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Fausty
May 16, 2014


First time doing this. I'm in.

Also, is 1500 words the max or min?

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Fausty
May 16, 2014


Sitting Here posted:

Reminder to entrants for the failbrawl that you have about 11.5 hours to submit and redeem yourselves.

What exactly is the failbrawl if you don't mind me asking?

Fausty
May 16, 2014


newtestleper posted:

One tip: If there's anything you're not happy about in your story, make sure you write a paragraph or so explaining why. Like, for example, if you were sick for a few days and didn't have enough time to edit it- let the judges know! They'll be sure to take it into account when judging.

Or I can just fix it. I think that works better.

Fausty
May 16, 2014


Tyrannosaurus posted:

"Forbidden love tempts and destroys a young couple."

From Rose to Thorn
1165 Words.

A sharp slap and the angry thuds of retreating footsteps were all that was left to imprint Lana’s words into Ryan’s mind. “You slept with a loving man? Just my luck that you’d be a God damned enjoyable human being.”

Ryan fell back into the mudroom chair, red-faced and with what felt like monstrous moths fluttering violently in his stomach. His brows furrowed and eyes shut tight. A long whimpering sigh spilled out from between his lips as his eyes slowly relaxed. He looked over at the open apartment door and kicked it shut with his closest foot.

He dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He scrolled through his contacts. Mikkel’s name and face rolled in. His thumb hesitated over the call button before slamming into it. The phone rang into his ear for what felt like hours until he heard Mikkel’s sweet soothing voice, “Hey, Sweetie! You doin’ all right over there?”

Ryan held his breath. Seconds passed while he thought of what to say. “Yeah,” he panted, “I’m okay. How about you?”

“You don’t sound okay. I take it honesty didn’t turn out to be the most painless solution?” Mikkel asked, his southern accent twanging across the cell towers.

“She slapped me and called me,” Ryan paused, gritting his teeth, “she called me a enjoyable human being.”

Mikkel snapped, “That bitch! I’ll be over in just a minute, Babe.”

Ryan heard the dull beep, Mikkel hung up. gently caress this, he thought. He stood up and walked into the kitchen. He tapped his fingers on the counter like drumsticks to some unknown beat, thinking of what he wanted.

He opened the fridge and took the bottle of grapefruit juice. He poured himself a glass and returned the bottle, but as he close the fridge door he heard the apartment door open. “Mikky? Is that you?”

“Hey handsome!” he called back. He turned the corner and looked at Ryan with a pity-filled smile. He held up a white letter with ‘gently caress you’ written in red nail polish on the back. “Little Miss Lana left something for you,” he almost whispered. His lips pressed into a sad smile.

Ryan walked over the Mikkel and took the letter from his hand, mouthing “Thanks,” before walking over to the counter to examine it. As he studied it, his eyes narrowed.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Mikkel cocked his head as he inched closer.

“Well,” Ryan said, “Behind the giant ‘F’ I think it says that it came all the way from South Carolina to here.”

“I thought you said that Lana’s never left Virginia?” Mikkel asked as he rested his hand on Ryan’s upper back, rubbing it gently. He peered down at the letter, studying it himself.

“She hasn’t.” Ryan picked up the letter and walked away from Mikkel, his hand fell away. Ryan slowly opened the envelope, sliding his finger through the flap. It was held together by a small dab of nail polish. “Lana’s been in it,” he stated.

He pulled out a small handwritten note, clearly from Lana. It read, “Hope you enjoy this little piece of news, I sure did. You two should get a real kick out of it.”

He slipped it back into the envelope and took out a larger, but still handwritten note. He didn’t recognize the style. He read it aloud slowly as he paced around the room:

“Dear Ryan,

It’s hard to describe the pure joy I felt when I discovered my two boys were alive and well. I have lived in regret ever since I gave you boys to the home. I thought I’d never see you again, but fate had other plans apparently!

I hope we can meet one day, but if not, I understand. You and -”


Ryan’s voice fell silent. His cheeks went tight and stung. His mouth watered sourly before being immediately dried by his thirsty tongue and cheeks. His stomach twisted and knotted as he stared at the words. His eyes were stuck on one spot in the letter and his jaw had gone slack.

“What’s wrong?” Mikkel asked, his eyes travelling up and down Ryan’s frozen body.

“It,” Ryan husked, his voice had gone completely dry. He swallowed and continued, “Harvey’s not my brother.” He gulped deeply. His words became shaky, “You are.” Mikkel’s eyes shot wide.

“What?” Mikkel asked, “What if she’s just crazy? What about that?” He stuttered more and more as he spoke, “How the gently caress do you know she’s talking about me?”

“Why would she know about us otherwise? How would she know? And how many guys do you know with the name Mikkel?” Ryan asked, confirming the terrible truth. His eyes were red and teary; salty droplets rolled down his cheeks.

Mikkel slowly backed away. His head cocked slightly to the left and his eyes dead set on the ground. He absently shook his head as he distanced himself from Ryan. Stone-faced but clearly distraught, his childhood tics resurfaced. He turned away and walked down the hall, his left shoulder and head twitching in synchrony.

“Mikkel? Where are you going?” Ryan asked, stepping forward.

He watched as Mikkel walked toward the bathroom. He thought he needed some alone time. Hell, I sure as gently caress need some alone time, he thought. Then Mikkel walked by the bathroom and disappeared into Ryan’s bedroom.

Mikkel!?” he yelled. He ran down the hall toward the room, but the door closed before he got to it. He heard the muted click of the door lock. He slammed himself into the door shoulder first, but nothing gave way. Well, nothing but his shoulder which he grasped in pain, grimacing.

He could heard the shuffling of drawers opening and closing. Oh gently caress. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. There’s no way he’d do that to me, he thought. He banged his fists into the door repeatedly. “Mikkel! Please! Just stop and listen to me, please!” he screamed. His sore hands were beginning to bloody and bruise. More shuffling. “Mikkel, for gently caress’s sake stop and listen to me!”

He heard the bed creak under Mikkel’s feet. “No, no, no! Please stop and think about what you’re doing, Mikkel! You have family and friends that love you, you have me! Brother or not, I’ll always be there for you God dammit!”

“I’m sorry, Ryan. But I still love you, and I can’t live like that.”

Ryan stopped hitting the door, his hands had been torn from the repeated smashing. Blood dripped steadily onto the floor. He pressed his cheek to the door and spoke, “Can we just talk about this? Please?” His chest heaved slowly as he panted into the door.

“No.” His voice was dry and emotionless.

Ryan listened in horror as he heard the distant click of the hammer being pulled back. And in an instant, everything he knew had been torn apart in one moment; the explosive crack of the gun threw him from the door in shock. He stared at the impassible monolith-like door, wide-eyed and surrendered.

Fausty
May 16, 2014


LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

Fausty
May 16, 2014


I lost last week and I wanna make up for it. In.

Can I get a flash rule?

Fausty
May 16, 2014


Tyrannosaurus posted:

From Rose to Thorn - Forbidden love tempts and destroys a young couple.

Hot poo poo! Well thanks man, that really does help quite a drat lot.

Fausty
May 16, 2014


Between Friends
Word Count: 1448

“It smells of horse rear end back here,” Martinus Auxentius grumbled loudly. He looked off the road toward the seemingly endless plains of golden crop scattered around the empire. Stalks of wheat and barley blew lightly in the wind and glowed in the beating sun. The narrowing stream to their right caught Martinus’ gaze. He hadn’t drunk in over a day. In the hot Roman sun, no less. He licked his cracked lips, imagining the cold and refreshing water moistening them.

“And just what the gently caress are we supposed to do about that?” one of the two centurions mocked. The man looked over his shoulder at their hand-tied prisoner, roped to both the horses’ necks. Martinus was sweating profusely; it dripped from his chin and hair. His feet nearly slipped from his sandals, causing him to stumble briefly before catching himself. That was twice then. The centurion looked back at his riding companion. “Aulus, I need to piss.” Martinus looked up suddenly at the words, eyeing the second centurion.

Aulus Hermanus sighed and pulled the reins taut. “We’re stopping here, prisoner!” he yelled over his shoulder. He looked back at his fellow escort before continuing, “Glaucia here cannot control his loving bladder apparently.” He watched as the man awkwardly dismounted his horse, falling roughly on his feet with a puff of dirt. Aulus only shook his head, groaning inwardly at the sight.

Glaucia quickly waddled past Aulus’ horse toward the stream. Martinus watched him till he was only feet from the water. He shuffled in between the horses, making sure that he wouldn’t sneak up on the lone mounted centurion.

Aulus looked down at the prisoner and spoke, “What is it? You need to piss, too?”

“Aulus,” he said, smiling, “It’s me, Martinus. We grew up in Carthage by Byrsa hill.”

Aulus’ eyes narrowed as he stared down at the Prisoner. It was difficult, but he could definitely see the familiar face behind the long, black beard and dirtily ragged hair. “Oh, poo poo,” Aulus spoke lower, trying to avoid the attention of his pissing partner, “It’s been a long time, Martinus. What the gently caress did you do to get tied up like this?”

Martinus was silent for a moment then spoke quickly, “Things aren’t well back home. I was caught stealing bread from a market wagon. Laelia, my wife; she received ten lashes for eating the bread, and I was arrested.”

“loving hell,” Aulus sighed. “Things are getting fairly poo poo around here. And fairly quickly, too.” He looked at the stream; Glaucia was still pissing. How in the gently caress? he wondered.

“Hey,” Martinus hurriedly spoke. Aulus looked back and down at him with a raised brow. “For old time’s sake?” He smiled, continuing, “I bet my freedom that if you were to cut these ropes, I could run away and your friend over there wouldn’t even be able to chase after me on horseback.” His smile twisted into a cunning smirk.

Aulus laughed to himself, bouncing on the horse’s back. “Just what exactly do I get if you fail?”

Martinus was quick to answer, “A prisoner and the happiness of the loving Caesar.”

Aulus peered at his childhood friend through slitted eyes. He pondered, not whether or not it was a wise idea; he knew it wasn’t, but he wondered more on what his excuse would be when he returned to the capital without his prisoner. No, Rome’s prisoner, he reminded himself. He drew in his breath deeply. They’ll never know that I cut him free. Besides, who’d care? He’s just a thief, he thought.

“gently caress it,” he said. He drew his gladius from its sheath with the familiar dull shuffling of blade against leather. “Hold your arms out,” he whispered. Martinus had his hands displayed in front of Aulus. He pushed the blade against his wrists, motioning them to move further apart. He then raised the sword above his shoulder and sliced downward into the rope, cutting it in half in one swift motion.

Martinus smiled graciously at Aulus and nodded. He walked past the horse, toward the stream. He held his arms wide and back, stretching. He was walking toward the still pissing centurion. Jupiter’s cock, he’s gone mad! Aulus thought.

Martinus quietly kicked away his sandals. The soft lush grass was heaven to his aching feet. He could hear the stream more clearly now and it brought a smile to his face to hear the trickling water so loudly. Slowing and muffling his footsteps, he stepped behind Glaucia. He stood there for a few seconds, eyeing the oblivious soldier.

He quickly reached for the gladius and yanked it from its sheath with a harsh upward motion. The blade struck and cut Glaucia’s underarm, causing him to yelp in pain. He twisted around, gripping the wound. His flap fell just in time as well. He looked at Martinus, his face contorting from the pain and outright confusion. His eyes shifted to the sword; its edge was lined with blood.

“What the? How the gently caress did you--” Glaucia’s words were cut short by the blade being plunged squarely into his chest, going straight through his leather armor. Martinus let go of the sword and shoved Glaucia by the shoulders into the stream. His struggling body splashed into and through the water, slamming onto the rocky bottom. He could feel the sword dislodge itself from the wound and his warm blood rush from it.

Aulus watched in shock from a distance. The bastard! he thought, What the hell have I done? I’ve set a murderer free! He couldn’t make himself move to help Glaucia. His frozen hands wouldn’t whip the reins and he cursed himself under his breath.

Martinus stepped into the stream and stood over Glaucia. His body was trembling and he couldn’t tell if he was crying or if it was just the water that occasionally rushed over his face. Wispy strands of blood snaked from his leather armor and down the stream.

Martinus looked up and back at Aulus. “I guess there may have been a few details I left out! Sorry, Aulus!” He turned away and left the stream, walking toward the plains. He knew Aulus wouldn’t follow him.

#

Aulus stood in a wide, domed room lined with polished wooden bleachers. In front of him, the court’s altar and behind it, the three judges who would decide his fate. Few men sat in the surrounding seating, watching the hearing.

The middle judge, short and stocky and wearing a gold trimmed toga spoke with deep authority, “Aulus Hermanus, you stand before the Tribunal of Rome accused of cutting a prisoner free. The aforementioned prisoner being Martinus Auxentius, murderer and thief. Only moments after cutting him free, he struck down Glaucia Sabinus, your fellow rider and fellow centurion of His Caesar’s army and you did nothing.” He stood from behind the altar and looked down at Aulus. “How do you plead?”

Aulus breathed in deeply then cleared his throat. He looked into the judge’s eyes and spoke, “Guilty.”

The judge grinned maliciously and sat back down. The three men exchanged a series of whispers, filling the court with hissing. Silence fell and the middle judge looked back at Aulus. “Which hand did you use to cut Martinus free?”

Aulus knew what was coming and was quick to lie, “My left.”

The judge spoke loudly as he stood, “Guards! Refrain Hermanus and take him outside.”

Aulus closed his eyes and let the guards drag him away. When he felt the sunlight bleed through his eyelids, he opened them and saw the platform with tens of people standing audience to his coming punishment. The guards took him to the front of the platform and set him on his knees. They stood at his sides, each with a hand holding him down.

The three judges walked proudly from the court. One short and fat and obviously in charge. The two skinnier judges followed shortly behind. The round one motioned the guards to drag Aulus to the middle of the platform as he walked to the frontal edge of the stage, swollen hands clasped behind his straightened back. He spoke to the growing crowd, “The man on this stage has been found guilty of setting a murderer and thief free, setting his riding partner’s fate in stone. A fate that left his family without a husband and father, mind all of you. And so, because the guilty has pleaded as such, we will spare his life.” He took a long breath and spoke loudly, announcing the sentence, “Off with his right hand!”

He looked over his shoulder, smirking at Aulus, “We can’t have a gimp farmer without his most useful tool.”

Fausty
May 16, 2014


In.

Song please.

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Fausty
May 16, 2014


Just A Widow
1,297 words

“What if I were orphaned? What if I were widowed? What if I were made an only child?” Waylin asked, “What if I were made all of these things … in one day?” His words came softly and his jaw trembled as he sucked in a choked breath.

The man on the other end of the dining table, Mairtin Coelho, nodded with a somber smile. Mr. Coelho had white hair, but his face was devoid of any wrinkles. He wore a black suit with a purple tie.

They were seated in Coelho’s dining room, his preferred room for business arrangements. A large, veiled window was behind Coelho and shone brightly around him. Off in a corner behind Waylin, a bodyguard stood and glared at the back of his head.

“Mister Ruh,” Mr. Coelho said, “I’m going to show you six pictures—I already know why you’re here, no need to explain—and I want you to go over each one and tell me whom you think was the man or woman who wronged you.” One corner of his mouth pulled up slightly as he reached for something on floor. He stood up and walked along the table. “Mister Ruh,” he said, nodding to Waylin and holding up a small stack of photos.

He laid each one out, three-by-two, while Waylin looked back at the bodyguard. The wall of muscle still had his hands crossed over one another and he was still very clearly trying to burn holes into Waylin’s skull through those sunglasses.

Waylin felt two light taps on his shoulder and heard Mr. Coelho’s soft voice, “Mister Ruh, you can look. You don’t have to be afraid.”

“Mister Ruh …”

Waylin looked back at the photos, whispering, “Sorry.” He hovered a finger over each picture as he studied them. The first wasn’t the guy, too short and the man he was looking for had black hair, not blond. The second was a woman. And the third—

Something extra of you to remember me by,” the memory replayed itself in his head, those words and the cold tinge of bolt cutters sitting around his little finger, then a crack and a crunch, then only his own screams.

He tapped his three fingers on the picture over and over like it was compulsive. “Him … it’s him, it’s him,” he repeated.

Mr. Coelho reached toward the picture and flipped it. “There’s an address and a phone number,” he said, “I know what you want and I won’t charge you a dime.” He fished through his suit jacket, and pulled a pistol out. He placed it on the table with a dull thud. “Sig Sauer P250. I think you’ll find it sufficient.”

Waylin stared at the pistol. His laid his shaky fingers on the grip and drew them down the textured siding. He looked up at Coelho who was grinning from ear to ear. “I … I don’t know how to thank you.”

“Ditch the gun when you are done,” Mr. Coelho said, “That’s all I ask.”

***

The Ruh family sat at their dinner table, enjoying Christmas dinner when three knocks on the door set in motion the destruction of all that Waylin knew and loved.

“I’ve got it,” Waylin said, wiping the corners of his mouth with the cloth napkin. He stood up, left the napkin in his seat, and maneuvered himself around the tight room. It was filled to the brim with Ruhs. His parents, Dianne and Ahmed Ruh, his little brother and older sister, Michael and Suzanne, and his newly-wedded spouse, Rebecca. He didn’t know it then, but their efforts had proved fruitful; she was four weeks pregnant.

He got to the front door and peered through the peephole. A tall man, balding but with black hair wherever it was spared, a thick goatee, and a well-fitted black suit and purple tie stood at the other end. He didn’t know why he felt compelled to open the door—maybe it was the suit, who could be at their door in a suit meaning harm?

He unlocked the door and tugged it open. “Evening,” he said.

The man spoke with a foreign accent, “It is good evening … Mister Waylin Ruh?”

“This is my father’s house,” Waylin said, “But yes, you have the right Ruh.” His mouth curled into a strange grin.

“Good.” The man’s hand dove into his jacket and revealed a pistol, but before Waylin could make anything out of the situation, the butt of the pistol was thrust into his nose and then into the side of his jaw.

Those were the last chunks of memory he had of the night until he awoke to a voice, “Something extra of you to remember me by.”

***

Waylin clenched his fist. It still felt strange, even after two months. He bounced steadily with each bump and hole in the road as the bus traveled from Richmond to Lynchburg. The roads were lined with tall trees. Surprisingly, most of them still had their thick foliages and they casted long, strobing shadows on the bus as it drove on.

He had the pistol strapped to his side and under his jacket, but he was still sure that the impression was visible. He rode the whole way with his arms at his sides.

At the bus-stop, he reviewed the address and number. He knew better than to call the number and set about punching the address into his phone’s navigation system. It was only two blocks away. That was right in the middle of the city.

It didn’t take long at all for him to get there and it was still somewhat light out. A red sedan was parked in the driveway and the lights inside of the house were on. He thought of different plans on how to get him alone and then settled on an obvious, but loud one.

He threw a stone from the front yard into the driver side window, shattering it. Shards of glass scattered all over as the car alarm rang. He ran to the side of the house and waited as he unholstered the pistol.

It felt strange in his hand, but he would just need to use two hands. The more accurate the better. The front door flew open and heavy footsteps rushed from the porch to the car.

What the gently caress?!” the familiar voice cried.

Waylin stepped from the side of the house and pointed the gun at the man. It was him. No suit, just a wife-beater and shorts, but definitely him. The man still hadn’t noticed Waylin.

“Hey.”

The man looked up into Waylin’s eyes. Waylin fired.

The bullet struck the man in the chest and he fell back into the gravel. Blood trickled and pooled from his wife-beater, staining it.

Waylin walked to the body and looked over the dead corpse. The man who took everything from him was dead, but nothing felt different.

Another gunshot, much louder, cracked through the air and hit Waylin in the side. He fell against the car and slid to the gravel on his rear end. He looked up at the source of the sound. The man’s wife had shot him with a single-barrel shotgun and was now running at them.

He pointed the gun at her and fired. Missed. He fired again and he struck her in the stomach. Her momentum threw her forward and onto her husband’s corpse.

Waylin’s arms fell to his side and he lost grip on his pistol. He looked down at his wound. It was pouring an endless stream of his blood.

Then his phone rang. He managed to pull it out but it fell from his grip and eventually died.

[One missed call from: Mairtin Coelho.]

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