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  • Locked thread
Feb 3, 2011

Wangless Wonder posted:

bowing out, in for next one w/ toxx

same. :toxx:


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Unrefined Tactics
WC: 1300

Archive Link

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 03:57 on May 23, 2015

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First
Ethan Eternal - 1239 Words

Ethan sat at the bar, the stench of stale beer hung in the air. He needed to pee but he held it in. It was busy and he didn't want to lose his seat, plus he knew once he broke the seal he’d need to piss every half hour. He’d come to Roanoke a week ago looking for John Jarvis but had no luck. Now he sat in the dreary, little bar sucking down bottle after bottle of Budweiser.

One of the regular barflies sitting next to Ethan recognized him as being new to town.

“I think I only seen you in here for the last week or so. What brings you to Roanoke Island?” the man asked, his voice was throaty like a pack-a-day smoker’s.

“Looking for someone I haven’t seen in a while.” replied Ethan

“An old friend?” the man asked leaning in.

“Something like that.”

“So an old enemy? Whatchya gonna do? Kill ‘im?” the man laughed then coughed up some phlegm then spat into an ashtray.

“You seem to think you know a lot. For a stranger in a bar.” Ethan didn't feel like answering the man’s questions, he gripped his bottle of beer a little tighter. In a thirty second conversation the man had figured out too much of what Ethan was thinking. Not that he'd decided on killing John Jarvis if he ever found him. Ethan didn't believe it was in him to murder a man.

“The name’s Stan Cifer, people round here just call me Lucky."

The man apparently got the hint and held his hand out as an introduction and a peace offering. Ethan gave his name in return and shook Lucky’s hand, it was was rough and leathery like grabbing a handful of beef jerky.

“Why Lucky?” Ethan asked.

“Took a big fall a few years back, drat near killed me, but here I am.” Lucky smirked like he was sharing a secret with himself. Ethan though he saw a glimmer of gold tooth in the dim bar lights. He noticed an Airborne service tattoo slip out from under the short sleeve of the Lucky’s stained red polo shirt.

“You served?” Ethan asked.

“Yeah spent some time in the Middle East, got in a fight with my superior officer. That oval office. Dishonorably discharged.” he stated matter-of-factly. “Now I don’t serve no-one but me and my friends.”

“Fair enough.” Ethan replied, mostly because he couldn't think of how else to reply to Lucky’s story.


Ethan walked, with heavy drunken footfalls, back to the hotel. He’d tried to keep up with Lucky, beer for beer. A foolish decision. He stopped at a 7-11 and grabbed a bottle of water and some aspirin for the headache he was expecting the next day. Crumpling the receipt into his pocket he staggered on until he reached his temporary home.

As he tried to sleep his mind raced, he remembered the night of the accident.
The night a man too drunk to drive ran a red light and slammed into the passenger side of Ethan’s minivan at an intersection. His legs were pinned and he tasted blood, he did his best to rouse his wife beside him and his child in the booster seat.
They were dead.

The drunk was John Jarvis, he skipped town after he made bail and no-one had found him. It was Ethan who had quite coincidentally located Jarvis.

He had fallen asleep on the couch the week prior and rolled onto the remote. The television flickered on and the volume blared rousing Ethan from his slumber. He sat up slowly, the illumination from the screen cut through the dark room and hurt his waking eyes forcing him to squint. The broadcast was some fishing show and the presenter was interviewing people in North Carolina who were preparing for something called the Pirate’s Cove Bill-fish Tournament. That was when Ethan saw him. There was no mistaking the face of John Jarvis, he was being interviewed about the business the fishing competition would bring to Roanoke. The subtitle below only read ‘Business Owner’ there was no name.

Ethan had spent the last week going from business to business on Roanoke trying to find the man but no-one knew John Jarvis, at least not by that name.

Waking the following morning Ethan was grateful he had the foresight to buy the bottle of aspirin the night before, he reached into his jacket pocket as it lay crumpled on the bed and pulled the little plastic bottle out. The receipt dropped onto the floor.

“What the gently caress?” he murmured aloud. Scrawled on the back of the receipt was a short message:

When you find him. Let me know if you can’t do it.
Call 919 623 450 and ask for the manager.
P.S. Hatteras

Had Lucky gone to the 7-11 with Ethan? He tried to recall the night. He was certain he’d been alone. Ethan didn't waste any time, he jumped into his car and drove along the outer banks towards Hatteras Island. He was tired when he pulled up in front of the the little cafe, still reeling from the bizarre message left by Lucky and the last dregs of the hangover had yet to clear off. Ethan decided this was a good place to rest. He went inside and sat down with a newspaper, coffee and a pen to do the crossword.

Four down, take someones life (6 letter).
Ethan filled in murder.

Three across, male form of her (3 letters).

Seven across, Satan, The Devil, Beelzebub (7 letters).

The sound of plates crashing to the ground across the cafe broke Ethan's concentration. He looked up from the macabre crossword and saw the waitress being yelled at by the manager who turned and apologized to Ethan, the only customer.

“Sorry about the noise sir” he said politely.

Ethan froze. There was John Jarvis, looking him in the eye, apologizing to him. His heart raced and his hands shook. Jarvis clearly didn't recognize Ethan.
“N-No Problem” Ethan stuttered.
He looked down at his crossword.

Seven down, born under a _____ star (5 letters).

Ethan left five dollars for the coffee and tip on the table and walked outside briskly. His stomach turned. He braced himself against the car and puked. Ethan drove home shaking, only stopping for fuel on the way back to Philadelphia, the receipt was still in his pocket. Questions were spinning through his mind like a carousel.
Was Lucky really Satan? Why did he want Jarvis dead? What would he want from Ethan in return?

Ethan got home and went to bed. Determined to wake up and pretend the entire previous week had all been a dream.
The next morning Ethan walked cautiously to the kitchen. He was still scared and bewildered. As he opened the refrigerator he noticed the crumpled receipt pinned to the freezer door with a magnet. Had Ethan done that?

Ethan stood idle. He was in a staring competition with the little scrap of paper. He glanced to the house phone sitting in its cradle. Then he looked a at the gas stove.
I could burn it the note he thought, looking back to the telephone. What if I called the cops and told them where Jarvis is?

The refrigerator started to emit a high pitched beep. The door had been open too long.

Ethan grabbed the note down from the freezer door.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006

Illegal Hen
Gorelord In Love 1173 words

Alexander Gorelord raised a mailed fist into the air and let loose a guttural roar. Around him: chaos, noise, the flailing of bodies, long hair swinging windmills. The band kicked into the final section of Bloodmuscle Atrophy and the audience surged forward, a sea of sweaty bodies pulsating as one. A cluster of outstretched hands grew out of the biomass, shot out towards Gorelord, reaching up as if he was their saviour. He knelt down, microphone in hand, roared again. The hands ran themselves over his body, touching him, and their owners - a throng of goth girls, no older than twenty by the looks of it - shrieked in delight.

“I hope Janet isn’t watching,” Alexander thought, “or I’m going to cop it.”

He shot a look to the side of the stage, where his girlfriend would be standing, but Mister Misery was wailing on his guitar and blocking the view with flailing dark robes and spinning hair.

“I love you!”, one of the goths screamed.

“I really hope Janet didn’t hear that,” he thought, imagined her face scrunched in disapproval like a loofah, screamed: “Bloodmuscle Atrophy Me!”


Alexander could see Mister Misery chatting with their bass player, Impalus, at the end of the bar. They both had furrowed eyebrows and a conspiratorial look, so his ears were burning. He stirred his diet coke with a pink straw and tried hard not to look at Janet.

“I just worry about you, Al” she was saying, holding one of his hand with both of hers, fingernails expertly manicured. “You’re not twenty anymore. You've gained 5 kilos on your last tour and that hacking cough still hasn’t stopped. Did you remember to wear earplugs on stage?”

“Of course,” he replied and stared at her bright red fingernails.. She sure was something, he thought. Strawberry blonde hair, a sharp intelligent face, plump red lips, right out of the cover of a magaizne. He looked down at himself: his belly was threatening to burst out of the leather vest and flop on the table like haggis for a feast.

“I’m going to be serious about this, darling” she was saying. “Cut your tour short, because I don’t pay your health insurance for nothing, and Doctor Whitehouse has said more than once…” and there was more, but Alexander tuned her out and looked back to his bandmates. Impalus was at the bar, chatting up the bartender. Misery was walking this way.

“Yo, Gorelord,” Mister Misery said when he reached them. “Some guys from Roadrunner Records is here, sinking bongs on the roof. I think one of them’s the record exec. We’ve gotta talk to him, man.”

Alexander tried to reply, but something stuck in his throat and he collapsed into a fit of throaty wet coughing.

“His name’s not loving Gorelord” Janet said. “And I don’t think he’ll be sinking any bongs on any roofs.”

Not-Gorelord sighed and took a sip from his straw.


It was three am. Janet had finally gone home, since she had a meeting with shareholders at 8am the next day. The crew was still partying so he loader his gear out himself. He could hear strains of music coming from above him, a din of voices melding into one, constant in volume, broken occasionally by a gunshot laugh. He stood alone in the back dock of the club and rolled a cigarette. If he brushed his teeth before he crawled into Janet’s bed later, she probably wouldn’t smell it.

The click of his lighter, and in response, a woman’s voice: “Hey.”

He turned around. She was young, all in black, blue lipstick and just enough eye shadow. She might’ve been one of the goths in the front row, from before but he wasn’t sure.

“Good show”, she said.

It was, so he agreed.

“Dragging your own poo poo into the van? Don’t you have crew for that?”

He smiled and shrugged.

“Can I help with anything?”

She couldn’t, Alexander insisted, and he did have to get back inside, but she was nice so he stuck around for a quick chat. One cigarette turned into three, turned into a joint. Her name was Mercy, last name Killer, not by birth. They talked and talked, turned time into an etch-a-sketch, shook it clean. Gorelord found himself leaning against the van, Mercy Killer’s hands on his shoulder and his own hand on her waist, bent over laughing at something she’d said - or was it him? Some still-sober part of him began a high-pitched whine, a kettle boiling in the kitchen out at the back of his brain. She stopped laughing, looked right into his eyes, put a hand on his belly. He knew he had to do something, but he couldn’t quite decide what.

His phone announced an SMS. She didn’t drop her gaze.

He counted to three, resolved to lean forward. Mercy closed her eyes.

The phone rang.

Alexander jumped away as if scalded by hot water. He went to fish the Nokia out of his leather pants, but they were too tight, so by the time he achieved success, it had beeped through Enter Sandman twice and had gone silent. He looked up from “Missed Call: Janet” to see Mercy walking away.

The door to the venue swung open and spat out Mister Mistery.

“Oh, hey” he said. “Gorelord, this is Mercy Killer, from Roadrunner Records. She’s the record executive, here to check us out. Mercy, I see you’ve met Alexander. Everything cool?”

“Yea.” she said. Alexander couldn’t quite read her facial expression. The phone in his hand began to ring again, so he picked up.

“Hi baby. Yea. No, I’m sorry. I know. Sorry. Sure. See you soon. I love you too.”

Mercy's hands were folded across her chest, fingers drumming on the elbow. Her head was cocked and her mouth was twisted into a mean smile. In the dim moonlight she looked like a viper ready to strike.

“I gotta hit the road, guys.” he said. “I’m going out the front to call a cab.” He was going to say more, but he collapsed into a hacking cough, and once it was over he’d decided against it.

Misery nodded a goodbye, lit a cigarette. One appeared in Mercy’s mouth, so Misery lit that too.

Alexander walked back inside, made his way through the near-empty venue, the floor sticky with beer and tugging on his shoes. Impalus and the bartender, a pale tattooed guy, were kissing behind the bar.

“Hey, dude!” Impalus called to him as he passed. “Chat to that Mercy lady? Think we might get signed?”

“Dunno,” Alexander said. He realised his ears were ringing, still ringing, had been ringing since he got off stage, an uncomfortable din that had wormed its way into his head and set up shop, a parasite along for the ride. He raised a hand goodbye without turning around. His phone was still clenched in the other hand, so he hit Unlock, and New Message, and: ‘sorry for stayin out so late babe. see u soon. love u’

May 7, 2007
Tapes 1151 words

I was struggling to sleep even with the double dose of melatonin when the phone rang. I wouldn't have bothered to answer but it was Dustin.

“Hello? Dustin you there?”

“poo poo, this was a mistake.” His voice sounded hoarse and scratchy like he had been choking on something.

“You alright?”

“No, I’m fine. Forget I called.” He hung up.

I rolled out of bed and swiped the car keys off the dresser.

The highway lanes were blurring together from the downpour. Not that it mattered; it was late and I seemed to be the only one on the road. I yawned as I pumped the brakes to make sure the car wasn't hydroplaning.

I pulled into Dustin's driveway a quarter past two. The garage door was open and I could see him sitting in his truck with a black hose taped to the tailpipe. It looked like a long black snake curling into the passenger window.

I jumped out of my car almost before I threw it in park and dashed to Dustin's truck. His engine wasn't running and the drivers window was cracked. Dustin pressed his glasses to his nose and looked at me with swollen red eyes.

"You didn't need to drive all the way out here again," he said and wiped his runny nose with a blue handkerchief.

"You know I'm jealous of all the peace and quiet you have. Can't get that in the city."

The loud buzzing of the cicadas disproved my point but Dustin smiled anyway. He coughed and said, "I was really going to do it this time."

"Glad you didn't." I said.

"Stacy made me sign the papers today." Dustin sunk back into the car seat.

"It's never easy. When Leah left me I saw it coming and it still loving hurt."

"Do you still think about her?" he asked.

"Of course."

"I don't think the urge will go away," Dustin said as he put his hand to his face.

"You gonna stay in there all night?"

Dustin thought about it for a moment before opening the door. I extended my hand to help him out.

He gripped my arm with a grimy hand, stepped out of the truck and grabbed his cane off the car seat.

"You want a beer?"

"Sure," I said and followed him inside.

A row of ceiling lamps lit up Dustin’s living room and the kitchen connected to it. He walked to the fridge. I sat down on the couch in front of his monster sized television making myself at home. He tossed me a can from behind the counter that I almost couldn't catch.

I thanked him and took a sip before I said my piece. "You need help from a professional."

His face soured, "They can't help me," he said and chased the remark with a swig of beer.

"Who’s they?"

"Just quacks in general man," he said.

"They helped me with Leah and Ashley. poo poo, suicide crossed my mind too. Doctor Eskay is good at his job. You don't want to hear it, but I have his card right here." I pulled my wallet out and looked for the card.

"You're right, I don't."

When I laid the business card on the glass coffee table I saw the tape in the reflection. In the middle of Dustin's huge VHS collection, the tape stood out with its bright pink text. Princess Lily.

"Where'd you get this tape?" I asked.

"Stacy's kid must of left it," Dustin said as he sliced through ham.

I must have seen the cartoon a dozen times with Ashley. One of her favorites. Ashley was so angry at me when I mistakenly recorded over the first ten minutes with Magnum P.I. She stayed up way past her bedtime to ambush me after work. Tears welled up in her eyes as she held up the tape.

"Daddy it wasn't nice."

I hugged her and told her Daddy was sorry for taping over her cartoon. She smiled and showed me a gold star sticker she put on the tape, "Daddy don't put the mustache man in my show again," she said.

I ran my finger down the creases on the thin cardboard case. It felt familiar. I slid the case off the tape revealing a faded gold star sticker with the edges curled.

"Why do you have this?"

Dustin froze. The color drained from his face. His mouth agape like he wanted to speak, but no words followed.

I put the tape into the player and the television screen came to life. My baby girl tied to a chair crying in a basement. Dustin walking into the frame with the same knife he sliced his ham with. Her crying turning to screams.

I vomited all over the rug, my stomach twisting in knots. I looked up and Dustin was gone from behind the counter along with the knife. The lights shut off and I was left alone with my baby being murdered on the screen behind me.

"You were her loving uncle!" I yelled down the hallway into the darkness.

"I'm sorry Luke," Dustin walked out from the hall with one hand on his cane and the other on a wavering knife, "I have these urges. It was a mistake, I know that now."

I couldn't make out a single word, as if he were talking to me underwater. All I could hear was my heart thumping in my chest as I tackled Dustin to the ground and the knife entered my side. I ignored the pain. I snatched his cane off the floor and forced it to his throat. He stopped twisting the knife and grabbed the cane trying to push it off his trachea. I had always been stronger than him, even with the knife in me. He tried to squeeze his last words past the cane, but it only resulted in saliva dribbling out the side of his mouth.

I rolled off him and stared at the ceiling. In the background I could hear a glitchy static noise of the tape cutting in and out of the T.V. I lay there ready to die when a sudden burst of trumpets accompanied by a familiar upbeat melody filled the room. With the help of Dustin’s cane I made it over to the couch. The cartoon Ashley loved reached its climax where Prince James saves Princess Lily from the dragon in the dungeon. As the credits rolled I called 911.

"Sir, what's your emergency?"

"It's my brother. He’s dead."

I hung up the phone.

They found five more tapes just like Princess Lily.

I used to spend every morning sitting on the front porch with my eyes on the school bus stop. I don't do that anymore. Now I drink my coffee in the backyard where Ashley used to have tea parties and run around playing with her imaginary friends.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet
Feeling Blue
1213 words

I was at the gym when I met the love of my life. There was a bright flash, the room was bathed in blue light, and there she stood, glowing. Ten feet high, her skin cerulean, her body toned, a goddess standing unclothed.

Every man and woman in the gym stood transfixed at the sight of this unearthly apparition. She shook her hair, twice, and opened her mouth.

“Um, hi.” She gave a little wave. “I just wanted to see what kind of gyms your planet had, ours are pretty boring but uh…”

She looked around, at each of us in turn, with me last. She shrugged one perfect shoulder, pushing the hair that lay on it behind her, and smirked.

“This place is way too tiny for me. Sorry to bother you, I’ll go back to my galaxy now.”

And she was gone.


The stars were beautiful tonight, as always. I moved away from the telescope and turned to my assistant.

“Any progress?”

“No,” he replied, “I just can’t figure this out. I don’t think we’ll ever go beyond our galaxy.”

I clapped him on the shoulder and gave him a wan smile, “Don’t give up, Martin. There’s more worlds out there than we could possibly imagine and I believe we’ll reach them one day.” I looked up towards the sky. “We must.”


I was sitting at my desk, poring over blueprints and technical documents, daydreaming about her, when Martin burst into the room.

“Paul, you gotta come see this!”

“What? Did you get the engine working?”

Martin shook his head and motioned for me to follow. I got up and he led me to a back room, one which I seldom visited.

“I’ve been doing a bit of work on the side here… I know it’s not supposed to be covered by the budget, but… look!”

He spread his arms out as if showing off a grand display, but the only thing in here was a square metal frame on the floor, with cables and wires leading from it to a console.

“Well?” I asked, curious.

He smirked and went to the console, flipping a switch. The frame hummed to life, and the space in the middle began wavering, as the air over the asphalt does during a heatwave.

“What is this, Martin?”

“Paul I… no, you just have to try. Here, put this harness on.”

Martin handed me a harness attached to a steel cable. I gave him a questioning look.

“Trust me.”

I shrugged, having no reason to doubt him. We’d been working together for 3 years now. I slipped into the harness and fastened it.

“Okay, now just sit on the edge of the frame and slowly lower yourself in. It’ll feel weird, but just go with it. Pull twice and I’ll reel you up.”

I did as he said and sat down on the edge. My feet went through the wavy area and down through the floor which should have stopped them. A slight tingling sensation went bone-deep around the area touching the fluctuating air. I let myself go further into the hole, until I was all the way through.

The air was cool on the other side. Above me was the frame, with the same oddly textured air. I look at my surroundings. It appeared to be an office, but everything was at odd angles, with weird colors. My eyes went wide at the sight of people staring at me. They were unlike anyone I’d ever seen before; a deep emerald skin tone, hair like single-minded tentacles, bringing to mind Medusa. They were off-putting, but not repulsive. I gave a little wave, at a loss for anything else.

“Er… hi.”

They were as surprised by me as I was by them. I carefully raised my hand to the cable and pulled twice. The cable retracted, pulling me back up as I stared back at the alien office workers in silence.

On the other side, Martin was grinning. “What do you think of my gate?”


Martin reeled me back out of the gate and questioned me with his eyes. I shook my head.

“Another empty world,” I said.

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “We’ll find her eventually, Paul.”

I sighed and gave him a weak smile.


I rubbed my tired eyes, trying to wake myself up. I’d looked at myself in the mirror before leaving and the pits under them appeared to be deepening by the day. I gave my head a vigorous shake and stood up straighter.

“We are here today to commend Paul Firth and Martin Hurt for their outstanding invention and discovery of alien worlds…”

I zoned out as the presenter lauded them. I didn’t feel like I had achieved anything, certainly not what I had set out to do all those years ago.

Martin elbowed me and whispered, “Come on, Paul. Look alive for this at least.”

I blinked once, hard, and wiped some tears away before they could roll down my cheeks. I had to get some sleep.


I stood in front of the gate. I’d been up all night again, just trying series of coordinates, popping in and out, only staying long enough to ascertain that I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I punched in another set of coordinates, simply increasing the current ones by a few degrees. I lowered myself into the gate once more…

… and came to a world of brilliant blue. In fact, I was in a gym, the various devices towering above me. I felt the familiar goggling of eyes on me, routine at this point after so many intrusive appearances in distant worlds.

And there she was.

I looked into her eyes and noticed a glimmer of recognition.

“Oh, you’re one of those pink people, I think I’ve met you before, haven’t I? When I was looking for a gym last galactyear?” she asked.

“Y- yes! I’ve worked so hard to find you, I just had to tell you… you’re the most beautiful being I’ve ever seen.”

“Oh, well. I’m sorry, but I’m already in a relationship. And I don’t think we’re… physically compatible.”

My face fell. After all these years, to be turned away in such a short time… I did not have the heart to plead. I activated the motorized pulley and let it drag me back through the gate.

“Sorry, I guess!” were the last words I heard from her.


I sat next to the smashed gate controls, hiding my face in my hands, wallowing in self-pity. I thought about all the years I wasted on this fool’s venture.

I heard a soft cutting sound behind me, like sharp scissors sliding through silk. I raised my head and turned around. The room was split in midair, as if reality was only a pair of curtains that had been pulled apart. A viridian glow poured out from the hole and standing in front of it was one of those emerald-skinned creatures, her hair tentacles twisting around each other.

“Um, hi,” she said, a shy smile spreading across her lips. “I don’t know if you remember me, but you showed up in our world a few years ago and I’ve been trying to track you down since…”

May 23, 2008

SA Thunderdome Entry “The Virtual Folks Blues” by madpanda 4/14/2015

Every morning I wake up…and put on my mask.

Word Count Target: 1300. Word Count Actual:1311
Entries Close: Midnight EST on Friday, April 17
Submissions Close: Midnight EST on Sunday, April 19

I turn my computer on, and finish a cold pizza breakfast while it boots. The new dungeon opens tonight and I plan on spending the next 24 hours leveling and looting. I start the game and am greeted by a familiar face. That ugly, pre-expansion model, dwarf. Harbinger of server downtime. His apologetic shrug and stupid helmet pisses me off each time.

“World Server down for maintenance. We do not have an eta.”

I make sure the server status app on my phone is functional. Then I notice another voicemail from dad. He has been distant for a few years. I was at school when he found her, in the garage. Sitting in that station wagon they just paid off, with the windows rolled up. Wikipedia defines it as Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Mom didn’t leave a note.

A few weeks after, he signed over my trust fund. I could get by without working, but not by much. I took a break from college. Dad started drinking. He left a voicemail, two weeks? No, it was more like three weeks ago. I’ve been busy with the new game content. I decide to give him a call.

“Hi Brandon, it’s good hear your voice” he says
“What’s up dad?” I reply.
“You never call, did my son meet someone? I could use a few grand kids” he says with a tired chuckle.
“No dad, just busy” I say.
“Did you get a chance to read those college brochures I sent?” he asks
“Dad, i’ll have a developer job by new years. Might even be working on the next expansion pack” I reply.

“Have you been playing that game again?” he asks
“Only a little dad, don’t worry about it” I say
“That trust money was for making your life easier… while getting over Mom...not to avoid living..” he trails off.

“Lets meet for dinner soon” he says.
“I’ll be over Sunday” nobody raids then anyways.
“I love you son” he gets out before I hang up.

The trust ran out about 6 months ago. I’ve been working delivery jobs and using credit cards.

Server comes up two hours later. I’m the first in guild to login. My new computer is lightning fast, it’s the same model world ranked Arch-mage Cha0sph1re uses. My new credit card gives in-game rewards, so the computer pays for itself really.

I head toward tonights dungeon, through the molten caverns, and the swamp of eternal dusk. I avoid some of the dangerous monsters out of habit. When I was level 53, the ash gargoyles and shadow strikers annihilated me. I have raid gear now, it’s just easier to avoid them.

I arrive just as our guilds A team logs on. KingKrunk the half-ogre Berserker, who I met at level fifteen. Walking down the road in Lumberdale, I noticed a troll overwhelmed by molekin. I had a quest for molekin ears so I jumped in. He sent me a group invite and the rest is history.

Fantomas a kobold Rogue has been in guild for two years now. Decent player, doesn’t study his class much. He lives in Germany which is cool.

Holyroller is a human smite priest. He has also been banned several times for running gambling scams.And offensive character names, often themed around bodily functions of pop stars.

I play an elven Arch-mage. Which is highly effective race/class combination for raiding. I spend a lot of free time studying the best spell rotations, armor enhancements, and combat theories for this class.

Casting astral leash teleports the missing group members to my location at the dungeon entrance. We buff up and embark. The walls inside use a new texture, polished prismstone. A pale blue flicker of energy darts through them. The ground glitters like untouched snow.

The game fills our last roster slot with a random player. Class doesn’t matter, as long as they don’t actively sabotage us. A planar arch-mage materializes. Planars are a race of elementals without an affinity. They can choose one at level 100, after doing an epic quest. .

Group chat lights up.

Zhek:“Greetings fellow waywards, I am Zhek of the Ethereal Ronin.”
I’ve played an arch-mage for years and haven’t heard of this guy. Hope he doesn’t take my loot.
Zhek:“i prefer shattering resolve and rending minds. Though, Planars are flexible by nature”
Zhek:“I like debuff/crowd control, can spec change”
Me:”ok whatever, lets roll”

Krunk moves down the right hallway and is stopped by a hovering barrier of crystal shards. Densely packed with a symbol floating inside. Three red concentric circles. We return to the intersection and go left. This leads us a to room inhabited by two construct bruisers, and a large mechanical pillar.

Krunk charges in, raining down axe blows and generating aggro. Zhek casts lockdown on the pillar while Holyroller sets up a sanctuary zone. I let loose a flurry of arcane destruction. Fantomas maneuvers out of area attacks, exploiting vulnerabilities with his new dagger. Both constructs die just as the pillar activates. Its three sections rotate independently, firing magical artillery everywhere. We take minimal damage, and prevail with surprising haste.

Holyroller:”goddam Zhek you do some beastly damage”
Fantomas:”oh wow what is your build?”

Zhek uses the polite bow emote. I scour fight logs for an explanation. How could this guy be beating me by 25%? Our gear is nearly the same.

Me:”Zhek you cheating?”
Zhek:”whatever do you mean?”

Me:”How is your damage that high, is it a bugged spell or an item? share dude. Like when you could quad-cast meteor whirl if it was keybound to caps-lock
Me:”Unless you are cheating, I don’t see how you could be beating me on the damage meters”

Zhek:”Out-of-character: I am not cheating, However I am insulted. This is just a game I play for fun, can we chill out and continue?”

KingKrunk:”yea let all relax”
Holyroller:”afk beer”
Me:”fine whatever, lets go when he gets back”

The run finishes without incident, he continues to beat me, I log off without saying anything.

Skype rings, it’s Krunk.

“Dude you ok, what was that about?” he asks.

“I get serious about my damage.” I say.

“Uh , yea i get that, but this is a game dude. If you are getting this upset, it might be time to take a break. Ten hours a day will burn anyone out” he says.

“Do you want me to quit the guild? So Zhek can replace me for raids?” I ask.

“What? No Brandon, enough about games, talk to me as a friend, what’s wrong?” he asks.

I tell him about everything. How I dropped out of college, playing the game all night, moms suicide, credit cards. He convinces me to talk with my dad and afterward, Fantomas. A few years back Fantomas offered to show me around Germany.

Over dinner that weekend I open up to my dad about it. We have a few beers, well I have a few beers, he is trying life sober for a while. I tell him about Germany, and he is a bit hesitant. I don’t blame him; I squandered that trust money.

He asks for access to my game account, so he could monitor my playtime through a website. I go through scenarios in my head, he could delete my characters, or disband the guild. I blurt out my concerns. His face becomes a bit more pale than usual, and he says something I will never forget.

“Son, you didn’t get that upset when Mom died..” he says
“She used to talk the same way about those goddamned slot machines…”

I spent the next week at his place, Only logging in to leave a guild note, saying I would be taking a break. On Friday I boarded a plane bound for Germany.


How do I keep the formatting from making GBS threads itself when pasting from google docs to SA?

Jan 11, 2014

Circle of Lies
(733 words)

December 25, 1994

‘But, Dad! I asked Santa for a Playstation’.

Junior was standing over a pile of wrapping paper holding onto one of Encyclopaedia Britannica volumes. He didn’t want to cry just yet – maybe his real present was in another room, but his face turned red just in case.

‘Sometimes Santa gives presents that he knows are better for children’, said Oscar, Junior’s father, without looking away from his morning paper.

Junior threw the book at the wall with all his strength. Finally, he let the tears do the talking.

‘Such behaviour won’t be tolerated, young man’, said Oscar in a stern voice, ‘Maybe it’s time for you to learn there’s no Father Christmas. You get presents from your parents and you should be grateful for whatever you get.’

Junior tried to cry louder and louder to drown out his father’s words, but he still could hear them. It wasn’t like he never suspected that Santa wasn’t real, but it was the first time he heard his father admitting to a lie. With that sad realisation Junior went to his room and locked the door.

‘That was a tad harsh, wasn’t it?’, asked Anna, the boy’s mother.

‘I had my share of presents like that that I grew to like later. Just give him some time, he’ll wisen up.’

June 7, 1997

‘I’m adopted? Why did you lie to me all this time?’

February 10, 1999

‘Alright, Son. This is bound to be as embarrassing for me as it will be for you.’

Oscar was sitting on Junior’s bed, fidgeting, with a sex ed brochure beside him.

‘Oscar, they teach us these things in school, okay? I don’t know what Anna’s told you, but it’s completely normal for a boy of my age to…’

‘Your mother’s just thought it would be good for us to have this talk. ’

‘That’s alright, Oscar, I’ll tell her we did.’

‘Good. One piece of advice from me, though. Your mother is a kind and caring woman, she’s intelligent and understanding. Without her I don’t know what kind of man I would be, and though you’re very reluctant to admit it, she’s brought you up as only a real mother could. You will meet many girls in your life, but make sure always to look for someone like your mother, someone who can form you as a person. Please remember that. Have I ever told you how I met your mother, by the way?’

‘Millions of times, Oscar, and I don’t want to hear it again. You didn’t lie about the embarrassment, I’ll give you that. Can I get back to reading now?’

‘Just promise you’ll remember.’

‘I’ll remember, Oscar. And you don’t forget to take that brochure with you’, Junior murmured and dove back into his encyclopaedia.

August 1, 2004
‘This college is perfect if you want to be a serious scientist like myself, Son, and I don’t want to hear any different from you.’

‘Maybe I don’t want to be like you, Oscar. Have you ever considered this?’

‘I’m afraid you don’t have any choice, Son. It’s settled.’

January 25, 2011

‘Son, it’s Dad. I know I haven’t called in a while, but I’ve heard about your project and I want you to know that I can help with the final equation. I’ve send you some experimental data of my own. Call me back when you’re ready. This is as important to me as it is to you. Oh, and say hello to your mum.’

April 17, 2016

An improvised lab came to life. Father and son made final preparations in their cellar for the experiment they didn’t have any formal approval for. Junior stood in a tightly sealed vat filled with a mix of ionised gases while Oscar adjusted settings on the control panel.

‘I’m ready, Dad. See you in thirty minutes.’

Oscar pressed the button and a blinding flash of light from the vat brightened the room for a brief moment. The vat was now empty. Oscar glanced at the monitor where hundreds of different parameters were rapidly changing and only one stayed the same. The date was set to April 17, 1986. One final lie to himself for Oscar.

April 17, 1986

‘I swear to God, you’re going to have a difficult childhood, Dad’, said Oscar and wandered off to the park where he was about to meet his future wife.

Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

One Thousand Wrapping-Paper Cranes
(1,010 words)

After my sister opened her birthday gift and waxed rhapsodic over the perfume I'd given her, the wrapping paper lay on the floor by her knee, a colorful shell momentarily forgotten. My fingers dented its contours as I picked it up. One good crumple would have ruined it, but Cherry stopped me with her tsk of protest. She plucked the paper out of my hand and smoothed out the damage.

Garlands of origami cranes hung on the walls of her cramped living room; above our heads, they swayed in the breeze of the fan, hundreds of birds with violets and party hats and Santa Claus on their triangular wings.

"Don't you have enough?" I asked.

Cherry laughed. "You can't have enough luck." She snagged scissors from the mess of junk on the coffee table and snipped out a flat paper square. I'd chosen a dull, solid red, but it seemed that didn't matter.

I said, "Luck hasn't gotten you a better job yet. Or Gabe a real one." I pulled on the damp collar of my blouse. No fan could beat back the Georgia summer. "Will the cranes bring you a house with air conditioning?" Or a man who isn't a burden on you?

My sister dropped the scissors into her lap. "You're a guest in our home," she said quietly, as though she'd heard the question I hadn't spoken aloud--this time.

I looked away. "You're right. I'm sorry."

Sometimes I imagined a leak in the roof, a flood, or a fire ruining all her talismans, but I couldn't believe their loss would stop her from counting too much on fortune.

Cherry's smile returned in full when Gabe came home, hours later, reeking of fry grease and holding a sack of burgers. The fold-out card table in the kitchen barely held three plates, much less the birthday cake. I held it and sang with Gabe, without looking at him, while Cherry blew out her candles.

In the guest room I took a sleeping pill and lay down on clean sheets. Cherry's cockatiels chirped at each other in their cage near the high, small window. On the edge of sleep, the rustling of their wings sounded like paper on paper.


Once, in high school, my sister and I went to a party. I'd studied two weeks for a math exam, scored a 94, and floated in a cloud of delight. Cherry had gotten a B in chemistry and wore her relief like a warm coat. Her lucky bracelet glittered on her wrist.

There was a girl--I've forgotten her name. She swept by when Cherry and I were grabbing punch. Cherry scowled; she took the punch cup out of my hand and gulped half of it down.

"I wish she'd trip," she said. "I wish she'd break her nose and get blood all over her shirt."

"What did she do?"

"She told Matt I slept with Paul. And Joshua... and Ryan. At the same time."

"He believed her?"

"No, but I was mad he asked and--it was a stupid fight, but--"

Given that the girl had found Matt in the crowd and they were talking and laughing, I could piece together the rest. I poured a second cup of punch. "I'll be right back."

I crossed the room to where the girl and Matt stood and threw the drink over the front of her blouse. "You're a bitch," I told her. To Matt, I said, "You're an idiot."

Cherry, giggling, sat with me on the curb after they threw me out of the house. "You really did that, Van!"

"I don't count on luck when something matters--I go for it." I nudged her side with my elbow. "You should, too."


Later I'd learn that the fire had started in the walls. A circuit breaker had failed. At the time I only knew a large hand was on my shoulder, shaking me awake. "Vanessa, come on--" I gasped in air and choked on the stench of smoke while the cockatiels shrieked. Gabe hauled me up and bent to pick up my purse, then shoved the strap into my hand. "Gotta get out of here!"


"She's okay, she's already out! Now you!"

Gabe pushed me toward the door. I ran, stumbling. Through the living room: the cranes burned, Santa and his reindeer crumbling to ash and ember, and their disintegrating bodies were bright beyond my imaginings. Gabe grabbed my arm to keep me steady, then let me go--the night outside of the house was beautifully dark.

My sister stood in the street with strangers around her. Sirens shrilled, still far away. Cherry seized my hands when I reached her, but her eyes were on someone else. "Gabe!"

I turned around. He was still in the house, moving away from us. "The birds!" he yelled, and then he was out of sight.

"Oh, God--"

One of the strangers, the neighbors, said, "The trucks are coming, hon. They'll be here in a minute."

I squeezed Cherry's fingers. "He'll be all right. He'll be fine."

She threw me a wild, incredulous look. Something inside the house collapsed with a crash; fire bloomed through a shattered window. Cherry tore herself free of my grip and pelted toward the flames and her man, ignoring my scream. Another neighbor caught my arm to keep me from following.

I didn't breathe while I couldn't see them.

But Gabe and Cherry came back out again, his arms full of bird cage, her hand around his wrist. The light of the approaching fire engine turned their pale faces red.

I shook off the neighbor's hold and ran to meet them. Gabe set the birds down, still alive, still squawking, to wrap Cherry and me in a hug that smelled of fry grease, soot, and sweat. We all held each other so tightly it hurt. "It's okay," Gabe said. "We're all okay."

I was. They were. And I blessed my sister's luck as her cranes flew on smoke wings.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
1287 words

I want to blow out my birthday candles, but I can’t stop crying.

I’m nine years old, and my parents are watching me with smiling faces and gleaming candlelit eyes as the tears run down my cheeks. “Make a wish, Ryan,” my mom says, her voice clear and bright. Neither of their faces ever change. My three-year-old brother Alex is somewhere under the dinner table, rolling his Matchbox cars over the rough ridges in the wood kitchen floor.

My breath rushes out of my throat in sobs as I blow away the light. I could wish as hard as I wanted for what I already had, but I know it won’t come back.

A lot of people with severe depression will tell you that it’s not that they want to die, that that’s not how they picture it. They want to disappear instead. Just in a simple, fluid motion, now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t. Flick of the switch, flick of the wrist, sick of this poo poo. A snuffing, a smothering, a simple blinking out of existence.

That was how part of me wanted it to happen, the side of my sickness I showed to people who knew. But there was another part of me that wanted to stay around after it was all over, that wanted to sit in the front pew and see who else showed up to pay their respects, see how much destruction I had wrought, how much pain my absence had caused them, how much they were carrying inside themselves.

That was what I wanted. But that’s not what death gives you. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

It’s an incomparable experience, to look up at your mother for the first time as she holds you in her arms, your barely-formed eyes shying away from the fluorescent whiteness of your first few minutes of life. To look into her face, flushed with recognition and warmth, and have your first ever thought be “You’re going to bury me someday, and it will be my fault.”

When I was six again, I climbed up on a kitchen chair and grabbed the big blue canister of VitaBalls from the cabinet over the refrigerator. I popped them in my mouth one at a time, in rainbow order, red, green, blue, purple, then back to red, until there were twenty four of them in my mouth, melded together in a lump of choking bubble gum that I had to chew like my mouth was high-stepping through quicksand, until all of the sickly sweetness was gone. Then I took a bottle from the lower cabinet next to the spice rack, one that said Marsala in spiderweb-thin cursive and was filled with what looked like unfinished blood. I drank straight from it until half of it was gone and I thought I had done enough. Then I put the bottle back, clawed the grey mess of gum out of my mouth and into the garbage can, stumbled upstairs to my bedroom, and rested my pillow over my face. I went to sleep wondering what Heaven would be like, while the sun glinted off the frozen Lake Huron and shone through my bedroom window.

Instead, I had the first of the dreams.

I woke up screaming, nonsense words flying drunkenly out of my mouth as red light burned behind my eyes. My mom walked in and just held me, a light smile on her face that never cracked.

Growing up again, it was like I was a character in a movie I could only watch. I could say anything I wanted, make as little sense as I wanted, and none of it would make any difference. The expressions of the people around me would only change when they needed to. Every trip, every lost tooth, every report card, every Christmas present, had all been choreographed by the steadiest hand years ago.

I sat on the front porch of my parents’ house every autumn, watching the water swell and ripple against the lake shore, and all I wanted to know was what came next, and when there would be no next. The script had already been written. I just knew why it would end. But not how it would end.

The only time the walls flew apart and I could see into my old life was when I dreamed. But most of the dreams gave me nightmares.

It was the movie I lived, but everything was wrong. Everything I saw surged in and out-of-focus at electric speed. Moments I remembered stretched themselves into wide fun-house angles, dripped across my vision, bubbled like an overexposed negative. The light shone in bizarre directions, like it came from the corners of the rooms I grew up in, or blazed up from under the floorboards, dark red light like something that took a long time to burn away.

And I could always hear the words. Voices, repeating things I had heard in my old life, now warped and slurred and pitched up or down by countless octaves. Way to go. Happy birthday. You did it. Over and over and over again until I woke up.

But I had such beautiful dreams, too. Those weren’t adventurous dreams, though—they were always calm, relaxing. Floating through space and trailing my fingers through comet dust. Lying down on a moving sidewalk in the middle of the Vegas Strip and watching all the lights dance above my head. The best was just treading water in the middle of the ocean, looking up at a blank slate sky, the water cold enough to numb everything from the neck down, and knowing that the only thing I had to do was take another breath. That everything would be alright if I didn’t make any waves, if I just stayed perfectly still, perfectly still, perfectly still.

The sky was bright blue the morning of my second sixteenth birthday, and I still had no clue.

It was late March, and I was taking a walk on the frozen surface of the lake. I used to tell Alex that it froze all the way to the other side but I never knew if that was true or not—

“Hey, wait up,” I heard behind me.

I turn around and watch Alex, scurrying over to me on the chipped ice, cold blue toes poking out from Velcro sandals. He slides to a stop in front of me, says “Where are you going?”, his blue eyes wide and confused. And in that instant, I remember, and everything inside of me breaks down.

Before I can say anything, he says “Okay, I’ll let Mom know,” and walks off back towards our house, a blip in the distance, leaving me alone. I turn around and keep walking.

I don’t know what I said to him to get him to leave, whatever he repeats to himself over and over as the guilt washes over him. Maybe it was “I’ll be fine.” Maybe it was “Don’t worry about me.” Maybe it was “I’m trying to reach the other side.” I was so far gone at that point that I didn’t think there was a shore on the other side of the lake, that I would just keep walking until nobody could find me.

The ice shatters under me, and I plunge down into the blackness.

Everything goes numb. I don’t struggle this time. I never wanted to make any waves.

I surface, and look up at the sky that should be grey but is now a deep blue, breathing the cold air in, feeling myself climb, climb out of my open eyes and into space, and I feel like I’ve finally woken up, and that nothing’s a dream or a nightmare anymore.

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 03:58 on Apr 20, 2015

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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

:siren: One hour left to get those stories in! :siren:

Feb 25, 2014

Word Count: 843

Watching It All Pass By

flerp fucked around with this message at 03:57 on Jul 27, 2015

Apr 12, 2006

The Rumble
663 words


Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 04:19 on Jan 8, 2016

Jun 26, 2013

1033 words

A civilised society has codes for all things. Implicit or explicit, law and tradition, our behaviours are defined for us and also define us.

The flag should never be displayed with the starred blue union down.

I got back from the Gulf in January of '91, just in time to miss the end of the war. My physical therapy took roughly six times as long as I was on deployment, and I still didn't get full use of my right leg back.

I was lucky, though. Lucky compared to the hundred and forty-eight Americans who didn't come back at all.

The flag should not be used as "wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery", or for covering a speaker's desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general (exception for coffins).

During my rehabilitation I read a lot about America. I'm proud of my country, proud of its people and its traditions and what we stand for in the world. I read a whole bunch of stuff about law and about duty and about nationhood. I read the complete US Flag Code so many times that I have it by heart.

I loved my country and I loved what it tried to do, what it tried to be.

The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

I hated my country for what it actually ded, for how it was seen out there. For how the people of the nation were, for the most part, so blind to themselves, to reality. For how they chanted the slogans and waved the flag and took pride in being American without having earned that pride, without understanding the cost involved.

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

Once I got mobile again I travelled around a lot. I'd spend aimless days just sight-seeing without seeing any worthwhile sights. I didn't do the tourist sites or the national monuments or the scenic wonders. I did the suburbs. I did the small towns. I immersed myself in the people and I watched them, really watched them living their peaceful lives and thinking their naive thoughts and being completely ignorant of their own ignorance.

I was jealous of them and I was proud that they could afford to live that way.

The flag should never be drawn back or bunched up in any way.

The flag was everywhere and it was meaningless. They didn't hang it up for the right reasons. They displayed it like a peacock showing off its tail - all colour and sending a message and trying to impress. They didn't display it because they wanted to help America be a better nation. They displayed it because they wanted to be part of the American gang and they were flashing their colours. They were taking from the nation without giving anything back to it.

I started taking it back from them.

The flag should always be permitted to fall freely.

The flag code is not difficult to follow. It's about respect. Every line of it is about respect. If you have any respect inside you, it's easy to get it right.

The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it or attached to it.

If you didn't respect the flag, I took it. Flags hanging in the dirt, I took down. Flags with slogans plastered across them, I tore from walls. Flags used as curtains, as throws on porch couches, I'd collect them up. I broke a big display window with a rock and took down a flag that someone had stencilled an eagle across in black, dripping spray paint.

The flag should never touch anything beneath it.

I took one flag by daylight. Didn't sneak it, didn't end up stealing it. The old man was sitting out on his porch and I guess I could tell he'd served so I walked up and introduced myself. We spoke for an hour about a bunch of different things and at the end of it I explained that his flag was old and faded and he agreed that it needed to come down, apologised that he wasn't on top of his home duties. I ran a new, clean one up the pole for him and we arranged to catch up in the future.

There are less people like that man around every day.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms.

After a while I had a hundred and forty-eight flags that I'd taken from people who didn't know enough to keep them. Seemed a good number for now.

I laid a tall square of good dry logs and filled it and surrounded it with brushwood and then I neatly stacked all the flags I'd taken upon it. I poured a good libation of petrol and the irony was not lost on me. The flames were twice my height, and even at a safe distance the heat was enough to soothe the ache that never stops crawling between my right knee and my hip.

When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, the military and other organizations regularly conduct dignified flag-burning ceremonies.

A flag's a potent symbol and burning one is a powerful statement, I guess. Some people do it to protest the actions of the nation. Some people do it following a code and doing things the right way, as a gesture of love and respect.

Me, I think people are complicated, and sometimes they do things for a variety of causes.

It's one of the reasons we need codes to live by.

Apr 22, 2008

New Year, new thread!

Killer-of-Lawyers fucked around with this message at 18:49 on Jan 4, 2016

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again


Djeser fucked around with this message at 06:31 on Jan 1, 2016

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Can't tell if my image is showing up, so here's an imgur mirror:

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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

:siren: That's all, folks! :siren:

Entries are closed.

Apr 22, 2008

Hellfire, acronyms, poo flinging, all that.

Also I can't believe I forgot to bold my title. Fah.

Mar 31, 2015

This lil gently caress's gonna have to :toxx: it next week too

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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


This was a weird week. It was a very close game for both the high and low tier, and to be honest there were multiple stories here that probably would have lost in another week. Also roughly a third of the entrants didn't actually submit, though all 5 toxxes made it in. Anyways, here is what everybody came for:

Your winner this week is SittingHere, who used clear, elegant prose to tell a fun story that entertained all of the judges more than any other this week.

Honorable Mentions go to Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and Tyrannosaurus.

Dishonorable Mentions go to madpanda, thehomemaster, and Bompacho.

Your loser this week is Paladinus, for writing a story where a father sends his son (who is also him?) into the past to sleep with his own mother (?) in order to give his father / himself (?) a difficult childhood because his father / himself (?) in the present gave himself a crappy Christmas present? I honestly have no idea what the gently caress is going on here. Weak prose, nonexistent characters, and a plot that none of the judges could untangle.

Crits to come!

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool

anime was right fucked around with this message at 06:53 on Oct 27, 2015

Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.
I said it in IRC, but thanks again for the crit, ahfb!

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool

anime was right fucked around with this message at 06:53 on Oct 27, 2015

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
:siren: WEEK 142: BUT MOM, A WIZARD DID IT :siren:

Little known fact, long ago I sold my soul to LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE in exchange for, IDK, something that seemed cool at the time, I forget. Anyway, he's calling in his debts.

This week, your task is to write me a story about a wizard. Not a mage. Not a magi. Not a Th'aum'onger of the ancient, magic-making GBS threads people from the land of Arcana Cadabra. Your story must be about a wizard, who does magical wizard stuff.

But wait. There's more. To zazz things up and give you a little inspiration, I will be assigning flavors of wizards. Genres. Think stuff like earth, wind, water, and fire, only less cliche and more interesting. If you REALLY want to be unique and special and make up your own kind of wizard, say so in your signup post. That's cool too. We're all chill here.

There's no genre restriction. Your story doesn't have to take place in ye olde fantasy tymes. There just better be a wizard, doing wizard things.

Deadline to sign up: Midnight PST on Friday, April 24
Deadline to submit entries: Midnight PST on Sunday, April 26
Word count: 1300
Boss wizards: Sitting Here, LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE, and a dashing, mysterious wizard who has yet to reveal themselves.oh, it's crabrock

Harry Potter Cosplayers:
1. RedTonic - You have power over harmony and discord, but others don't always appreciate the subtlety in your work.
2. Something Else - You are cursed to love plants, but your power makes them creep and crawl and choke living things.
3. Entenzahn - Your dominion is over the transfiguration of bone, alive or dead, yet your heart is not as hard as the material you shape.
4. cargohills - You have a variety of defensive magics to shield you from the brutality of mortals. Your magic seems to have a mind of its own sometimes, and protects you even when you wish it wouldn't.
5. Grizzled Patriarch - Your magic is a net that catches forgotten bits of time, place, and emotion, which you craft into unexpected spells and incantations.
6. Guiness13 - You have power over joy itself, yet the world is often reluctant to accept your gift.
7. Broenheim - :toxx: You invoke kind but dead gods, whose great power was mistaken for great evil long ago, and whose temples were burned.
8. Sundance Shot - You can distill souls into tinctures and potions and sigils and charms, leaving the body intact. You cannot give back what you've taken, however.
9. Djeser - Your wizardry allows you give anima/life to any work of art: A sculpture, a painting, a photo, and so on.
10. Jay O - Your spells can travel forward or backward in time. Lucky you! You, however, cannot.
11. Benny Profane - You draw your magic from the moods of the people around you.
12. Killfast37 - You have dominion over attention and perception. You can't make things invisible, but you can direct human perception like a mortal stage magician (although you balk at that comparison). With enough application of your magic, you could make a general neglect to notice an entire invading army.
13. Tyrannosaurus - You invoke the voices from the deep places of this world. Only you know what they say.
14. Ironic Twist - You can do wonderful things with the thoughts, memories and pictures you fish out of people's minds (much to their surprise and delight). But not everything in the small, internal worlds you trawl is so beautiful.
15. thehomemaster - You can see the hidden geometry. You can pass through the world at odd angles. You see into the crawlspaces and secret passages of reality.
16. madpanda - Your magic ages you a bit more every time you use it, but you will never die.
17. Kaishai - You pull your magic from tomes, scrolls, poems, and all other expressions of the written word, but your own story will never be writ in ink.
18. dmboogie - You can touch the magic in machines, mechanical things, or anything else that might automate a task. You are, however, useless with the technical details.
19. Pete Zah - You can instantly strike any emotion into the hearts of those around you, but you can't control the effect it has.
20. Wangless Wonder - :toxx: Your power depends on how many sigils and symbols you can place in public view. If you can pepper a whole city with your signs, you can do great works. Too bad city officials and property owners don't like graffiti.
21. docbeard - You can read the signs in seemingly mundane events. For you, small superstitions reveal large truths. Your magics draw on the every day world, to great effect.
22. Megazver - You can copy the shape of any man or beast, but if the original dies while you're mimicking their form, so do you.
23. SurreptitiousMuffin - You can siphon off power from praise and worship of any kind, however the gods you're cheating may not always look kindly on it.
24. Omi no Kami - Only you can wield this ancient, powerful staff. However, when you do, the weather changes according to the emotional state you're in.
25. SadisTech - You can draw power from blood. Blood given with the owner's consent is stronger, but blood taken by force is, sadly, more plentiful. Also, you're not a vampire JSYK.
26. Noah - Your magic is strange and skittish. When you try to focus it, you don't seem to get the intended effect. Yet you somehow manage to get through impossible situations when you put little to no forethought into it. You are the drunken master wizard.
27. ravenkult :toxx: - Your magic grows as you gather more people or beings into your thrall. Strong minds yield powerful results, but are hard to keep around. Weak minds are more plentiful, but add less to your power.
28. Bompacho - Scientists think color is an artifact of light and the human mind. You know otherwise. Subtle magic gives the world color, and you can paint with it.
29. CancerCakes - You can whisper to cancers, infections, and other blights on the body. You can persuade them to leave their host, but they're just as happy to take up residence in any body you ask them to.

30. Sodacan - You're the wizard of holes. Big holes, small holes, portable holes, holes that lead to other holes and form a tunnel, holes in souls (and soles), you name it. Got a problem? There's bound to be a magic hole for you!
31. AgentCooper - You can bring your drawings and painting to life! However, you can't re-paint or re-draw them once you've done so, no matter how badly you want to.

32. newtestleper :toxx: - Your magic comes from the dead, but you're no necromancer. You gather their essence; from stories told by loved ones, old photographs, and heirlooms. Whatever part of the deceased lingers on Earth, you tell yourself, is yours for the taking.
33. Killer-of-Lawyers - You may steal very pure, very sincere wishes from others, and grant them for yourself.
34. Morning Bell - Your sigil is the eye. Wherever there are eyes, you have power. Paintings, photos, symbols, people, animals. It doesn't matter what bears the eye, they are all under your domain.
35. hotsoupdinner - You can bend, shape, muffle, and redirect sound. You know how much of the world is hidden from our eyes. Whispers and songs are like clay in your hands.
36. God Over Djinn - You see the flow of information between people and things like a series of intersecting roads or rivers. You aren't all-knowing; rather, you see information when it's in transit between informer and informee. Sometimes, if you're very careful, you can dam or change the flow.
37. ZeBourgeoisie :toxx: - Young, orphaned animals and children come to you. They remain your tirelessly obedient companions until they can't anymore.
38. Dr. Kloctopussy :toxx: - If it can behave like thread or string, you can weave, sew or stitch it. Grass, time, hair, vines. Your creations are your spells. The things you weave will most surely come to pass.
39. Nubile Hillock - Your magic and charm causes every woman over 28 years old to become convinced they're your justifiably bitter ex wife any time they come within ten feet of you. The effect lasts for 420 hours. Rats and mice are also inexplicably drawn to you, though they're much more affable than the fake-exes, and will help you out in times of need.
40. A Classy Ghost - You work with gemstones. Their unique frequencies sing to you, and you can direct their properties into powerful magic.
41. angel opportunity - You can create words of power, small phrases that bring about whatever you want to invoke. However, once you've infused a word with power, anyone who utters it invokes that power. The infusion can't be undone.
42. Benny the Snake :toxx: - Your wizard has the power to calm people, animals, and crowds of people and animals with his voice, and heal contaminated or blighted earth with his hands. It is virtually impossible for violence to happen around him.
43. Echo Cian - Your power relies on intense visualization, which allows you to bring objects or beings out of your mind and into the world. Small, simple things are easier. Large or elaborate things can take a toll. Your meditations can be empowered by a rare, enchanting form of music.
44. skwidmonster :toxx: - You gain your power from the stories children tell each other while playing. You can bring childish superstitions to life to do their bidding. Your creations, however, can only ever be as wise as the children who made them up.
45. J.A.B.C. - Your left hand gives death. Your right hand gives life. You can enchant various gloves and jewelry to mute or channel these attributes.
46. kurona_bright :toxx: You have power over any thing that pulses or beats. Hearts, wings, footsteps, drums. With clever application of your gifts, you can change the tide of wars, and drop falcons from the sky.
47. curlingiron :toxx: - You can steal tears, laughter, whoops of joy, cries of anguish, and any other expression of pure emotion, and shape them into magic or charms. Unfortunately (or fortunately), you also take the accompanying emotion from your donors.
48. JuniperCake :toxx: - You have the power to enforce any promise to its fullest extent, even if the promiser no longer wants to be obligated to their vow. Doubt, injury, and death are no obstacle for your power.
49. Thyrork - You speak to the trees! And you can shape their wood with the power that flows through your fingers. Keep in mind though, the trees can speak back to you, and they aren't always happy.
50. Auraboks :toxx: - You're the wizard of rhetoric, arguments, and deft turns of phrase. Your magic lets you see and manipulate the ebb and flow of any conversation, though people tend to react poorly when you use your power too drastically or obviously.

51. Lucas Archer - While you don't know how to do the electric slide, you do have the ability to manipulate any sort of electrical current.
52. The Shortest Path - You can manipulate any and all kinds of protein. You haven't even fully explored the extent of all the different things you'll be able to manipulate, since you're unfortunately not a biologist or doctor. This could be awesome, or could go horribly wrong for you.
53. spectres of autism - You have a broad variety of powers, but you can make them significantly more effective by duplicating yourself. The only issue is, your other selves expire much faster than you. And they're not always happy about that.
54. Doctor Idle :toxx: - You have power over visibility. What is unseeable may be seen with your magic, and what is visible may be made invisible.
55. Pham Nuwen - You're the wizard of chance. There's a trick to it, you know. To luck magic. You can't try too hard, but you can't just sit back and let luck come to you, either. Your magic plays on the knife edge between fate and chaos, where fortune dances her precarious dance.
56. Meis - You're the wizard of that ol' swamp magic. Fiddles in the bayou, will-o-wisp lights hovering over bogs. You can call dark, beautiful, or terrible things from the mud, loam, and stagnant water
57. Fuschia tude - You fuel your magic by stealing hubris and vanity from heroes and divas, among other things. Anyone who has an overly high estimation of themselves is fodder for the plucking. Careful you don't leave too many empty, broken people in your wake...
58. Noeland - You can fold paper into unlikely, incredible things. Some mistakenly call your work origami, but your creations are born from secret patterns of folds and non-euclidean creases.
59. Jonked - You are not the strongest or flashiest wizard on your own, but you do have one tremendous ace up your billowing sleeve: You can walk through dreams, and take the things you find there back into the waking world.
60. CrazySalamander - You can move, shake, and shape stone and earth, and you are well-suited for the pitch black of caverns and catacombs. Your power diminishes considerably when you are in the sun or above ground, far from the comforting whispers of sister Earth.
61. Meeple - You are the wizard of hair. With your magic, hair of any kind can become a choking serpent or a net of razor-sharp twine, or anything else your whimsy demands. You can even persuade it to betray the head it grows on.
62. Gnap! - You have power anywhere there is dust or grit or ash. You can coax dust bunnies out from corners, and if you put your mind to it, you also can make much bigger, scarier things. If it's lighter than sand, you can whip it into whatever shape you desire. Friends with allergies don't visit very often, though.
63. MC Nietzche - You're a sea-fairing wizard. You are strongest out on the open ocean, where the call of wind and waves is loudest. Your sails will always be full and taut, and should you ever take up surfing, your waves will always be sweet. You can direct the ocean air and water to some extent, but you're always mindful that the seas have minds of their own.
64. Jagermonster - You're the bird lord. You can speak to birds, learn secrets from birds, and with a focused application of magic, you can direct the movements of entire flocks. You can blacken the skies with wings.
65. Hammer Bro. - Your left eye causes anything it sees to wither or decay. Your magic grows when things around you die. You must be very careful if you don't want to bring ruin down on the innocent.
66. Chairchucker - You're the wizard of explosions! You can make things explode. You don't always want them to explode, but thems the breaks. You're also a hobbyist carpenter, and you've found that furniture tends to come to life and try to do your bidding after you've built it. Your wizard house is filled with the pitter-patter of little uneven chair legs.
67. Capntastic - You have power over void and vacuum. You could probably thrive among the stars, but you can also call upon nothingness to aid you in a variety of ways in the earthly sphere. What nature abhors, you can bend to your bidding.
68. Cache Cab - You're the wizard of easily preventable, virulent diseases. You can inflict all kinds of mumps and bumps and sores and sniffles, but god help you if your victims are anywhere near modern medicinal equipment. Your power is unleashed through chanting, which is central to every single act of magic you do.
69. monkeyboydc - You are the love wizard. You can hurl the fires of passion at your enemies. You can make lovers burn with yearning until their skin crinkles off their bones. You can invoke the impossible sweetness of young love. Where there is passion, fidelity, infidelity, romance, or devotion, you have power to do terrible or wonderful things. Truly, love is all you need.
70. Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi - You're the wizard of 7s, and 13s, and any other superstitious or significant number. In fact, while you're not a mathmetician, your intuitive, wizardly understanding of the innate numerology of the universe gives you the ability to control odds, variables, and ratios. Integers are your playthings.
71. Jonassalk - You're a real wizard in the kitchen. That's not hyperbole, you're a wizard and you use your magic in food. Your dishes are literally magical, like potions except with more shiitake mushrooms. The freshest ingredients create the strongest effect.
72. Claven666 - One man's trash is a wizard's treasured source of terrifying power. Anything discarded, left in heaps, or tossed aside falls under your dominion. You gain power from detritus, and can shape garbage into anything you desire.
73. Erogenous Beef - You gain your power from supping on the obscene. Specifically, if you eat gross stuff, you get stronger magics. Your might depends on your willingness to defile your tongue and digestive tract.
74. Maugrim :toxx: - You are the wizard of the shadows. You can wrap yourself in velvety darkness, or smother your enemies with shade. You loathe the sun, except for when it is contrasted by shadow.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Apr 24, 2015

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool

anime was right fucked around with this message at 06:53 on Oct 27, 2015

Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.
Gimme a wizard. I'm gonna active voice your pointy hats off.

Something Else
Dec 27, 2004

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

Sure, I'm in for this, sort me o sorting hat

Nov 15, 2012

erm... quack-ward

Apr 18, 2014

I'm in.

Aug 2, 2002




Sitting Here posted:

a dashing, mysterious wizard who has yet to reveal themselves.

i gotta make sure you don't gently caress this up by voting for some sort of magic person that isn't a true wizard for the win.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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

With a prompt pic like that I can't not enter. In.

Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.
In! Because working on a novel and a couple short stories just ain't enough

Feb 25, 2014
im a :toxx: wizard

(actually just give me a wizard plz tia)

Sundance Shot
Oct 24, 2010
I'm in. I want to enjoy wizard.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Wizard me the gently caress up SH

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it

Yes. In.

Profane Accessory
Feb 23, 2012


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Note: These are to help you, not limit you.

RedTonic posted:

Gimme a wizard. I'm gonna active voice your pointy hats off.

You have power over harmony and discord, but others don't always appreciate the subtlety in your work.

Something Else posted:

Sure, I'm in for this, sort me o sorting hat

You are cursed to love plants, but your power makes them creep and crawl and choke living things.

Your dominion is over the transfiguration of bone, alive or dead, yet your heart is not as hard as the material you shape.

You have a variety of defensive magics to shield you from the brutality of mortals. Your magic seems to have a mind of its own sometimes, and protects you even when you wish it wouldn't.

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

With a prompt pic like that I can't not enter. In.

Your magic is a net that catches forgotten bits of time, place, and emotion, which you craft into unexpected spells and incantations.

Guiness13 posted:

In! Because working on a novel and a couple short stories just ain't enough

You have power over joy itself, yet the world is often reluctant to accept your gift.

Broenheim posted:

im a :toxx: wizard

(actually just give me a wizard plz tia)

You invoke kind but dead gods, whose great power was mistaken for great evil long ago, and whose temples were burned.


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Sundance Shot posted:

I'm in. I want to enjoy wizard.

You can distill souls into tinctures and potions and sigils and charms, leaving the body intact. You cannot give back what you've taken, however.

Djeser posted:

Wizard me the gently caress up SH

Your wizardry allows you give anima/life to any work of art: A sculpture, a painting, a photo, and so on.

Jay O posted:

Yes. In.

Your spells can travel forward or backward in time. Lucky you! You, however, cannot.

You draw your magic from the moods of the people around you.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 21:32 on Apr 20, 2015

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