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ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Why the hell not. I'm in

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ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Bah! Generate me a prompt!

And just to make up for last time's embarrassment

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


P-Type Engineer
Words: 623

Max shifted uncomfortably in his seat as Mr. Bulwark sat down at his desk. The older, well-dressed man looked the new recruit over, the uncertainty in his gaze noticeable. Young Max pulled the tie from his neck before Mr. Bulwark broke the silence.

“So, Maxwell, how you doing this morning?”

The blond felt his throat close up, the words clamoring for an exit from his esophagus.

“Uh, I’m fine, Mr. Bulwark.”

“Please, call me Charlie.”

“Okay, Charlie.”

“Now, you’re interested in a position as a P-Type Engineer, I presume?”

“Yes sir, Charlie.”

Charlie Bulwark lifted himself from his seat and led Max to a large room in the back.

“Looking over your paperwork, Maxwell, I can already tell you’re a perfect fit for our team!”

Max felt Mr. Bulwark push him into the room before he could so much as utter a ‘what’. The door slammed shut as soon as Max was fully inside.

***

The room Max found himself in appeared to have been a storeroom of some sort, but something was definitely off. Cow carcasses hung from the rafters, like a meat locker almost, and the walls were saturated in blood. Something jumped from one carcass to another in Max’s peripheral vision.

The young man tried to feel his way around the dark room, but the entire place seemed to shift with his every move. More tiny, inscrutable things hopped from carcass to carcass so fast that Max could barely discern their dull brown coloration.

As he stumbled through the room, the young man found himself tripped by the constant shifting of the floor and walls. He grabbed a carcass to balance himself, when he noticed something.

Those weren’t cow carcasses. In fact, they weren’t carcasses at all. The slabs of meat that hung from each side of the room pulsated, and the ‘hooks’ they clung to looked more like veins or umbilical cords when Max stopped to actually look at them.

As he gave a wall-eyed glare at the pulsating tissues, Max finally saw one of the hoppers in detail. It looked like a beetle or flea, and before hopping away Max swore it hissed at him.

“Parasites,” Mr. Bulwark called from behind.

“What the hell?” Max shouted back.

“Those little flea-like critters are parasites to the beast hidden in this building. You’re going to help them.”

“But I thought I was gonna be an engineer?”

“A P-Type Engineer, or, in other words, a Parasite-Type engineer. You’ll be surprised how important, and difficult, it is to help those little critters survive and thrive.”

“I, no, there is no way I can do this.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“Very well”

Mr. Bulwark pulled a pistol from his coat pocket before training it on Max.

“We can’t have you go blabbing, though.”

“Wait, wait! I won’t say anything, I promise!”

“I can’t trust you unless you work for us.”

“When do I start?”

“That’s the spirit.”

***

As Max moped the floor of beast’s heart, as it were called, he observed a parasite hopping away from a chunk of cardiac muscle and to his feet. The bug began twitching its feelers on Max’s feet, tickling him.

“Uhh, Charlie, it isn’t trying to bleed me, is it?”

Charlie Bulwark laughed as the parasite continued to tickle Max’s exposed ankles.

“Quite the opposite. I think he likes you!”

Max lowered an arm for the tiny critter. Without hesitation, the bug crawled up Max’s arm, tickling him the entire way.

“It’s funny, for the first few weeks they hissed at me and tried to bite, but now they’re just so friendly.”

“Oh, they like people, it just takes them a little getting used to.”

The parasite licked at Max’s cheek before hopping away to another piece of flesh.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Why not. In.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


A Wizard in Space
Words: 974

Ephraim’s eyes lit up as the gas giant appeared on the mainroom console. Clouds of arcane-infused plasma swirled over the planet. Ten years stuck on a runic cruiser had payed off.

After initiating the mining apparatus, Ephraim sat back as he thought of the tremendous power that would soon flow through his body. His wrinkly hands flew over the terminal effortlessly, piloting the stone tube into the upper atmosphere of the planet. Soon the vapor trickled into the mining storage unit, waiting to be harvested.

Ephraim set the miner to autopilot as he trotted to the storage unit, eager to taste a little of that power. As he entered the room, he felt almost light-headed at the sheer amount of energy surging from the storage unit into his body. For a moment, Ephraim hesitated, the sheer amount of power entering into him unsettling.

Still, Ephraim managed to overcome his hesitation and he pulled a small lever on the wall in order to release a small outflow of plasma. A sputter echoed as a glowing stream that resembled the aura-borealis emerged from its container like a serpent emerging from a snake charmer’s pot. The gas swayed rhythmically to an unseen music before dissipating into the air.

Within seconds, Ephraim found his legs wobbly. However, this feeling was soon replaced with a different, more welcomed sensation.

It felt like the aged drained out of Ephraim’s body. Atrophied flesh strengthened and wrinkles faded as the energy flowed through Ephraim. Still, the most welcomed change was the silver hair on Ephraim’s head returning to its lost golden luster.

Ephraim stepped into the lower decks a middle-aged man, and walked out a vibrant youth.

Days and weeks went by as Ephraim absorbed the power into his body. He began to have visions of far off planets and solar systems, and he could hear many voices. Although they were unintelligible at first, the languages soon found meaning to Ephraim. Speeches, promises, secrets, and chatter from every edge of the cosmos found themselves sensed, processed, and understood by a lone wizard in an occult spacecraft.

Among these conversations, Ephraim took special interest in those pertaining to him. He could hear the warrior Mortemer praying that Ephraim's journey would be a safe one. Ephraim’s old schoolmate and renowned warlock Samuel feigned indifference in regards to Ephraim’s journey, but called on his dark gods to bless his friend’s journey when alone in his altar.

The most important person Ephraim tuned in on, however, was his wife Claire. He saw her tears and heard her soft prayers into the night. The wizard saw her tossing and turning, unable to sleep in his absence. Ephraim thought back to when he left his friends. He could feel Mortemer’s strong grasp on his shoulder before he wished Ephraim a safe voyage. He could see Samuel’s thin facade of disinterest. Most of all, though, he could remember Claire’s tear smeared face as he boarded the space vehicle.

The plasma continued to form a fog throughout the ship. Ephraim sat in that multi-colored mist as he felt the secrets of the universe cascade through his mind. Still, all Ephraim could do was gaze back into the lives of his friends.

Then, the worst revelation hit Ephraim as he stood there, trying to tune out a conversation between two blob-like creatures. He saw Claire, an old woman, looking at a picture of Ephraim. She sighed a deep, chilling sigh before falling limp in her bed.

Then a voice, unlike all of the others, whispered into Ephraim’s mind.

“That was but five years ago.”

The word ‘ago’ bounced around in Ephraim’s skull.

Ephraim felt his young flesh and combed through his golden locks as the word ‘ago’ rang through his mind. The mental image of an orange, bat-like creature eating from something that looked like a beehive flashed before Ephraim when he made up his mind. Omniscient-powers were mostly worthless, especially when one is alone.

In anger, Ephraim summoned the entirety of his power to the surface. He remembered his class on teleportation. The instructor showed them how to move forward a few feet, and it burned at the young wizard’s mind as he strained his willpower to move through space. Then, he remembered how the instructor had gone on to say that time travel was impossible; that it was simply too strong a physical law to break with any amount of arcane power.

Still, Ephraim had to try. In a burst of energy, the arcane power flew from every orifice and pore on Ephraim’s body.

Time and space fell around Ephraim as he concentrated on the day after he left his world. The interior of the runic spaceship began to crack as plasma fell into space. The sheer power of Ephraim’s will flung stone and metal into the farthest depths of the universe. He pictured the day after he left in his mind as clearly as possible. The debris of the runic cruiser turned to molten rock and metal as Ephraim strained himself.

The gas giant melted into the background as space went from its typical blackness to a pink and purplish glow. Ephraim felt weightless one moment, and as heavy as a boulder the next. Regardless, he concentrated all of his will into getting to his destination. He strained his mind and body, trying to break the laws of physics in a way no magician had prior. His skin burned as he flung himself through space. His chest pounded as the strength of the physical laws of the universe began to creak. Afraid but determined, Ephraim clinched his eyes shut in that burning dimension.

Ephraim felt the pain melt away.Snapping his eyes open he looked up to wrinkled hands. Staggering to his aged feet, Ephraim saw Claire standing over the horizon, her tears wiped away by the breeze.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


In, and because I'm feeling dicey choose the tale for me.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


gently caress you life you're not my real dad.

In

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Westbound
Words: 906

He wanted the world, but had only a small shop in a dying town. Dust ravaged the landscape, throwing dried weeds about. Richard gazed out the window of his store, imagining himself escaping into the great yonder.

Someone knocked at the shop door, yanking Richard from his daydream. He pulled the door open and found himself face to face with a beaming youth. The boy flashed a sideways smile at him before introducing himself to the shopkeep.

“Howdy! Name’s Dan.”

“What can I do for you, Dan?”

“Oh, I’m just needing to stock up some supplies for my trip out west.”

“West huh? What you got planned out there?”

Dan leaned into Richard, his voice hushed.

“Been some rumors about a big ol’ vein of gold just a few towns over.”

Dan’s grin doubled in size as the words left his lips.

“But you didn’t hear it from me, partner.”

###

Dan hopped onto his horse, his sack a deadweight swinging over his shoulders. He judged that the rations would last him a few days, more than enough time to make it to the next town. With a kick of the heels, Dan and his steed sped down the road.

The sun crept under the hills, turning the sky into a brilliant display of orange and crimson. Dan dismounted his horse as the desert heat died down. The cool evening air kissed the young man’s cheeks as he stopped near a patch of prickly pears. After hopping from his horse and giving the area a quick survey, Dan began to pitch his tent.

Dan grabbed a piece of flint and steel and struck sparks onto a pile of dried wood and weeds. The kindling caught quickly, giving way to a roaring fire. The air turned from cool to cold, but the flames bathed Dan and his horse in a glow of warmth. After fixing himself a hearty stew, Dan crawled into his tent for the night.

The remains of the fire smoldered as Dan slept. His belly sloshed with stew as his mind wandered to thoughts of gold, girls, and booze.

From somewhere in the distance, a hiss emerged and echoed over the desert.

The fantasies in Dan’s mind shattered as the sharp sound pierced both his tent and mind. Images flashed in his brain of rattlers, vipers and other venomous beasts. He tore through his blankets in search of a serpent, but found nothing.

With apprehension, Dan crawled to the front of the tent, ready to confront whatever lurked in the darkness. He poked his head from the tent, only to see a dead campfire and little else.

###

The sun peaked over the horizon as Dan leapt back onto his horse. The two continued down the road, through the great American desert. Young Dan felt as though he had the world in his palm. The incident from the previous night faded into the back of his mind as he looked forward to a future of riches.

Then, another hiss rang out over the valley.

Dan nearly fell from his horse at the sound.

As he and the horse regained their senses, the noise had once more faded back into the aether. Dan looked over his surroundings, a sense of eeriness overcoming him. The inviting blue sky felt hollow, almost as if all the beauty of the desert was a facade, a disguise for some unknown horror. Not wanting to stay in one place any longer, Dan kicked his heels and continued down the road.

A shadow of a man leaned against a signpost up ahead. Dan slowed his horse as they approached the stranger. The man seemed to pay no mind to Dan’s arrival.

“Hey?” started Dan.

The man lifted his head. Wispy grey strands of hair poked out from underneath his hat. His dark, tanned skin suggested an Indian heritage. When his eyes met Dan’s, he spoke.

“Do you believe in ghosts?”

Dan didn’t respond. How could he respond? The stranger nodded his head at Dan’s silence and continued.

“If not, you better start.”

The stranger looked to the fork in the road past the signpost, and took the eastbound route. Dan took off down the westbound route without a second glance at the strange Indian.

###

It didn’t take much longer for Dan to reach the next town. Hopping off his horse, he walked through the settlement. The place had once been a coaltown, as testified by the fine layer of soot that seemed to dust every building.

After a few minutes of wandering, Dan spotted a store with a second story. In the window a sign advertised rooms for rent. Dan sighed at the thought of having a real bed to sleep in.

Dan stepped up to the storefront, the aged building possessing a sense of familiarity that didn’t settle right on Dan’s stomach. Shaking the feeling, Dan knocked on the door. As it opened, a familiar face stood before him: Richard.

“How?” asked Dan.

“How what?”

“How did you get here? I saw you in the last town over!”

A hiss rang through the building as the old man locked eyes with the youth. The noise seemed to rattle from the walls around them, echoing from every sundry and good in the shop.

Covering his ears, Dan screamed at the shopkeeper.

“What are you?”

“I’m just an old man who wanted the world.”

With that, Dan found himself alone in an empty coaltown.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Cool. In.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Old Tony
Words: 499

It was a cold, clear night in a city steeped in sin. I walked through the lonesome streets with a six-shooter my only ally. At the slightest peep I’d feel for the reassuring touch of her grip. In a place like this, your gun is the only thing you can trust.

It didn’t take long before I reached the ancient, decaying storefront of my usual haunt. A flickering ‘open’ sign hung outside the window near a hole that had been boarded with plywood. I banged on the door and heard the sound of heavy chain rattling. Old Tony greeted me with his typical smirk as he ushered me in. He raised a shot of bourbon to me.

“Thought you’d never show, Howie,” he said.

“I’m always fashionably late. Figured you know that by now.”

Old Tony just shrugged and went back to mingling with the crowd while I skedaddled over to the bar. The bartender walked over and asked if I wanted the usual tonic and gin. Tony plopped down next to me while I nodded at the barkeep. He had another shot of bourbon.

“Exactly how many drinks have you had?” I asked.

“Enough,” he replied.

We sat and eyeballed the curvy little ladies working the floor. Tony boasted that he could swoon all three of them right out of their pants.

“How’d that sound, Howie? One for you, one for me, and one between the two of us.”

“Kinky,” I said while nursing my drink.

As I downed yet another tonic and gin, Tony disappeared into the crowd. I debated with myself whether I should have another shot or not. My thoughts were interrupted, however, by the unmistakable sound of a gunshot.

People were screaming as I yanked the pistol from my pocket. A crowd gathered near the back of the bar. Pushing through, I came upon a bloody scene.

There, in the center of the ruckus, stood Tony. Laying next to him on the ground was a man gurgling in a puddle of his own blood.

“Tony,” I said.

“Shut up, Howie,” he said back.

Tony bolted for the exit, pushing through the crowd and knocking a couple onlookers over. Sirens blared in the distance as Tony disappeared into the night. Without thinking, I chased after him.

I saw Tony sprinting up the northwest road. My mouth sputtered questions, curses, and threats as I raced behind him. Tony was my best friend, and I needed answers.

After sprinting for what had to be a solid five minutes, Tony spun around. He trained his pistol on me.

Out of either reflex or instinct I drew my gun and fired off three quick shots. All I remember clearly is that Tony jerked before falling to the ground. Then I noticed a dull, burning pain in my side. The streetlamps became distorted blurs of orange and crimson, the buildings melted into reddish blobs, and my senses numbed.

At least I didn’t feel much when I collapsed on the pavement.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Spirum lives in a crystal palace secluded from the mortal world by sparkling mists. He is a prideful God with dominion over beauty, youth, gemstones, jewelry, and mirrors. His palace is staffed by delicate, female beings of his own creation.

In and all that jazz.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


I keep failing. In, chucklefucks

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Flaming Night
Words: 755

Ronald crept through the dying brush. An orange glow illuminated the clearing while dark figures shuffled about. He stayed crouched, moving closer into position with carefully chosen footsteps. The figures spoke to one another in hushed whispers.

A twig snapped under Ronald’s foot. The silhouette of a man cocked his head, looking directly at the bush Ronald had hidden himself in. The figure drew closer, his footsteps silent. In a swift, practiced motion, Ronald darted further into the dry twigs and dead leaves The figure shrugged and muttered something about raccoons before walking away.

A woman screamed from somewhere in the distance. Then, the first hums and prayers began. The soft chants of a language otherwise lost to time filled the woods.

Two large, hooded men dragged a woman kicking and screaming to the center of the clearing. Ronald paused, took a breath, and cocked his Remington.

A figure, tall and lanky, spoke with a forceful baritone.

“Lo! Spiro, our God, accept this offering we bring before you!”

The chanting grew in volume, but took upon an almost jovial tone. The robbed men and women began to dance, moving in ways that seemed to follow an alien rhythm. They slide back and forth, the frenzied movements resembling bees more than humans, but even that was being generous. The robed goons who initially dragged the woman out brought her towards a sculpture that gleamed with the orange, ethereal light of a bonfire.

With an audible sneer, Ronald sprang from his hiding place.

“The power of twelve gauge compels you, you bastard!”

The tall, lanky figure from prior didn’t even finish turning his head when he was decapitated by buckshot. Collapsing to the ground, the other members of Spiro’s cult watched in silence.

“Give her back or that’ll be all of you!”

The goons charged, daggers drawn. Ronald racked the pump of his shotgun back and forth, dropping both before they even got close. The remaining cult members ran into the night, but the fight was far from over.

Ronald rushed to the girl from earlier. He worked swiftly, slicing away at the black cloth that bound her ankles and wrists.

“Let’s get out of her Sandra,” said Ronald in a hushed tone.

Before he could help Sandra to her feet, the worst happened.

The statue of Spiro moved its eyes. The heavy oak from which it was carved bent and moaned as the sculpture filled with unnatural life. It moved its ankles, trying to tear free. Ronald produced a glass bottle, plugged with a rag, from his backpack. With the flick of his zippo he sent his distraction hurling towards the idol.

A scream like that of a wild fox echoed through the forest as the sculpture lit up. Nevertheless, its wooden form continued to bend and crack as unholy power entered into it.

“Run,” said Ronald.

The two sprinted from the flaming, demonic statue. They ducked back into the brush and zig-zagged through the dying foliage. However, the idol just stomped through, setting things on fire as it went. The dry kindling caught with ease.

Flames spread throughout the entire forest, turning the once peaceful woodlands into a raging inferno. Branches collapsed from above, and flaming debris encircled Ronald and Sandra. The smell of smoke was omnipresent, and it threatened to fill their lungs and bring them to their knees. The heat bore down on their ill-prepared flesh, their bodies sweating in a desperate bid to stay cool. Still they ran, fleeing from flame and irate god alike.

Spiro’s stompings continued with a steady rhythm, as if the flames didn’t even bother it. Ronald and Sandra burst from a smoldering bush into a small clearing. A pond sat in the center like a gift from God. With a quick glance at one another, the two jumped in.

In the background they heard the idol’s steady march. It passed by the clearing, and disappeared into the fiery night. The two stayed in the pond for what seemed like days before they finally sprinted away from the still burning forest.

Both of them sighed as they made it to a dirt road outside the forest. They lied on the gravel, embracing in a passionate kiss under the starlight.

After dusting themselves off, they walked down the road, looking at each other. Both of them were dripping wet, sprinkled with soot, and out of breath. They had a long trek ahead of them, but as long as they had the company of each other, nothing else really mattered.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


In for the first time in a long time.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Extras for experts: you may request flash rules from me, but they will not be easy flash rules. Oh no no no.

Flash me like a sporting event, ye olde god of

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Underground Anomalies
Words: 666

Dave led his little group deeper into the guts of the cave, his flashlight barely cutting through the darkness that surrounded them. There was no idle chatter amongst the group as they went.

After almost two hours of walking, Steph broke the silence with a sigh.

“Dave, my feet are killing me.”

“Come on. Just a little further and I’m sure we’ll find something amazing.”

Johnny threw his head back and groaned.

“This is stupid,” said Johnny.

Dave ignored Johnny’s remark and once more the group fell silent. The meager illumination of Dave’s flashlight continued to guide them through the abyssal black of the underground world.

It was Johnny who first heard the music. A soft, sweet piano melody echoed from somewhere further down. At first he thought it nothing more than an auditory hallucination brought on by the silence and dark, but the tune did not wane. It grew and took on subtle complexities.

Steph heard it as well. Her heart sank as she too realized her senses were not toying with her. The music was a beautiful yet haunting anomaly.

“Did you hear that,” asked Johnny, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Yeah,” replied Steph.

“Just a little bit further,” said Dave.

“Don’t you hear it, David?” asked Johnny.

“Just a little bit further,” Dave repeated.

Steph contemplated using her cellphone to light the way back without Dave, but only his flashlight was bright enough for navigating in cave darkness.

The music echoed and reverberated throughout the cavern, growing louder and richer with every step of downward travel. Finally, Dave stopped. The other two looked at an object Dave had his flashlight trained on.

A window, the type you’d find in any suburban house, had been built into the granite. The music seemed to emanate from the area surrounding the fixture.

Dave flashed a smug grin at both Johnny and Steph.

“Alright Dave, you were right, something amazing is down here,” said Steph.

“Why don’t we take a peek through the window?” Dave suggested.

“Are you nuts?” asked Johnny.

“Oh don’t be a chicken.”

Johnny huffed. After shooting a dirty glare at Dave, he climbed down from the rock path they stood on until he was on level footing with the window.

“This is insane!” Johnny yelled.

Dave stayed silent, but Johnny could feel that awful smirk drill into the back of his skull.

The ground Johnny stood in was caked in filth, most likely bat guano. Wretched fumes rose from the floor and invaded his nostrils. With shaky steps, Johnny creeped towards the window.

The piano music slowed in tempo as he drew closer to the window. He resisted the urge to turn back, to flee the unnatural affixture. With one final step, Johnny found his face inches away from the pane. He steeled his nerves and reluctantly looked into it.

He could see a street, floral wallpaper, trees, newspapers, tables, and other windows. All of them shifted in and out of focus, with certain objects and details moving to the foreground before sinking back into a misty blue dreamscape.

His head throbbed and his eyes ached from staring at the world beyond the pane. The piano music in the background tapered off, but Johnny hardly took notice.

He swung around, breaking away from the horrid thing. He found himself not in a cave, however, but a parlor room.

Dave sat at a piano, having just finished a wonderful Bach staccato. He looked over at Johnny before standing up. He walked over to his old friend, placing a reaffirming grip on his shoulder.

Johnny tried to open his mouth. He needed to ask where Steph was, he needed to know if she was okay. However, his throat locked up, and the words died within the flesh of his esophagus. Dave walked out, and Johnny could only stand there.

Johnny turned back to the window. The world outside was perfectly pitch black, and it reminded him of his times spelunking with Dave and Steph.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Alright, let's do this. In.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Nutrient Solution
Words: 860

Max filled his dropper with nutrient solution. The hatchlings cooed and chirped as he squeezed a few droplets each into their eager mouths. His serious, stern expression softened whenever he worked with the newborns.

A female hatchling hummed softly, licking her lips of leftover solution. Her rotund body, no bigger than a plum, resembled a marshmallow with human-like eyes. Max remembered tending to her embryo, which had been put under critical care for most of its incubation.

The conveyer belt sprang to life. The hatchlings made high pitched, panicky chirps as they were led to overnight storage. Without thinking, Max snatched the female hatchling from the belt and stuffed her into the pocket of his labcoat.

For the rest of his shift, Max drifted from his computer to his co-workers, filing paperwork and chatting about the weather. It was too late to put the hatchling back, at least not without informing his superiors.

“Whatever,” Max thought to himself, “she should be easy enough to sneak out and take care of.”

As Max began to pack his suitcase, the intercom crackled to life. The voice sounded more bored than anything, but Max’s heart constricted with every word.

“Alert, the building is on temporary lockdown. A Theta-32 Prototype has been reported missing. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Max speed walked to the lobby, the tiny creature still rustling in his coat pocket. Fortunately, her movements were unnoticed by the rather irate staff.

“I bet one of the janitors, I mean, ‘sanitation engineers’ took it as a pet for his kid,” said a passing researcher.

The lobby was mostly deserted when Max reached it. He saw a few stray security officers gathered around the frontdesk. Needing some form of escape, Max darted into the only place he could think to hide: the restrooms.

Max could still hear the security staff from the lobby, and he knew they’d check the restrooms. If he had to give the guards one thing, they followed their protocols well.

Slinking into a stall, Max felt hopeless. He was going to lose his job, his prestige, and the little creature he spent the better part of four years rearing. He thought about what they did to Theta-32 Prototypes after they reached maturity, and shuddered.

He could still see it. Tubes stuck all throughout its body, fluids pumped in and fluids siphoned out. A piece of fleshy machinery, that’s all they were to corporate. Hell, that’s all they were to the majority of the researchers. Even the livestock of the old world had better existences.

Max fished the hatchling from his pocket, holding her tiny body in his palm. She looked up at him with eyes as trusting as a child’s. He saw within them a spark of intelligence, and, more importantly, a sense of love. Love not only for him, but love for living, for licking nutrient solution off her lips, for her short exercise time, and for snuggling inside his labcoat.

She wasn’t just a project he’d been working on for years. She was his daughter.

He dug deeper into his pockets, hoping to find something that would help, anything. He pulled up a crumpled handkerchief, and an idea began to form.

Max took the hatchling and, like a baby delivered from the stork, tied her into a bundle with the handkerchief. As carefully as he could, Max lifted the lid from the tank of the toilet and fastened the bundle to the plunger. He hastily replaced the lid and sat back down.

Then, Max unfastened his pants and did his business. He needed to look legitimate, and he wasn’t sure piss would do the job.

“Hey, anybody in here?” called a voice from outside the stall.

“Yeah, what do you want?” replied Max.

Footsteps marched over. Max put on his best poker face and opened the door.

“Can’t a guy do his business in private?” he asked.

“Oh, sorry. Could you, like, wipe? Policy says we gotta frisk everyone here.”

“Gimme a minute.”

It only took a few moments for Max to finish his business. He walked out of the stall, the guard doing his best to avoid eye contact. Max feigned annoyance as he let the officer pat him down. The young guard stared down at the floor before leaving, his face bright red.

As carefully as before, Max removed the lid and retrieved the hatchling. He stuffed her back into his pocket and strolled out into the lobby.

A second, much older guard clasped Max on the shoulder. The younger guard stood to the side, still red in the face but trying to act casual.

“He told me what happened. You can go now. Thanks for your patience.”

Max walked out to his car, escorted by the older security guard.

“Sorry about what happened,” said the guard.

“Forget about it.”

Max turned the ignition and made it home within minutes. He pulled the hatchling from his coat when he walked into the living room. For a few moments they just smiled at eachother before Max broke the silence.

“Sorry, I don’t have any nutrient solution. Would you settle for a dollop of peanut butter instead?”

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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In, baby.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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More or less moved in now. In.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Alright, lemme in. This week I shall not fail!



(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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I'm back my fellow nerdlings.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Feed me. (in)

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Edit the white splotches to look like dog drool and I'd buy this as an emoticon tbh.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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Oystermen
Words: 1155

Ivan scampered up the fence separating the alley he’d found himself in from the grocer. Omnipresent gurgling echoed through the once sleepy town of Teller’s Bay. With a final, strong tug, Ivan pulled his upper body over the top of the fence. Below he saw the now familiar sight of the Oystermen, with dozens of them shuffling about the boardwalk.

The Oystermen almost resembled rotting human corpses, with oyster shell growing in asymmetrical patches on their skin and in their eyes. Vivid memories of dripping viral-based gene vectors into cultures of Oyster cells flashed through Ivan’s mind. He descended the wall, still trying to push his memories into the back of his mind.

Only ten or so feet separated Ivan from the Oyster abominations. From this distance the flesh that once appeared rotten revealed itself to be healthy Oyster meat. The Oystermen paid no mind to Ivan as he slipped through the back of the grocery store.

Once inside, Ivan saw a dead Oysterman that had curled itself against a wet floor sign. Large gashes on its back and neck made it clear that someone killed it. Ivan stood for a second over the corpse, a feeling of pity building in his chest. They weren’t dangerous. If anyone deserved to be killed, it was him.

The memo from corporate flashed through Ivan’s mind. It was a simple GMO project; engineer larger Oysters that could provide higher quality meat. Simple enough, just cross various bivalve genes using a viral vector.

The virus that Ivan and his team choose, a modified E. coli strain, had been used with great success in previous experiments with corn.

Ivan walked through the puddles of stagnant water that flooded the store. The smell of rot wafted through the aisles, and Ivan felt himself almost overpowered by the stink. He grabbed a few bags of chips and stuffed them into the messenger bag that rested on his hip. The fluorescent lights flickered above Ivan’s head before going completely dark. Waning sunlight shining through the windows now provided the only light in the store.

Ivan worked his way down the aisles, grabbing various jars and cans along the way. As he stuffed a jar of pickles in his bag, Ivan read the label on an adjacent can. Even in the fading light, the letters popped out clear as crystal.

“Uncle Roy’s Smoked Oysters.”

A nauseating pit formed in Ivan’s gut. The pit grew as he walked past the remainder of the seafood aisle. Every single product had been contaminated. Exiting from the front of the store, Ivan watched as gurgling, choking Oystermen shuffled or crawled around the streets. Ivan averted his gaze from the miserable crowd.

Ivan turned his thoughts back to the day the news broke. The virus embedded itself into the Oyster cells, similar to how the mitochondria embedded itself into the ancestor of eukaryotes all those millions of years ago. The virus jumped from Oysters to lobsters, crabs, and fish. Now it pervaded the sea life of the pacific coast, as well as its human denizens.

And when it jumped, chaos followed.

A motorbike roared in distance. Ivan quickened his pace, his heart starting to pound. The sound of the approaching bike drew closer, and Ivan dove into a nearby alley. Peeking from the shadows, Ivan watched as the motorbiker pulled something from his coat. The biker stepped from his motorcycle and scanned the street. The dark masked the majority of his features, although he appeared to be wearing a thick, darkly colored jacket and helmet.

Ivan held his breath. An Oysterman hobbled from out of the shadows, towards the biker. Without a second’s hesitation, the biker levied the object he pulled from his coat and shot the Oysterman square in the chest. The unexpected noise made Ivan flinch. The Oysterman collapsed into a heap before the biker’s feet, twitching slightly.

The biker looked down at the spasming Oysterman before saddling back on his bike and taking off. For a moment, Ivan stood frozen in place. After a minute or so of silence, Ivan tiptoed out of the alleyway.

The broken down shack that Ivan had taken as shelter stood only a few more feet in the distance. Gripping the strap of his messenger bag in a vice, he took a massive breath.

“Just a bit further,” Ivan said to himself.

Viney weeds ravaged the yard around Ivan’s shelter. Watching his step, Ivan navigated his way towards the door. However, he caught his foot on a vine and fell flat on his back. The muffled sound of glass breaking made Ivan’s heart sink.

“Crap,” he thought to himself.

Struggling up to his feet, Ivan sensed something watching him. When he turned his head, Ivan saw an Oysterman looming over him. The Oysterman extended its arm out to Ivan. At first Ivan didn’t understand what it was doing, but it soon hit him like a bundle of bricks. It was offering to help him.

Ivan took the Oysterman’s hand, the bivalve-like flesh cool and unpleasant to the touch. However, he felt it help pull him up. Now back on his feet, Ivan gave the Oysterman a bewildered look.

“You, helped me. You’re still.. intelligent enough for that?”

In a slow, deliberate manner, the Oysterman nodded.
“I thought it would’ve destroyed your mind. But here you stand, still capable of understanding speech and everything.”

Again, the Oysterman nodded.

Ivan stared the Oysterman in its eyes. Despite the shell fragments growing out of his tear ducts, they still gleamed with humanity. Ivan’s eyes darted to the ground. The Oysterman stood there, his gurgles and groans forcing Ivan to look him in the face once again.

A tear dribbled from the Oysterman’s eye. The pure misery in his disfigured face spread over to Ivan, but he wasn’t able to stand it. The disgust, the fear, and the partially buried guilt settled in the pit in Ivan’s stomach. He rushed inside his shack.

The Oysterman pounded itself against the door, his groans taking on an almost desperate tone. Ivan pushed all his weight against the door. The Oysterman beat at the door, and hinges creaked from the force applied to them. After almost five minutes of pounding, all went quiet. Ivan slumped to the floor, exhausted.

Ivan forced himself from the floor, his entire body aching. He stepped from his shack, the corpse of the Oysterman sprawled across his yard with a gunshot wound in its shoulder.

Ivan walked towards the bay. He thought about the chaos he’d sown across the west coast and nation at large. He thought about the Oysterman he’d shun the previous night, the pain he must have felt and the short lived relief at finding something resembling a friend.

Looking over the clear waters of the bay, Ivan felt the pit in his stomach knot itself a thousand times over. With a final breath, he threw himself into the surf.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Prompt: Write a story that doesn't suck

That's an unreasonably difficult prompt.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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George Carlin posted:

... Or you take the bomb and stick it in the little hole in a guy's dick. Yeah, a bomb in a dick! He wouldn't know if he was coming or going!

Also in.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Sitting Here, congratulations! You're the first official victim of Loggin's Disease.

You will not be the last.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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This kinda prompt is my jam. In

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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The Salesman
Words: 1182

My daughter sprinted down the sidewalk, giggling madly. I chased after her, unable to keep myself from smiling along. As I ran to scoop her up, I couldn’t help but notice an overweight, well-dressed man standing at the neighbor’s doorstep.

He wore a dark blue business suit and thick rimmed glasses and had short, well combed black hair. His appearance looked so out of place that I stopped and stared at him for a moment. Something about him seemed off in a fundamental way; something about his posture. He held himself in a slumped, yet stiff, manner, almost like a robot. I think he caught me looking at him, because he looked over his shoulder with this bizarre expression that looked like a combination of shock and interest.

I strengthened my grip on my daughter. My pace quickened in spite of myself. I think I saw him leering at me over his shoulder as I made my way home. Once I stepped inside I still felt watched. I kept my daughter close for the remainder of the afternoon.

That evening I forgot about my encounter with the odd man. I suffer from chronic migraines, and I could feel one coming on around eight. Getting rest and fighting off those hell-headaches was more important than stressing about some weird salesman. When I crawled into bed, I swiftly drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

I woke up with a pounding head to my cellphone ringing. With a grunt I fumbled my hand over my dresser trying to find the damned thing. An unfamiliar phone number greeted me, and at four in the morning. Usually I don’t pick-up unknown numbers, but I wanted to give the jackass on the other end a good tongue lashing. To my disappointment, a robotic voice answered.

“Hello, Mr. Anderson. We’ve feel that you’re fit for our corporation and will be sending a representative to your residence right away.”

The call ended with that. I stared at the phone, head still pounding with an oncoming migraine. Although the call confused me, I couldn’t be assed to really care, so I laid back down.

“Daddy, there’s someone at the door!”

I dragged myself out of bed, the crushing pain of the migraine having mostly subsided. Someone pounded at the living room door.

“I’m coming!” I yelled as I made my way down stairs.

As I opened the door, I saw him: the overweight salesman. He smiled weakly. He didn’t speak, just looked at me with fishy eyes as he stood there.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

He shifted for a second before speaking in a hushed tone.

“I’ve recommended you to my supervisor. He agrees that you’re a better fit than the client I visited yesterday..”

“Better fit for what?”

The salesman just turned and left.

“Better fit for what?!” I yelled.

He ignored me as he hopped into a black Pontiac and sped away.

The entire afternoon I spent locked in the house. I half expected a squad of shady characters to come and drag me off to be turned into a robotic, glass-eyed salesman. I cradled my daughter and prayed that, whatever happened to me, she’d be alright. Why did they have to pick me, because I looked at the fucker funny?

Around five another migraine flared up. I held my head in my hands, too afraid to lie down. Shadows floated around the edges of my vision as the migraine worsened. The horrid pain crushed my skull while my body begged for rest. The idea of sleep, of letting my guard down, terrified me. I could almost see the salesman spying through the window, with his ‘supervisor’ lurking somewhere behind him.

All they needed was for me to sleep.

I retreated to my room. After locking the door behind me, I closed the blinds and sat in the darkness. The pain began to dull, albeit only slightly. I relaxed, then a few moments later I managed to lay down. Before I could drift into sleep, however, I sensed something in the darkness.

I opened my eyes to see a man looming over my bed. In the dark I could only make out his silhouette. He stood well over six feet tall, with a skinny profile. My migraine dulled at the sight of him. In fact, my entire body went numb.

He shifted over to the window and drew the curtains. Orange sunlight flooded the room. From the back I saw his tattered, dusty suit. His skin was translucent, displaying pulsing veins and twitching muscles underneath. He gazed out the window for a few moments before speaking in a whisper.

“Beautiful day, isn’t it Mr. Anderson?”

My body lay motionless. The man didn’t turn when he spoke again.

“Harold informed that you’re a prime candidate. Now, Harold is one of my best associates, so his recommendation holds quite a bit of weight.”

The creature seemed to glide over to me from the window. His transparent skin gave him a skeletal appearance, with bugged-out, glassed over eyes. If he had normal skin, he might’ve passed for a normal, bald old man. He grasped my left arm, feeling it up and down. His touch felt hot and slimey, as though he were covered in a thick mucus.

“Even with such a high recommendation, I’ll need to do an inspection.”

The creature produced a scalpel from his pocket. In one quick motion, he sliced down my forearm. Thick blood poured from the wound as a dulled pain resonated throughout my body. He prodded at my muscle tissue with both the scalpel and his fingers, sending stinging jolts up my spine.

“Promising, Mr. Anderson, promising.”

I tried to scream, to bellow for help. However, every sound I tried to make caught in my throat. The creature placed the scalpel back in his pocket, trading it out for a thick thread and needle.

“Let’s get you back together, Mr. Anderson.”

As he sewed my arm closed, I felt the numbing effect wear off. The pain shot through me like hot embers, scorching along my spinal column. Regardless, my body remained frozen in place, helplessly paralysed at the mercy of this ungodly thing.

Upon finishing his stitching, the creature leaned towards me and whispered right in my ear. His breath was steam against my ears, but his words chilled me.

“You’re hired.”

With that, I blacked out.

My phone rang at four in the morning. For a moment I just laid there, unable to do much of anything. I worked up the strength to grab it, all while an ache flowed through my left arm. The memory of the surgery gradually returned, and I hesitated to answer the phone. Looking at the number, I knew it was him.

Still, I needed to know. The robotic voice greeted me once again.

“Hello, Mr. Anderson. Congratulations on becoming part of the team!”

The call ended with that. I don’t know when or where he’ll reappear. Hell, I’m not exactly sure what he wants. All I know is that migraines are the last thing on my mind.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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To my dear friends the Judges.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alqn4b3L_WU

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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crabrock posted:

hey i want to write almost the minimum amount of words that can be described as a "story," but I want to do it in a risk-free environment. Is thunderdome right for me?

The gently caress are stories? I just bang my keyboard until I get tired and hit submit.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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I'll bite. In

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Fcgc. But seriously thanks for the crits mate.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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Arron and the Imp
Words: 1189

Arron pushed his paperwork aside, the screams making it hard to concentrate. He stood and gazed out his private office window at a panorama of flame. Heavy footsteps stomped towards him before a firm, familiar grip squeezed his shoulder.

“Beautiful, isn’t it son?” Lucifer asked.

“Yes father, it’s quite beautiful.”

###

Arron walked down a lonesome street. As he drew closer to home, he pulled a flask from his coat pocket and took a healthy swig. Numerous eyes peered at him from shadowed alleyways.

“Bug off!” Arron shouted.

The eyes retreated into the darkness. Arron grinned and placed his hands on his hips.

“That’s right, scurry! I will not be burdened by the lesser.”

Fingers wrapped themselves around Arron’s neck, and a voice whispered into his ear.

“Is that so?”

Before he could react, something pricked Arron in the neck. His vision blurred and his legs buckled. He caught himself as he collapsed to the ground, but within seconds he blacked out completely.

###

Arron opened his eyes to find himself sitting in what looked to be a shed. He tried to stand, but ropes fastened around his wrists, shins, and chest held him firm.

The door creaked open and a female form stepped inside. She wore a maroon shirt and skirt, with floppy ears that hung down from the sides of her head like hair braids. It took a moment for Arron to recognize her as an imp.

Arron snarled and tried to pounce. However, the ropes would not let him budge more than a few inches.

“What is this? Don’t you know who I am, lesser one?”

The imp smiled at his struggle.

“Since you asked so kindly,” she said, “I’m Christina.”

Arron flinched.

“‘Christ,’ what a dirty sound!”

“Well, you can call me Tina if you like.”

“I’ll call you dead, for that’s what you’ll be in a moment.”

Tina rolled her eyes.

“Oh please, I knocked you out easy peasy, and now you can’t even break some lousy rope.”

Arron howled and spat at Tina. She arched to the left, dodging the loogie.

“For the son of a man of wealth and taste, you’re not very civil.”

“I’m quite civil when I’m not tied up.”

The imp wrapped her fingers around Arron’s hand and gave it a soft, subtle squeeze. If the situation were different, he would’ve found it quite pleasant.

“Have you ever thought about all those spirits, those human beings, that you torment and despise?”

“Bah, humans are worth even less than imps.”

“I’ve seen you staring at those damned souls before, and in your eyes I saw a twinkle. Not too bright, but there.”

Tina sat on her knees, leaning so close to Arron that her breath touched the tip of his nose. She lowered her eyelids and smiled.

“You had some sympathy for those souls.”

Arron lunged forward, almost catching Tina in his snapping jaws.

“I’ll feast on your innards for such an insult! I’ll have you and all of your impish clan roasted over a spit!”

“Mr. Arron, please listen. We must bridge the gap we’ve formed between ourselves...”

She trailed off, as though the words refused to cooperate.

“And God.”

“Now you invoke his name!”

“Please, Mr. Arron, listen. He’s slated to win. You can’t hope to defeat an omnipotent power.”

“You’re a fool. We will defeat him!”

“Your father already lost to him once.”

Arron sat still for a moment. Tina started to say something, but Arron interrupted her with a roar. She recoiled from the demon as he growled and writhed in his bonds.

A legion sounded off in the distance. Arron cackled as his saviors grew closer.

“Well, Mr. Arron, it’s been nice but I gotta run.”

With that, Tina slipped out the door.

###

The words of the heretical imp Arron met a day ago echoed in his mind. He sighed, put away his paperwork, and stood in front of his office window. He watched the souls as they wailed in agony.

“You had some sympathy for those souls.”

The imp’s words echoed in his mind. Arron pressed his hand against the pane with his gaze averted from the damned. A firm grip clasped his shoulder.

“Horrible what happened to you, son.”

“In more ways than you imagine, father,” Arron thought.

###

The imp haunted Arron’s mind as he walked home. He pulled a flask from his coat pocket and downed half of it in one gulp. He spilled the rest when he saw Tina standing at the edge of the street.

Her thin, lavender fur rustled in a light zephyr. Arron’s entire body shuddered. She ran towards him, arms outstretched. Her gleaming yellow eyes became his world as they embraced.

Arron hugged Tina close, her warm body snug against his. She touched his face, gently caressing his left cheek. Arron leaned in for a kiss, but stopped when her silky fur became as coarse as sandpaper. Burning cracks erupted over her body. Her lavender form charred into a black, disfigured lump.

The smoldering remains of Tina collapsed into ashes that poured from Arron’s arms and vanished on the pavement. Arron now stood alone on an empty street. He looked down at the dropped flask before dragging himself the rest of the way home.

###

Stepping inside his highrise apartment, Arron saw her. He also saw his father, standing next to the restrained imp and beaming with pride.

“We found her hiding in a cabin, not too far from where she kept you.”

Lucifer handed Arron a knife.

“You do the honors of gutting her, and we’ll roast her together.”

Arron stared at the binded imp. She’d been stripped and tied in black leather straps. Arron loomed over her, keeping up a frightful appearance. Inside, however, a sea of emotions raged. .

“It’s just your libido,” one voice whispered within Arron’s head.

“She’s a heretic and one of the lesser, kill her,” another voice said.

However, dissenting voices joined in with the choir.

“We’re dooming ourselves.”

“She doesn’t deserve this, no one deserves any of this.”

Lucifer’s voice finally cut through to Arron.

“Sometime today, Arron!”

Arching the knife over his head, Arron brought the blade down upon the imp. He chopped a large portion of her ear off, which landed on the floor with a quiet thump. The blade continued downward, striking the imp in her shoulder.

Tina, flinched, but then looked up with a grin. During Arron’s hesitation, she’d clawed at her bindings. As Arron lifted the blade for another strike, the primary knot holding Tina captive snapped.

Tina sprung at Arron, claws readied. Arron screamed as her nails tore into his face. Ichor poured from his busted lower lip, its bitter taste flooding his mouth. He dropped the knife. Tina scurried to the window and leapt from the sixth story apartment.

Arron wiped the ichor dripping from his face on his collar. For a moment he was enraged, but within seconds his anger melted.

Lucifer rushed towards the window. He turned to Arron with an expression that combined both fury and determination.

“Don’t worry son, we’ll find her.”

Arron didn’t say anything as he brushed past his father.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

like omg w/e just do it

You're just too lovable to brawl.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
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Hit me up. In

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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In.

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ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

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In

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