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A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In, I'd like a tale assigned.

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A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


The Bre Men
Prompt: The Bremen Town Musicians
Word count: 1545

Ben slammed the phone down. “poo poo! Pete’s out,” he said.

“Well gently caress, what’re we gonna do without a drummer?” asked Roy.

Ben, their lead guitarist, glanced around the living room. They were at his parents’ house, where they were supposed to meet on their way to the bus station. Tom, their bassist, was leaning back against a wall. Roy, their vocalist, was sitting on the couch. His great uncle Cliff, not a band member, was in his wheelchair in the corner, looking out the window.

“You guys know anyone?” asked Ben.

Tom shrugged. “No one who’d go on a last minute bus trip.”

Ben hit the wall with his fist. “His bus ticket isn’t even refundable. And the drat instruments are already halfway there!”

Roy looked at the Battle of the Bands flyer he was holding and then threw it on the coffee table in disgust. “That’s it for The Bre Men, I guess.”

Cliff spoke up from his corner. “You know, I used to drum, in my time.”

Tom and Roy exchanged a glance. If Cliff had been a good drummer, it wasn’t in any recent decade. They couldn’t imagine this decrepit old man playing anything more technical than Little Drummer Boy.

“Well, I dunno, Uncle Cliff… you don’t really fit our image.”

“Can you perform without a drummer?”

“No, not really I guess.”

“Then what other options do you have?”

Ben raised his eyebrows and pursed his lips, looking at Tom and Roy and shrugging. “You guys got a better idea?”

Neither of them did.

~

While waiting for their bus at the station, Roy looked around at the crowd surrounding them. His mouth opened in surprise and he turned to Ben, excited. “Check it out man, it’s The Throbbers!”

Ben looked around quickly, interested.

“Who’re The Throbbers?” Cliff asked.

“Another local band. We never met ‘em but we’ve been to a few shows. They’re way more popular than us.”

While it was true that The Throbbers were more popular than The Bre Men by a comfortable margin, all this meant was that they were able to book gigs in local clubs rather than dives.

“Must be on their way to the Battle of the Bands too,” said Tom.

“Let’s go say hi. Would be cool to hang out with them,” said Roy.

They walked over to the other band, Ben pushing his uncle’s wheelchair. Roy put on his best smile and said, “Hey guys, you’re The Throbbers right?”

“We’ve been to a few of your shows, you guys rock!” added Ben.

“You going to the Battle of the Bands too?” asked Roy.

None of The Throbbers even spared them a glance. “gently caress off,” one said.

“Uh, sorry, we just thought-“

“I said gently caress off, we don’t know you and we don’t want to.”

There was an uncomfortable pause as The Bre Men first looked at The Throbbers, then at each other. They walked away, embarrassed. Tom overheard one of them snickering and calling them worthless nobodies.

“Wow, what the gently caress was that?” asked Ben.

“A bunch of dicks,” said Tom.

“Forget ‘em,” said Cliff. “We’ll beat them, no worries.”

Ben didn’t seem convinced. “Hey, put your ear-buds back in, Uncle Cliff. If we can’t practice you at least need to learn the songs before we get there.”

Cliff shrugged. “Already got ‘em memorized. Ain’t the first time I hear ‘em.”

“You heard our stuff before?” asked Roy with a grin.

“Sure, son. Got nothing else to do in my chair all day. You guys sound good, and you’ll sound even better with a good drummer.”

Roy burst out laughing and looked at Ben. “Your uncle’s got guts. I like him.”

Tom didn’t look as amused, “Would you mind putting the buds back in anyway, Mr. Cliff? We’ve been waiting for this show for a long time and we want to be as good as possible, despite the situation.”

Cliff gave Tom a mischievous wink and slid the ear-buds back in. Tom thanked him.

~

They arrived in New York a few hours later. The ride had been uneventful, which was a relief. They had sat in near the front, which helped avoid awkward moments with The Throbbers, who were all the way in the back. Tom had thrown a few dirty looks at them, but they seemed to go unnoticed.

Walking out of the station, they saw a man holding a sign on which “The Throbbers” was written.

“Woah, those assholes got a chauffeur?” asked Tom.

“They must be getting bigger than we thought,” said Ben.

Cliff grinned, “Let’s find out just how big.”

Ben frowned and looked at him, puzzled. Cliff called out to the man holding the sign, “Hey, over here! We’re The Throbbers!”

“Uncle Cliff, what’re you doing?!” hissed Ben.

“Pipe down. They deserve this. So do you.”

The original Bre Men watched as their newest member lied to the chauffeur. The chauffeur accepted the story without question. After all, he’d never seen or even heard of The Throbbers before this job. He opened the back door to let the band into the town car.

“Dude, someone’s gonna catch on and we’ll be disqualified or something,” Tom whispered to Ben.

Ben shrugged. He wasn’t comfortable with it either, but The Throbbers were dicks.

The rest of ride was silent. The driver didn’t drop them off at a hotel but rather directly at the venue. Seems like The Throbbers weren’t planning on staying overnight – or were hoping to crash somewhere. Someone who could only be one of the show organizers, considering his headset and clipboard, walked up to the group.

“Who’re you guys?”

“The Bre-“ started Ben.

“The Throbbers,” said Cliff, cutting him off.

The man looked at his clipboard. “Alright, you guys are on soon, you can start setting up on stage 2 as soon as the current set is over.”

They thanked him. Roy pointed to a truck pulling up to the building. “Check it out, that’s our instruments, right? Good timing.”

The driver got out and opened the back of the truck. Ben jogged up to him and said, “Hey, this for Ben Francis?”

“Yup. Got any ID?”

Ben presented his identification and signed the offered form. The trucker pulled their instruments out of the truck, but they were on their own to get them inside. It took a few more trips than usual, due to having one less able body available.

~

The venue was setup in such a way that there were two stages, so that one band could set up their instruments during the others' set.

As they were setting up, one of the organizers asked “Hey, why does your drum kit say The Bre Men? I thought you guys were The Throbbers.”

“Oh we… we changed our name and couldn’t replace the drums in time,” said Roy.

“Heh, guess that explains why The Bre Men didn’t show up. You guys signed up once for each name, huh?”

“Yeah sorry about that, hope it didn’t mess up your scheduling.”

“Nah, The Bre Men were in the last few slots anyway,” said the organizer with a wave of dismissal. He then walked away to check on another band.

Once everything was set up they went backstage, where Cliff was waiting.

“You ready, Uncle Cliff?” asked Ben.

Cliff raised both drumsticks in one shaking hand, giving a thumbs up with the other.

“This is going to be a disaster,” Tom whispered to Roy. Roy shook his head.

The organizer who had greeted them outside walked up and said, “You guys are on.”

The Bre Men ran out on stage. The hall was packed. Ben had never played in front of such a large crowd before. It occurred to him just how terrible of an idea impersonating The Throbbers was.

“Hey everyone, we’re The T-“ he began, then thought better of it. gently caress it, we’re this far in already. “We’re The Bre Men! Hit it, Uncle Cliff!”

He turned around to point at Cliff, who was not behind the drum kit yet. He was still struggling with getting his squeaky wheelchair across the stage, the wires and cables making it difficult without anyone pushing him. He managed, inch by squeaking inch, drumsticks between his thighs, to make his way to the drum kit. The hall was dead silent. One lone, mocking guffaw rang out.

Once behind the drum kit, he reached down to grab his drumsticks, fumbling and dropping one. It rolled across the floor, out of his reach. More laughter. Ben’s stomach dropped like a stone. Why did they think this would work? Roy had to walk over to pick up the drumstick. Cliff gave him a nod of thanks.

Uncle Cliff held both sticks up high, as steady as he could, which wasn’t much, and stared at the crowd.

“We’re The Bre Men!” he shouted. “gently caress The Throbbers!”

As he launched into the first riffs of their song, the crowd fell silent again. It was the most flawless drumming Ben, Roy, Tom or anyone in this room had ever seen. Cliff began playing faster and faster. The crowd went wild. And with every pedal hit, every cymbal clash, every rhythmic snare, Ben started strumming his guitar and knew they had it made.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


The Path from Pitios
667 words

Sevlin had been marching for several days and was now deep within the massive forest separating Pitios from the neighboring kingdoms. He had not come upon anyone else, which was not a surprise, but the path looked recently traveled nonetheless.

The trees lining the path no longer bore the expected green leaves but had rather taken on strange colors; fiery orange and midnight blue, regal reds and purples.

A figure was sitting at the side of the path ahead, where the road branched to either side. Sevlin relaxed his grip on the dagger concealed at his side once he saw it was a woman wearing an expensive silk robe, her raven hair piled high on her head and held by fine white bone. An odd place for a lone woman. Behind her, nestled amongst the kaleidoscopic vegetation, was a small cabin. The woman was tracing twisted shapes and whorls in the packed dirt of the path with her fingers.

She looked up and a smile touched her lips, which Sevlin did not return. She introduced herself as Cidra.

“What brings you here, traveller?” she asked.

“My king tasked me with finding out why the roads are now deserted,” replied Sevlin. “Ever since the leaves took on these mystifying colors, no merchants come to Pitios anymore, nor do our own return.”

“I see merchants pass by regularly. Although, I sometimes hear strange noises at night. Perhaps something living in the woods is taking them?”

“Perhaps. I intend to find out.” He bows. “Lady Cidra.”

Cidra looked down at the designs she had been tracing for a moment, then back into his eyes.

“Will you breakfast with me? It is so lonely out here.”

“What about the travellers you say are still passing by?”

“Merchants have no interest in speaking to a lone woman with no coin or goods to trade.”

Sevlin looked up, pensive, not bringing attention to the fine clothes she wore. A gentle gust of wind blew a twisting cloud of multicolored leaves past them. He decided he could spare a moment; it had been several hours since his last meal.

Sevlin unshouldered his pack and placed it in front of him, ten sat down cross-legged, Cidra’s odd art between them. The shapes strained his eyes. He motioned to the designs with his chin.

“These drawings, what do they represent?”

Cidra shrugged, “A type of fortune telling. Not very effective, but it whiles the time away.”

Sevlin considered this as the lady reached into the sack at her side and withdrew a loaf of bread; he took his own from his pack.

They ate their meal in silence, Cidra seeming to simply enjoy the company. Sevlin watched her continue drawing in the path. He did not like the way the patterns appeared to be shifting and announced it was time for him to move on.

“Before you go, Sir Sevlin, tell me this: if there is a beast in these woods, how do you expect to slay it? I see no sword at your side.”

Sevlin narrowed his eyes and looked directly into Cidra’s. “Lady Cidra, you seem convinced that a creature has been taking our merchants. What keeps you safe from this beast?”

There was a brief pause; their eyes locked. Cidra thrust her hand in the middle of the runes she had been tracing. The wind picked up and leaves were sent twirling through the air. Sevlin expected it. In one smooth movement he threw his dagger directly into Cidra’s heart. The enchantress was immediately killed.

Sevlin looked at Cidra’s corpse for a moment, wary of further spells, but none came. He did not bother checking the nearby woods, though he was convinced he would find the remains of the enchantress’ victims within. They seemed darker now, yet the sun was still out. A long, unnatural howl echoed in the distance. The hair on Sevlin’s arms stood up and he frowned, uncertain. Perhaps he would stay the night after all.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


The Saddest Rhino posted:

I HAVE GOT CRITS IN AND IT IS TIME TO BE VERY DISAPPOINTED IN YOURSELF

amazing

Thanks for the crits!

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Footprints
474 words


She had hired me to find him. I should’ve said no, but we had history, and old habits die hard. All she gave me to go off of was a blurry photograph, a grainy film. Now I was deep within the Pacific Northwest wilderness, the evening’s sounds dampened by the layer of snow.

I looked at the bright scarlet puddle of half frozen blood, at the carcass lying in it, at the large footprints leading away. He’d been here alright, and recently. I was getting closer. The thought of coming face to face with him both exhilarated and terrified me.

I jogged along the tracks for a while, my breath coming out in thin white clouds. The footprints were large and well-defined, easy to follow, so I let my mind wander. Thought about how much I’d like to be back in my office at that moment, warm and cozy, instead of the middle of nowhere. Thought about what I’d do if- when I found him. I patted the pistol in my pocket. I already knew.

I came upon a cave. I took my pistol out and held it in front of me as I advanced. Hoped he was asleep but as it turned out, the cave was empty. It still stank of him. I turned my back on it and stood in front of the entrance, looking around. No other tracks leading away from it. Should I wait?

I should’ve looked up. Too late, I heard a branch snap above me and then 600 pounds of muscle and hair took me to the ground. I managed to turn onto my back before he pinned me to the ground, my pistol pointing right between his eyes. He bared his teeth at me, his eyes glowing with hatred and a surprising intelligence. I pissed myself.

“What you want?” he growled.

“I gotta take you in, Big. You shouldn’t have mutilated that farmer’s cattle. You’re in hot water now.”

He smiled. At least, I think he smiled, he was hard to read. “You in hot water, not me.”

He prepared to take a swing at me. I tensed up and pulled the trigger, putting a tranquilizer dart right between his eyes. Think he was expecting a weaker dose.

***

I called her crew in to drag him out of the woods after that, couldn’t do it on my own. Of course, they took credit for the capture and she left me out to dry. I saw him on TV a lot, they paraded him around the world. Made me feel bad; he looked unhappy. He only guilty of killing some cows before, and free. Now he’d spend the rest of his life in captivity.

I looked at the inscription on my door. G. Henderson, Cryptozoologist. Zoologist, I thought. If Bigfoot’s an animal, what does that make me?

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Djeser posted:

Interprompt: write a netflix episode summary

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Entenzahn posted:

Week 132 crits - Less is Noir

Sitting Here posted:

Dark and Stormy Crits from week 132

Thanks for the crits!

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In.

Eivali, the jewelled whale, is the god of buried wealth, forgotten ruins and underwater shipwrecks. Patron deity of miners and treasure hunters, it swims through water and earth alike, revealing sunken ships and underground riches only to those deemed worthy.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Buried and Sunken
1214 words
Borrowed gods: Yuan, Wan, An - Ironic Twist; Vorun - Grizzled Patriarch

Tirm placed the corpse of his son into the earth, and began refilling the pit. Finished, he tossed his shovel aside and knelt on top of the fresh soil.

“I bury what I value the most as an offering to you, Eivali. I demand an audience!”

The ground rumbled and through the plains rose Eivali the whale, the many gems and jewels covering it reflecting the sunlight in thousands of colored beams; a gigantic amethyst adorned her head. Tirm waited, the world waited, for her to sing; she did, and her whalesong shook the trees and made the birds take flight. No words were spoken, but understanding came to Tirm nonetheless. He did as Eivali requested and stared into her amethyst, so that she could see what drove him to be so bold as to summon her.

A village burning, people slaughtered. A brigand lord, shrugging off blades and arrows, invincible. A wife and child murdered. Ugly laughter. Sorrow. A thirst for vengeance.

Eivali saw, and judged Tirm’s cause worthy. Her cry described where the gift she would bestow upon him was hidden. It was an enchanted javelin capable of striking down anyone in a single blow, without fail. He would need to venture deep, deep beneath the waves, where the water was darkest.

“Thank you, Eivali!” he shouted. “I shall retrieve your javelin and with it avenge my friends and family!”

Before retreating, Eivali blew a bubble out of her blowhole. It floated down to Tirm; inside was a single jewel. Through her song he understood he would be able to breathe underwater as long as he held it.

Tirm travelled to the seashore, where the green water lapped at the sand. He dove in and swam towards deeper waters, but strong waves kept bringing him back ashore. After the third time, Tirm decided it was no accident and called out to whoever was responsible.

The voice that answered was the sound of water brushing against the shore, gentle and calm.

“I am Yuan, goddess of the green water. You must pay me tribute if you wish to cross these waters.”

Tirm stood tall and thumped his chest, shouting: “Let me through, goddess, or I shall slaughter your worshippers and your green waters will run red with their blood!”

Yuan was not a violent goddess and thus not used to such threats. Taken aback, she decided to allow Tirm to pass, confident her sister would deal with him.

Tirm swam until he could no longer see the shore, then swam further still. Dark clouds gathered overhead and the wind picked up. The water under him formed into a massive whirlpool; the voice that spoke to him was the cold voice of drowned bodies and sunken wrecks.

“Who dares swim into the domain of Wan, goddess of blue water?”

“I am Tirm and I am on a quest for revenge! Let me through, or I shall boil your waters and let the wind carry them away!”

Yuan laughed at the bold but meaningless threat, for she knew that Tirm did not possess the means to boil an entire sea.

“You amuse me, Tirm; there is little opportunity for mirth out here. I will let you pass, but you still need to contend with our eldest sister.”

The whirlpool spun faster and Tirm was sucked below the waves. Deep, deep within the sea he went, where there was no light and the water was blackest.

Disoriented, tossed and tumbled by the whirlpool, Tirm no longer knew which way was up. He floated in a vast expanse of blackness with nothing to see, nothing to hear. He waited.

After some time, An, goddess of black water, spoke to him. Her voice was silence, the absolute absence of sound forming holes in the shape of words.

“What man disturbs my sleep?”

“I am Tirm, and I seek Eivali’s golden javelin! Let me through, or-” Tirm’s words were muted by An’s.

“Or nothing. Eivali might guard her javelin, but these waters belong to me. Your presence is offensive and your corpse will join that of the other unfortunate souls who sank into my realm.”

A current ripped Eivali’s gem from Tirm’s hand and sent it twisting into the darkness. The pressure of this depth, unfelt until now, came on all at once and he felt as if his head would burst.

Nearby was Vorun the Sunken, the silenced god of song, who had been banished to the bottom of the ocean by a jealous deity. He woke, disturbed by the unusual activity. An tolerated his presence, since he could no longer sing, but he was not fond of the goddess. Vorun recognized the gem as one of Eivali’s, who had always been kind to him.

Vorun, being unable to sing himself, channeled his power of song through Tirm, multiplying the sound of his voice a thousandfold. Tirm screamed at the goddess, the force of his voice breaking through her veil of silence.

An could not bear to listen; she left, deciding that her peace was worth more than her pride.

The song quieted and Tirm felt the gods move away. A bright shaft of light shone in the darkness. He swam towards it.

It was the javelin, a cruel-looking weapon of gold, its shaft inlaid with topaz. Tirm took hold of it, and swam back to the surface. Neither An, Wan or Yuan hindered his return to shore.

Javelin in hand, he tracked down the brigand lord’s camp. There he challenged the lord to present himself so that they might have a fair duel, though Tirm had no intention of doing any such thing. He would strike him down with the javelin, and then each other brigand in turn, until he death came for him.

But before the fight could start, the camp’s shaman recognized the javelin and warned his lord of the danger. The brigand lord offered Tirm a deal; his life for a way to bring back Tirm’s family from beyond. The fire in Tirm’s eyes disappeared, replaced by hope and doubt.

“How can such a thing be possible?” Tirm asked.

The brigand lord held up a pouch and answered: “This pouch contains mud touched by an unknown god; feed it to the corpses of your family and they shall live once more.”

Tirm accepted the trade, knowing he could return with the javelin if the brigand lord’s claims were untrue.

He returned to his son’s grave and dug him out. He laid the fragile body across his lap and fed it the mud, little by little. Tirm waited, but his son remained motionless; the mud had been a trick after all.

The earth shook once more. It was Eivali, enraged that Tirm would take back what he had given her in exchange for her help. She slammed her tail into the earth, tearing it asunder and causing a mountain to rise up. From her blowhole came a torrent of magma, turning the mountain into a volcano. Lava pooled and flowed around Tirm.

Despairing, knowing that he’d let down his family, that he’d destroyed his chance at revenge, Tirm let himself be buried beneath the lava, still holding the corpse of his son.

Having taken back both her treasures, Eivali’s anger subsided and she retreated underground.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Results
138 words

“Well… we won,” said Zurgahd.

“I guess,” replied Slurp.

Zurgahd looked at the goblin and shrugged. Orcs were a practical race and the results mattered more to him than the methods used to reach them.

“Stabbed to death, broken neck… either way, we wanted him dead, and he is.”

Slurp poked his spear at the corpse of the hero on the icy ground. He tried lifting the hero’s head with the tip, but it fell back, the neck at an odd angle.

“What now?” he asked.

“Get back, get paid, get drunk.”

“Works for me.”

Zurgahd and Slurp turned their back to the corpse, returning to camp. Slurp slipped and lost his footing, but Zurgahd caught him before he hit the ground.

“Look out for ice patches, you could break something.”

Slurp laughed so hard he pissed himself.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Hugoon Chavez posted:

As a Thunderdome newbie, how strict is the word count requirement? If I step over it by a few words (let's say...6. Hypothetically of course) is it still valid or should I trim the fat a little bit?

If you're over it by 6 words you can definitely find something to cut out.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


The Smell of Victory
986 words

The werewolf is here, Nick thought.

Nick swung his bat with ease, the sound of the impact echoing around the stadium. Nick dropped the bat and sprinted towards first base with supernatural speed. It was a good hit, and the ball went far.

It could be anyone here. Which one of them left that note in my locker

The left fielder picked up the ball and threw it to the first baseman.

Tonight you die in public, it said.

Nick went into an easy slide, throwing dust in the air. The baseman caught the ball and reached down to tag him, but Nick went between his legs and reached safety. The audience cheered.

I knew Febreeze wouldn’t be enough.

***

Two nights ago.

“You sure this is the place?” Nick asked.

“If it’s not, I messed up the tracking spell,” Jake replied.

They were standing in front of an old condemned book store. Jake went around the back and Nick followed. Jake pointed at a short flight of stairs that went below street level and led to a door.

“That’s gotta be his hiding place.”

Nick nodded and took a crowbar out of the pack slung around his shoulder.

“What if he’s in there?”

“It’s the full moon man, he’ll be out and about. Besides, would you rather get fur for the potion from him directly?”

Nick frowned at Jake and shook his head, then stepped down the stairwell to force the door open with the crowbar. It was easier than he expected, the old wood splintering almost immediately. On the other side was a dirty hallway that led to another door, this one ajar.

They pushed the next door open and walked into a medium-sized room. A feral smell washed over them.

“Ugh, smells like a zoo’s sceptic tank,” said Nick.

Jake shrugged. “Just hold your breath. Come on.”

To their right was a bed and a large pile of filthy, ripped clothes. The left wall was dominated by shelves full of small hand-painted figurines of futuristic soldiers, monsters, and their vehicles. A television hung on the far wall and below it was a table on which rested a computer tower, a monitor and some game consoles. The floor was disgusting, covered in filth and fecal matter.

Jake walked over to the shelves and picked up an angry green man figurine.

“This werewolf is a nerd.”

“Put that down, man. Let’s find some fur and get out.”

“Fine. Check the pile of clothes, I think it sleeps there.”

Nick moved over to the pile but Jake kept looking around at the werewolf’s various toys. Nick glared at Jake but didn’t say anything.

The pile of clothes was disgusting and the odor surrounding it was even more foul than the one permeating the rest of the room. Nick used the crowbar to move clothes around and found a tuft of hair wrapped inside a torn shirt with Bazinga! written on the front.

“Here, I got some.”

“Great, let’s get out of—“

Jake slipped on a stray piece of matter, falling backwards against the shelves, knocking several of them down and scattering figurines everywhere. He tried to grab at the computer desk to avoid going all the way down, but only managed to topple the PC tower over the side. The tower brought down the monitor and the television, both of which it was connected to. The desk fell over, sending the remaining electronics crashing to the floor. Nick gaped at the scene, wide-eyed.

“What the gently caress, Jake. What the gently caress.”

“Oops,” Jake said. “Think he’ll notice?”

“Dude, you just destroyed his figures and his PC and his games. Do you have any idea how expensive all this poo poo is? He’s going to be so pissed. We have to leave right now.”

“Fine, give me the Febreeze. Gotta cover up our scent.”

Nick fished around in his pack and took out a can of the air freshener.

“You really think this’ll work?”

Jake grinned and said, “Yeah man, look, right here: eliminates the toughest odors. We get to sue ‘em if it doesn’t work!”

“We’ll be dead if it doesn’t work.”

Jake slapped his shoulder, “Don’t worry, we got this!” He emptied the entire can in the room as they backed away towards the exit.

They walked away from the old bookstore. Nick kept glancing around, nervous.

“Chill out Nick, we’re safe. Just think of the vitality potion we’re going to make with this! You’re going to win the game single-handedly, we’ll win that bet and best of all, modern science is completely unable to trace it!”

***

The next batter stepped up to plate. Nick scanned the bleachers, trying to spot anyone suspicious.

“Strike one!” the umpire roared.

Jake better have that backup plan set up.

“Strike two!”

What a stupid idea this was.

The third swing was the good one: a home run. Nick burst into action and ran to second, jostling the baseman and almost knocking him down. Off of first, past second, past third… the thrill of victory made him forget the werewolf for a moment.

Gonna win this at least, almost there and it’s the umpire it’s the UMPIRE IT’S THE loving UMPIRE.

Nick fought against his momentum and tried to turn the other way. The crowd’s boos and hisses turned to gasps as the umpire transformed into a monstrous wolf-thing. It leapt after Nick. He ran towards the field entrance, the potion’s power helping him stay ahead of the beast, but not by much. The chase led them into the locker rooms; just as Nick could feel the werewolf’s breath on his neck, the claws grasping at his shirt, Jake appeared from around a corner, where he had been lying in wait, and slid a silver dagger into the beast’s neck. It died on the spot.

“We’re gonna sue the gently caress out of Febreeze,” Nick said.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Thanks everyone for the multiple crits.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I am your second judge.



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

I'm not an expert but I'm going to take one of these because why the gently caress not

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


newtestleper posted:


Love is Colder than Capital by Keith Haring

Words: 1236

where's the ring

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Cat poo poo Island
Word count: 913 – Target: 931
Painting: Dawn/Water Poem by Ralph Hotere
Muffin Flash rule: On a tropical island, wealthy men hunt the most dangerous game: housecats


Moruroa.

After years of French nuclear testing, the irradiated atoll was now abandoned and forgotten by all. Two ships bordered its shores; gunshots and screams echoed from their decks. One of the ships caught fire and a cheer rang out. It drifted towards the shore as the other ship pulled out and left; the only survivors to crawl out of the wreckage were several cats.

***

Years later.

“Are you guys ready to hunt some cats?” Leo asked, looking around the chopper.

Four men looked back at him and grinned. One joker showed up in a safari outfit, but the others were wearing various shades of camouflage.

“We’ll be landing soon, so I want to remind you guys that this is the real deal. People die out here, so I want you all to be careful; don’t take any stupid risks.”

The safari clown asked, “How many cats can we expect to bring home?”

“What’s your name?”

“Harry.”

“Well Harry, how about we focus on surviving first?”

Harry sneered. These rich folks always worried about getting their money’s worth rather than just getting out alive. Leo hadn’t lost anyone in a while, but you had to always be on your toes.

The chopper approached the atoll; life thrived unexpectedly on this island. Plants were massive, every tree baobab-sized. They found a clear spot to land on the beach; once the rotors slowed to a stop, the only sound was the rhythmic surf.

“Alright guys, just follow my lead and keep quiet.”

They fell in line and moved between the trees, leaving the pilot behind. He would be ready to lift off at a moment’s notice.

It was dark, almost no sunlight made it to the ground. Leo heard the flick of a lighter behind him and turned around. Harry was lighting a cigarette.

“You idiot, put that out! They can smell-“

A high-pitched shriek tore through the jungle. Not ten feet away, a calico cat the size of a house seemed to materialize out of thin air. Its twelve eyes focused on the group and a long purple tongue flicked from side to side, sending droplets of acid flying and burning holes through the vegetation. It lifted its tail and the bulb at its end opened up; a beam too bright to look at directly shot out and vaporized the three camouflaged men.

“Holy poo poo!” Harry yelled. The cat lifted its tail for another shot; Leo pulled Harry out of the way at the last second. They ran, using the cat’s size to their advantage and ducking between two trunks that would not let it through. Harry pointed at a fallen trunk and Leo nodded. They ducked inside a gap beneath it, crawling as far as possible.

They could hear the cat padding around the trunk and the sizzle its saliva made when it hit the ground.

Harry grabbed Leo by the collar and yelled, “This isn’t what I loving paid for!”

“Will you shut up? It’ll hear us.”

“It already knows we’re here! How the gently caress are you going to get us out of this?”

Leo furrowed his brow. How was he going to get them out of this? Things hadn’t gone this bad this quickly in a long time. He opened his pack and looked around.

“I got one catnap grenade. That might distract it long enough for us to get back to the chopper.”

“You mean catnip?”

“Sorta. Catnap is genetically modified catnip. Fucks ‘em up, but not very long.”

“What’re you waiting for then?”

Leo gave Harry a dirty look and crawled towards the edge of the trunk, grenade in hand. His heart first sank when he saw than a Turkish Angora had joined the calico, but Leo perked up when the Angora hissed at the calico using its three mouths. The calico arched its back and hissed back. Leo thought he could use this to their advantage.

Harry joined his side and they watched the two cats circling each other. Leo had his hand on the grenade’s pin, ready to release it at any moment.

The Angora reared up on its back paws and opened its belly flaps to release its tear gas; Leo chose this moment to pull the pin and throw the grenade behind the cats, as far as he could. It blew with a puff, releasing a cloud of catnap around them. The effect was immediate: the cats’ fur disintegrated and their eyes went cloudy. They wobbled on their feet before falling over into a catatonic state.

Leo ran, not even checking to see if Harry followed. They dodged and ducked between the trunks and foliage, reaching the edge of the jungle in a matter of seconds. They did not proceed further, because a third cat was hovering over the water neat the chopper, looking at it curiously.

The pilot had not noticed it, engrossed in the magazine he was reading. Leo waved his arms, catching his attention. Seeing them standing there, the pilot knew something was wrong right away and he started up the chopper. The cat darted forward at the same time the blades picked up speed, slicing half of its nose off. It fell in the water, screaming.

Leo and Harry hopped aboard the chopper, ignoring the cat thrashing in the water. It lifted off just as the calico and Angora came padding out of the jungle.

“I’m going to write your business a terrible review on Yelp,” Harry said.

“gently caress you.”

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Djeser posted:

Also I'll be third judge.

djeser gimme a flash rule but deliver it in gif form please

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


hotsoupdinner posted:

In this week because I finally blah blah blah personal stuff that doesn't matter JUST WRITE.

please keep your drama out of the thread UGH

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Tangly
1176 words
Flash rule: http://i.imgur.com/Tw7LHMi.gif

Lydia waved a piece of cheese in front of the space under her bed. She lay on her stomach, her arms dangling over the edge. After a moment, a long limb unfurled from beneath, its soft white fur tickling her fingers. It grabbed the cheese but did not retreat; instead, the rest of the creature followed. A tangle of arms – or legs? – rose and stood in front of Lydia, looking at her from two piercing violet eyes hidden within the mass.

Lydia grinned and said, “Hi Tangly.”

One of the limbs waved while the one holding the cheese made the piece disappear somewhere in the fur under the eyes. She reached out and scratched the creature.

The bedroom door crashed open and Lydia’s father staggered in, holding an empty bottle and speaking: “Lydia, I need you to go to town, I’m all out of-“

He saw Tangly, roared and stepped towards it. The monster tried to retreat under the bed but it was thrown against the wall, where it fell and cowered in the corner.

Lydia’s father turned to her, “You said that thing left!”

She sat up on the bed and protested, “It was! It really was!”

“Shut up, you liar, or I’ll give you another thrashing.” He took a look at Tangly and then said to Lydia, “Stay here.”

He picked up the monster, which started flailing and shrieking, and left the room. Lydia started crying in silence. A few minutes later her father called her from the hall. She wiped her tears and left her room.

He had fastened an iron collar around Tangly’s midsection and tied a rope to it.

“I hear these things’ fur sell well,” he said. “You’re going to take it into town and trade it for a few bottles of the good stuff.”

“No! Please, it’s my friend!”

“Do I have to remind you what happens to disobedient girls?” said Lydia’s father, hooking his thumbs in his belt.

“I- no, I’ll go,” she replied, looking down. She watched two tears fall and scatter the dust on the floor.

Lydia put on her coat, boots, gloves and hat; the snow outside made covering up necessary. Her father held the rope out and she took it. He opened the door and Lydia walked out, pulling Tangly along.

They trudged through the thick layer of snow that had fallen overnight, towards town. Lydia had to wipe away frost from under her eyes more than once. The house no longer visible behind them, she stopped and looked towards the horizon.

“No,” she said, “we’re not going to town, Tangly.”

She turned to the monster, removed the collar. The creature’s eyes widened and it stretched its limbs, standing taller now. Lydia’s eyes sparkled in the sunlight and she smiled at Tangly.

“Come on, we’re going to have some fun.”

Tangly followed her off the road and into even thicker snow. The going was rough and it had to help her up a few times when she tripped, but they were still moving faster than they had been when heading to town.

They reached a frozen pond and snow started falling in big, slow flakes.

“Here we are,” said Lydia. “One second!”

She moved to the hollowed out stump of a tree and reached in with one arm. After a moment she retracted it, holding a pair of scuffed ice skates.

“Ta-dah!” she said, holding them up high.

She sat down on the edge of the pond and put the skates on, Tangly standing by and staring. Once she started gliding around the pond’s surface, the look of confusion in its eyes turned to joy and it joined Lydia on the ice.

They skated in the snow the entire day. Tangly was agile and graceful, its many limbs giving it fantastic balance. It spun around Lydia then curled its limbs around her and tossed her up high. She laughed as she twirled through the snow. Tangly caught her on the way down and put her back on the ice in one smooth movement, sending her sliding backwards. She skated back towards it and gave it a tight hug, still laughing.

“Excuse me,” said a new voice.

Lydia and Tangly stopped and turned. A man covered in various furs was standing by the edge of the pond, watching them.

“How much for the beast?”

Lydia frowned and stuck her chin out, “He’s not for sale!”

“I’ll give you twice what they’ll give you in town. 100 gold crowns.”

“Go away!”

The man sized her up and asked, “Where’s your father?”

Lydia had skated to the edge of the pond and was now taking off her skates.

“I don’t have a father. I’m an orphan and this is my guardian monster so go away or it’ll eat you!”

“Girl, you better…” he cocked his head and grunted. “This isn’t over,” he said, and left.

A laughing couple came to the pond, carrying their own skates. They smiled and waved at Lydia, not noticing Tangly, its white fur a perfect camouflage against the snow.

Lydia and Tangly hurried away, leaving her skates behind. The sun was coming down and she had to be home before dark, or face her father’s wrath.

Once the house was in sight, Lydia turned to Tangly and said, “Wait until I’m inside then come under my window, I’ll let you back in.”

She hugged it tight and started towards the house, thinking of the lie she’d tell her father. She opted to tell him Tangly ran away and only received a spanking.

She walked into her room and closed the door, then opened the window. Tangly slipped inside, limb over limb. She hugged it and it hugged her back.

There was a loud knocking at the front door. Tangly disappeared under the bed in a flash. Lydia pressed her ear against the bedroom door, listening.

“I saw it come in through a window.” The man from the pond.

“That little… she’s in for it now.” Her father.

Loud footsteps heading towards the door. The clink of her father’s belt buckle. Lydia stepped away from the door and the back of her knees hit her bed.

The door slammed open and there stood the man from the pond and her father, looking furious. He had looped his belt in his hands.

“You worthless, lying runt! I’m going to make you regret lying to me!”

He took a step towards Lydia, raising the arm holding the belt. Two furry limbs whipped out from under the bed and took hold of Lydia’s ankles and pulled. She fell forward and another limb broke her fall, then pulled her back under the bed.

Lydia’s father screamed in rage and flipped the bed over. There was nothing under it.

***

Laughter echoed around an immense icy cave. Ghostly green and purple lights floated around near its roof, illuminating a girl spiraling on skates made of ice and her strange friend. There was distant, angry shouting, but they ignored it. They were safe for now, and happy.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


let's start chillin' at the holidae inn

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


CancerCakes posted:

Crabrock which racial slur has the best win rate? This is important work

Pog

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Baby’s Day In
1490 words

Gina swung one leg onto the wheeled magician’s table, then the other, while supporting her pregnant belly. The stage was bathed in bright light and the seats empty; the theater would fill up later, when the show was on.

“So I just lay down here?” she asked Alan.

“Yep, that’s all you gotta do. Thanks again for skipping your boxing class to help me practice, by the way.”

“No problem. Did you get a new how-to book?” Gina asked, pointing at the tome Alan was holding.

Alan looked at the book and blushed. “Yeah, I found it at that new shop down on String Avenue, I thought it looked neat.”

The book appeared to be authentic leather, with runes adoring its cover. The title’s script was so flowery that Gina could barely make out Thee Bigge Booke ofe Spelles ande Trickse.

“So you’re sure I don’t need to be flexible or anything?”

“Nah, the book says this is a new twist on the old sawing-someone-in-half trick.”

Gina lay back on the table and made herself comfortable. Alan lowered the top-half of the box onto her, leaving only her head and feet exposed at both ends.

“Okay just stay still, I promise I won’t hurt you.”

Alan produced an oversized saw and started cutting through the middle of the box, reading incantations from the book as he did so. Gina’s toes curled as the saw got closer and closer to her belly, but when she thought she’d feel the teeth biting into her flesh there was only a strong tingling sensation.

Alan rolled the two halves of the table apart and shouted, “Ta-dah!”

Gina smiled and said, “Well done!”

Alan looked at her and made his eyebrows jump once, “Oh, it’s not over yet!”

He covered the bottom half of the table with a silk cloth, muttered a few more unintelligible words, and lifted the cloth. Gina’s feet were no longer poking out of the box.

Her eyes widened and she burst out, “Wow! How’d you do that? It’s almost like I can’t feel them anymore!”

Alan shrugged and winked, “A good magician never reveals his tricks.”

He lifted the box from the bottom half of the table, Gina’s legs definitely no longer on it. His eyes bulged and his smile faltered as he lifted the box from the top half. Gina’s torso was still there, but it was undoubtedly cut off at the middle, with smooth skin showing where her legs would normally begin, under her belly.

Gina frowned when she saw his expression and looked down, running her hands over what would, under normal conditions, be her pelvis.

“What did you do? Where are my legs?!”

“I uh… I don’t…”

Alan fainted. Gina propped herself up on her elbows, staring at the other half of the table, trying to wrap her head around what just happened. When it became apparent her legs were not going to just reappear, she slid herself to the edge of the table and lowered her body to the floor, taking care not to jostle the baby. She felt like Humpty Dumpty.

She walked on her hands towards the book that Alan had dropped when he fainted. It had fallen face-down, on the page for the trick that Alan had just performed. Gina scanned the various steps but none of them were concerned with making the legs reappear again.

A sudden cramp struck her. Gina realized she was going into labor, at this very moment, of all possible times. But if her legs weren’t, where would the baby come out?

Panicked, she stuffed the book into her shirt and hopped backstage, screaming for help. No one answered her – she and Alan had been the only two in the building. Passing by the locker room on her way to the exit, she spotted a skateboard.

Gina rolled her way out of the building on the skateboard’s squeaky wheels. The street outside was deserted on this Sunday afternoon; most of the city’s inhabitants were at the park for the free show that was being put on this weekend. She looked uphill, towards the hospital, and downhill, where String Avenue was located. She opted to go for the store where Alan had picked up the book. The doctors at the hospital would most likely suggest a c-section. Gina was planning to be the best possible mother to her child and such an unnatural birth would go against this.

Another pang of pain in her stomach made her wince as she turned downhill. She pushed herself forward, letting the momentum build. Halfway down the hill, the squeak from one of the wheels began to get louder. The skateboard started wobbling. Gina realized she had no way to stop herself without scraping her hands on the pavement. A pick-up truck turned into the intersection at the bottom of the hill, directly in Gina’s path. On its side was written “McLure’s Manure – You plant ‘em, we turd ‘em.”

The wheel’s high-pitched squeaking stopped as the wheel broke with a snap, flying away to the side. Gina was catapulted towards the truck’s back, into the pile of warm manure it was carrying.

Gina scrambled out of the manure and came up for air, taking a deep breath. The driver stopped the truck and came out.

“You okay, lady? What the hell were you doing?”

“Please, I need you to take me to the magic store on String Avenue! I’m having a baby!”

“Jesus! Wouldn’t you rather go to the-“

“No! Please! My legs are gone and…”

The driver waved his hands to indicate he had heard enough. “Whatever, I don’t care, I’ll take you there as long as you don’t sue. But uh, you mind staying in the back? I just got the cab reupholstered.”

He drove her down String Avenue until she spotted the store and told him to stop. He wrapped her in a towel to help her down, being very careful not to get any manure on himself.

“You’re very prissy for a guy who drives a manure truck.”

“And you’re a legless lady giving birth in a pile of poo poo, who’s the weird one?”

Gina pursed her lips, contemplating this statement as he got back into his truck and drove away. She attempted the best possible shrug she could give under the circumstances and hopped towards the shop’s door. She knocked on the glass, unable to both open the door and go in.

Someone came and opened the door after a minute. It was a man in a long robe and pointy hat, both covered in arcane symbols. He stroked his beard, which was held by hooks around his ears, and gave her a questioning look.

“Yes?”

“My friend bought a book from you and made my legs disappear and I need you to fix this right now.”

“Ah, I see. Please, come in,” he said, holding the door open and gesturing towards the inside of the store.

He introduced himself as Horgor the Magnificient and led her to a back room adorned with dreamcatchers and various mystical decorations. In the middle was a table on which a crystal ball rested. Gina explained her situation as Horgor listened, chin resting in his hand. She finished and took the book out, offering it to him. He took the book and flipped through it, giving the pages a cursory glance.

“Alas, I know this tome well, and there are no incantations to bring back your legs.”

Crestfallen, Gina held back a sob. She clutched her belly as the cramps came harder and faster. “What can I do then? My child…”

“Fortunately, I am a real wizard! I just wear this stuff because it’s what people expect. Let’s take a look at the crystal ball.”

Horgor waved his hands over the ball and it lit up right away, showing Gina’s legs. With a few more wave of his hands the view expanded; the legs were stumbling around the deck of a cruise ship, surrounded by drunk, partying people. They were pointing and laughing at the pair of disembodied legs.

“Oh my god. Can you teleport me there or something?”

“Well, I can certainly try.”

Horgor rolled up his sleeves. He began waving his hands around, then stopped.

“Just so you know, I’ve never teleported anyone before, so…”

“I don’t care. Do it.”

He nodded and resumed his spell. As his incantations grew louder, Gina felt herself losing consciousness.

She woke up some time later, once again laying on a table. This one was cold steel.

“Oh, you’re up!” a voice said.

Gina’s eyes focused on a man wearing scrubs and a surgical mask.

“Hey, welcome to the party boat! I’m Dr. Shots!” he said, waving and spilling a glass of beer. “Don’t worry, I got a real steady hand, even when sloshed! We’re gonna have your baby out in no time! This c-section is gonna be a cinch!”

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


crabrock posted:

did i win?

first prize...





















at the idiot olympics!!!

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Could I get a flash rule?

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


The 51st President of the United States of America
1143 words

Petey “Bubbler” Wurlitzer spent the first 100 years of its existence as a Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox.

First built by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in 1946 as part of the now iconic Wurlitzer 1015 line of jukeboxes, machines that could play twenty-four 78’s, which was top-of-the-line at the time, Petey was shipped from the factory in North Tonawanda, New York, to a diner in Aledo, Texas: Fred’s Shed.

For 23 years it sat next to the counter, playing songs as people ate burgers, flapjacks and apple pie. When Fred died in 1969, no one stepped up to purchase the diner and it was condemned.

Vandals broke in sometime in 1970 and left with Petey – it is unclear if stealing Petey was the original intention or simply a spur of the moment decision. Petey was sold to a pawn shop and bought by Phillip Thurgood shortly afterwards.

Thurgood was not interested in restoring Petey to its original splendor, as long as it remained functional. He was a collector of random Americana, more interested in piling his barn full with odds and ends than having a displayable collection, perhaps more hoarder than collector. For 30 years Petey remained in his barn, seeing regular use – Thurgood would play a record every time he came in to admire his collection.

Petey was finally sold to Steve Plass, a picker on the prowl for interesting items to sell back for a profit, in 2000. Steve had the jukebox restored and sold it to the then-future president, George W. Bush. It remained on Bush’s private ranch until 2019, when it was sold once again, this time to a 1950’s-themed restaurant, Shiny’s.

It is at Shiny’s that the first part of Petey Wurlitzer’s existence ended and its true life began: in 2046, the jukebox became self-aware.

Science has yet to bring forth a plausible explanation for it, but the popular theory stems from Japanese folklore, the Tsukumogami: once an object reaches its 100th birthday, it comes to life and gains a mind of its own.

Alex Hunt, a short-order cook at the restaurant, was closing up one evening when the jukebox by the entrance greeted him and gave him the fright of his life. After he recovered from the initial shock, Hunt spent the entire night talking to Petey. It turned out that while the jukebox had been inanimate for the first 100 years of its life, it still retained perfect memories of this time.

When the rest of the staff came in the next day, they found Alex still in deep conversation with Petey. Things happened quickly after this – reporters were contacted, the news went out on the nu-web and soon everyone in the world was aware of the sensational living jukebox.

Alex quit his job as a cook and, as Petey’s first friend in his new life, became his de-facto agent. Petey toured the world, gave interviews and sat on talk shows. He had a natural affinity for languages and a cheerful, infectious personality – the world fell in love with Petey.

Petey found joy in chess, developing a flawless win record and even beating ZEUS, Appoogle’s most advanced AI at the time, an achievement only replicated by the Russian prodigy, Akim Barinov.

On June 23rd 2047, Petey married Eva Adams, an objectum-sexual. She had fallen in love with the jukebox the moment she’d seen him on TV and when they finally met, the feeling was mutual.

In 2048, at the height of his popularity, when current President of the United States, Laetitia Hill, neared the end of her first term, Petey Wurlitzer announced he would run for president.

There was outrage at first – a jukebox for president? Was it even American? Where was its certificate of authenticity?

People argued that the jukebox division of Wurlitzer had been sold to a German company in 1973, which made Petey German, but it was determined that since he had been built on American soil, in an American factory, he was most definitely American.

Laetitia Hill had no chance against his popularity – on January 27th 2049, Petey Wurlitzer became the 51st, and first inorganic, President of the United States of America.

World leaders who had been amused by the jukebox at first refused to discuss politics with an object, but Petey quickly proved he was more than up to the task when he brought the Quebec Missile Crisis of April 2049 to a peaceful resolution with his quick wit and charisma. Tensions between the United States and the Republic of Quebec still ran high though, and in 2050 the Republic was annexed and became the country’s 54th state. Canada did not object, which was not a surprise since they had helped with the operation.

The rest of Petey’s first term was uneventful. Most world leaders came around to the idea of a jukebox as an equal, but Russia considered Petey an embarrassment and the first tremors of yet another cold war began being felt.

Petey was re-elected for a second term in 2053. The Russian president, Ivan Noskov, showed hostility immediately, damning America for its choice to elect an object over an actual person yet again and going as far as threatening war if they did not put an end to this charade.

Petey was not to be deterred, and the American people backed him up. A majority of the population called for war, but Petey had another idea: why not put man vs machine to the test once more? After all, this time it would be two actual intelligences competing. This was how the idea of a chess match between the jukebox and Akim Barinov came to be.

Ivan Noskov agreed, confident that Petey Wurlitzer and thus the United States would be embarrassed in front of the entire world. If Barinov won, Petey had promised to step down as president.

The game took place in Moscow and played out at a lightning pace, with Petey calling his moves as soon as Barinov completed his. This slowed as the game progressed and Petey took a full five minutes before calling the move that would make him lose the game.

It is still hotly debated wether or not this was intentional or a mistake on the part of the jukebox, but this mystery will have to remain unsolved forever – while on his flight back to the United States, a massive solar flare struck the northern hemisphere, the largest in recorded history, and all electronics were knocked out, including the plane’s. It fell just short of the state of New York’s shoreline. It is unclear if Petey was affected by the flare, but by the time the wreckage was recovered, the jukebox was no longer responding.

Whatever spark had initially brought the jukebox to life was now gone, and that is how the presidency of the United States’ first inorganic president came to an end.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In with



http://postsecretarchive.com/wp-con.../12/400lbs1.jpg

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Feeling Blue
1213 words
http://i.imgur.com/7UnTi25.jpg

I was at the gym when I met the love of my life. There was a bright flash, the room was bathed in blue light, and there she stood, glowing. Ten feet high, her skin cerulean, her body toned, a goddess standing unclothed.

Every man and woman in the gym stood transfixed at the sight of this unearthly apparition. She shook her hair, twice, and opened her mouth.

“Um, hi.” She gave a little wave. “I just wanted to see what kind of gyms your planet had, ours are pretty boring but uh…”

She looked around, at each of us in turn, with me last. She shrugged one perfect shoulder, pushing the hair that lay on it behind her, and smirked.

“This place is way too tiny for me. Sorry to bother you, I’ll go back to my galaxy now.”

And she was gone.

*****

The stars were beautiful tonight, as always. I moved away from the telescope and turned to my assistant.

“Any progress?”

“No,” he replied, “I just can’t figure this out. I don’t think we’ll ever go beyond our galaxy.”

I clapped him on the shoulder and gave him a wan smile, “Don’t give up, Martin. There’s more worlds out there than we could possibly imagine and I believe we’ll reach them one day.” I looked up towards the sky. “We must.”

*****

I was sitting at my desk, poring over blueprints and technical documents, daydreaming about her, when Martin burst into the room.

“Paul, you gotta come see this!”

“What? Did you get the engine working?”

Martin shook his head and motioned for me to follow. I got up and he led me to a back room, one which I seldom visited.

“I’ve been doing a bit of work on the side here… I know it’s not supposed to be covered by the budget, but… look!”

He spread his arms out as if showing off a grand display, but the only thing in here was a square metal frame on the floor, with cables and wires leading from it to a console.

“Well?” I asked, curious.

He smirked and went to the console, flipping a switch. The frame hummed to life, and the space in the middle began wavering, as the air over the asphalt does during a heatwave.

“What is this, Martin?”

“Paul I… no, you just have to try. Here, put this harness on.”

Martin handed me a harness attached to a steel cable. I gave him a questioning look.

“Trust me.”

I shrugged, having no reason to doubt him. We’d been working together for 3 years now. I slipped into the harness and fastened it.

“Okay, now just sit on the edge of the frame and slowly lower yourself in. It’ll feel weird, but just go with it. Pull twice and I’ll reel you up.”

I did as he said and sat down on the edge. My feet went through the wavy area and down through the floor which should have stopped them. A slight tingling sensation went bone-deep around the area touching the fluctuating air. I let myself go further into the hole, until I was all the way through.

The air was cool on the other side. Above me was the frame, with the same oddly textured air. I look at my surroundings. It appeared to be an office, but everything was at odd angles, with weird colors. My eyes went wide at the sight of people staring at me. They were unlike anyone I’d ever seen before; a deep emerald skin tone, hair like single-minded tentacles, bringing to mind Medusa. They were off-putting, but not repulsive. I gave a little wave, at a loss for anything else.

“Er… hi.”

They were as surprised by me as I was by them. I carefully raised my hand to the cable and pulled twice. The cable retracted, pulling me back up as I stared back at the alien office workers in silence.

On the other side, Martin was grinning. “What do you think of my gate?”

*****

Martin reeled me back out of the gate and questioned me with his eyes. I shook my head.

“Another empty world,” I said.

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “We’ll find her eventually, Paul.”

I sighed and gave him a weak smile.

*****

I rubbed my tired eyes, trying to wake myself up. I’d looked at myself in the mirror before leaving and the pits under them appeared to be deepening by the day. I gave my head a vigorous shake and stood up straighter.

“We are here today to commend Paul Firth and Martin Hurt for their outstanding invention and discovery of alien worlds…”

I zoned out as the presenter lauded them. I didn’t feel like I had achieved anything, certainly not what I had set out to do all those years ago.

Martin elbowed me and whispered, “Come on, Paul. Look alive for this at least.”

I blinked once, hard, and wiped some tears away before they could roll down my cheeks. I had to get some sleep.

*****

I stood in front of the gate. I’d been up all night again, just trying series of coordinates, popping in and out, only staying long enough to ascertain that I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I punched in another set of coordinates, simply increasing the current ones by a few degrees. I lowered myself into the gate once more…

… and came to a world of brilliant blue. In fact, I was in a gym, the various devices towering above me. I felt the familiar goggling of eyes on me, routine at this point after so many intrusive appearances in distant worlds.

And there she was.

I looked into her eyes and noticed a glimmer of recognition.

“Oh, you’re one of those pink people, I think I’ve met you before, haven’t I? When I was looking for a gym last galactyear?” she asked.

“Y- yes! I’ve worked so hard to find you, I just had to tell you… you’re the most beautiful being I’ve ever seen.”

“Oh, well. I’m sorry, but I’m already in a relationship. And I don’t think we’re… physically compatible.”

My face fell. After all these years, to be turned away in such a short time… I did not have the heart to plead. I activated the motorized pulley and let it drag me back through the gate.

“Sorry, I guess!” were the last words I heard from her.

*****

I sat next to the smashed gate controls, hiding my face in my hands, wallowing in self-pity. I thought about all the years I wasted on this fool’s venture.

I heard a soft cutting sound behind me, like sharp scissors sliding through silk. I raised my head and turned around. The room was split in midair, as if reality was only a pair of curtains that had been pulled apart. A viridian glow poured out from the hole and standing in front of it was one of those emerald-skinned creatures, her hair tentacles twisting around each other.

“Um, hi,” she said, a shy smile spreading across her lips. “I don’t know if you remember me, but you showed up in our world a few years ago and I’ve been trying to track you down since…”

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


In

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


quote:

<sittinghere> in fact i should start giving out flash rules that contradict the wizards i gave out

yeah as if you baby

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


preview of this week's judging:

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


A Gift for Amy
1189 words

Wilbart smoothed down his suit and wiped the sweat off his brow with the brim of his hat. Both suit and hat were a deep black and sparkled with the occasional gem; it was like looking up at the night sky. Garfloyd, his hired help, straightened Wilbart’s tie then looked down both ends of the alley they were standing in.

“Just remember what I told you,” Garfloyd said.

Wilbart repeated the memorized lines: “No small talk. Show ‘em the stuff, ask to see the merch, make sure it’s legit.”

Garfloyd nodded and said, “You got it. Then we leave, you give me my cut and everyone goes home safe and happy.”

“I hope so. Amy needs me, and I need this for her.”

Garfloyd shrugged. Wilbart took a deep breath to steady himself, then kissed the opal he kept on a chain around his neck.

“Okay, let’s get this over with.”

They headed towards the building opposite the alley’s entrance, on the other side of the street. Tall, bored men glanced at Wilbart and squinted at Garfloyd, but both of them were let into the warehouse.

The inside was dim, but torches shone a bright light on a table set up in the middle of the stone floor. Standing in front of it was a small man with a scar running from his nose to his brow, with two men flanking him. They wielded crossbows loaded with cruel-looking bolts. The small man tilted his head at Wilbart as he approached, Garfloyd stopping haflway to the table, watching.

“I guess you the magician?”

“Er, wizard, yes,” replied Wilbart. There was an awkward pause. The man raised his eyebrows and Wilbart fumbled into his suit’s pocked for a velvet roll. He laid it on the table and unrolled it. Inside were a selection of delicate wands.

Wilbart spoke fast, barely pausing for breath. “I, er, color-coded them to make it easier for you.” He pointed at the first two wands, wooden shafts with rubies at the tip. “The rubies will make a man’s blood thin; a single scratch and they’ll bleed out.” He indicated the next two wands. “The emeralds will spoil anything, food or drink, and anyone who consumes them will be horribly sick. And the sapphires here, they’ll send a man into the deepest throes of depression. Make sure you only point them at someone if you intend to…”

“Yeah, yeah.” The man smirked and slid a pouch across the table. Wilbart opened it with care. Inside was an egg-sized bluish-green gem. He lifted it and turned it from side to side, the facets sending a myriad of lights flickering around the room. Wilbart brought the gem close to one of the torches and its hue changed to a reddish-purple.

“By Eivali’s tail, it’s beautiful! Alexandrite is truly a wonder,” he said, the breath catching in his throat.

“So how do we know your wands work, wiz?”

“I can assure you…”

“Let’s test one of ‘em, eh?” the man said with a wild grin. He grabbed one of the ruby wands and pointed it at Wilbart. A thin ray of red light oozed out of the wand’s tip and made its way for Wilbart. He waved his hand, and the ruby exploded, sending shards into the man’s eyes.

“Get him!” he screamed, wild with pain.

Wilbart reached for the wands on the table, only managing to knock all but one to the floor. He stuffed the emerald wand and the alexandrite in his pocket.

The two goons shot their crossbows at Wilbart, but the bolts were diverted at the last second and drawn towards his opal, on which they bounced off. Garfloyd grabbed his shoulder and pulled him towards a window. The door they came through wasn’t an option; the two guards from outside were standing in it and drawing their own crossbows.

Garfloyd used Wilbart as a human shield, letting his employer’s opal draw fire while he broke the window open. They hopped through and headed for the alley that had been in previously. They ran down it and the horse-drawn carriage they had taken to the meet-up spot was waiting for them at the other end.

Wilbart jumped into the back while Garfloyd sat up front and got the horse going with a slap. They barrelled down the city streets, the wheels bouncing off the cobbles.

It didn’t take long for two goons to catch up with the cart; their own carts were smaller and lighter, allowing the horses to catch up to Wilbart and Garfloyd.

Bolts came flying at Wilbart, embedding themselves into the cart’s wood inches from his head. The men’s aim was surprisingly accurate despite the rough ride. Wilbart lifted his opal and looked at it; it had gone an ugly gray, no longer white. Sapped of its magic. He snapped the chain and threw it away. He reached into his pocket and produced the emerald wand.

Garfloyd glanced back and said, “I don’t think spoiling food is gonna do any good right now, chief.”

“It doesn’t have to spoil food.”

Wilbart clutched the wand, closed his eyes and concentrated, ignoring the bolts whistling past his head. He opened his eyes again a few seconds later and pointed the wand at the pursuing men’s carts. The split apart, sprouting shoots and leaves, the dead wood coming back to life. In seconds the carts were fully grown trees in the middle of the streets, the men stuck up high in the branches.

Garfloyd glanced back and said, “Nice trick. How about we forget the money and you give me that wand as payment?”


Finally safe, Wilbart walked into his home and shut the door with great care. He hung his hat on a hook and loosened his tie. He tiptoed down the hallway and went into the first room. He sat down on the edge of the bed inside and brushed the hair off the face of the young girl sleeping in it. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled when she saw him.

“Hi daddy.”

“Hey sweet pea. Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you up.”

“It’s okay. Did your meeting go well?”

“Yeah. I got a surprise for you.”

She sat up in bed, now completely awake. “A surprise?”

Wilbart took the alexandrite out of his pocket and held it out to her.

“Put your hand on it, Amy.” She did, and he put his other hand over hers. “Now close your eyes and concentrate.”

She shut her eyes tight, tighter than necessary. Wilbart synchronized his breathing with hers and cleared his mind, leaving only a single image. The alexandrite was now shifting colors without the room’s light changing. Energy gathered and Amy’s hair started floating away from her head. The gem they held between their hands felt as if it melted; it shrunk, smaller and smaller, until their hands were holding nothing but each other.

“You can open your eyes now.”

Sitting between them on the bed was a creature made of light. It barked twice and wagged its shimmering tail, jumping up to lick Amy’s face. Wilbart smiled wide.

“Happy birthday Amy.”

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Erogenous Beef posted:

A Classy Ghost - “A Gift for Amy”

TL;DR: I hate you, please die.

Thanks for the crit, but I'm already a ghost, sucker

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A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


Sitting Here posted:

also, anyone who wants to FJGJ at the judges must do so in the form of wizard pictures and gifs.

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