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Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


I want to sign up for 'The Pestilence That Enthralls'

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Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Maugrim, I'm a terrible human being with terrible tastes. Will you generate me a metal prompt that kicks me in the nads and washes my palate clean of my previous poor decision?

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Glorious Altars of the Blood-Red Insanity - 1000 words

Like an infant opening its eyes for the first time, Barnaby Dalton painfully peeled back his eyelids under, debatably, more precarious circumstances finding himself half inside a dumpster with assorted trash stuck to his person. A creaky door opens nearby and an older man peeks his head out.
“Barney, you out here son?” shouts a familiar voice. Barnaby stirs from his position in the dumpster. His vision begins to come back into focus, but coordination was still dragging behind. He tries to lift himself out, but only manages to sink further into the filth.
“Barney, I see your leg moving. Son, are you alright?”
Barnaby recognized the voices as his uncle Tate’s and although he couldn’t pull himself free of the trash, he could manage speaking.
“Yeah, uncle Tate, I’m here.” Barnaby says, not sure what to make of his predicament. “You need help getting out of there?” Tate asks his nephew. .
“Uh… Nah, unc’ I think I got it.”
“Oh, well ok son, you had one heck of a night, wanted to make sure you were ok.”
A flood of peculiar, unpleasant memories fill Barnaby’s head.

***

Yesterday
23, recently graduated with only pennies to his name, Barnaby, or ‘Barney’ as he liked to be called, took the B-Line out of Cool Palms, New Mexico across Texas, where he eventually caught a bus to Yampaw, Louisiana. He planned to start his life anew as a Butcher, following in the steps of his uncle and grandfather.
His mother had always told him Uncle Tate was weird, but with few options and no income, this seemed like his only choice. It had been nearly 15 years since he had seen his aunt or uncle so he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived, but Barney found himself pulling into a quaint bayou town. Gulls flew high overhead, and the marsh waters left the air somewhat salty, and refreshing.
His aunt and uncle were waiting there for him at the bus station and were glad to see their nephew who was only 7 when they saw him last.
“Oh my goodness, boy, you sure have grown up! You take after your daddy.” His aunt says to Barney as he retrieves his bags from the undercarriage of the bus.
“Hey, aunt Deb,” he says coyly slinging his bag over his shoulder before walking over to give her a hug.
“Boy, it sure is good to see you.” Uncle Tate says placing a heavy hand on Barney's back before joining in on the heartfelt hug with his wife and nephew.
“Well, we got you a little bedroom set up above the deli. Not much, but it should be comfortable. I got the nintendo too. I know you like your games.”
Barnaby smiles politely. “Thanks, I appreciate it, and I’m really glad you’re giving me this opportunity.”
“Don’t sweat it boy. Your name may be Dalton, but you’ve got the blood of a LeRoy, and us LeRoy’s are butchers at heart.” Uncle Tate says with a toothy grin.

***

They arrive at the shop and Barney gets settled in. The store had been closed that day so they had plenty of time to get caught up.
“If you’re hungry, we got plenty of things to eat in the deli fridge up front. Help yourself to some grub and then come on back, I want to show you some things.” Tate tells his nephew who is gracious for the hospitality.
Picking a plate of leftover meatloaf, Barney quickly eats and puts his dishes away so that he could join his aunt and uncle in the back.
A chill runs down Barney's spine as his hand touches the cold meatlocker door and his stomach begins to turn. He ignores it and enters the frigid storage. The room was dimly lit, and the hanging carcasses cast ghastly silhouettes that twisted in the faint traces of light coming from a room up ahead.
As he moved into the locker, he began to hear the patter of drums and a bitter wind swept through the room. The carcasses turned to rolling hills and their shadows into desolate crags that jutted out spasmodically from the alien terrain. The drumming became louder, and a low and ominous chanting accompanied it.
Barney had never felt more terrified in his life, but he felt compelled to push forward. A glance back at what once a meat locker revealed only an abyss, speckled with forms that became increasingly distant before vanishing altogether.
He was close to the light now, pushing up a jagged, ice covered bluff. Upon reaching the top and found two cultists exsanguinating a virgin atop an altar covered in blood.
“Nay, you wicked fiends, I will strike thee from this world!” Barnabus cried out unsheathing his crystalline sword, leaping at the hag who tossed up her arms futilely. “Your wicked spell nearly cost me my life, but no more. You are slain. Now, your time is at hand foul warlock.” Barnabus declares slicing the warlock’s abdomen open.
He races towards the altar, but is too late. The dark ritual had completed, and madness struck the brave warrior who reeled away from the blood soaked stone. He gazes up at a starless sky and falls from the frozen crag into the abyss...
Today
Barnaby finally manages to pull himself out of the dumpster concealing himself with newspaper.
“We thought that you had gotten hold of that stuff, and I said oh lord, not my nephew, but then I saw what you had eaten I put two and two together.”
“W-what? I had a meatloaf.”
“Nah, son, that wasn’t no meatloaf, that was bad steak. Now get cleaned up, it’s time to eat breakfast.” Uncle Tate says chuckling.
“Alright, unc’ just give me a minute.” Barney says embarrassed, but he too found himself laughing at the strange circumstances.
“Good.” his uncle says staring into his eyes, smearing bloodsoaked palms across his face. “Prepare for a glorious meal.”
“Holy poo poo, mom was right. You are weird.”

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


I'm in.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


I feel like my story was kind of crap and I got busy and really rushed towards the end. I'll take it if you're offering, but I know it was really lackluster. The candid nature of your critique rings true to how I feel about it haha. I plan to do better this week(hopefully).

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Do I have to lay a sick burn on someone to get a flash rule, or can I just have one for free?

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Maugrim posted:

Linecrit from Black Metal Week for Doctor Idle


------------------
HIT PROMPT? Yes
WORD COUNT? Yes
RANGE OF EMOTIONS? Yeah OK
------------------
Overall thoughts:
This story makes me really sad. It's not even a story, really. It's a series of mundane things that happen to a mundane chap called Barney, with a brief hallucinatory interlude in the middle that contains the only bit of actual interest and conflict in the entire piece. But because you'd spent so many words on irrelevant scene-setting and pointless dialogue, you couldn't do the interesting part justice and had to completely gloss over the epic battle with two warlocks over a blood-soaked altar. And even if you'd cut the irrelevance and written a most excellent tale of heroism and crystalline swords, your punchline of "bad steak" is on a par with "and then I woke up and it was all a dream" and would probably have earned you a DM all on its own.

It's not all bad though. There is that little nugget of good stuff hidden in there that you can develop. And you did occasionally manage to keep a consistent tense for whole paragraphs at a time, which convinces me that you could get it right if you were paying attention. I hope you'll continue to enter Thunderdome as, really, there's nowhere else to go from here except up.

Thank you for the line crit Maugrim. Good criticisms, and I do plan to return but for now I continue my stint of cowardice while I learn more about the trade.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Five Minutes of Your Time
Words: 1335

Rested up against the dilapidated remains of a glass plant on the intersection of 5th and Cronkley was a man that the world forgot.

I watched him everyday over the last three years as I worked the North Line Metro. The railcars rose from the partially illuminated darkness of the underground terminal to the nearly blinding rays of the sun available at street level each morning. Just as my eyes adjusted, there he was patting off the grime from the previous night. He didn’t have much. A bottle of water that always appeared half full, a once-bright blue pillow and an old tabloid whose headline probably only meant something to him, but they were his and each day, he tucked them away behind a rusted dumpster right as we passed by.

I’d see him again just before noon asking uptight business types for ‘five minutes of their time’ on Main. Again around two when I took my break, he’d have worked his way down to Rosary, same spiel, and at five when I was making my way back into that darkness of the Metro, there he was heading back down Cronkley towards his ‘home’.

There was a stop there, but I never saw anyone get off given that the area was pretty seedy and it was in bum-fuckin’ Egypt. Should anything have happened to someone there, and for the record it never did, they’d have been labeled as another casualty of ‘urban violence’, ‘societal abandonment’, ‘geographic discrimination’, or some other cockamamey, bullshit excuse that attempted addressing the truth that most of us, gently caress, maybe all of us, just didn’t care how it was. A peculiar complacency derived from ‘averting our eyes’. Don’t be mislead, I’m as guilty as any of you. The only times I ever interacted with the homeless was when I told them that they couldn’t sleep on the train, and that was just doing my job. It wasn’t that I thought poorly of them or loathed them or anything like that, they were just mostly invisible to me.

Cynicism makes it easy to render the uglier aspects of humanity invisible. You fall into a pattern of false certainties that enable you to cut through the red tape of social convention saying, “gently caress it, I’ve already got my answer. I’ve got me to look out for..,” and you wouldn’t be wrong, but you can only deny so much before life forces you to look at things beyond their face value.

Eventually, the guy did disappear. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but I also had not realized that visually confirming his presence each day was something that I had made habit. For the first week, I figured he might have simply moved on. Not a bad idea, I thought. There was nothing to be had out there with the exceptions of modern ruins speckled with forlorn souls, sketchy meetups where the police didn’t care to patrol, prostitutes looking for johns. If ever there was a place that could officially be labeled as ‘The Pits’, this was it.

The second week came and he still wasn’t there. I don’t know why, but it had gotten to me and I legitimately needed to find some reason for his absence. It festered in my mind, which led me to the worst possible scenarios as I had conditioned myself to do. It was crucial to decide on an abject reality before I could put the whole situation out of my mind, but this time it was different, the homeless man didn’t leave me.

When the third week came, I decided that I needed to go find out for myself, so I went looking one night after my shift had ended. I grabbed the flashlight, a coupon for a free sandwich at the Burger King and a couple of waters from my truck and headed down to the glass plant where he used to stay.

With the exception of broken glass crackling underfoot, the street was quiet. I looked around where I would normally find him. His pillow, water and tabloid remained. The pillow was dirtier up close and had tears in it. The tabloid had been caught in the rain and the ink from it had long since ran, leaving the paper unreadable. The water bottle was nearly empty. I hoped that he had left, but I wasn’t satisfied. I walked towards a group of people huddled around a burning barrel a way down the street by an overpass. They had carts and bags with their possessions and had even managed to scrape up a few tents to live out of. It wasn’t glamorous by any account, but at least they had each other and relative protection from the elements, so to speak.

An older woman from the group approached me, while the others cast wary glances and murmured among themselves.

“How can I help you, stranger?” she asks kindly.

I froze up. ‘Help me? How can I help you?’ I thought, still struggling to find my words. She smiled.

“I’m looking for someone - a guy, probably in his late thirties, early forties? - Full reddish-brown beard, long hair. Always in a pair of faded denims, a blue jacket with a stripe along the arms, and an old cap.”

She looked at me with pitiful eyes and placed a palm on my shoulder. My heart rose in my chest and my breathing became uneven. My nerves were shot in anticipation of something I didn’t want to hear, and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I was so affected by all of it.

“I don’t think I can help you, stranger.” she says.


I apologized for taking up her time and gave her the package I had brought for the man. I left both relieved and concerned. I still didn’t have the first clue where to look for him, and it had never occurred to me that there might be a better way to go about searching for a missing person, but without a name and only a vague description, I’d probably have ended up s-double-o-l.

I headed back to my apartment and turned in for the night. I didn’t sleep well. I couldn’t shake the ill feeling that I had about the man’s whereabouts, but I had to be at the station by 4:30 so I did my best to sleep. Later that night, I dreamed. It was about the homeless man. I was walking down a long stretch of road with old, lifeless storefronts on either side of the street. It was dark with a starless sky. The only light came from these stores. Mannequins were displayed in most of the windows, adorned in a variety of clothing and accessories. The light from inside revealing them to me and presenting the path as I continued.

However, when I reached the end of the road, everything was left in ruin and the sun began to rise painting the darkness brilliant hues of blue, purple and pink. When I turned back from the sunrise, there he was. He stood overjoyed with tears running along the creases in his face, he embraced me with wide open arms and told me thank you. I jolted up from my sleep and wept.

I had never felt so wracked with guilt. I felt useless, unable to help, unable to change the circumstances of the world we live in. I left for work a mess, but got better as the day went on. He was still missing.

The weeks turned into months, and the man’s belongings became a semi-permanent addition to the remnants of the glass manufacturing plant. I accepted that he was gone. With time I felt better too, the experience changed me and for the first time in my life, I felt for the plight of someone other than myself and understood why that man, whose name I’ll never know, so desperately wanted five minutes of our time. I was glad to have given him mine.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Broenheim posted:

since i failed to submit (again) i once again offer 3 line-by-line crits, with a being placed that I will finish them by next sunday. this is for any week, just link me to your story and ill be happy to crit 'em.

May I take one?

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Something Else posted:

And now I am also in.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


The Real Homuncuwives of Atlantis
Word Count: 1,199

Alfonso Ribeiro sat on the edge of his bed rubbing moisturizer into his hands as he prepared to settle for the evening. He looked back at his beautiful wife Angela and met her eyes. Smiling at one another, their affection was communicated without words.

He ran a hand over her calf, patting her thigh as he got up from the bed to go and check on their son, Alfonso Jr.

As he exited the room, he noticed that the hallway in front of him seemed to stretch on to unimaginable lengths. Inexplicable dread rose up in him.

“What the-” he muttered looking back at the bedroom which had also become obscured by darkness when a brilliant amethyst light enveloped him.

***

Alfonso found himself in strange dressing room when the light faded. A monstrosity with many tentacled arms and iridescent scales applied make-up with two slimy appendages, dressing him with several others.

He let out a terrified wail, but a would-be man in black robes with the head of wizened goat, began chanting an invocation that soothed his fraying mind.

Having been made complacent by the goat wizard, he snaps into a role of magical design, unaware of the oddities of his new surroundings.

The goat wizard casts a spell and Alfonso was whisked away once more, this time to a decadent lounge that sat in a place outside of existence.

Cameras, scrying orbs and rifts of reality were positioned around the lounge ready to record.

Then effortlessly, Alfonso did what he was brought to the strange place to do, host.

***

“Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, metahumans and planar beings alike, Alfonso Ribeiro here to bring you the highly anticipated season finale to The Real Homuncuwives of Atlantis. Tonight we are gathered here at the nexus of time and space, broadcasting across the planes of existence, live, from Melchior’s Temporal Lounge.”

“With us from uptown Algonquin is Antonio, paired off with the lovely, Ixleatieanmmeoal - She knows the name is a mouthful, so she goes by Tina! - give them a round of applause!”

[A pre-recorded audience claps as Antonio and ‘Tina’ get situated on one of the lounges many seats.]

A pseudo-humanoid lurches onto the couch leaving a trail of evaporating slime with each step. It hooks what looks like a leg over another malformed appendage that was likely, also a leg. Tan, fleshy folds colored extensively from make up, with uneven plastered fake-eyelashes, peel back to expose a speech cloaca with hot pink lipstick drawn around it. A series of guttural gurgling sounds echo throughout the lounge as Tina speaks, it drowns out and is quickly translated.

“This is like, so totally unfair…” the ‘woman’ said tossing a few loose strands of indeterminately placed, and abnormally thick, hairs.

“Tina-”

“NO! It’s unfair Antonio, I give you the best years of my life and you cheat on me with that basic bitch, Vanessa?”

“TINA-”

“NO! It. Is. Un-fuckin’-fair, Antonio. When you and your little-dicked mage buddies made your way down to Warlock’s Way and ordered the creation of me and my girls, excluding that traitorous whore Vanessa, you LITERALLY made a blood pact to honor and virtue us.”

“TI-” Antonio is cut short for a third time by the arrival of Zzxlemineuuauemml, also know as ‘Vanessa’.

A semi-gelatinous humanoid in an expensive halterneck gown oozes into the room. It takes a seat and loses most of its form as it partly spills into the crevices of the couch, opposite the room from Antonio and Tina.

Tina’s face-folds flutter in frustration letting out spouts of steam as eyes emerge from the translucent membrane of Vanessa’s face and roll provocatively. Pouty lips rise to the surface of her would be flesh to form an accompanying smirk that Tina hisses at.

[A pre-recorded audience sounds out: “Ooooooooooooo~!”]

“Welcome to Melchior’s Temporal Lounge, Vanessa. Lovely to have you here.”

High pitched shrieking rings out from Vanessa’s gelatinous body. It is quickly translated.

“Glad to be here, Alfonso, and let me just say, that I’m a huge fan of your work.”

Alfonso turned to the camera and smiles.

“Bless the unholy ritual that created your heart, girl.”

The two briefly share a laugh before Alfonso Ribeiro started on questions.

“So, Vanessa, things got a little heated towards the end of the season between you and Tina. Care to fill us in on that?”

“Well, Alfonso, truth be told… It’s because I know how to better satisfy the sexual urges of material beings.”

[The camera pans around oozing curvature of Vanessa’s body which shimmers in the spot light. Before cutting away to a flashback reel showing Vanessa flirting with Antonio over the course of the season.]

“BULL poo poo YOU RAGGED BITCH.” Tina said leaping off the couch. Glowing deposits of ectoplasm began to flow from her body, melting away anything that came into contact with it.

Antonio slid back on the couch carefully, ensuring that he was safe from the acidic goo. From the well-timed maneuvers he took, it is clear that this wasn’t the first time he had seen Tina like this.

Vanessa dislodged the earrings that were suspended in the membrane of her face and sat them on an end table. Standing up to confront Tina, she regained her shape.

Alfonso turned towards the camera with feigned surprise when Antonio finally gets up to get between the women.

“Look, why can’t we all just get on together? I mean you’re both only five years old in human time and you aren’t even really people… so, we cool?”

Tina and Vanessa shared a sympathetic look having seemingly reached a mutual understanding, and united, they attack Antonio, rending flesh and blood from his body. The screams he let out in that studio were blood curdling.

Alfonso watches as the homunculi sisters destroy Antonio and the magics that soothed his mind can no longer hold back the horror of his predicament. The wizard appeared, vexing his mind once more.

Snapping out of his delirium he fell back into the role of host, “Looks like Tina’s back on the market folks. Sister’s reunited. Tina, Vanessa, final words before we wrap up this finale.”

“It was like, such an honor to have you close out the season Alfonso, I hope you can come back again next season.” Tina said.

“Me too, Tina.” Alfonso replied with a laugh. “And now that you’re single again…”

[A pre-recorded audience sounds out: “Ooooooooooooo~!”]

“Ha-ha, just kidding folks. I wouldn’t want to end up like Antonio! Seriously though, that’s all the time we have for this evening. I want to thank you all for tuning in. Until next season, this has been Alfonso Ribeiro closing out the fifth season of The Real Homuncuwives of Atlantis. Everyone have a goodnight!”

***

As the final syllable of goodnight is uttered, the wizard’s spell ends and Alfonso’s mind breaks. He cried and screamed, thrashing about the studio in an attempt to escape.

A portal opened up forcibly pulling him back into his own life. His agonized cries accompanied him startling his wife Angela.

“Are you ok, babe?” she asked, but he just stared at his trembling moisturizer covered hands. The trauma of his experience to surreal to place into words.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


I'm in.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In, with a for not following through on two signups.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Helka’s Inheritance
(1,297 Words)

Helka tightened furs as a wintry mix blew through the narrow fissure she had descended into. Overhead, the night sky shone brilliantly through the veil of an aurora that shifted across several hues of teal, leaving mauve tinted tracers in the afterglow. The lights reflected off of the ice covered crags that towered above the fissure, illuminating Helka’s path.

Eventually, she reached an impasse where jagged rock formations sprung from the fissure. Helka ran her hand over one of the fragments and sighed before turning her gaze above for guidance.

“I’ve done what you’ve asked of me father… I’ve held to the tenets of the Elders and have never once questioned my faith, but I am nearly at my end. I-” she paused, startled as she felt a tug at one of the pouches on her hip.

She opened the pouch removed an opaque gem shard bundled in a papyrus note. The gem was warm in her hands, even through her thick gloves, but not like the warmth of a flame. It pulsed in her hand with a joyous warmth. A warmth that felt welcoming and familiar.

The note was blank but as she examined it in the light of the stone, words began to fill the parchment.

'Helka, the hour of our reunion draws near. Let your faith be unwavering my dear child. In your times of doubt, recite the prayers of the Allfather. and you'll never be far from the truth. With love, now and forever, your Father.'

The words faded from the page as quickly as they had appeared, and she tucked the note back into her pouch.

Holding the gemstone in one outreached hand, she took her father’s advice and began a recitation.

“Master of Runes. Through your gift I glimpse the web of Wyrd. So to do I seek the knowledge your staves reveal”

The crystal moved freely from her hand and spun in front of the shards emitting an all-encompassing light that filled the fissure.

As the light faded, a raised portcullis that provided passage to lush, colorful fields under a twilight sky appeared.

She stepped through the gate onto a passage that winded across the fields towards a crystal spire.

As she did, the portcullis behind her closed before vanishing altogether, but Helka felt no fear. A cool, sweet-scented wind blew across her relieving her of the anxieties that had plagued her mind not long before.

She hurried towards the spire with each step feeling lighter than the last, until finally she reached the bottom of the crystal spire. Her journey nearing its end.

Up close, it appeared as if it could lance open the sky and the air around it vibrated with strange energies that altered Helka’s senses. She could feel her father’s presence, among the presence of many, yet no one appeared before her.

Pushing open a pair of pointed doors that gave entrance to the spire, she stepped inside to an empty hall that went up hundreds of feet to a domed ceiling.

Her gem clasped in her hand she recited another prayer. “Wise one. You teach me the greater worth of the path freely chosen. I welcome you now into my heart, unfettered by reservation.”

The spire lit up as her words echoed throughout its chambers and a spiralling staircase emerged from the walls.

Helka was surprised, but she started her way up the long staircase, stopping when she needed rest. Each time she did so, light would spread across the spire shining where she stopped to reveal more of itself to her. Chairs and tables adorned with dusty tomes and alchemical equipment sat hidden from plain sight, but in her presence there they were.

When she sat to rest windows appeared along the rounded contours of the spire interior, but as she stood they vanished.

Holding up her shard as she had before, the windows reappeared, but when she looked out from one a hellscape awaited her.

She gasped at terrifying hellbeasts ambling about charred fields. Stepping away from the window, she approached another. Warily she lifted up her crystal and peered out to see an inexplicable plane of shapes and colors, where primal essences drifted, blinking from one location to the next shifting to permutation of their previous form.

Astonished, she continued to search the windows,, her sight exposed to a different form of reality each time.

“What is this place?” she asked aloud hoping to hear a response, but none came.

Rested, she continued her way up the spire, desperate for contact with her father or the presences she felt. Her questions grew with each floor she ascended, and wheedling fingers of doubt began to work their way into her mind.

Eventually she reached the top. A circular chamber with an ornate domed ceiling carved in such a way to mimic the night sky. At the rear of the room was a throne, but no sign of her father.

Despairing, she approached the throne and sat when a cadre of ethereal men and women positioned around the room appeared before her.

Centered in front was a wizened wizard with a long wiry beard. Several runes etched into his skin. Her father.

“My sweet child, I am sorry for my distance, your trials in coming here, the confusion. I did not mean to abandon you, but my time as Ingvar, your father has long since come to its end.”

Helka stands from the throne to reach for her father, but her hand moves through his form.

“Helka, you come from a long line of wizards. Wizards whose duty it is, and has been, to oversee the many layers of existence. To ensure peace between the thinly veiled worlds that coexist inside of the same shared space.”

“-But I do not understand. Why is it that you’ve called me here, I hold no magic.”

“You command the very essence, my dear child. You can see what others cannot, you can conceal what is and reveal what could be.”

The ethereal forms began chanting in tongues Helka was unfamiliar with and the top of the spire fades away revealing the cosmos.

“Look child, this is why I’ve called you here.” Ingvar said turning his head upwards.

Travelling through space was a being of pure energy. An unbridled rage was felt just by gazing upon it, and the deepest sense of dread filled Helka’s heart.

“That is the harbinger, that which will bring about the end. For hundreds of years, we’ve searched for answers as to why such a being would exist, but all we’ve been able to do is watch as it destroys worlds, conquering life across the many planes. We do what we can to hide our collective worlds from its sight and in an attempt to buy ourselves more time, me and those you see around you sacrificed our bodies in a ritual to bind our worlds, to hide them in a fold of space where the Harbinger would not find us, but we can remain hidden only so long.”

“It is tragic that this has become your burden, but the web of Wyrd demands it, and you shall never be alone.”

The ceiling closes up once more and a bridgeway appears connecting the upper most level of the spire with many others.

“Others like you, whose tapestries have long since been sewn into the web of Wyrd, will work with you to continue our efforts, and I will stay by your side as long as the magic we’ve enacted enables me to do so, but all that stretches out before you now belongs to you. These tools, this research, this land… may it all benefit you as it benefited me, and remember I will always love you. Your journey has only just begun.”

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Thanks for the Crits Something Else, Hammer Bro., I appreciate it.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In, with a flash rule please!

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In with a toxx, flash me please.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Some Old Hood poo poo
1,185 Words

Dante sat uncomfortably in the correctional counselor’s chair. Dante hated the sessions.

“Good afternoon Mr. Peterson.”

Dante nodded silently from his seat.

“So last time we got together you were telling me about your brother, Dom. Why don’t we finish that.”

“Yeah, sure.” Dante said turning his head to the side dismissively.

“Well, whenever you feel up to it, go ahead.” Mr. Pritchett, the counselor, said starting a tape recorder.

Dante sighed.

“It’s nearly been a year since I got transferred out of county to the pen for killing a nigga that pulled a gun on my brother over some pussy. Honestly, I thought I had left that life behind. got my poo poo straightened out. I had a good girl, a good job. Was trying to settle down, maybe get a family going, but I hosed that up.”

Dante paused as Mr. Pritchett took notes.

“It’s ok, Dante. Feel free to go at your own pace.” he assured him.

“It was hot. I remember that much. I don’t know what it is about the heat, but it makes niggas act up. Everybody gets hot under the collar, quick-tempered, aggravated, irritable. Whatever you want to call it, niggas be loving ready to go. Doesn’t matter where you stay at. The summer sun in ATL ain’t nothing to play with. Make a nigga bang over nothing. I did.”

“Anyhow, Dom was seeing this girl from the south side. A real bad bitch named, Lina. Her brother Roger, wasn’t having it though. Roger was a young nigga not much older than Dom. Had a rap sheet as long as the tattooed sleeves on his arms.” Dante paused.

“Moni and I argued that day.”

“Moni?”

“That’s my girl. Changed my life around, or she tried to at least. She was in school to be an RN. I was just a hard headed nigga hanging with his homies. For whatever reason, she saw something more in me.” Dante told Pritchett as he wrung his hands.

“I don’t even know what we were were arguing about. It’s always some dumb poo poo, but. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was fed up. Pook calling me was just the excuse I needed, or so I thought.”

“I left her place and headed back to the crib. Pook came over not long after saying Dom was caught up on the south side. So I grabbed my strap and we were out. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled up at Lina’s spot and Roger had his gun on my brother in the yard. Dom was bleeding above his eyebrow from where he had been pistol whipped.”

“Pook got out the car first, and Roger put two in Pook’s head without thinking. By the time I got out the car, he had his gun to Dom’s head. Lina was outside screaming for us to stop. I could already hear the sirens in the distance.”

“In hindsight, poo poo might not have even gone south if we just didn’t even show up. No point in second guessing myself now though right? The sun was in my eyes. Sweat beaded up on my forehead. I was mad at Moni. Scared for my brother. Mad at this nigga for killing Pook. Mad at my brother. Mad at myself. Roger turned his gun on me, but I fired first.”

Dante leaned back in his chair and his eyes glossed over, lost in memory.

“His sister screamed out his name. His momma came outside and she threw herself on him. My brother looked back at him before turning to me. I’m frozen in place, but for a second I think about turning the gun on myself. I think about trying to run. The sirens are louder now. I didn’t move an inch. I just watched in disbelief until the cops came. Now I’m trapped here between these concrete walls and steel bars.”

“With your word, I might get parole in five to ten years, but even if I did. Who would I go back to? Moni doesn’t write back. No one visits anymore. I got one letter from my mom telling me uncle ray got shot in retaliation, but then I ain’t heard poo poo since. Dom used to visit, but those were few and far between. Monica ain’t been by once. I think I miss her most.”

“In a matter of seconds, I detonated all of our plans together. I ruined our relationship. Even if she doesn’t write back, I hope she’s alright. I hurt everyone that trusted me. I hurt Roger’s family and mine.”

“I think the worst thing about prison is the loneliness. Dying in here alone. That’s what worries me. I don’t know if I’ll even get to make it to a parole hearing judging by way things been going. gently caress it though.” Dante said pointing to a poorly healed gash on the side of his neck.

“I wish I could see someone again. I got all my family approved for visitation, but they just stopped showing up. Stopped answering my calls. I only recently stopped going to visitation. I kept the hope that they’d show up and surprise me for weeks, but they never did.”

“Do you think you’d be willing to go again?” Mr. Pritchett asked suddenly.

“I can’t think of a reason to, nobody's coming for me.”

The correctional counselor slid a folded docket over to Dante.

“It’s a visitation approval form for Monica. I’m putting it in the mail today. She applied last week. She’s bring a child. Your child.”

Dante didn’t know what to think. The rest of his time with the counselor was noise in the background of his rising expectation.

The next week was a blur, but Dante didn’t rest well. He spent all his time trying to picture what his child might look like. He felt pangs of guilt for being absent and what would be his continued absence. He was anxious to see Monica again. To see his child.

When Saturday came around, he waited for hours in the visitation area. In hopes that she might come. It was two hours till close, when she finally arrived. A beautiful, but tired looking woman. Caramel skin decorated with freckles. Long, curly brown hair that hung just past her shoulders. Hazelnut eyes that evoked passion in Dante.

Resting against her shoulder was a little human head, tiny and wrinkled. She sat across from Dante who looked at her speechless. They stared at one another silently for sometime before she slid a hand across the table onto his.

“Do you want to hold her?”

Dante bit his lip, nodding as his eyes watered.

She places the baby into his arms, and the child stirs clutching onto Dante’s finger.

He looked at her chubby face as she opened her eyes slowly staring up at him, and in that instant he knew that there was still hope for him in this world. He knew that he had a reason to get out of here and to try and make amends to those he had wronged.

Dante took Monica’s hand and began to cry.

Cringgeeeeee

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Thanks go to meeple, Broenheim and Sitting Here for the crits.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In. Would you give me a song please?

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


Sin
“I Am Who I Am”
753 Words

I see my reflection in they eyes of a man staring into a dirty mirror on the 2nd floor of a nameless motel on a mostly empty stretch of desert. Behind me is a woman whom he has paid for sex. A prostitute, a hooker, perhaps an escort if you were feeling kind. She is gaunt-faced with tired, impatient eyes. Eyes that convey her indifference, eyes that I also reside in. Our flesh aches regardless of monetary exchange, and maybe for a moment, if just for a second, we’ll feel alive.

Walking by the large tinted windows, I see myself in the waddling reflection of a man or woman, I can’t even tell. It doesn’t matter so long as we hunger. I have a crumpled up $20 dollar bill in my pocket. I approach the cashier. “Let me get two Double Cheeseburgers, A large Fry, A Value Sized strawberry milkshake with added M&M’s, two apple pies, and an extra value sized chicken dinner combo, no drink” I tell her. “Is that all?” she asks. It is, and I hate myself for it, but I’ll be complacent with the first bite.

He’s holding the phone at an angle over his head. I can see myself in the picture preview. Behind me is an expensive car. It doesn’t matter what type of car, because you can’t afford it. We bought it. I’m smiling, but it feels labore. I ordered a $10,000 dollar watch the other day. It won’t tell time any more accurately, but it’ll look nice on my wrist and it’s worth a lot, it has real value. It’s important. This purchased validation is destroying me, but it’s not enough. It will never be enough…

Slouched in a recliner looking back at herself through the lens of a webcam I see myself. Around me, my home has gone to ruin. There are curious stains on most surfaces. Clothes piled up in various corners. The trash is overflowing. The dishes are piled up. My bathroom is filthy. My desk is filthy. I am filthy. I can take care of it later. What I’m doing right now is much more important. I haven’t become completely listless, yet.

I see fragments of myself in a cracked mirror. We’re in a basement and not alone.. It’s dark. Behind me is a man lying face down in a pool of his own blood, the back of his skull a bit softer than it was before. My right eye is swollen shut. I can feel the blood streaming freely from my nostrils, pathing over the grooves of my chin. Pooling into droplets that eventually splash against the cold concrete beneath me. The man isn’t moving, but I’m not angry anymore, at least not right now. It won’t be long before I feel the rage again.

I am looking at his expensive car. He drives past me and I see myself in the blur. I assure myself that he’s just validating his own existence, but I just want what he has. Why can’t I have it? No matter how hard I work, I’ll never have it. I should take it. It’s not fair, I deserve to have what he has. Why can’t I have it?! I hate this. I’m going to take it. I’ll steal what I can’t earn, because I want it. Why should you have what I can’t? They can afford to get it again.

I am great. I am amazing. You and everyone like you are beneath me. I am always right, and I am guaranteed to know more than you. I am better than you. It is my birthright. I am correct. You’re correct too? I am more correct. Whatever gods there may be, I forbid you bruise my ego. My sense of self is all I have. It’s the only way to make this make sense. It has to make sense… Am I great?

You are strange meat drifting through a vacuum. A fixed set of parameters have predestined you to an existence you have no say in. Ancient orders are encoded in your DNA. You have an insatiable curiosity, a need for order. I am a gestalt of emotion and experience that is ineffable to you, the individual. I enjoy your suffering, I enjoy your self-validation, I enjoy your attempts to neatly arrange the universe into comfortable packets of information. I exist only because you allow me to and because of that I am who I am, and what I am I will be.

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Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In. I wrote trash and must wash away the shame as best I can.

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