on fire, Janne thinks" (the was should have been is) and "Cheating off Lisa Maravich, she thought, how sad." Other mechanical problems tarnished the text, and while I don't blame you too much for "pricetag" (not one word), at one point you started leaving the first words of dialogue sentences in lowercase. The use of "whilst" also distracted me. That's a perfectly fine word, but it didn't suit the tone. Did you choose it on purpose to go with Janne's overloaded English focus? That would have worked in a first-person PoV, but it looked pretty weird in third.

The FocusOn was a fantastic concept that I dug considerably. You had me hooked until the ad appeared. That shook my absorption; it didn't make a lot of sense. Why would such a product run Candy Crush Saga-esque games? How could they fit its design purpose? Even assuming the parent company hand-waved that concern because money, why would something called FocusOn run pop-up ads of the sort meant to disrupt focus? And if it did run them, why during school hours? And why would an expensive, classy model lack ad-blocking capability? This felt contrived and strange.

More importantly, I don't think you hit the point at which you aimed. What about the FocusOn was supposed to have turned Janne so judgmental and arrogant? I'm not sure. Janne looked down her nose at Sarah while her device was more-or-less working and became a complete hosebeast in her thoughts about Lisa after scaling down her English and General Knowledge. At high levels or at low, she was a bitch. One thought is that her unpleasant experience when the FocusOn crashed made her more empathetic, but--if her attitude wasn't connected to her device, then the neat idea of the FocusOn was somewhat wasted. It deserved to be the heart of a story.

You smacked the prompt square in the face, of course. I would read other stories about students in the era of the FocusOn, preferably with pop-ups disabled.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Dec 16, 2015 around 12:13

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Crits for Week CLXV: God Over Djinn, spectres of autism, Benny Profane, ghost crow, Killer-of-Lawyers, dmboogie, Obliterati, Dr. Kloctopussy, Fuschia tude, Screaming Idiot, and Broenheim


God Over Djinn, "Holes"

(Note: I wouldn't be surprised if the formatting and certain mechanical decisions here were influenced by your speech-to-text software, but I'm critiquing it as though all the choices were yours.)

If I'd been judging alone, you wouldn't have gotten your HM. I put the blame on both of us for this, on me because I shouldn't have let your formatting lull my eyes into reading without taking in the deeper meaning, and on you--more of it on you--because you're too skilled and experienced to have deployed those long paragraphs on accident. (Or to have had two people speak within the same paragraph on accident. That worked, more or less, in the third paragraph, but in the first it didn't serve any good purpose.) I picked up the surface story on my first reading: Laura had a tumor; Laura's personality had changed; in her classroom, Laura went with the changes and found peace; her teaching methods caused her administrative trouble; she would not take it anymore. She had a defiant moment that did nothing to solve her work problem but brought her contentment.

Fine. The prompt was absolutely adhered to, bless; it was an academic story from top to toenails. But crabrock had to help me see the elements that outweighed the (minor compared to some, but significant) unpleasantness of the reading experience and transformed it from okay to good.

One of the things the tumor was destroying was the shell or crust that had built up around Laura in her academic career. You know what I mean. She became desensitized to all the the excuses, lies, the plagiarism, all the things she wasn't allowed to fix. Not completely, but enough to keep going, until her work was nearly done and it didn't matter anymore. Then she got back some of the integrity of youth, or some of youth's failure to give a drat. And when faced with complaining students who didn't really want to learn and a complaining department head who didn't really want to teach, she refused to make an excuse for herself.

This last won me over more than anything else. In the crux she took responsibility instead of behaving like one of her students. If that was why she smiled, even though calling Larkin an rear end in a top hat couldn't have done anything to help her situation, then I was with her, and I appreciated that she'd regained her honesty in dying.

On the other hand... her Take that! moment would still bring her no closer to reaching her students. Larkin was telling her that she'd failed. At least to some degree. How did calling him a name make that go away? If she cared about teaching, and you made me believe that she did, how could she go home smiling? The story was stronger than I first gave it credit for, but the ending stayed weak.

Also, you had a lot of tallies of time! I noticed every one because the numerals stuck out. Twelve years, sixteen years, twenty-two years, forty semesters, forty semesters again, forty-seven years of age. If there was a point to this, it missed the mark.

crabrock couldn't convince me your story was stronger than Dr. K's work, nor did the merits he helped me to see erase the aspects I didn't enjoy. His arguments showed me a moving personal crisis below an impersonal tumor, however. I'm grateful to him.

*****************************************************************************************************

spectres of autism, "Soul"

Too many disconnected ideas, too little logic in some of them. The Battle-Yos didn't come to anything. Mr. Cosgrove was supposedly conducting experiments with the choir, yet he didn't notice anything off about your nameless (rrgh) main character until Nameless was a step away from suicidal. If the rising grades were Kirstie's doing, it was strange Mr. Cosgrove didn't notice that either; if they were Cosgrove's, it was bizarre that Nameless alone was immune. No, "distraction" didn't account for that. It wouldn't make any sense for Kirstie to be the culprit, really: what would be in it for her to make everyone but Nameless an excellent student? Why would she hate Nameless so much that she'd leave him out? Why did she hate him? Nothing came close to explaining that. The viciousness-as-defense-mechanism theory wasn't convincing. If I was supposed to believe she tormented him because she liked him, I did not.

The metaphor "like the Sword of Skelos through the wizard Zafra" flew right over my head. Apparently it had to do with Conan the Barbarian? Assuming everyone will catch something like that is high risk for low reward, and the reference wasn't subtle enough to slide past the uninitiated eye unnoticed.

The strange, combative relationship between Nameless and Kirstie had some legs nonetheless, though she needed to be less heinous. You could have a decent story here if you tore out a few elements: the Battle-Yos, the grades, the choir experiments--Kirstie's brilliant, so have her work out the mind-control power of music on her own. Maybe Mr. Cosgrove knows enough to realize what's happening once Nameless (give him a name!) describes the situation, but he doesn't need to be a mad scientist. The ending flops. Change it to something that centers on Nameless and Kirstie, not the music. The music isn't the story. Those two characters are the story.

Maybe you can think of other ways to fix this up that you prefer, but it needs fixing: right now it's an inelegant hodgepodge of notions that wants to be a something better.

My last comments involve mechanics. "So Myles stopped talking about Battle-Yos long enough to say, “here comes your girlfriend,” and before I could react she’s struck again, the headlock ninja." spectres, look at that sentence! You didn't capitalize the first word of the dialogue, and you slipped into present tense with she's. At one point Myles "sid" words rather than said them. Exasperatedly is a hideous adverb, and I suggest "he said, exasperated" as an alternative. Your prose was mostly sound, and I liked the lemonade metaphor for Kirstie's voice, but the mistakes you did make were basic enough that you shouldn't have made them. If nothing else, be careful about tenses!

*****************************************************************************************************

Benny Profane, "The Mean Value Theorem"

Those first lines established that you were writing about Calculus, all right, at the expense of being not very interesting. Maybe cutting the lines starting with Wait and Dunno would have helped? I don't think you needed them.

Other than the oddity of Allison's stench or lack thereof, I can't put my finger on anything especially wrong with this. It gave me pause that she was called Smellison and sat on the Stench Bench and yet no odor troubled the noses of Paul or James. Without any truth to the allegation, "Smellison" was a nickname that would have sounded lame from a ten-year-old, much less anyone old enough to take Calculus. Anyway! The dialogue was fine. The characters were amusing. The difficulty of math as a plot point didn't bother me. The unopened textbooks tapped directly into my recurring nightmares, though I did wonder how the boys were supposed to have survived the class long enough to reach a pass/fail exam without doing any assignments. And Nick's retort re: the mean value theorem sounded like he knew exactly how it related to the prank, not a likely thing.

But those are small problems. I figure you suffered mostly from writing a nice but unremarkable piece in a week in which other contenders offered more creativity, more emotional pull, or both, with equal or near-equal success in execution. I liked this all the same, so thanks for turning it in.

*****************************************************************************************************

ghost crow, "Losertown"

The ghosts were great; the students being a cyclops, something with antennae, and goodness knows what else wasn't, because as curlingiron said in her crits, it added zilch to the story other than an awkward reference to Spook Boys. The references and Claudia's wasn't fair mantra made her sound as though she was maybe fifteen, not old enough by a league to be working on a thesis. I wish your magical college students had sounded like magical college students, basically. Claudia's thesis was more interesting than her crush. The love triangle angle could have worked fine, though, if Claudia had acted less like a child and if you'd omitted the prophetic dream that dropped an anvil on my head just in case I'd missed the point somehow.

That said, this was not at all bad as Thunderdome debuts go. I regret it if your DM in Black Sunshine Week has discouraged you from fighting on.

Your sentence mechanics showed some rough edges. A sampling: "who have ever heard" should have been "who has ever heard," as who is singular; you didn't always punctuate your dialogue correctly; ellipses that close a sentence should have four dots, three for the ellipsis and one for the period; alright is an abomination; the phrase "bitter droning ghosts" needed a comma after bitter, because that was a list of adjectives; the plural of antenna is antennae; the phrase "Come on one eye we’re going" should have been "Come on, One Eye, we're going"--capital letters because it was a pronoun, commas because the nickname was nonessential. That isn't the whole list, but it may give you an idea. The Purdue Online Writing Lab may be able to help you improve on the technical level.

*****************************************************************************************************

Killer-of-Lawyers, "Order of Authorship Determined by Proximity"

And the aliens were humans all along!!!!!!!!

You wrote a Twilight Zone episode circa 1960-something. Aside from the frequent mentions of wings and mandibles, Silthel and his people were indistinguishable from humans themselves; I could almost see the actors in their costumes. The final revelation wasn't as worthy of a facepalm as an astronaut named Adam and a cavewoman named Eve on a planet that turns out to be Earth, but it wasn't intriguing or funny either--it was just sort of there, which would be a fitting epitaph for the whole piece. All it offered was that tepid reveal.

Possibly you should have kept the focus on Silthel's and Setmyre's academic rivalry. You took on a facet of school that no one else did, and that was cool so far as it went. It didn't go far enough! Silthel didn't confront Setmyre. He listened to him talk and watched him putter. He faded into the background, doing nothing much after the first scene. In the meanwhile, Setmyre's explanation puzzled me. The comm systems "turned on"--by themselves? Hadn't the ship crashed at least fifty years before? Why would Earth contact it out of the blue? Nothing about that seemed to have been thought out all that well, and everything after the scene break was lackluster, low on character or action or impact or much of anything, really.

A minor point: Slithel and Kishtel's similar names made it hard to keep track of who was who. At one point Slithel thought of "the alien ship that was rightfully Kishtel's," making me think you had some trouble with that also.

*****************************************************************************************************

dmboogie, "This Ceramic Sunset's For You"

Tell me how this story would have been any different if your protagonist had been a scientist rather than a student, dmboogie. There was no way in which Jude's sojourn centered on a school. I saw several nods to the prompt; it was clear you didn't ignore it and I appreciated that, but this read as though you wanted to write about a man going through a rift and looking at wisps and so you did, pasting the school element on later. If there had been more to the story than "a guy sees a thing" I might have felt less disgruntled, but there wasn't. Tsk.

Oh, all right, yes, there was a little bit more. The message it delivered was one of leaving wild things alone to remain unspoiled by man. That didn't resonate with me as much as you might have hoped. I sympathized with Jude, but at the same time, life elsewhere was a phenomenal discovery--something that would have changed humanity's perception of the universe, surely--and for Jude to keep it to himself because that life was beautiful... I didn't dislike that ending, but I wish what Jude had seen had been less visually gorgeous. Imagine if Jude had discovered ugly life, some grotesque five-legged warthogs with no eyes and mouths on their sides or something, and had decided after watching it for a while that it was worth preserving. The message would have been the same, but it would have been less cliche and a bit more touching. Maybe that's just me!

I wondered at thousands of journeys to thousands of worlds through portals happening every day when the United States had a grand total of three. Was China hogging the magic doorways?

Mostly it was how little happened in your thousand words that chained you to the middle ground. So much exposition about portals, so little adventure.

*****************************************************************************************************

Obliterati, "To Hell With The Laws, Away An Bile Yer Heid"

Martin, I liked. Mr. Doe, I didn't. I wish I could have liked him, but cornering a student in an empty corridor and telling him, "I'll get you yet"--that was some creepy-rear end behavior. I read too many LP threads, and as a result I couldn't stop picturing Mr. Doe as this guy:



This man is a high school principal. The roses are for a student. I think you see the problem here.

But in most other respects you did a good job; I appreciated the way Martin's dialect served the story, showing one of the reasons he might have ended up an outsider in his school. Or one of the reasons he might have felt like one and behaved accordingly, starting the feedback loop he talked about. The other kids didn't seem so bad, really. Jerks, sure, but their taunts centered on how taciturn Martin was, so it seemed they wanted him to talk to them. That was good, too, that the teasing Martin endured wasn't cliche and the students delivering it weren't moustache-twirling bullies. Naturally I enjoyed Martin's appreciation for literature, which fulfilled your flash rule. I had essays in mind when I assigned it to you, but you managed to write about creative writing without getting melodramatic or twee.

You lucked out somewhat again with the book references. I've read the first Foundation novel too. Take care with that strategy, though, because one of these days I could see it backfiring on you. You kept to quotations that made sense out of context, an intelligent decision. You didn't capitalize the first word of either quote, a horrible one.

Though I ranked this story ahead of the paste-eating middle of the class, it didn't have enough oomph to challenge the winner, especially with a teacher who made me think of Pedobear weighing it down.

*****************************************************************************************************

Dr. Kloctopussy, "Ovum"

In theory this story should suffer from prolonged consideration; it does, slightly. Nothing actually changed in its duration. Professor Rhys was in exactly the same situation when it ended as when it began. The main conflict presented may have been unsolvable, and the lesser conflicts with Dela and Naish were untouched. You submitted a sketch of a character, a world, and a situation created by the presence of the one in the other without doing a lot with them.

The thing is, not all stories need to be traditional stories, not even for a reader who often prefers such. The world and the character were so vivid--neither entirely likable, but interesting enough that it didn't matter--and the treatment of the difficult flash rule such a triumph that I enjoyed and admired the piece in like measure. It was your fortune that all the top stories this round were light on plot, but that doesn't suffice to explain why I liked this one best of everything I'd read of yours. For the record, that isn't damning with faint praise.

There were different facets to Rhys's need, weren't there? She needed to reproduce to fulfill an obligation or to hold or maintain status, perhaps: cold desires. The last line hinted at the loneliness of a woman who had been a foreigner and stranger since her birth. I don't think her wish was entirely about a child, either. She didn't know herself or understand herself. Maybe, if she'd known why she couldn't spawn, she wouldn't have minded--she didn't strike me as the motherly type. Maybe what made that edge of desperation set in was the possibility that she might die without ever solving the puzzles of what she was. Bad enough to be a foreigner to the Caudata. Worse to be a foreigner to herself.

Congratulations on your win and on proving again that with sufficiently compelling and complex elements, a flash story can satisfy without clinging to convention.

*****************************************************************************************************

Fuschia tude, "Control"

Yeesh. You made a series of mystifying choices here. Your story had the thinnest thread of connection to the concept of "school." German might technically have been "in class," but I will be darned if I can see how this would read any differently if blowing things up via drone had been his adult job. Admit it: it was. He was posted alone, with no fellow students and no direct supervision; he took orders from a boss; he was working a trade. So like Lazy Beggar, you fumbled the prompt.

Your first flash rule? Completely ignored. Art was in no way a factor.

Your second flash rule? Missed. I can see the outline of an attempt to meet it, but you didn't show German in trouble at all--if he got in trouble for ignoring his summons, it happened after the text stopped--and why was a hazy guess without a firm answer to whether.

On top of all that and arguably more to the story's detriment, the exposition re: drones bored me spitless and took up too much space. Consider the pacing of this. You hinted fairly adroitly that German was overworked, but until the eleventh hour German didn't seem to mind. Tension and conflict alike were absent. At the last moment, you threw in a potential love interest--long after I could possibly care. At the last moment, you told me German had wanted out all along. Rrrrrgh! I don't think you meant that to be a twist ending. I'd guess his job was supposed to look so terrible that escape was the natural conclusion. But some people thrive in that sort of environment, and you gave me no reason to think German wasn't such a one. I had no reason to believe anything particular of German. His character development was next to nil.

I would have liked to know what went wrong with German's drones. Did he make mistakes out of sleep deprivation? If he'd given them the same coordinates, was the problem his fault? I wonder whether this was supposed to be the scene in which German got in trouble, but it read like a tech guy being summoned to help deal with borked software. It wasn't clear at all that German was culpable.

Lastly, this did have a similarity to Ender's Game what with a young man being trained to fight a war from long distance, but it wasn't close enough for us to seriously think you wrote fanfic, and the likeness had little to do with where you ended up.

There was one thing I liked and that I wouldn't mind seeing as the central idea of a story. That scene of German walking through the closed-down town, out of place in that quiet location that had been chosen for him, was good: I felt his isolation and alienation. I'd like to read about a secret agent or sci-fi soldier trying to live in such a place while still carrying out high-import responsibilities, and I wish you'd given us more of that and less Drone Wars 101.

*****************************************************************************************************

Screaming Idiot, "You are Mine"

So, hey, this was good! It was my second favorite, and I stand by that despite my enhanced opinion of God Over Djinn's. The horror was so beautifully effective. Confining Janette's thoughts to a few glimpses worked wonders, as that brought out how powerless she was within her body: she could pray and she could plead, but her hands still gathered the poison herbs, and her hands still took the mugs to the kitchen, and I could only speculate on what she thought of the sight of Tommy lying dead. The contrast between how the "angel" thought of Professor Coal and how Janette thought of him intrigued me, and that the "angel" compared his voice to the honeymint tea it later used to kill was a very fine touch.

Your take on Foreign Language was delightful. A+. It fit the prompt perfectly while providing a pleasant surprise.

My favorite lines by far were "And yes, those words were written in blood. The book those pages were torn from was written in it entirely, in fact, and some of those pages had some intricate illustrations -- " Fantastic, gruesome metaphor; the bit after about "a lot of blood to ink them" gilded the lily a trifle. The "cunning linguist" joke didn't bother me that much, but it did paint Tommy in a shade of sleaze. Not the best move. It was the only characterization he got, and some more sympathetic character trait would have made his death cut more deeply.

Truth be told, there wasn't much of an arc. The story started with Janette possessed by one of Hell's angels, and it ended the same way, and she didn't accomplish anything. The demon arguably did, but Tommy's death didn't seem that important to it. I didn't really care. Like Dr. K's entry, this piece illustrated a character and a situation in a manner that allowed me to speculate on what might happen after, and it didn't feel incomplete despite the lack of resolution.

*****************************************************************************************************

Broenheim, "How Argon Lost His Nobility, Then Himself"

This is how to get clever with a flash rule--or would have been if you'd pulled it off. That's a significant factor, unfortunately. I loved the conceit of atoms in Atom School, reacting to each other and swapping what I assume was a neutron. It was such a great take on chemistry that I felt awfully forgiving of its rough elements, but the concept was about all it had: otherwise it was a so-so drug-trip story with bland characters and an ending that made me wonder how the chemistry worked rather than feel anything.

(Losing that neutron didn't change Carbon. Did the other atoms steal electrons from Argon? That would explain how he "lost his nobility." Then, when he gave up the neutron, did he decay into some other element? He'd still have had the same number of protons, though. But Carbon couldn't have given him a proton, or else he wouldn't have been Argon after the initial exchange... do you see what I mean? When I'm thinking about these questions, my mind's not on the story.)

Another chemical question I had was why you chose Carbon as your neutron pusher. Carbon and Argon don't have a special relationship that I could find. I can't tell whether I'm dumb or you chose a random element. I hoped to learn something neat when I went looking, and if you did pick at random, I think you missed an opportunity.

Don't let me give you the impression this was widely popular, because nope. Clever ideas are good. Clever ideas without character or plot to support them, less so.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Dec 16, 2015 around 12:19

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

hi

Hello. Here's another recap, featuring myself, Kaishai, Djeser, and Ironic Twist.

https://soundcloud.com/sittinghere/recap-weeks-165-166

This time we talked about week 165 (school week) and week 166(comings and goings).

Among the writers we discussed were Dr. Kloctopussy, God over Djinn, Screaming Idiot (twice!), Jocoserious, Fuscia Tude, curlingiron, CARRIERHASARRIVED, with a sumptuous dessert consisting of Baudolino's DANCE WITH ME.

Thank you for listening

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Kaishai posted:

Crits for Week CLXV: God Over Djinn, spectres of autism, Benny Profane, ghost crow, Killer-of-Lawyers, dmboogie, Obliterati, Dr. Kloctopussy, Fuschia tude, Screaming Idiot, and Broenheim

Thank you for crit(s)!

Killer-of-Lawyers
Apr 22, 2008


I'm gonna regret this, but in. With Give me a spell so I can mangle it.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

I believe IN magic. But spelling is hard so please may I have one provided.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Killer-of-Lawyers posted:

I'm gonna regret this, but in. With Give me a spell so I can mangle it.

Alakazoo! Here's your spell!


Fumblemouse posted:

I believe IN magic. But spelling is hard so please may I have one provided.

Squattly-dee! Here's your spell!

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


In and hit with me a spell!

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Meinberg posted:

In and hit with me a spell!

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...12847/page.html

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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

hit me with a spell djeser

bring your a game

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



I picked only spells beginning with A. Enjoy your a--

--ntler spell! http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...19250/page.html

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart


https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

I crit this story for some reason

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


in - with this spell http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells...14076/page.html

A Classy Ghost fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2015 around 04:55

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

deleted

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2016 around 22:09

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


I finished my draft early, I wanna write more, I'm a little drunk, and most of all I'm ANGRY! At who? I don't loving know, does it really matter? Which one of you fucks is brave enough to brawl the guy with the most DMs in the dome?

As a bonus, if you brawl me, I'll insult your mother. Or father, if you're into that kinda thing.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



ZeBourgeoisie posted:

I finished my draft early, I wanna write more, I'm a little drunk, and most of all I'm ANGRY! At who? I don't loving know, does it really matter? Which one of you fucks is brave enough to brawl the guy with the most DMs in the dome?

As a bonus, if you brawl me, I'll insult your mother. Or father, if you're into that kinda thing.



I let your father gently caress me up the rear end last night. Fight me.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



ZeBourgeoisie posted:

I finished my draft early, I wanna write more, I'm a little drunk, and most of all I'm ANGRY! At who? I don't loving know, does it really matter? Which one of you fucks is brave enough to brawl the guy with the most DMs in the dome?

As a bonus, if you brawl me, I'll insult your mother. Or father, if you're into that kinda thing.



Djeser posted:

I let your father gently caress me up the rear end last night. Fight me.



Child's Play Brawl

Your story will have someone playing a game children play. It can be children playing, it can be adults, it can be dogs, it can be anything really, but somebody has to be playing a children's game. Similarly the game can be real or fake, but it should still be obvious the game is for kids. You don't have to write a children's story, mind you. Do whatever genre or style you want, but MAKE THIS STORY MATTER. I want to read something that has a god drat point, alright?

1269 words
Due at 23 December 11:57 PM PST
NO BUTTERMEN

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart


I've just been notified that no one could view my comments, which was 95% of this crit. Please try it now...sorry about that.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012



In with this slice of fried gold:

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/spells.../5536/page.html

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Isolated with a Beast
Words: 1224

The woods around Devon’s house sprawled out for several miles and encircled the entire property, leaving a thin dirt road the only way to and from the residence. Devon didn’t mind the lack of company, though. He wasn’t a man who needed or cared for a lot of company. Instead he was content to explore and interact with the wilderness that surrounded him.

On rare occasions, when the weather was bad and the delivery of food uncertain, he’d shoot a rabbit and cook a stew with fresh vegetables from his garden or, failing that, canned preserves. That was one of the few situations he’d shoot a living creature in.

The violent rocking of his bed jarred Devon from a peaceful sleep. He bolted upright, his entire house shaking as though an earthquake had hit. A horrid noise similar to the wail of an air raid siren rang in Devon’s ears. He hopped out of bed and sprinted outside.

Devon saw it perched upon his roof like a bird roosting on an electrical wire. Dark red skin draped loosely over its entire body like a tarp. Its frame was similar to a pterodactyl’s, except with more muscle definition. From its chest sprouted a thin neck with a bulbous head seated at the top. Two catlike eyes stared out from its misshapen cranium.

Devon could’ve died of shock on the spot. He collapsed to his knees, gazing wide eyed up at the abomination that sat on his house. He let out a throaty cry, and the beast turned its attention to him. While Devon abhorred the thought of using it, he did carry a forty-four caliber revolver around should he be attacked by a bear. He sighted the gun at the beast’s massive head and squeezed off three shots.

The first shot whizzed past its target, but the second and third found their marks. The beast let out a scream similar to a fierce rush of wind. Before Devon could fire off his last two shots, the beast soared into the air and vanished within seconds.

Devon panted and clambered to his feet. When he stepped back inside, he found everything in disarray. Cans of preserves laid smashed in the floor along with cookware and china; shelves and furniture were toppled over, their contents crushed or spilled. In any other circumstance, Devon would’ve sighed and cleaned up the mess. Instead, he climbed into bed and huddled under the blankets like a frightened child.

The beast haunted Devon’s dreams that night. Its wails reverberated in his skull, and its horrid skin brushed against him like sandpaper as it grabbed and devoured him. Its eyes, however, frightened him most. Bright yellow with razor thin pupils, they drilled straight into Devon’s soul.

Those eyes knew about his childhood days spent collecting insects in the pond, and his teenage ambition of becoming a biologist. He squeezed his lids shut, but it pried more information out of him as if he were an opened book. It learned about the falling out he had with his mother after the death of his grandmother, and his subsequent move. He screamed for it to end, but the eyes bored into him with unending malice.

Devon awoke to the sound of the beast’s cry. The house was not rattling, but Devon sensed that the creature was nearby. He peeked out the window and saw the beast burrowing near the edge of the woods. Grabbing his hunting rifle, Devon marched out to put a bullet in the abomination’s brain.

As Devon exited the house, the beast turned its attention to him. It hissed like the roar of a mighty wind. Devon took aim at its lowered head and fired. A bullet smashed into one of those damnable eyes. Devon couldn’t contain his smile at seeing the awful eye go out in a gush of mucous and brain matter. The beast staggered for a moment before collapsing.

Devon lowered the rifle and walked towards the pit the beast had dug. There seemed to be something hidden underneath the loose dirt. He brushed the soil away to see three large, milky white spheres. It took a moment for Devon to recognize them as eggs.

He almost smashed them right there, but something inside told him not to. He knelt down and felt one of the eggs. It was cool and slimy to the touch. He lifted his hand from it and a thick mucous covered his palm. He cringed and wiped the goo on his pant leg. The beast still laid there in the dirt, but Devon couldn’t help but go over to see if it was truly dead.

Feeling on its, or her, chest, Devon found no signs of heartbeat or breathing. He walked over to the beast’s resting head and looked at its destroyed eye socket. He grimaced when he saw the intact eye, but something in him bubbled up. He felt sympathy for the thing. Even if it was a horrible sight to behold, it was still a creature of the forest. Had he any right to kill it with fear as his only rationale?

That night, Devon tried to call his mother for the first time in years. He received no reply. It figured, he thought, that she’d have moved out or switched her phone number by now. For the first time since he moved into the woods, a sense of loneliness overcame him. Maybe it was because his nerves had been worn by his encounter with the creature. However, he felt that, while that was part of it, something else was also at play. Perhaps, he thought, his eyes had finally been opened to just how isolated he actually was.

Days went by without any further incident. Devon cleaned his house top to bottom, and it now looked as good as it had, if not better. The beast’s body still laid at the wood’s edge, missing chunks of flesh where wolves and other scavengers had picked at it. The eggs, however, laid unperturbed. Devon believed that it was the scent of sulfur that they’d started to reek of that kept the wild animals at bay.

One morning, when Devon went to try and chop apart the beast and finally be rid of it, a soft cooing sounded from the hole in the ground. Devon wasn’t sure if he was up to the task of confronting the infant beasts, but he approached the hole nonetheless. He kept his axe steady as he looked into the hole. Three infant beasts scampered about the dirt. They almost resembled baby turtles in their movements and posture. However, they still possessed the long neck and pterodactyl-esque body shape of their mother.

They scampered up to Devon, mouths wide open as if expecting a treat. Devon tried to lift the axe over his head, but he couldn’t bring himself to slay such helpless creatures. He went inside and brought out a package of ground beef. Dangling a chunk of beef over one of the baby beasts, it snapped up and devoured the morsel. He fed all three in this manner until he ran out of meat. They yipped happily before retreating into the dirt.

Devon looked back at the slain beast, and then at the infant beasts. He knelt down to the hole and watched as the babies slept.

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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Grimey Drawer

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