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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Signups are closed. Get writin'.

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Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Kaishai posted:

Thunderdome Recaps!

Thanks for the audiocrits, by the way!

Daeres
Sep 4, 2011


Cataphract
1170 words

It was dark in the transport’s hold. That suited Aithon, being cut off from the rest of the world kept him calm. He hadn’t so much as whinnied since they’d had taken off. It didn’t suit his rider. Amaria had that cavalry instinct for wide open spaces, and her anticipation for the drop was building. She forced herself to remain still, to breathe deeply. Not much longer, she told herself. Not much longer.

“One minute to drop.” came Kavak’s raspy, comforting voice over the intercom. At last.

Amaria’s heart skipped a beat as she saddled up. Aithon was just as excited, as soon as he felt his rider’s weight he realised battle was near. He started to stomp his hooves on the metal floor.

She put on her helmet, and laughed as she felt its clasps clicking into place. Amaria could see everything around her as though she wasn’t wearing anything at all, and the thought that her enemies would only see her helmet’s skeletal filigree gave her deep satisfaction. It was almost time.

“Ten seconds until drop.” said Kavak. He cleared his throat. Amaria knew what was coming next, and made no move to stop him.
“Ohrmazd, firm among firm, wise ruler of the cosmos, bless this child Amaria Apion, daughter of Rome and Persia, fill her with your truth and your fire, protect her from harm. Activating gravity chute!”

Amaria and Aithon hurled towards the ground. Amaria could hear the sound of rushing wind but only as though from a great distance. An effect of the gravity chute. Six seconds until landing, her helmet said. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

The impact released an enormous plume of dust and broken earth. Out came horse and rider unscathed, their thick black armour gleaming in bright sunshine.

Amaria looked around her, at first seeing nothing but sparse, tufty grasses. Then she saw them cresting a nearby hill. Her enemies. Her targets. The rogue automata that needed putting down. Her face lit up with a savage smile. Finally.

Amaria pushed a button on the neck of her armour, activating the energy shield that covered both Aithon and herself. Its power cell would only last for twenty minutes of continuous use, but that was more than enough. Then she activated her lance, feeling the hum of its inner workings through her gauntlet. It was time.

Aithon charged.

Amaria’s heart was racing as she and Aithon drew within range of the enemy’s weapons. Bullets began to strike against the energy shield.

Amaria’s grin grew wider still.

An automaton was charging towards horse and rider, spear raised, confident that its opponent would be brought down. Aithon didn’t hesitate for a moment in his great strides.

There could be only one outcome.

Spear and automaton both splintered beyond recognition as they impacted against the energy shield.

Amaria laughed. This is what she lived for.

The hum in her lance changed quality, and the helmet told Amaria what she already knew.
“Energy lance charged.”
She pulled the trigger. She watched the bright scarlet beam scythe through dozens of automata in front of her.

She laughed again.

Amaria couldn’t really pretend it was battle she loved, she didn’t care about struggling for a victory well earned. She loved winning. She loved killing. There was nothing in the universe better than this.

Aithon crashed through any automaton that dared stand in his path, the energy shield merciless in its efficiency. Amaria’s lance struck out again and again, time after time. The automata had no expressions to read but Amaria knew they were afraid now, afraid of this beast, its rider, and their unstoppable rampage. There was no stopping the pair of them.

Only five minutes had passed but more than half the automata were already destroyed. Amaria was almost disappointed.

Then there was a loud rumbling. Amaria brought Aithon to a halt, curious as to its source. Then she saw it.

Cresting a far hill was a siege railgun, large as a Constantinople city block. For the first time since Amaria had been given the mission a flicker of doubt crossed her mind.

Nobody had ever had the opportunity to find out exactly what the device’s upper limits were. Amaria had been specifically warned that siege railguns were to be avoided for that reason, time and time again. Now she was face to face with one, and somehow she’d never really conceived of how enormous they were.

Amaria felt a cold sensation in her chest, her joy for battle suddenly quenched. There was a moment where fear might have won out. But she decided she didn’t care for the idea. She turned Aithon to face the railgun head on, and charged. If this was her death, so be it. Let it be a memorable one, she prayed.

The railgun fired.

When its shot hit the energy shield, everything shook. Amaria had to hold onto Aithon with all her strength to avoid being thrown off. At the same time there was blindingly white light from all directions. When Amaria closed her eyes everything was still lit up. A few moments passed that felt like an eternity. Then the light cleared. She didn’t know what would come next.

Amaria found she was nervous about what she would see when she opened her eyes. She opened them anyway.

Amaria blinked.

She was still in the world of the living, the battlefield still surrounding her, the railgun looming in front of her as it came closer and closer. Amaria roared with vicious laughter as she noticed that Aithon had never faltered for a single moment in his charge. He was even more the warrior than she was.

Then the helmet spoke to her again.
“Energy lance charged to 2000% capacity.”

Amaria’s smile felt like it would split her face in two.

She pulled the trigger.

Instead of a slim, precise, dartlike beam the lance pushed out a raging torrent of energy, not only penetrating the enormous railgun but tearing it apart on all sides.

It was incredible.

Amaria didn’t want this to end.

She brought Aithon back around, to face the remaining automata left on the battlefield. The lance was still firing the entire time. Amaria had no intention of letting go.

The beam scoured the remaining automata, their pieces falling like a thick rain on the battlefield. Soon, far too soon, they were all gone. Not a single foe remaining.

Amaria and Aithon, at last, came to a halt.

Amaria sighed. The thrill was gone. The glow of victory was sweet and warm, but not enough. It would have to do.

She took off her helmet, felt the wind on her face for the first time that day. Debris started to land on her hair and her face. She turned her face upwards, up to meet the rain. She stayed like that for almost half an hour.

Then she put her helmet back on, and spoke for the first time that day.
“Cataphract reporting in, sally successful. Come pick me up.”

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Just under five hours left.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Oy vey. Turns out that my system of critting things as I read them is the only way for me to come up with anything resembling something useful. I did that for the first two submissions this week, but the rest I just commented on and returned to now, it's way harder to read these with patience and a careful eye now. This may also be due to the fact that I wasn't a massive fan of most of these stories. And oh, great, my first two have been deleted. This is gonna be a somewhat lovely week for me. Sorry everyone.

Away we go!

Lizzy Borden loved her father (some doors even the devil won’t open) - Slick piece. Great hook. Telling was a bit more objective for my liking but the story works. It won for good reason and I don't have much else to add.

Terrible Purpose - I didn't have quite the hate-on for this story as my fellow main judge, but his gripe was totally justified. This was a mess and it didn't quite click. Quick little throwaway advice, because you've already gotten better than I can tender, let us know who's talking? Sometimes you don't do that and it fucks with the clarity of your story pretty nicely.

A Woman's Work - I didn't mind this but it was kind of flat. Splitting the piece across two narratives was a gutsy move, but I don't think it paid off. You were left with two stories of lesser consequence, the sum of them was lesser than the parts. Overall, I understood what was going on, but I wasn't able to connect or care too much about the characters.

No Hatchet Stays Buried For Long - I liked this. I especially dug the intro and this is probably the best characterization in the whole week. It kinda skated around the prompt and lost some clarity towards the end, but this was overall a solid entry.

Seeking gold, he wakes the dragon - Didn't work for me, couldn't connect to the story, felt like it was going over my head or something but I started doubting that was my fault about halfway through and worried that the story just lacked cohesion.

Roost - This was one of my least favorite entries of the week. Couldn't find a way to care about or understand much of what was going on here. There were also a fair amount of proofing mistakes that could have been tidied up easily with another pass.

The Verse May Not Convince The Judge, Nor Chorus Sway The Jury - Balls. Big Brass Balls. I dug this enough but couldn't help but pay more attention to the form instead of the function. I appreciated the risk though and the poem did have some nice sing songy bits and in parts even the meter was kickin. Addressed the prompt nicely as well so cheers on that.

The Munster Monster- This was not good. This was a not story. This was aggressively boring and it almost felt like that was your intention. There's a reason why you don't see published works of fiction like this. It wasn't a story, it was an objective statement of fact and it's boring. I appreciate that you went for an alternative take to telling a story, but this is as flat as old Kool Aid. This was my vote for the loss.

Old Lizzie's Secret - This was my vote for the win. It didn't curry much favor from the other judges, but I appreciated how directly it addressed the prompt which I find to be a challenge. Restriction scares the bejeebers out of me, though. The protagonist was a bit weakly characterized but overall, the piece worked and I bought it.



Anyway, that's all I got but it's been a very long and very jewish day and I am therefore very exhausted.

If, for some reason, anyone wants to hear more of what I have to say about their story, I am to spend more time on any of them.

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

The Path

1036 words

She drew her blades, the sound impossibly loud within the confines of the cavern. "When the time comes, you will know the path" - her mother's words, spoken in her gravel voice, rang inside her head.

So long this moment had eluded her. So long she pictured it in her mind, fantasizing the possibilities within the bladesong, the cuts and slashes, the false attacks and parries, prelude to the killing blow. But always her imagination would falter before that conclusive strike, distracted by the choices, the skill she would need, the overwhelming options. The picture would fade into indecision. This was her fear, her despair. How could she win if she couldn't even find a clear path to victory within her mind?

Doubt spoke unbidden: Because you aren't ready, girl. You haven't learned enough. Like your father, you will die gasping and bleeding and making GBS threads yourself in front of those you love. The smell of it returned.

She squeezed her eyes shut and the waters parted, leaving her vision clear. She was not her father. She was not her mother,

She was Elwein.

Fifth daughter of family that no longer existed. Fifth daughter of a great Mother, born in the bowels of a bare warren far from the Center of the World. Her secret that she had been born for much more than a life in the mines. Born of a bastard she would only meet on the day of his death, but marked as a child of destiny by the followers of Mother's Church. A shameful birth. Hidden and ugly, she never knew of her noble heritage until the day her father died before her. Killed by Nov'goth. Killed by the Beast that ruled these mines.

Her world was the mines. The people of the mines were her people. And today would be the day. Their day.

Elwein raised her blades high, and a battle cry grew within her. This was her time. Time to end this life and start anew. Time to fulfill her destiny.

Forward she lunged.

———

Of course they bowed before her—they always did. They had done this for decades. It did not give her satisfaction or amusement to see them prostrate themselves so. She wore a smile like a scar and made eye contact with as few as she could, passing their craven forms through the districts of the mine, towards the Center. She saw them, she was there with them—but she was not one of them. Elwein did not linger. Onward she went, ever downward, ever deeper. Mother Elwein, now. Though she heard they had a different name for her.

Time and the mines had not been kind.

Since the skies turned white and the planet burned they had buried themselves in the deep. Long centuries had passed, great learnings lost, but still they lived on. Farming the green ooze that clung to the walls, scrabbling away under the harsh burn of the ultraviolet tubes. The males did only what they were allowed, starved and emaciated to cripple their strength, gaunt sinews over hollow bone their penance for what they'd done to the Earth. What hope there was came from the Church, from the Mothers. And always, always the rumble from the massive generator at the Center of the World.

Still Mother Elwein descended, her sparse white hair dirty with the dust of the mine.

Finally, the door. Iron and wood, impossibly thick, before her. On the other side, she knew, a challenge to be met, a torch to be passed.

She pushed the door open with a massive fist, and saw the face of her enemy.

It was much like her own.

———

Orrin was her daughter's name, an able fighter. Her blades flashed and danced and the sounds of battle rang out in the cavern. Each strike followed by a halo of sweat and the scrape of steel boots upon stone. She had prepared well. They circled warily, each unable to land a solid blow. Elwiein felt small pride in the way her daughter moved, so much like herself, before the mines had stripped her away. Turned her into what she now was—

Orrin moved, impossible quickness, and Elwein felt a blade at her throat. Hot breath in her ear.

"You know me, mother," Orrin hissed. "And why I am here. For you. To end this cycle. To free the mines." The knife pressure deepened. Elwein shifted her head and their eyes locked.

"I know," Elwein's scabrous voice rasped .

"I will not be like you. I will not become you."

"I know."

Her daughter's eyes shifted slightly. "They call you Nov'goth now. The miners. Just like before."

"I know."

"I can't forgive you. What you've done. To my father, to so many—I...I have my own destiny."

"I know."

Elwein let her body relax. It was her time.

———

Her face a blank mask, Nov'goth descended into the deep. Radiation alarms sang their singsong lullaby as the primitive tunnels gave way to even rougher passages and iron ladders reaching downward. There were no miners here to prostrate themselves, not in these toxic depths. For she was approaching the Center of the World, home of the great generator that powered the mines, powered all the fragile and frayed remnants of a once great civilization.

Arterial conduits blossomed from the massive steel heart before her. There was knowledge passed down through the Church: diagrams, plans. Nov'goth closed her bulbous eyes and pictured them.

That one — there. That was the cooling lifeblood to the reactor. Cut that, and it would all be cut. The mines would go dark, and with it the emaciated males, drying on their chains, the bullshit government, the miners with their crusted gray faces and dead eyes, the endless cycles of life and death and false hope, the end of this makeshift world that had become their prison, their death delayed.

But no longer. The cycle would end. The hard part already been done. This cut would be much easier than the last. She closed her eyes and thought of her mother, but she could not picture her anymore.

There were no mirrors in the mines.

She drew her blades, the sound impossibly loud within the confines of the cavern.

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Generations of Squander

Word Count: 2383




Pearl didn’t give a gently caress about the preservation of society.

She was a mother, instinctual. She didn’t care about how the elders had declared Theodore destined to repopulate their decimated island community. He was three days old and she just wanted him to live.

Theodore was born six weeks to the day after the initial explosion from the dog food manufacturing plant that belched heinous clouds of black terror into the sky. The impenetrable fog that clung to the lower levels of the atmosphere wasn’t harmless, like the radio station broadcast from the mainland promised them. And the plant didn’t manufacture dog food either. It made sense, after the flames brought enough light back to illuminate the situation. The island was remote, scarcely accessible by ship, and cargo planes only landed to resupply the general store from the far off mainland every other month. There had never been a need for ChompChow Inc., like the signs on the exterior of the military grade facility suggested.

No one knew why or how the biochemical weapons engineering plant exploded. Anyone who knew what was being made, or how deadly it was, or even how it was transmitted was combusted in the initial blast. The devastation of the explosion charred awestruck bystanders in a two- mile radius, and inflamed all the infrastructures on the outskirts of town. It was October. The landscape was brittle with dying grasses that escalated the flames and directed the fires in towards the heart of the island’s singular city.

Panic rolled like thick damnation over the lucky inhabitants who survived the first wave. They worked in a frenzied network to convey water from the coast to quench the flames. Despite their efforts, all that remained to facilitate security as the night approached were the two story school house, the general store, some scattered homes, and an old armory that had long been deemed unnecessary and stood vacant. It was in the abandoned armory the governor, a man of fifty and excitable character, urged survivors to congregate. The people emerged slowly from the haze, skirting the smoldering corpses of neighbors.

In the days that followed the locals attributed the governor’s sudden onset of symptoms to the incessant way he bellowed into the megaphone, his lungs expanding to their fullest extent to project his voice over the cackle of the fire. From his vantage point on the roof of the school yard he was the closest to the ominous cloud, directly immersed in the misty lower levels of poison. After only an hour his cries were overtaken by a stifling cough that wracked his entire being. Old and feeble, it did not take long for him to expire. His attendants, who carried him from the roof and laid him in the student grown flower bed in the side alley, reported in the first few coughs the governor had emitted a volatile black substance that, though liquid on impact, quickly solidified to a tar-like quality on the forearm of the companion who tried to steady the governor through his convulsions.

Rodrigo, the man with the arm of tar, raised the evidence of the governor’s death above his head as an exhibit to the people. A murmur arose in the crowd. Some attempted feebly to attribute it to a prior lung condition, but soon even the most optimistic of spectators swallowed the impossible truth: they were trapped on an island, forced to breathe polluted air. Their horror increased as the tar on Rodrigo’s arm began to bubble. Petrified, his face froze in incommunicable terror as the substance morphed to a molten consistency, which sizzled against his skin to the sickening tune of a fizzling firecracker as it melted his flesh to the bone. When at last Rodrigo’s voice returned the sound which escaped his lips was so guttural, so inhumane, the people recoiled in further fear as he desperately eyed the crowd for assistance. When none was offered he seized a bread knife off the table where one of the company organizer was trying to console the people with rations and sawed savagely at his arm above the spot where the poison was ravishing him.

Rodrigo fainted dead before he could complete his grotesque amputation. His body dropped to the concrete floor, splashing his puddled blood upon impact and breaking free the last of his bone with a violent snap. Many of the closest onlookers fainted at the sight of his brutally severed arm, still bleeding and bubbling and fizzing to their horror. No attempt was made to revive them as the crowd scattered to the furthest corner of the armory terrified for their survival and ignorant as to the degree of his contagion.

In this moment Pearl, seven months pregnant, was resting on a tree stump, cradling her protruding stomach while her husband raided their fallen neighbors’ homes for anything that might be of use in the apocalypse. Trisha, however, witnessed the scene with repulsion and was one of the first to faint. She too was seven months pregnant and the impact of the fall on her stomach, mingled with the adrenaline and fear of the evening caused her to begin contractions. At first the people took her cries of agony to mean infection and refused her pleads for assistance. Eventually, however, it was noted by a more collected bystander that the woman was excreting what appeared to be water, mingled with blood, from between her legs, not the deplorable blackened tar of death. Enough people were persuaded by this observation to offer her assistance. It was determined she should be moved to the infirmary of the school where she could deliver her infant with the greatest comfort. Supported by two brave nurses who declared they would rather die than hinder the baby’s birth, Trisha staggered to the ill determined delivery room.

As both the midwife and local surgeon had perished in the initial blast, her delivery was conducted by two of the island’s most renowned nurses. Agatha was lesser than the surgeon only in procuring a degree and Heidi was so mild tempered and optimistic what she lacked in experience she made up for in hospitality. In the care of the two Trisha dared to believe her child would survive.

The nurses, however, did not. After quitting her in a drug induced slumber with pain relievers Heidi had acquired by raiding the general store’s pharmacy, the two retired into the dimly-lit hallway. Heidi spoke first.

“Babies have survived at seven months before.”

“With proper medical treatment. Not during the apocalypse.” Agatha did not dare to entertain her companion’s optimism, though she felt a fondness for her for expressing it. “The baby might live for a few hours, but they won’t make it in this world.” As if to corroborate her point, a miniature explosion was heard as a backyard barbecue’s propane tank popped with the heat. The sound startled Heidi from objecting to the infant’s death further and she sank, dejected, into the wall.

“This isn’t a world any of us are going to survive, is it?” Heidi sighed.

Agatha hesitated. Though not one to indulge in melancholy, she also didn’t aspire to mislead others with artificial hope. A moan from Trisha bought the nurse some time and when she returned from her bedside she addressed Heidi in a tone of realistic resolution. “It’s prudent at this point to not dwell on death beyond necessary measure. The infant’s death is certain. They are premature. Even in a world not intoxicated with malicious fog their underdeveloped lungs would struggle to breathe. We cannot save the infant, but we can save the mother. She is strong. Our focus needs to be there always now, on saving the strong and not working in vain to elongate the inevitable death of the weak. Do you understand?”

Heidi only nodded solemnly, her eyes downcast, littering the tiled floor with sympathetic tears. Agatha’s heart ached with pity for her, but she knew that which the others did not. With the expiration of the governor and surgeon she was the oldest inhabitant of the village by a decade. She was one of the original “transplants” of the New Coast from the mainland. She remembered the government gathering together a dozen newly-wed couples and forcing them upon the island under the guise of some societal experiment engineered to save mankind. She, like the others, had been sworn to secrecy and condemned if they were ever to tell their offspring about their origins.

“We’ll drown your babies in the ocean and leave you here to starve,” The men in white told Agatha, a mere 17 and timid, as she clung to her equally young and terrified husband. “Never a soul.”

That was 60 years before Trisha’s son was delivered in a makeshift delivery room and died a few short hours later. As Agatha wiped the baby’s blood from her smock, she considered sharing the knowledge, though minimal, she had of the people’s shared ancestry. She figured the men in white from the mainland had something to do with the explosion. And that the radio station which had since turned to static crackle since the first feeble broadcasts was lying about the deadly nature of the fog. But she was old, nearly 80 and tired. She didn’t have any information which would help the people, nor any inclination how they could save themselves from this engineered apocalypse. Agatha had no doubts their island society was under scrutiny of the rest of the world, but there wasn’t a drat thing her story could do to save them, even if they believed her.

So she kept silent. They all did. A somber silence filled the island as day after day more bodies were buried. The death became so routine they stopped mourning. The holes were dug, the bodies rolled into them and covered. Usually the why in a tragedy doesn’t matter, just is, but in this case it meant everything. At first, it seemed like coincidence that the men were the only people dying. They attributed it to men making up the raid parties and therefore being more directly exposed, but as the male death toll accumulated the women were forced to take on the role. The women survived the raids, day after day, while the men that accompanied them died in a rage of coughing, clawing at their throats, puking black vile. Before the third week after the initial blast concluded, all male inhabitants were dead and unceremoniously buried.

They called it the Y Chromo epidemic. Women seemed immune, but men young and old succumbed to the fog. None but Agatha suspected the government’s goal to create and monitor an all-female society. The rest thought it was an unfortunate accident, a hiccup in their genetic code that made them susceptible to the deadly poisons of the fog. Gradually, the women of the society began to accept their new circumstances and rebuild. All except Agatha and the still pregnant Pearl.

Though not the only women pregnant at the time of the explosion, only Pearl, Trisha and a teen named Hannah survived the initial blast. Trisha was the first to give birth in the night while the fires still raged and her son was lost to frailty before the fog could claim him. Hannah anxiously suffered through a hard labor to be rewarded with a daughter, full term and capable of surviving the harsh island air a week later. Pearl, however, remained pregnant, cultivating her child, through the death of her husband as he lay beside her one night when he could no longer resist the toxin of the fog.

It was three weeks and two days since the last man died when Pearl awoke to fluid drenching her night gown. Her eyes were greeted by the sight of a clear blue sky, fog free, shining through the window of the delivery room. The nurses had insisted she be relocated there after the death of her husband so they could eagerly monitor her pregnancy and offer what little assistance they could to prolong her labor by offering her all the comforts they’d been able to procure. She lay among the fluffiest of pillows, with the softest of sheets and her room smelled of the freshest flowers. Heidi, considerate as always, had gone to great lengths to give the delivery room the appearance of being pre-apocalyptic. Only, there was no medical equipment of measure. Everything in the hospital had been destroyed and for all Heidi’s attempts at uncovering something of value in the rubble she had not been successful.

A strange calm overtook Pearl as the nurses prepared to deliver her baby into the incredibly hosed up world. Though her pain was immense, she seemed incapable of processing it. Heidi eyed her with inexpressible concern, but Agatha knew what thoughts transpired behind her glazed eyes as she breathed deeply through contractions. Pearl was contemplating the loss of her child. Praying for it to be a boy, just so he wouldn’t have to endure the hardships of a cursed life.

When Theodore was laid upon her chest, Pearl at last began to weep. Her cries came in choked sobs as she cradled him to her chest, hoping beyond hope when he began to cough death that he would spit innocent bile upon her heart and take her with him into the world beyond.

Only he never began to cough. Lungs so small should have been overtaken within a few hours, a day at most. Yet, he never coughed, only cried. Eventually Agatha urged Pearl to let him take her breast, drinking life. She saw in the infant a hope before inconceivable and her heart swelled with affection for the child which might save their small, isolated and forsaken society.

“How’s the little chip doing?” Trisha motioned towards Theodore, sleeping soundly amidst blankets at Pearl’s feet. Trisha seated herself on the shore beside Pearl and mimicked her stare out over the endless blue immense before them. Both imagined the same thing. Their children dancing, laughing and twirling in a land far away, where there wasn’t death and destruction and the occasional oven that still exploded on ignition.

“He’s still alive,” Pearl replied coolly. Trisha understood. She rocked the infant with her foot, staring off into a future completely unimaginable.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...nd+Other+Metals

Thranguy fucked around with this message at Jan 1, 2017 around 04:30

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013


Blood Of The Moon
The Aegis rocked under the force of a direct hit as Captain Thessalia Anthony surveyed the volunteers assembled in the hangar. Her marines stood in perfect formation resolute in their posture but not making the slightest effort to hide their excitement. Thess had something up her sleeve and they damned well knew it.

Clever bastards, she let slip the faintest of smiles and embarked on her ritual stroll through the ranks. The rapport of her boot heels set a cadence to her words. The echo of each step against the hangar walls resonated in every word as she barked at her comrades with the timbre of a mastiff.

“I asked my Officers for a team of the hardest…”

The whole phalanx nodded at the word.

“Meanest…”

Those that had managed to maintain their cover cracked wry grins as shouts of approval rang out from the rear echelons.

“Baddest motherfuckers serving on this boat...”

Every marine bellowed in agreement. It was the very essence of cameraderie given sound. A cacaphony which somehow managed to drown out the creaks and groans of a failing hull.

It was in moments like this in which Thessalia truly loved her crew. She took in a deep breath, pausing as the roars and cheers washed away all doubt she had about their plan.

The din faded away, spurred on by the enthusiasm of her troops she continued, “Why then, do I find myself in a Hangar full of smirking children? What will those jackboots on the Leviathan think of us if we can't keep a straight face through our own surrender?”

Every marine in the hangar went silent, their joyous expressions turned wooden. Whether she had seized their attention or lost their trust Thessalia couldn't be sure. Her words carried through the ranks once more.

“There's no denying we're scuttled. Even if we came out on top of this fight there's no way this tub would get us home.”

The hangar doors parted behind the captain, washing the room with in the ruby glow of an alien moon. Thessalia gestured to the silhouette of the Leviathan seemingly cut from its center.

“Whether it’s in body-bags, the brig, or on the bridge… that's our ride home. Personally I think that last option is worth taking a look at.” Her marines smiled again, and she knew she could ask them to follow her into the heart of the abyss without a single word of protest. Right now she would settle for leading them across a thousand meters of empty space. “Stratego Norris will give you the details on this batshit new method of getting ourselves killed.” A heartfelt chuckle came from the troops. “So if you’ll excuse me I have to go convince those bastards that we are the ones waving the white flags this time. Jenkins,” The lieutenant's heels clacked sharply as she snapped to attention.”

“Sir!” Jenkins’ response came in the same dutiful pitch it had a thousand times before. Maura was real navy, discharged for reasons she would never say, Thessalia wasn't the type to press for answers.

“You're with me.”

“Always sir.”

Thessalia made for the bridge, Lieutenant Maura Jenkins in step close behind.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The shelling had stopped long before Thessalia and Maura had returned to the bridge. The Leviathan had taken the call for a ceasefire at face value. The bridge crew of the Aegis snapped to attention as her captain and first officer crossed the threshold of the command deck. The ship’s communications engineer addressed the Thessalia as she plopped down into her seat.

“Captain, The Leviathan is demanding we make visual contact.” His tone grew cold. “If they don’t have you on their viewers in two minutes they’re threatening to resume fire.”

“Tell them I’m en-route to the bridge, they’ll have me in ninety seconds.”

“Aye sir.” He said, repeating the lie into his comm station.

“Maura, what do you remember about the captain of the Leviathan?” Thessalia’s words came as more order than question.

“Yamamoto Katsu.” Maura replied. “She’s not just real navy, it’s in her blood. She’s got a chip on her shoulder and a stick up her rear end for sure. Rumor has it Fleet Admiral Daddy and Brigadier General Mom aren’t pleased with how long it’s taking their daughter to make rear...”

“Well I dare say scuttling one of the most notorious ships of the rebellion would be enough to earn a star on her lapel. What else you got?”

“Pomp and circumstance are everything to her. She hangs her hat on old naval customs. She’ll want to make a show of our surrender.” Maura wasn’t speaking in the cold matter-of-fact tone Thessalia had grown so accustomed to over the past year, there was bitterness in her words.

“Anything else?” The captain let the question linger in the air, her way of letting Maura know that she didn’t expect an answer.

“She’s the worthless piece of poo poo that ended my career. The only thing she hates more than people who play dirty is getting caught doing it herself.” Maura spat the words out as if they were spoiled rations.

“I think I can work with that.” Thessalia gestured to her communications officer. The bridge of the Leviathan came into view on the screen.

“Congratulations, Captain Yamamoto,” Thessalia tried her damnedest to feign sincerity, “I’d love to have you aboard to talk terms of surrender, but I’m afraid this tub doesn’t have long before it tears itself apart.”

Her enemy’s reply dripped wet with ego, “No congratulations needed, I must say I’m surprised. I guess the tenacity of the Aegis and her marines were overstated.”

Thessalia bit her tongue, their success hinged on a level of humility she didn’t think herself capable of. “Well, you know how the enlisted folk are. If they aren’t talking up their victories they’re making grandiose excuses for their defeat.”

“Quite true.” Captain Yamamoto continued, “How would you like to handle the surrender then?”

“We’ve got no shuttles and our docking clamps are fused shut. Our only remaining point of egress is the shuttle bay.”

“Very well, I’ll have our helmsman pull abreast.” Yamamoto signaled to someone off screen, “Is there anything else you require before the change of command?”

“No Sir, three hots and a cot should do fine until our tribunal.”

“Very well. Leviathan out.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All Thessalia could hear was her own breathing as the Leviathan grew larger before her. The silouhettes of Captain Yamamoto and her crew looking like row of jagged teeth in the maw of some ancient beast. Thessalia flipped a switch on the wrist of her Vac-Suit, her voice echoed throughout the ship.

“No matter how this ends I want you all to know it’s been an honor serving with you. I know you’re all probably expecting one of my flowery pep-talks, so I’m sorry that this is all I have to say.”

Somewhere behind her Stratego Norris’s harsh alto belted out. “THIRTY SECONDS!”

The captain let out a heartfelt sigh, “If you decide that today is the day that you’re going to die, then at least try to do it with a smile on your face. If I die, then I’m glad I died for you.” She flipped the switch again, putting her on a private channel with her second in command. “Are you ready for this Maura?”

“As always sir.” The two broke into a sprint, sinking every ounce of faith and courage into one mighty leap at their target.

The creaks and groans of their scuttled vessel vanishing as their bodies crossed into the soundless void between ships.

For an eternity they fell towards the open flight deck of the Leviathan. Any sense of doubt Thessalia had was left back on the Aegis. The vapor trail of rockets cut a swath through the inky blackness around them. Four missiles struck true against the Leviathan’s doors, welding them so fully they may well never close.

Thessalia and Maura’s feet touched down on the flight deck a second volley of rockets found purchase against the hull of a shuttle. The blast pulled their attention back to the chaos before them.

The Leviathan had been expecting a surrender, not a boarding party. It was error in judgement that they paid for with the lives of a dozen woefully unprepared hands. In one motion Thessalia drew her sword and flipped the switch to put her back on the party channel.

“On me!” she cried.

Wave upon wave of marines breached the flight deck, a rolling tide of fire and steel and rage. Small arms fire echoed tore through the hangar as deafening and bright as it was devastating. In just short of a minute they had established their beach head. The crew of the Leviathan left with no recourse but to regroup deep within the bowels of their ship.

Thessalia wasn’t sure when it had happened, but she had lost sight of Yamamoto. Unabated she led her soldiers ever deeper into the belly of the whale. What had started as textbook shock-and-awe had become a deadly knife chase. We may not be home yet she thought but at least we’re still breathing. She looked to her first officer.“Jenkins.”

“Sir!”

“How well do you know this ship?”

“I’d hope intimately, seeing as she used to be mine.”

“You’re with me then.” The captain’s reply verged on jovial. “Everyone else, check your fire and don’t move to the next deck until you’re certain the one you’re on is clear. We regroup on the bridge. Now move out.

“Aye sir!” The voices of her crew rang in unison, an electric affirmation of cause that caused Thessalia’s hair to stand on end.

Thessalia and Maura found their way to the bridge, largely unharassed save for a handful of Leviathan crewmen offering their surrender. It was an offer she was happy to oblige. Their captives were rounded up and sent to the brig with nary a complaint amongst them.

Within thirty minutes the two found themselves at the bridge. They found it occupied only by the ship’s captain, her whole body quaking with anger save for the hand which kept a pistol drawn on them.

“You are a disgrace to the title of captain!” Yamamoto growled. “You came to discuss terms of surrender.”

“I’m sorry, my phrasing was a bit ambiguous. Was it not clear that we were discussing your surrender?” Thessalia regretted the quip as a slug tore into her shoulder.

“And you!” Maura found herself staring down the barrel of the gun as Yamamoto fumed, “If you weren’t a traitor when I had you courtmartialed you definitely are now.”

“I find that the pirate’s life suits me better,” Maura replied. “You’re not as likely to get stepped on by someone trying to climb the ladder with shoes so big she’ll never fill them.”

The lieutenant paid for her insolence with two rounds pumped into her thigh. Yamamoto stood above the two. Pistol pressed firmly at the back of Thessalia’s head. “I won’t let you take my ship.”

Thessalia heard the crack of the gun going off but didn’t feel anything indicating that she was dead. If the heartbeat pounding in her ears was to be believed, she was actually very much alive. She risked a look back at her assailant, finding the former captain of the Leviathan slumped against a wall with a hole in her chest and a face devoid of expression. She was still breathing, but without a medic she wouldn’t be able to keep it up much longer. Thessalia looked up to find their savior standing on the other side of the room. Stratego Norris and a squad of marines had reached the bridge at the defining moment. An arrival which had saved them from a hollow victory.

“Good work stratego.” Thessalia groaned, “Jenkins.”

“Sir!” Maura’s voice came back as dutifully as always.

“You used to captain this bucket of bolts. Take us home.”

“Aye Sir!.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013


Blood Of The Moon:
2000 Words
The Aegis rocked under the force of a direct hit as Captain Thessalia Anthony surveyed the volunteers assembled in the hangar. Her marines stood in perfect formation resolute in their posture but not making the slightest effort to hide their excitement. Thess had something up her sleeve and they damned well knew it.

Clever bastards, she let slip the faintest of smiles and embarked on her ritual stroll through the ranks. The rapport of her boot heels set a cadence to her words. The echo of each step against the hangar walls resonated in every word as she barked at her comrades with the timbre of a mastiff.

“I asked my Officers for a team of the hardest…”

The whole phalanx nodded at the word.

“Meanest…”

Those that had managed to maintain their cover cracked wry grins as shouts of approval rang out from the rear echelons.

“Baddest motherfuckers serving on this boat...”

Every marine bellowed in agreement. It was the very essence of cameraderie given sound. A cacaphony which somehow managed to drown out the creaks and groans of a failing hull.

It was in moments like this in which Thessalia truly loved her crew. She took in a deep breath, pausing as the roars and cheers washed away all doubt she had about their plan.

The din faded away, spurred on by the enthusiasm of her troops she continued, “Why then, do I find myself in a Hangar full of smirking children? What will those jackboots on the Leviathan think of us if we can't keep a straight face through our own surrender?”

Every marine in the hangar went silent, their joyous expressions turned wooden. Whether she had seized their attention or lost their trust Thessalia couldn't be sure. Her words carried through the ranks once more.

“There's no denying we're scuttled. Even if we came out on top of this fight there's no way this tub would get us home.”

The hangar doors parted behind the captain, washing the room with in the ruby glow of an alien moon. Thessalia gestured to the silhouette of the Leviathan seemingly cut from its center.

“Whether it’s in body-bags, the brig, or on the bridge… that's our ride home. Personally I think that last option is worth taking a look at.” Her marines smiled again, and she knew she could ask them to follow her into the heart of the abyss without a single word of protest. Right now she would settle for leading them across a thousand meters of empty space. “Stratego Norris will give you the details on this batshit new method of getting ourselves killed.” A heartfelt chuckle came from the troops. “So if you’ll excuse me I have to go convince those bastards that we are the ones waving the white flags this time. Jenkins,” The lieutenant's heels clacked sharply as she snapped to attention.”

“Sir!” Jenkins’ response belied not an ounce of the sororal bond they had formed over the course of this rebellion. Maura was Real Navy, discharged for reasons she would never say, Thessalia wasn't the type to press for answers.

“You're with me.”

“Always sir.”

Thessalia made for the bridge, Lieutenant Maura Jenkins in step close behind. Norris’ briefing followed them into the lift.

The shelling had stopped long before Thessalia and Maura had returned to the bridge. The Leviathan had taken the call for a ceasefire at face value. The bridge crew of the Aegis snapped to attention as her captain and first officer crossed the threshold of the command deck. The ship’s communications engineer addressed the Thessalia as she plopped down into her seat.

“Captain, The Leviathan is demanding we make visual contact.” His tone grew cold. “If they don’t have you on their viewers in two minutes they’re threatening to resume fire.”

“Tell them I’m en-route to the bridge, they’ll have me in ninety seconds.”

“Aye sir.” He said, repeating the lie into his comm station.

“Maura, what do you remember about the captain of the Leviathan?” Thessalia’s words came as more order than question.

“Yamamoto Katsu.” Maura replied. “She’s not just real navy, it’s in her blood. She’s got a chip on her shoulder and a stick up her rear end for sure. Rumor has it Fleet Admiral Daddy and Brigadier General Mom aren’t pleased with how long it’s taking their daughter to make rear...”

“Well I dare say scuttling one of the most notorious ships of the rebellion would be enough to earn a star on her lapel. What else you got?”

“Pomp and circumstance are everything to her. She hangs her hat on old naval customs. She’ll want to make a show of our surrender.” Maura wasn’t speaking in the cold matter-of-fact tone Thessalia had grown so accustomed to over the past year, there was bitterness in her words.

“Anything else?” The captain let the question linger in the air, her way of letting Maura know that she didn’t expect an answer.

“She’s the worthless piece of poo poo that ended my career. The only thing she hates more than people who play dirty is getting caught doing it herself.” Maura spat the words out as if they were spoiled rations.

“I think I can work with that.” Thessalia gestured to her communications officer. The bridge of the Leviathan came into view on the screen.

“Congratulations, Captain Yamamoto,” Thessalia tried her damnedest to feign sincerity, “I’d love to have you aboard to talk terms of surrender, but I’m afraid this tub doesn’t have long before it tears itself apart.”

Her enemy’s reply dripped wet with ego, “No congratulations needed, I must say I’m surprised. I guess the tenacity of the Aegis and her marines were overstated.”

Thessalia bit her tongue, their success hinged on a level of humility she didn’t think herself capable of. “Well, you know how the enlisted folk are. If they aren’t talking up their victories they’re making grandiose excuses for their defeat.”

“Quite true.” Captain Yamamoto continued, “How would you like to handle the surrender then?”

“We’ve got no shuttles and our docking clamps are fused shut. Our only remaining point of egress is the shuttle bay.”

“Very well, I’ll have our helmsman pull abreast.” Yamamoto signaled to someone off screen, “Is there anything else you require before the change of command?”

“No Sir, three hots and a cot should do fine until our tribunal.”

“Very well. Leviathan out.”

All Thessalia could hear was her own breathing as the Leviathan grew larger before her. The silouhettes of Captain Yamamoto and her crew looking like row of jagged teeth in the maw of some ancient beast. Thessalia flipped a switch on the wrist of her Vac-Suit, her voice echoed throughout the ship.

“No matter how this ends I want you all to know it’s been an honor serving with you. I know you’re all probably expecting one of my flowery pep-talks, so I’m sorry that this is all I have to say.”

Somewhere behind her Stratego Norris’s harsh alto belted out. “THIRTY SECONDS!”

The captain let out a heartfelt sigh, “If you decide that today is the day that you’re going to die, then at least try to do it with a smile on your face. If I die, then I’m glad I died for you.” She flipped the switch again, putting her on a private channel with her second in command. “Are you ready for this Maura?”

“As always sir.” The two broke into a sprint, sinking every ounce of faith and courage into one mighty leap at their target.

The creaks and groans of their scuttled vessel vanishing as their bodies crossed into the soundless void between ships.

For an eternity they fell towards the open flight deck of the Leviathan. Any sense of doubt Thessalia had was left back on the Aegis. The vapor trail of rockets cut a swath through the inky blackness around them. Four missiles struck true against the Leviathan’s doors, welding them so fully they may well never close.

Thessalia and Maura’s feet touched down on the flight deck a second volley of rockets found purchase against the hull of a shuttle. The blast pulled their attention back to the chaos before them.

The Leviathan had been expecting a surrender, not a boarding party. It was error in judgement that they paid for with the lives of a dozen woefully unprepared hands. In one motion Thessalia drew her sword and flipped the switch to put her back on the party channel.

“On me!” she cried.

Wave upon wave of marines breached the flight deck, a rolling tide of fire and steel and rage. Small arms fire echoed tore through the hangar as deafening and bright as it was devastating. In just short of a minute they had established their beach head. The crew of the Leviathan left with no recourse but to regroup deep within the bowels of their ship.

Thessalia wasn’t sure when it had happened, but she had lost sight of Yamamoto. Unabated she led her soldiers ever deeper into the belly of the whale. What had started as textbook shock-and-awe had become a deadly knife chase. We may not be home yet she thought but at least we’re still breathing. She looked to her first officer.“Jenkins.”

“Sir!”

“How well do you know this ship?”

“I’d hope intimately, seeing as she used to be mine.”

“You’re with me then.” The captain’s reply verged on jovial. “Everyone else, check your fire and don’t move to the next deck until you’re certain the one you’re on is clear. We regroup on the bridge. Now move out.

“Aye sir!” The voices of her crew rang in unison, an electric affirmation of cause that caused Thessalia’s hair to stand on end.

Thessalia and Maura found their way to the bridge, largely unharassed save for a handful of Leviathan crewmen offering their surrender. It was an offer she was happy to oblige. Their captives were rounded up and sent to the brig with nary a complaint amongst them.

Within thirty minutes the two found themselves at the bridge. They found it occupied only by the ship’s captain, her whole body quaking with anger save for the hand which kept a pistol drawn on them.

“You are a disgrace to the title of captain!” Yamamoto growled. “You came to discuss terms of surrender.”

“I’m sorry, my phrasing was a bit ambiguous. Was it not clear that we were discussing your surrender?” Thessalia regretted the quip as a slug tore into her shoulder.

“And you!” Maura found herself staring down the barrel of the gun as Yamamoto fumed, “If you weren’t a traitor when I had you courtmartialed you definitely are now.”

“I find that the pirate’s life suits me better,” Maura replied. “You’re not as likely to get stepped on by someone trying to climb the ladder with shoes so big she’ll never fill them.”

The lieutenant paid for her insolence with two rounds pumped into her thigh. Yamamoto stood above the two. Pistol pressed firmly at the back of Thessalia’s head. “I won’t let you take my ship.”

Thessalia heard the crack of the gun going off but didn’t feel anything indicating that she was dead. If the heartbeat pounding in her ears was to be believed, she was actually very much alive. She risked a look back at her assailant, finding the former captain of the Leviathan slumped against a wall with a hole in her chest and a face devoid of expression. She was still breathing, but without a medic she wouldn’t be able to keep it up much longer. Thessalia looked up to find their savior standing on the other side of the room. Stratego Norris and a squad of marines had reached the bridge at the defining moment. An arrival which had saved them from a hollow victory.

“Good work stratego.” Thessalia groaned, “Jenkins.”

“Sir!” Maura’s voice came back as dutifully as always.

“You used to captain this bucket of bolts. Take us home.”

“Aye Sir!.

Maigius
Jun 29, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER


An Ordinary Day
1039 words


It was morning in Valhalla, and Hippolyta, the leader of the Amazons, had just walked into my order’s hall.

Rising to greet her, I asked, “Greetings, Your Majesty, are you and your order going to be my Valkyries comrades in today’s battle. I have been so busy with preparations that I have not yet had a chance to read the day’s briefing.”

“Yes, I am, Grandmaster Reginleif, let me read you our orders.” the queen answered.

Hippolyta then read the briefing aloud, “In order to test out the new weapons, the Valkyries will assault Castle Neuschwanstein along with the Amazons. The castle will defended by the Shamans and a special mythical defender.”

“It looks to be rather straightforward, a mostly decorative castle, and our opponents do not seem that tough being mostly harmless priests and advisers” she stated.

“The castle is on a mountain, but our new weapons should counter that. Are you willing to go for an all out assault?” I asked.

“I would not be in Valhalla if I was not willing to. My troops are ready, and yours look to be as well. I shall meet you at the base of the mountain in an hour. Farewell.” Hippolyta said before turning and leaving me hall.

I stood up, put on my winged helmet, wielded my spear and shouted to my order, “Valkyries! We ride!”

-----------------------------------------------------------

We were at the base of the mountain, and were about to start the assault. Already the Amazons were readying their bows at the first sign of trouble. They would back up our charge.

“Wolves take the smaller trails and root out any traps. Horses, the main road shall be your battle. We ride!” I ordered.

“Hojotoho! Hojotoho! Heiaha! Heiaha!” my order’s war cry came loud even over the footfalls of mounts. I road up the main path as well, on my unicorn, Weiss.

We met with resistance almost immediately. The Shamans are shape-shifters and had turned into tigers, deer, wolves, and other creatures. I rode to the nearest with my spear pointed at him. It was not my normal spear with its steel tip and oak shaft. It was a new type of spear with a steel shaft and a tip made out of light.

This spear type was what we were testing. They had so far proven a waste of good steel. The tip was temperamental and I was not convinced it could score a killing blow. It was also heavier than normal, which had thrown off its balance.

Even still, I attacked the were-tiger with my spear and managed to piece shallower than I expected. I yanked my spear away. My opponent leaped at me, and I ordered Weiss to charge the leaping beast. The were-tiger was impaled on the horn. It was a killing blow!

A hail of arrows rained down, hitting both friend and foe. Thanks to our helmets most on my side were spared. The friendly fire did not matter anyway. Everyone would be revived at sunset.

I charged at the next beast, a were-deer. Again, I stabbed the opponent and again I failed to land the killing blow. I then had the great idea to use the weight of the spear to my advantage and try a jousting charge. The were-deer met my charge and I finally scored a direct hit to the head. What a shameful display that kill was! I had to preform all chivalrously, like I was a gouty knight not a Valkyrie.

I had no time to be a poet as a were-wolf suddenly swiped at me. Knowing better this time, I used my spear more as a club rather than a stabbing weapon. A least then it would be useful. After dispatching with some difficulty, I met more challengers the same way, aided periodically by a hail of arrows.

-----------------------------------------------------------

I was up at the top of the mountain next to the castle when I heard the roar of a dragon. My technique of clubbing had working on the softer opponents on the slopes but I would need to stab in order to successfully take down a dragon.

Still it was worth a shot. I had plenty of backup and I was a Valkyrie! I urged Weiss to fly, yelled my war cry, and started my approach towards the dragon.

Onward we flew, and soon we were higher than the top of the castle’s tallest tower. I was galloping closer as the dragon breathed fire at me. I jumped with Weiss and only the very end of his tailed was burned. I was then in striking distance and jabbed with my spear.

Finally! A decent blow! It seemed that the light tip of the new type of spear was at least capable of piercing scales even if fur and flesh proved difficult. The dragon recoiled from the attack and swiped at me. Luckily, I was able to dodge.

Next, I tried a thrust to the wing but was rebuffed by the worthless of my spear on less protected flesh. As the tail lashed out, I tried one last stab to the heart. The spear penetrated so deep I was pulled off Weiss. However, dragons are more resistant than you would expect and it was still alive.

The rest of my order had appeared on the scene and were also fighting the dragon. I was still hanging onto my spear still lodged in the dragon’s chest. From the ground, the even more arrows came from the ground, hitting both the dragon and me. It was then that the tip of my spear turned off and I fell.

I hit the ground hard, but was still alive until the now dead dragon fell on top of me.

-----------------------------------------------------------

I woke up in my hall. I had died and had been revived good as new at sunset. After feasting for a while, I remembered there is something I must do.

“Where is the spear that I used in today’s battle?!” I ordered.

After being handed it by a servant, I broke the spear over my knee.

“These new spears are worthless! I am never using one again!” I thundered.

As I retired to my bed with a few companions, I thought, “What an ordinary day”.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Why Chrome is Home
1401 Words

There’s nothing like feeling the crunch of skullbone under steel-reinforced wheel through a thousand pounds of chrome-plated hog as you slam a man-ghoul into paste after being launched from the converted missile tube of a nuclear submarine a mile off the coast.

It’s terrifying the first couple times; but, in a way, that’s a relief. Let’s you forget about the horror you’re crashing down on, thirty seconds later. After making a few sorties and getting back alive, you have time to think about the precision of the crew and marvel at trusting chalkboard calculations done under the dim, red lights of the gunnery room before bracing for impact. At least, that’s the way it is for me.

Roz prefers the visceral glee when she takes two of their desiccated heads off with one swoop of her chainsword. But then, she appreciates the simple pleasures. There she is, wild-eyed, already clearing a swath towards our target as I rev up my own sword and get to hacking.

Zwoom-ng-ng, thump. Zwoom-ng-ng, thump. The interplay of engines and dropping corpses are drums and bass and dueling guitars. We’ve put in our ten thousand hours. The carnage is in slow motion, each strike and dodge precise and practiced. Carnegie Hall would be happy to have us—if it still existed, that is. Maybe someday we’ll make it out there, or maybe we’ll get lucky and The Big Apple is already reclaimed.

Another two hundred meters to the relay tower, hopefully we’ll hear something this time, a voice from the ether. Roz and I have been leading the vanguard for two years now, snatching beachhead after beachhead from the mindless masses.

Science crew isn’t sure exactly what happened, biological weapon is the best guess. In a matter of weeks, anybody with a Y chromosome develops something like rabies, then devolves into a mindless ghoul. Not your movie-zombies, nobody’s after brains per se; but half the population of the world hunts anything that moves, and us Islanders are just looking to recover a little society. The scientists are trying to figure it out and recapture some facilities that will let us repopulate. Clones are the buzzword. That’s exciting. I’d make a pretty decent clone. Or if they can wrangle it, mix me and Roz together to make a daughter.

Then it happens. All that detachment and hazy fantasy disintegrates like crepe paper in the rain. Roz gets pulled off her bike and sucked under the whirlpool of wizened hands. She doesn’t even scream. But I do.

“Roz!” And it’s only a matter of seconds before I clear the sand around her. “Hang on,” I shout as I drag her up to the saddle seat behind me. My voice doesn’t catch in my throat, not like the first time I met Roz, and I rawwww my way through this stupid meatwall.

There’s a small concrete building under the the high-rising steel tower. Small dishes run up the sides, barely asymmetric, alternating like lupine blossoms. Under different circumstances, it’d be beautiful; but I can feel the warmth of Roz’s blood soak into my back and it’s hot. Nauseatingly hot.

The lock pops out with one quick chop. It’s a steel emergency door with a push bar on the other side. Should be able to jam it closed. “You ready?” I ask. Roz nods behind me. I wrench her off the bike and we tumble into the sand. Scramble to my feet and drag her inside.

I drop my chainsword through the push bar and behind the concrete jamb, giving us a little time. Roz drops down against the generator, one shredded forearm clutched across her stomach. She’s still alive. I’m still alive. That’s something.

“Ruby. Rubes,” she forces through a bloody cough. “Get the genny up and running.”

But I freeze as she says my name. I know Roz is dying, and there’s nothing I can do.

Flashback. Maui. I’m on vacation, draped over a chaise-lounge chair with a margarita glass dipping dangerously close to the sand as I slip into welcome sleep. Then some bully saves the drink and yanks me out of slumber. I look up into Roz’s big, dark eyes with a start, and she’s still got my hand (and glass) locked in hers. She looks at me so intensely that I sling my other arm over my bikini top. It’s such a weird look. I’m not used to it.

But it’s the way I’m looking at her now. And I realize now that it’s love. There was never any other way.

“Hey,” I say to her on that beach, “What the hell?” And I yank my hand back and the margarita spills on the white sands.

“Sorry,” Roz says to me. “Your drink almost spilled. But, hmm. Let me get you another.” Then she’s gone for a minute and I strain my neck to see her at the tiki bar. Holy Christ, she has a tramp stamp. Some sort of tribal thing. At least it’s not a butterfly. God, I want to touch it, feel the little hairs on the small of her back and maybe slide a finger down into the crack I can see peeking out from the top of her bottoms.

“Hey you,” I say. “It’s a daiquiri.” And oh, my god, those dimples. I feel a little dizzy.

Here we are now, those dimples caked with her blood, monsters pounding impotently on the door. I feel dizzy for an entirely different reason. I’m probably going to lose her. It’s funny how such a short time together can create such a strong bond; but when you know it, you know it.

“Baby,” Roz says, “Get the genny up and running.” She’s right. It’s really more important. S o, I have to bend over her as I start cranking the generator like an old-timey car and I’m worried about her smelling my BO. I don’t want her last moments to be a stinky armpit in her face.

Then, over her bloody gagging, we both hear the generator flip over and churn to life. With her last strength, Roz pulls the phone from her belt-pouch and hands it over to me. It hasn’t worked in years, but I flip open that old feckin’ Razor and take a deep breath as I see three bars on the signal display.

“I won’t forget you.” I tell her.

“gently caress you,” she says, with a smile. And her dimples are the deepest I’ve ever seen. I can’t stand it. She’s the most beautiful I’ve ever seen her. I bend over and my eyes are level with hers. “Go on,” Roz says, and I press my face into hers. Fireworks explode, then she tilts her head out of mine. “Ruby. Ruby. You got this.” Then her lips meet mine again and I’m so close I can’t see anything, but I feel her tears mingle with my own. Her blood is on my face.

When you think about it, years later, you wonder if love really ever had anything to do with it. It does. There’s a little girl in her bed asking to hear stories about her other mother. All you can say is that Roz was a warrior, a gorgeous, majestic warrior. Someone who lived and trusted the women around her. And you can’t avoid the way that idiot swung her chainsword with abandon, and her sacrifice allowed the rest of us to make inroads on the coast. Allowed us to reach comm tower after tower, and connect the West Coast.

God, my fists clench sometimes when I think about her, and the things we did, and how she’s not around to see the things she made happen. Sucks. But life does go on. It will always go on. And she helped make sure that we’re still top of the ghoulish food chain.

I see her dimples in our daughter as I look behind me in the missile tube, her bike glimmering chrome like her illustrious smile as I’m locked in for launch. It’ll be a long time before things are normal. But life goes on, and I’m proud to have our daughter follow me. I can feel Roz in her. Life goes on.

This bike has saved me more times than I can count. The thoughts of Roz have saved me more times than I can count. There’s love, and then there’s love. It makes all the difference.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Entries closed

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

deleted

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2017 around 22:04

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Week CCVXII results



The choosers of the slain are here: the Valkyries flying low over our hallowed battlefield of words. That's a lot of words to say that most of you sucked, and the judges got very drunk when dealing with your stories. A glorious warrior stands above the shattered bodies, holding their sword aloft: with a piece that has some issues but is hella fun, Teeny Zucchini takes the sole HM.

His mighty viking lord scrambles above the corpse-pile, with something so ridiculous and energetic that we couldn't help but cheer: in swings The Cut Of Your Jib with the win. Onto you, glorious warrior. Swing your cyber-axe in Valhalla or some poo poo idk.

The loss is causing us quite a lot of consternation in judgecamp. There are two terrible pieces for very different reasons, and we just cannot decide. On one hand, we have a pretty fun concept that is awfully executed, and full of unintentionally hilarious malapropisms (“ravish” is NOT the same as “ravage”, unless that poison is tenderly making love to his arm). It’s a brave failure that hits the prompt pretty well, but then crashes down from those Icarian heights with terrible, terrible prose.

On the other hand, we have a superbly derivative and paint-by-numbers piece that was reminiscent of a 7 year-old boy smashing his action figures together but with none of the charm: a piece so totally insubstantial and boring that I’m struggling to find mean things to say about it, in the same way I struggle to insult stale bread or lukewarm porridge.

We don’t want to disrupt next week from going ahead, so Jibs: take it away and do your thing. In the meantime though, we need to have a LOSERBRAWL. Since the judges of TD are generous gods, the winner of that brawl will not DM. The loser however, will take the rare rank (previously achieved only by Chairchucker) of Superloser. Llamagucci and Maigus, and I want 450 words with the following rules:

1) There is only one character
2) It is set in the confines of a single room, on a single day
3) Nobody is allowed to die, or otherwise be injured

This is the exact opposite of the weekly prompt. May you redeem yourselves, and find passage to Valhalla.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


nb: Loserbrawlers, you have three days.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013


I'm doing crits on everything this week and working my way back to next week. Return the favor if you feel so inclined.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why didn't you invest in
Thunderdome?


Sitting Here posted:

Entenmerc Brawl


Medicine

I knew something had happened to my son even before the government men showed up. Like a bomb had gone off inside me. Like, all of a sudden, nothing had been left. A feeling so dead, so off, it made everything seem out of place. Even the windows were slanted.

“Something’s wrong with Oleg,” I said. Roman tried to shrug it off at first, because that’s what husbands do. But a mother knows such things. So we tried calling our son, and when he didn’t answer, we called again. And again. And then we were the ones who were being rung up.

The men at the door introduced themselves as government agents. Which agency? None of our business. Their names? None of our business either. They let themselves in. One of them was bald and smelt like soap. The other had the eyes of a mischievous frog. He looked like somebody who’d gotten bullied as a kid, crooked and hunched and at war with the world. The bald one wore a blue pocket square. It’s important to remember the details. I’ll get to that later.

We sat down in the living room. I was 15:19 and the house smelt of coffee, originating from the kitchen, machine hissing and steaming as it brewed. I asked them if they wanted some. The bald man said: “Your son has been killed during a government operation.”

What operation was none of our business either. But the graphical details were: he was hit by two bullets; one in the leg and one in the chest; the bullet in the chest had bounced off his ribcage and buried itself into his lungs at an angle; the leg wound had been a hit in the kneecap, which hadn’t just immobilized him but also filled him with the kind of agony that usually led to men retreating into the depths of their minds; the cause of death was drowning: his lungs had filled with blood until he had been unable to cough it up anymore. They said there were still claw marks, blood and torn-off skin in the ground where he’d tried to drag himself away to safety. He’d made it five feet. They said it was mostly a testament to the power of panic.

I don’t want to remember these things, but I have to. Now more than ever.

The one thing I don’t remember is what I did while they told us all these things. Maybe I cried. Maybe I yelled at them to stop. Maybe I tried to argue. I remember that Roman had his hand on my shoulder. I remember that he was speechless. I remember seeing a picture of my son’s dead body.

The mean one seemed to relish in giving us all of the details. The soapy one, meanwhile, looked around, eyes drooping like an old tired guard dog, lazily scanning our living room. His stare rested on the family pictures on the commode. It remained there all the time, until the mean one was done recounting the details of our son’s death. The soapy one took two pill bottles out of his pockets.

“Take these,” he said, “and you will forget about your son.”

I knocked them off the table.

The soapy man bent over with a sigh and put them back on. And then he explained, like a retired snake-oil salesman right at our coffee table: because did we really want to remember? Could we live with it? Wake up every day, and our son will still be dead, and we will remember how he died, and worse, nobody will believe us, because that’s their job, to make people forget? Because as far as the government is concerned, Oleg has never existed? Could we live with that? On our own? Almost everyone chose the pills. There was nothing to be ashamed of. A clean slate.

“His wife took the pills,” the mean one said. He took a loud sip from his coffee mug.

The soapy man took the handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to me. So I guess I did cry. “Eventually you will start to question yourself,” he said. He’d seen it all before: a slow burn, insanity creeping up on us, the world reasonably sure that Oleg never existed while we would be driving ourselves up the walls, up and up until up was down and we were nothing but crazy little cockroaches skittering through the shadows of our minds. They didn’t have to force us.

“You’ll be committed, and then you’ll be taking the pills anyway,” the mean one said.

It was best for everyone. To them, a bottle of pills was worth the cost of a happy taxpayer. To us, it would be the best way to save our marriage, save ourselves from the pain. And then they moved ahead and made the choice for us, because suddenly the pictures of him were gone, and there was no more mention of him, agents dodging questions and telling us to take our medicine as if we were bratty little children.

And then Roman took the first pill, and I slapped him so hard the bottle fell out his hand and clattering pills slid all over the floor, and I remember breaking down, and clawing at his face, and yelling that they wouldn’t take my boy from me, never, and no matter how much he tried to calm me, stonefaced, “reasonable”, I would scream and I would tear and I would collapse into him, crying, long after the men were gone.

#

That was two months ago.

My husband has taken the entire dose: one bottle, twenty-five pills. Complete removal. He couldn’t live with it. He made it my cross to bear. And now, whenever I mention Oleg to him, he just rolls his eyes. There goes my crazy wife again.. And then he asks me if I’m off my meds.

That’s why I need the details. They help me remember. They keep the doubt outside.

Sometimes I try to convince him, but it usually ends up with him trying to convince me. The two agents? They were just doctors bringing me my prescription. Why would they come to us? Because Dr. Mylo is a friend of the family. I mention the frog eyes and the handkerchief. He scoffs at it like I’m a stupid child trying to convince him that Father Frost is real. Nothing will jog his memory.

Even worse, mine seems to be fading. I forget my son’s face. I try to remember, specific events, but nothing comes up. Some days I wake up and I think of Olli, instead of Oleg. I didn’t expect it to happen so fast. I’ve been fine for weeks. I remembered… something. I don’t know. I don’t remember. Is this what it feels like? The fade-away? Me clawing at nothing, trying to find any shred of remembrance, anything at all so I can clutch it to my chest and never let go?

“How are you feeling today?” Roman asks. He eyes me from above his newspaper, then looks down at my scrambled eggs. I can tell he feels guilty about something. We fought again yesterday. He even got up early to make me breakf--

I push the plate away from me.

For a moment we both stare at each other in shock. Cogs turn in my head. I think I’m putting it together. I hope I’m wrong.

Roman’s voice tears at me, tries to drag me back into the kitchen, sweet like a pot of honey, sharp like a signal whip. I am undeterred. The light in the bathroom flickers into existence. The foamy smell of soap almost does more to turn me away than the constant yelling in the background. My eyes are empty, red, the eyes of a dead woman. I swipe the mirror aside. And there, inside the cupboard, buried deep beneath lotions and creams, is the bottle, and in it are exactly twenty-two pills.

You think you know a guy.

I push two fingers up my throat. I’ve seen it on television. Unlike most things on television, it seems to work. Roman must hear my heaving, because he rushes in, tries to grab me. I shake him off, run into the kitchen. I need to get this loving drug out of my system. He’s coming after me, but I’m serious this time. There’s a knife in my hand. He stops. He’s not taking my son from me.

I jam my fingers so hard up my throat I can scratch the scrambled eggs. Roman is on the phone while I puke my guts out. “She’s having another episode,” he says. Most of the conversation is drowned out by the sound of blood rushing through my head. Blood and bile. It smells like the dark corners of the Moscow metro. Foul. I feel drained. Air goes in and out, rasping along my sore throat. Things blur back into view. Roman has gotten off the phone. He’s got a hand on my back.

They’re coming for me.

I storm up into the bedroom and start packing. The knife is still in my hands and I guess the crazy is in my eyes because Roman keeps his distance, tries to stall me as I throw random clothing into my suitcase, says things, “You are ill, it’s not your fault,” anything that will get me to calm down, reconsider, but I’m not stopping. I’m not letting them take my son away from me. And then I’m back downstairs again, and the kitchen stinks sour, rotten, and there’s a knock on the door, and I turn, I run for the backdoor, and Roman yells, “She’s going round back,” and there is movement, and I’m in the garden, the sun is shining and there are people in happy white coats and they see my knife and hesitate, and then Roman’s hand grabs my wrist from behind and everyone is moving in and I’m tearing, I’m screaming, they’re pulling me towards the car but I can’t let them. I know what they want. They want me to forget. They want me to forget that he existed. They want to take my son away from me, but they will not. They will not take my son away from me. They will NOT take my son away from me. THEY WILL NOT TAKE MY

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

same

edit: this is unironically my fav thing you've written and I mean that in the most non-condescending way

edit the 2nd: if you can bring this kind of punch and clarity to your other pieces, I reckon you'll see a big difference in the reception you get

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2016 around 02:33

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.
This is loving METAL

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

Brutal.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

holy poo poo i'm crying

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

*nods*

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


brawl v sh

1691 words

The Dream Maker

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/brawls.php?story=461

flerp fucked around with this message at Dec 26, 2016 around 21:23

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Uuuh see this post for the deets on this clusterfuck of a brawl


Anemiac

I’ve got a lot of kids. My own dynasty--one that can trace its lineage back through time and space, back to that great exsanguination that splashed the void with starry blood.

When my children were little more than particle clouds drifting within a newborn galaxy, I was the vital charge, the glue between their atoms. When my children crept across dead rock as lichen, I was the animating force that drove them to spread, centimeter by centimeter. When my children grew legs and loped across the land, I was the thunder in the predator’s heart and the gush of blood from the prey’s neck.

I am not my children’s progenitor, I am their vitality. I imagine it’s every parent’s dream: to flow down through the cascade issued from their loins and know.

It was all pretty boring, if I’m honest. Until now.

I open the eyes of a human girl. It’s morning and she’s in bed. Her name is Robin. We enjoy the lingering languor of sleep together, though she doesn’t know I’m there. I’m always with her, in a way, but today, she will be my eyes.

Robin rises from bed, puts on a pot of coffee, slices an orange. She takes her breakfast in a window seat, watches the hum and throb of the city pass through the intersection below her apartment. When she’s fed and dressed, she takes a large canvas bag over her shoulder and ventures outside.

I thrum, giddy, through her veins. This is why I chose her. It’s only when she brings two fingers to her neck to check her pulse that I remember myself and slow her racing heart.

Robin wanders the city for a while until she finds a suitable tree, one of the young, skinny ones that line the sidewalk. From the canvas bag she pulls a long bit of wire strung with various trinkets and oddities: fragments of broken jewelry, shards of colored glass with holes drilled in them to accommodate the wire, orphaned Christmas lights, and more. When she’s finished, the tree is decorated with a glittering coil of bric-a-brac that wends all the way up the trunk to the lowest level of branches. She steps back from her handiwork, satisfied.

She knows her art will be gone in a few days, but that’s the beauty of it. And this is why I love humans. They can bleed in so many ways.

While looking for another tree to beautify, Robin sees a young man selling art on the sidewalk. He’s there nearly every day, with his array of paintings laid out on a ratty blanket. A cardboard sign reads

$12 EACH
(open to negotiation)

Robin’s never talked to him, though she thinks his paintings are quite nice. They’re abstract but lurid, evocative of the thoughts that bridge the gap between wakefulness and sleep. She’s never said a word to him, but today is different. Today, I look through her eyes and animate her tongue. Before she knows what she’s doing, Robin is standing over the young man, casting a shadow on his work.

He looks up. His eyes have the wide, tired look of one who is haunted. “Hello?” he says, then shakes his head, seemingly at himself. “Yeah, I mean, feel free to look. Or buy. Or whatever.” He scratches absently at one arm, and through the translucent skin of his wrist, I see his veins are shrunken, almost empty.

How?

Robin is saying, “I see you here everyday.”

“Oh. Yeah, I guess.” He heaves his shoulders up and down, a marionette’s shrug.

I want to inspect his art, so Robin crouches down and makes a show of studying each piece.

“There’s something so alive about these,” Robin says. Her own interest is piqued, so now we’re both contemplating the colorful whorls and splashes of paint. “A sense of movement without shape, you know?”

The young man shrugs another wooden shrug.

“Give me your wrist,” I say through Robin’s mouth. She holds out her hand. I can feel her surprise at herself. She’s not super into touching strangers. But I have to know.

To our surprise, the young man holds out his wrist for inspection. “I’m Philip,” he says.

Robin introduces herself as I use her fingers to feel his pulse. It’s barely there. Little more than the slow flutter of a dying butterfly’s wings. His skin is dry and papery. He shouldn’t be alive, yet he spills pure life onto his canvases. I withdraw Robin’s hand.


We go to visit Philip nearly every day after that. Robin brings him fresh fruit and coffee in a thermos. I watch him through her eyes, trying to figure how he’s still breathing, much less pouring so much of himself out into his art. Robin makes more strings of bric-a-brac and festoons the trees around Philip’s haunt with color and shine. People stop more often, buy more art.

Soon, Philip and Robin find themselves going to coffee together, then dinner, then to bed. When he dozes off with Robin and I in his arms, we press our ear against his chest and listen. We count the seconds between his heartbeats. Sometimes we get as high as six or seven before we hear the next weak thump. When it comes, we feel relief, then begin counting again.


It’s not a good time to be a pair of underemployed artists in a thriving city. Rents go up, vacancies go down. Robin is forced out of her room with the window seat and into a sagging tenement that smells like fishy crotch and mildew. Phillip doesn’t talk about where he goes at night, never invites us over. I make Robin force the issue one afternoon, when we’re sitting on the sidewalk helping Philip hawk his paintings.

“Look, I didn’t ask you to show up and start caring about me, or whatever,” he says irritably. “I feel like poo poo when you’re not around. Isn’t that enough? Do we really have to get into the business of making each other feel bad about how we live our lives?” He’s breathing heavily now. It’s like the air passes into him and then right back out again because he doesn’t have the blood cells to carry the oxygen away from his lungs.

“I want to share my life with you,” Robin and I blurt out through her mouth. One set of words, two separate meanings.


Every time Robin rests her head against his chest, those heartbeats seem a little farther apart. The veins in his wrist are little more than faint threads of blue.

Each day, he hauls his stack of canvases out to his sidewalk haunt. There are new paintings to replace those purchased, and he’s gained somewhat of a local following. Some of his stuff is even hanging up in a nearby indie coffee shop.

“How do you do it?” we ask him. Robin can no longer avoid the subject of his wellbeing. He looks like walking death, but still he creates. What animates him, if not me? What moves through him and gives life to his art?

He’s sitting on the ground with his arms wrapped around his knees. He stares at the legs of passersby as they scissor down the sidewalk.

Finally, he says, “I used to follow this one chick online, a cam girl--no, it's not what you think. She’d get on stream late at night, had this whole nurse’s kit right on hand. Always wore a mask, totally plain and white. Just eye holes, nothing else. But so anyway, this girl would bleed herself on cam. Didn’t matter if there was just one person or twenty, she was there, cutting and stitching. Cutting and stitching.

“The thing was, she knew her poo poo. She could’ve bled out at any time if she really wanted, but she always stayed away from the major arteries. But that’s not what it was about. See, even though I never saw her face, I would know her anywhere just by seeing the scars on her arms or legs or stomach.”

Robin and I are riveted. We lean forward. “So what happened to her? Did she die? Like in some grand finale?”

Philip shrugs his jerky shrug. “I don’t think so. I think she just said what she needed to say and peaced out. Or maybe she’s wearing some other mask, finding some other way to bleed. Point is, we’re all bleeding out in some way. That’s life. All we are is dust in the etcetera. We only get to decide how we want to bleed.”

“You must think my dumb tree decorations are pretty lame,” Robin says, and I want to do a full-body hemorrhage on her right there. It’s a petty thought, one that has no right to exist within this moment. I force her consciousness aside and make her lips, eyes, and tongue my own.

“This is your blood,” I say, brushing my fingers over the painterly textures on a nearby canvas. “These are your scars.”

He seems to detect the shift in our manner and furrows his brow. “Yeah, I mean, I guess, or whatever.”

I rise up onto my knees and take his cheeks in my hands, look down through his pupils into that black, fertile space behind the eyes. “I have to know. What’s inside you, if not me? What do you bleed?”

He’s very still, like a rabbit who’s accepted the finality of the wolf’s jaws. “I don’t think I should see you anymore,” he says.


I drag Robin down to that patch of sidewalk again and again, but Philip never turns up. The ground looks naked without his blanket and paintings. We go to the coffee shop, where his work still hangs, but the baristas haven’t seen him in weeks.

“I’m worried,” one of them tells Robin. “We’ve got like, two hundred bucks from sales for him, but his phone’s always off and he’s never in his usual spot.”

We leave Philip plaintive voicemails until, a few weeks later, an automated voice informs us our call cannot be completed as dialed. He’s really left the map, ghosted off the scene like dust in the etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. After that, Robin spends most of her time curled up on the camping cot she sleeps alone on every night. She’d sold the bed on Craigslist a few weeks prior, to cover groceries. The apartment building groans and drips. It’s intestinal. I hate it.

There’s no other option. I have to withdraw from Robin and find my way to Philip. I leave her, shaking and sniffling, to her misery.

I flow through the veins of the city. Here, I peer out the eyes of a vagrant. There, I lurk behind the watchful glare of a police officer. For a time, I’m so spread out that I nearly lose myself. They’re all bleeding out, every last one of these humans. They bleed into their hobbies and careers. Bleed into their children and their cars.

Through the city’s eyes, I get glimpses of Philip’s scars, but not the artist himself. There’s one of his pieces hanging in a bar. Another is visible through the window of a third story apartment. It seems we’re both spreading ourselves across this town.


I find him, at last, in the industrial district. It’s past midnight. I’m looking through the eyes of a clerk working at a convenience store near the docks. Philip walks in, all skin and bones. He brings a single packet of ramen to the counter and pays for it with pennies. His fingertips are stained with paint.

I make the clerk reach over the cash register, slowly so Philip won’t startle, and wrap our fingers gently around the front of Philip’s neck. He goes prey-still again. We catch our breath. There’s no pulse, no nothing, he’s so still inside, he shouldn’t be--

“No,” he says softly, and reaches up with gentle hands to pry our fingers off of him. “I said we shouldn’t see each other anymore.”

He leaves the change on the counter, takes his ramen, and walks out the door.


There aren’t many people in this part of town at night, but eventually I locate a body I can use. He’s big and methed out and smells as bad as Robin’s apartment building, but he’ll have to do. There’s a weight in his pocket that turns out to be a knife. Perhaps he’ll do perfectly.

We lurch down the street in the general direction of Philip’s departure. Eventually we spot his slight silhouette, momentarily framed by an open door, before he disappears into a derelict building. The faded signage names it Northwest Granite and Marble.

I steer my guy into the building’s shadow and press his forehead against the brick exterior. It should be easy, a matter of extending myself into Philip’s being the same way I’ve done a million-million times before. I unfurl from the methhead and probe the building, but there isn’t so much a spark of life for me to hone in on. Frustrated, I cram myself back into the man’s head. We're going to have to do this the clumsy way.

The door swings in silently, and I find myself in the dim expanse of a mostly empty warehouse. My line of sight is blocked by stacks of empty wooden pallets. In the far corner is the glow of lamplight.

I creep between the columns of pallets, though it takes tremendous concentration to keep my host cooperative. We finger the knife in our pocket. We’re going to have to be quick.

“Please,” Philip moans. “Please just let me. Please. I don’t need to be famous or happy or anything. Just please let me do this.”

Instinct says he’s not talking to us. We pad forward until we can peer around the pallets, into Philip’s makeshift little domain.

He’s on his knees in front of a massive canvas, doubled over so his forehead touches the cement floor. His arms are wrapped around his ribcage like he’s trying to squeeze the last dredges of life out of his body. The canvas is easily some five feet tall and ten feet wide.

The far left side of the painting features a stylized sunburst painted with a playful knotwork of yellows, oranges, and white-hot blue. The sunburst bleeds into a sea of stars that seem to hang, lace-like, over abyssal black. In the middle of the canvas, the gauzy starlight gives way to an intricate abstraction made of shapes the evoke crystal formations or snowflakes. So much complexity! But the far right side of the canvas is bare, except for a few clumsy brush strokes.

Even my host is momentarily stilled by the scale and the depth of the piece.

There are a few other sad little trappings of Philip’s life scattered around on the floor. An electric tea kettle and the one packet of ramen. A pile of mildewed blankets. A box containing his other, smaller paintings. Out of reflex I think, Robin would be heartbroken.

“What comes after?” Philip asks the floor, or the gods, or himself. “I won’t tell anyone. I’ll cut my throat right now. I’ll burn this whole place down. Just show me what comes after.”

I understand. He found a wound in his soul that let him push himself out of his body and into his art. But he milked it too much, too soon. He won’t finish the painting without intervention.

I goad my body forward, into the light. Philip looks up. I don’t try to hide the knife in my hand. His pupils swallow his irises. I realize he’s too weak, now, to stand under his own power. I yank him to his feet by one stick-thin arm. He’s light as a bird.

“I know a thing or two about how to bleed,” I say through the man’s mouth. “And I know what comes after.”

“You don’t understand,” he says softly. “You're life. I need death.”

“Then let me give you death,” I say, and draw the knife across my host’s throat. Before the body can collapse, I crush Philip’s face against the man’s gushing neck so that blood runs into his eyes, his nose, his mouth. I feel myself drawn out of one vessel and into another. It is an old way, a crude way, but he will not deny me. We fall to the floor together, me and my bodies.

Darkness. I am thin, vulnerable. Did it work? Or am I suspended somewhere between?

There is the sensation of being drawn downward, then spread out. I feel myself filling an unfathomable space. Oppressive. Infinite. Am I inside? Why won’t his eyes open?

Then I sense it. Something more ancient than I, older than even the great gash that bled the cosmos into existence.

Nothing. Absolute nothing. The most fertile ground for creation. Lush void. A place of possibility.

How? I whimper my inquiry into the nameless dark.

Then: What have I done?

All at once, I’m buried in sensory information. The panic of drowning lungs. The deep, organoid ache of a massive internal bleed. I am Philip. My cheek is on the floor. The blood. It’s too much. I am too much. His veins are too thin. He’s been bleeding pure creation for so long his heart has forgotten how to pump blood. I've ended him.

I stay with him. It’s all I can do. His eyes find their way to the canvas, and he looks into the pure, blinding white of the unfinished section. Whatever he sees there is invisible to me. His mouth opens as if he’s trying to make a sound.

Then he’s gone.

I linger in the lake of blood on the floor until it grows cool and tacky. When there is nowhere left for me to exist in the warehouse, I spill out into the city, flitting between human perspectives until I find a certain tenement occupied by a certain girl.

Robin is as I left her, curled on her side on the cot, staring at nothing and grieving what she doesn’t understand. I sink into her veins, into her marrow, deep enough that I can feel her pain as if it was my own. We lay that way, wracked by sobs and wonder, until the sun rises and blots the starry abyss from the sky.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.

noice

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey.

good work

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

THUNDERDOME WEEK CCXVIII - Duel Nature

Signups: 11:59PM Friday EST
Submissions: 11:59PM Sunday EST

1800 Words Max


Your task is to write a battle of wills. Get into the heads of at least two characters in opposition with each other. It's probably folly to try for more points of view, so I don't recommend it. Let me know why they're fighting and (even if they're deluded or a monster) how they justify their actions to themselves.

The two don't have to necessarily be on opposing teams; they could have an argument over strategy or whether ends justify the means. It doesn't even have to be a traditional competition or battle. A boardroom battle or a period drama about two heirs fighting over a literal will would fit just fine.

Any technology used should be ancillary (as in secondary to character and motivation) to the story. So if you do a car chase or spaceship battle, it better delve into the minds of the combatants. Do not write a spec sheet about engines and laser guns.

Just give me a conflict between people and present both sides sympathetically.

No fanfics or real people permitted. Real-world political issues are a big risk, but if you think you can play debate team and justify both sides, then go for it.

If you want a specific conflict or genre (or both) to work with, then I'll provide on request.

Judges:
The Cut of Your Jib
flerp
Hammer Bro.

Entrants:
llamaguccii
SkaAndScreenplays
SurreptitiousMuffin
my cat is norris
Your Sledgehammer (Western, who lives and who dies?)
Sitting Here
Thranguy (YA wizard world, artificial intelligence)
Some Strange Flea
Chili (Property dispute)
Daeres
Jitzu_the_Monk
Blastinus (Love & hate)
sparksbloom
Entenzahn
SeaGoatSupreme (Horror, power dynamic)
Beige
Loutre

Clarification: This still needs to be an actual story. Please don't give me philosophical musings with a Sopranos-style "You Decide, Dear Reader" ending.

The Cut of Your Jib fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2016 around 10:46

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


In. Thanks for the fast prompt upload. (And fast judging btw)

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013


INto this prompt.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


llamaguccii posted:

*** Submission for LOSERBRAWL ***

Take What I Have, You Gluttons

Word Count: 450

There isn’t a single thing he hasn’t already written worth submitting. He stretches. His fingers pull one another taut as he extends his wrists up over his head. He knows it’s bullshit, but it’s a consistent lie. It’s a lie that he can swallow down with the whiskey. Jameson. He mulls over if the name would work for the rugged character he’s been contemplating. He decides it can’t. Or more, it could, but he simply can’t write the character. And he can’t give a bullshit character a bullshit name any more than he can write a drat story. He used to be able to write a story, but that was when he had something to say that mattered. Or at least was interesting. Or revolting. Hell, anything that deserved more than a quick skim.

He’d never had the capacity to write anything worth remembering, but people had read him at the airport, maybe, on a long flight when they’d ran out of peanuts. Or in the shitter, at least, while they waited for a sympathetic roommate to replenish the toilet paper from the hall supply closet.

He writes the date on the top of the page like this is a loving journal entry, and he’s a fourteen-year-old girl, and somehow spilling out his emotions on the page is going to amount to something.

October 3rd

Today is a lovely day. I hate life.


He laughs, takes another drink. He doesn’t hate life. But he hates the day he optimistically joined their ranks of writers. The day he decided to give more of a poo poo about the words than the people that read them. The day he split his soul between the devil of diction and the god of syntax, and only got a handful of lukewarm critiques in return. It wasn’t a lovely life. It was a lovely occupation.

He changes his entry.

Every day is lovely because I hate writing.

He lights a joint. It was more accurate, but still not completely true. He didn’t depend on writing for his livelihood, yet he couldn’t seem to survive without it. He was an addict, lusting for a fix even when he knew what the brutal end result would be. Writing was his dirty little call girl. His subconscious routinely slipped her a key when all his mind really wanted was some loving peace and quiet.

He inhales, erases the entry. The blank page and the viewers beyond mock him. A crossfaded passion of contempt and unrequited respect creeps into his fingers as he strikes the keys, annihilating the page.

gently caress the readers, and gently caress you, too.

He hits submit and doesn’t feel the need to gratify them again until Sunday.
This is legitimately a really good piece of writing, and I normally hate writers writing about writing. The bar has been set. Maigus, your move.

Also in.

my cat is norris
Mar 11, 2010

#onecallcat



College Slice

Gonna give it a shot. In.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


Entemerc Brawl

Hjalmar the Eternal, God-Emperor of the Alpha Prime Centuri


Hjalmar had not realized until this very moment how annoying it was to have; ballpark figure, 10 million volts of electricity paralyzing every muscle in his body.  It would be nice if these lack-witted rebels eased up on the voltage so he could at least control his diaphragm or even his bladder.  The not breathing bit was quite a nuisance, but soiling oneself really does a number on one’s dignity.

He wondered what their plan was this time.  An assassination can only be attempted a certain number of times before one goes from determined to mulish.  The question itched in his mind until one of their backwater spaceships bounced horizontally into view.  Hjalmar selflessly ruled this world with an iron fist for a couple of centuries and these twats couldn’t give him a more dignified transportation method than dragging him down the street by the ankles?

Upon reaching the spaceship, Hjalmar heard the pneumatic hiss of doors opening and felt the chill of the air envelop him like a lovely blanket.  The world suddenly lurched and he found himself airborne.  The elation of weightlessness abruptly ended with a face full of floor.

The doors closed again and Hjalmar groaned.  He stopped at the realization that the rebels were no longer shoving a thunderstorm’s worth of electricity in his rear end.  A facsimile of a smile split his face and his teeth; already slightly too long and needle-like, lengthened and sharpened as he gathered power.  Liquid smoke billowed upward from his eyes and he turned to eviscerate his enemies.  It was at this time, much to the displeasure of Hjalmar, a deluge of liquid nitrogen exploded into the cramped space.

-A tiny interlude-

Hjalmar’s brother, Bjorn, smirked as he asked, “You allowed them to get the jump on you?”

Hjalmar shrugged indifferently.  “I was bored.  They’ve tried to overthrow me so many times and failed spectacularly.  I merely gave them an opportunity.”

“And then they shot you through space for a really long time.  We thought you were actually dead,” Bjorn said, his smirk gone.

“How thoughtful of you,”  Hjalmar said. “This is what happened next.”

-The story continues-

The sudden heat was like running face first into a tegolapti’s webbed taint.  Hjalmar looked back unhappily at his prison for who knows how long.  At least it was air conditioned.

His ears pricked up when he heard a voice nearby.    “Let’s see what I’m dealing with this time,” he grumbled to himself as he drudged in that direction.  It didn’t take that long to reach the origin of the voice.  To be fair, any length of time compared to his impromptu vacation among the stars would seem miniscule.  He balked when he recognized the language.  “Humans.  Of all the places I end up, I’m stranded in the anus of the galaxy.”

There was only one human; a squat stubby creature with questionable balance making its way up the hill in his direction.  It stopped and opened its mouth in wonder.  “What a strange koala bear!”  Hjalmar noticed it was missing many of its teeth.

Hjalmar cleared his throat and the sudden human mannerism bought the human’s rapt attention. “Hello human.  I am Hjalmar the Eternal, God-Emperor of the Alpha Prime Centuri.  I must speak to your superiors.”

The human’s eyes lit up at the prospect of a new best friend.  “Oh yes, of course,” she was breathless with excitement, “I’m Poppy, would you like some tea?”

Finally, some proper hospitality.  Hjalmar couldn’t recall the last time a world on the cusp of being conquered acted so cordially toward him.  He nodded agreeably and followed the humans.

Hjalmar was impressed by the size of the human’s dwelling.  He had to crane his neck just to see the top of the door.  With such large egos, it’s going to be difficult to make these humans understand they need me as their leader, he thought to himself.  He followed Poppy through the house, eyes wide as he studied their assortment of large items that should be too unwieldy to comfortably use.  With his superior intellect, could he have underestimated humans?

He entered a large room with a grand table and what looked like Poppy’s subjects waiting quietly in their seats.  To easily demand such respect and fear that these servants dare not even move a muscle unless commanded made Hjalmar take notice.  Perhaps humans had learned to master the art of magic or psionicism.  He nodded internally.  A worthy adversary.

“You can sit next to Mr. Bunny,” Poppy said, gesturing toward an empty seat.  Once Hjalmar took his seat, she placed a cup and saucer in front of him and poured what logic dictated to be an invisible liquid.

“When may I speak with your leader?”  Hjalmar asked timidly.  This certainly was a first.

“Oh, Papa?”  There was something in her eyes that Hjalmar couldn’t decipher at that moment.  “Papa said he had something he needed to do and that he would be right back.”  She lifted the cup and saluted to him.  “Cheers!” she said, the something in her eye was gone.  Later, Hjalmar would find out, it was dread.

-A short interlude-

“Are you going to cry?”  Hjalmar’s brother, Bjorn asked with raised suspicion.

“Sorry,” Hjalmar’s apologized, “I was just remembering the good times I had with the human.”

“Yes, there is a warmth to your tone when you speak of her,” Bjorn said, frowning.  “Is she the reason why you decided not to enslave Earth?”

Hjalmar shrugged.  “It’s difficult to explain, brother.  It was a mixture of my ignorance about the human species, my overactive imagination and her eventual dependence on me that lead me to becoming attached to Poppy.”

“What about her leader.  The one you thought was the leader of Earth?” Bjorn asked without a hint of sarcasm.

“Her father,” he said, sighing.  “His death was the catalyst for my abandonment of my original goal of subjugation.”

“Well then, let’s hear it.”

-The story continues-

Early on, the food that Poppy kept in the cold box had run out.  She gained Hjalmar’s respect then when she insisted on going out to hunt for food.  He had shown off his powers to her for the first time in an effort to impress and gain favor.  Even though Hjalmar’s power was truly overkill, Poppy was not afraid of him.  Later on she admitted that she was surprised by his display of power, but knew that he wouldn’t hurt her because they were friends.

In human terms, fourteen days had passed.  Hjalmar had noted on several occasions, when Poppy didn’t know he was watching, had cried.  It was small shudders and light sniffling, but afterward her eyes were a little red and her face was flushed.  But whenever he was around, she was always put on a smile for him as if she did not have a worry in the world.

Eventually the men responsible for her father’s disappearance paid the house a visit.  Poppy was asleep at the time.  When the window was smashed and the voices of the men could be heard, Hjalmar heard Poppy draw in a ragged breath.  In the darkness, he turned to her and saw the abject terror in her face.

“Hjalmar,” her voice was so small and pitiful, “I’m scared…”  

Something deep inside Hjalmar broke seeing her like this.  He realized she had no powers.  He also realized that he didn’t care.  “Hide.  I’ll protect you.”

Poppy climbed out of her bed and crawled under it.  “Be careful,” she said quietly.

Hjalmar learned many things that night.  First and foremost, he learned the difference between a child and adult human.  Adult humans were enormous.  Suddenly, the size of the house made sense.

“Oi mucka,” one of the humans said, pointing at Hjalmar, “Anthony kept a koala bear as a pet.”

Hjalmar’s eyes leaked power, lines of luminescent smoke drifting upward.  “I am Hjalmar the Eternal, God-Emperor of-”

The humans screamed in surprise, raised metal barrels and filled the room with a wall of sound and flashes of light.  

Pain exploded on multiple places on Hjalmar’s body and he staggered backward.  A line split horizontally on his face and his teeth elongated into needle points.  A worthy adversary.

In a blur of movement and red mist, Hjalmar appeared behind one human who had a suddenly found he was airborne while what appeared to be his legs were still attached to the floor.  The two other humans had froze when they saw their friend flying through the air in a geyser of blood.  They should have ran, but fear does strange things humans.

Hjalmar did not waste any time.  He was upon them in a hurricane of fury and sharp things.

-Last interlude, I swear-

“You went easy on them?” Bjorn said, astonishment in his tone, “and they still died that quickly?”

“I actually wanted to give them time to warm up for an epic battle,” Hjalmar said, shaking his head.  “Apparently humans are very fragile creatures.  Who knew?”

“But even after figuring that out, you still chose not to rule over Earth?”

“After that, I didn’t want to,” Hjalmar said, “I went back into Poppy’s room and there she was.  She had lost much of her color and was unwilling to approach me, probably because of all the human blood on me.  But the fear in her face was gone.  I can’t even describe how that made me feel, Bjorn.”

“I’m sure you’ll try to do so anyways.”

“It was this large, warm and fuzzy sensation deep in my chest.  I was happy to serve her and I would do so again.”

“Ever the poet,”  Bjorn shook his head.  “You were only on earth for a short amount of time then?”

“Yes, in human terms, eighty years.  Do your own conversions, I’m very tired.”

-Epilogue-

Hjalmar closed the door to his chambers and pulled out a thick book from under his bed.  He opened it and looked at multiple pictures of himself with an adult human female.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


In, , prompt me kind sir. I'll take both a conflict and genre.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Your Sledgehammer posted:

In, , prompt me kind sir. I'll take both a conflict and genre.

Give me a Western. Your POV characters only have enough supplies (anti-venom, antibiotics, bandages, water, rope, whatever) to save one person and they must choose who lives and who dies. This could mean that they are the ones dying and are arguing that each deserves to survive; or both are trying to save someone different.

http://www.americancowboy.com/artic...ern-books-24429
Modern Westerns are full of grim anti-hero types and pulp Westerns have lots of moral dilemmas. The time period and style are up to you, but remember this is a modern reading audience so tread lightly if you include Indigenous American characters.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I'm in

Also, Merc, Ent, Flerp: The idea, now that we've all subbed, is to judge each other's stories by the end of this week. Flerp and I will each give Ent/Merc a score out of 10, and Merc and Ent, you do the same for me and Flerp. If there's a tie we'll all just murder suicide or something, idk. You don't need to coordinate this with your co-judge if you can't/don't want to, just post your scores for each of the stories you're judging.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.


Sitting Here posted:

I'm in

Also, Merc, Ent, Flerp: The idea, now that we've all subbed, is to judge each other's stories by the end of this week. Flerp and I will each give Ent/Merc a score out of 10, and Merc and Ent, you do the same for me and Flerp. If there's a tie we'll all just murder suicide or something, idk. You don't need to coordinate this with your co-judge if you can't/don't want to, just post your scores for each of the stories you're judging.

excellent. We'll finally be together in the end sh

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thunderdome Recap!

SkaAndScreenplays typed some dashes:
Gave that key one-forty bashes.
When he saw what he had done,
He added on one-forty-one.


Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and I lack hatchets with which to assault Week 216: Historical Redemption (or: Sin, Lizzie), so our voices will have to do. Up until now we never knew that so much murder could be so dull! The winner and honorable mention come under our jaded scrutiny, but llamaguccii's investigation notes and SkaAndScreenplays' new Ripper theory get the lion's share of attention, and Djeser's Cockney accent duels Twist's Southern drawl for preeminence in our reading of "Terrible Purpose: 1199 Words."

“Before I go, thought. Answer me one question.”


Episodes past:

pre:
Episode								Recappers

Week 156:  LET'S GET hosed UP ON LOVE				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser
Week 157:  BOW BEFORE THE BUZZSAW OF PROGRESS			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 158:  LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser
Week 159:  SINNERS ORGY						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 160:  Spin the wheel!					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 161:  Negative Exponents					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 36:  Polishing Turds -- A retrospective special!		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 162:  The best of the worst and the worst of the best	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 163:  YOUR STUPID poo poo BELONGS IN A MUSEUM			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 164:  I Shouldn't Have Eaten That Souvlaki			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 165:  Back to School					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 166:  Comings and Goings					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 167:  Black Sunshine					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 168:  She Stole My Wallet and My Heart			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 169:  Thunderdome o' Bedlam				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 170:  Cities & Kaiju					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 171:  The Honorable THUNDERDOME CLXXI			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 172:  Thunderdome Startup					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 173:  Pilgrim's Progress					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 174:  Ladles and Jellyspoons				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 175:  Speels of Magic					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 176:  Florida Man and/or Woman				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 125:  Thunderdome is Coming to Town -- Our sparkly past! 	SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood
Week 177:  Sparkly Mermen 2: Electric Merman Boogaloo		SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood
Week 178:  I'm not mad, just disappointed			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 179:  Strange Logs						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 180:  Maybe I'm a Maze					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 181:  We like bloodsports and we don't care who knows!	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 182:  Domegrassi						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and Bad Seafood
Week 183:  Sorry Dad, I Was Late To The Riots			Sitting Here, Djeser, Kaishai, and crabrock
Week 184:  The 2015teen Great White Elephant Prompt Exchange	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 98:  Music of the Night -- Songs of another decade		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 185:  Music of the Night, Vol. II				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 186:  Giving away prizes for doing f'd-up things		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 187:  Lost In Translation					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 188:  Insomniac Olympics					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 189:  knight time						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 190:  Three-Course Tale					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 191:  We Talk Good						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 192:  Really Entertaining Minific				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 30:  We're 30 / Time to get dirty -- A magical time	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 193:  the worst week					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai
Week 40:  Poor Richard's Thundervision -- Let the ESC begin!	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 144:  Doming Lasha Tumbai -- Classic performances		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 194:  Only Mr. God Knows Why				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 195:  Inverse World					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 196:  Molten Copper vs. Thunderdome			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 197: Stories of Powerful Ambition & Poor Impulse Control	Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 198:  Buddy Stuff						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 199:  EVERYBODY KNOWS poo poo'S hosed			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 1:  Man Agonizes over Potatoes				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo
Week 200:  Taters Gonna Tate Fuckers				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo
Week 201:  Old Russian Joke					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 202:  THUNDER-O-S!						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 203:  MYSTERY SOLVING TEENS				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 204:  Hate Week						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 205:  the book of forgotten names				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 206:  WHIZZ! Bang! POW! Thunderdome!			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 207:  Bottle Your Rage					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 208:  Upper-Class Tweet of the Year			Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 209:  WHAT DO YOU GET A DOME THAT HAS EVERYTHING??		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 210:  Crit Ketchup Week					Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 211:  Next-Best Friend Week				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 212:  Vice Week						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 213:  Punked Out						Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai
Week 214:  THUNDERDOME ALL-STAR TRIBUTE				Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino
Week 215:  El sueño de la razón produce el Thunderdome		Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai


Special Features!

The Top Ten poo poo Scenes of Thunderdome				Sitting Here, Kaishai, Ironic Twist, and Djeser

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Oct 8, 2016 around 06:37

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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

In and I'll take both a conflict and genre

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