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Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Happy new year, everyone! May your stories have words in them!

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Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

omg stfu u blithering poltroon

Ay. Ayyyyy. I'mma cutchu. I'mma cutchu good, mang. Chu don't know.


chu don't fukkin know

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Nothing to lose but weakness.

Prompt: I GROW A loving SPINE

Words: 200

I'm Screaming Idiot. I chose this username myself, because if people are going to insult me, I'm going to loving own it. Am I clever, talented, or even particularly intelligent? I wish I was, but I'm not. But I got one thing none of you -- not a goddamn one of you -- have: desperation.

Weird thing to be proud of, isn't it? gently caress you. Desperation is my drive to improve, to churn out words worth reading. For you, writing's a hobby. For me, writing's all I have -- all I need.

I see people bitch and moan about inspiration. They can swallow a bag of dicks, inspiration isn't something that just happens; you have to make it happen. You have to grab it by the throat, hold it against the wall, stare it in the eye, force it to bend to your will. Don't be inspiration's bitch. MAKE INSPIRATION YOUR BITCH.

Life sucks. People suck. Our goals as writers is to use that to our advantage, to tell pretty lies and ugly truths all at once. gently caress your petty vendettas -- I want to get good.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

You're All Worthless Cunts.

Prompt: gently caress you.

Words: 199

I tried to be reasonable, but 'reasonable' doesn't register to you smegma-chugging Neanderthals. Fine.

You're jerking off to whatever no-name magazine nobody gives a gently caress about, others are improving themselves of love for the craft. You miserable jackasses spew bullshit between bouts of pretentious cocksucking, I hone my talent into something of worth. When I sit at home in my tub, half-finished bottle of wine in one hand, razor knife in the other, the only thought that keeps me from finishing one and using the other is the possibility I might get good.

You guys ever go through that? gently caress no, most of you assholes sit in warm houses, food in your fridge, hope for tomorrow. You can afford to wring your hands about rivalries and brawls -- petty poo poo.

gently caress you, I'm above that. There's nothing you worthless cunts can say to me I haven't said a million times in my head, no threats worse than those I've made to myself daily, no punishments worse than what I inflict upon myself every hour.

My life is loving miserable, and I exist purely out of spite. Bring on the blood.

not rly ilu guys

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Like Old Times

Prompt: Old acquaintances

Words: 1300


Markie ran down the sidewalk, naked, blood flowing from a bullet wound on his side, cigarette dangling from his lip. One hand held a cheap pistol, the other held a phone.

"Where the gently caress are you? Do you have the poo poo or not?" Duane's voice sounded tinny over the phone.

"It's in my pocket." Markie looked over his shoulder to see if his pursuers followed. They hadn't. Markie wasn't lying -- it was in his jeans back at the flophouse. "Duane, think you can send a van down? Got some guys on my rear end and I'm bleedin' pretty fuckin' bad here."

"Bleeding...? Jesus Markie, you didn't-"

"I fuckin' did! Get me a van! I'm near 32nd, just past Geno's Pizzeria! Tell whoever you send to come loaded just in case!" Markie was thankful he took the good stuff -- his side barely hurt, though the blood loss made him woozy.

Christ, what'd Andy think if he saw me? Markie paused to catch his breath and take a puff of his cigarette, looking over his aviator shades. Fuckin' unbelievable. My own fuckin' girlfriend sells me out to Eddy. Fuckin' Judas-stinkyhole got what she deserved.

Duane sighed over the phone. "I'll send Chuck-"

Markie yelled into the phone. "Not loving Chuck! There's a reason we call him 'Chucklefuck Chuck' and it ain't 'cuz he's funny! Send Ortiz, Duane! Send loving Ortiz!" Wish you could send Andy.

"Alright, keep your pants on!" Markie heard Duane turn away from the phone to talk to someone nearby. "They're on the way. Look for Ortiz's van. I'm out."

Duane hung up, and Markie ducked into an alley to crouch behind a garbage can to hide from Eddy's thugs and any prying eyes. He was thankful the streets were deserted -- a man wearing nothing but a pair of aviator shades and a bullet wound wasn't the weirdest thing to walk the streets at night, but it was up there.

"Julie," Markie muttered, flipping through her pictures on his phone. "Why'd you have to do that to me? You know Eddy. Selling me out wasn't gonna make him forget the money you owed. Was it worth it, Jules? Was it worth a fuckin' hole in the head?"

Andy, what do I do now? Christ. Duane's gonna be pissed that I ran out without the poo poo. Maybe Eddy's boys got it? Jesus, I hope not.

Markie sat, arms draped over his knees, barely feeling his nuts resting on the cold, wet pavement or the wound in his side. He shivered though, feeling the chill in the air for the first time since he was flushed out. He ran a hand over the wound and winced, though less at the pain and more at the sensation of the open wound against his fingers. Just grazed, thank god. Had enough fuckin' bullets pulled outta me.

Markie leaned around the garbage can and sighed as he saw Duane's van pull up. His phone vibrated.

Ortiz's voice came from the phone. "You see us? We followed the blood on the sidewalk."

"Yeah, I see you. You got some first aid poo poo with you? My side's startin' to hurt. Also," Markie winced, "you got some extra clothes? I'm, ah, underdressed for the weather." He got out from behind the garbage can and raised his arms, revealing his nudity to the large Guatemalan behind the wheel of the van.

"Markie, what-oh, madre de dios!" Ortiz threw his phone aside and opened the window to his van. "Get in here!"

Markie opened the door to the windowless van and jumped in, shutting the door behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief at the warmth, but groaned at Ortiz's glare.

"Put it out." Ortiz gestured to the "No Smoking" sticker on the windshield. Markie knew better than to argue with the terse bodybuilder, so he wet a finger, pinched out the cherry, put it behind his ear.

"Can't wait to hear the explanation for this," grinned an emaciated man with a patchy mustache and broken, dirty teeth. "So how'd you gently caress up this time?"

"Shut the gently caress up, Chucklefuck." Markie grabbed an old blanket from the behind the seat and wrapped up. "You got anything on you for pain?"

Chuck looked to Ortiz, who nodded, then grabbed an unmarked bottle from the glove box. He handed two pills to Markie.

"I'd give you more, but Duane wants you straight. He wants to know what happened." Chuck gave a sympathetic shrug, then another rotten-toothed grin. "Same here, actually."

"Not much to it." Markie dry-swallowed the pills. "You know I owe money to Eddy, yeah? My idiot girlfriend ratted me out."

Chuck smirked. "Yeah? Then what?"

"Julie and I was loving when Eddy's boys kicked in the door. She barely had time to get her mouth off my cock when they plugged her between the eyes. Another got my side-"

"Better not get blood on my seat," Ortiz interrupted.

"-and I grabbed my phone and my gun and skipped out." Markie closed his eyes and lay his head back on the seat. "God, I'm tired."

"That's blood loss for you." Chuck made a sound like a snorting weasel. "Shame about Julie; bitch had nice tits. Now she's suckin' cock in hell."

Ortiz's massive, scarred fist crashed against the side of Chuck's face. "She's dead, Chucklefuck. Have respect." He turned to Markie and shook his head. "You got the poo poo? You told Duane you had it."

"No, I said it was in my pocket. Which is in my room." Markie closed his eyes and shivered in the blanket. "Jesus, I'm freezing. Can you drive me back to my place so I can get it?"

"Not a good idea." Ortiz started the van, and they took off. "Let's get you to Duane. We'll get you some clothes and look at your side, then he needs to talk to you."

Markie yawned. "Wonderful. I'm gonna sleep on the way there."

The drive was short, and Markie was rudely awakened by a smack to the head. He wrenched open an eye to see a pair of Duane's men grab him by the arms and yank him into a run-down trailer. The men threw him to the floor.

Duane turned away from his dinner and scowled at Markie. "So you really did it. You hosed me again."

Markie got to his knees, holding his side. The bleeding stopped, but the pills did little to stop the pain. "Wasn't my fault-"

"Ortiz told me on the way up here. I told you to come straight to me you stupid gently caress! Not to stop at your place for a blowjob!" Duane stabbed his fork into his potatoes and spat. "Guess what, fucknut? I had a couple other guys look over your room, and they told me the loving cops are there! Do I need to tell you what this means?"

Markie swallowed and paled. He shook his head.

Duane's fury melted away as quickly as it'd come, leaving a fatherly expression. "But hey, it's okay. Sure, you lost me some expensive product..."

There was the sound of a toilet flushing, and out of the bathroom walked a familiar face.

"Andy, my boy," Duane said, gesturing to Markie. "I believe I have Eddy's package for you. Unwrapped, I'm afraid."

Andy grinned as he pointed a gun to Markie's head and winked. "Heya, partner. Shame things turned out like this, but I warned you way back when I left for Eddy."

"You see, Markie," Duane said as Andy hauled Markie to his feet, "Eddy's willing to cover the cost of my lost product... and then some. And he even sent Andy to collect you."

"Let's go for a ride, partner." Andy smiled, gun unwavering. "Like old times."

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Can anybody write critiques on stories? I've received a lot of great feedback on my stuff, and I feel bad not contributing. I've read so many good stories in Thunderdome that could have been great were it not for some minor issues.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe


STOP POSTING PICTURES OF ME GOD DAMMIT

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

I am IN LIKE THE FIST OF AN ANGRY GOD OF FAILURE.

And to all of you who offered crits, thank you very much! I'm sorry about the quality of the piece, and I'll do much better in the future because of good, honest criticism like yours. I'll crit a piece or two myself soon when I get the time, most likely this evening after work.

EDIT: Also, if "Just Like Old Times" was generic, I'm glad as hell I didn't go with the first piece I'd written -- a loving zombie apocalypse scenario that turned out to be in the imagination of an old man with Alzheimer's. Even I could tell how bad it was turning out, and I once wrote a story about a Latina cyborg named Rosa Flores Pepper Zesty who beat a monster truck robot with her bare hands.

Screaming Idiot fucked around with this message at Jan 6, 2015 around 16:57

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Your Sledgehammer posted:

Please post this, it sounds awesome. I mean that completely unironically.

I would, but I lost the USB drive I had backed it up on as well as the original manuscript when my old computer went kablooey. It was a sublimely ridiculous story, with such supporting characters as an aging roboticist/ ex-luchador, an autistic android obsessed with increasingly bizarre costumes, and an army of crazed redneck Mad Max-style robo-mutants led by an S&M fetishist who talks like Foghorn Leghorn. And I didn't even mention anything about the disco-based security system.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Entenzahn posted:

GOD DAMMIT SCREAMING IDIOT, YOU'RE OFF THE CASE!

Yeah, I think I'll bone up a little more on my research before I try writing crime stuff again. I actually had a lot more planned, but a lack of experience or planning kept me from doing it. I think I might salvage the story sometime though, because the idea of a naked man running down the sidewalk with a bullet wound and a pair of aviator shades still makes me chuckle.

Mercedes posted:

I shall grace you all with a story written with one hand since the other will be carrying a screaming baby.

In

The Thunderdome will welcome your sacrifice -- it's no stranger to bloodshed, but how often do we throw our little sons and daughters into the pit in tribute?

Seriously, kudos for improving your writing while juggling being a parent/caretaker -- that shows dedication.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Coyote
For Mother Russia!

Prompt: A competition in a country I've never visited

Words: 1,200


Fists cracked across my jaw, knuckles sharp as daggers, hatred pulsing in the veins of my opponent's temples. His muscles corded, skin beaded with sweat in the humid stink of the warehouse. He was big, broad, strong as a bull.

But I'm bigger. Stronger.

He drew back, eager to break me. I read every movement as though he moved in slow motion -- I slipped past his blow to move in for the kill. My fists smashed against his ugly face again and again; by the time I'd finished it looked like a mass of pulped hamburger. He dropped, moaning through burst lips and broken teeth. I don't think I looked much better, but I don't mind -- I was never a handsome man.

"You did great," the representative said after I'd been looked over and the blood washed away. "You crushed him!"

I don't know the name of the man I beat -- I didn't want to know. He was sent to a hospital; I was given 12,800 rubles. Not bad money for a single night's work and a few bruises. Possibly a broken nose.

The representative scratched his beard, squinting as he looked at me. I recognized that look -- Papa used it when examining livestock before we lost the farm. "You know Dmitriy? He's the one who sent you?"

I nodded, thankful for my swelling. I didn't want him to see me snarl at the dog's name. "Yes."

"There's a big match coming soon -- the organization is bringing in an American named Richard Barnhill. Top-tier, formerly a professional."

Top-tier? The money must be good. Still... "And why is that?"

"He killed his last three opponents."

"That doesn't seem so bad." I once killed a man. I hit him too hard -- that, or his neck was too brittle. Sometimes I regret, but they paid me anyway, and he knew the risks. Most nights I sleep well, if I drink enough.

"He did it after the fights -- with a knife. The man's a sociopath. He calls himself the 'Kentucky Coyote.'" The representative shook his head. "I don't know everything, just that his policeman brother got tired of covering for him. He's coming to Russia to make a name for himself by beating the biggest, strongest challengers we have."

"I'm the biggest. I'm the strongest." I crossed my arms and frowned as well as the swelling would allow. I towered over the man by a head and a half -- my words are fact, not bravado. "He won't beat me."

"Biggest? Strongest? Perhaps. I don't doubt it." He laughed and lit a cigarette, then offered one to me. "But you aren't used to fighting madmen. Still, you're welcome to try."

I didn't accept the cigarette. I don't smoke.

But I did accept the invitation.


***


My little brother Pyotr wasn't pleased with my victory, or with my next fight.

"Sergei, are you insane? Look at your face! You look like you've been dragged behind a car!"

"Are you going to put away these groceries, or will I?" I pointed to the full bags on the table.

Pyotr cursed. "Who did you beat up tonight, Sergei? Whose blood is on your hands now?"

"No one's. I washed them after the fight." I put the groceries away, stopping to smell the ground beef through the brown paper wrapping. I couldn't tell if the scent came from good meat, or the blood in my sinuses. "Go study, Rabbit."

"You must quit doing this to yourself," Pyotr said. "What are you going to do if you become crippled?"

"It's all I have. There's no work." My head hurt, and my jaw ached. "Not since the factory closed." The same factory that killed Papa, and Mama when she drank herself to death in her grief.

"We've got that money you borrowed from Dmitriy," Pyotr said suddenly. "We could use it to leave, to go somewhere with work! I could quit college-"

I backhanded him, knocking him to the floor. "You'll do no such thing! You're too smart to be dumb!" And end up like father. Like me.

"If I was so smart, why am I failing?" Skinny fingers gripped the edge of the table, glasses askew on his knife-thin face.

"Because you worry too much instead of studying." I helped him to his feet. "And because you waste your time writing."

"But writing is my life." He adjusted his glasses. "Someday I'll sell my work, and you won't have to borrow money from thugs. In fact, I got a letter-"

"Shush. On the day you succeed, I'll quit fighting. Until then, I will put away the groceries and you will study, Rabbit."


***


"Yawll buncha fukken pussies!" the Coyote cried in slurred English from the center of the warehouse floor, beating his chest like a fool. He was little and wiry, but his eyes gleamed like a man possessed. He'd fought several times already today, "warm-ups" he called it, but every one ended in a quick victory for the Coyote and injuries for the loser.

I told Dmitriy I wanted a piece of the Coyote, and he wasted no time in spreading word. I seethed when I'd heard that he'd publicized me as the "Kemerovo Bear." I resented the comparison between me and the Coyote. Before I wanted to fight for money -- now I wanted to fight because I didn't like him. This American was too proud -- I'd humble him.

"You're up." Dmitriy gave a shark's grin beneath his thick mustache. "I know you'll make me proud, Sergei -- the odds are in your favor!"

"Ho-lee poo poo," the Coyote slurred. "This th'best y'gawtt? Bigass fatboy looks like m'goddamn grammaw!"

My English isn't good. But it's better than his.

"And you look like whore I used to gently caress -- skinny. Twitchy." I sneered down at him. "Are all janki so tiny and weak?"

"Th'gently caress you juscall me? I'mma killya, boy!" The Coyote's eye twitched. My insult was weak, but it worked.

The fight began. Then it ended.

I didn't win.


***


Pyotr entered my hospital room, wrapped bundle in his arms and a smile on his face. I looked away.

"You should be in school." Speaking was difficult with so many broken teeth.

"I took the day off." He grinned.

He handed me the bundle, and I opened it. Inside was my favorite: bird's milk cake from Anastasia's Bakery. Even through the fog of the painkillers I salivated -- I would forgive him this time.

"I have good news." Pyotr grinned. "Dmitriy called me and said your debt's been paid and then some -- he won a fortune betting on the Coyote. He sent us a check for... well, see for yourself!"

Pyotr handed me a piece of paper, and my eyes widened. Dmitriy was a dog, but he paid well.

"Another thing," Pyotr continued. "I sold my first novel, and they want me to write sequels! Now you are finished fighting!"

I glanced at my wheelchair in the corner.

"Yes, Rabbit." I tried to smile for him. "I suppose I am."

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Aw, thanks for the crits, guys! I wish I could get some spare time so I could return the favor. In the meantime, however...

HERE'S NATHAN EXPLOSION TO ANNOUNCE SCREAMING IDIOT'S ENTRY INTO THE THUNDERDOME!



"VOID VAMPIRES SCREAM INTO THE NIGHT

VOID VAMPIRES AVOID THE LIGHT

VOID VAMPIRES DRINKING EMPTY BLOODS

VOID VAMPIRES ECHO HOLLOW THUDS

VOID VAMPIRES' HOLLOW FIGHT!"

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

I would like to write about a hitman monkey.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Voidborn

Prompt: Void Vampires

Words: 999


The ebon ship drifted through the endless gray-black sky like a bloated corpse lost at sea. Flickers of pale green ghostlight lit its corridors, though its inhabitants had no need for even that dim illumination. Bloated slave-ghouls groaned and listlessly maintained the decaying structure, keeping it much like themselves: dead and ever-rotting, but never succumbing.

Deep within the bowels of the ship waited a pale, gaunt army. Their open mouths and empty eye-sockets gave glimpses of the infinite void within. They were the ever-living chosen of the Emperor of Emptiness, cursed to feed upon the life-stuff of their fellow man forever.

Vampires.

One of them yawned. "Oi, Basil, y'think we're gonna hit land soon? Gettin' boring waiting down here."

"Shut up, Ed." Another scowled -- Basil. "We'll arrive when we arrive, not a moment sooner."

"Silence!" One vampire in officer's regalia leveled his weapon -- a hook-scythe, horribly imposing, horribly impractical -- at the bickering soldiers. "I'll have you scrubbing pus from the ghoul-pens if you don't show some discipline!"

"Ed has a point, we should've arrived already!" said another with cracks running along his dead-gray skin.

"Ghoul navigators, man. We can't trust the rotters to hammer a nail without making GBS threads themselves and losing a hand, why the hells we let them navigate is beyond me," said one with barbed hooks embedded within his dusty flesh.

The officer slashed his scythe. "Question not the will of the Empty Emperor! If He desires ghoul labor, He shall have it!"

"loving Ghoul Union's got the Emperor by the balls," Ed muttered. Basil glared.

"I heard that! Insubordination! Two weeks cleaning the pens!" The officer's jaw opened inhumanely wide in his fury.

Ed gagged. "Aw, c'mon! Didn't mean nuffin' by it!"

"Want to make it four weeks?" The officer loomed ominously over Ed.

Ed sighed. "Nossir."

"Right then." The officer rested his weapon on his shoulder.

Ed muttered under his breath. "stinkyhole."

"What was that?"

"Nuffin', sir." Ed tried to look innocent.

The ship rocked with a sudden impact, and the vampires were thrown to the ground in a clattering tangle of limbs, hooks, and weapons.

Ed poked his head from the writhing pile. "Bloody hells, what was that?"

A ghoul in tattered rags and a crewman's cap stumbled into the hold and let out a gurgling cry, and trundled off leaving a trail of mucus and feces in its wake.

"Ah." Basil climbed to his feet. "Landfall."

"To arms!" cried the officer, muffled by the pile of bodies on top of him. "To glory!"


***


The ensuing battle was quick and bloody. What humans not devoured by ghouls or mutilated beyond use were drained of their remaining essence and converted to new recruits for the Empty Emperor. Sated, the crew amused themselves by throwing discarded limbs and shattered weapons off the side of the floating island into the nothingness below.

"Sick of this, mate." Ed smoked a pipe he'd looted. He no longer had lungs to take in the smoke, no tongue to taste the aromatic blend, but he was content to pretend. "Every night it's the same poo poo. It feels so... so..."

"Empty?" Basil smirked as he threw another child's body from the cliff and waved as the tiny form spiraled into the endless gray. "Yeah. We're vampires. That's our deal, Ed."

"Why couldn't we have been converted by Overfiend Cthurutsukidoji instead? His men get to have a bit of fun on their raids." Ed sighed.

"They don't use weapons, Ed. Just their tentacle-dicks, and most humans have hatchets and swords. Do the math." Basil punted an old woman's head into the distance.

"I'm bored. We've only been at this for, what, ten years now? We're immortal, mate! This is all we have to look forward to, and that's only if some smartarse human doesn't get a lucky hit with a silvered blade!" Ed dropped to his backside and dangled his feet.

The officer's voice rang out. "To arms! To arms, laggards! The humans' reinforcements have arrived!"

Basil looked into the sky and gasped, pointing with a quivering arm at the silvery ships bearing down on the floating isle with worrying speed. "Ed, you bastard, you've cursed us! It's the Covenant of the Sun! The Sun-Worshipers have arrived!"

Ed grabbed his sickle and joined the fray. The vampires had unholy might behind them, but the newly arrived humans had numbers, and where they went the light followed.

"Raise your swords and ready yourselves to cleanse this rock, brothers and sisters!" The humans' leader cried as his glowing, silvery blade illuminated his nude, muscular form. "The Sun is with us!"

The horde of tanned, toned crusaders bore down upon the beleaguered vampires, holy silver blades cutting through brittle skin and the inky void-stuff that bled from their hollow wounds. Basil screamed as he was split from neck to groin, his body breaking into smoke and dust.

"What do you mean you can't fight?" The officer sputtered at one of the ghouls. "I don't care about your bloody union regulations, they're-"

The ghoul held up a hand and made an incoherent groan, then went back to his group to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes.

"A month's supply of tanning lotion to the one who slays their leader!" cried a powerful, virile specimen, golden locks flapping dramatically in the wind, muscles rippling as he raised his blade, feet clad in comfortable beach sandals.

The officer tossed down his scythe and ran to Ed, his expression deathly serious.

"Edward," the officer said in his grimmest tone. "It is my privilege to award to you the station of Officer First Class. You are now leader of this army." He saluted, and stuffed his horned greathelm bedecked onto Ed's head.

Then he ran.

Ed watched the former officer escape into the distance, and he regarded the oncoming army of nude sun-zealots with something approaching amusement. He puffed at his pipe. "And Mum said I'd never get anywhere in the world."

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

god have mercy

Interprompt: Favorite TD prompt

Words: 197


"Fanfiction?" I scratched my unshaven chin as I looked at the Thunderdome thread. "Let's do this."

I have a problem: I suck at writing. I've committed to memory Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Stephen King's On Writing, and scads more. I'd spend hours with my nose in a book -- it's why I flunked college.

Nowadays, not so much. I've spent too much time in other people's worlds and not enough time making my own. But a good author needs a voice, and mine's stuttery, lispy, dull as cold mashed potatoes. Unpracticed.

"I need a change," I'd mutter to myself as I flipped greaseball burger-patties into a tray at work. "Gotta get outta this rut, gotta do something, anything, anything..."

Thunderdome's my answer. I've wasted too long working on my "epic" novel series -- I need an excuse to just sit down and write. Christmas Mermen, Russian boxers, naked drug-peddlers: all things I'd never have written about were it not for Thunderdome kicking me in the balls and telling me to get in gear.

And it all started with fanfiction.

God have mercy.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Man, why's everybody gotta be so angry? Write stories and laugh, goddammit!

Also, I found a couple of major proofreading errors in my stupid Void Vampire story I missed before I posted it, so I want to go ahead and apologize.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

ok thank you

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

But no, seriously, we're here because of our shared love for writing. Grudge matches are great when they're for writing, but non-kayfabe anger is essentially lovely white noise.

...like this post, I realized.

EDIT:
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Screaming Idiot fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2015 around 01:09

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Stories about spaceships? In , baby! Quick stupid question: do they have to be honest-to-goodness actual real-life space ships, or can we go science fiction with that too?

And thank you for the great crit, Maugrim, and for the great prompt -- I love me some cheesy metal.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

crabrock posted:

I would suggest you read the entire prompt.

I did, but the part where you said "I want a real life god drat spaceship" muddied your intent. I'm asking for clarification so I don't get disqualified for not following the prompt -- better to ask and look the fool than to stay silent and become one.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

crabrock posted:

WHY IS IT THAT EVERY TIME I MAKE A PROMPT, PEOPLE COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WITH lovely loving QUESTIONS.

Maybe you shouldn't contradict yourself.

"I WANT A SCIENCE FICTION SPACESHIP!" "I WANT A REAL-LIFE SPACESHIP!"

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

My stories come to life when I post them. I'm currently having dinner with a naked generic mobster with a bullet wound, Megaman X Omni, Ed the cockney vampire, and a paralyzed Russian boxer.

It was difficult to choose the pizza toppings.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Sam Wolfe: Monkey Hitman

Prompt: Hitman monkey finds no joy in his job

Words: 1,498


I waited outside the high school, cigarette hanging from my bottom lip. Bad enough I had to babysit my boss's kid -- even worse I gotta pick her up from school.

A knock at the heavily tinted window. "Sam? Sam Wolfe?"

"That's me, Rebecca. Get in -- make it quick, we got a long drive ahead." Longer because I have to put up with you.

The passenger door opened and in slipped a young woman. She gently placed her heavy bag in the backseat with a clank and smiled at me. "The name's Becky, Sam. Boom-Boom Becky."

Christ. "Whatever. Buckle your seatbelt."

She looked at me strangely, then at the complicated series of straps and levers that allowed me to drive. "So... what's it like to be a monkey?"

I turned and glared at her. "Gee, what's it like to be a nosy kid?"

"Not a kid," she said with a matter-of-factness that made my fur stand on end with annoyance. "I turned eighteen last week -- remember?"

Oh, I remembered all right.


***


A week ago.

"Francisco, I refuse to do this."

I'd said those words with as much authority I could. However, anything said by a Rhesus macaque -- professional hitman or no -- will certainly lack authority. But Francisco was a good guy; I knew him for years, even before my "accident." Surely he'd see the error of his ways.

"Look, Wolfe, her heart is set. She wants this -- she wants to get her hands dirty. And if she's gonna learn from anybody, I want her to learn from the best -- from you." Francisco gestured as I sat on his desk, my tail twitching uncontrollably. "Monkey or not, you're the best I got. You got control -- you keep cool. Rebecca wants to learn the trade, I'm not going to pair her with some sociopath that'd put a bullet in her head at the first sign of trouble."

"How do you know I wouldn't?" I hated taking such an antagonizing tone with Francisco, but I had to talk him out of it somehow.

"Because I trust you. That, and you don't use bullets." He gestured to my little jacket where I hid my tools.

I adjusted my hat and scowled. "You're a smartass, Frank."

There was a knock at the office door. It opened before Francisco could say anything, and she walked in. Rebecca's lips pursed into an O of surprise.

"You bought me a monkey for my birthday! Thank you, Daddy! Thank you!"

I bit my hat to hold back the torrent of verbal abuse. Goddammit.


***


"Are you still upset about that?" Rebecca looked at me, lips pursed, eyes downcast. "About what I said?"

"No." Yes.

"Look, Da-er, Francisco didn't tell me that you were a Transplant. He told me he had a surprise; he didn't tell me he approved my application to join the organization, nor did he say anything about pairing me with-."

"A monkey," I muttered, keeping my eyes straight ahead as we drove.

"His best," she corrected. "I grew up listening to stories about you and your hits. Other girls watched cartoons and played with dolls -- I watched spy movies and learned about the tools of the trade. He just never mentioned you were a monkey."

"I wasn't, up until two years ago." I let my mind drift as I talked, only paying the scarcest attention to my driving. "I was in jail for a botched job. Not for murder -- I had my assassin's license up to date, Francisco made sure of that -- but for robbery, a crime I didn't commit. The target had known some important folks, and they didn't take well to me doing my job, and all it took was a little greasing the police to 'find' evidence of a crime that didn't take place.

"As long as you go through the proper channels, assassination is legal. But if the hitman in question does something he shouldn't -- like rob his victim -- he gets the full sentence."

"So what does this have to do with you being a monkey?" She tilted her head like a stupid puppy pissing the rug.

"Everything." My tiny fingers gripped the wheel, and again I heard the droning voices of the lawyers, the screaming of the other inmates, my wife's quiet sobs over the phone. "I was gonna be in jail for life, and I got sued for everything -- and then some -- by both my client and my victim's estate. My family was destitute and I was desperate; when they approached me with an offer of parole in exchange for some medical experiments, I asked no questions."

I trailed off, remembering my voice screaming in my ears -- but it wasn't me screaming, no, it was a mindless beast whose body I now inhabited. I could see my body -- no, the monkey's -- naked, covered in electrodes, foaming at the mouth as it tore from its restraints and strangled one of the technicians. There was a shot, a scream. The body went still.

"Sam? You with me Sam? You're swerving." Rebecca eyed me strangely.

"Yeah." I took a deep breath. "Long story short, I'm stuck paying for the procedure as well as supporting my family, though they think I'm dead -- they think the money's coming from the organization's insurance."

Rebecca was quiet for while. Her talking grated my nerves, but her silence was somehow worse.

I tried to sound deadpan. "Still wanna join the organization? Maybe you'll become a parakeet, or a giraffe."

"Well, Transplants aren't so rare anymore," she said after a while. "You're not alone."

No, I'm pretty loving alone, I thought. "Whatever. Our target is Tyrus King, drug baron, human trafficker, all-around scumbgag. You dig up anything else on him, or did you skip your homework?"

Rebecca threw her nose in the air. "Who do you think got Daddy his address to give to you? I found out plenty about him, including his hobbies -- he's really big into Asian culture and Mexican wrestling. Lives in a pagoda, never leaves his home without his mask. He's crazy, but dangerous enough that nobody questions him."

"Great, I'm hunting a loving luchador," I muttered. "I need a cigarette."

"Not while you're driving," she said.

Bitch.


***


We arrived, and I parked a few away from Ty's pagoda in the country. I made Rebecca stay in the car. My small size made it easy for me to infiltrate, but the last thing I needed was a kid to get in my way.

I clambered up the side, sneaking into one of the open windows. I reached into my jacket and readied my signature weapon -- a specially designed air-gun loaded with paralytic venom-darts. A good shot would put a full-grown man under near-instantly, and if no antidote was administered within thirty seconds, death followed. Painless and clean. Effective.

I crept about, noting the hodgepodge of Mexican and Japanese decorations cluttering the joint, carefully staying hidden. So far, so good -- no guards, no security systems. Once I took the scumbag out I could get back to Francisco with his brat in tow and-

"Well, if it ain't Sam the Monkey Hitman! Boy, you shoulda rethunk this journey to the west!" An inhuman voice boomed as the lights flicked on. I looked upward, and my gun fell from my nerveless grip.

Flanked by a pair of burly men dressed as geishas was what appeared to be a tyrannosaurus rex in full wrestling regalia, complete with a custom-made mask over its massive head. A low chuckle rumbled from its throat.

"Thought you was gonna get one over on ol' Tyrus King, eh? Well, you're wrong, son!" The dinosaur threw its head back and roared, and the geisha pointed their rifles at me threateningly. "Tyrus King don't exist no more! I'm something better now -- something greater! I'm the meanest monster of the squared circle you ever met: Luchasaurus Mex!"

The dinosaur luchador gestured to transvestite geisha-guards with his stubby forearms. "Take him out, boys."

I was faster, more agile than they thought; I leapt from place to place, swinging to and fro while they shredded the room with gunfire, the colorful t-rex roaring and puffing his feathers in anger.

I didn't know t-rexes had feathers.

"Shoot the monkey! Shoot the loving monkey!" he roared one last time before a series of explosions rocked the building. When the dust and smoke cleared, I pulled myself to all fours and over the corpse of Luchasaurus and his guards I saw Rebeccea with a smoking rocket launcher in her hands.

"I heard gunfire," she explained. "I would have been here earlier, but this thing's heavy."

"What the hell, Rebecca?" I stared at her, still in shock.

She just smirked. "The name's Boom-Boom Becky, Sam. Don't forget it."

I hate my job.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Not gonna lie, I loving love the idea of Luchasaurus Mex and I'm going to snag this story for future works.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

So I finished and edited my story yesterday while I was sick and bombed out on flu meds and rum. I opened it up for a few last minute revisions and found that not only did I go over my 2k1 limit by... well, let's just say a lot, I'd written a completely incomprehensible mess that didn't match at all what I had intended to write. It'll take a while to whip it back into shape, and I'll still post it when it's done if anyone wants to see it, but I don't think I'll be able to finish the revision in time.

Yeah. I failed this time. I'm sorry, guys.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

In, with Jack and the Beanstalk.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Thanks for the crits, and I hope I can use the advise to write better stories. If I can get steady access to wifi I'll eventually try to do some line crits -- it's hard to post them on my phone.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Beans

Prompt: Jack and the Beanstalk

Words: 1550


"The rent's due, Mack." Jillian looked up at me from her half-eaten bowl of soup beans and sighed.

This again.

"I know." I put down the newspaper, disgusted with myself. No loving work, nobody needing help, loving nothing.

"We can't keep living like this," she said. She looked beautiful in the sunlight cascading from the kitchen window. The sheer hopelessness on her face broke my heart in two. She deserved better than this.

Than me.

"I know."

"Mack, I can't keep asking Momma for money. She's barely making ends meet with her VA." Jillian dropped her spoon in the bowl and leaned forward, hands running through her hair.

"I know."

"I can't work, sweetie. Not now. You gotta find something. Please. Please." She looked up at me with teary eyes.

"I know."

She stared at me. I said nothing. The light faded as clouds obscured the sun, mirroring her expression almost on cue. I wanted to reach out to her, to stroke her cheek, to get up and hold her and promise her everything would be all right, that I'd make it right. I'd find a job. I'd be the man she deserves.

And I didn't. I couldn't.

I'm already pathetic. I wouldn't lie to her as well.


***


"Mack, don't know what to tell you," Cecil said as we sat shivering on the icy curb, half-eaten tacos in our hands. Tacos he'd paid for. "We put in apps everywhere, but there's nothing around. Even McDonald's ain't hiring -- they got fifty-year-olds on the fuckin' grill, man."

"You sure? I know you, man. You're a hustler -- you always got money in your pocket." I took another bite. Guilt turned it to ashes in my mouth, but I ate anyway; Jillian didn't know it, but I'd let her have the last food in the house, and I was starving.

"I got nothing you'd wanna do, man. You don't touch drugs, you ain't up for stealing, and... gently caress, Mack, there's nothin' I can do!" Cecil paused, then let out a thoughtful belch. "Unless..."

"Unless...?" I gestured for him to continue.

"My... supplier, Big George Amoretti, spends a lot of time out and about, yeah? Leaves his wife by herself to do all the chores and keep the place clean. That's a lot of work for an older broad, especially since Big George is as big a slob as they come. He's loaded as gently caress, so you might be able to charm your way into her hiring you into some odd jobs for a little scratch to eke by."

"I need something long-term." I wiped my mouth with my napkin and tossed it away.

"Better than nothing. Lemme give you her number and you can see if you can work something out." Cecil grabbed his phone.

I felt a rumble in my stomach that didn't come from Mexican food.


***


I knocked at the door. I didn't tell Jillian where I was going -- no sense getting her hopes up, right? I looked at my outfit and made sure I looked presentable and work-ready.

The door opened and an attractive older woman peeked out. She looked at me and winced. My heart sank at the expression.

"Mrs. Amoretti, right?" I gave her my most charming smile and smoothed back my hair, cursing myself for its length.

"Mack, right?" She sounded defeated. "Hon, I'm sorry I had you come all the way out here. George changed his mind last night -- he said he didn't want strangers in his house. I'm sorry, hon, I really am."

She went to close the door, and I don't know what guided my actions then - desperation, probably. I stuck my foot in the door and stepped into her house, firmly gripping her shoulders.

"Ma'am, I need the work. My girlfriend is pregnant, nobody's hiring, and our rent is past due -- if I don't bring some money in soon, we're out! I'll do whatever you want -- I'm good with my hands. I used to work in my dad's garage before he passed away, and after that I was a carpenter for a while."

She looked at me, shaken, and carefully pulled away. "I'm sorry Mack, but-"

"Please," I pleaded, my voice softer than I intended.

She paused, letting out a soft sigh. "All right, all right. But we can't let George know. He'll be out until eight -- you do some stuff around the house and I'll pay you what we agreed on. Just for today, and you have to be out of here before six.

Better than nothing. I nodded, and she showed me what needed to be done. She watched me while I scrubbed floors and hammered nails, a suspicious expression on her face. By the time six had come around that expression had changed to something I couldn't identify, something wistful, maybe a little hungry.

"Here," she said as she handed me a wad of bills from her purse, a smile on her face. "What we agreed on, plus a little extra -- you're a regular workhorse, Mack."

I counted the money and my eyes widened. "Mrs. Amoretti... you sure? I didn't even get to finish-"

"Which is why I'd like you to come back tomorrow," she said. "Same time as today. And call me Irma."


***


Weeks passed. I worked at Irma's every other day, even though I could tell there was little that needed done. Big George was still a slob, but I usually finished cleaning up after him in the first hour after arriving. Irma soon gave up any pretense of giving me work afterward, instead just sitting and talking with me while we ate and watched TV. I think she was happy just to have company, although her glances lingered too long for comfort.

The money was good though. I managed to make rent, and there was even a little left over to treat Jillian to dinner a night or two a week after groceries and baby supplies were purchased. I tried to save back as much as I could, though -- the gravy train wasn't going to last.

When I brought my fears to Cecil, he agreed with me.

"Mack, I gotta tell you, you made one helluva impression on Mrs. Amoretti. But Big George is gettin' suspicious, and not just of her -- of everybody. He's cut off a lot of people lately, and that's hurt my business." Cecil smacked his lips. "I helped you, didn't I? I need you to do somethin' for me in return."

"I could loan you a few dollars-"

"Don't gimme that, you wouldn't have a bean to your name if it weren't for me," Cecil spat. "Mack, you clean Big George's room drat near every day. You got access to his house. You got wifey's trust. And I know where he keeps his stash hidden."

"Irma gave me and Jillian the help we needed to stay off the street." I stepped toward Cecil and towered over him, my expression showing exactly what I felt about his insinuation. "I won't do that to her."

"Do what? I didn't say anything." Suddenly Cecil was angelic. "Just, y'know... be careful. Don't let anything happen, okay? Big George is a dangerous man."


***


Irma and I sat on the couch, an old sitcom blaring from the wall-spanning flatscreen on the wall, and she smiled at me. I smiled back, and she rested a hand on my thigh.

I stopped smiling.

"What's wrong?" She sounded drunk, and I could smell faint alcohol on her breath. "Don't you like me?"

"I do," I sputtered, carefully removing her hand, "but as a friend. I don't-"

There was a slam. There was a shout. Irma went pale.

"IRMA, YOU CHEATING loving stinkyhole, WHERE IS HE? WHERE THE FEE-FI-gently caress IS HE?"

"Jesus," Irma gasped. "Mack, get up! Get out of here!"

I heard a rumbling crash. Furniture and tables were knocked to the ground followed by more screaming. I shot out of the den as George entered, and I heard his bellow as I hid in the pantry.

"I BUST MY rear end OUT THERE TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE AND YOU gently caress SOME KID BEHIND MY BACK? I'LL loving GRIND YOUR BONES!"

"Georgie-pie, I-I don't know what you're talking about-"

There was a fleshy crack, followed by a short scream, followed by a thud, followed by pained sobbing.

"CECIL TOLD ME EVERYTHING! TOLD ME HOW YOU'D BEEN loving HIM FOR WEEKS AND PAYING HIM WITH MY MONEY! IT ENDS TODAY! I'M GONNA FEE-FI-loving GRIND HIS BONES BENEATH MY FOOT!"

Irma didn't say anything else save for quiet, muffled sobs. I took a sharp breath. Irma deserved better -- her only crime was loneliness. I kicked open the door to the pantry and made my way back to the den where George loomed over the battered Irma.

"Come get me, prick," I said with more bravery than I felt.

Big George lived up to his name and then some -- the man was practically a giant. He roared and hurled himself after me, and I sprinted out the front door and down the icy steps.

He slipped. He landed. His neck jutted awkwardly.

I fell to my knees.

Now what do I do?

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Yo, the idiot is in.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Fate, Inescapable

Prompt: An unavoidable stranger at the crossroads

Words: 989


I knelt on the cold, hard-packed sand with a gun barrel pressed to the back of my head. My body quivered in pain, but I felt calm

"It didn't have to be this way, pratzka," Jakob said around the cigarette hanging from his lip. He poked the gun into the back of my skull for emphasis. "Any last words?"

I spat a wad of bloody phlegm onto the grit below and laughed. "Not this time."

There was thunder. Pain. Darkness.


***


"Ashley," Casey gripped my shoulder with talon-like fingers, eyes wide -- a cornered animal's. "Wake up, dammit!"

I pushed away the covers. Casey was dressed. She paced back and forth before the bed. I heard muted thuds and felt muted rumblings from in the distance. I looked out the window and saw the far-off city bright with flames and gunfire. Airplanes drifted overhead, firing into the city.

"Get dressed, we need to leave. Now. The Hrundt are here -- it won't be long until they make it into the countryside." Casey's voice was hard, cold, but I knew her well enough to sense her panic. "We probably have a day at most -- enough time to get some distance between us and them."

"Two days," I said as I kicked out of bed and stripped my nightclothes, grabbing the bundle I'd prepared the previous night.

Casey looked at me strangely, dark features questioning.

"At least, one would assume, knowing the Hrundt. They're slow -- all that body armor, you know. An army's only as fast as its slowest man." I finished dressing, lacing up my boots for the long journey ahead.

Casey hefted her satchel of supplies. "They took New Choroza quick enough -- I didn't think anyone had planes left."

"They probably got them from an overlooked military ruin," I said, leading to the stables. The horses nickered and whinnied as we approached, eager to move. I looked in their eyes and saw the same fear Casey had shown.

They had every right to fear. Animals knew. And I know too.

We took our horses. Quietly, carefully we stalked away from our home toward the overgrowth where people rarely ventured. Relics of the old world lay within that tangled, verdant expanse; they were said to be haunted. But with the Hrundt wreaking havoc with their scavenged toys, the ruins were the closest thing to a bastion we had.

At least, that was the plan.


***


"I ask you again, what lay in those ruins?" An aging man with close-cropped black hair and a bristling mustache stood over my broken body -- Jakob. "Your little black friend, she just cried and cried, even before the beatings. I didn't think a plane trip would be so traumatic, but, eh." He shrugged and put on a smarmy grin. "You seem to be made of sterner stuff, maybe you can keep your head, hort?"

I just smiled, revealing teeth broken off at the gums, and raised a gnarled fist to give him the finger. He sighed.

"A shame, little pratzka. You're a strong one -- you would have made a fine soldier's wife." He shook his head as he dragged me to the cold desert outside.


***

Casey and I had traveled for over a day until we made it into the forest that had once been a city so long, long ago. We camped in the shell of a ruined building held together by aged, gnarled ivy and roots, beneath the canopy of a tree that old was before my grandfather's grandfather was born. We slept together beneath that quiet, grizzled patriarch, and the horses munching contentedly nearby.

We'd split up the next morning to scout the surrounding area, and to look for the others who were supposed to have come with us. I knew we'd find no one, but I kept the knowledge to myself -- I couldn't change what was going to happen.

They were waiting for me. Not the others of our group, of course -- they were too slow, too worried about possessions to leave. The Hrundt were slow, but they were relentless, and cruel. The Hrundt disposed of their prisoners after learning of the ruins.

"Little pratzka," one of them husked through the thick scarf over the bottom of his face, "you know things about this place, hort? You tell us, we let you go. Simple."

He wasn't used to speaking English; he wasn't a conscript. The high quality of his leather armor with the sewn-in metal plates meant he was an officer.

"I know this place is haunted," I said lowly, glancing at the knife at my waist, then at the rifles they held in their hands.

They brayed laughter, except the officer. He sighed and tugged down the scarf, revealing a worn face with a thick mustache. "Little one, I have no time for games. Some ruins are trapped, some ruins are worthless... but others hide treasures. Our maps say there is a bunker under our feet, and you, pratzka will tell us how to get to it."

I didn't know of any bunker. In all the times this has happened, I never learned of any bunker. I did know his name was Jakob, though. He told me, once.

I said nothing, and spat in his face. I never got to do that before. The satisfaction was almost worth what happened next.


***


The plane ride was spent in agony. I didn't see what they did with Casey -- I didn't want to. Beaten, broken, I hallucinated. I saw the truth.

"This will keep happening," I giggled madly as I struggled in my bonds. "Forever!"

Jakob looked down at me and sighed sadly.

A rifle butt silenced my crazed laughter. So many paths, so many roads, and they all led to the ruin, all led to the end that did not end!

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

We demand flies!

Prompt: Lizards taking the airways

Words: 150


Jets screamed through the skies, delivering nuclear payloads to town after town. Nobody knew how simple monitor lizards learned how to operate military hardware, and nobody could stop them.

"This is but a taste of the hell we will unleash," said their leader, nestling comfortably beneath a sunlamp atop an old general's hat. He licked his eyes as he stared into the camera. "We demand total control. Obey us, and live. Disobey, and we shall make of your country ashes."

Some states surrendered immediately, and true to the generalizard's word they were spared annihilation, but they were immediately enslaved, forced to serve the lizards by creating magnificent terrariums with deliciously hot sunlamps and warm rocks to bask upon.

Other states were bolder, waging war against the reptilian threat. It ended poorly...

...for the humans.

None could stand against the lizards.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

I'll give noir a shot; nothing to lose but my pride, and I have none of that anyway!

In

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

One Last Bottle Before I Go

Prompt: Noir

Words: 500


The stink of poo poo wafts around me, thick enough to chew. I don't care. The whiskey almost washes away the taste.

Gulp.

I remember the broad who ruined my life. She'd strolled into my office and laid into me with the mother of all sob-stories: murdered husband, lost inheritance, men out for her. Tears and smudged mascara and ruby lips panting with despair and the unspoken promise of what any red-blooded man desires.

"They used me," she'd insisted, "they killed my husband!"

"Help me get rid of them," she'd begged. "Be my hero!"

I took her on. Didn't even ask for money up front -- those big brown eyes fluttering were payment enough. She gave me names. I did the rest. One by one I went after them, watching, waiting. Every one of those bastards gave me a reason to shoot. There was no guilt, no blame -- they deserved hot lead in their bellies.

It was a setup. She wasn't a grieving widow, just some prostitute cum actress the mob hired to trick me into taking out their trash -- a tool, thrown away once she served her purpose. She was found dead in a dumpster, sliced and bloodied. I remember seeing those pretty eyes, frozen and wide with fear and betrayal even as maggots wriggled through the sockets.

Did I want revenge? Did I feel for her? Was it just wounded pride? I knew, once. Not now.

Another swallow. Bottle's low. Can't let sobriety's jagged edges pop my balloon of alcoholic comfort.

I used to be a detective. Worked with the Chicago PD. I got tired of the bullshit, struck it on my own. Used to be damned good, I thought.

I wasn't good enough.

No happy endings, no satisfying showdowns with a cigar-sucking Mr. Big and his goons. Instead there's a cancer in this city; festering tumors that've spread so far and so deep that nothing'll cut them out.

The mob doesn't need hitmen; their lawyers are bad enough. I lost everything -- job, home, hope. Those small-time crooks I plugged were replaced like nothing happened, and I live by the docks choking down hooch to numb the bleeding, infected stump where my self-respect used to be.

Gulp.

Bottle's empty.

Shatter.

"Enjoy your drink, Weller?"

I look up at the hired gun with a twisted grin. He was kind enough to let me finish my bottle so I wouldn't die sober.

"Get on your knees. Let's make this quick and clean."

He's the professional in the nice tailored suit with a gun in his hand, and I'm the bum wallowing in his own filth. I obey.

Gun to the back of my head.

The trigger pulls.

A dry click. All I need.

I leap to my feet, knock the gun aside, take him down with a punch. I didn't forget everything I learned on the force.

Just kidding. The gun went off fine.

Bang.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

In with Toron-Mata, Second of the Trinity, Guardian God of Knowledge, Logic, and Speech. He is the brother of Ebilius-Shahar, Third of the Trinity, Warrior God of Freedom, Instinct, and Action, and lover of Hartisese-Jayhopa, First of the Trinity, Mother Goddess of All That Lives.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Entenzahn posted:

Screaming Idiot – One Last Bottle Before I Go
Reminiscent barfly story
Reads like the synopsis to a longer story. There’s a plot somewhere in the background, but you give me the debrief and the coda. Not sure how I feel about this. You could just pick a pivotal scene, happening in the now, to speak for the story as a whole. Maybe that’s what you tried here, but then I don’t think you made a good pick; we just watch this guy sit on the bar and be sad. Lots of cliches, but you do make the voice work. I liked the prose. Mediocre idea nicely executed.

He He. Executed. Get it?

Oh man, I really hosed up; he was sitting by the docks, so drunk he'd shat himself, finishing one last bottle of cheap whiskey. I really dropped the ball there -- I'm sorry! Thank you for the critique, Ent.


Sitting Here posted:

Dark and Stormy Crits from week 132
One Last Bottle Before I Go
Screaming Idiot

I hope you people know I’m drinking whiskey every time you mention it. People who get lovely crits further down, blame your colleagues who won the amazing race to cliche town. But so ok that’s mean of me to say. But then oh god a dame walks in? And then your detective protag gets in over his head? The writing actually isn’t bad, but it’s saying all the wrong things. Well, except the last couple lines. That was bad and lame, don’t do that.

Yeah, I kinda kicked myself immediately after submitting. At the time I thought it was clever, but in hindsight I realize it was Dumb And Bad. I've never written noir -- hell, never read it -- so I relied on cliché to carry me. Thank you for the crit, SH.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

I have to say, this week's been really impressive. Lots of imaginative gods, clever twists on traditional ideas, and a great range of tone. I managed to finish my story, but I couldn't get to work to post it in time -- just as well, because I didn't do any of my ideas justice at all.

As I have sinned in the eyes of the Gods of the Thunderdome, I shall atone. To that end, I'll offer line-by-line critiques of the next three people who ask for them.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

newtestleper posted:

I would love one for this weeks story, thanks. I'll pass it on and do an in depth crit for one of the newbies. If none of them ask I'll just choose one at random.


Hammer Bro. posted:

I could go for one of those, actually. I tried a thing, and I don't think it worked out how I thought it did, but I'm still recovering from The Fever so I'd appreciate (and take seriously) any critiques for next time I try.

Also what 'mojo said.


Megazver posted:

Hit me with it.

I am lazy so I am not offering to pass it forward.

Gotcha, fellas. IdiotCrits will be forthcoming in the next couple of days, providing work is merciful.

And sure, I'll post my story. It's nowhere near what I wanted it to be in the end, but at least it's finished.

EDIT: Okay, I have a problem -- I can't find the loving thing and I gotta go back to work. I'll post it when I find it. Sorry.

Screaming Idiot fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2015 around 01:32

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

[white noise image macro]

If I wanted to weasel out, I'd just say "Decided not to post this week" or something to that effect -- it's not like I toxxed myself. I wasn't satisfied with my story, but I still worked my rear end off on it and I'm genuinely annoyed I can't let a fresh pair of eyes take a look at it to tell me where I went wrong.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

If you find it and post it, I'll crit it for you.

Thank you! I'd really appreciate it, GP! I like the gimmick I used with it -- one story told through three differing perspectives -- but I remember the last few times I tried gimmicks and how they bombed.

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Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Fun Shoe

gently caress it, the idiot is in. I'm still bummed about losing last week's story and I'm tired from work, but this prompt is just too open to pass up. When you're creatively constipated, any excuse to squeeze out a nugget of creativity is a good one.

Also, the crits will be in soon, probably tomorrow or Friday. They won't be as academic as many of the others I've read, but I hope they're enlightening nonetheless.

oh god it's hard to critique better writing than your own

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