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Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In.

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Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Removed for publication reasons

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2015 around 02:35

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Mercedes posted:

Who are my killers?


I will be your killer

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Mercedes Monkeybrawl

Exit lion, enter dragon 1455 words

When I was a kid back in London, Dad would read me the Jungle Book before bed. Kipling, he’d say, was not a socialist shill like other writers. Kipling was somebody who knew the responsibility that comes with power (father, a colonialist to the core), and he taught us how to wield it in an unforgiving world. The third tale - Mowlgi’s abduction by the monkeys - I hated most of all. Dad would finish reading, give me a whiskey-breath hug and stumble off to keep drinking, and I would lie sweating and awake - thinking of the gibbering Bandar-Log, too afraid to sleep and face them in nightmare. He named me Rudyard. Mum died in childbirth so she couldn’t stop him.

Years pass. Now: Hong Kong, docks. Exterior. Night. The Beretta is heavy in my hand, and there is only one monkey but he’s out here, in the darkness, and he's real. I’m thinking of Fox and Mouse and the extraction team, who didn’t make it. I’m thinking of Mei-Wu, who has died twice, now. I’m not going to make it through the night.

It all started a week before the Handover.

#

My ex-girlfriend's ghost had a royal flush. “Bahng seui”, she said, “motherfucker”, and took the rest of my chips.

The Pale Parlour was a blanket of smoke and the smell of something sickly-sweet. Bad techno pounded from a crackling speaker. The clientele were constantly smoking, lighting one cigarette from the dying embers of another. Ghosts, clad in silks, sat with them playing cards. Above us all, perched on a swing on the ceiling, a filthy monkey watched the proceedings with hungry eyes. Made my skin crawl.

A night's worth of whiskey made my head heavy. Fox had forbidden me to drink on the job, but Fox was dead now. Mouse and I found him outside our safehouse that morning, a red cord around his throat, half-full cup of coffee in his hand.

“You’re not here to play cards with ghosts, Rudy.” Mei-Wu said. We dated briefly in the eighties when she was still alive. Didn’t know what she’d done after to deserve after-life work here. Didn’t dare ask. “And you’re not here for old time’s sake.”

The Handover was days away and the town was a boil ready to burst. Exit lion, enter dragon. The former wasn’t leaving empty-handed if I could help it.

“Fox.” I said. “Who killed him?”

“You should not have come here” Mei-Wu said, and the eyes under those long lashes were so sad.

A gong struck. I checked my watch - midnight. When I looked up, the ghosts were gone. Closing time.

A scrape of chairs as the crowd rose to leave. An orderly - obese, foul-smelling, a concrete slab of a man - came escort me out the door. I dry-heaved in an alley, but nothing came up. When I slept, I dreamt of the monkey.

#

The Pale Parlour, where ghosts play cards and and stare, sadly, at the living. You came there for two things: to hire the best contract killer in town, who was rumoured to run the place, or to play cards with the ghosts. They weren't sentient being, exactly, more like recordings - the memory of a life scratched on vinyl, needle hiss smothering the beat. Hong Kong is pregnant with secrets, and these ghosts know too many.

Mission's straightforward. Somewhere inside were the ghost-stones, cradling the memory of each spirit, like computer diskettes. Turn a stone on, get a ghost for an hour or so. Wait a while, a day, maybe, and you can turn it on again and Casper's back with no memory of the night before. Great way to get some free workers who won't unionise. We were to get those stones out, and the boys in London get a bag full of Hong Kong's undead memories to chat with.

We broke into the Parlour the next morning. I was hungover, and Mouse was still upset about Fox - but she was young still, urchin turned thief turned agent, not enough kills under the belt. The place was disgusting in daylight, a bad sketch of a crack den, an old whore without make-up. Light reluctantly soaked through dirty windows. The noise of the city rose up - Hong Kong was anxious, a soundtrack of car horns and angry Cantonese. My head throbbed, and I needed a drink.

It went smooth at first. Mouse took out the guards with three well-placed shorts from her dartgun, and I disabled the security with the codes from Intelligence. We crept through, across, and downstairs, to the ghost-stones.

The basement was moisture and dust, no lights. Our torch beams danced through viscous darkness. That’s when I saw it: a cage, massive, and the obese orderly inside it. The monkey perched on top. Both were asleep, the fat man snoring loudly.

I turned to Mouse, nodded. We cut our torches and waited for our eyes to adjust in the dark, my heart playing jackhammer.

Mouse could see in the dark just fine. She crept past the cage, felt around the walls for what felt like eternity. Finally, I heard the click-clack of a safe tumbler. A minute passed, and she was next to me, duffel bag stuffed with the stones.

We crept to the exit, and it struck.

Mouse screamed, changed to a gurgle, went silent. I swore, flicked on my torchlight, went for my gun. The orderly was awake, screaming in Cantonese, banging on the bars.

The monkey? I backed up, back to the wall. I counted to three, flicked the light off, dove for the bag by Mouse's still form.

I felt claws rake my face, lashed out with the butt of my pistol, connected, and it was off me. The Parlour’s famous contract killer - a primate?

I grabbed the bag and the monkey struck again, biting my gun hand. I dropped the pistol, stumbled back. The ghost-stones tumbled out of the bag - heavy gems, the size of a cow's heart. I grabbed one, saw a shape speeding towards me, threw it.

It struck the monkey and shattered. It was Mei-Wu's.

A burst of green light. Flashes, fireworks. Mei-Wu's body, transclucent, hung in the air in front of me. Inside the cage, the orderly started bawling.

The monkey hissed. Mei-Wu's ghost turned into a hurricane of blue smoke, flew towards the monkey, sending it flying against the wall. Ghost-stone broken, Mei-Wu vanishing, forever, but not without a final storm.

I ran.

#

I contacted the extraction team, grabbed Fox's old gun from the safehouse, hot-wired a car and sped to the docks on outskirts of town. There was to be a boat waiting for me.

Docklands, night, blood smeared on the concrete dock, burgundy slick under a dim streetlight. Bullet holes in the jetty. Empty speedboat drifting in the distance, smoke coming from the engine, real slow. Not a soul in sight. I stopped to smoke a cigarette, watch darkness swallow the boat.

Went back to the car. Tyres were slashed. A polite cough came from behind. The obese servant from the parlour stood upright under the piss-yellow street lamp. The monkey wasn't there, but I could feel him was watching.

"It's over, Rudy" he said, voice hoarse and high-pitched. "Give me the stones."

I drew my pistol. He didn't flinch - probably figured he had me cornered - so I shot him through the neck and he dropped with a high-pitched wheeze.

I lit another cigarette, thought of The Jungle Book, and waited for the monkey.

#

He's out there. I can hear him chattering, hear his claws rake against corrugated iron. I stand with by back to the water, scan the docks with my pistol, knowing I don't have any hope. I've thrown the ghost-stones in the water - gently caress 'em. I'm dying for a whiskey.

Movement to my left, and something is racing towards me. I get one shot off, but it’s wide. The Beretta flies out of my hand, and there's a flash of red silk and he's on my shoulder, claws drawing blood.

I cover my throat with my hands just in time - a red cord appears around them, digs in hard enough to draw blood from my wrists. I roll forward to shake it off but my foot slips on something, blood probably, and I tumble into the water.

Freezing, cold. Splash. Panic. I gasp for air, but he's on my head, I can smell the wet fur, and he's pushing my face down, somehow, how could he? - and I try to breathe but I drink instead, and it's all salt.

I think of Mei-Wu, and then all strength leaves me - am I floating? - and I suspect my visage will be dealing cards at the Parlour tomorrow. Everything goes dark.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In with:

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Gorelord In Love 1173 words


Alexander Gorelord raised a mailed fist into the air and let loose a guttural roar. Around him: chaos, noise, the flailing of bodies, long hair swinging windmills. The band kicked into the final section of Bloodmuscle Atrophy and the audience surged forward, a sea of sweaty bodies pulsating as one. A cluster of outstretched hands grew out of the biomass, shot out towards Gorelord, reaching up as if he was their saviour. He knelt down, microphone in hand, roared again. The hands ran themselves over his body, touching him, and their owners - a throng of goth girls, no older than twenty by the looks of it - shrieked in delight.

“I hope Janet isn’t watching,” Alexander thought, “or I’m going to cop it.”

He shot a look to the side of the stage, where his girlfriend would be standing, but Mister Misery was wailing on his guitar and blocking the view with flailing dark robes and spinning hair.

“I love you!”, one of the goths screamed.

“I really hope Janet didn’t hear that,” he thought, imagined her face scrunched in disapproval like a loofah, screamed: “Bloodmuscle Atrophy Me!”

#

Alexander could see Mister Misery chatting with their bass player, Impalus, at the end of the bar. They both had furrowed eyebrows and a conspiratorial look, so his ears were burning. He stirred his diet coke with a pink straw and tried hard not to look at Janet.

“I just worry about you, Al” she was saying, holding one of his hand with both of hers, fingernails expertly manicured. “You’re not twenty anymore. You've gained 5 kilos on your last tour and that hacking cough still hasn’t stopped. Did you remember to wear earplugs on stage?”

“Of course,” he replied and stared at her bright red fingernails.. She sure was something, he thought. Strawberry blonde hair, a sharp intelligent face, plump red lips, right out of the cover of a magaizne. He looked down at himself: his belly was threatening to burst out of the leather vest and flop on the table like haggis for a feast.

“I’m going to be serious about this, darling” she was saying. “Cut your tour short, because I don’t pay your health insurance for nothing, and Doctor Whitehouse has said more than once…” and there was more, but Alexander tuned her out and looked back to his bandmates. Impalus was at the bar, chatting up the bartender. Misery was walking this way.

“Yo, Gorelord,” Mister Misery said when he reached them. “Some guys from Roadrunner Records is here, sinking bongs on the roof. I think one of them’s the record exec. We’ve gotta talk to him, man.”

Alexander tried to reply, but something stuck in his throat and he collapsed into a fit of throaty wet coughing.

“His name’s not loving Gorelord” Janet said. “And I don’t think he’ll be sinking any bongs on any roofs.”

Not-Gorelord sighed and took a sip from his straw.

#

It was three am. Janet had finally gone home, since she had a meeting with shareholders at 8am the next day. The crew was still partying so he loader his gear out himself. He could hear strains of music coming from above him, a din of voices melding into one, constant in volume, broken occasionally by a gunshot laugh. He stood alone in the back dock of the club and rolled a cigarette. If he brushed his teeth before he crawled into Janet’s bed later, she probably wouldn’t smell it.

The click of his lighter, and in response, a woman’s voice: “Hey.”

He turned around. She was young, all in black, blue lipstick and just enough eye shadow. She might’ve been one of the goths in the front row, from before but he wasn’t sure.

“Good show”, she said.

It was, so he agreed.

“Dragging your own poo poo into the van? Don’t you have crew for that?”

He smiled and shrugged.

“Can I help with anything?”

She couldn’t, Alexander insisted, and he did have to get back inside, but she was nice so he stuck around for a quick chat. One cigarette turned into three, turned into a joint. Her name was Mercy, last name Killer, not by birth. They talked and talked, turned time into an etch-a-sketch, shook it clean. Gorelord found himself leaning against the van, Mercy Killer’s hands on his shoulder and his own hand on her waist, bent over laughing at something she’d said - or was it him? Some still-sober part of him began a high-pitched whine, a kettle boiling in the kitchen out at the back of his brain. She stopped laughing, looked right into his eyes, put a hand on his belly. He knew he had to do something, but he couldn’t quite decide what.

His phone announced an SMS. She didn’t drop her gaze.

He counted to three, resolved to lean forward. Mercy closed her eyes.

The phone rang.

Alexander jumped away as if scalded by hot water. He went to fish the Nokia out of his leather pants, but they were too tight, so by the time he achieved success, it had beeped through Enter Sandman twice and had gone silent. He looked up from “Missed Call: Janet” to see Mercy walking away.

The door to the venue swung open and spat out Mister Mistery.

“Oh, hey” he said. “Gorelord, this is Mercy Killer, from Roadrunner Records. She’s the record executive, here to check us out. Mercy, I see you’ve met Alexander. Everything cool?”

“Yea.” she said. Alexander couldn’t quite read her facial expression. The phone in his hand began to ring again, so he picked up.

“Hi baby. Yea. No, I’m sorry. I know. Sorry. Sure. See you soon. I love you too.”

Mercy's hands were folded across her chest, fingers drumming on the elbow. Her head was cocked and her mouth was twisted into a mean smile. In the dim moonlight she looked like a viper ready to strike.

“I gotta hit the road, guys.” he said. “I’m going out the front to call a cab.” He was going to say more, but he collapsed into a hacking cough, and once it was over he’d decided against it.

Misery nodded a goodbye, lit a cigarette. One appeared in Mercy’s mouth, so Misery lit that too.

Alexander walked back inside, made his way through the near-empty venue, the floor sticky with beer and tugging on his shoes. Impalus and the bartender, a pale tattooed guy, were kissing behind the bar.

“Hey, dude!” Impalus called to him as he passed. “Chat to that Mercy lady? Think we might get signed?”

“Dunno,” Alexander said. He realised his ears were ringing, still ringing, had been ringing since he got off stage, an uncomfortable din that had wormed its way into his head and set up shop, a parasite along for the ride. He raised a hand goodbye without turning around. His phone was still clenched in the other hand, so he hit Unlock, and New Message, and: ‘sorry for stayin out so late babe. see u soon. love u’

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Cheers for the judgeburps. In for wizards.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

The Eye Thief 1,261 words

There are eyes everywhere in Cregganborne. They’re set in the crumbling white-brick walls, staring from behind overgrown vines. The watchtowers that stab at the always-grey sky have irises - the size of a man, obscene - and rows of lashes adorn their peaks. Stare at one long enough and you’ll see blink. Gives me the creeps. The trees have eyes, too - dozens, winking through foliage, following as you go past. I walked the streets uneasy. My left eye socket itched, the empty shell covered by unruly hair.

This is the domain of the Wizard-Queen Cassandra, who reigns over her subjects from her All-Seeing Tower. Cassandra’s name is spoken only in whispers. I don’t think of her as Cassandra, though - in our past I’d call her Cassie. Cassie-Cakes, if she was being cute.

The wind was cold and stank of sulphur, so I wrapped myself tighter in my cloak - enchanted with a concealment charm, indispensable for a thief. Underneath, Kieron - a three-feet-long worm, and my companion - coiled around my arm. The feel of his slimy body on my skin used to make me queasy, but I’d been getting accustomed to it. He used to be a jolly little man and we were drinking buddies until Cassandra cursed him, so there was that, too.

I crept through winding alleys until I came to a sewer grate. Then, down, and through tunnels that reeked of trash and poo poo. There, beneath rotten Cregganborne, I met with the Eyeless Pupils.

#

“We’ve long awaited liberation.” said their leader. They were the most wretched rebel force I’d ever seen. They lived in the sewers. They stank to hell. Each was missing an eye - taken by Cassandra and put to her nefarious purposes, her punishment for transgressors.

I wasn’t planning on liberation. I had come to steal my eye back from Cassie, after she ripped it from me so long ago, before she ever came to Cregganborne. Overthrowing wasn’t on the cards, though.

“I bet you have” I said. My eye met his in the torchlight.

We walked along for hours, until we were underneath the city centre, beneath the All-Seeing Tower. An iron grate was set above. Upwards, somewhere in the sky: my stolen eye.

#

So I went up and into the belly of the tower. It was filthy - mould on the walls, stench of mildew, echoes of dripping water in the darkness. Cassie was the messy one when we used to live together, though, so I wasn’t shocked. Kieron had memorised a crude map the Pupils gave us, and he directed me, one pulse for left - two pulses for right.

I crept silently through, past her Bloodguard patrols, and up to ground level, no less filthy. I smashed a window and climbed out. It was time to ascend. Climbing gear, check. A lifetime of experience scaling walls - covered, too. Cloak billowing, I climbed the crude bricks and went up and up, and wretched Craggonborne sprawled below.

Slow and steady I went up, and soon I reached the top. Cassandra’s domain, where she kept my eye. I broke another window and went in.

I found myself in a large hall, the walls lined with bookshelves and tapestries of abstract patterns that made my head hurt. A stone pool lay in the middle, and a pillar rose from the centre. It was smooth grey and set with eyes, human eyes, all of which where bloodshot and weeping. The tears poured down and formed the pool.

My eye wept at the top of the pillar.

I swallowed, looked down at the tear-water - murky, can’t see the bottom.

“Let’s to touch that” I whispered, and Kieron pulsed in agreement. The pillar was too far out to reach.

Kieron pulsed a few times. Could you? Yes.

I hurled him like a sling. He spun gracelessly but landed on target, on top of the pillar. He picked up my eye in his mouth, coiled, sprung back.

He sailed through the air and a tentacle shot out of the fountain, seized him, pulled him down.

I drew my sword. It burst from the water, and it was hideous! Fleshy, pale-yellow squid-like - one huge eye, rows of sharp teeth, and countless long tentacles, one of which was holding Kieron. He spat out my eye and it landed on the floor, rolled away harmlessly.

“Over here!” I yelled, and it came towards me, splashing. I prepared to leap and cut Kieron loose, but I was too slow.

It swallowed Kieron whole.

I screamed and thrust my sword into its eye. Tentacles seized me but I hacked them off with my sword and then stabbed the creature, again and again, until the tentacles went limp and the thing floated still in tear-water red with blood.

Kieron was gone.

My eye had rolled into a corner. I dusted it off and put in into my pouch.

It was done. I knew I should climb down, flee and never come back. But Kieron was dead and Cassandra, who’d caused all this, who’d turned him from man into worm and who took my eye, was near.

Rage boiled inside me, hot and viscous. I stuck a dagger between in my teeth and climbed back out, circled my way around the tower peering into windows until I spied a bedroom behind an opulent stained-glass window. It took a few kicks to break.

The room was a mess. Clothes everywhere, strewn around the floor, draped over desks and chairs. The walls were plain and the bed was unmade. Amongst the chaos, Cassandra sat on an velvet couch and regarded me with a smirk.

#

“It’s been years, Desmond” she said. “You look terrible.”

She looked good. Still the same jet-black hair, long eyelashes, tight black robes. Still the same blue eyes, too. Gods, they were beautiful.

“I’ve been watching you” she said, and rose. “Sorry about Kieron. He always was a bad influence.”

I tried to speak but couldn’t. I was transfixed by her gaze. My eyes refused to close.

“And that eye of yours,”, she continued, “was a fair price to pay for all your transgressions. All those women you caroused with while I was at the Wizard Academy, working hard so we could have a good life when… oh, Des.” She shook her head. “I can’t let you leave here alive.”

The dagger was still between my teeth. I put in all my of effort to raise my arm, grasp the hilt. I held it in my hand but I couldn’t throw it. Her magic was too strong.

“And I get your right eye now.” she said.

My other eye. Yes.

I raised the dagger, trembling. I couldn’t throw it at her - the spell was too strong - but I didn’t have to.

I slashed my eye. Hot blood spurted over my hand and I screamed. Through the agony, I felt her spell break, and I drew my hand back and hurled the dagger.

I heard a short gasp and the sound of a body hitting the floor. Then, silence.

#

Blind, bleeding, still I made it out. The Eyeless Pupils found me. I spent a month recuperating in their tunnels while they sent out for a wizard to put my left eye back - my right one, the one I cut, was beyond repair.

Cassandra’s magic died with her. Cregganborne’s towers fell. It’s a ruin now, populated only by snakes and rats, and the eyes have all closed. In the kingdom, Cassandra’s name still spoken in whispers. I’ve started whispering it too, and my right eye socket itches worse than the left one ever did.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

I wrote fantasy for the first time and found it difficult, would love a concise crit, please.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Thank you to everybody who took the time to read and crit my piece.

A crit for The Square Root of 13

Things I liked:
Strong start! I read the first couple of paragraphs and pumped my fist in the air and said "YES this is going to be GREAT" (it wasn't exactly, but the start was).

The elevator code number stuff at the wizard's apartment was neat. These little details are tasty.

Creative wizard stuff. I immediately want to know more about the Mad Wizard of Numbers. And the 13th floor tie in is cool, too. Basically, the concept = pretty awesome. Nice one.

The fighting numbers – although they should have been dumb as hell, you pulled them off.

Protagonist has a good consistent voice that works well.

Things I didn’t like:
A bit… plain. Wizard commits crime, wizard-hunter cop goes to get him, cop gets him. It’s fine, but not particularly interesting.

Wizard's motivations are laaaaame. That seriously hurts this piece, actually.

The quality of writing drops near the end, but everyone does that cause you proof-read it less, I guess.

Tone is weird, too. It gets real comical in the second half but doesn’t do that enough in the first. I know the tone is playful/irreverent as a whole, but it didn't fly well in the last bit, after we confronted the wizard. Maybe you you didn’t set up enough silliness at the start or maybe I just hate silly poo poo but - it's too silly at the end. The tone shifts and it’s bad. When we met the wizard, I felt the piece nosedived.

A few places where the prose ain't too pretty: “screams irately”, “moving more limberly”, watch that stuff. You could use less adverbs.

The end is boring.

The present tense is fine but doesn’t add anything. You know how sometimes it can make stuff feel immediate and exciting? It didn’t for me, and it might have been better in past tense, but maybe that’s a personal preference.

When first I read your magical story while listening to the 13th Floor Elevators,
I was initially excited because the start suggested something cool, mysterious and interesting. Then when we met the bad wizard I wanted to skim because it was neither of the three.

I think your enchanting piece is:
Despite my being really mean with criticism above, it's pretty good! Real decent piece.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

I'm in and would like a flash rule

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

The Price of Magic 1,489 words

We stood on the docks and watched the horizon swallow our ship, saw the white sails fade into a sky the colour of smoke. Lena was holding back tears, her bottom lip quivering. Darius stared straight at me, his scarred face an expressionless mask. Did he know I was responsible? That I did not sleep last night, but worked strange magics and sent a dream to the ship’s captain, urging him to set sail at first light of day, to not wait for us?

“They sailed without us.” Lena said, her voice crackling like a campfire. “We’re stuck here. Are we going back for Magriette?”

Darius shook his head. Not so quick, I thought. You don’t make the decisions here.

Magritte had been captured the night before, in our flight across the Dour Duke’s lands. She was most likely in his dungeons now, awaiting execution. Her last order was to “go and don’t come back for me”. That was wise. Nemus the Forever-Dragon was assembling the Puzzle of Tears in his lair already, half a world away from here. We had to stop him, had no right to delay - not even to rescue our leader.

Darius knew this, and crossed his tree-trunk arms over his chest to make it clear. His knightly order only allowed him to speak one hundred words each year (was it hard keeping track?), so his body did most of the communicating for him. We were a study in opposites - I was short where he was tall, fat where he was muscular, weak where he was strong - and I knew he’d always held me in deep contempt. With Magritte gone, though, I was now the leader.

“Darius does not think we should back.”, I said. “The Forever-Dragon could have the Puzzle in days, and then he’d grow stronger than ever before. Every day lost is a gamble.”

Darius nodded.

“There are no more ships here”, I said, “We could ride around by land, but that adds days to the journey. Too long.”

A chill wind blew, carrying a foul smell. Lena wrapped herself tighter in her cloak.

“Magritte is a prisoner, rotting in the Dour Duke’s dungeons.” I went on. “She’ll be beheaded in days. We’ve already missed the ship. We can ride to the Duke’s fortress, rescue her, find passage on another vessel. There’s a merchant trader expected in two days. We could stow away on it.”

Lena’s gaze darted between Darius and me. Darius spat.

“Lena,” I said, trying to sound wise and comforting, like wizards are expected to sound. “Darius has made his opinion clear. So have I. Magritte’s in a dungeon, waiting to die. Our ship has left without us. What do you think?”

And I thought: you stupid woman, I know you love Darius, I’ve seen the way you look at him, but no matter what - you’re going to side with me. We’re getting Magritte out, because I decided so. What else are you sorry wretches going to do?

I contorted my face into the kindliest expression I could muster and laid a hand on her shoulder.

“Let’s save Magritte” she said quietly.

#

We rode swiftly under a low sky, out of that port that stank of fish and filth. We rode through silent woods, past sleeping swamps, and when the sun disappeared and the moon’s pale face rose to relieve it, we still rode, spurring out poor steeds onwards. We slept for only two hours, and I dreamt of Magritte - of her snow-white hair and how it glows in the sunlight, of her blue eyes, her voice like wind-chimes.

We had a quick breakfast - Darius glaring at me with disgust, because I always eat twice as much as anyone else - and then I cast a tracking spell, since we were close enough now. I read the magic and breathed relief: Magritte was alive and in the Dour Duke’s dungeons.

The Duke’s fortress squatted atop a hill like an stone toad. We crept to a wall under a concealment charm. I cast a sleeping spell on the guards above, and Lena and Darius went up with grappling hooks. Not having the fitness to follow, I wasted precious magic on a levitation spell. We composed ourselves on the battlements, and one of the guards begin to stir. Darius slit his throat with a dagger, paused for a moment, and then did the same to the others. Blood flowed over the cobblestones. Lena did a nervous shuffle backwards, before a crimson puddle could reach her boots.

“He woke up too quick.” she whispered. “Your magic’s almost out, isn’t it, Reinhart?”

My reserves were indeed running dry. I looked at my hands - they were wrinkled as if I’d just been swimming, and one fingernail was black, ready to fall off. Spell-shock. The price of magic. I needed to slow down, or it would rip my body apart. I needed rest but there was no time.

We hurried through the rotten place, past walls of grey-brown stone, my tracking spell showing the way, sapping my strength. I had a vicious headache that got worse with each step. My gums were bleeding.

I don’t know how they found us, but when we came to the dungeon entrance, the clatter of men in armour sounded from behind. We turned to see half a dozen bloodguards marching forwards, clad in black plate, a wicked sword in each hand.

“I’m going down to save Magritte.” I said. “Hold them off! I have to find her before the tracking spell fades!”

“We won’t make it!” Lena hissed. “Don’t leave us!”

Darius snarled and said: “Stay together.” A whole two words. Wonder how many he had left?

The bloodguards were close now. Darius readied his greatsword. Lena moved behind him, throwing knives in hand.

I turned and fled down into the dungeons.

#

I don’t know how I found her. I raced through the tunnels, abandoning all care, magic flowing through my veins, tearing my body to pieces. I remember guards, and lightning bursting from my hands. I remember death and the burning-skin stench of magic gone savage. My left hand was a blackened husk and all my hair was gone when I’d finally found Magritte. I snapped off her shackles with the last of my magic and collapsed on the dungeon floor. She shook me and spoke, but her words made no sense.

“The amulet, my neck”, I spoke through the pain. “Teleportation charm. One use only, carries two people. Grab me.”

She said something about Lena and Darius, how we shouldn’t have come.

“They’re done for!” I said. “Forget them! Grab me. The amulet!”.

But she wouldn’t. I tried to speak again but gurgled blood instead, and then darkness took me.

#

When I came to, Magritte was standing over me. Her white hair glowed in the sunlight just like I remembered, and her eyes were bloodshot but still the deepest blue. She was covered in blood and dirt but she’d lost none of her cold beauty. I tried to move but my body didn’t respond.

“He’s gone,” she said, and her voice was like music. “I doubt that he can even hear us. He’s alive, technically, but he’s a husk. Spell-shock burnt him out.”

She walked out of sight, leaving me staring at a cloudless sky. Where was I? What happened? I wanted to thrash, to scream, but I was completely paralysed, unable to even blink. Drool seeped from the corner of my mouth.

“What do we do?” Lena said. She sounded like she’d been crying.

“Go on, after the Forever-Dragon. We’ve wasted enough time already. We must hurry. Lena, I’m sorry about Darius.”

A pause, then: “What about Reinhart?”

“Only one decent thing to do. I’ll do it. Wait by the road.”

“No” she said. “Reinhart always said I was too squeamish when it came to the difficult parts. I need to do this. For him.”

“I’ll be waiting”, Magriette said. I heard her bootsteps fade into the distance. Lena’s freckled face came into view, mouth pursed, eyes narrowed.

“Darius is dead,” she whispered, “because of you. The bloodguards cut him to shreds. I don’t know if you can hear me but, by the Goddess, I hope you can, because I’m not going to kill you. I’m going to leave you like this. You don’t deserve the mercy of a quick death.”

She moved her hand over my eyes and closed them. My world went dark. I listened to her footsteps, and then I listened to the distant trot of horses, and that faded, too. A bird sang somewhere. A cold wind blew.

It hadn’t turned out that bad, really. My death meant something. Magriette was free and my wretched self had saved her. That made everything else OK.

And then I lay smothered by darkness, felt the wind grow colder, and wondered if I really meant that.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

The Mirror 973 words

Kenneth spent Sunday alone in Julia’s apartment, watching her television and smoking her cigarettes. She’d sent him a photo of a sunset over Montmarte, the sky bathed in gold and her smiling with a guitar slung over one shoulder - and he looked out the window and saw the grey Birmingham skyline flip him the finger. Tour’s going great, honey! Band says hi! Miss you!, she wrote. He’d watered the ferns on her window-still, and now that his only duty was completed, he could unwind. The tiny apartment was a storm of clothes and cigarette butts, and Kenneth was wrist-deep in her bedroom drawers searching for weed when the doorbell rang.

“Delivery for Kenneth Webb”, the FedEx employee said. He was old and reeked of antiseptic.

“That’s me, but I don’t live here,” Kenneth said. “Taking care of my girlfriend’s place while she’s out of town.”

“You’re Kenneth Webb. This is 264A Brighton Ave. Will you sign?”

He did just that and shut the door. Plain cardboard box, no return address. He tore it open.

Inside was a hand-mirror, straight out of an 18th-century novel - long handle, intricate carvings of angels perched around the rim, black metal and cold to the touch. As Kenneth regarded his reflection it swam and changed.

And then he saw Julia walking down a cobblestone alley, cigarette in hand, the rest of her band trailing behind. She walked next to a man Kenneth didn’t recognise, who was very pale and wore a black suit. The man was smiling in a way Kenneth didn’t like at all.

“What the gently caress,” he said out loud.

The picture blurred again and Kenneth was left staring at his own face. There was a fresh cold sore on his lip.

#

He tried calling Julia, but her phone was off. He paced her apartment staring at the mirror. It was reflecting as mirrors do, and doing nothing untoward. He cooked dinner with it propped up on the bench, and when it fogged up from steam, he’d wipe it clean so he wouldn’t miss anything. It sprang into action right as he was cutting up Julia’s last onion.

Kenneth saw Julia at a sullen cafe, stirring a cup of coffee, her bandmates beside her with hunched shoulders. The pale man sat one table behind and stared at her. His mouth warped into a grin, and the image vanished.

Kenneth abandoned dinner and lay on the couch, staring at his own reflection until he fell asleep.

#

He called in sick for work the next morning. It was worth it, too - at noon, the mirror showed the band disembarking a train at Brussels Central, squeezing through the crowd, instruments in hand. The pale man was walking a step behind Julia.

Sorry babe can't Skype, she texted back. Laptop’s dead. And I told you - no-one else on tour with us. Call you later tonight!

The rest of the day was agony, pacing back-and-forth, an entire pack of Chesterfields stuffed into his lungs. Unable to bear the wait, he rang her first.

“Who is he, Julia?”

“Hello! What are you talking about?” Julia said, voice struggling through static.

“Tall, pale, black suit. I know he came to Brussels with you.”

“Kenneth,” she said. “There is nobody else with us. It’s just the band and I.”

As she talked, the mirror swam into another vision: Julia reclined on a single bed in a decrepit hotel room, phone pressed to her ear. The pale man stood at her side, staring directly at Kenneth.

“I loving know, Julia!” Kenneth screamed. “He’s with you now!”

“I’m alone,” she said. “What’s wrong with you?”

He watched as Julia’s gaze swept the room. She looked right past the pale man, and Kenneth realised: she couldn’t see him.

“You’re in danger,” he said. “There’s someone there with you. Get out! ”

“Darling, you’re scaring me,” she said quietly.

The pale man took two strides forward and leaned in, his face filling the mirror - smile crooked, eyes sullen, the pupils completely black. The line went dead. Kenneth rang again but it went straight to voicemail.

#

He blew the sorry remains of his bank account on a last-minute flight, and the next morning he boarded a plane to Amsterdam, where Julia’s next gig was scheduled. He brought the mirror along and held it the entire way, but it showed nothing. The couple in the next seat sniggered at him the whole time.

He landed and cut in line at the cab rank. It was raining when he pulled up outside the venue, a ramshackle bar with bars on the windows and a mountain of cigarette butts on the kerb. The sign on the marquee announced “Julia Moreland and The Sorrows” and in red letters underneath: “Cancelled.”

He pounded at the front door until a bearded man, clearly irritated, emerged. Yes, he was the manager. Someone from the label had called to say the band wouldn’t make it. No, he didn’t know where they were.

Stunned, Kenneth sank to the pavement, head cradled in his hands. He dug into his bag for the mirror, felt his heart tighten and shrink.

It wasn’t there.

His phone rang. Julia.

“Darling!” he shouted. “Are you OK?”

“I’m fine, baby” her voice came weak down the line. “We had an accident. I rolled the van. We’re alright, but in hospital. Why did you send the mirror?”

“What?”

“FedEx just delivered a package from you. It’s this strange mirror, a Wuthering Heights-type thing. It’s… Kenneth, oh my god, I can see you! Who are you with?”

Kenneth froze.

“You’re here in Amsterdam? Who’s that with you?”

There wasn’t a soul around.

“Pale guy, all in black? Like, he’s got a hand on your shoulder? Kenneth?”

Kenneth suddenly felt very, very cold.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

.

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Jan 4, 2016 around 12:24

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Sin

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Sins and Stones 1,179 words
Lust - whither the unsophisticated boner of the common man?

The wheels of the bloody uprising were set in motion at the church Easter crucession. Imagine: a spring evening, winter is far behind, and the sun sinks behind rows of thatched roofs and the kremlin towers, so half the sky is the deep blue of the ocean, and half still shines golden-yellow. Bearded men in robes march past the onion-domes of the church, bearing aloft golden icons - there goes Father Andrei flying Saint Nicholas’s pendant, and there’s his son Maxim, proud to be bearing a gem-studded cross, and behind him is Valentin Antonovich with an icon of Saint Cyril. You can smell the myrr and the incense, and you chant the lord’s prayer and the crowd echoes. Church bells chime. You soul sings.

Elena’s soul didn’t give a drat. Her betrothed Alexei clasped his sausage-sized fingers in prayer, and she was glad because she didn’t have to hold his hand anymore. Spittle flew from his mouth while he prayed and pudgy cheeks quaked with each “amen”. Elena looked over the crowd - toothless old men, dull-faced youths, country dullards everywhere. She rued the day that her family moved to Starograd, longed for her old Saint Petersburg palace, for opulent ballrooms filled with handsome men. But the fortunes of her royal house had faded, and all they had now was a decrepit rural mansion and a mountain of debt.

Alexei prayed as if in a trance, oblivious to the world. Elena saw her chance and took it. She slipped away, weaving through the crowd until she was gone from the ceremony and well away in the church gardens. She walked through the birch trees, head downcast, brooding about her impending marriage to the heir of the affluent House Zolotov.

And then she saw the man. He was shirtless and sweating, covered in mud, leaning on a rusted shovel. He ran a hand through a river of black hair and his piercing blue eyes found hers.

An intense desire seized her, as if the devil himself fanned the flames in her heart. He smiled and introduced himself as Vasily, the church gardener. They sat talked until a crescent moon rode in the sky. Alexei was probably looking for her, and here she was - a noble lady alone with an unsophisticated commoner - and the thought made her giddy and excited. Vasily reached for her hand. Elena let him take it. Her soul sang, then.

#

“How could you disappear like that? Poor Alexei's heart almost gave out!”

Father was furious, mother in tears. Elena had broken a crystal plate to make her unhappiness clear, but the family could no longer afford fine crockery, so she had to tone down the tantrum.

“You’re digging our graves,” mother sobbed, “and let that be on your soul.”

That night, Elena lay awake until she heard the rattle of stones against glass. She leapt of out bed and there was Vasily, perched atop an oak tree beside her bedroom. She opened the window and he climbed in. Her heart beat like the imperial army drum corp. After they were finished, he whispered words of love as he snuck out, but Elena was already asleep.

Alexei wasn’t happy either. “Elena,” he said on their excruciating daily walk. “You must obey me in all things. You will not leave my side when we’re together.”

“Of course, dear,” she said, and her lips smiled but her eyes didn’t.

#

Vasily came to her again and again. Elena’s days were monotonous, her nights full of passion, and she grew drunk on the thrill of forbidden affair. Then, abruptly, his visits ceased. He hadn’t come one night, nor the next, and Elena became restless and frustrated. On the third night, she could no longer bear it. She put on old rags, disguising herself as a commoner - an easy task, considering the sorry state of her wardrobe - and crept out into the darkness to seek her lover.

She found Vasily outside the church gates, carting a wheelbarrow. The street was dark and deserted. She ran to him and they embraced.

“Why haven’t you come?” she said. “I’ve been waiting every night. I cannot sleep. Where have you been? Oh, Vasily!”

He stammered apologies and she showered him with kisses. Footsteps came from around the corner, but they paid no heed, lost in each other, until a hacking cough caught their attention.

Alexei staggered towards them, unsteady on his feet. Elena could smell the vodka from where she stood.

“Have you no decency, commoners?” Alexei said, his speech slurred. “Why, embracing outside the church! I ought to…”

Elena turned her face away but it was too late. Alexei’s eyes grew wide. He drew a pistol from his coat. Vasily shoved Elena aside and faced her betrothed, chest puffed out, as if daring him to shoot.

Alexei pulled the trigger. There was a dull click. Misfire.

He cursed and fumbled with the flintlock. Vasily seized a hefty stone from the roadside and leapt upon the nobleman before he could fire again. The stone struck Alexei in the temple. He fell and did not rise.

Elena ran as fast as she could. Vasily stood motionless, stone still in hand, and watched the noblewoman disappear into the darkness.

#

Alexei’s funeral was well-attended. There were three fist-fights and a public flogging afterwards. His royal house was out for blood but the murder investigations turned up nothing. Eventually, the authorities had found suitable scapegoats and hung a tailor and a stable-boy for the murder. When their families protested, Alexei’s father ran them out of town.

The executed men were well-liked. Discontent spread throughout town and the seeds of an uprising were sown. The noble families of Starograd had raised taxes and increased militia patrols to quell unrest, but that only fuelled the fire. The town was a powder-keg ready to blow.

A funeral shroud fell over Elena’s house. Father and mother barely spoke. Elena locked herself in her room and her eyes were always red from crying. Whatever social clout her family enjoyed had died along with Alexei. They isolated themselves and refused to leave their home, and they did not learn of the rebellion until it was too late.

When the mob of villagers tore down the rickety manor fence and marched through the garden, father locked all the doors and hid Elena in a cupboard upstairs. Crouching there, she heard everything - the crash of the door, the peasants' coarse laughter. The sound of smashing glass. Father’s revolver, firing once, twice, no more. Footsteps on the staircase. Vasily’s voice.

Nobody knows what happened to Elena after the uprising. It took days before the Czar’s troops arrived to restore order to the town, and by then, her family numbered amongst the victims, but Elena’s body was never found. Some say she was slain and her body thrown into a river. Others say she escaped, aided by a commoner who loved her, but one well-respected merchant is adamant: the feared bandits that terrorise the trade routes around Starograd are led by a brash and beautiful lady who carries herself like a noblewoman.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In
edit: with a , spin me twice

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2015 around 23:32

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

The Fog Draws A Castle In The Sky 1,388 words Heroic Fantasy Medical Drama

I work in a hospital. I’m always tired. After work, I’ve barely enough energy to hit up the supermarket. Maybe I get a pizza. Maybe, fish fingers. I once had a boyfriend who said I cooked the best soup in the world. It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked soup.

When I sink into the couch and think about my day, it seems normal. Busy as usual. There was another fire drill. An old man was nice to me. Sally told me that she kissed Greg from research. But if I think hard, really focus, the memories blur. The nice old man’s words don’t make sense. Is there even a research department? Is there a Sally? The images are unsteady, change in front of me, like I’m shuffling a deck of cards. My head hurts.

I’ve bought weed from a kid down by the council flats. He shorted me, but what am I gonna do? I watch Youtube tutorials on how to roll a joint. Mum calls, but I don’t answer. I’m too exhausted.

I eat fish fingers. I roll up, take a drag, and I remember what really happened at work:

#

They bring a new one in. Blue skin, seven foot tall, big wings, and the left one’s broken. Green blood and feathers everywhere. Breathing, barely.

“Sea-Orc patrol found him”, a Nameless Nurse says. I try to peer beneath its hood, but it’s too short and too quick. I still don’t know what they look like.

“Go Anita!” Anton throws me a thumbs up. I blush, like I always do around him. Anton’s the only other human here. He’s a vet so he does the animals, and he’s got dimples when he smiles, which is often. He’s bent over a lion with an anaconda for a tongue, beast and reptilian both riddled with arrows. I want to ask him what he’s doing after work, but I’m not sure what actually happens after work. There’s a fog in my mind, obscuring memory.

This is what it looks like, where we are: white stone floor, marble pillars choking in vines. Above, a purple sky where two suns hang. There’s a tower behind us, but we’re not allowed inside. Some distance away, the battlements are white-grey. Lean over, and you see clouds beneath, and you piece it together - you’re in a castle, floating high in the air. On a clear day, squint: far beneath on the ground, the Last War rages. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the clash of steel and the screams.

I tend to blue-skin’s wounds, pull out arrowheads. Nameless Nurses appear bearing anything I nee, antisceptic, scalpels, thread. When he’s stabilised, the nurses cart him off, and then I tend to a wizard with two heads who won’t stop arguing, and then a blue-haired elf. The wounded keep coming. When my shift ends, Anton winks and waves goodbye. I promise myself I’d ask him out tomorrow. But where could I take him?

Then I come out of the hospital, nod to the security guards, walk down Victoria Street past the cabs and the flickering streetlights and the wind. Above me, a black sky where only one moon hangs.

#

The phone rings. It’s mum. Wait, what was I thinking about?

“Have you met a nice boy yet?”

Our conversation is short and frustrating as usual. When it’s over, I’m confused. I was thinking of about something important. I can’t remember what. But then I smoke another joint, and Anton and the castle in the sky come back to me.

I don’t even know his last name. I search Google for Anton veterinarian, I flip through the yellow pages, I call Antons at random. It’s fruitless.

I write myself a note and stash weed in my coat. The next day, I go to work. I work in a hospital.

#

At the castle, they let us have a cigarette break when we work especially hard. There’s something in my cigarette packet - a note and a small canister. I read the note. It’s strange but I follow my own instructions, hollow out half my Malboro, mix the tobacco with the cannabis, pour it back in. Anton watches, amused.

“Want some?” I ask. He declines, lights a Chesterfield.

“How do you think it’s going?” he asks, meaning: the war beneath us.

“Nurses won’t tell me much,” I say. “But the casualties are getting worse. Many dragonbreath burns today. Ugly.”

I get to the part with the weed, inhale deep. A distant memory stirs, rubs its eyes. What was I supposed to ask him?

“Hey Anton, how long have you been here?”

He squints. “Not sure. I was here before you were, though, but not for long. Sorry, memory’s foggy today.”

I take another drag. Memories open doors in my mind and burst through them. I speak quickly:

“Anton, what’s your full name? Where do you live?”

“My full name?” he says. “Funny, it’s slipped my mind. Kovalski or Kuznetsky or something? I live in Australia.”

There’s Nameless Nurses at our side. ”Break is over”, they tell us. I ignore them.

“Which city? Here, take a drag. It’ll help you remember.”

A gust of wind snatches the cigarette out of my hand, and over it goes, past the battlements and into the sky. “Break is over.”

“I’m not sure where I live, exactly” he says, eyebrow furrowed. The Nurses are dragging him away. He doesn’t struggle.

“Find me! My name is Anita Rachel Evans. I live at 206 Bell Street, Coburg! My phone number is…”

Nameless nurses swarm around me and I’m pressed up against the battlements. “Do not do that again,” they say.

“I work hard for you,” I say. “You have to give me something in return. I demand a price.”

“We cannot do anything”, the nurses say. "We are but nurses."

“Then take me to whoever can,” I say. “Otherwise I quit. I’ll throw myself off the castle if I have to. I remember everything now. Take me to whoever’s in charge.”

They take me into the tower, the one we’re not allowed to go in.

#

Inside, it looks like a hospital. I sit in an office, honest-to-god. Unwashed windows. Linoleum floor. Periodic table on the wall, only there’s way more elements than normal. My chair squeaks when I move.

The Nurse Mother sits behind a desk covered in papers. She wear a purple robe with the hood off. Her face is completely smooth, like the surface of an egg. It’s topped by long hair the colour of seaweed.

“What’s going on?”, I ask first, and then try all sorts of things, like “Why me?” and “Where am I, really?” and “Why do you make us do this?”, but there was no reply. Finally, I ask:

“I demand to see Anton. In my normal life.”

“That will not be possible. You are too useful. We are sorry.” When she speaks, a small slit appears where the jaw would be, and her entire face ripples like the surface of the ocean. Makes me nauseous.

“I’m not asking to leave,” I say, thinking that I should really be asking to leave. “I’m asking for Anton. I want to be with him outside of work.”

“There is a price. It will not be like you think.”

#

I work in a castle. It floats through clouds, in a sky that’s overseen by two suns during the day, and three moons during the night. Anton and I sit on the roof of our tower and watch them, sometimes. I make him soup sometimes. He tells me it’s the greatest soup in the world.

There are things I miss. I hope the weed dealer kid is saving up for college. I hope mum is OK. I write her letters, though she’ll never read them. There’s not much else to miss, though. All in all, the price was right.

During the days, we patch up soldiers and beasts from the Last War. My mind isn’t a haze anymore, and I’m no longer tired - but it’s the world that’s a haze, like everything that happens and everything that exists is a wisp of fog, but if you take a few steps to the side, they’ll will shift and change form, just like that. But we stay still. We don’t want to move. We like these shapes.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Nubile Hillock posted:

I'm willing to do a few line-by-line crits if anyone's interested

I would love a crit on my piece this week, thank you!

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In and thank you for the crits, Sitting Here.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...+of+the+Valiant

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2015 around 02:36

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In with a cool 1,000 roubles.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explor...ble_note-1.aspx

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

A thousand roubles - http://www.britishmuseum.org/explor...ble_note-1.aspx

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...Roadside+Dinner

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2015 around 02:36

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

THUNDERDOME CLXIV: I Shouldn't Have Eaten That Souvlaki

So I live near this late-night souvlaki joint. Any night of the week, I can lean out my window at 3am and there's big dudes on motorbikes, couples arguing, drunk football fans screaming at each other. Maybe one of the two employees, who seem to be there 24-7, smoking on the sidewalk, watching with a mixture of distain and despair. Anytime I'm coming back home past midnight, it's like a magnet, reeling me in for greasy lamb and soggy chips. I regret it afterwards, too. The place is like a temple to poor decisions.

What I'm trying to say is,
Write me a story where food gets somebody in trouble

You have 1,200 words. If your story is set in a dangerous place that never closes you can have 150 more for dessert, as a homage to my second souvlaki home.

When you sign up, one of the judges will give you a food.

This is the food that gets somebody in trouble. Interpret that however you want, maybe they want it too much and cry all the time or they make it too tasty and become too popular or they're a sentient onion being devoured by a kebab. As long as there's trouble because of the food. Feel free to go sci-fi or fantasy or whatever lovely genre lines your bookshelves, if you want. Be creative or I will never forgive you.

If I read one description of diarrhoea, I'll get the souvlaki crew to come and empty their grease traps all over your bedroom floor. I mean it. As usual, no fanfic and no erotica, too.



Your recipe
1,200 words (1,350 if story is set in a dangerous place that never closes)
Write about food getting somebody in trouble.
You will get a food when you sign up.

Sign up by: 11:59pm Friday PST
Deadline: 11:59pm Sunday PST

JUDGES:
yours truly
Schneider Helm
RedTonic

DINERS:
Ironic Twist - Chicken Burger
ZeBourgeoisie - Oysters
Killer-of-Lawyers - Goat Tongue
GrizzledPatriarch - Pilaf
docbeard - Hakarl
Thranguy - Fish and Chips
kurona_bright - Crisps (potato chips)
Tyrannosaurus - Vietnamese Sandwich
Mons Hubris - Chicken Tikka Masala
worlds_best_author - Vietnamese Blood Soup
SlipUp - Chicken Parma
Boaz-Jachim - Borscht
jon joe - Jelly
Guiness13 - Roast Leg of Mutton
Broenheim - Cake
Screaming Idiot - Sour Green Apple
Entenzahn - Pizza
Froglight - Pelmeni
MaggieTheCat - Falafel
Bompacho - Prawns
After The War - Onion
Fumblemouse - Japanese Ramen
Phobia - Damper
Kaishai - Pig's Head

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2015 around 05:23

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

ZeBourgeoisie posted:

Feed me. (in)

Oysters for you.


A chicken burger!

Schneider Heim posted:

Also Morning Bell I would like to judge, thanks.

Welcome to the kitchen (but of course)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Goat Tongue

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Pilaf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilaf)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Hey man come to my pad for some hakarl (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1karl)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Sit down man have some fish and chips

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Uh hey do you have any crisps? "Potato chips", that is, if you're a yank.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


I'm so glad you came, I heard you make the best vietnamese sandwiches (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%...mese_sandwiches)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Mons Hubris posted:

I will try this week

You mean you will try this delicious meal I made you, chicken tikka masala (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

worlds_best_author posted:

I'm in, what's the house special?

Thanks to both Broenheim and Djinn for the crits.

Lovely to have you, worlds_best_author! Our new chef Tyrannosaurus has prepared his famous specialty just for you - Vietnamese Blood Soup (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ti%E1%BA%BFt_canh).

Wait, who hired that guy?

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

SlipUp posted:

in

I'm hungry for a win, what's on the menu?

Howyagoin! We got the best chicken parma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_parmigiana) this side of the Barassi line, mate!

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Boaz-Jachim posted:

Let's go to In-N-Out.

I am assuming this means you are in and not out. That's good because you are in with my favourite soup, borscht! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht)

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen


Oh man sorry I didn't know you were coming round! Uh, let me check what I've got in my fridge...
Jelly.


Can you smell that? Roast leg of mutton!

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Broenheim posted:

you know what this is a horrible idea so im in

with an even worse idea, with a

Hey man you look like you could use something sweet. Take a seat, I'll bring you some cake!

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Screaming Idiot posted:

I'm so hungry. So very, very hungry. Give me something good, and I will grant you three wishes*.

*(but you have to wish for a poo poo story three times in a row)

Aw man, so my goddamn doctor put me on a health kick! Had to clean my pantry out. All I've got to offer is this sour green apple.

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