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J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


IT BEGINS AGAIN!



Another sale has come and gone and my wallet is a bruised and bleeding mess, begging for the end of the month when it shall have the strength to carry on once again.

Ask not who the wallet bleeds for. For indeed, it bleeds for thee.

For those of you unaware of what GamerDome was, it was my own poor attempt at making a game-based Thunderdome. It ran decently for a while, but my own inexperience coupled with a large dose of self-confidence and ignorance in equal measure kinda turned it into a mess at the end. I have learned from these mistakes and decided, thanks to a certain igneous crustacean poking the old thread, to give it another go with a bit more structure.

OLD THREAD HERE!!!

So we're bringing it back! Not quite bigger, but hopefully a lot better.

Here are your rules:

1) Watch this part of the post for the newest Prompt update, including Rules, limitations and gifts on the line.

LATEST PROMPT POST! : Week Three: Anime! Or: Being a domer is pain.

2) Read and understand the prompts. Read the old thread for ideas, or to get a general sense of what to go for.

3) Toss your hat into the race by posting in the thread before the sign-up dates close. Then get to writing.

4) Write your submission and post it in the thread before the submissions close. Make sure to include your story title (Does not count against word count) and the word limit. You can also add in links to google docs and such if you want, as long as they are not a part of your story. No Youtube/TVTropes/ADTRWiki links in your stories.

5) Yell 'Fast Judging Good Judging' at me until I/the judges go insane and render my/their verdict.

As for Rewards:

Each prompt will have, at the least, five games to choose from. Those games that are not won/used by that week will be rolled into the prize pot for next week.

WINNERS get their first pick of the three choices on the list.

HONORABLE MENTIONS get a game apiece. There will also be Humble Bundle codes in case there are more than two HM or judges who help out.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS get to wallow in their shame at being too bad to win and too decent to lose, ready for the next battle to improve and claw their way up.

LOSERS are branded by the holy losertar of GamerDome:

Some Shamelessly cribbed GUIDELINES from GamerDome 1:

* If asked for, critiques in this thread are welcome. However, if someone hurts your feelings over a critique, then this isn't the place to respond with a massive screed complaining about how we didn't understand 'your style' or how brilliant/edgy/subtle you are. You can go to Fiction Advice and Discussion or The Fiction Farm to talk about your works, how to improve and what to keep doing. Thanks to the Thunderdome Thread for this advice.

* Unless it's Erotica, I'll allow it. Yes, this even includes fanfic (Thoth have mercy upon my soul) or poetry. However, this doesn't give you an excuse if your work isn't understandable by the judges and they count that against you. Remember that you are writing for an audience that might not include fans of the example you're using.

* One lesson I learned: Prefacing your stories is a bad idea. Putting your story in a quote tag is a bad idea. Spam and shitposting are not funny and screw things up for other people. Please refrain from them.

*If you say you're IN, then post your story. No one likes a liar, people. Even if you don't like it, even if you think it needs to be perfect, post it. You can't win unless you post, and you can't improve unless you build off your problems.

Once again, huge thanks to Thunderdome and Palpek's Gifting Thread for being awesome people who you should also check out.

Best of luck!

J.A.B.C. fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2015 around 06:27

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N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In

Justin_Brett
Oct 23, 2012

GAMERDOME put down LOSER

Actually, nevermind.

Justin_Brett fucked around with this message at Jun 20, 2015 around 21:47

Adam Bowen
Jan 6, 2003

This post probably contains a Rickroll link!


I'm not reading all that, how do I get free games?

Jamfrost
Jul 20, 2013

I'm too busy thinkin' about my baby. Oh I ain't got time for nothin' else.


Slime TrainerS

Nice thread title.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Adam Bowen posted:

I'm not reading all that, how do I get free games?

I post a prompt with a word count and a due date.

You tell the thread you want to write, then you write your story before the due date is up.

If it's good, you win games. If it's bad then you should feel bad.

And with that being said, I might as well bring in the first Prompt:



Crime.

Crime is everywhere in video games, whether you're playing the people trying to stop them or the people committing them. It allows us to see the lives of our protagonists in ways that make us uncomfortable, or allows us to enact those few fantasies we've always had about making Crime pay.

So for your prompt this week your story must focus around a crime. Before, during or after. Lawbreaker or Lawgiver or Observer, choose what you want. But there must be a crime in the story.

For this prompt I'll also give out flash rules. Let me know you want a flash rule, and I'll give you a crime that your story has to focus on.

Sign-ups close: Wednesday, June 24, 23:59 PM Central Standard Time
Submissions close: Sunday, June 28, 23:59 PM CST (Thanks for pointing that out.)
Word Count: 1,500 or less. You can track word counts using google docs or most word processors.

Now for the good stuff:
LOOT
Payday 2
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition
Saints Row 4: Game of the Century Pack
Shadow Warrior
Driver: San Francisco
Batman: Arkham City GOTY

ACCOMPLICES:
Grrr-Krishnakk: A bank heist, but not for money
N. Senada
Little Mac: Betting on sports gone horribly wrong
Jamfrost: You were caught for littering, but guilty of something else.
Cronodoculous
Hypha: Whatever crime you committed, you are on the verge of being caught.
Unfunny Poster
BabyRyoga

J.A.B.C. fucked around with this message at Jun 24, 2015 around 12:57

Grrr-Krishnakk
Jul 17, 2005

PUPPIES!


In like woah.

Grrr-Krishnakk
Jul 17, 2005

PUPPIES!


Also take a flash rule, please.

Grrr-Krishnakk fucked around with this message at Jun 22, 2015 around 07:18

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In case it wasn't clear from my previous in, I'm In.

Adam Bowen
Jan 6, 2003

This post probably contains a Rickroll link!


There's a person on trial for a hate crime because in Barack Obama's Soviet American Caliphate it's illegal to say or do things that aren't approved by the politically correct council. The lawyers for the defense have just given a powerful and very well-written speech where they argue that even though he only seems interested in white cis women, the defendant is not a racist or homophobe or transphobe. The prosecutor isn't very good at speaking and gives a very clumsy rebuttal, but then shows this piece of evidence and the reader realizes that it was Bowser on trial and he loses the case on the strength of the evidence against him.

I don't really know how to write but imagine that if that was a short story with the appropriate structure and a very good writing style, that's my entry.

Adam Bowen fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2015 around 18:56

Little Mac
Jan 3, 2006

Super Mario Bros 3

In and flash rule. I won a few times last time and never actually claimed games. This time I'm getting prizes!!!

Jamfrost
Jul 20, 2013

I'm too busy thinkin' about my baby. Oh I ain't got time for nothin' else.


Slime TrainerS

Alright, I'm in and I'll take a flash rule. That losertar will be mine.

Cronodoculous
Jun 29, 2006

You light up my life

I've seen these threads before but never taken the plunge, this time I'm In.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Little Mac posted:

In and flash rule. I won a few times last time and never actually claimed games. This time I'm getting prizes!!!

Betting on sports gone horribly wrong.

Jamfrost posted:

Alright, I'm in and I'll take a flash rule. That losertar will be mine.

You we're caught for littering but are guilty of something else.

Grrr-Krishnakk posted:

Also take a flash rule, please.

A bank heist, but not for money.

Hypha
Sep 13, 2008



I need a new avatar or at least a new red text. IN

E: Flash rule please too.

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



I'm in because I could use a losertar.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Hypha posted:

I need a new avatar or at least a new red text. IN

E: Flash rule please too.

Whatever crime you committed, you are on the verge of being caught.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


I reckon i'll give it a shot. Count me in!

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


So do entries actually have to be related to video games when the prompt is not, or is this just Thunderdome on a different subforum

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



inthesto posted:

So do entries actually have to be related to video games when the prompt is not, or is this just Thunderdome on a different subforum

Pretty positive they have to be video game related.

Eg: if you're writing about someone being pulled over for drunk driving you make it set in the Mario Kart universe or whatever.

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


That is no what I was led to believe from the OP, I'd like to get a ruling on this

Adam Bowen
Jan 6, 2003

This post probably contains a Rickroll link!


N. Senada posted:

That is no what I was led to believe from the OP, I'd like to get a ruling on this

The Something Awful Forums > Discussion > Games > GamerDome Resurrection: Gaben's Revengeance

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

I'll have what he's having.


The previous thread did not have a rule that said the stories had to be about video games.

edit: In fact, this one doesn't either, so I dunno why you're asking.

Killer-of-Lawyers
Apr 22, 2008


In.


Also it's usually the prompts that are videogame related, not the stories, per se.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Sign-Ups are closed!

Also, the stories don't have to be based on a specific franchise or game. The prompts are usually game-related, and games are the prize, so Gamerdome.

Also, this is more of a warm-up for the real poo poo down in Thunderdome, so think of it as a writing game.

Jamfrost
Jul 20, 2013

I'm too busy thinkin' about my baby. Oh I ain't got time for nothin' else.


Slime TrainerS

I think I might do a reading, post-judging. I don't know. Have fun, y'all.

A Cop of Coffee

Careless, careless. She’s alone.
Busy talking on the phone.
My cap’s pulled down as I move in.
I’m steady. Careful. With a grin.
And then a cloth that’s soaked with sleep,
engulfs her face. “Just breathe in deep.”
Her body’s limp and in my arms.
No witnesses or tripped alarms.
Her skin’s so soft. She smells so nice.
A gag, some rope. These will suffice.

Panting, panting. Tired, old.
Misty breaths. The weather’s cold.
She’s in the trunk. It’s locked up tight.
I start the car and drive all night.
I had to stop for one quick cup.
Some morning joe to warm me up.
I toss the cup aside outside
right near a man in blue, mid-stride.

Foolish, foolish. He’s a cop,
clearly wanting me to stop.
Pretending not to see, I walk,
But then he closes in to talk.
I reach the door. Key’s in. At last.
I turn it ‘round. “Hey, not so fast!”
“Oh officer, how do you do?”
“You see that cup that you just threw?”
“Ah, yes. I recollect that cup.”
“It’s on the street so clean it up.”
“But I’m too old to bend my spine.”
“So use your legs or earn a fine.”

Careful, careful. No mistakes.
Must stay calm. Don’t raise the stakes.
She’s tuckered out. I pray she’s still.
The trash is thrown. I’ve had my fill.
While thinking of what’s up my sleeve,
I nod at him and take my leave.
I hear a thump as I pull out,
but soon we’re gone. Too late to shout.
And when we reach my favorite spot,
I’ll have exactly what I sought.
I’ll be a loving dad again.
Even if it’s just pretend.
-
Word Count: 282

Jamfrost fucked around with this message at Jun 28, 2015 around 14:20

Cronodoculous
Jun 29, 2006

You light up my life

An Apprenticeship


Tchk-shff, tchk-shff.

“Aren't there laws about this sort of thing?”

“There's laws about an incredible number of things, and I don't remember telling you to stop digging.” He was right, of course, the laws were very clear on the subject of necromancy. Firstly: trespassing in a graveyard at night, that's a week in the dungeon. Secondly: grave robbing, that's a hand cut off. Thirdly: the act itself, raising the dead, that's death, punishable on sight.

I never saw their side of the issue with that last bit, though. Nobody's using these old bones anymore, and once you get past the fact that this stuff used to be a person, what's the difference between the summoning schools other than their choice of medium? Golemancers use rock, carnomancers use meat, arbormancers use trees, but a necromancer digs up a couple skeletons that were just sitting there, and suddenly you've got an impromptu farming implement swap meet knocking on the door to your cave.

So I do my due diligence. If you go digging up a miller's wife that just got buried last week, someone's gonna catch wind. An illegible tombstone hidden in some brambles, though? Nobody's gonna bother taking their pitchfork out of storage for a centuries-old pile of bones. What's more, it's easier to work with a canvas that old. The tricky thing about necromancy is, you gotta get the old spirit out first before you can put your spirit in. The miller's wife is gonna put up quite the fight, but some poor fool whose gravestone can't even remember his name is gonna be glad to get lost. If you can't clear the old spirit out, your new friend ends up wandering off halfway through digging out your new wine cellar. And when that miller comes home to find a skeleton cooking his dinner, well, he's not going to greet it with a kiss on the cheek.

Tchk-shff, tchk-shff.

“It's just, when I read the flyer at the college, it said it'd be mainly clerical work. I thought I'd be filing papers, copying manuscripts...”

“Well then this is a great chance to get out of your comfort zone. This sort of apprenticeship looks great on a resumé . Shows you're not afraid to get your hands dirty.” I lit a few more candles as he started digging again. It's a common misconception that the candles are part of the process, really they're just for ambiance. As I've told my apprentices in the past, necromancy is 90% preparation, 9% perspiration, and 1% dead bodies.

Tchk-shff, tchk-shff, chunk.

“Oh... I think I found it sir.”

“Did I hear a crunch? I best not have heard a crunch.” I hurried to the hole to see what we'd found. No casket, maybe an enemy soldier from the war. Might make a good fighter once we get him out. My apprentice dug around and had as much of the skeleton as he could find out of the hole and onto the impromptu altar in a few minutes. “Now comes the fun part. Stand back a bit, you're stifling my energies.”

First, out with the old. I waved my hand over the pile of bones. No need to sort them neatly, they'll figure that part out themselves. A wispy red smoke, barely visible in the candlelight rose from the pile and quickly dissipated. Then, in with the new. I waved my hand back the other way over the pile as more smoke, purple this time, drifted from my fingertips and disappeared into the bones themselves. Suddenly the whole mess started shaking and creaking. I took a step back to let it figure itself out. The bones snap into place as if following written instructions. Legs are up first, then the pelvis, the rest of the torso, a couple arms, and the head pops into place last.

“Amazing, sir.”

“Not my best work, admittedly, but not half bad either.” I size up the skeleton, now sitting upright on the edge of the cloth draped over the stone, and nod to myself. “Alright, let's get that hole filled back up, it's unlikely anybody will be back here, but it's better to be safe than sorry.” He quickly gets back to shoveling while I work on getting the skeleton moving. A flick of the wrist and he's standing up nice and tall. “Oh you'll be perfect. Maybe an archer? Oooh, or maybe we'll stick you in a barrel.”

Tchk-shff, tchk-shff, clink-clank.

“Sir did you-”

“Ssh...” I scanned our surroundings. Darkness, spooky stuff, ominous glow... Wait, that's not our ominous glow. I peered at the light coming from the entrance to the graveyard. Not the reddish orange of a torchlight, no. Pure white. Magelight. Some lowlife alchemist come to pick flowers? Then I saw the gleam. Plate armor. This is not good.

“Sir is that... is that the guard? Oh geez... I... sir I can't... I should just...” He dropped the shovel and started walking towards the front gate.

I grabbed the corners of the cloth I had covering the altar and scooped my supplies up whole. I looked over at my new, soon-to-be old, skeleton and pointed towards the approaching figure. “Slow him down.” The skeleton's shoulders jerked upwards and his head rolled back as his ribcage expanded, then contracted. Did he just... exasperatedly sigh at me? I really have to figure out how to make these things less passive-aggressive.

The apprentice raised his hands in a non-threatening gesture and called out. “Hey! Guardsman? We're over here! I didn't know what he was going to have me do and I don't agree with any of this stuff and if you could find it in your agghuck gurgle splart.”

Dashing off through the back of the graveyard, or as well as I could in my robes, I didn't turn back to see what gruesome end my ex-apprentice just made. Judging by the sound I'd wager he'd just gotten a throatful of arrow, though. Magelight, plate armor, and archery skills. That's no guardsman, only an adventurer is that unfocused in his choice of skills. I ran and ran, until a stifling heat lead me to glance at my hand; my hastily collected bag of supplies was on fire. The candles... I forgot to put out the candles... I dropped the mess, hitched up my robes, and broke into a sprint. Through the gully past the burned out chapel follow the river move the hanging moss and there's the door. My cave. I slammed the door behind me and barred it shut. Collapsing in a heap with my back against the wall, I waved off a skeleton as he creaked over and attempted to take my coat. I wasn't even wearing a coat. I never wear a coat...

Losing an apprentice is a hassle. Losing my good necromancing candles was worse, I'd have to make a trip up north to replace those. The good news is, if that adventurer collects the bounty on necromancers, it might take the heat off me for a bit. I collected myself and walked to my study. Slumping down in front of my desk, I pulled out a quill and a roll of parchment. I dabbed the quill in my inkwell and started to write: “APPRENTICESHIP AVAILABLE. FLEXIBLE HOURS. UNPAID.”


Word Count: 1231

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


Didn't even try to make it video game related this time, maybe next.

Sole Ascension, 1158 words

There I stood, completely dumbfounded. My necessity for a new pair of shoes had lead me to a display behind a familiar glass window, showcasing a plethora of shapes and styles. I was never one to dabble in fashion, thus it had become a routine at this point - get in, browse meagerly for a period of time neither too long, nor too short, and give ‘em the ol’ “switcheroo”. I casually stroll out with a new pair of boots, or clogs, or whatever tickled my fancy on the occasion, and the monkeys working the floors would be none the wiser. No bullshit. Perhaps, not quite so easy this time…

A quick glance at the contents of the display was a simple formality as I made my way into the store front, but I found myself unable to stick to protocol. Just a quick glance, and my complete attention was diverted towards something wonderous - an absolute anomaly compared to the standard cluster. I could see my facial features with perfect detail, reflected in ripples on the surface of the most magnificent pair of leather loafers I had ever laid my eyes on. An apex predator, a beast among beasts. Or was the animal that previously wore the skin that was masterfully crafted into this pair of shoes even born of this world? For a solid moment, doubts and concerns reverberated throughout my habitually stoic mind, and I was lost in a completely new world of marvel and appreciation for what was once so mundane. It hit me that I had never even considered I actually had choices on my previous heists.

I had already began to picture myself walking nonchalantly about town, now a man of style, socializing with the other men and women of refined taste, and the envy of the boring and the bored. I would soon pull the greatest heist of my career, and have the prize to end all prizes.

That’s when the shock ran over me, and left me dazed. I was completely overwhelmed. Everything had changed.

Never once had I considered a pair of shoes, or any other article of clothing for that matter, as an object of value - they are just footwear, a societal essential. I need shoes. It wasn’t worth the thought nor the effort to concern myself with something that was a “prerequisite” for existing within civilization, I reassured myself, with my uniquely arrogant sense of logic. This was an important part of rationalizing what I was about to do. I shook it off, and proceeded into the store.

This time was different. I was no longer walking into my own personal closet, grabbing a pair of shoes without a second thought, and marching off to some other place as per routine - no, this time I was on a mission. I needed them. I had began to take note of people and things I had normally completely ignored - the workers stationed at the registers in the front, the line of patrons twisting around the corner of the show floor, and the burly security guard standing proudly at the head of the store that I had just passed on my way in, now intimidating and fearsome as if through some change in the climate. He nodded politely as the customers left the store with their recent purchases with a glint of confidence in his eyes that felt as if he had the ability to pierce their innermost thoughts, and immediately identify any ill-intent. He was the ultimate obstacle to my mission, and the supreme guardian of the store. No problem, I had gotten away with it what must have been a dozen or more times in the past. Besides, what I was doing wasn’t even wrong.

Was it?

I tried to avoid second guessing myself, and made my way through the store frantically, half distracted from the task at hand. Although my head was clouded, I managed to find the shelf displaying the loafers I was after with minimal effort, guided by a dark desire welling inside of me. I had been overcome by a strange kind of excitement as I began to unbox the loafers in anticipation. Pure cocaine.

Here they are. The only pair of shoes that could possibly fit on these feet. I gazed upon them in awe, gently stroking the smooth, polished surface affectionately. My fingertips snagged on a patch of roughness as they reached the end of the surface. I pulled them up to my face for a closer look. What I saw reflected in the leather was a far cry from the display case in the front. Close examination had distorted my reflection into a twisted aberration of lopsided constructs. I sighed softly. It was then that I had realized for the first time, vanity had gotten the best of me. I had much fondness and appreciation for the bastion of craftsmanship that laid in my hands, easily the finest pair of shoes I would ever hold. However, the novelty wore off sharply, like a pain killer fading from my system abruptly. What my eyes saw a reflection of my physical self, my conscience saw as a reflection of the inner me, and deemed it truthfully so in that exact moment. A pair of shoes really is nothing to fuss over, I thought to myself as I reboxed the loafers and placed them back on the shelf, but I now had recognized the err in my logic as a first hand experience. Nothing to fuss over, but valuable nonetheless.

I grabbed a pair of plain, black work boots in my size and marched triumphantly to the register, ignoring the line, and slamming them down proudly on the counter. “Uhm, ok,” the cashier girl acknowledged, as she rang me up. “Your total comes to-.. $22.13”, she said with a smile. I paid her as fast as I could, and picked up my box. “Can I wear them out?”, I chimed in enthusiastically, to which I was given a nod. “Of course! Thank you for shopping with us.” I took a seat on one of the benches at the front of the store, and stepped into my new shoes. They were rather lackluster in appearance relative to the common shoe, let alone the luscious loafers I had been holding just moments ago, but they did have a certain fresh, new charm. The appearance of the shoes did not matter, this was a turning point. A moral revelation.

As I walked towards the exit of the store, I didn’t notice the security guard standing, giving me a thorough look-over. “Hey buddy!”, he grabbed me sternly by the arm. I froze up for a moment, not entirely understanding what was happening. He looked over my face carefully for couple of seconds, then down at my feet, then back up before giving the thumbs up. “I see you made the right choice!”

Hypha
Sep 13, 2008



A crow never fights fair

Below the high noon sun on the grassy knoll,
A hawk tinged in red stood over bloodied kill,
His vigilance of Leporidae taking its toll,
Flesh ripped and fur matted as he had his fill,

Above in a spruce a murder stood guard,
Waiting their turn to feast on the prize,
But among their members, one found it hard,
To have the appetizer with only his eyes,

"Brothers, our meal before us wroth does decay ,
A plump hare reduced to ribboned dregs,
Does his pride over our numbers hold any sway?
By grace of majesty for food we begs?"

"Sees them quick-sharp claws, sees them there blackened beak?"
Sees ours blunted edge, the difference insies power?
thems be reason why we sit here so content and meek,
One raise ol that claw shouldsy be enough to cower."

"You know as well as I that all can be infirm
Laid low by what we don't know and see,
Sit back on this branch, please applaud and squirm,
The entertainment is daylight robbery"

With a flourish to mask the hunger and fear,
He swept down to meet his distracted foe,
Care on approach taken so none would hear,
The dead black eyes of the hare only to know,

The crow threw his whole body behind a check,
catching the hawk squarely upon the head,
Though a weapon lacking, the crows beak did peck,
The arena squared by the corpse of the dead,

Wounded by surprise and beaten to an inch,
The hawk in haste retreated into the sky,
The crow's brothers right beside him in a pinch,
Securing with strength that won by the sly,

For many a moon nary a shadow was cast,
but by the hares and crows with valour sure,
It was a wish that the hawk was of the past,
So felled by an underhanded vanquisher,

Till one evening under awakening stars,
The majestic spectre again would fly,
To find our hero in a vacant lot of tar,
Battling fiercely a ferocious French fry.

"You, who did beseech my honour and claim,
My dominion over those below and on high,
Tonight, I shall return due fear to my name,
Tonight thief, by my power you shall die."

"Your first mistake was to announce you returned,
Do you expect me to plead for my life?
To such hollow threats I have become inured,
I will still wager your sword against my knife"

With piercing cry the hawk leaped at the crow,
Who fled to the air looking for an escape,
Through gnarled trees and hung wire the pair would flow,
Clenching claws sweeping for an exposed nape.

Though the crow weaved and dodged with great skill,
The hawk was getting wise to his tricks and play,
While his every maneuver could awe and thrill,
He couldn't keep doing this much more today.

Finally he stumbled and hit a tree limb
Tumbling fast through the foliage green,
Though his wing was broken and his vision dim,
He perceived by him a transparent screen.

The hawk found the crow crawling on the floor,
And he set into a dive without due care,
To notice the sheen of the automatic door,
Given chance, a crow never fights fair.

Word count: 542

Grrr-Krishnakk
Jul 17, 2005

PUPPIES!


Sweet Freedom

Garrett sipped his coffee and thought about emotions. It was a subject he’d been devoting a lot of reflection to lately. Right now, he was aware of feeling mildly anxious. It had been so long since he felt anything besides fear he was finding it a surprisingly novel experience. Even when he was drafting the plan there was nothing but emptiness. He sipped his coffee and eyed the door of the bank. A slight figure shambled into the glow cast by the streetlight outside the bank, and Garrett’s mind slipped from anxiousness to blank, mindless terror. He flinched back into the shadows where he stood and stared at the woman as she shuffled past the door of the bank in a rolling, unsteady gait. Garrett forced himself to think, pushing aside his sudden fear and silently cursing himself for a coward. He had to focus. It was almost time to go. The woman had now passed around the corner of the bank, disappearing into the shadows of the parking lot. Garrett knew that She was heading for her car, where She would get back behind the wheel and keep working on Her bottle of cheap bourbon, listening to country music on the radio and smoking cigarettes before emerging in an hour for another symbolic patrol. Garrett counted to ten before ditching his coffee and donning his latex gloves.

Hefting his heavy backpack and gym bag he quickly paced around the opposite side of the bank away from where the woman had just disappeared. He reached the rear service door and pulled a heavy key from his pocket, a tiny LED lamp swinging from the key ring. As the key slipped into the lock he remembered how terrified he’d been when he stole the original days earlier to make this copy. The plan could have been discovered and destroyed right there, because he knew that if She noticed his theft then She’d force the truth from him, wringing it out in bloody pieces. Thankfully, the key’s brief absence had gone unnoticed. The door swung open and he slipped inside quickly, pulling it quietly closed behind him. His fingers danced across the number pad on the alarm panel next to the door, the sequence committed to memory from countless times watching Her enter it. He realised he was holding his breath and forced it out slowly, willing himself to try to calm down. He was in.

Garrett moved from the narrow corridor into the rear of the bank’s office, weaving between the desks in the dark. From the vault door there were three windows where a passing car would be able to see any light. He set his gym bag down on the ground and pulled out a sheet of thick black canvas and a roll of duct tape. Standing on tiptoe he taped the top of the sheet to the glass of the window, letting it drape down and cutting off the glow of the streetlight. Pulling more canvas from his bag, he quickly did the same with the other two windows. The darkness inside the bank was now almost total. Now that the sheets were up, he felt safer. Further away from Her. He palmed the tiny lamp and moved back to the vault door. He knew the bank’s history, because She’d spoke of it before. Around the turn of the previous century prospectors found a promising coal seam in the low hills a few miles away. A mining concern bought the rights and miners and tradesmen were brought in. They brought with them new diners, bars and whores to keep them happy, and more cops for when they got too happy. The town’s population tripled over the course of three years. To cope with the surprising new demand, the bank’s owners had added a new extension in 1904, building it around an impressively massive new vault. The concrete walls were fifteen inches thick, the door eight inches of solid steel. The coal rush dropped off virtually overnight just months later when the seam was exhausted. The population dropped just as dramatically as it had risen, and the town had limped on in mediocrity since. As a result, the vault had never been upgraded. The owners could never justify the costs of a new vault. Or of adding an alarm to the inside of the vault itself, for that matter. Time locks were added later, but they didn’t matter to Garrett.

Crouched in the tiny sphere of light from his lamp he swiftly retrieved his father’s old welding mask from the pack, wiping the visor on his sleeve before slipping it over his head. His questing hands found the hose and the regulator, assembling the pieces before fitting the cutting tool. He reached into the pack and twisted the valves on the small oxygen and acetylene tanks in the pack before setting down the lamp, sliding on heavy gloves and lifting the striker to the nozzle. The cutting torch burst into life, the actinic glare etching surfaces and shadows in sharp relief. Holding the torch to the vault door, he watched as the steel started to glow. Beginning as a deep cherry red, the spot under his torch brightened to orange and then searing yellow as the heat built up in the thick door. A pit formed under his torch as the steel starting running in steaming red globules. Minutes crawled past as Garrett inexpertly carved an opening into the vault door, about one foot above the ground and two feet wide. Sweat was beading on his forehead, less from the heat and more from the return of his anxiousness, and he paused to check his wristwatch. He’d been inside the bank for maybe 15 minutes. He had plenty of time, but he was impatient to be done and away from here. He was acutely aware that She was sitting less than 100 feet away. Garrett was terrified of getting caught. Caught by Her. He bent back to his task, willing the torch to cut faster. Finally, the rough rectangle he had sliced from the vault door fell loose with a clanging, echoing thud. Shutting off the torch, Garrett leaned back and kicked against the cut section. It fell inside the vault and slid across the concrete floor. The area he’d just been cutting still glowed red, and he pulled a can of freeze spray from the bottom of his bag. The searing metal hissed and spat as the spray hit it, rapidly dimming from red to a dull, scorched black. He reached out and dragged the gym bag closer, pulling from it the last bundle of canvas which he laid across the jagged cut at the bottom of the opening. Crawling on his stomach, Garrett entered the vault.

His torch played across the safe deposit boxes lining the walls and the trolley of cotton bags, each filled near to bursting with notes and coins. Springing forward he seized the first bag, ripping apart bundles of notes and flinging them into the air. The second bag soon followed, with rolls of coins hurled against the floor and the walls, spilling their contents with merry jingling noises across the concrete floor of the vault. He continued until all of the bags were empty, the floor littered with tens of thousands of dollars. When he drafted the plan he thought he’d enjoy this part, but he remained anxious to just be away. He crawled back through the rough opening, his elbows slipping on coins as he went. An edge of excitement stiffened his spine as he quickly stuffed his cutting gear and the now-empty gym bag back into the pack, swinging it over his shoulder as he marched back to the rear door. He left the alarm off and the door unlocked as he passed through. Creeping to the back corner of the bank, he carefully inched around to peer at the single car parked in lot. In the dark he could see the glow of a cigarette flare briefly before dying again. He inched back and turned away, jogging briskly back across the road to the welcoming darkness of his alley.

He’d done it. He was almost free from Her. When his interfering father had died he thought he’d be free to finally indulge his curiosities, not realising his mother would be so intractable. So short-sighted. So infuriatingly obtuse. Soon though, She would no longer be a problem. All that remained was a stop at a payphone on the way back to his car, from where an anonymous and concerned member of the public would report suspicious activity at the bank. Soon afterwards, the police would arrive and find Her sitting in Her car, absolutely oblivious. She’d certainly lose Her job, and probably Her security licence. Soon She’d have bigger problems than frustrating his peculiar indulgences. If he was very lucky, She’d kill herself. Garrett moved back into the alley, merging back into the darkness, in search of a payphone.

Wordcount: 1499, because I'm a dick like that.

Edit: Oh and critiques welcome if anyone chooses to provide one - I signed up so I'd be forced to actually write something and I'd deffo like to improve my style so fire away dudes.

Grrr-Krishnakk fucked around with this message at Jun 29, 2015 around 00:41

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



Bad Night
Word count: 653

(Its not gaming related sadly)

At 22 you think you can get away with anything..

I pull onto the highway and see a bunch of lights and cars stopped on the interstate. As I get closer the familiar red and blue lights came into focus, the campaign hat signifying that the state troopers were at work, and the ocassional officer using their flashlight to cops were involved that at least was certain.

Still in a haze I brought the car to a halt at the first highway patrolman. He instructed me to approach the second officer standing further down, Officer Daniels was it? Officer Duncan? Something like that. gently caress, he just said it.

I stop just short of the second officer, and for a split second I debate if I should try to turn the car around and just head back. No, that'd be just as bad. I'll just try to get through this as best I can. DUI checkpoints aren't necessarily a scary thing, that is of course if you aren't drunk and just drove into one of them like a moron. The alcohol from just an hour earlier is still fresh in my body. That couch I was offered sure sounds like a much better deal than what I'm facing right now. That gnawing feeling like you're seconds from something terrible happening starts to fill my head.

"Good evening sir, I'm Officer...." That's all I heard at first before I know I'm screwed. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

"Sir? Your license and registration please."

I reach over for my registration and pulled out my license. My hand starts to shake from the adrenaline coursing through my body.

"OK, Mr. Samuels thank you. Now, can I ask where you were coming from?"

"Uh.."

Should I lie to him?

"A...a friend's house. Over on Jackson Street."

"OK sir, and may I ask have you been drinking tonight?"

"No. No sir."

"Are you sure Mr. Samuels? Your eyes are a little bloodshot and I can smell a bit of alcohol coming from your car."

gently caress it, I've got too much to lose and if I can get out of this with a little white lie then I'll do it.

"Officer I swear to you I was not drinking. I promise you I'd never do that." My voice trembles.

poo poo, he smells the alcohol on me. That sweet alluring taste of debauchery and liquefied courage.

"OK sir, I'll just need you to stay her for a moment."

He heads towards the rear of the car in the direction I just came from. I can hear him talking to the first officer but only barely. This is it. This is where for the next several years of my life I am royally hosed. The crunching gravel signals the Officer is making his way back to me.

"OK sir, here's your license and registration. You're good to go. Drive safe now."

Wait...what? Did he just say that? Am I in the clear? Should I pull the car away and do...

"Sir, did you hear me? I said you can go."

"Yeah...sorry." I smile sheepishly at him.

Holy poo poo I'm in the clear! Thank loving Christ, I swear I'll never drink and drive again. I swear to God I'll never be this stupid again. The car comes to a steady speed as I enter the highway. The adrenaline starts to dissipate as I reach the exit a few miles down from the checkpoint. I keep telling myself that it's just a few blocks and I'm home. After pulling into my apartments parking lot I turn the car off and just site there for a while and think. I think about how I just lied to a policeman. I think about what could have happened if he didn't let me go. I think about what would have happened had I listened to everyone saying I should stay and sleep on that drat couch.

Little Mac
Jan 3, 2006

Super Mario Bros 3

The Wrong Bird
1,012 words

“9,999 gil on Abocolypse Now,” Karth said, slamming the bag onto the counter. Around him he could hear a few whispers, maybe some giggles. To Karth Lionward it didn’t matter how they reacted, this wasn’t his first time down at the betting tables and it certainly wasn’t his first time at the Chocobo races. He smiled as the bored bookie handed him a slip of paper.

“Upon victory you can claim your reward at this counter,” the bookie sighed. Karth merely laughed and looked proudly onto the betting slip. He folded it into his pocket and made his way out to the stands where he could watch the races up close. He stood, staring out into the holographic rainbow expanse that made up the racecourse. Karth was so caught up in it he didn’t notice the two men sidle up on either side of him.

“Pally,” came a gruff, husky voice, “might wanna sit down f’r this one, yeah?” Don Corneo’s oozing voice made Karth stiffen and he felt the man’s clammy hands push him down into the stands. Karth did everything he could to shake off the fear, but was only able to stammer a bit, causing Corneo to laugh.

“Ah, c’mon, what’re ya so scared for, kid?” the Don cackled, his spit hitting the back of Karth’s skullcap. “I know what you’re thinkin’, that I followed you all the way from Midgar ‘cause you owe me 20,000 gil. Kid, I don’t get outta bed for less than a hundred. I just came here for the races – ‘cause who don’t like races? – an’ then my boy Kotch here tells me he sees you downstairs at the betting tables. Lucky me, too, that you’re gonna be a rich man soon, kid. Who’d ya bet on?”

Don Corneo, blonde and flabby in his indigo coat and exposing his greasy chest hair, was a notable crime boss back in Midgar. He ran most of everything in Sector 7 – the hookers at the Honey Bee, the bros at the gym, and people even said he had his fingers in a lot of the bars around town, too. Rumor had it he was in with the Shinra, which would explain how he was out here in the middle of the desert instead of back under the old metal pizza. The two goons on Karth’s right and left stared him down, beating him with their glares. He knew the one on his left: Kotch, a mohawked punk who would’ve been just another Midgar loser if not for Corneo needing someone to corrupt. Karth didn’t recognize the guy on his right, but he looked like just another one those musclebound freaks from Wall Market. Where was Scotch, the usual lackey with the sunglasses?

“Listen, Don, I can explain,” Karth began. “I’m gonna have your money. I didn’t mean to spend so much on the girls, anyway. Since I left, I’ve been working with some traders and-!“ Two clammy hands pressed down on his shoulders again, this time almost striking.

“Didn’t ask,” he growled, “don’t care. I asked which one of those birds you put my gil on.”

“The blue one,” Karth stuttered. “Abocolypse Now. He’s won his past eight races. He’s a surefire winner and he pays triple. I’m gonna have your money, Don Corneo. Just wait for this race.” The Don shared a smirk with Kotch and then finally released Karth’s shoulders. For the first time in minutes he breathed, deeply and shakily. Don Corneo chuckled softly and didn’t speak again as the race began.

The birds flew off, running down the track at incredibly speeds while loud music blared throughout the viewing room. Karth smiled as his bird took an early lead, stomping past Wutai WarWinger. He slid his hand into his pocket and held the betting slip tightly – coming out even and not needing to look over his shoulder anymore for Corneo’s goons would still be a win, really. Well worth it.

Then beak hit floor. A loud “SQUARRK” rang throughout the arena as the blue chocobo hit the floor. ChocoWEAPON, a blood red bird, stormed past, cooing loudly in victory. Abocolypse had tripped, maybe hurt something. The fanfare rang out. The race was over. Abocolypse Now had not finished and was disqualified.

“Too bad,” Corneo whispered. “Too, too bad. Shame about your bet, kid, but hey, if you were able to bet half what you owe me, that must mean a fiscally responsible fella like yourself must have enough money to clear things between us stashed away, right?” Kotch’s eyes burned holes though Karth’s.

“I-“ Karth took off as fast as he could, pushing the crowd aside and heading for wherever he could hide within the Gold Saucer. It didn’t make any sense – the bird was healthy, nothing made him trip. Karth knew he should have won. It was just supposed to be dumb bird betting. It was supposed to be his ticket to safety in the frozen north, where not even Corneo’s slimy claws reached. Karth found himself funneled through the mass of people and dove into an open submarine arcade game, closing the hatch behind him. Karth let out a breath and stared at the screen, only to see the reflection of dark sunglasses glinting at him in its reflection.

“I want you to know this wasn’t all for you,” Scotch said, locking Karth in a chokehold. “The Don rigs these races every month or so, just for funsies. I broke that dumb bluebird’s leg earlier this morning. You were just one of the many suckers who just paid out to us. You just bet on the wrong bird.”Karth could feel himself fading. He knew that he wouldn’t like wherever he woke up. Scotch, ever the monolguist, continued.

“But don’t worry, Karth. We in Wall Market would love to have you back. We need you, and others like you because really, guy, it’s not just that you owe us money. It’s that you tried to leave. None of us can leave Karth.

“And no one checks out of the Honey Bee Inn.”

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


A Rough 12 Hours

Word Count: 1066

Tim Smithwick decelerated his 10-year-old blue sedan. The vehicle was covered with dents given by homemakers who negligently pushed grocery carts and by coworkers whose concern with Tim’s car did not match their enthusiasm for opening their car doors. Tim Smithwick glanced at himself in the rear-view mirror. Square, black sunglasses covered his eyes and brows. The cheap plastic pinched his nose just enough so that later, when he would remove these, he’d have a red welt that would eventually blister. A baseball cap with a faded logo of a local team – the Seaside Swallows – was too snug on his head. The mirror wasn’t angled properly to see the faint mustard stain on Tim’s white polo t-shirt, but it did show Tim his collar needed fixing.

Tim Smithwick pulled his car next to a woman with long, blonde, curly hair. A miniskirt hugged at her hips and a low-cut halter top pushed her cleavage up. She wore ruby-red lipstick and smelled like a flower Tim couldn’t quite remember the name of.

“Uh, hi, ma’am, are you interested?” Tim sputtered out.

“Interested in what, honey?” the woman replied. A small teal purse on a thin strap hung from her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, I’ve never done this before. Do we talk first, or do I meet you somewhere? Do I give you a ride?”

“Just tell me what you want, and I’ll give it you, baby.”

It was maybe two minutes between when Tim Smithwick stated what he wanted – and the cost he thought was appropriate – and when the officers had him face down on the pavement. Maybe a minute and thirty seconds.

Tim Smithwick laid his personal property on the officer’s desk. A wallet, set of keys, a smartphone, a hat two sizes too small, and a business card from a coworker with a street address on it and message: “Good luck getting some, Timmy!” Tim Smithwick answered the officer’s questions with a voice that was far away from here. Tim rattled off every piece of biographical information the officer requested. His name, social security number, address, telephone number, mother’s maiden name, place of work, emergency contact, next-of-kin.

The officer said, “I need you to remove your shoelaces.”

Tim Smithwick eyes moved to the officers, his attention returned to the moment. He said, “I’m sorry, excuse me, what?”

“Remove your shoelaces. You can keep your shoes while you’re here, but I need your shoelaces.”

Tim quickly removed his brown loafers and lifted them up to remove the shoelaces. “Sir, I’m sorry but sir, my shoes don’t have shoelaces.”

The officer looked at the loafers, “Alright, you’re okay.”

“Why do you need the shoelaces?”

“It’s to prevent inmates from killing themselves.”

“Oh.”

“You want to make a call?”

“Sorry, sir, I’m sorry. I don’t know.”

Tim Smithwick was led into the holding cell where he would be spending three nights of his life. It was a large space that was almost the size of his bedroom, Tim decided. A single toilet was affixed to the wall with a small barred window affixed above it. The officer told him he had the place to himself and that he’d bring by some food for him in a little while. The officer left but reappeared on the other side of a pane of glass. The officer sat down at a computer and Tim occasionally made eye contact with him. At one such event, Tim awkwardly waved to the officer. The officer cocked his head slightly and raised an eyebrow before returning back to his computer.

Tim Smithwick looked at his shaking hands. He felt an overwhelming need to relieve himself and approached the toilet. He unzipped his pants and pulled out his member. His unsteady hands caused the urine to miss the bowl and spill out onto the floor. Tim looked around for some toilet paper and found only a thin shoelace. It floated in the pool of urine.

Sitting on the cold, concrete benches, Tim Smithwick heard what sounded like a gunshot. His heart raced as he stood up to look out the window. Had there been a gangland shooting, a breakout attempt? Perhaps a cop pushed over the edge? As Tim scanned the gravel lot, he saw two hooded figures running away as they threw a small, lit object. It exploded, sending bits of debris everywhere. Several pebbles hit the window and Tim instinctually tried to duck, falling backwards off the toilet and into his own small puddle of urine. His already dirty polo soaked up his waste. The officer tossed a bag of chips beside Tim and walked back to his computer.

Tim Smithwick woke up smelling of urine and immersed in regret. The officer brought him an apple and asked for the second time, “You want to make a call?”

Tim Smithwick struggled to remember his wife’s work number. Eventually, he dialed information and had them connect him.

“Honey, where are you? I’ve asked everybody where you might be, I’ve been scared halfway to death!”

“I-I-I,” Tim Smithwick stuttered, “I’m in jail.” He had to hold the receiver away from his ear as a scream burst through.

“Jail! What happened, what did you do?”

A hiss of static hung between the spouses and, then, “I got into a fight.” The officer laughed quietly.

“A fight?”

After a lengthy and overly elaborate lie, Mrs. Smithwick told her husband to sit tight and that she would be there soon to post bail.

The officer said, “She’s going to find out what you’re here for when she comes by.”

Tim Smithwick paced the holding cell for the next thirty minutes. Then he saw, through the glass pane, Mrs. Smithwick speaking to the officer. Her face turned to Tim’s. Her cheeks turned a harsh red. Her whole body tensed as she clenched her small, teal purse. The officer, smiling, began escorting Mrs. Smithwick to the holding cell.

Tim Smithwick reached for the urine-soaked shoelace and put it up to his neck. Mrs. Smithwick entered into the room, shouting infidelity this and bastard that. The shoelace snapped. Tim Smithwick jerked himself backwards. He slipped on the drying pool of his own urine. His head smacked hard against the toilet and his vision became blurry and dark. As he faded into the sweet relief of unconsciousness, Tim Smithwick had a thought. At least something had gone the way he wanted it to.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Submissions are closed!

Which is nice, because everyone submitted! You should have your judgements and the next prompt later on today.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


May the defendants please rise.

In the case of Posters v. Gamerdome, the judge has ruled that:

Cronodoculous is this week's winner, for making me chuckle about necromancy.

Our honorable mentions are Jamfrost, who wrote up a creepy poem for us all, and Little Mac for a rough piece that still had a bit of dark charm to it.

Dishonorable Mentions for this week go to Grrr-Krishnak for a piece that rambled on and on but only had a paragraph or two of story at best, Unfunny Poster for a really clunky bit of exposition, and Hypha for not finishing his story.

Finally, we render the verdict of loser onto N. Senada for the craziest protagonist I couldn't care less about.

And that wraps up our first contest! Steam ID is HERE!, so contact me to discuss your prizes!

Also, have a brooding crime drawing, as done by my wife.



Expect the next prompt up soon!

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Back to the bottom, aww yeah

Adam Bowen
Jan 6, 2003

This post probably contains a Rickroll link!


My story is the only one actually about video games, this is bullshit

Hypha
Sep 13, 2008



Is it possible to get a critique? I guess I could have added another stanza but is the rest of it working or is it utter bollock?

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


J.A.B.C. posted:

May the defendants please rise.

In the case of Posters v. Gamerdome, the judge has ruled that:

Cronodoculous is this week's winner, for making me chuckle about necromancy.

Our honorable mentions are Jamfrost, who wrote up a creepy poem for us all, and Little Mac for a rough piece that still had a bit of dark charm to it.

Dishonorable Mentions for this week go to Grrr-Krishnak for a piece that rambled on and on but only had a paragraph or two of story at best, Unfunny Poster for a really clunky bit of exposition, and Hypha for not finishing his story.

Finally, we render the verdict of loser onto N. Senada for the craziest protagonist I couldn't care less about.

And that wraps up our first contest! Steam ID is HERE!, so contact me to discuss your prizes!

Also, have a brooding crime drawing, as done by my wife.



Expect the next prompt up soon!

Was mine so bad that you didn't even read it?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Adam Bowen posted:

My story is the only one actually about video games, this is bullshit

Your story wasn't even a story. I think it broke every rule for stories in this thread aside from word count. It was more like a malevolent patch of print, hating all and being hated by all.

So I didn't count it. But if you want I can count you as in for that last contest.

Hypha posted:

Is it possible to get a critique? I guess I could have added another stanza but is the rest of it working or is it utter bollock?

Good question!

My judge notes!

Grrr-Krishnakk: -- You spend a lot of time explaining the methods, but not a lot of time creating a reason why we should care about these methods. Use your senses, as well. Instead of telling us he's in, let us hear the click of the lock and the exhale of a held breath.

For example: Garrett moved from the narrow corridor into the rear of the bank’s office, weaving between the desks in the dark. From the vault door there were three windows where a passing car would be able to see any light. He set his gym bag down on the ground and pulled out a sheet of thick black canvas and a roll of duct tape. Standing on tiptoe he taped the top of the sheet to the glass of the window, letting it drape down and cutting off the glow of the streetlight. Pulling more canvas from his bag, he quickly did the same with the other two windows. The darkness inside the bank was now almost total. Now that the sheets were up, he felt safer. Further away from Her. He palmed the tiny lamp and moved back to the vault door. He knew the bank’s history, because She’d spoke of it before. Around the turn of the previous century prospectors found a promising coal seam in the low hills a few miles away. A mining concern bought the rights and miners and tradesmen were brought in. They brought with them new diners, bars and whores to keep them happy, and more cops for when they got too happy. The town’s population tripled over the course of three years. To cope with the surprising new demand, the bank’s owners had added a new extension in 1904, building it around an impressively massive new vault. The concrete walls were fifteen inches thick, the door eight inches of solid steel. The coal rush dropped off virtually overnight just months later when the seam was exhausted. The population dropped just as dramatically as it had risen, and the town had limped on in mediocrity since. As a result, the vault had never been upgraded. The owners could never justify the costs of a new vault. Or of adding an alarm to the inside of the vault itself, for that matter. Time locks were added later, but they didn’t matter to Garrett. 

Instead, try:

Garret moves down the corridor and into the office, seeing the vault door from the light of the streetlamps. Lots of windows meant lots of chances to be caught. A roll of duct tape and some canvas solved that problem, leaving him in near complete darkness. Separating him and Her. Small flashlight in his hand as he turns his attention back to the vault door. Eight inches of steel surrounded by a foot and a half of concrete, built during the mining boom in 1904. After the town shrunk, securing the bank became the least of their worries and the vault remained the same ever since. No alarms, no upgrades to contend with. Some locks, but those didn't matter.

Contests like this are an economy of words. You have to focus on the important parts of your story, the characters or the action or the goals, yet still find a way to add in the details that make the world live.

Also, the ending doesn't really have any sort of build-up, so it falls kinda flat. We don't have an idea what his hobbies are, just that he doesn't like his mother for getting in their way.

N. Senada -- What? Just, what? I mean, I understand the story, but none of the characters make any sense. Things flash by without a cause, time skips and stutters here and there. I don't really understand why he did anything he did, and not just in a moral sense. What are the mechanics. Why would he do any of this? Why is the time so jumpy?

Little Mac -- Final Fantasy 7 fanfic, hey! Though there are some rough spots here and there it comes together. And even without a connection to the games you can tell that Don Corneo is the sort of rear end in a top hat that would pull something like this. You establish a setting well enough to make it stand without the supports. Though you really should have proof-read for the missing punctuation and other errors.

Jamfrost -- I felt creeped out when I read this, so mission accomplished. Not much else to say. It was short according to word count but you used that space to make it work and you didn't try to fill it up with unnecessary words. Simple, brief, creepy.

Cronodoculous -- Good story, has a good narrative and reads well from start to finish. I kinda got tripped up on the first part, instead of 'he' try 'my assistant' or something else to help establish who is speaking where. Other than that you had a good mix of comedy, drama and contemplation.

Hypha -- So, what happened? He saw the automatic door, and then what? Did someone come out and shoo away the hawk? Was it put down, chased away? This feels like it ended too soon.

And technically, he was caught by the hawk, just not punished. I'm actually not sure what happened at the end there, but you're still in the spirit of the flash rule, so there's that.

Another stanza or two to help accentuate the triumph would have helped this piece out a lot.

Unfunny Poster -- Some proofreading would have helped this out. Also, it just kind of happens. You try to put in the tension, but it doesn't quite work and nothing comes of the buildup but a paragraph of regret. It all just feels kind of stock, like something you'd see in a video for a driver's ed class.

BabyRyoga -- The 'character development' in this one feels somewhat forced and rushed through. So he doesn't care about shoes he steals, then cares, then doesn't care. It's hard to really get a feel for the character, as you don't see a lot of emotion in his reactions, either. He tells us his feelings but we don't actually see them.

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