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  • Locked thread
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?
submissions are closed


Mar 21, 2013
Moving On and Up (1398 words)

"You're God." Mira's voice was flat. Sanch couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes.

"A god," he muttered.

"Don't tell me that!" The eerie blankness of Mira's demeanor was fading, and judging from her reddening face, rage was taking its place. "You're Oari! Riente's lost patron saint!"

"Mira-," Sanch tried, but she cut him off.

"I prayed to you, you know that? For safe passage. For us to succeed."

He winced. The prayer the night Riente's lord gave them their task had been harsh, desperate, and more than a little bitter.

She barked out a short, unamused laugh. "Must've been fun. Leading the weekly masses in prayer to yourself."

"Look," Sanch said, pushing himself up from where he lay against the wall.

Mira whipped out her sword and held it a finger's width from his nose. Sanch froze, even though she had no hope of harming him.

"Don't move." Her voice and hands were steady, but her eyes were anything but.

He smiled weakly up at her. "We still need to get to the top of this tower."

"It's your tower. Couldn't you just teleport there?"

Sanch fought down the urge to correct her. His sister was gone, had been for centuries. He settled for saying, "If it was that simple, Reinte's barrier would've been up long ago."

"Why wasn't it up already, before the first attack? You swore to protect us!"

He snapped back, "And your city swore loyalty to me!"

Wrong thing to say. Mira narrowed her eyes, and the tip of her sword touched the tip of his nose. "My brother was loyal."

Sanch closed his eyes. "Yes. He was."

Winory had been one of the few who attended weekly service. He'd always sung with closed eyes, recalling the lyrics from memory instead of reading them out from the hymn books stowed away in the pews.

He'd died, just past the city gates on the first day the shade army had attacked.

When Sanch opened his eyes again, Mira's sword no longer threatened to slice open his nose. It was sheathed, but that emotionless, steady look was back in its owner's eyes.

"Lead the way, Oari. It's your tower, so it's your traps we have to get past." An ugly twist of the mouth. "Must've been hilarious, watching me disarm them."

Sanch swallowed down his retort, it's Frente's tower, and got up. He silently made his way over to the stairs, trying to remember that time when Frente had dragged him on a tour when this tower was new, showing off the gruesome mechanisms she'd put in place.

He paused for a second. Was the fire trap set for the third step or the fifth?

When he finally put his foot down on the first step, he heard a loud click.

It was like he was in an inferno. He heard Mira cry out, and sweat broke out on his brow as the heat reached uncomfortable levels. Finally, the flames ceased. He looked down at himself. His clothes were gone, as was his pack. Frente's work had clearly lasted the centuries.

He looked back over at Mira. She'd evidently been gaping at him, but as they made eye contact, she hastily directed her gaze to the ceiling, unslinging her pack from her shoulders as she did so.

"I've got a change of clothes, but they might not be the best fit."

Sanch sighed and said, "No need."

A twist of his fingers and rough fabric materialized around him. Not exactly comfortable, but he never got clothes right.

He turned around completely, and realized that maybe he should've just accepted Mira's offer. She was glaring at him; evidently, she did not like being reminded of his divinity.

She snapped out, "So what was that about? Shouldn't you know what traps you put in your own tower?"

Sanch couldn't take it anymore. He burst out, "It's my sister's tower! And I haven't been here in seven centuries!"

He glared at her, and she looked taken aback.

"Your... sister?"

"Yes! Riente's warring diety! Ring any bells?"

Mira looked disconcerted. "You mean Frente? But wasn't she a trai-"

"She was corrupted! Twisted, perverted - " Sanch came to a dead halt when he realized that Mira looked like she was about to pass out. He'd evidently put too much force in his words. And he'd evidently underestimated just how much the city's general opinion of his sister had bothered him.

He turned, and muttered. "The shades infected her, decades before she turned. The stories only capture what she was at the end."

"I'm sorry." Mira finally said. Her words broke the silence and he turned, startled. Her gaze was sincere, but it hardened. "But that doesn't mean I've forgotten about everything else."

Sanch grimaced as she continued, "Since you clearly don't know this tower's traps, we'll go back to what we were doing previously. Stay behind me."

The next three floors of the tower passed in relative silence. Mira would stay twenty paces ahead of Sanch, carefully testing the flagstones at her feet and who knows what else. It was all very professional, and a far, far cry from the easy camaraderie from before.

Finally, they came to two large, ornately carved double doors.

Mira spent some time examining it, then looked at Sanch. "Is this it?"

"Yes." Sanch closed his eyes and dredged up his divinity. He ignored Mira's gasp. When he opened his eyes again, he was Oari, god of the home, the hearth, and the infirmary.

He deliberately avoided looking at Mira as he stepped up to the heavy stone doors, and with a firm shove, opened them.

The lights inside slowly flickered to life, just like they had seven hundred years ago. Frente had snorted when he'd asked her why they didn't come to full strength quicker. It's dramatic, silly. Not everything has to be practical.

Mira came to his side, shorter than him while he was in this form. "So where exactly is this artifact that we're looking for?"

He didn't trust himself to speak. He swept off towards Frente's bedroom instead, ignoring her irritated exclamation.

It was there, right on her bedstand.

He swallowed, reached out, and picked up Frente's old dagger. She'd used that thing for everything, and over the centuries, the worn metal had absorbed enough of her power that it could restore the barrier.

All he had to do was give the dagger back to Riente, and they would strip it dry. Just like they'd done with her sword, her shield, her armor.

"So that's it, then?" Mira walked up beside him.


"Hmph." Mira squinted at it a little longer, then asked, "Why do we even need this?"


"You're Riente's god. Why can't you just help us with the barrier, instead of relying on your sister's old things."

He didn't meet her eyes.

Mira stared at him. "Have you ever tried?"

"No," he finally admitted. "I haven't. Why should I? Frente was always more powerful than me."

"You struck her down."

"With the help of countless others," he snapped. "There's no possibility that I can match what she's done."

"With the way you've been running your church? Obviously."

Ignoring his warning growl, she continued. "Look, why should Riente believe in you? The way it looks to us - to me - is that you either don't care or don't exist. Where were you when the armies attacked?"

"In the infirmary!"

"Well, maybe you should've been in the battlefield!" Mira's eyes were suspiciously bright. "You've led Riente's forces in battle before, so why not now? If you had, Winory might still be alive!"

He didn't answer. Eventually, Mira's shoulders slumped and she turned away.

"Wait." Oari's words were soft, uncertain.

She stopped, and looked over at him.

"I don't - look, I..." He trailed off. "You're right. I'll do better."

"Will you lead Riente's forces when you return? As Oari?"

He hesitated, just long enough to see her face begin to twist into a sneer, and blurted out, "Yes! Yes. I will."

"That's a start, at least." She paused, as if to say something more, then evidently thought better of it. "Let's go. We should get back as soon as possible."

"I know. I have a quicker route." Oari held out a hand.

After a moment's hesitation, she took it, and in the moment after that, they were both gone.

kurona_bright fucked around with this message at 09:09 on Jan 4, 2016

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.
I am probably not going to complete this story in any reasonable time frame.

Just chalk me up for a failure and I'll submit a redemption later. I won't sign up for another week until I've finished this story though, as well as possibly my other failure.

Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.
:siren: sebmojo vs. Benny Profane Thunderbrawl Results: O Christmas Tree :siren:

THE PROMPT: Write a story that takes place in or on a Christmas tree.

THE WINNER: sebmojo in a fruitcakewalk.

Benny Profane, you missed the setting requirement and delivered a mishmash of Hans Christian Andersen and H. P. Lovecraft. The choice of a tree for your protagonist messed up your story in more ways than one.

sebmojo, your proofreading left a lot to be desired, but you wrote about things happening in a Christmas tree and made them mildly funny and mildly heartwarming without stumbling into saccharine territory.

Benny Profane: "As I Stood Dying"

Right off the bat it's clear you've flown wide of the prompt: a story taking place in a Christmas tree is different from a story in which the Christmas tree is the protagonist. Worse, your prompt cutesiness only leads to a predictable idea drawn out too long. The tree is of course and unavoidably passive as hell, and it's restricted to describing Christmas as seen through an ineffective Lovecraftian lens. This is "The Fir Tree" with a darkitydark coating. Lord have mercy on us all.

I'd cautiously wager on you having taken a shot here at dark-and-goofy humor, Thunderdome's favorite white whale. The story wears its absurdity right on its branches. That doesn't make it much better, though! The only surprise the work offers (if you don't count that the main character is a tree, and I don't since that's obvious by the second sentence) is that the tree hates and fears Christmas. Problem is, that's clear pretty early too. Nothing new or unexpected happens past the third paragraph. Maybe you had fun with tree horror and got carried away, I don't know--over-the-top nightmarish stuff is fun to write, and if you told me it was even more so from a silly perspective, I'd believe you. If you told me it was more fun to read, on the other hand....

I'm possibly being just a little hard on this. It's written well enough for what it is. The horrible geometries are worth an inner chuckle. But with the main character never acting, only observing, the pulpy litany of horrors gets tedious fast.

sebmojo: "Saint Nicholas of the Embers"

Mechanically speaking, you done effed up in some embarrassing ways. Never mind the period outside a closing quotation mark in the fourth paragraph--no, wait, do mind that, because it is awful. But behold "'But you go on! how is that fair!?'" Behold "'there is ... one way, though you might not like it well...'" Do you perhaps see a problem? A matter of the first words of sentences not being capitalized, perchance? Does the dark maelstrom of shame churn in your guts as it should? You could so easily have avoided making me cringe a little to crown you with glory, but noooooooooooo.

It doesn't much matter! For all your crimes against punctuation and humanity, you hugged the prompt tight and delivered a Christmas tree as a little world in itself. Traumber and Dolett have a goal, pursue it, and achieve it. The ending makes sense without being obvious from the start. The tone works: there's a touch of the formal and dramatic to the elves, but not too much, and a little human crassness to the troll, but not too much. It's light and ultimately... cheery would be too strong a word, but you can read the ending as happy if you choose (or horrible if you'd rather) without getting eye diabetes from excessive sugar.

Maybe it would be appropriate to contrast the stories by imagining each as an ornament. Yours, with its flaws and the somewhat grating trick of openly hiding the elves' plan from the reader at the outset, is like a handsome rocking horse with a broken ear. It's impossible to miss the imperfection, but it's still a nice ornament and would be nicer still if someone scraped the melted candy cane off its leg. Benny Profane's snowman, by contrast, is in nearly mint condition, but it's very much like other snowmen on the tree aside from the weird face it's making. That metaphor may have gotten away from me. The point is that your entry was more enjoyable by a significant measure and knocked the prompt into the wicket, so congratulations!

Thank you both for writing well enough to end my TD year on a positive note. Blood god bless us, every one.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 11:07 on Jan 4, 2016

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?
:siren: Thunderdome Week CLXXVIII Judgement A Prophecy Fulfilled :siren:

Thus ends the tale of Thunderdome 2015teen. Not with a bang and not with epic displays of joy and despair, not with the thunderous applause of the masses, their blood-crazed cries for an encore drowning out the maddening thump in your ears, your body flush with the ecstasy of witnessing a spectacle usually reserved for the Gods. But with a prompt gone to waste among a dozen wet farts.

This week wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. This week was Thunderdome, where we have six days to finish a story and the longer we work on it the worse it gets, so we start on Sunday. That said, our loser probably spent all too much time polishing their entry: klapman, whose messy tale of potentially erotically involved smuggler pirates sunk in a foggy sea of thick prose experiments that beat around the bush so heavily the air went out of the air. Both Broenheim and myself judged our sanity while reading this piece, but as it turns out, we weren't the crazy ones here.

Which leads me to our dishonorable mentions:
Sitting Here, whose failure I am partly to blame for, having talked her into abandoning her videogames for the precious hour it took to cobble together this disgraceful mess of a socially impaired hotel manager being bad at her job
kurona_bright, who took so much time working on their story it became good, then bad, then late and bad, and now it reads like they wrote an entire novel and then ripped out one of the pages and submitted that instead

On to greener pastures. Our sole honorable mention this week goes to Ironic Twist. You've been doing this thing again where you wrote a vacuum-sealed unit of SCP fanfic but Broenheim really liked it anyway and I, too, have to admit that I didn't just enjoy the ride, nay, I even cared a bit. I only wish you would have known what you were writing about.

Finally, with his third back-to-back win in a year (holy poo poo), I am giving it back to Grizzled Patriarch. Your plot was a bit unfocused, but you still showed up strong with a really cool portrait of a black sheep coming home to his family, and everyone's failure to handle the situation. It was heartfelt. It was complete. It was plausible and well-written. It was also the only story that had all these things. This is what happens when you come up with proper endings, man. This is it. Right here.


And with that, Thunderdome Season 2015teen comes to a close. GP, please post your prompt in the new thread once it's up. Everyone else, you've probably got a few hours left before the thread goes belly-up so if there's any stories you still want to edit out before that happens you might want to get cracking.

a new study bible!
Feb 2, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

Holy poo poo. FJ is GJ!

Aug 27, 2012

this char is good
Rest in peace, my cool avatar. I won't replace it till I get a TD win, which will be loving imminent

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Entenzahn posted:

a socially impaired hotel manager being bad at her job

write what you know

Sep 6, 2012
Yay, no mentions so I must have achieved mediocrity!

edit: I was fully expecting to lose going into this

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Djeser posted:

write what you know

it's true

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?

Djeser posted:

write what you know

is that why you didnt write anything this week

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

Entenzahn posted:

is that why you didnt write anything this week


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Judge, feel free to post the next prompt in the new thread at any time.

I will leave this thread open until around midnight PST for anyone who still needs to edit out stories, or who wants to shitpost.

Feb 25, 2014
good night sweet thread, im sorry so many bad people posted in you

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

sebmojo posted:

So Djinn is tapping out of her brawl because she is a worthless and weak excuse for a 'human being' who thinks 'going into hospital' after being 'literally physically run over by a truck' is an excuse for failing out of a internet word fight. So be it. Her challenge has fallen to the floor - A Classy Ghost has picked it up with his ectoplasmic tendrils. Toxx up and do whatever ghosts do when they're about to get beaten like a cheap rug, ACG.

So uh, I'm going to go ahead and call this brawl. Sebmojo you win because you showed up! You're basically a millennial now. I was going to crit your story, but it seems to have vanished! If at some point you want a meaningful critique of your story, do see that it finds its way to me.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again


Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.
Good night, thread, and flights of memories sing thee to thy rest.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Entenzahn posted:

is that why you didnt write anything this week

litsen her eyou loittle poo poo when i get m y cytran body you're as good as dragon poo poo

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006

Illegal Hen
hi i have a question about word count is it ok i f i exceed it by a bit? my story is based on anime and my story deserves the extra words b/c it will be better than the other stories also i am posting from my mums computer and it does not have a word count program. regarding the crits that i recieved, my response to each one will follow shortly.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Kaishai posted:

Good night, thread, and schools of mermen sing thee to thy rest.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Morning Bell posted:

hi i have a question about word count is it ok i f i exceed it by a bit? my story is based on anime and my story deserves the extra words b/c it will be better than the other stories also i am posting from my mums computer and it does not have a word count program. regarding the crits that i recieved, my response to each one will follow shortly.

hi sitting here crabrock and systran



i mean Cache Cab


Oct 4, 2015

Let's go exploring.

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