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Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Screaming Idiot posted:

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.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
799 words

Izzie had just punctuated the first sentence in her email to her family when she noticed the bulge in the floorboards.

After the better portion of a bottle of Mezcal Alacran to go with her dinner of plasticky Boston Market chicken, Izzie had reached the point where she was entertained by the tricks her mind played on her.

She thought it’d be easier to send out the email while sauced, but the booze sharpened her senses instead of dulling them, made everything in the room stand out like bright spots on her retina. Especially the hatbox-sized lump in the middle of her apartment floor.

My treasured family, I come bearing bad news.

She hated the word "treasured" as soon as she typed it into her phone, but didn’t have the strength or sobriety to go back and replace it. “Treasured” made her feel like her mother, like she was going to sleep every night in a pile of stuffed animals shaped like her aunts and uncles.

Unfortunately, a wonderful woman and my mother, Estefania Villaluz, passed away five days ago on June 9, 2014.

“A wonderful woman and my mother” was deliberate, as was “passed away.” Izzie wanted to inspire movement in the minds of her family members, conjure images of her mother leaping through open gates and into the afterlife, even though most of them knew her mother hadn’t left her house the last four years of her life. Izzie had left before her mother had made it impossible for anyone to get in or out. Impossible for anyone other than her to know what her mother had become.



Izzie instead typed, She loved me very much.

That made her her mother, not a wonderful one.

Please send your thoughts and prayers to—

Izzie heard a groaning from the middle of the room. She looked up.

Her phone fell onto the futon beside her.

The bulge in the center of the room was now the width of a coffee table, about three feet at its highest point.

There was a slow breathing sound in her ears. It wasn’t coming from her.

She pushed herself off of the edge of the futon and took a step forward, her legs shaking. She could see the stained, tomato-colored throw rug sliding down the side of the bulging floorboards, splintering and cracking as it began to grow, filling the purposefully empty center of the room.

Her legs gave way under her and she threw herself back onto the futon, grasping her phone again. Her head was finally spinning. She laughed towards the ceiling, a dry crackling sound. Crazy poo poo. Time to sleep it off. She would finish the email in the mor—

There was a whooshing and a splintering, and suddenly she couldn’t breathe. Pain shot through her chest and latched onto her bent shoulders.

The futon bed had folded her up, pushed her knees into her chest as the bulging mass advanced against it. It now towered over her, blocking out the ceiling lights and casting a shadow over her straining face. Gaps between the wooden boards formed, revealing to Izzie what was inside.

Everything was inside.

Stacks and piles of unopened letters, family photos, rat-gnawed newspaper coupons and faded magazine clippings. Yellow coffee cans and filmed Tupperware containing foulnesses and superstitions. Old garden hoses and treadworn car tires and dust-ridden appliances that had towered over her bed as a child, had turned their house into a garbage maze.

Something shone through the packed mass—a gleaming silver iron with a snakelike cord that made the back of her head burn with recognition, made her taste charred fabric and burnt hair and salt dripping from her cheeks as her mother held her face against the ironing board and screamed prayers to a God Izzie vowed she would never worship, the heat in her mother’s binding arms pressing her down, down, into an ashmark on the floor, into nothing—

Izzie bit her tongue as the mountain of things pressed her legs against her lungs until her breath gasped out of her, until her head felt like it was going to pop off.

Then she felt the pressure release, slightly.

She turned to look at her right arm, trapped in the folded mattress, still holding her smartphone. She had hit one of the keys by accident.

Izzie gritted her teeth and continued to type with one twisted hand, finishing her sentence: —hell, where she belongs.

The mountain in the center of her apartment let out another moan, along with something that Izzie hoped was a death rattle. It shrank some more.

She wrenched her body up and out of the folded bed, took the phone in both hands. Her finger hovered over the Send button.

She began another sentence.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Black Cherry

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 22:56 on Feb 9, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
In with Desert Disintegrates The Forest.

Brenn i helvete, fittetryne.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

639 words

We are a dying race, and we accept it. We live with our own death everyday.

I’m standing at the mouth of the tunnel that leads into our sector, working as a sort of night watchman. One good thing the invaders did when they came, drove us below the surface of our planet, was help us evolve, become closer to ideal beings.

I can no longer see, hear, or speak. But I can discern that the mile-long tunnel in front of me contains no exhaled breath, no shifting skin. No threat whatsoever.

Certainly not the invaders. They only exist in our shared thoughts, fables from generations ago, back when our race was still unafraid. Before we became shadows burnt onto walls.

All at once, I feel a creeping dread, some chilling rake across my brain.

My form tightens, and the dread goes away, replaced by a familiar feeling, the feeling laughter would give you if it were something you could touch.

I feel her voice behind me: Anything else crawl up behind you tonight, Ayin?

Don’t scare me like that again, Cedilla, I send back.

Fear is my favorite emotion, Cedilla sends, her tones ricocheting through me and in me. It makes me feel human.

I send warmth back to her. This is how we communicate now. I know Cedilla more intimately than any human ever could. We hold each other in beds made of reassurance and comforting thoughts, press each other up against the walls of our own bodies, share sentiments that no imperfect tongue could produce with sound.

I’m only on duty for a little longer, I send to her. I hate being on the outs.

I can find you anywhere, Cedilla sends back. You can’t hide fRoM mE—

Something is wrong. Her tones are beginning to waver, scatter.

All around me I can sense something new. My feelings and thoughts seem like they’re expanding, pressing against the sides of my form. At the far end of the tunnel, something is poking a hole into me, a small, irritating feeling that’s growing greater by the second.

I try to tell myself it’s someone I know, but my heart sinks as I know better.

WhAT’s haPPEnING—sends Cedilla.

Shadows quickly shrink into nothing on the tunnel walls as the light floods towards us. They’re a glowing swarm, messily devouring every crumb of darkness from the crevices lining the burrowed earth. I feel the sound of something burning, matter being scorched away into nothingness.

Time slows down as they speed up. I know I only have a few seconds.

Thoughts race through my head like a neverending stream of electric shocks. They’re here again. Finally. Finally here to wipe out the lot of us. I should warn somebody. I should tell Cedilla to run. It won’t do any good, they’ll catch us. Maybe one of us can make it to the Sector and warn everyone. Maybe we have a chance to fight back. What weapons do we even have? How can we even defend ourselves?

I only have time to leave her with one thought.

CeDillA, gET dOWn, I send with all of my strength.

She hesitates, and I return the heavy dread she sent me. She recoils, hunches down without giving herself time to think.

I throw myself over her, drape my form around hers, and then they are upon us.

I’m staring directly into the sun and being eaten by it, eyes first. Pain washes over me as they advance, yet still I hold steady, shielding Cedilla from their force.

I am disintegrating. My thoughts are bursting out of me, washing over her like blood.

The light is starting to fade, and so am I.

I place the last bit of me against the base of her mind like a goodnight kiss: Tell them not to hide.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Thanks, sebmojo.

Congratulations Djeser, well done.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
You say "po-tay-to", I say "stop this pointless tangent of words".

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Capntastic posted:

I haven't read these in like a year but I'm in for the next prompt.

Someone tell me the funniest thing I missed.

Sesame Street erotica.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
1000 words

“So this is where it all started,” Vas said, looking around at what was left of the Garden. “What a loving shithole.”

“Have some respect,” he heard his grandpa say through his smartphone. “It’s where it all ended.

Vas rubbed his temples, grazing his fingertips against the bulges where horns would soon punch through. “The hell am I supposed to do with this place?”

“It’s a family inheritance. This is our domain now—why is your ear on the phone?”

“My ear? What—“ Vas took the phone away from his face. “Grandpa, how did you get on FaceTime?”

“Is that what this is?” Vas could see his grandpa’s pale, befuddled face through the screen, curled horns drooping like dirty candy-canes. “How do I get out of it?”

“Here’s how.” Vas hung up, spat. There was one good thing you could say about Eden—you got good reception here. Someone was listening, even if it wasn’t God.

Vas was a master of illusion, as all his relatives were, but it wasn’t worth mustering up enough smoke-and-mirrors to make this place look better. Underneath every trick of the light, the glistening clear pools were still choked with sand and mud, the leafy green vines still crunched under his feet like the dry, choking weeds that they were, and the sleeping doe with its eyelids fluttering was still a mass of bleached bones, a tiny tumbleweed wedged into its bare ribcage. gently caress sakes, Vas thought to himself. The Americans are always talking about turning this place into a parking lot, maybe they could start here—

He stopped, turned to his left. A deep red speck flashed in his eye, too bright for this washed-out world.

Vas pushed through the underbrush to get closer. When he saw what it was, his eyes flashed with a deep fire, something that ran from the roots of his bloodline and up through the tips of his toes.

Time to continue the family business, he thought.

“Did you slip something in my drink, you scumbag?” said Tania, pushing her black bangs away from her forehead, her eyes shut. “My brother owns this club, and he’ll put you in the trunk of a—“

“Open your eyes,” she heard the young man say.

She opened her eyes, and took a step back as all the breath rushed out of her lungs. A minute ago, she’d been staring into the backstage hallway, littered with dustbunnies and spent packs of Parliaments. But now—

It all entered her mind at once and left her unable to speak, from the rabbits leaping over the back of a sleeping lioness to the patches of vivid wildflowers to the wind that whistled like a child at play. The pool next to her reflected a younger face, sunlight trickling down her cheeks and lips like syrupy rain. She stumbled forward and Vas caught her, looked deep into her eyes.

She whispered, “Where am I?”

He whispered back, “Where you need to be.”

She believed him. He looked at her like his eyes could never lie.

“I have something to show you,” he said to her. He turned her around, and she saw.

The bright apple hung against the clear sky like a hot-air balloon, radiating something she could feel, could almost taste. Without thinking, she reached for it.

Vas leered at Tania as she plucked the apple from the tree and sank her teeth into it. Only a few seconds, and then she would be corrupted in his favor, the long-dormant evil making its way through her veins as she knew everything there was to know about the darknesses of Earth.

Only a few more seconds.

Okay, maybe a few more.

Vas looked down at his watch. “Tania?” he called.

She turned around to face him, and he could tell that something was wrong—the dazed look was gone. “Are you alright?” he asked.

She gave him a sideways glance. “Am I supposed to not be alright?” said Tania.

“N-no, forget it—“

“So you did slip me something, you rear end in a top hat—“ Tania gripped the apple in her right hand as she stomped over to Vas, spittle flying out of her mouth. “I felt bad for you, you lost little twink—“

Vas’s careful façade cracked. The grass around him began to wither. “Excuse me?” he said, as something acrid rumbled within him.

“Twink. Twink.” Tania repeated the word, grinning in his face. “Trying to mosh with fettucine arms and your daddy’s Doc Martens. I figured you out.”

The apple had worked, Vas realized with a spurt of fury—worked way too well. “Don’t you dare—

“You have the body of a seventeen-year-old, and you like Kip Winger,” said Tania, rolling chunks of apple around in her mouth. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist.”

That did it.

Vas opened his mouth, and Satan’s song came out of it.

Eden looked more like a beach than a parking lot now, but he could still see the topmost branches of the tree, poking out of the rippling dunes of sand. It pissed him off that there would be any memory of this place.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw another flash of crimson. He walked over to it, the realization making him smile.

The apple poked up from the sand, Tania’s polished black fingernails cutting ridges into its sides. Vas reached down and picked it up.

The hand came with it, then the arm, then the long black hair, the gleaming face, dust dripping from the laughing mouth. Vas jumped back as she turned to face him.

“Thanks for that,” said Nadia as she sat up, croaking laughter escaping her throat.

Vas stared at her, trembling. “How—

“Wrong tree, fucker,” said Tania. “Tree of Knowledge is over thataway.”

“But how did you know—

“I took an educated guess,” sang Tania, sand trickling down her shoulders. She held out the half-eaten apple to Vas. “Take a bite if you don’t believe me, pussy.”

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
In, and beyond.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Maugrim posted:

Tania's name changed to Nadia right at the end, which confused the heck out of me and I'm not sure it was deliberate.


son of a BITCH.

Thanks for the crit, Maugrim.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
1993 words

33 looked across the surface of the 0 moon and felt something she couldn’t explain.

The 0 moon was covered in snow, snow that had settled into curved peaks and valleys that made its surface look like a pale human brain. The emergency pod’s oblong hull had half-embedded itself into the snow on impact, like a projectile someone had fired into the brain’s matter.

33 and the rest of her race called this place the 0, but the humans who had arrived on their planet years ago had named it something else: Arithmia. It was the Earth term for the flush of blood that rose to human cheeks in cold weather, and the 0 had plenty of that.

Humans, 33 thought to herself as she looked across the ice. Why do they insist on naming everything? She disliked names. They made everything more complicated than they needed to be. It was easier to think of everything in concrete terms: mathematics, science. No ambiguity. The body in the back of the pod didn’t have a name. All the better, she told herself.

33 was outside of the emergency pod, where the temperature was in the negatives, in the snow and ice. She was thin and eight feet tall, limbs dense and strong like the flagpoles the humans had planted on their planet when they landed. She could stay out here for days before she needed anything.

It made no practical sense to re-enter the pod, to cross over absolute zero to where the temperature was in the positives and the air was stale and stifling—even though she was starting to get hungry, even though her eyes were watery and aching from the light, even though she could use the radio to signal any passing spacecraft for help—

33 trembled, wrapped her long, spindly arms around her thin frame as the 1’s light reflected off the snow and into her vision. Without a word, she turned towards the pod, ducking her head under the entrance.

The pod had long ago run out of fuel, but the solar panels on the roof provided enough energy to heat the inside. Bent over, she waded through the heat and held down the call button on the radio. “Mayday. Mayday. Emergency Pod V226 stranded on south face of Ze—Arithmia. Please send help. Over.”

The words clumsily escaped her mouth and floated in radio silence, verbal stillbirths. She turned her back on them and burst out of the pod and into the cold air, panting heavily.

The thing 33 remembered the most about Royal was how little sense he made.

When they had stood in a line at the outskirts of their city and watched the humans exit their spacecraft, 33 remembered seeing Royal jump off of the side of the gangplank, rather than walk its length like the others.

It baffled 33, seeing someone act so unpredictably. Their city was built on precise measurements. The roads were measured in footsteps, the rooms of their homes measured in arm-lengths, the location of items on their tables and desks calibrated by hand-lengths. There was only one set of footprints on their snowy grid of streets—everyone trod in each other’s footsteps.

But the humans made new sets of footprints in the snow, weaving in and out of alleyways or sometimes just circling about aimlessly, like some sort of insect. Sometimes they crossed paths with the single-file queues of tall, pale natives, causing them to bump into each other as the line halted.

That was how she met Royal—she was walking along the designated route from her home to the market, and all of a sudden he appeared in front of her, causing her to stumble and nearly fall. He just looked at her with the corners of his mouth turned up, said, “Sorry, Ice Queen,” and then he was gone, flitting off like the snowbirds that perched on top of the council building. Despite the loss of time and efficiency, she stood where she was for a few minutes, looking in the direction he had left until she felt someone else nudging her forward.

The next day, she took the same path and saw him again, saw his shock of blond hair as it poked out from under his fabric cap, his broad shoulders flushed pink in a crescent moon of collarbone under his cold-weather clothing.

She took another half-step forward, and swiveled her hips as her foot hung in mid-air, planting it into fresh snow. Making a fresh footprint, then another, and another, and then she extended her long, gangly arm awkwardly towards him, in a gesture she had seen the humans do before.

The man took it and shook it up and down, a surprised look on his face. “I’m Royal,” he said.

The days and weeks that followed were full of feelings that she had never felt or tried to describe before, as they both tried to interpret each other. She watched in awe as he clambered up the ladder to her home, held his arms out as he turned around and stared up at her cavernous ceilings, ceilings that she had never paid attention to. He sat and drank herbal ice with her and told her stories that were self-aggrandizing, stories about how he had gone on untethered spacewalks, went surfing in radioactive oceans, set off explosives near black holes that whirled around and around in trails of light. She believed every word he said, even when the rational side of her couldn’t—the way he flung every bit of himself out into empty spaces with confidence fascinated her.

And that fascination grew, grew into something that hung heavily in her chest like an ache, drew her to him and him to her, until he invited her back to his mothership, and she accepted. Only faintly knowing what was destined to happen, but still knowing.

In the future, she would learn what “Ice Queen” meant in human culture, learn that other humans on their planet used the name in a similar way, along with “skell,” in derision at their bony, skeleton-like appearance, their cold white skin.

In the future, as things became worse, she would hear the name from Royal again, steeped in a darker and more disgusted tone, as she would wonder what she had done wrong, what was so disgusting about her, why her trouble showing emotion was such a terrible thing.

But there was no scientific or accurate way to predict the future.

At that moment, there was only that moment, as she lay in bed next to Royal, full of something she couldn’t begin to describe.

“I love you,” said Royal into the quiet air between them.

33 stayed silent, because she didn’t know what that meant, what love was supposed to feel like. She’d heard him talk about love before, describe it as an inexplicable attraction between two people, two people coming together as one.

Her race had a similar concept. It was the first bit of math every child on their planet learned, the first gesture their parents tried to instill into their heads. You held your arms straight out, bent at both elbows, forearms pointed straight up in the air—two ones—then crossed both forearms in an X—one plus one equals two.

Me plus you equals us.

A gesture of togetherness and goodwill. She and the others had made the gesture at the humans as they left their ship, to welcome them to their planet. A gesture that the humans apparently took as a threat.

There was a crack as the bolt of energy burst through the air, and one of them fell, clutching blindly at what remained of his leg, his face still blank as he landed on his side in the snow, like this was just part of everything that he had calculated to happen.

The cold air felt comforting against 33’s pale skin as she tried to think about Royal. Emotions were a foreign concept to her before Royal had entered her life. She had never needed or wanted them before, but she needed them now.

She was far away from any familiar route or path she could follow. The humans had thrown everything into disarray, turned a peaceful people into people that needed to use their gift of practicality and logic as a weapon.

Every step that had landed her here, on the 0, had been the result of logic.

Logic dictated that she would be sent to infiltrate the human mothership, for Royal had taken her there before. Logic dictated that a lumbering, unstealthy 8-foot alien ducking her head under doorways designed for humans would be discovered sooner rather than later. It was only logical that she open the door marked EMERGENCY MEDICAL POD to escape rather than running the longer distance back to where her ship was docked.

And once she had pressed the right button and blasted away from the mothership in the pod, she was sure logic had served her well. Until she heard the sirens, the blaring mechanical voice repeating “WEIGHT INCONSISTENCY. FUEL RUNNING LOW.”

As she later surmised, the pods were only designed to support one human body on an autopilot flight back to Earth for medical attention. There were no manual controls. Once the weight discrepancy was detected, the computer made a decision to land safely and quickly, on the nearest stable ground.

Their planet was still close—but Arithmia was closer, by several thousand miles.

Logic could only help you so much.

33 turned, her hands bunched at her sides, and walked through the pod’s open door.

With much effort, she forced herself to turn towards the back of the cabin, where the human lay covered in blankets, a mass of tubes attached to his face. She could see the matted blond hair, the dulled and mottled green eyes, the sagging shoulders that could have once supported a great weight. She tried not to add all of the details together.

33 reached over to an adjoining endtable and picked up a scalpel. With her other hand, she pulled back the blankets covering the lower half of the man’s body.

The white sheets at the foot of the bed were stained a dark brown, speckled with spots of red where the man’s stumps rested. Jagged bits of flesh hung off the edges of the pale white ankles, tied off by thick tourniquets further up the legs.

33 stood still and thought of every horrible thing the humans had done, that Royal himself had done, thought of every “Ice Queen,” every “skell.” She let something approaching anger, possibly hate, flow through her and heat her from the inside as she held the scalpel out in front of her, moved quickly, efficiently, not stopping to think.

On the way out, she called for help on the radio again, trying desperately to speak clearly. She was more used to gestures, and her voice sounded feeble against silence. She took a deep breath once she was outside again.

She didn’t speculate as to why the body was there, locked into a vegetative state. Loss of oxygen, possibly. Breach of astronaut protocol. Someone who took too many chances.

33 made quick calculations in her head. She could live off the nutrients she had just ingested for two days—her race was able to sustain itself on the smallest things. It had been about 30 days, by human measurements. If the humans came here again on a research expedition, it would be in 6 months, at the most.

Which meant at most 90 more trips into the pod, for the radio, as well as—

33 tried to find some spot on the icy landscape to stare at that wouldn’t make her eyes water. The 1’s light was everywhere, the bright star that illuminated their planet. It was much easier to see from here, and much harder to look away.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
In with Vasilisa the Beautiful.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
1549 words

The man in red made Vasilisa love being afraid.

Every day at noon, after watering the vegetable garden, she watched for the man in red as he barreled down the dirt road.

She heard him before she saw him. The air filled with a high rumbling sound, not the gentle pitter-pat of the man in white who woke her up in the morning, or the flat clump-clump-clump of the man in black that came as she drifted off to sleep, but a tat-a-tat, tat-a-tat sound, like raining gunfire, percussion along her spine.

She looked back towards the house, where her mother was waiting.

Vasilisa’s mother was as round as Vasilisa was slight, as boisterous as Vasilisa was calm and quiet. She would beat Vasilisa when she disobeyed, and in the next moment she would sweep her up into her arms and squeeze her against the folds of her stomach, crying tears of love. And in the next moment, she would flop down into her chair and bellow at Vasilisa to do the dishes. It was a smothering kind of love, like the love a fat, splayed flower blossom has for the thin green stem that supports it.

Whenever Vasilisa called for her mother’s attention, her mother rarely responded right away—most of the time sluggishly, belatedly, sometimes not at all. This was how Vasilisa began to believe she might not exist. She took to walking with her hair tied back, her arms and legs extended behind her, imagining she was a pair of floating eyes, free from the confines of her body, from the confines of her mother.

The square wooden shack Vasilisa and her mother lived in was alongside a dirt road that led west, to a bustling village miles away. Every so often, her mother would walk to the village, coming back with cheeses, cured meats, and tales of unscrupulous youths and snide shopowners that tried to take advantage of her kindness. Vasilisa grew up afraid of the village, and held her mother closer in her fear. She grew to know fear as a familiar emotion, to live with it as an unwanted but helpful presence in her life, much as she was but a presence in her mother’s.

But this was a different kind of fear.

She turned back towards the road.

All at once he was there, and then he was past her, moving with the force of the sun itself, in a rush of searing dust, her blonde hair whipping in front of her.

Vasilisa would replay the two seconds over and over in her head for the rest of the day, remembering him as a flowing flash of red, his long hair like blood-soaked silk, sitting atop a horse that kicked up ashes and flexed its copper skin. She stared after him, filled with something warm and coursing, feeling like a dandelion seed caught up in a gust of summer wind.

She dreamed of the man in red seeing her and stopping for her, helping her onto the back of his grand, stampeding horse, and taking her off to places she had never seen before. She would watch all of the wonders of the world fly past as she held onto his broad waist, felt his warmth along her skinny arms, the smell of smoke in her hair and clothes.

This time, she had worked up the nerve to walk close enough to touch the side of his horse, trail her fingertips in sweat droplets the color of sparks. She had looked up at his passing face, but he never turned to look at her.

As soon as she entered the house again, her mother slammed the door shut behind her. “You’re not going out there anymore.”

Vasilisa turned to look at her mother. “Why?” she asked, speaking more clearly than she ever had.

“Because you’re my daughter, and because I said so, that’s why,” said her mother, standing against the door with her arms flat against the wall. “You belong here, with me, not with some man you’ve never met.”

Vasilisa was so used to obeying her mother’s orders that she nodded her head and went to her bed without stopping to think. She was surprised when she found herself crying into her pillow, thinking of being stuck in the vegetable garden, of being buried in dirt up to her neck while the sun beat down on her face. She cried until she fell asleep, and her mother didn’t say a word.

Vasilisa awoke the next morning, an hour before noon. She laid in bed for a half-hour counting the minutes in her head, hearing her mother sing to herself as she puttered around the fire.

She sat up, and walked towards the door.

“Vasilisa, I need you!” she heard her mother say. Vasilisa said nothing, just opened the door, her eyes pointed straight ahead.

Vasilisa planted her feet in the middle of the dirt road, faced herself eastward. She shifted on the balls of her feet, stuck her face out in front of her.

The air ahead of her began to shimmer and rumble.

“Vasilisa!” her mother screamed.

She could see him approaching, just a red dot in the distance that grew to the size of a pea, then a marble, then a grape, then a charging horse bearing down on her like a ravenous comet, burning away everything she could see—

Vasilisa shut her eyes—ground her teeth together—waited—

She heard a high-pitched whinnying in front of her, like the sound of mountains grinding against each other. Felt a rush of hot air she could barely bear.

She opened her eyes.

He was stopped in front of her, looking down at her with piercing eyes, pupils like lit wicks on red candles. Her mouth hung open. She tried to say something, but her voice caught in her throat.

“Buonasera, signora,” he said, his voice low and thunderous. He motioned her to the right with a gloved hand. “Per favore.”

“S-scusi,” she said, taking a wide step to the right.

The man in red stared at her with wide eyes, nodded, and then he was gone again.

She stared after him, dust collecting at her feet. Her mother was yelling something, but she couldn’t hear it. It was her turn to not exist.

She began to walk towards the village, following the sun as it moved in the sky.

It was almost the evening when she finally reached the limits of the village, the last traces of sunlight escaping to the west. She stood to the side and watched as the man in black rode his horse past her, through the center of the village, and off towards dusk. She shivered.

Once the man in black had gone, the villagers came out and began to celebrate.

Vasilisa gazed in awe at the strings of colored lights and blazing lanterns. She wound herself into the crowds of people and began to dance, mirroring their movements, feeling the music rise through her. As she danced, she noticed people staring at her. Every pair of eyes made her feel a foot taller.

Vasilisa threw herself headlong into the festivities, tasted and felt and heard everything she could gather into herself until she was an entity of sensations. She felt like life was living her for the first time.

Suddenly, the darkness exploded into light, shriveled under the sun’s rays as it appeared in the sky.

Everyone stopped singing, drinking, dancing, stripped from the cover of night.

The village was silent, save for a high rumbling in the air.

“Buonasera, signora,” the man in red said in a voice as sharp and sensuous as boiling wine, bringing his horse to a halt in front of her.

“Buonasera, signor,” Vasilisa breathed back, wondering if this was a daydream or a regular one.

“You moved for me,” he said, “and I will move for you.” The man in red leaned over, offered his hand to Vasilisa.

She immediately took it.

Her back arched as the sun’s energy raced through her. The whites of her eyes flashed orange, pink, deep red, then the white of a solar eclipse. Her blood rushed through her body in surging waves, flowing from the crown of her head to the backs of her heels with every heartbeat.

She pulled away.

The man in red was still there, looking down at her. “Come with me,” he said to her. “You need never want for me again.”

She could see her long hair hanging past her trembling eyes—it had turned the color of his hair, the color of fed flames shimmering in the night.

Vasilisa’s dream flashed through her head again, of clinging to his waist, her legs wrapped around the back of his powerful horse, holding on tight for the rest of her life as the entire world rushed by her eyes, countless mountains and deserts and wide oceans, moving past her at incredible speed as she wound her arms securely around him, forever safe, forever afraid, never letting go—

As everyone watched, Vasilisa stepped forward and hoisted her leg over the horse’s back, steadied herself, a tight smile on her face. She whispered a soft sentence into the man in red’s ears like whistling steam:

“Drop me off anywhere.”

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
This prompt was tailor-made to give me hell.

I'm in.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
498 words

E: Removed

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 20:52 on Jul 11, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Yuan is the Goddess of Green Water.

Wan is the Goddess of Blue Water.

An is the Goddess of Black Water.


Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 15:59 on Feb 17, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

crabrock posted:

In with god of ironic failure.

Not really tho. I'm not entering this week.

No you should write a story about me circa 2014, that'd be cool

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Out of Reach
1322 words
Yuan, Wan, An, and Mendora

Once, there was a young man named Sy, and he was just a man.

Sy lived in a modest wooden hut by a beautiful beach. As a child, he loved to run across its glittering white sands, speckled with dried starfish and sand dollars. He made his way through the pale green surf in different ways as he grew: first on elbows and knees, laughing at the face he saw in the water as it flooded over his pebbly fingers, then on thin, unsteady legs, stomping holes in the warm sea as a rippling and crashing voice steadied his spirit, then on strong, flexing limbs, charging through the spray as it surged around him, diving down to skim the sandy floor, while a creature floated in the corners of his eyes, with spotted shoulders and trailing hair the color of sunlit seaweed.

Her name was Yuan, and she was of the green water. He had grown up with her, since before he knew not to tell his parents about her existence. They dismissed his stories as part of an imaginative childhood, while Sy stared out at the place where the sea met the sky.

She was like a sister to him, always willing to listen, sometimes leaving whispering answers on the beach in the time it took for the water to rush away from the shore. When he left his parents to go live on his own, she was there to greet him, caressing the backs of his hands as he sank them into his new shoreline.

One day, he told Yuan, “I saw her again.”

Her was Mendora, the moon goddess, the one that came in the night and trailed her fingers along the seawater as he watched from his bedroom window. At night, Sy couldn’t see the white sands or the starfish or the green water or Yuan—he could only see her, her arm extending down, the pale hand the featherlight anchor at the end of her body, connecting the moon to Earth. For those moments in time, only she mattered.

What was she like? said Yuan, the water sloshing against Sy’s ankles.

“Beautiful,” said Sy. “Have you seen her?”

There was silence as the water rushed away, and then it came back, foot-high waves crashing against each other. No, I haven’t. The night is her domain. I can’t see anything then.

Sy stared at the shore, picked up handfuls of sand and let it filter out through the spaces between his fingers. “I want to find her.”


“I—I think I might love her.” Sy stared out at the calm ocean. “And I’ve seen her look into my eyes in my dreams. I think she might love me back.”

Yuan said nothing. Then the next wave crashed, and uncovered a conch shell in the watery sand, gleaming in the sunlight. Sy looked out at the waves. “Yuan?” he said. He picked up the shell, put it to his ear.

“Surprise,” she said. Sy jumped, startled.

“Sorry.” Yuan giggled, a fizzing, bubbling noise. “I want you to be happy. My sister, An, is the only one who knows how to get to Mendora. If you go to where all the seas meet each other, you’ll find her.”

That night, Sy set out into the starlit sea, paddling his canoe through the surf. He looked up to the moon as Mendora lowered herself to Earth, called out her name. She looked at him and said nothing.

When the sun rose, Sy looked back, and couldn’t see the shore anymore. He held the seashell up to his ear. “Hello?” he said. “Anybody?”

Down here, said a different voice, flat and toneless.

Sy looked over the side of his canoe and saw a woman underneath the surface of the rippling waves. “An?” he said.

No, the voice said. Wan. Blue water.

She held up something to Sy, and he reached below the water and took it. It was like a coin, but the faces were smooth, and the sides were rounded like a piece of sea glass.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” he said.

Under tongue, Wan said. Swim down. You will breathe.

Without another word, Sy jumped overboard and dove into the water. He placed the coin under his tongue, and the water became like air.

“An?” Sy said into the black void, the seashell pressed to his ear. His feet rested against the ocean floor. Everything was dark and cold.

She appeared in front of him, and he fought the urge to scream, almost spitting out the coin.

Her skin was milky and luminous, the length of her body fluttering in front of him, her head smooth and flat like a stingray’s, eyes on opposite sides. White strands of hair flurried in front of her face like bolts of electricity.

Her mouth opened. From the seashell came a voice as sharp and ragged as rusted metal: My sisters have told me about you.

Sy nodded, unable to speak.

You’re here for the moon goddess?

“Yes,” Sy mouthed through the black water.


Sy tried to say something else, but he couldn’t think. The cold currents pressed against him from all sides.

Have you ever been to the moon, boy? said An’s voice.

“N-no,” said Sy.

It’s much, much colder than down here. And there’s no air, either—not even my sister’s gift would help you there. She stared at him with flat, wide eyes. I’ve never seen her in person—I’ve just heard about her through my sisters. But she and I have many things in common. Yet the main difference is, I care for Yuan and Wan, and she cares for no one.

She trailed a flat hand in front of her, fluttering fingers waving in the darkness like the ghosts of minnows. That’s the problem with all of you men—you only want what you can’t have. She stuck her right hand out, swirled a finger in Sy’s face. She loves you, has always loved you, and you never saw it.

Sy stepped back. “Then why did she send me to you?”

Because she couldn’t say it on her own.

Sy clenched his teeth and stared at her, the coldness creeping into his chest.

Oh, stop sulking and go back to her. Here, said An’s voice, and she plucked a strand of gleaming grey hair from her oblong skull. As she held it out to Sy, it shot forward and tied itself around Sy’s index finger. A little hair of the god. Now you won’t need anything until you return home.

“Thank you,” Sy said. He kicked away from the ocean floor and swam to the surface.

As he left, he heard An’s fading voice in the seashell: We’ll see. Now that you’re closer to Mendora, she might not let you leave her.

When Sy’s head burst into the open air, his canoe had floated away. There was no shore to be seen, no other boats around. Nothing but the blank white light, falling from above.

Sy took one last look up at the glowing moon above him, then shut his eyes and descended beneath the waves.

He took a deep breath, and began to swim.

Even now, you can still see Sy in the right light of the moon, as it trickles beneath the ocean’s surface, flailing, desperately working his arms, even as the tides pull him back every morning and afternoon to where he started.

Ahead of him is Yuan, pining.

Behind him is Wan, listening.

Above him is Mendora, watching.

Below him is An, waiting.

And all the while Sy still keeps swimming, sometimes stopping to clasp his burning index finger in his left hand, sometimes surfacing and removing the coin under his tongue to get a taste of real air, sometimes pressing the pale conch shell up to his right ear, hoping desperately to hear something other than the sea.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Awe :3: Thanks. I made the mistake of reading Waves on my lunch break and now I'm bawling.

are ya.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Oooooooooohhh boy.

This has been a long time coming. There’s a new personal trainer on the Thunderthrone, and he’s gonna make all of you sweat blood, you doughy, anemic, noodle-armed, knock-kneed fuckdicks.

Your wordcount this week is 1200 words. For the first and last 100 words of your story, your protagonist must be in motion.

What I mean by “in motion”: running, biking, walking, swimming, falling, flying, you get the picture. Physically moving their bodies.

What I don’t mean by “in motion”: sitting in a seat on a moving car or train or plane or dragon, moving in a dream or hallucination.

Do whatever you want with the (1000 or less) words in the middle as long as the end result is a god damned story.

Also, I’m giving a theme to this prompt in order to salvage any feeble hope of you making GBS threads out good stories this week. The theme is: Justice/Revenge.

No fanfiction, nonfiction, or erotica. Have fun, you pukes.

Sign-up deadline: 11:59 EST, Friday, February 27

Submission Deadline: 11:59 EST, Sunday, March 1

Running This Joint:
Ironic Twist

Running Out Of Time:
Grizzled Patriarch
Wangless Wonder
Bompacho :toxx:
Benny Profane
Fuschia tude :toxx:
Djeser :toxx:
Hugoon Chavez
ZeBourgeoisie :toxx:
A Classy Ghost
Screaming Idiot
God Over Djinn
kurona_bright :toxx:

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 22:07 on Mar 1, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
:siren: A little under EIGHT HOURS left to sign up, get a move on :siren:

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
That's it, signups closed.

Still need a third judge, PM me if you feel like being a judgmental dick like you know you want to.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:


Ironic Twist, LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE, Jitzu_the_Monk

0.7% of TD wins

Personally, I'm glad of it.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
C:\ time

—March 1st, 8:50 PM EST

C:\ find deadline

—3 hours, 10 minutes until deadline

C:\ run week134entries.tsv

—26 total entrants
—6 submitted stories
—20 unsubmitted stories

C:\ run visualrepresentationofnext3hours.flv

C:\ run mashpanicbutton.exe

— File not found.

C:\ run writeordie.exe

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Yeah, y'all have run out of time. Deadline is here.

Judgment will come for you all.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

This was not a good week. period.

Just results for now, maybe I'll edit this into something more substantial later, or maybe not, given the effort some of you put into your stories.

One more pun for the road? I hope most of you get the runs.

Loser: Hugoon Chavez

Dishonorable Mentions: leekster, Bompacho, Fuschia tude, Djeser, Tyrannosaurus

Honorable Mentions: hotsoupdinner, Grizzled Patriarch

Winner: crabrock

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 01:48 on Mar 3, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

E: with Ondine

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Mar 4, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Tyrannosaurus in IRC posted:

<Tyrannosaurus> oi twist
<Tyrannosaurus> u r 1 fuckin cheeky oval office
<Tyrannosaurus> ill wrek u m8
<Tyrannosaurus> brawl

Twist in IRC posted:

<Twist> wait wait, does T-rex still want to brawl me
<Twist> or did he get disinterested and wander off, like how he ends his stories

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 04:47 on Mar 5, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Question: Which Word Count tool are you using

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ancient Blades posted:

i would like to try this with canada haunts me :)

oh nvm i misunderstood and didnt realize there were no slots left

No, you're good, there's no cap on the number of people that can join a week

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
E: removed

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 15:30 on Apr 10, 2015

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Pretty sure the picture in the prompt post is Anthony Burch.

Famous for:

A) writing Borderlands 2
B) being insufferable on Twitter
C) pressuring his wife into an open relationship then getting upset when tons of other guys slept with her but no other girls slept with him.

talk about a guy who could have used a Grizzled Patriarch

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

The Penthouse Suite
750 words

“One more step, darling,” said Rodger.

Valerie took her husband’s hand and scurried down into the furnished apartment, where the landlord, Elliott, was waiting, a smile behind his twitching whiskers.

“Well, here we are,” said Elliott. “Bit of a jaunt to get here, but I’m so pleased to finally show you the finest we have to offer in PentMouse luxury.” He spread his front paws out to his sides. “What are your first impressions? Don’t hold anything back. Be as candid as you can.”

Rodger and Valerie looked around the small circular room. They were surrounded on all sides by frosted glass, separated into six-inch-high panes. Instead of a ceiling, there was only open air, split into quarters by four thick bronze chain-lengths that met in the center and ran straight up to a higher ceiling, made of crown molding. In the room, they could see a couple mats of torn fabric, a few empty spools of thread turned on their sides, and a brown glass bottle that was a millimeter taller than all three of them. Soft piano music echoed through the room’s atmosphere, and bright incandescent lights blazed down from above their heads.

“It’s…cozy,” said Rodger, his eyes darting from wall to wall.

“Quite,” said Valerie, brushing her left paw against her whiskers.

“Oh, lovely,” said Elliott, clapping his front paws together. “But it’s certainly no hole in the wall, am I right? Here, let me get you something to drink,” he said, grabbing a toothpaste-tube cap from under one of the mats of fabric and setting it on the floor.

“Oh, no thank you, we’re fine,” said Rodger.

“No, I insist,” said Elliott as he wrapped his front paws around the large brown bottle and lugged it across the room. “Consider it a—hrnggh—consider it an early housewarming gift.”

Valerie raised her eyebrows as Elliott unscrewed the bottletop and poured the liquid into the cap, using his whole body to keep it at the right angle. Some of the liquid sloshed onto the glass floor, and the room immediately filled with the suffocating smell of vanilla. Elliott set the bottle down and stepped back, breathing heavily. “Phew. No reward without effort, right? Didn’t I say that before, when I was convincing you two to climb down? Go on, take a sip. It’s imported from Madagascar.” He picked up the cap and extended it towards Rodger and Valerie.

“Madagascar by way of the hotel kitchens?” said Rodger.

Elliott laughed, bent over and slapped his hind leg with his front paw. “Oh, thank whoever’s up there for delivering me tenants with a sense of humor!” he said. “I can tell we’re going to get along just—“

“These lights are really bright,” said Valerie.

“Oh, aren’t they?” said Elliott, grinning.

“No, no, they’re hurting my eyes,” said Valerie. She rubbed her eyes with her left paw. “I think—“

She staggered to the side, reaching out for something to brace herself with. Rodger rushed over to help her.

“Don’t worry,” said Elliott, wringing his paws in front of his chest. “Don’t worry about it. Takes a bit of getting used to, that’s all. By the third month or so, you won’t even notice—“

“I think we’ll be going,” snapped Rodger as he held his wife up, whose eyes were starting to roll back in her head. “Just close your eyes and keep holding onto my tail, dear.” They both made their way back towards the chain holding the room up.

“Wait!” Elliott shouted after them as they climbed. “I have plenty left to show you! Storage space! All eight balconies! You can’t beat the—“

Elliott stood still for a second, listening to the bare chain jingle in the still air. “—view,” he finished.

Elliott picked up the half-empty toothpaste tube cap and drank from it, then made a face as he spat the liquid back into the cup. He strode over to the other side of the room and lifted one of the mats up, revealing a hole in the floor. He poured the liquid out through the hole, mumbling to himself.

Six stories below the ceiling of the atrium, during the middle of Clair de Lune, the hotel pianist felt a spot of wetness on his forehead. He looked up, half-expecting to see rainclouds, but only saw the hotel’s antique chandeliers, swinging lightly from side to side.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
This week has been pretty drat great regardless, I can take a loss.

Hats off to ya, Ty.


Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Until IronicTwist writes a story that includes the full lyrics of a song by Twista, I'm not going to take him seriously.

Really, motherfucker.



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