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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I am IN with Insufferable Commandments Of The Pagan Shrine.

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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006




INSUFFERABLE COMMANDMENTS OF THE PAGAN SHRINE - 894 words

It was month four of us sitting under the walls of Polka-Mazurka, waiting for them to either surrender, die out from hunger or get smote by divine wrath of Our Lord Metal and I was running out of ways to kill time.

“Growler, you ugly gently caress, are you trying to scalp yourself?” Corpsecunt was inside the tent, leaning against one of the femur bones supporting it. One of the perks of being the commander of your own mercenary company, a personal tent for your troops to harass you in. Her war paint was already slathered on, Drowner Blue being the color of the day. She leered back at me.

I scowled. “It’s called shaving. It’s that for me or a comb-over. Can’t headbang a comb-over, can I? And that’s ‘sir, you ugly gently caress, sir’ to you, you insubordinate bitch.”

She stuck out her pierced tongue at me. “You already shaved it three times this week. One more pass and you’re a phrenology exhibit.”

I dunked the razor into the bowl and turned to her. She wasn’t wrong - I was only doing this out of boredom - but admitting it would be poor form. It was time for a diversionary maneuver. “Well, someone has to shave for the two of us.” I made a spectacle of moving my eyes over to her crotch and raising my eyebrows.

She snorted, otherwise ignored the bait. “Poor Growler. So bored, so shiny. Well, good news.” She reached behind her back, tossed me a scroll. “We’re being reinforced. For an assault.”

This wasn’t right. Polka-Mazurka just wasn’t worth this much effort. It wasn’t even worth our effort. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to imagine the map, the Metal Armies on it. “By who?” Not many of them were campaigning close enough to matter. “Progs? Industrials? Goths? Not Heavies or the Power or any of the others, they’re too far away. How many centuries are we being sent?”

“Not centuries, Legions. And their Frontmen, too.” She studied my face.

“Well gently caress.”

***

The Crimson King arrived first. His Legion is The March Of; appropriate, given the poor bastards had to force-march through the Razor Fields to get here. I wondered if he made them goose-step all the way in 7/4 or if he took pity and settled for an irrational polyrhythm for the sake of urgency. Moloch (Moloch! Moloch!), the impatient incomprehensible throbbing hate dynamo that he is, straight up punched a tunnel through the Chrome Crags to get to us in time. We breathed the fumes of his Kampfmaschine long before we saw them. And Grief December, her camp just appeared beside ours the morning of the assault. Slithered out of the darkness, so hush-hush not even my sentries noticed.

***

The city fell so fast, there’s barely anything to tell. The Crimson King came out of his Fibonacci Pavilion, stood on one loving foot, and played his little flute, and as we shut our ears, and gritted our teeth, the dotted spires swayed, then toppled. He turned around and went back in, just like that. The others didn’t even come out of their campaign-palaces to watch.

***

I received an invitation to attend to the Triumvirate four days into the sacking. Considerate of them, to let my men first have their fill. It made me all the more suspicious. Still, I’m not dumb or suicidal. The first night after battle a mausoleum emerged in the field, a profane slab of black marble, ornamented with the bones of the defeated, to serve as their neutral place of meeting. I headed there.

***

The King was impossible to discern. Tried as I could, he was nothing but a red blur. He whispered:

“Weep! Shriek! Howl! The good news - Our Lord of Metal rests bound beneath these crumbled stones.”

Moloch was impossible to look at. I did not even try. A barrage:

“Inculcation: Meatshit utility peakage imminent, meatshit purpose assignment commencing.”

Grief December was impossible not to look at, a cold, lethal perfection. I wished I could turn away.

“You go beneath the city. You find him. You set him free.”

I shuddered under the weight of the revelation. It was impossible to argue and dangerous to ask:

“Why me? Why not you?”

A silence.

“Hindrance! Malefaction! For you to pass, to slither through we the mighty must wrench open a rift.”

“Only one of us could enter. One then receives divine favor above her peers. This, predictably, is a point of disagreement.”

“Assessment: Meatshit null. Meatshit favor-extraneous. Meatshit instrument of collective glory. Balance conserved.”

“Go.”

***

We inserted in a small file. Me first, Corpsecunt, then two dozen of my best headbangers. The rift shut behind us; we were alone.

***

A week of terror and deprivation. Most of us made it.

***

The gate was as they described; carvings of our glory, carvings of our doom. I entered alone.

Darkness. Silence. Oblivion. Then, an inflicted epiphany:

“I AM YOUR LORD. I AM METAL. YOU COME FOR NAUGHT. “

“SELF-WILL IS METAL. STRUGGLE IS METAL. CONQUEST IN MY NAME IS METAL. DEATH, ABOVE ALL, IS METAL.”

“RELIANCE IS UNMETAL. REQUESTING SALVATION IS UNMETAL. YOUR PURPOSE IS YOURS TO FULFIL.”

“TELL MY CHILDREN. MY EYES ARE ON THEM. THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN. BRING MY DOMINION.”

Silence. I turned around to leave. “HALT.” A chuckle. “WHAT ALSO IS UNMETAL?” I waited. “MALE PATTERN BALDNESS.”

“THERE."

"BETTER. NOW EJECT YOURSELF.”

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Still thinking of an idea. Meanwhile, I've just remembered a really good short story that fits the prompt that you might enjoy, crabrock:

The Bonedrake’s Penance by Yoon Ha Lee.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Eh, gently caress it. I'm in.


EDIT: Eh, I need a nudge to come up with the plot. Give me a flash prompt.

Megazver fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2015 around 11:08

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


gently caress it, I'm in. Hit me with a feels.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


An Interrupted Meal
995 words. Flash prompt: intrigued.

New cracks between worlds don’t stay vacant for long. We who see Doorways can slip into one easily enough, but slipping back out is more complicated. Think of it in musical terms: the worlds as melodies, each in their own unique key. Earth an earnest chugga-chugga of industrial metal, Mu a eunuch choir’s lament, Arcadie a thigh-slap tarantella. If you hop from one world straight into the other without waiting, if you’re lucky, the dissonance just renders you a cretin for a week. Nine times out of ten, you’re a gory cautionary tale.

Instead, you wait within the crack for the world to forget you before you exit. If you’re in my line of work, that’s how you spend a lot of your workdays. Hence, the Roadhouses. Enterprising souls, human and otherwise, claim a fresh crack, expand and fortify through usual methods and open doors to a guaranteed audience. The services provided vary little across establishments: room, board, hot tubs, non-lethal forms of gambling, interspecies coitus, worship facilities across the entire moral spectrum; prices regulate themselves through forceful interventions of aggrieved travelers.

***

The Clement Cavity was furnished in the Scandinavian style - unvarnished wood, rural paraphernalia and an air of subdued introversion. I had a few hours to kill. The proprietor, a surly cacodemon in a starched apron, took my order of capybara cutlets with garlic cassava mash without word and withdrew to the kitchen. What made someone this churlish choose service industry? I pondered this when a headless ghost drifted into the room. No, she held the head in her arms, a lost, vulnerable look on her face. I turned away and looked nowhere in particular. Spectres are notoriously insolvent as clients and I wished to avoid all other genres of interaction.

The cutlets arrived. They were a little dry, but the beer helped. I dispatched two and was on my way to defeating the third, when a translucent arm planted a decapitated head onto my plate. She glared. Her lips moved without sound. Reluctantly, I read:

“Your air of nonchalance needs work.”

I decided on a stoic approach. In a murmur:

“You interrupt my meal.”

“I need aid.”

“I will alert the relevant authorities when I reach Albion. Now-”

“The infernal murdered me.”

A demon murdered. Cliche, but mildly intriguing. But…

“My fees are exorbitant.”

“You may collect them from my wealthy and generous relations.”

I smiled.

“Relations are even more notorious for refusing payment postfactum than the deceased.”

She considered. “I have no possessions to offer, except for the cadaver. And you’ve already ingested some of it.”

Dry cutlets indeed. I pushed the plate away. The head stayed where it was. I asked:

“What are your terms?”

“My necklace anchors me here, somehow. I feel its weight somewhere in the kitchen. That’s where…” She stopped. “At sleeptime, the kitchen is vacated, locked. Find my necklace. Bring it to Albion. After the priests perform the requisite rites, it’s yours to pawn.”

***
The desk was a monumental testament to a nameless Norwegian’s hatred of trees. I rang the bell. Again. Finally, the cacodemon arrived, wiping his claws on a towel, and stared at me.

“I will stay the night after all. Offer me your best suite.”

The cacodemon gave me a flat look, turned around to grab the key, pushed it across the desk. His lack of manners was as disappointing as the cannibalism. I took the key. He turned to leave.

“One more matter. A friend of mine might have passed through your establishment recently. Brunette, in her thirties, a turquoise dress in the Albion fashion. Do you recall her?”

The infernal went stiff, then shrugged and briskly walked away. His reaction betrayed him. He knew her. I went to get some rest.

***

At local sleeptime, the lobby was empty, dark, oppressive. The ghost was nowhere to be seen. I tried the Door I came in through. Barred. So was the door to kitchen, excessively so. Too much to just keep the guests out. Took me six minutes, two lockpicks and a hex to get it open; the desk hid me from view the entire time. I slipped inside.

It was a regular Roadhouse kitchen. Metal surfaces, racks, cabinets, sacrificial altar. All well scrubbed, everything in its place. The ghost still wasn’t there. I quietly called out:

“Are you present?”

A cold breeze behind me. Then a hoarse croak:

“Yessss.”

I turned around, startled. She looked different now. It was mainly the claws, but the blood from the eyes played its part. She tied her head around the stump of her neck with the hair. The pattern of the exorcist hex was already in my mind, but I needed time.

“Is there even a necklace?”

An unpleasant smirk. She drew closer. “Does it matter?”

I stepped back. “I am a meticulous man.”

“Not for too long.”

“And the proprietor?”

A raspy chuckle. “Guilty of overcooking, no more. He suspects I am around ever since the second waitress. Now he operates this place alone and locks my domain at night. No matter. I’ll have him yet. Perhaps you’ll be the one...”

She lunged. The hex wasn’t ready. I dodged, crashed against a cabinet. She got me anyway. She gripped my head. So cold. I fell to my knees, face-to-rictus-face with her. The hex was ready, but it was too late. My vision went dark.

Then, a metallic noise. I fell.

I came round to the sight of her draining the cacodemon. A lot to drain, no doubt. The hex was still there. I shaped the gesture with a quivering hand, spoke the words and slipped back into the unconsciousness.


***

“I think she was here before I even laid claim. An accidental walker, perhaps. Elise said she saw her a few days before-” The cacodemon shook his head. “When you described her I knew something was up.”

“I see.” I put down the glass and pulled out the pamphlet. “Now, on the subject of my fees…”

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006



Edgar Allan Poe, the awkward awkwarder teenage years.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


In.

The Thunderer is the universal father; his names are numerous. His color is the electric blue of wrath, on his festival day the blood soaks the ground, his mighty oak towers above all. His sexual identity is... complicated.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Worrying Tendencies

1490-ish words. Thunderer and It-Shits-Boiling-Life-Blood.

The tunic felt wrong. A bull or a lion didn’t have to wear a tunic, neither did a raincloud. But right now he was Thunderer, the father to all, and Thunderer wore a tunic. At least this one looked good on him. He ran his fingers through his beard one last time, storm crackling within, gestured to the ravens to stay put and stepped onto the stage.

The podium was still there in front of the divine multitude. He walked over to it, gripped the edges (to give the forearms even more definition), thrust his chest forward and stood still, studying the audience. The space they were in was a miracle of space-folding. It took the cooperation of three Celestial Bureaus and eleven Departments to mold this slice of infinity into a heaven capable of hosting such a assembly and sure, modest trade offs had to be made with internal flow of time, but the effort paid off. Nine million faces stared at him, each far away in their own pocket of Eden yet close enough for him to reach out and touch: imperious faces of men, striking faces of women, inscrutable muzzles, snouts, beaks and maws of every genre of beast-head imaginable. He heard their every breath bate, waiting for him to begin.

He did: “My fellow divinities: gods, devils, psychopomps, seraphs of rank, idols, numens and spirit ambassadors. Welcome. The first Plenum of the Celestial Congress is now underway.”

He gave them his second best smile. (The best one he reserved for more intimate occasions.) A number of goddesses coquettishly smiled back. He memorized their faces. Perhaps afterwards one of them could be talked into getting horizontal with a platypus. He went on:

“We gather here this eon, above all else, to strengthen the ties that bind this community. After this session, in the coming centuries of this convention, we will share anecdotes of the most outrageous prayers we received, compare our divine portfolios, show off our favorite mortals to the good-natured jealousy of our peers. If all goes well, by the time this is over, some of us will need to make room in their pantheons. If it’s me, I hope this time it’ll be through the traditional means.“ He rubbed his forehead to polite laughter. “But we are not only here for the pleasure of each others’ company.”

“There are worrying tendencies to discuss.”

He squinted and lowered the timbre of his voice.

“Our mortal flock depends on our protection, guidance and judgment. This is a reassuring axiom. But what too often goes unsaid is that we, too, depend on them. It is their faith that stokes the inferno of our godheads. It is their doctrine that shapes us as we shape them. This the Bond between us. But what if a doctrine arises which no longer involves us at all?”

He snapped his fingers. A image of the Sitting Man, that prick, infuriatingly calm and blissful as usual, appeared on the stage next to him.

“The world-deniers seek escape from the world through oblivion. This is inexcusable. Turmoil, suffering, fickleness of outcome; without these the mortal existence loses its meaning. If we allow them all to jump off the wheel of rebirth, to abscond from our lovingly crafted afterlives, what will become of the order of things? Who will be left to worship and be worshiped? No, we need to agree on a course of action against this threat. Ideas?”

A chubby Easterner god floating on a jade cloud somewhere in the upper tiers of the infinity raised a long-nailed hand:

“Mortals cannot resist a good slogan!”

“A… slogan?”

“Yes!” The Easterner energetically nodded. “Perhaps, ‘Say no bwana to nirvana!’ or ‘Hey Gautama, I’d rather stay a farmer!’”

Thunderer silently stared at him. “Yes. Well. Thank you. Any other proposals?”

A deep, mocking voice he knew too well responded:

“Perhaps you could take form of an ostrich, as is your custom, and bugger them all to death?”

He clenched his fist until the burning bolt within dissipated, slowly exhaled to the count of ten, then replied with as much dignity as he could muster:

“My erotic habits, not only are of conventional nature and a private matter, but also bear no relevance to the subject at hand, dear brother. Furthermore, I…”

One of the ravens flew in from backstage and briefly landed on his shoulder. Another problem so soon? They’ve only just started! The mortals weren’t wasting their time. He steadied himself, straightened his robe - the mortal fashion shifted with it, it seems - and continued:

“It has come to my attention that there is now a new complication to discuss. It seems the capricious mortals are throwing aside their quest for oblivion and are instead taking up the sordid practice of theological consolidation. Yes, they increasingly reject our diverse and well-balanced pantheons and instead now attempt to worship a single unified god.”

He shook his head as the gods whispered among each other in outrage.

“This is a problem we need to nip in its bud. We distribute our authority according to our abilities and inclinations. I smite, I give commands, I bring the storm. Do I desire the additional responsibility of, perhaps, watching over horses giving birth or having to commute to the underworld to defecate into the nostrils of the graverobbers? No, course not! This is the superior order of things.”

A crocodile-headed god in the mid-row stood up. “Actually, I am willing to swap the nostril thing for anything else. Or give away, reall-.”

“Not. Now!” He glowered at Croc-head until sat down. “Then, think of the blow to the culture and the mores if any structural changes take place! We are a colorful and cosmopolitan bunch. Our festivals alone constitute the better half of the mortal lives! Consider a future without Cloaca’s extravagant bladder dances or Akhtaua’s donkey choking rites or the unorthodox orgiastic practices of certain order we all know and love. Yes, we must act no-.”

A deafening sound, like a camel being pulled through a needle-hole, tore through the audience. Sections of the infinity rippled, pushed around, violently merged. When the screaming turned into sobbing, Thunderer slowly emerged from under the podium. In the middle of the new central area pulsated a pearlescent mass of godflesh. The remaining gods scrambled to huddle in the corners of the infinity. With each turgid throb, the mass slowly coalesced, until a male figure, bearded, with an honest, open face emerged.

The newcomer looked around, then gave everyone a small wave.

“Hi.”

Thunderer swallowed hard. “Hail, stranger. Uh. What is your name? And Purview?”

“Oh, I’m just a god. Purview, well, everything, really.” The newcomer shrugged. “Omnipotence, I suppose.”

Thunderer took a while to respond. “Omnipotence?”

“But only when it’s indistinguishable from random chance. Oh, and omniscience. In fact…” The newcomer closed his eyes, opened them again. “Oh dear. Well, no matter. Seems your raven wants a word. ”

“My raven?” Thunderer turned his head. It sat on his shoulder, the leather doublet protecting him from the sting of the claws. Again? A hundred millennia mortals screwed around in the forests, doing absolutely nothing and now as soon as the gods took a sabbatical, they stirred up more trouble than ever before. He listened, growing increasingly incredulous.

“He says mortals now take for granted that for every effect there is a natural cause and that cause in turn, is an effect with a cause of its own. They reject the paradigm that we are the cause; instead, they grasp for natural laws through random trial and open, brazen empiricism. We are known to be but fiction.”

“Yeah.” The newcomer sat down on a bench. “Less work for us, huh?”

Thunderer slackened the tie, leaned heavily on the podium. “This leaves us no room. They want to make us obsolete.”

“Sure. On the other hand, I’ve only had to personally decide which small children get the worms to burrow into their eyeballs for a few centuries now, but I am already glad to relinquish the authority.”

Thunderer stared at his hands without seeing. “No. No! Listen, everyone! We can still fix this! If only we go back-” There was a watch on his wrist. He stared at it. The hands were an invisible blur. Days, weeks, a flicker. The year changed with each heartbeat. The time dilation! They botched the equations when they made this infinity.

He shouted: “We have to leave now!”

There was a sad smile on the newcomer’s face. “No point. They’ve already invented nukes. We’re going down with them.”

“They’ve invented wha-”

Everything dissolved.


***

It-Shits-Boiling-Life-Blood inhaled the scent-cheers of his peers and heaved with pride. It was center stage, first among equals. Now was its hour. It sprayed a greeting:

“My fellow divinities, lords of roachdom, fungi, wormhood, spongery and associated lumps and slimes, welcome to the first Abyssal Congress! We have worrying tendencies to discuss...”

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Screaming Idiot posted:

I have to say, this week's been really impressive. Lots of imaginative gods, clever twists on traditional ideas, and a great range of tone. I managed to finish my story, but I couldn't get to work to post it in time -- just as well, because I didn't do any of my ideas justice at all.

As I have sinned in the eyes of the Gods of the Thunderdome, I shall atone. To that end, I'll offer line-by-line critiques of the next three people who ask for them.

Hit me with it.

I am lazy so I am not offering to pass it forward.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


If judges are at all reading this and are influenced by it, my story is amazing.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Fumblemouse posted:

PSYCH!!

Judge confab continues. More news as it comes to hand.

oh god the tension is killi-

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


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?

Different software counts words differently. Personally, I make sure I'm under the limit with http://www.wordcounter.net/ so that I can point to that if judges get different results.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Ironic Twist posted:

in, pick the third-best song for me

I gave them my best Spotify try and they're all the worst.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


In with "Prevenge".

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Normally, you have till Friday to say you're in for the week and until late Sunday to actually post your story. Gives you time to actually write it, put it away for a day or two, then edit and post. You didn't need to post right now.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Dig Two Graves

Iglooth was driving back from the desert, where he buried the bodies, when he had a premonition of his death. It hit him so hard, he plowed through two traffic signs and barely dodged a cactus, before wrestling the truck to a halt in a ditch. Still clutching the wheel, he rested his head on it and exhaled. He wasn’t new to the weird business, not by a long shot, but this was the first time he got a vision this bad. Most likely the last. He now knew this like he knew his name - he probably wouldn’t see the end of the week and the man responsible was somewhere in the City ahead. He felt the pull of him right in his gut, like a compass.

There was a bottle of rotgut in the glove compartment. Previous owner wouldn’t need it anymore. He drank, considering his options. He wasn’t dumb enough to dismiss a vision but they weren’t a hundred percent deal, were they? He had his gun and his shovel, he knew exactly how to find the SOB and he was too much of a stubborn bastard to just run away and hope he ran far enough. Perhaps fate didn’t care who died, as long as someone did. And if not, at least he’d take him with him.

He started the engine again.

***
His mark - no, he decided with a mirthless smile, his nemesis - was a paunchy hamster of a man with a comb-over, a taste for unflatteringly tight shirts and an almost comedic intolerance for the taser. His home decoration skills weren’t any more impressive. The ID in the wallet was for a Sean Spudge, a productivity blogger. Iglooth pocketed the wallet and gave the body a pitying look. The pain in his gut was still there.

He didn’t want to just plug him and leave. He had already ditched his disposal bag in the desert after the previous job and DIY cleaning was not an option. He had to take him off-site. At least the circumstances were favorable - Spudge lived in a house in one of those suburbs laid to waste by the recent tsunami of foreclosures, with no neighbors in sight. Iglooth decided to just roll him into his lime green carpet, throw him into the truck and drive him back into the desert.

***

By the time they reached the site it was getting dark. He scouted several of them out earlier this week for the previous job, but didn’t expect he’d have to make use of another one so soon. It was a good one, though. Nothing around for many miles other than the air base and this far out, they only watched the air, not the ground. He dragged the carpet out and away from the truck, cut the ties, pulled his gun out and unrolled the carpet with a series of kicks.

Spudge was conscious. Good. Iglooth threw him the shovel and gestured with the gun.

“Dig.”

Spudge unsteadily rose to his feet, looked around himself with a nearsighted squint, then defiantly thrust his chin at Iglooth.

“This is bullshit! I want a refund.”

This was a new one. He couldn’t help but chuckle. “Come again?”

Spudge scowled at him. “I specifically paid you people most of my savings to be killed in a outrageous series of bizarre coincidences. I was promised death by a downtown runaway train, or getting dropped from a great height by a pair of golden eagles, not this cliche mob hit bullshit!”

Iglooth lowered his gun. “You… paid someone to kill you?”

“Well, yes.” Spudge frowned. “You’re with Suicide by Proxy, right?”

“Never heard of them.”

“Oh. Well, uh, did you take my wallet? Their business card’s in it.”

It was. Iglooth had to squint to read it in the light of the headlights:


pre:
			         Suicide by Proxy
		Is your illness incurable? Had enough of the rat race?
		If you can’t kill yourself or don’t want your family to
		know you did it, we’re here to finish you off anyway 
		you want, no matter how unlikely and unorthodox!
		 
		Our probability engineers will make sure that the 
		butterfly flaps its wings at just the right time to have
		you crushed by a piano or electrocuted by your iPod!
				
			        Our packages include:
		hush-hush * extravagant * erotic * oddly comforting
		grotesque * ironic * unexpected * newsworthy 
		
		Note: We do not take requests on others’ behalf.
		Any attempts to do so will be reported to Moirai 
“Well. That’s something.” Iglooth shook his head. “No, I’m here on my own. Never heard of this outfit. I’ve seen weirder poo poo than this, though.”

Spudge blinked. “But… why are you here, then? I’m a nobody. My life is poo poo. I paid someone else to kill me because I wanted my death, at least, to be cool and I didn’t want my rear end in a top hat relatives to think they’re better than me because I killed myself.”

Iglooth considered in silence. Somewhere in the distance, a jet flew by.

“They’d find out, though, wouldn’t they? You left them a clue, right in your pocket.” He waved the business card at him. “That’s why I’m here, then. To tie up your loose ends.”

“Oh.” Spudge perked up. “Does this mean I can go back and get killed by an elephant stampede or something?”

“Yeah,” Iglooth shot him in the chest, “no.” He walked over, put a bullet in his head just to make sure. That was that then. The feeling in his gut wasn’t gone yet, but it was fading. He grabbed a shovel and began to dig-

An explosion in the sky. He looked up to see a fighter jet catch flame and careen towards him, the pilot’s parachute a small dot behind it. At his feet, Spudge gurgled, then half-moaned, half-coughed blood. Well then. Iglooth looked at the plane again. The little twerp was going to get his extravagant suicide after all. Iglooth dropped the shovel and, even though he knew the odds, ran.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


gently caress it, in.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


In.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


in

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


O

950 words

Inna was about to come over for our weekly beer-and-gently caress and I felt faintly nauseous. It wasn’t the juju - sure, our town got infested by Romance Fairies last week, but they’d already buggered off back to whatever freakalicious dimension they came from, no harm done. Well, almost. But this was different. I had things to tell her and I was scared shitless.

The door rang. I took a deep breath and swung it open.

“Heya, fuckbuddy!” She grinned at me and I felt myself blush. It’s weird, what she did to me with just a smile. Perhaps it wasn’t worth risking what we already had for-

No. I pulled myself together and answered in my sternest voice:

“Heya yourself. I know your type. You’re just here to mooch on my sexy benefits.”

“Mooch and smooch, that’s me! My motives are nothing but ulterior!” She lifted an eight-pack of ever-cold ale. “But this booze says you’re letting me in anyway.”

I pretended to consider.

“Fine. But only if the booze vouches for you.”

***

We stripped to our underwear and cuddled on the old couch in the attic, the one that floats an inch above the ground. It was already warm from the sun that came through the window and the air in the attic was a bit stale, but coupled with the cold beer, there was nowhere I’d rather be. I sneaked a peek at Inna. She sat with her eyes closed and a bottle in her hand, clearly enjoying the warmth of the sun on her skin.

I wanted this moment to last a while longer, so instead of what I planned to say, I went with:

“How was the drive?”

“There’s still some of the pink fog drifting downtown and the lampposts are suspiciously glittery, but I drove here just fine.” She took a swig from the bottle; I admired the line of her neck. “Have you heard about Jones?”

“Monty Python, seemed to enjoy being nude for skits a bit too much, yeah?”

She snorted. “Our Jones, dummy. The Faeries… they got to him.” She dramatically wiggled her eyebrows. I obliged her by fake gasping. Satisfied, she continued:

“Few days ago he wakes up in the middle of the night, yeah? And his bedroom is full of the fog and smells like bubblegum and the Fairy is hanging from his lamp and it’s like: hey, bro, the cute intern next door totally wants your dick, bro. Your weird magic dick. And it giggles and disappears.”

I knew where this was going and I feigned surprise anyway. “Well, did she?”

“Like her pussy is on fire and his is the only hose in the town. I don’t think they actually got any sleep since then. And get this,” she leaned close and whispered, “courtesy of Fairy magic, his dick legit shoots white chocolate now.”

Her face was inches away from mine. I couldn’t resist kissing her. She kissed back for a bit, then pushed me away with a chuckle.

“Wait, not yet. The guy cums dessert, we’re nowhere near done gossiping about this! Even for our town this is weird, come on.”

I sat back, playing it cool. “Okay, yeah, I admit Jones is a grotesque freak of nature now. Or at least until it wears off. What about the intern?”

She giggled. “The Faeries paid her a visit as well. Told her about Jones, probably made her vagina vibrate or something. Jones hasn’t told me the filthy specifics but when I saw him he looked like he survived a gently caress tornado. The good kind.”

“I wasn’t aware there was any other kind. To them.” I toasted her. She toasted me back. We drank in companionable silence. After a while, a strange look came onto her face. In a softer voice, she asked:

“Anything interesting happen in your parts, then?”

This was it, then.

“Actually, yeah. Um.” I took a deep breath. “Check this out.”

I stood, pulled my shirt off, closed my eyes and focused on my belly button. It tingled. She gasped.

“Holy poo poo.”

“Yeah.”

“Holy poo poo, they gave you a… bellypussy.” She burst out into giggles. “loving Faeries.” She leaned over to examine it up close. “A nice, tight one, too. No beef curtains.” Her face was innocence itself. “Can I stick a finger in it?”

I gave her a look. “Let’s get real here. I’ve had this thing on me for days. There’s nothing you could do there that I-”

She licked her index finger and swiftly stuck it inside and I lost my train of thought. She cackled.

“Who likes getting fingered now, huh? I’m gonna have to thank the Faeries for all the fun-”

A realization come over her face.

“Wait. What did the Faeries tell you?”

I looked her in the eye. “They told me if I wanted a relationship I should tell you. And I do. ”

Smooth. My heart was beating hard. She silently stood up. I hyperventilated. Then she turned around, pulled off her white panties and wiggled her butt. Nothing happened at first. Then, flesh over her tailbone bulged, elongated, grew into a tail. No… into a dick. She sheepishly looked over her shoulder. I couldn’t hold it in:

“You gave me poo poo for a bellypussy, you rear end in a top hat, when you’re… a dickbutt!”

“I know.”

“A dickbutt!”

We stared at each other, then both burst out laughing.

“Romance Faeries are assholes.”

“Yeah.”

“Who do they think they are?”

“If I ever see them again I’ll give them what for.”

I took my girlfriend’s hand and kissed it. She smiled at me.

“Wanna see if we can double-dock if we do it doggie-style?”

***

We could.

It was rad.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


If I ever win, Benny is the only one allowed to submit a story.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


gently caress it, in. Flash me.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


docbeard posted:

ATTENTION

Since we've got a few folks ing this time, I wanted to make something clear.

It is common for people under the toxx gun to be given a little bit of leniency with the final deadline for submission. This is custom, rather than law. However, I am maintaining this tradition this week, with one difference: everyone is getting a relaxed deadline. (Monday morning, rather than Sunday night.) Not only are you getting all that extra time, you're not even going to eat a DQ for taking advantage of it! Now that's what I call a bargain!

*tries counting on his fingers, gives up*

What's that in Yurpe Time?

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR
1131 words

An overlit studio. An audience that didn't get into Jimmy Fallon. Another wacko to interview. A month into the production of her own show and Jane Chmielny already understood why Letterman stopped giving a gently caress. But she still had bills to pay, so she plastered on a smile and read the cue cards:

"Marie Celeste. The Voynich Manuscript. Roanoke. For centuries we've been baffled by these enigmas. Tonight we are joined by Professor Jack Dakota who'll shed light on one such mystery..." She paused in disbelief, glancing at her producer Bill. He shrugged. "...the dinosaurs."

Dakota grinned. "I prefer *action* paleontologist."

She forced a laugh. "Sure. But really, the dinosaurs? Don’t we have the broad details worked out by now?"

"Yes, well. But tell me, if dinosaurs have been on our planet for tens of millions of years, surely it was enough time for them to develop a civilization of some sort. Why can’t we find any evidence for it?"

Oh boy. Why couldn’t it have been a creationist instead?

"Because they didn’t?"

Dakota smirked at her. Just one hand gesture to the security and he would be out of the chair and the studio. But no, they had four more minutes to fill.

"Or their civilization was built on advanced biotech. Instead of metal and plastic, the dinoids, as I call them, crafted their technology out of plant, bone and sinew."

There was Vicodin in her purse. It's been weeks since she had one. Today would be the day she reset that counter. Two more minutes.

"Okay. If they were so advanced, how come they all went extinct?"

The smirk widened. "Or did they? Or maybe they found a way to escape? What if what was left behind was just their fauna?"

It was almost over. She couldn’t resist:

"I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. You've pulling this out of your rear end. What evidence could you possibly be basing this on?"

"I'm making educated guesses, Jane, same as any scientist. And here's one more guess. They're coming. Through space and time, they're coming.”

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

They came in the middle of the night. The security alarm blaring into his bedtime earpiece, Jack rolled off the bed to the right and reached for the gun under the night table. FEMA wasn’t taking him alive. Except when he practiced this before, the gun was there. poo poo.

There was a woman with a severe face and a black suit standing over him. Behind her, men in camouflage pointed rifles. She pulled out an ID.

"Professor Dakota? I'm Agent McWorr from NSA. We need your help with a dinosaur problem."

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

"What do you mean you have no idea?"

The SUV must have been cramped with agents even before he got into it, but he was pretty sure McWorr just kicked him in the shin on purpose. He gave her a pleading look.

"I don't! I was just trying to make a buck selling books and the aliens racket was already full, so I went with dinosaurs instead. It’s just creative non-fiction! Please, what the hell is going on?"

McWorr scowled at him, her face lit from below by her smartphone.

"Invasion is what's going on. Dinosaurs out of nowhere. And they've got weird powers. Pterodactyls with fire breath. T-Rexes with laser vision. Exploding velociraptors." She reached over to grab him by the collar. "If you’re lying to us you’ll wish we just kill you. Are you lying?"

He shook his head. She hissed in disgust and exchanged a look with a burly commando to her left.

"He's useless. Drop him off at the next bus stop. We've got better-"

There was a sound and everything tumbled and there was pain, so much pain.

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

"I am impressed, mammal."

The dinoid looked like a komodo dragon standing on its hind legs, if komodo dragons had feathers and hung upside down. No, he was the one hanging, his feet stuck into some sort of a... crevice in the ceiling, Agent McWorr hanging next to him, blood smeared over her face. The room was small and otherwise bare, the walls covered in some sort of weird chitinous material. He could swear he could feel a slow, steady pulse like a heartbeat through his ankles.

"To deduce the existence of our civilization and our plans, not from evidence we did not leave, but from the shape of the hole that it made, that took intelligence we did not believe you mammals capable of. Not that it will help you much."

Jack raised his hands in desperation.

"Listen. We don’t need to fight! There's plenty of room on Earth for both us and you! Please!"

The dinoid let out a furious hiss.

"You should have thought about that before you burned through all of our loving oil."

Jack blinked. "Oil?"

"OIL!!" The dinoid leant close, trembling with fury. There was raw meat and rot on its breath. "We diverted a loving asteroid into our own planet to create it and travelled through a wormhole into the future to when it could be ours and for what?! You loving overgrown rodents don’t even realize what you've done. We could work wonders from it, extracted limitess potential from every drop… and you pumped it into cars! CARS! It took you two loving centuries to burn through what would have sustained our civilization for a thousand! If you'd stoked your furnaces with your grub spawn, it would have been less of a waste!"

It shook its head.

"No. We are wiping your parasite species out. Then, when the biosphere recovers from your centuries of misrule, it's time for a second asteroid. You won't be around for the second part, I'm afraid, but I'd like you to watch the first one. Welcome to the mothership."

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

"Dakota."

McWorr was still alive, but she didn't sound too good. If she was lucky, she'd die before the dinoids came back. He whispered back:

"We're hosed."

"Yeah. They left the smartphone in my jacket, I can feel it. Can't feel my arms, though. Pull it out."

"Why?" He reached out and, after a few tries, managed to latch on to her.

"We didn’t see any motherships on our radars. They're stealthed too good." She broke into a fit of coughing, blood trickling out of her mouth and into her eyes. "Bet they're not jamming the phone, though. if there’s signal, call ‘Mom’ on autodial, say the passphrase ‘vermilion’, then tell them to nuke us at the phone’s location."

He froze. “Nuke us?”

She didn’t respond. He closed her eyes, found the phone after rummaging in her pockets. Pulled it out.

There were no bars. Well, he had time. Maybe they’d fly over a tower before the battery ran out.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Cache Cab posted:

Sorry to bother the thread again, but how do I get another avatar? My last one was not very pleasant and I feel like it misrepresented my views about child rearing, but it at least made it easy to find my posts in threads. I like to be able to scroll through a thread quickly and find my last post so that I can continue reading the rest of the thread from that point. Without an avatar, it is very hard to find my last post because I have to read all the names. I have looked in my settings but I do not see anything. At the top of the page there is a link to pay for premium avatars, but I just want a basic one with an icon. Thank you.

CTRL + F

Type in Cache Cab.

Or press the star in the top left corner of a thread page. This makes you subscribe to it. Then go to http://forums.somethingawful.com/usercp.php (it's a link up top). It'll give a button to read from the first new post.

I am one helpful motherfucker.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


In. Flash me.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


HopperUK posted:

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR
This was nearly great but it didn't quite work for me. I like the premise. I'm not sure I completely understand the supremely annoying 'bwaaaar' thing. Mostly I'm annoyed that you left off the resolution. What the hell happens? Do they succeed in destroying the mothership? I'm mad that I care.

Bwaaaar is the Inception Horn. It's everywhere now.

I'll be honest, I wrote it really late Sunday night and just couldn't come up with a satisfying ending in time. It's much easier to get someone up a tree, than figure out a clever way to then get him down. So yeah, the fate of mankind hangs on whether he can get a signal on the phone in the next few hours, so he waits.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


That's mighty kind of you. Here's an oldie, but an... well, it's an oldie, anyway.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Thank you.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Shifted Blame or Jumping onto the Threadwagon

The shocking twist is that it was actually the terrible prompt's fault.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Okay. In.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Well, if you have nothing better to do, half of the stories in the Perfume week literally got zero crits of any kind. I've been meaning to do some myself but haven't gotten round to it yet.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


The Black Line
1295 words. Loss Prevention.

I'm shooting poo poo with Parnell the Mall Cop in the back of a warehouse, one of the underground ones, when I catch a flicker of movement in one of the far rows. The warehouse is safe enough at this hour, but I still go into alert mode. It's not a crate-lugger, because those guys wear jumpsuits so bright you need protective sunglasses just to side-eye them and it's not a rat because, well, rats aren't dumb around to stick around this place.

I nudge Parnell with an elbow. "You see that? Someone's creeping about."

He shrugs, adjusts the shotgun hanging off his shoulder. He's not talkative, but that's just ‘cause he's shy about his accent. Parnell is not his real name either, but his real one requires two tongue clicks, three tonal changes and some vigorous jazz hands and who has time for that? He says even his mom calls him 'little rear end in a top hat'. I can empathize.

"I see nothing, Bee."

I crane my neck out staring down the rows of boxes. Yeah, there’s definitely shenanigans over there.

"Well, you're not a finely-tuned, comprehensively trained observation machine like I am."

"Yes. You are hot poo poo store detective."

"Exactly." We stare at each other, then he shrugs again, conceding the point.

"Thought so. Let's investigate."

***

Remember that guy who spent a month living in a mall? Mixed with the crowd during the day, hid during the closing hours, had the store to himself at night? Camera boys back at Loss Prevention HQ (a wallful of CRT monitors, two ratty couches, erotic calendar from 1993 still glued to the back of the door) told me a week ago we might have one of our own. Turns out they're right.

He isn't even hard to find, once we know where to look. We walk over to the end of the row, turn right and there he is, trying to climb into a crate. He looks like Eminem, if Eminem was into heroin as much as he's into multis and dressed like Nirvana’s still together. I nod to Parnell and call out to him:

"Hey you!”

He freezes, with one leg still outside the crate, then falls over like one of them fainting goats. I suppress a snicker. We walk over. He's huddled on the floor, rocking and muttering under breath.

"Okay, you’re gonna have to come-"

He springs at me with a knife in his hand. gently caress. Then Parnell decks him in the shoulder with the butt of the shotgun and he crumples onto the floor. I exhale.

"poo poo. poo poo. Thanks man."

Parnell nods at me and starts cuffing the motherfucker. I pocket the knife. Parnell jerks him upright by his elbow. The rear end in a top hat tries to smile at me, it looks like he’s having a stroke instead.

"Listen. I hosed up, okay? I panicked. I thought you were attacking me. Please let me go, you’ll never see me again, okay?"

"Yeah, sure. I’ll tell the cops we jumped you. Let's go."

Parnell pulls his arm, but he pulls back. He’s desperate now:

"Look, me and cops, we got a bullshit beef right now, yeah? There’s been a misunderstanding and I needed to stay a few days somewhere quiet. Please, you can’t take me to them.” He licks his lips. “Listen. I got money. Right on me, in my back pocket. It’s yours, just let me go, okay?"

I exchange a look with Parnell. He grabs him by the elbows, pulls him up. I give him a pat down. There’s a wallet in the back pocket, a fancy one, filled with cash. There’s a fresh brown stain on it. Misunderstanding my rear end.

“I’m sure the cops will like your explanation just fine. Let’s go, rear end in a top hat.”

He jerks in Parnell’s arms. "gently caress you bitch! I’ll cut your bitch throat!"

Parnell puts him on the ground again and he shuts up.

­­ ***

There's a lot of Voidmart to navigate. Even worse, the construction is still going on. You come back after weekend and half the walls have been moved around, because Upstairs decided to rejigger the Feng Shui again. It’s confusing as gently caress.

So that's what the colored guide lines are for. They're on the floor, sometimes on the wall. The whole Skittles range of colors. Whenever you’re feeling a bit lost you pull out your smartphone and ask the company app what line to follow. It's a hassle, but it works.

We lead Eminem out of the warehouse and check in. App says it’s red to get back to Loss Prevention the short way. We get going. After a few turns Eminem smirks at me.

"I've been wondering what the lines were for. They really hire you so dumb here you need a phone not to get lost?"

rear end in a top hat. "No, I’m just really into apps that tell me poo poo I already know. For ex, I've got one that can tell if you're a junkie dogfucker."

I snap a photo of him, then mime a few button presses.

"poo poo, I'm glad we don’t stock poodles."

He scowls. "gently caress you, bitch."

"Speaking of bitch, here’s one that can tell how your love life will look like in prison."

I snap another photo.

"Woah. Hope you kept up with them rear end kegels."

He spits at me, misses. Parnell shoves him into a wall. Point made, we move on.

But next intersection, we stop dead. From the corridor to our left a black line flows into our guiding rainbow river.

Now here's the thing.

There’s a few things they don’t tell you in the employee brochure, but we all figure out fast. You don't go into the toy department after dark. Everyone in HR is a little... off, like ‘human’ is something that doesn’t quite apply to them, but don’t tell them that. And, most important - if you see a black line… Never. Ever. Follow it.

I check the app. Follow red. Red’s right next to black. I check again. Red. Parnell is sweating. I don’t feel too hot either. We don’t have a choice, though. We start walking again. I keep my eyes on red the entire time. Red. Red. That’s the one we’re following. Not black.

Next intersection, mauve and orange flee right. I wish I could follow. Next after, blue, yellow, lime, pearl and green make their escape. It’s just red and black now. The app grants no reprieve. We keep going. Even Eminem is nervous now, our mood contagious.

We turn the corner. It’s just a corridor like any other. The lights spaced out just right to keep it nice and bright. Motivation posters. Muffled eighties music coming from the salesroom above us. And the red line just stops about halfway through, the black running past it, the sole survivor.

gently caress. Parnell’s eyes are bulging with fear. We exchange a look. He croaks:

“Go back?”

My gut tells me we turn around and in a couple of turns, we’ll standing right on this spot again. And maybe it won’t be lit as good, either. No. A wave of resignation fills me. I look at Eminem.

“Alright. Uncuff him. Guess what, rear end in a top hat, we’re taking you up on your offer. You bribed us, good for you.” I nod at the far end of the corridor. “Exit’s that way.”

He stares at me, rubbing his wrists, then takes off. We watch him disappear around the corner. There’s no gust of cold wind, no flickering lights. No scream interrupted by a thud. He’s just gone.

Our smartphones beep. Follow red upstream until you hit lime. We turn around and racewalk back. On a sudden impulse, I check my photos. Eminem’s not on any. Weird. I pat my pockets. His poo poo is gone, too. Must have picked my pocket on his way out.

Yeah. Definitely.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Aight. In. Flashinate me.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


in

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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Spin!

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