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Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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Enough lurking, time to participate! I'm in, and give me a flash!

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Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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Flame
Prompt: Speech
712 Words

Martin's hands trembled, dripping with sweat. His paper crinkled under his grip. His entire body shook, as though there were an earthquake under him, and him alone. Standing in the barren white hallway, he couldn't even look at the door without his heart beating on his ribs like a gorilla, attempting to break free of its bodily cage. He clutched at his cross necklace, staining its shining silver and marking indents on his palm.

"Oh lord, free me from this trial. I know not if I can surpass it." His voice quaked and cracked like he was thirteen again. His mother would scold him if she knew he was calling upon the lord for such a simple task. He didn't dare imagine what his father would do...

The door opened, knocking Martin out of his daze. He had been muttering verses to himself in Latin, like a priest exorcising a demon. As the old door creaked, Martin got a glimpse of the inside, the small crowd within wearing anxious faces. Before he could make eye contact with any of them, his vision was filled with the tall, dark frame of Mr. Lee.

"You're not nervous, are you?" Mr. Lee said, his deep, rich voice filling the silent hall.

"I-I'd be lying if I said I w-wasn't, sir," Martin stammered. "It's a sin to lie, and I'm no s-sinner!" Mr. Lee's brow furrowed. He crouched down, not wanting his great height to keep them separated.

"You really think you're alone this world? You think you got all the world's problems on your shoulders?" Mr. Lee's Georgian accent made Martin feel at home, but his stern talk kept him from relaxing completely. "Just because this speech is about changing the world, doesn't mean you actually have to-- not right now at least." He smiled, anticipating Martin's response.

"I know!" Martin said, his voice raising. "But I can't just sit and take it anymore! I want to make my thoughts known, show the others how I feel, show them that they don't have to stay silent either!" He was no longer stuttering. On instinct, he lifted his hand, its height matching the strength of his voice. He thrust his index finger towards the heavens, just as Father Brown did every week in choir.

Mr. Lee watched Martin's eyes flash. Inspiration, passion, determination... and a certain something else he couldn't put his finger on. This boy had a flame in him, and Mr. Lee was confident Martin could live up to the grandiose name he was given at birth. The wise instructor placed his hands on Martin's shoulders, his wrinkled skin a near identical shade of brown to Martin's arms.

Feeling those large, imposing hands on him, Martin whimpered. His mind's eye saw his father, equally large hands gripping his shoulders with ten times the force, ready to crush his bones into dust. Like all moments however, it passed as quickly as it arrived, thanks to the warm smile and gentle eyes of his teacher.

"Even though it's not finished yet?" Martin asked, his eyebrows arching upward.

"You'll finish it someday. You're an excellent speech writer Martin, it's my job to make you an excellent speech giver." Mr. Lee responded. "Now get in there!"

Martin swallowed his fear, nodded, and made for the door. He put his hand, which had dried without him noticing, on the knob and pulled it open. Inside, he was treated with nothing but smiles from his classmates. Like a shot of adrenaline, the support of his brothers and sisters filled him with newfound energy. He entered, Mr. Lee following in after to sit at his desk. Martin approached the podium and gripped the sides-- tightly, but not too tightly. He assumed his posture and let his eyes migrate from one wall to the other. Two dozen faces, all having something very important in common.

The flame was now kindled. He cleared his throat. He blinked his eyes clear, and in that instant of darkness he saw his mother, the Lord, and the great man he was named after. He channeled the flame, letting it fuel, rather than burn. His eyes flashed. Inspiration, passion, determination... and power. Without a single extraneous word or apology, Martin began his speech.

"I have a dream..."

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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In, with no lovely twist this time.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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Hell has a Beach
Ace of Swords (Reversed): Confusion, chaos, lack of clarity
1,103 Words

Private Jenkins hugged his rifle. It was the only thing keeping him from shivering as the landing craft approached the beach. He breathed deep through his nose, smelling the salty ocean air. His uniform was soaked down to his socks, though he was unsure if it was from the constant splashes of icy water, or the vomit spewing from Kowalski's mouth.

Jenkins struggled to keep his own breakfast down as the boat rocked side to side with the viciousness of a child shaking a snow globe. He wanted to believe they had gotten turned around. A quick peek over the edge of the boat proved him wrong. The beach was still approaching. Jenkins put his head between his knees and focused on the sergeant's voice.

"This day will go down in history gentlemen! The biggest invasion of all time!" Sergeant Conway was hollering as he paced up and down the sliver of space in the center of the craft. It was a miracle the troop could hear him at all over the never-ending gunfire and explosions erupting all around. "You boys are gonna hit that beach and run like bats outta hell! You will not stop until you reach the enemy bunkers! Once the troop has regrouped, we'll give those kraut bastards what they deserve!"

The old hawk looked at each man in turn, waiting for a resounding battle cry. He received nothing but grim stares, a bubble of silence in a maelstrom of noise. He grimaced and grunted, baring his teeth like a wolf moments before attack. He smacked Kowalski on the back and told him to shape up, as the young soldier wiped the bile from his lips.

Before any of the men could resume their thoughts or prayers, a mortar landed directly on the boat 20 feet to their right. The explosion momentarily deafened them. Their eardrums became instruments in the orchestra of war, ringing and banging in brutal rhythm. Shrapnel and God knows what else struck and splattered the side of their own boat, causing it to tilt dangerously to the left. A few of the men on the left had enough sense to hop over to the right to focus their weight and prevent the ship from capsizing. They wouldn't last long in the water, they would either bump into a sea mine or get picked off by the German gunners.

As the boat returned to its regular violent shakes, Jenkins took a look at the men he had served with in Africa. Kowalski had his lucky handkerchief, now speckled with partially digested chunks. Corporal Mason gripped the locket containing his fiancée's picture so hard his knuckles had turned white. He was staring at the burning horizon like a convict looking his executioner in the eye. Private "Bronx" Jackson kissed his cross and muttered to himself. The others just stared at their boots and waited.

The landing craft slammed into the beach, lurching them forward like the emergency brake had been pulled. The ramp fell and slapped sand into the air. Their boat was one of the first to make landfall.

"LET'S GO, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE," the Sergeant screamed. The first man dashed out and was met with Gatling fire, tossing his body back into the boat, his torso now a shredded red carpet. The others ducked behind the metal portions of the boat and waited for the gunner to reload. When the firing stopped, each soldier ran into Hell in single file. Jenkins was one of last ones out.

He emerged from his steel cocoon and sprinted for the nearest barricade. Bullets whizzed past his head, rattling his helmet against his skull. Mortars tossed sand into the air, stinging his eyes. His nose hairs burned from the stench of gunpowder. He didn't look around, lest he see an ally reduced to meat. He reached the barricade and slid underneath it. He was surprised he was still alive. He patted himself frantically to reassure his existence as he caught his breath.

He lied down on his back in the rough sand, not caring if it scratched his skin. His eyes hit the sky and saw Armageddon. There were parachutes by the hundreds. Some were ripped apart, their occupiers plummeting to the ground screaming. Other soldiers were turned into ragdolls, slowly floating into sandy graves. High above the parachutes were the horsemen-- a fleet of bombers slowly flying into the city in ominous formation. Jenkins hoped the civilians would be spared from their hellfire.

Jenkins knew he couldn't stay under the barricade forever, he had to get off the beach. He scanned for a route inland that wasn't raining shrapnel. There was one path nearby, between the hills that led straight up to the bunkers. Without hesitation, he ran, jumping over the barbed wire with agility he didn't know he had. One of the Germans saw him approach. He turned his massive encampment weapon away from the sea and towards Jenkins. Fortunately the gunner had been too slow, in the time it took to turn and start spinning the barrel, Jenkins had already hit dirt.

Inside, Jenkins cheered. He reached the safe zone, all he had to do now was regroup and the invasion would proceed as planned. He looked over his shoulder to see if anyone else was coming. All he saw was Kowalski, getting torn to pieces by the German gunner. He had been following Jenkins, but didn't pay attention to his timing. The back of Jenkins' neck turned to ice. He turned his head before the image could be burned in. Too late. He tried to ignore the horror in his head and failed. He jogged up the hill while hyperventilating.

Sergeant Conway and a third of the troop were waiting for him. They were in position, pressed against the concrete bunker. Jenkins took his spot in front of the door, his eyes bulging in repressed panic. He almost tripped over his own feet. Corporal Mason checked each man, then gave a hand signal. Jenkins had just enough lucidity to understand it. His mind was as scattered as the bodies on the beach. He swallowed so hard it hurt, and raised his rifle automatically. One man radioed to command that they were commencing attack. Another tossed a smoke grenade into the window. Private "Bronx" Jackson kicked the door down just as the Germans inside began to curse in confusion.

Jenkins put his finger on the trigger and took aim through the smoke. Only one thought made it through his head. If I'm in Hell, the Devil's not gonna put me down easy. He pulled the trigger.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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In.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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Snow Blind
1,575 Words

I thought it would be fun to tell ghosts stories that night. Everyone was on edge after what happened to the cameraman. I thought some tall tales around the fire would help everyone relax. I have to admit, it wasn't very smart telling a story about "The Abominable Snowman." The Sherpa didn't think it was very entertaining.

My brother just looked at me and shook his head. God forbid I try to have some fun on this expedition. Climbing Everest was his dream. I wanted nothing to do with it. But how I could say no to him? We've been rock climbing partners since high school. But this was different. This wasn't the cliffs back home. This mountain is a deathtrap, I tried to tell him. He wouldn't listen. Mom encouraged him. Dad wasn't around to tell him how much of an idiot he was.

After my story was met with glares colder than the snow, I went into my tent. My own little walk of shame. I regretted leaving the fire, but I couldn't go back after that display. The Sherpa had looked at me like I sneezed in his food. He had muttered something under his breath, a prayer maybe? They are pretty superstitious.

Once changed into my nightclothes, I reached under my sleeping bag and felt around. My hand found icy steel. Nine millimeter. Small enough to sneak into camp under my jacket. I don't know why I brought it. It's the last thing you would need in a place like this. Unless you got stuck in a ravine somewhere and wanted the easy way out. Dad always said come prepared for anything.

The cameraman flashed into my head. His face when he felt his ankle snap in the wrong direction. The way his eyes darted around as he grasped at the ice, trying to find a grip. His scream as he fell off the edge. I hope it was instant. No one deserves to get trapped here. I shivered. It's just the cold. I tucked into my sleeping bag and forced my eyes shut. I never bothered to learn the poor bastard's name.

#

I woke up the next morning in a bad mood. I got dressed, shoved the gun into the folds of my jacket, and walked out into the morning sun. My still-crusty eyes were met by blinding light. The sun had just begun to peek over the mountain, turning the snow from mild blue to burning white. I shoved my sunglasses on and sighed. I knew that even squinting during the day without glasses would give me aches and pains for the rest of the trip. Just one more item on the list.

My brother emerged from his tent with a similar groggy gait. His glasses were already on. I couldn't tell if his eyes carried the determination he started with, or the same bitter unease that mine had.

"Still pretty cold, huh?" I said. No response. He didn't even look at me. He headed to the center of camp, barking orders at the crew. The early birds were packing up their tents. This is supposed to be our last day going up.

A crew member came over and handed me a cup of coffee. I thanked him by immediately taking a sip. Up here, the burn didn't even register. I just wanted warmth in my belly. As I took another sip, I saw the Sherpa catch my brother by the arm and shout at him. The wind was picking up and I couldn't hear the conversation through the layers of wool around my head.

"What's going on?" I asked the crewman.

"Sherpa wants us to wait another day," he replied.

"Another day? We're almost at the peak! Why wait now?" I couldn't believe it. The weather had been kind enough to get us up here ahead of schedule. I was not about to spend an unnecessary day on this mountain.

"Something's got him spooked. Evil spirits in the wind or something," the crewman said.

I just shook my head and started packing my stuff. We were going to hit that peak today, just to spite the Sherpa. And to get out of this cold.

#

We should've listened to the Sherpa. We barely made it a hundred feet up when the wind got violent. We had to set up a support line to climb the slope. Each member of the crew inched forward, single file, squeezing the rope between their tightly gloved hands. Oxygen was getting scarce. I focused on my breathing, keeping my eyes on the ground. The wind was buffeting us head on like a god's palm, forcing us back.

"Keep at it! Just a little more to the next plateau!" My brother hollered, forcing his feet through the snow. My legs felt a thousand pounds. I could barely breath.

The wind blasted to the side. Whiplash twisted my head like a cork. I swear I felt something crack. The wind was impossibly powerful, like it was trying to pick us all up and throw us down the mountain. A few crewmen screamed. My brother looked back at us, his form a bloated silhouette against the shining sun. I think he said "Hang on." I had to read his lips because I couldn't hear him over the sound of the line snapping.

#

I awoke on my back. The sky was still overcast but I could see the sun blazing behind the clouds. I sat up and noticed the wind had died down, but there wasn't a person in sight. I was in an empty field of snow, a valley with no visible edges. I tried to stand, but my right leg sent a furious pain through my body. It throbbed in time with my head. I checked my clothes and found no blood. The snow had cushioned the fall, but not enough to prevent the bone from breaking in multiple places.

The back of my head was an icebox. The world started to spin in blinding shades of white. The ground and sky mixed into a single color, an all-encompassing wall of nothingness. I waved my arms around, as though it would dispel the dizziness. I leaned on my bad leg by accident and twisted around as I fell to one knee. The twist sent an shot of pain up my spine, knocking the air out of me. As I sat leaned forward, breathing ragged breaths, I tried to regain focus. I had just enough self-awareness to realize my sunglasses were gone. I clenched my eyelids shut on reflex. My eyes burned behind their lids. I saw white where there should've been black. The damage had been done. It was still too cold.

#

I picked a direction and limped. Walking around blind was the worst idea I'd had yet, but I didn't have much of a choice. Part of me hoped I would find someone, anyone, out in the white. Another part hoped I would just limp my way off a cliff.

I eventually hit a wall. I opened my scarred eyes enough to see that I had hit an overhang. Shade. Mild blue I could look at. I sat down with my back to the void and took five.

The overhang was awfully large, almost cave-like. There were some gray "things" further down the wall, jutting out of the snow. My eyes were too sore to make out exactly what they were. The bones of some doomed climber perhaps. I let myself fall backwards and tried to sleep. It was silent except for the occasional crunch of snow, but my belly forced me to stay awake. It demanded sustenance. Not to mention that weird smell...

A puff of hot air hit my face. An exhale. It smelled like wet dog and raw meat swirled into one invading stench. Another puff. Then another. Despite the freezing temperature, I felt a bead of sweat form on my forehead. My strained heart quickened its beats. I opened one eye and saw an eye. A black, beady eye. A vertical pupil like a goat. Surrounded by thick, matted fur, the same color as the landscape. A flat, ape-like nose. Lips peeled back in aggression. A full set of teeth with canines the size of a finger. Stained red.

I jerked up against my body's objections. I threw myself against the wall and saw the creature's full shape. Eight feet tall. It roared at me. It lifted one massive arm, and with claws at the ready, it slashed at my face. I hit the ground again. The snow gave a nice cool sensation against my now burning cheek. Blood dripped from four clean gashes. Just barely missed my eye.

I shoved my arm into my coat and grabbed metal. I whipped out the nine millimeter and pumped the entire clip into the beast's torso. One round must have hit its heart. It fell to the ground, face down in a groaning heap, gushing crimson onto the snow.

I dropped the gun and held my bloody face in a daze. The slash had knocked my hood back, allowing the frosty air to nip at my ears. My hair stuck to my head, slick with sweat. The sun shone high above the clouds. It wasn't even high noon. The monster's body gave off an offensive odor and radiated heat. I crawled towards it with my eyes closed. At least now I'll be warm.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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In.

I'll bark against the Dog-Star
I'll crow away the morning
I'll chase the Moon till it be noon
And I'll make her leave her horning.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

LOOK OVER HERE!!


I'll bark against the Dog-Star
I'll crow away the morning
I'll chase the Moon till it be noon
And I'll make her leave her horning.


Under the Day Moon
1,231 Words

Before sunrise on the plains, a man was barking like a dog. He pointed his nose at the arrangement of stars above the village and howled his prayer to the Wolf. The constellation could only give its final shine towards the preparing warriors before the sun would render it invisible.

Dreams sat on a rock sharpening his spear. It wobbled in his grip, dipping and falling, forcing him to catch it. He didn't know to hold it by its center of gravity. He looked at its tip, awaiting a recipient, and his stomach churned. He knew the fight was necessary. They had to rescue the women, the tribe's fate depended on it. He knew his own beloved was among those captured. But he also knew that he was no warrior. Dreams had dropped his spear before his father could teach him to catch fish with it. His weapon was a flute, a weapon made deadly to the heart when paired with her voice.

The barking man grew louder, drawing Dreams' attention. Talks-like-Animals didn't have to fight. The elder said he didn't have enough "spirit in the mind" to be a warrior. The elder also said the warrior who wishes for war didn't have enough "spirit in the mind" either. Dreams thought of this as he watched the tribe's greatest warrior stomp around, inspecting spears at random.

Wielder called for war against the Day Moon tribe at council the night before. Only with blood would they repay the taking of the Wolf Star's women. The elder tried to argue negotiation as the best path, but as voices began to rise, someone had called the appearance of the Wolf. The constellation was directly above the village that night, their symbol for hope...and for battle. The elder had no choice but to allow the attack. A single condition was raised: it was to be quick. Sneak in, rescue the women, and escape. War could come later, once the women were safe.

Wielder had reluctantly accepted this condition with the promise that he would have the head of one warrior for every night past the initial attack. Now, as the sun slowly rose above the horizon, he was getting impatient. He approached Dreams with a look of skepticism. He folded his arms, asking for confirmation of a will to fight.

Dreams stood up and stared back. They were the same age, the same height, and had hair the same length. Yet they had taken different paths, and now they both had beloveds in the hands of the Day Moon. Dreams told this to Wielder, and for a moment, the warrior evaporated like the morning dew, and a brother took his place. They grabbed each others' arms in camaraderie and headed towards the others.

"Let's hope your arms are as strong as your words," Wielder said, smirking at Dreams.

Dreams gave his goodbye to Talks-like-Animals, who replied in a canine fashion, and went east with the rest of the tribe's young men. He tried to clear his mind. As the warriors hollered the Wolf Star battle cry at the daytime moon, Dreams placed himself into a separate world. He tried to be one with the spirits. He hummed that song, the one the two of them played together in the Spring. He on his flute, she with the voice that earned her the name "Melodies." He let her face fill his mind as they moved into the eastern forests.

#

Dreams crept behind a bush on the hill overlooking the Day Moon camp. All the warriors waited under brush and behind trees, waiting for Wielder's signal. The camp appeared to be business as usual, no battle preparations, no guards, and most importantly, no hostages in sight. Only a single fire was burning in the center of the village.

Wielder signaled the group to move in. Despite it being the middle of the day, the thick covering of the trees and underbrush gave them cover as they approached the tents. Dreams' legs ached as he tried to stay crouched, balancing his own weight with that of his spear. He made a beeline to one of the larger tents and ducked behind it.

Not a single person could be seen anywhere. An ambush is coming, Dreams thought. He laid down his spear, then himself, to the forest floor. The others were getting in position, a few men to each tent, weapons ready.

Dreams slipped his finger under the tent, and gently lifted it high enough to peek underneath. He inhaled sharply upon seeing the inside. Before he could tell anyone what he found, he heard the ripping of fabric and a man's shout.

The ambush had begun. One of the others had lifted a tent only to find a group of warriors, spears in hand, ready to pounce. The Day Moon battle cry erupted all around. Nearly every tent flipped open, warriors spilling out like a monsoon. The small group of Wolf Stars, not to be scared off easily, raised their spears and charged.

Dreams felt glued to the ground. He saw his tribesmen fight like they weren't horribly outnumbered. Picking up his spear didn't even cross his mind. He rolled under the tent beside him and set his sights on the interior.

He had somehow found the tent where the women were being kept. The dozen of the them were tied up, but unguarded. In the back, her eyes lighting up like they did that Spring, was Melodies. Dreams untied them all in turn, and embraced his beloved with all his strength. He explained the situation, and told the women to run.

"West!" Dreams said. "Run west and don't stop! Your men will come back! Just run!" He lifted the edge of the tent and they each scurried out, sprinting into the woods before any of the Day Moons could notice. Before long, it was only Dreams and Melodies left.

They looked into each other's eyes. The fighting taking place a few yards away was getting more brutal. War drums were sounding, a sign of reinforcements on the way. Dreams glanced at his spear, still on the ground. He didn't have the power, nor the will to pick it back up. The two of them crept from one tent to the next. In the center of the camp, Wielder could be seen locked in combat with the Day Moon warlord. They danced, their spears like ceremonial staves, each unwilling to give up their head.

Dreams saw them fight and felt only fear. He could not return to the village with the women. It would be obvious that he had abandoned his tribesmen. But he could not bring himself to join the battle. He squeezed Melodies' hand and asked her to run with him.

"Where?" she asked.

"Anywhere." he replied. He could live with being an exile. A coward. He could not live without her. Realizing the gravity of their choice, Melodies nodded, and they started south, away from both tribes.

As Wielder struck the final blow on his opponent, his allies fighting to the death around him, he saw Dreams and Melodies running. He should have followed, catch the coward, punish the betrayer, but he did not. He raised his bloody spear to the Wolf, invisible in the daylight. To anyone else, it would seem like a gesture of battle. But to him, it was one of hope.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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In.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

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The Other Uprising
Warsaw, Poland
1,270 Words

"Öffne die Tür, Rabbi Klopot! Wir müssen mit dich sprechen!"

The elderly preacher slammed his book closed. The heavy tome, its ancient Hebrew only interpretable by a scholar, cast a cloud of dust around the dimly lit basement. The fists pounding at the door were becoming impatient. Rabbi Klopot looked at his creation, then to the stairs leading up, then back to his creation. It wasn't ready yet. He could not let them see it.

The visitors repeated their demand and began slamming the door, causing its hinges to shake. Klopot cleared the dust from his lungs and shuffled up the stairs. He left the light on, but locked the door. Passing through the dilapidated foyer of the flat, he reached the front door just as it seemed ready to burst open. He undid the bronze chain lock and steeled himself.

At the rabbi's door with grimaces that could kill, were two men. They wore matching uniforms, jet black with silver buttons and a crimson band on their left arms. Their blue eyes, blond hair, and angular jaws made them look eerily identical. Klopot adjusted his tiny frames and stuffed his fear away best he could.

"Guten Morgen, gentlemen! How can I help you?" he said, without an ounce of venom.

"We have received reports of...unusual noise coming from your flat, Rabbi. You know how we feel about disturbances, especially jüdische disturbances."

"I assure you, anything the neighbors might have heard was just the rambling of an old-"

Klopot was pushed aside before he could finish. The two officers strode into the room, not bothering to wipe their boots before stepping on the wood floor. The rabbi clenched his fist despite the pain in his joints. As shameful the housing in Warsaw was, it was his home, and he did not enjoy seeing them intrude.

"Regardless, we will take a look for ourselves," one of the officers said. Klopot said a prayer under his breath. It was already too late. He lacked the physical strength or the verbal tact to stop them. He would have to make it live unfinished and hope for the best. He placed himself at the door to the basement and unlocked it before they had the chance to say anything. He had to reach it first.

The three of them made their way down the creaky steps, peering through the darkness. Klopot started sweating. He had to grab the jewel from the desk and place it in its chest before they could arrest him.

"Why don't you make it easy for yourself rabbi, and just tell us what you're hiding."

"You're right, meine Freunde," As soon as Klopot's feet hit the cement floor, he attempted to dash forward. With his aged limbs however, it resulted in little more than a clumsy stumble. The officers had already drawn their Mausers, but were distracted by the great thing half hidden in shadow. Klopot had grabbed the jewel and slammed his palm into the thing's torso, falling to the ground in the process. He slammed his head on the concrete. He held onto his consciousness just long enough to see the two Nazis fire their guns in vain, only to be mashed into paste by the fists of the enormous clay golem.

#

"Wake up rabbi! Wake up!"

Klopot stirred from his sleep to find himself engulfed in light. The skinny arms of Uli, his adolescent neighbor, were shaking him back to reality. The basement had become an open hole in the ground. The flat had been reduced to a dirt trail, with massive footprints leading to downtown Warsaw. The next house over had been cleaved in half, with Uli's bedroom now open to the midday air.

In the distance, easily visible over the destroyed ghetto, the animated beast could be seen attacking the occupying force's installations. Gunfire rattled incessantly like corn kernels popping. Every few minutes, a mortar whined through the air, colliding with the golem with a blast, causing it to reel back for a moment, only to lurch forward and continue.

Uli's cheeks had gone red and puffy. Klopot held her and said in Hebrew that God would protect them. She pulled back and looked at him with a curious smile.

"I'm not sad rabbi," she said. "I'm happy that you've done this. We'll be free now. The time of our people has come!"

Klopot smiled wider than he had in years. The two of them stood up and began walking towards the destruction. The blood drying on Klopot's temple was not important. He wanted to see their guardian put an end to the German reign.

#

Kommander Ziegler barely got out a "scheisse" before being obliterated by the golem's foot. The grunts, who had long since run out of ammunition and were reduced to chucking grenades at the clay behemoth, ran around like ants as a flaming zeppelin came crashing down in the middle of the street. The golem had swatted it out of the sky like an insect. It moved like a glacier, silently wiping away everything in its path. Its objective was in sight, the German headquarters in the Warsaw parliament building.

The golem had not been completely unaffected by the Nazi's retaliation. Due to its imperfect nature, great sloughs of clay fell from its back and torso, crushing the fleeing soldiers. Its one-track mind didn't care about its own existence, only destroying its target.

Klopot and Uli were watching safely from a roof across town. As the clay defender inched closer to the capital, they saw a company of Panzers creep up the street behind it. Their treads ignored the rubble left in its wake. Their cannons were loaded. With the German war machine busy in France, only a few tanks could be spared to handle this "unexpected situation."

The Nazi major poked his helmeted head out from the safety of his armor like a gopher, and hollered to open fire. Like the fists of a god, giant shells were launched from the tanks' cannons into the back of the golem. It hunched over on impact, then turned to face the new threat. Additional fire. Reload. Fire again. Reload. Shell after shell plunged into the golem's body, forcing it backwards. Chunks of dirt plummeted to the ground like the dead flesh of a leper. In one final volley, a spherical hole was blasted in the side of the creature's head.

As though the strings of a marionette had been cut, the golem froze in place, losing its animation. The jewel buried inside had lost its power and the guardian ceased to fight back. Momentum however, remained. The explosive force of the tank shells was just enough to send the golem tumbling backwards...directly onto the parliament building. The ground shook with the violence of Armageddon. The building was annihilated under its weight. The Nazi leadership, who had foolishly cowered inside, were no more. As the old magic faded, the clay lost its cohesiveness and drifted apart as sand.

Over the cheers of the German soldiers, on the rooftop across town, Uli was crying. Old rabbi Klopot was on his knees praying. He did not cry like Uli. He knew his creation was imperfect from the beginning. If only he had been able to finish it. Then it truly would have been the hope of the Jewish people of Warsaw.

Klopot would remain on the rooftop praying until the men in black uniforms and red armbands came along and took him away. As they dragged him to the firing squad, he could only think, at least I took a bunch of you Schweine with me.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

LOOK OVER HERE!!


School's out and I'm back! In with Man Blamed Dog for Drunk Driving.

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

LOOK OVER HERE!!


That Furry Son of a Bitch
1,080 Words

"So I tell the bitch, that's not your dog, that's your husband!"

Jessie burst out laughing. Beer infused spittle splashed the windshield. He gripped his gut with one hand and slapped the other on the dashboard like he was trying to squish an Everglades dragonfly.

"God drat, Rex! You sure tell 'em like it is!" Jessie wheezed out a compliment for his buddy while stomping his boots on the floor of the old Chevy pickup. They were driving up 95 to Rex's sister's place on Daytona Beach for Thanksgiving. Like all their road trips, they brought several cases of Bud and another year's worth of stories to share. Jessie had told the one about the bar fight with the guy in the Mickey Mouse costume last August, and Rex had just finished his turn.

"You sure you don't want one?" Jessie asked, reaching down for another can of Bud.

"I told ya, I'm the one driving this poo poo-heap, I'll make up for it when we get there," Rex replied.

"C'mon man! One ain't gonna kill ya," Jessie said. Rex hesitated, looking at his best friend. They had known each other since they were kids, and Rex didn't trust anyone in the world more than Jessie.

"Fine. Pour it in my mouth, I can't free up a paw." Jessie immediately obliged, snapping open the can and holding it over Rex's open mouth. He had to hold it with both hands to keep it steady. The bumpiness of the truck might've caused the can to get punctured on Rex's front teeth. He drank the whole can in one go, and Jessie tossed the remains out the window with a happy sigh.

"This is the good life, ain't it Rex?" Jessie said, leaning back in his seat.

"It sure is. Now tell another story, it's your turn," Rex said as he crossed into an open lane.

"Alright, alright," Jessie said, straightening out his back. "Which one you wanna hear first: the weekend I spent in Miami, or the time I caught Bobby in bed with his cousin?"

"First or second cousin?" Rex asked.

"First," Jessie replied with an eyebrow raised.

"Aw poo poo, I gotta hear that one!" Rex said.

#

Fifty miles and another three beers later, they crossed into Volusia county.

"poo poo, man. Why'd you have to go and feed me all those beers? I can't see the drat road." Rex said in a woozy huff. His paws were hanging limp on the wheel and his tongue was out farther than usual.

"Don't look at me man, you were one who was drinking it. You always were a loving lightweight," Jessie said, shrugging.

"I'm eighty pounds soaking wet, of course I'm a loving lightweight!" Rex snarled. "You better hope we don't run into any-"

A police siren went off before Rex could finish. A Volusia county sheriff had been sitting on the county line and spotted the Chevy swerving dangerously between lanes. He was now tagging behind with a breathalyzer at the ready.

"Aw gently caress me, man," Rex's ears drooped down as he went from anger to fear in an instant. "It's the cops!"

"So what? I've had less than you, We'll tell 'em I was driving," Jessie said.

"No way, I ain't taking that risk. I'm already on two strikes!" Rex said.

"Two strikes? For what?" Jessie asked.

"One for that fight with the hound on Lipton Street. Another for the stash I kept under your bed." Rex said the second sentence with guilt in his voice. He had kept it a secret for the longest time.

"That was you?" Jessie said, flabbergasted. "I thought you were off that stuff!"

"I am, man! I was selling it for the Shepherd! I owed him for chopping my balls off!" Rex said.

"I can't believe this!" Jessie said. "You, working for the Shepherd? I thought you were my friend!"

"He was the only guy I could afford."

"You sure as hell can't afford it now."

"Oh yeah? Well gently caress that."

The sheriff that had been tailing them only rolled his eyes as the Chevy began to speed away.

#

The chase was big blur for Jessie. For Rex, it was the most stressful moment of his life. He had taken the first exit off 95 into the suburbs going sixty. Since most people had already gotten to their holiday destinations, the roads were mostly clear. The bigger threats were the trees and buildings, which Rex was barely avoiding in his state. Several police cruisers were following at safe distance, using speakers to tell them to pull over. Rex didn't hear it.

"You better not get us killed," Jessie said. In spite of his buzz and the wild swerves, he was finding his happy place so as not to panic. Rex was silent, teeth bared, focusing only on the mess of black and white that was the road. "I never should've let you drive."

The pickup took a hard right, dragging its tires on the asphalt. Inertia pulled it onto the sidewalk and they smashed a mailbox into oblivion. Jessie started praying that no pedestrians would be out today.

Rex slammed on the brake, realizing that he had turned into a cul-de-sac. He turned his head rapidly back and forth, looking for an opening as the police sirens grew closer. He spotted a yard without a fence on the left, and floored it. He laughed like crazy and turned around to flip off the cops. He didn't see the empty pool until the truck's front dropped into it.

#

Jessie awoke to EMT's pulling him out of the wrecked truck. Miraculously, neither he nor Rex had any serious injuries. God protects drunks, he thought. As his focus returned to him, he found himself being read his rights.

"W-wait! Hang on a sec! I didn't do this!" Jessie said. The officers paused their speech and listened with skeptical looks. "It was Rex! Rex, I tell ya! He got us into this mess!"

Jessie looked over and saw Rex at a nearby phone booth, talking into it. Rex's eyes met Jessie's, and his old companion looked away in shame. Jessie's heart plummeted, and his blood pressure rose in response.

"No...No!" Jessie shouted. "You bastard! Don't you run away! This is your fault!" The officers just looked at each other, and placed the handcuffs on Jessie's wrists. "I'm telling you, you've got the wrong man! It was him! It was the dog! It was that furry son of a bitch!"

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Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

LOOK OVER HERE!!


Ceighk posted:

here's a crit of Jocoserious’ That Furry Son of a Bitch

Thanks for the crit!

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