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  • Locked thread
QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

WHO LOVES BLOOD SODA?
KEL LOVES BLOOD SODA!


I do. I do. I do-oo.


Thranguy posted:

HK TPK
Relationships:
History: Survivors of the epic shootout
Romance: Obsessed crush and unknowing object
Strange: Savant with skills and the one who knows how to trigger them.
Need:
To get the truth...about why they didn't shoot you in the head.
Location:
Odditites: A crowded double-decker streetcar
Object:
Information: The mole's mobile phone with all his contacts
Tilt:
Tragedy: Death, right on time

Nasty, Brutish, and Short
1166 words

After the woman hit the floor, Lizzie imagined letting her die. She imagined exposing her father as a fraud. Letting his whole ministry collapse. She imagined the tight packs of paparazzi, with their enormous white vans, reporting on the errant televangelist who had murdered yet another woman on live television. Newscasters asking, with barely concealed glee, just how a disgraced preacher, wanted on murder charges, had fled the country and set up a cult in Hong Kong.

But as her father laid his hands upon the victim, his cool eyes locked with her’s. Go ahead, they said, but even if you let her die, I will never haunt you for the rest of your life.

She laid down beside her father and pressed her hands against his.

The woman was dead. And then she wasn’t. Her death rattle forced its way back down her throat as pooled blood retracted its way into the body. Hot bullets wormed their way out from the skin and fell with small, metallic clinks against the stage. The woman gave an enormous gasp and, bloating not yet gone, she rose to her feet.

“Hallelujah!” Lizzie’s father said in a voice that shook a million televisions. The APPLAUSE sign had lit up, but it wasn’t needed. The studio drowned in screams.

Lizzie grabbed the discarded submachine gun and handed it off to a stage assistant. Her father grabbed hold of the woman’s hand and led the modern Lazarus into the sparkling studio light.

“Hallelujah!” He bellowed as cameras swung around to focus on him and all thirty-two of his gleaming white teeth. A man in the front row, apparently possessed with the Holy Spirit, fell to the floor in convulsions. A group of old French tourists reached out to touch him. One of the risers collapsed beneath stamping feet.

“Hallelujah!” He screamed, straining to be heard over the pandemonium. He raised his arms skyward, knocking his arm against the dead-undead woman’s head. But it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Even the Hong Kong skyline seemed to tremble and shake. “Remember, that the hour of the Fifth Monarchy is at hand! That I will return at the head of God’s Heavenly Host to take back America and bring about a new age of Enlightenment! Only the Righteous will be saved!”

Joel Osteen was an insect. The Pope was a mote in God’s eye. Lizzie turned and made my way backstage as wails enveloped the small studio.

“Just stay tuned!”

And then they cut for commercial.

***

“Hey there, princess.” Lizzie’s father had crept up from behind her and squeezed her shoulders. “You had me worried there for a sec.”

“Oh.” Lizzie said in a small voice. The television backstage was playing her father’s sermons on repeat. CNN International had brought on an expert in special effects who looked sweaty and red-faced. A small timer in the margin gave a countdown until the end of the sermon’s commercial break. Five minutes.

“Hey,” he said. He grabbed her chin and twisting Lizzie’s face toward his. “You can pout all you after this broadcast is finished but I need you focused. We don’t need another accident.”

She cast her eyes downward, trying to avoid his stare. Lizzie still remembered the old sermons on public broadcast. Her parents once owned a cramped garage sound stage that smelled like motor oil. Mother had owned a guitar and would sing about Jesus while Lizzie’s father performed “little miracles.” It hadn’t been hard for him to convince his wife to participate in his first attempt at televised resurrection, knowing what he did about their daughter’s special talents.

The only problem had been that Lizzie hadn’t wanted to bring Mother back.

“Just one more miracle, Lizzie, and we’re set.” He gave her a sharp pinch. “All I need from you is one more teensy-weensie, little revelation and we can do whatever the hell we want.”

She tried to turn away from him again. “I just want to be alone.”

He jerked her neck hard and leaned in close. “Alone?” He said. His breath was like consumption and malaria, “Hell, you can have the entire goddamned city when we’re done.”

***

Lizzie’s father walked out on stage one minute behind schedule. The crowd seemed larger. The doors to the stage were propped open to make room for masses of bodies. Too many people, Lizzie thought as sickness welled up in her. No escape.

“I have given you life and now,” Lizzie’s father said, pausing for dramatic effect, “I will give you death.”

The cheering died. He spun around to face the opposite camera. It was a dramatic but unnecessary gesture.

“For, just as God commanded Noah to build an ark to protect the righteous from the Great Flood, so too have I built an ark.” He pointed a single accusatory finger at the camera. “Only my ark is not one of wood and nails. My Ark is one of hearts and minds and only those who believe in me shall be saved!”

“You lie!” Someone shouted from the back.

Her father squinted into the darkness before giving a blessed, Renaissance-painting smile. “Oh, but I’m not. In a few moments, all those who have denied Christ will perish. All the world’s sinners and heretics shall be cast into the Lake of Fire.”

Lizzie felt herself moving dreamlike towards her father. After their first attempt at resurrection, he had clutched her mother’s bullet-shredded form and pleaded Lizzie to bring her back. But Lizzie had stared at him with a dull and empty face. Because we are all sinners. Because we are all sick and dirty.

“I will now pray with my daughter as we pass through the End Times.”

Lizzie’s father opened his mouth as though to say something more, but stopped short. A rumble coursed through the building before spreading across the city. Glass shattered. There was screaming again, not of joy but horror. Fingers were pointed towards the coast, where the sea had become streaked with blood. Crowded buses exploded on the street below.

“What are you doing?” Her father said. His smile wavered. “This isn’t what we discussed. This isn’t what was supposed to happen.”

“All I wanted was to be alone,” Lizzie screeched, feeling the pillars of the earth collapse beneath her. She was done. Done with it all. “All I ever wanted was for everyone to leave me alone!”

The APPLAUSE sign melted as the congregation transformed into pillars of salt. Fire split the floor asunder, exposing a mass of writhing limbs. The building’s security alarms rang out a litany to the Communion of Saints as a choir of trumpets and angels unleashed their fury. Her father sank into the floor, screaming. Lizzie’s father screamed and the whole world screamed with him.

And then there was silence. She stood for a moment in the wreckage of a studio before pushing her way towards the exit. This was now her city. Her world. For the first time, she was truly alone.

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flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Thranguy posted:

News Channel Six
Relationships:
Family: Ex-spouses, current parents
We've Got History:”The restraining order is still in place, you know.”
Fooling Around: Did it once at the office Christmas party, you think.
Need:
To Settle Things: With that suit who doesn't get your “vision” for the news
Location:
Face Time: Book signing for your recently published memoir/cookbook
Object:
Where's the Warning Label? Exotic animal, exotically out of control
Tilt: Paranoia: Someone is watching, waiting for their moment.

1500 words

Going Back Through the Smiles

archives

flerp fucked around with this message at May 30, 2016 around 00:43

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.




quote:

A Nice Southern Town
Relationships:
Crime: Corrupt official/local big shot
Family: Parent-in-law/son or daughter-in-law
Friendship: Bitter social adversaries (church friends)
Need:
To get even...with this town, for what it has turned you into
Location:
Up and about : a farmer's field up past Surrey Avenue
Object:
Transportation: Golf Cart
Tilt:
Failure: Something precious is on fire.



The Jackalope
(1167 words)

*snip*

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2016 around 18:09

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Thranguy posted:

London, 1593
Relationships
Romance: Secret lovers
Espionage: Sir Waler Raleigh's men: scholars or bravos
Espionage: Spymaster Sir Robert Cecil's agents: informers or intelligencers
Need:
To get paid...in information
Location:
The Underworld: The Tower
Object:
Official: An official pardon with the name left blank
Tilt:
Tragedy: Pain, followed by confusion




Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Phlegm, and Blood
1856 words

--see archive--

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2017 around 15:12

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

deleteed

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2017 around 21:57

spectres of autism
Feb 12, 2011

~it's like people say we're all gonna die
but me it's different i'm not trying to be alive~




quote:

Return to Camp Death
Relationships:
Family: Foster siblings
Camp Clearwater: Haunted survivors of the massacre 20 years ago
Romance: Easy lay and desperate virgin
Need:
To gently caress...up someone who desperately deserves it
Location:
Regional community Hospital: Morgue
Object:
Weapons: Bouts of violent,blackout rage
Tilt:
Innocence: Someone is not so innocent after all.

Triage
1971 words

“It’s one of us,” I say. And in the depths of my subconscious, the demon laughs and spits. Maybe it’s me.

Vi is hugging Lance close. “Don’t be dumb, Lesha. We came here to bury this for good. We can’t turn on each other.”

“We bury it by getting to the bottom of it,” I say. We’re staring at Earl Steckerberg memorial hospital, twin buildings attached by a small tunnel at the base. Halfway up they’re shrouded by the mist that’s covered this town since that fateful night twenty years ago. The night we woke up the emergency room, drenched in each other’s blood and sweat, and started, after the gauze and IVs and sandwiches and water and questions, so many questions, asked softly then barked like hell hounds, to get pieces, fragments. To see the dead in our dreams.

We were young then. The scar on Lance’s shoulder was fresh, bright red against his pale skin. I had given it to him, or so I was told, during a black hole in my memory with frayed, pained edges. I know what Lance sounds like when he screams because I came back to him screaming.

And there was me, Alesha, everyone too lazy for that first syllable, and my dreadlocks, which took forever to knot, and my meds to stop my blackouts. And I felt them cramping my qi, and I went off them during that camp trip, which is fine, because at my core I’m pure and I love everyone, and everyone should be loved by me. And there was Vi, who was the oldest, take-charge in even slightly challenging situations, and me hiding things from her, and her not even noticing because Lance could barely fend for himself, because Lance wanted girls who didn’t want him, because Lance couldn’t walk around camp without being harassed and attacked by anyone with more muscle mass than him, which was everyone.

There was the three of us, and Camp Clearwater, and then there was the three of us, and there was no camp anymore, because a camp needed campers, and the campers were all gone, falling into the next life, staring into it the whole way.

The hospital is still running, but only just, equipment getting more expensive, and the town dying off one abandoned theatre, one ruined market, one lamp post flickering every four seconds at a time. We stand before it like the entrance to some forbidden world. A still over the place, cars spotting the parking lot, a couple of ambulances.

The camp’s long since been paved, but the nightmare took shape in the hospital, a shape that they snatched away from us, as they took their notes and tape recordings and vanished into where? The ether? Washington D.C.? The Soviet Union?

Vi glances at Lance and he bravely nods, and both of them part, and he scratches the place where his hair used to be experimentally. Then all three of us are walking forward, trying to pretend like the thing I just said, the accusation I just made, isn’t settling all around us.

The doors are fogged over. I’m in front of them first, and I push, they don’t revolve, they’re from when they believed you had to work to get where you were going. The door swings open, Vi behind me, and she might be thinking what I’m thinking, that time has dulled her edge, and by the time we’re in the lobby we’re walking to the front desk together, Lance trailing behind like always, the dull thud of his shoes a sign of his passing.

There are two nurses behind the desk and they’re talking to each other. We pass them quickly, Vi pulling Lance along. I tug at my straightened hair, still not, after all these years, used to not being the centre of attention. The directions to Triage are easy to spot; they position these things to be noticeable. All around us people walk by; they all seem pallid, grayed out, and I don’t notice because the hallucinations are starting.

Symbols are painted on the walls in scarlet splashes. I need to average them out to see the exact shape. But I recognize it. It’s the eight pointed star, the mark of Inanna, ancient Sumerian goddess of fertility, and in some places it’s more finished than others, like the artist ran out of his medium.

I know Inanna well, but I’m not used to seeing her in amber.

Lance complaining about his feet hurting is a background buzz. I hear screams, sharp bursts that pierce through me and are gone. Some sound like fear, some like pain, some like something else. I cling to them; they feel like answers, but they’re gone, and so are the marks, and I’m wondering what happened, and asking myself why I’m turning my back on my family, who I haven’t seen in years, who I don’t even know.

Because, I think, this paranoia that’s taken nest in me is a projection, to escape the idea that it was me, that I’m crazy, that I needed to be medicated and wasn’t. I should be medicated now, too, but I’m not.

Three of us survived. One of us was responsible. Flashes of Inanna again, and then…

We’re in the emergency room. It’s empty. Nothing but scattered magazines littering abandoned couches. No nurses in the station. No one anywhere.

“No one got hurt today,” Lance says, while me and Vi glance at each other.

That’s when I hear the screams again, but they’re different. More stretched out; they’re echoing down the long hallways and off the inside of Triage. I’m back there, and it’s happening again, and Vi is moving. She’s shouting over her shoulder, her head whipped back, framed by frizz, and she hasn’t aged a day, it’s twenty years ago and she’s shouting over her shoulder back then too. She’s slamming the door shut, like it’s all coming back to her, or it never left.

“Get the other doors!” she shouts. She’s already reaching back for the couch, pulling it against her. Lance closing the other side’s doors is more of a collision; he looks like he actually hurt himself swinging them shut and pressing into it. I’m there with him, more to comfort him with my presence than to actually keep out whatever’s out there. Lance got strong since Clearwater, but he’s looking at me, and his eyes are begging me to tell them this isn’t happening.

I can hear the howling of whatever’s out there, slipping in through the cracks of the doors, and fingers raking against the windows. I can’t see much but I see several right hands. The other couch creaks as Vi pushes it behind us. We tumble backwards over it as she wedges it against the door space and we fall onto cold linoleum, Lance on top of me, crushing me, and Vi has to help him off.

Inanna, I think. What’s the connection?

A memory floats to the surface.

𒀭

Claud and Lorena Havlin, our fosters, are never home. In effect our adoption is to get them social points in the community, giving their vast wealth a tinge of conscience. They’re in line to get a statue raised in the geographically insulated park; all three of us posed around them once, Vi’s frizz covering her whole face so that all you’ll see, when it goes up, is a single eye, staring out noncommittally.

They drank away what time they couldn’t sleep away, and that left me free to pursue the arcane arts. Inanna seemed a worthy recipient of my worship, and I’m mid ablution when Lance walks in, scratches his tousle, and asked what’s up with the mark on the floor.

“I’ll mop it up later,” I say, and I stopped, because Lance is looking at me with adoration eyes, with I’m-so-much-cooler-than-him-eyes.

“She’s the goddess of love,” I say, “and fertility, and some other things. She’s good if you need help in the more tangled aspects of your life.”

He moves to the skylight in the corner, stares outside. “It’s not tangled,” he said, “and that’s what’s wrong.”

And I shouldn’t, I know I shouldn’t, but I’m teaching him the words, the motions, because you don’t need anything, all you need is the mark.

The memory arrives in tatters, through the trauma that road blocked my brain twenty years ago and never let go until now.

𒀭

My guilt leaves me like a swan taking flight. “It was you,” I say, and my chest feels like it’s helium. Like I’ll float right out of the hospital, away from everything that’s ever weighed down my soul. “You tried to get Inanna to fix your pathetic love life, and something went wrong, and now we’re all gonna die here. Did you do it again?”

I’ve never talked to Lance like this before. He stands up to full height and he’s scary looking, I think, all that muscle buried under a mountain of terrible self-esteem. I start looking for weapons, but this is a hospital. Lance is coming towards me. Outside the wails of the possessed are waxing, ear splitting screams I can hear like the threshold separating us doesn’t exist. No protection.

His hands are moving to my throat. I back up, but there’s nowhere to go, horror everywhere. All the people who’ve ever died in here, I think, it’s all the same, no matter how it happens. Whether it’s demons or your own brother it’s all over the same way.

Then his hands are clasping my shoulders and he’s saying he never, he understood, he understood it was all for real, that in the end he wanted it to be different.

Liar, I try to spit into his eyes, his eyes again, they’re wide, there’s nothing in them but love.

And Vi explains, while I’m pushing him away, him holding me, that Lance always disgusted her.

“God,” she said, “there’s something wrong with someone who just lets himself be defeated like that. Who everyone laughs at, who spends so much time drowning in his misery that he can’t even stand upright on land.”

Lance turns to her. I can’t see his eyes anymore.

“She’s visited me in my dreams,” she says. “I can’t really put it together that well, but it’s something about how the world is overpopulated, how it was even then. How she thinks sex should be the opposite of creation now. Everyone gets with each other and then they all kill each other once the endorphins have them good and messed up. Everyone kills and I was right there with them, stabbing and stabbing while you two cowered under the bunks, and then I threw the knife away and came in covered in blood and fell down and we all woke up in Triage. Wondering what happened, but I knew the whole time. I did it for you, Lance, and you probably didn’t even get any.”

“I don’t remember,” Lance says, and he’s going for her, strangling her. Pressing her on the linoleum.

And I’m hurling myself onto him, but I can’t figure out if I’m pulling him off, or just hugging him, the love we all had for each other that we could never channel the right way. The Havlin kids, sole survivors of Camp Clearwater, killing each other in Triage.

I kiss Lance’s ear.

“We have to get out of here,” I say, and Lance nods, and pulls himself off, and his body, his body is blocking her, and I can’t tell if she’s moving. I’m clinging to Lance now, and he’s pulling me with him, as he goes over the couch and slams into the doors, and they’re breaking into fragments, and somewhere, beyond the demons, is a place for us, if we can only reach it.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Thranguy posted:

Last Frontier
Relationships:
Around the Village: Representative/citizen (Case worker, parole officer, native corporation official)
Crime: Fishing outlaws (quota thieves, endangered species bycatch sellers)
Friendship: A sourdough and a cheechako
Need:
To get rich...through selling illegally-cleared timber
Location:
The harbor: Aboard the purse seiner MV Julie Autumn
Object:
Sentimental: A novel written in longhand
Tilt:
Mayhem:Cold-blooded score-settling

The Road to Riches
1676 words

“Nic, baby, I’m going to make us rich.”

She didn’t look up from her writing. “Not now, Dale. I’ve almost got this.” But she knew it was futile.

He kept talking. He always did. “I’ve got a connection, see, the best, most beautiful wood you ever laid eyes on, logs wide as me, maybe wider!” His eyes popped open for one brief comical moment. “Don’t that sound glorious?”

“Sure does. But what’s the catch?”

“Catch? Aw, honey, you don’t...”

Her look stopped him like a freight train.

“Fine. Catch is it don’t belong to us, exactly. But that’s no big deal, these people are hardly using it and they shouldn’t be in there anyway rightly to think of it, being protected park land and all. No, I’d say we’re practically doing a public service.”

Nic rolled her eyes, but as usual, a morbid curiosity compelled her to ask for more information. “So, what’s the plan?”

“We wait for them to leave for the night, then sneak in there and load up the truck.”

Nic stared at him. “You, uh, you got some friends in mind, Dale?”

He stared back at her, eyes all mystified. “How’s that?”

“Dale, have you been practicing lifting tons of wood on your own? Cause I believe my deadlift is a bit lacking.”

“Aw hell Nic, how do you think them Raestlin boys move it around themselves? They got like cranes and all, move it real easy like.”

“So, even if once you get that stack of wood out, where you going with it? Can’t just walk into a lumber shop and sell a truckload of raw logs.”

“Don’t you worry about that. Frank knows a guy knows a guy. He’ll be able to help.”

***

Frank Warner was a cop, but the good kind of cop, willing to look the other way if you cut him in on the deal. And he’d helped Dale out on a few of his plans in the past. He was running a speed trap when Dale called.

“I’m not going to be able to help you, here,” Frank said. “Feds’d be on my rear end in a hot minute. Already looking over my shoulder after last month’s catch. They’re poring through my finances. I got to stay low down, at least for now. You know.”

“Listen, Frank, please. I got no other way. My disability check barely lasts half the month. I can hardly feed Zeke and they’re threatening to repossess my truck.”

“Maybe they should. Would stop you from this hell-dumb thing your set on.”

“I got to do it, Frank. I’m hurting real bad. Don’t you know nobody who got I need for wood and maybe won’t care where it came from?”

Frank looked out over the road. No one had driven past for ten minutes. “Yeah, all right. Try Wood & Leather Supply out by Route 1. They might take it. But you’ll have to haul it there yourself. They don’t make deliveries.”

“Christ Frank, that’s a long way to... all right. Well, thanks.”

***

Breaking onto the work site, well after midnight, was easy enough. The chainlink fence and gate was easy enough to get around, he just rammed straight through. No guards or cameras around anywhere, as far as Dale could tell.

Then he found the first problem: there were no keys in the crane or other crawlers on the site. “poo poo. I didn’t expect that. You know how to hotwire, Nic?”

“No, Dale, I do not know how to hotwire a Caterpillar.”

“poo poo.”

***

After spending a few minutes poking around in the frigid damp of near-morning, she retreated back into the residual heat of the truck.

Soon, she was nearly nodding off in her seat. She yelled out of the window. “Dale, you find anything?”

His head appear outside at the driver’s side window a moment later. “Gimme a little longer,” he said. “I wanna search the trailers. Maybe I’ll find keys in one of them.”

“Dale Ripland, I am about to put this thing in reverse and back it into the river. Freezing to death would be preferable to the slow cold torture you are putting me through.”

“Just... just a little longer. Please.”

“You got five minutes to find what you need before I take this truck and get out of here, with or without you.”

“Uh huh, uh huh, right. I’ll be back.” He ducked away.

His head popped up a second later. “What’d you say?” he asked her.

“What?”

“No. No, it’s not you. There’s someone coming up the road. poo poo, kill the engine, the headlights, Nic get out of there—”

***

Enrico and his crew didn’t bother to investigate the camp up close. They just saw movement and started shooting.

Someone was in the truck. They fired again.

They walked up to it, slowly, watching. Nothing. Steam hissed from holes in the hood. Rico came to the open door and peered inside. A woman covered in blood, slumped down behind the dash.

He went to shut the door, then thought better of it. He moved in to check around her—she had a whittling knife in her pocket, a phone in the other. That was it.

“All right, Jack, I think we found it.”

Jack was at the far end of the truck. Rico waved him over.

Then he realized he wasn’t Jack—plaid shirt, no hat—and the blast to his chest was an even bigger surprise.

“A quick death is too good for you bastards,” Dale said to the man bleeding out on the gravel road.

He watched until the bleeding stopped.

Then crouched down and searched the man's pockets. For once that night, he found a set of keys.

He climbed into their small black compact and booked out of there.

***

When Dale showed up at the diner that morning, Frank knew there’d be trouble. Even before he noticed the dark stains on the man’s clothes.

Dale nodded at Frank from the door.

Frank stood up and paid for his food, half eaten on the plate. He knew what he owed.

Dale fixed him with a distant, vacant stare as he walked up. The stare of the condemned man. “Officer.”

“Why don’t we go for a walk.” Frank stepped out into the sun. “How you doing, Dale?”

Dale only stared at the road in front of him with red dry eyes.

“Yeah, I feel that some days, too,” Frank said. “How’s your...” He thought better of asking about his ex. “No, how’s Nic? How’s she doing?”

He eyed the bulge under Dale’s shirt, something tucked into his pants. He hadn’t known Dale to carry before.

Dale looked up then, slowly, up to his face. “You don’t know?”

“What?”

“Jesus. You don’t.” He started laughing.

“What don’t I know, Dale?”

The man only laughed harder, doubled over, at his question. “I tell you what, Frank, I thought I had this all figured up. You set up this thing last night—”

“I didn’t set up anything!”

“—and you tip off Rico about it—”

“Dale, that’s crazy—”

Let me finish,” Dale said, low and quiet.

They were near the patrol car, parked on the side of the street. Still in sight of the diner. He could stall. “Go ahead.”

“Why you did that, I didn’t know. Maybe you got a reward for it, maybe just got tired of working with me. Maybe your internal investigators really are heating up like you say and you wanted a little problem cleaned up?”

“Dale...”

“Don’t matter. Nic’s dead, Frank. Rico and his goons shot up the truck before I could even start loading it. Were expecting us.”

“Where are those men now, Dale?”

“Right where I shot them, I reckon.”

Was he telling the truth? Frank couldn’t be sure. He hadn’t heard of any shootings on the scanner. But if it was in an isolated location, with no one around...

“Look, Dale. I’ve known you a long time.” They were almost at the car. “I don’t want anything bad to happen. So why don’t you put the gun down and we’ll go from there.”

“The gun?”

“Slowly.” Frank had his hand on his hip, touching the service pistol on his belt.

“Nic finished her manuscript last night. You believe that?”

“I don’t want to ask you again, Dale.”

“It’s good, too. She was going to send it out to publishers soon. Once it’s all typed up and pretty, you know.”

“I’m going to count to three.”

“Her first novel. We weren’t expecting to strike it rich or nothing, you know, but it would have been a nice thing.”

“One.” Frank unlatched his gun.

“Just part of her process, you know, her way to adjust to life here, she told me.”

“Two.” Frank drew his pistol.

“Said she finally got it, just last week. Said she knew what she had to do, got what she needed, I guess, to finish it. I don’t really understand it. How that whole thing works. I never could write real good. Not like her.”

“Three.”

Dale leaned forward on hood of the squad, stretching his hands out in front of him with his head down on the hood. “I’m just done, Frank,” he said.

He didn’t move as Frank edged closer and took out his cuffs. Not even when he slapped them on Dale.

“Jesus, Dale, you had me scared shitless.” Frank set Dale’s gun on top of the car and leaned against the side of it next to him.

“I just... if you had been involved...”

“You what? You’d have killed me? You think they wouldn’t track you down, wouldn’t know you from your truck? Then what? Then you’re not just wanted, you’re a cop killer felon! Christ, you’re a dumbass! That’s why I stopped fishing with you, and your dumb rear end always trying to pass off illegal catch, not to mention your lovely skiff almost capsizing every time.”

Dale sighed. “So, now what?”

“Now, we’re going to take a ride.”

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


Thranguy posted:

1913 New York
Relationships:
Romance: Former lovers
Friendship: Friendly sporting rivals
Community: Radicals (Organizers, anarchists, Wobblies)
Need:
To avenge a great wrong...committed by a police officer
Location:
Chinese New York: A high-class brothel on Mott Street
Object:
Information: A treasure map
Tilt:
Guilt: betrayed by friends

Letters! (1005 words)

The file cabinet slid open, and I fought down the urge to glance behind me at the door again. All this time, and I still didn't trust what my own ears were telling me - nobody else was here this late at night. A glance over the tabs poking up in front of me, and I sighed. If I was Tom, I'd just up and run at this point. But then again, I didn't have a husband and two children I'd need to drag along.

---

Fifteen minutes later, I rubbed my eyes as I slid the drawer shut, and wearily stood up. Considering what I'd already filched from the police department, the letters I'd found were incriminating enough, but I wanted rock-solid proof of Tom's innocence. Looking around the office, I started ticking items off my mental checklist. I'd examined the desk, the secret compartment in the back of the desk, the bookshelf, the secret safe behind the bookshelf, the grandfather clock, the secret safe in the base of the grandfather clock, and the file cabinet. I looked wearily at the file cabinet, which sat there in all its heavy metal glory. I sighed, and crouched down so I could work my fingers in between its base and the patterned carpet it rested on.

"Don't move." The voice was mellow, and much, much too close.

I froze, and my stomach plunged somewhere beneath my toes. This wasn't possible.

"Hands up, where I can see them."

I slowly raised my arms, dreading what I was going to see when he asked me to-

"Turn around. Slowly."

I did so, and looked up into eyes I hadn't seen for five decades. And just like I'd feared, he looked the same as ever. No spark of recognition lit his features.

Seconds passed, and he asked calmly, slowly - which was just *wrong*, by the way - "Who are you, and what are you doing here?"

"Me? Well - "

Nice to know that he still possessed the ability to send my voice up three octaves. My mouth started moving on its own, spinning some wild tale about a letter and a lost cat and the fire department - giving me precious moments to figure out just what I was going to do.

I wasted ten of them studying Raymond Lin's face, and quickly came to the conclusion it was only my shock that made me think he hadn't changed at all. There was a sterner look in his eyes, a grimmer turn of his lips - the reckless dreamer I'd danced with in 1913 had disappeared, and a distinctly more intimidating man had taken his place.

Five more seconds, and he cut me off with a shake of his head. The threads of an escape plan began forming in my mind - pepper spray in my left pocket, smoke grenade in my right - but that gun was still pointing at my face, and while it wouldn't kill me, it would definitely hurt.

Of course, he didn't know that. I figured it best not to prove him wrong.

I stepped back, hands still up in the air, and tried for terrified.

"Please don't hurt me," I said, doing my best to sound like I was about to burst into tears. "If you let me go, I promise I'll never do this again."

I ended on a quaver I was personally quite proud of.

"Oh my loving god, I can't take this anymore."

I blinked.

That expletive had come out on an exasperated breath, instead of the too-casual smoothness of before.

"What?" I said, overshooting 'tearful' and ending up on 'squeaky'.

"Sharon, do you honestly think I didn't recognize you the minute you turned around?"

And just like that, it felt like Ray was back. I crossed my arms and tossed my hair. Unfortunately, it was tied up into a solid bun, so the effect was somewhat muted. "What can I say? You've gotten better at acting."

He shrugged. "Necessity is the mother of everything."

"I suppose."

After a brief silence, I said, "I don't suppose you could stop pointing that gun at me?"

"No."

"Why?"

Another sigh of exasperation. "Because I'm working for the mayor, that's why."

"*You*?"

He scratched the back of his head and looked sheepish. "Well, we have an arrangement. I do some things for him, he does more things for me. Like increase the amount of funding that goes to municipal education."

"That sounds one-sided."

Another pause. "Well, I'm also blackmailing him."

I look at him askance. "Should you be telling me all this?"

"Probably not, but - I just - " He shook his head. "I hate the facade enough when I'm talking to humans, so why should I bother when I don't have to?"

"So..." I drew the word out and looked off to the side. "You know?"

"You knew too, didn't you? The first moment you saw me."

"Well, yes, but I've been like this from the -"

"- the very beginning, right? Yeah, yeah." He looks down at the ground, and I see a chance. Sure, we could have a long chat about the fifty years past, but I needed to take these letters somewhere.

Pwumf, went the smoke bomb. Raymond's coughs filled the air. A second later, the sound of the fire sprinklers going off joined them.

Ah, breathing. It took me sixty years to unlearn that habit. Muscle memory becomes surprisingly stubborn when one's muscles aren't exactly alive anymore.

---

Well, I got the letters, even if they were a little soggy from the sprinklers. All I had to do was go through my usual channels, and Tom's name would be cleared.

And, well, Ray. I'm not sure what to think about him. He's probably going to pissed about the smoke - and the rain - and him having to explain the wet carpet to the mayor, so maybe I should skip town for a bit.

But just for a little bit. It'll be nice to catch up, once he calms down. Hopefully he doesn't hold grudges for as long anymore.

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


Submissions Closed

Our remaining toxx has until 9 AM to submit. I'll crit any other failures that get in by then, too.

Judgment will probably be around the same time.

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

Thunderdome CXCVII Results

This was a very good week, as the dome goes. Almost everyone gave me what I was wanting to read, with varying degrees of success. My main complaint this time around goes to proofreading issues, which too many stories had. One story actually lost out on an HM because of a one-word error that confused the ending just enough to break it.

Almost half of you took on the risk of those late 500 'red zone' words, seven stories in total. The results were mixed, there: four of those did well while three did not.

Let's start with the downside. Things did not go well for extra-word using Mr. Gentleman's The End of Some Things, CANNIBAL GIRLS's After the Show, or Fuschia tude's The Road to Riches. They might have escaped mention at a lower word count, but the rule is the rule, so they get Dishonorable Mentions. Flerp's Going Back Through the Smiles also gets a Dishonorable mention, mostly for not hitting the part of the week's prompt that I did care about and for not doing anything interesting enough to justify the nonstandard structure.

Which brings us to the week's loser: Chernabog's Self heist for completely falling flat with its characters, action, dialog, and ending.

Onward to happier things: Things went well enough for dmboogie's Your Lists Are Numbered, Punk and Entenzahn's Clean, well enough to earn them Honorable Mentions.

I had a really tough decision at the very top. Three stories were all extremely entertaining, well-written, and made me smile. Any one of these would have been a satisfying winner for most weeks, but only one of them can actually win. So two more Honorable mentions go to Oxxidation's Breath and Bone and spectres of autism's Triage.

And the winner is Tyrannosaur's Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Phlegm, and Blood.

Welcome back to the Blood Throne!

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


sebmojo posted:

Beautiful poo poo, man. Just beautiful, beautiful, poo poo.

I know we are supposed to be all kayfab and poo poo in this thread, but gently caress that noise for a minute because I've got to be serious.

Sebmojo, will you marry me? Its totes legal now, and depending on how this next election goes I might need a green card. I would totally make an awesome wife, or husband, or whatever the gently caress you want me to be, as I can cook, clean, and bring home the bacon (both literally and figuratively... but mostly figuratively.)

All I know is that after reading that story I just want to give up on everything and just read more of your words.

:heart:

PS: Muffin is bad and lame.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



wtf is this bullshit. you know what titus, real talk, i love you kid. you got heart, and you can write good sometimes, but im so loving tired of you posting this poo poo. i think the problem is that the dome has been going too easy on newbies. all this love and caring bullshit. not anymore.

we fight. brawl me

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Poll: simple prompt or complicated prompt? Your vote counts.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Complicated

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Okay polls closed thanks for voting everybody I'll tally up the score now

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy



Lethal Weapon, Blazing Saddles, Rush Hour, Turner & Hooch, Starsky & Hutch, Die Hard, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Odd Couple, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Dog Day Afternoon, The Fisher King, Miami Vice, Men in Black, Weekend at Bernie’s, Point Break, Shrek, Monsters Inc, Up, Hot Fuzz, Thelma and Louise, Dumb & Dumber, Tommy Boy, Midnight Run, District 9, Beverly Hills Cop, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Grumpy Old Men, The Emperor’s New Groove, Bad Boys, Ride Along… DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS???? Those are examples of buddy stories. I like buddy stories. I want more buddy stories. You’re gonna give me more buddy stories. That means you're gonna write me a story with two protagonists who are a bit of an odd couple (but who aren’t actually a “couple” because they’re buddies NOT LOVERS this is very important thank you). I recommend going same gender to keep the flavor of the genre but your call okay.

Roger Ebert called these “Wunzas.” You know, cuz “one’s a ____ and the other’s a_____.” When you sign up, gimme a wunza. It should look a bit like this:

Tyrannosaurus posted:

In.

“One’s a hard-nosed police detective and the other is a drug dealer with a heart of gold.”

or

Tyrannosaurus posted:

In.

“One’s a chinese martial artist on a quest for vengeance. The other’s a former paratrooper with a secret.”

or maybe just

Tyrannosaurus posted:

In.

“One’s a Grizzly Bear. The other’s a Mafia hitman”

You got a looooooot of freedom here. Go hog wild. But don’t go stupid please. Make me want to read a story about your suggestion. As incentive to not be stupid, I’m awarding between 1 and 301 extra buddy words for whatever you bring to the table. Don’t worry about actually using your suggestion if you don’t want to, though! You don’t have to! I don't want you to (but you can I guess)! SOOOO if you choose to use someone else’s (DOTHISDOTHISDOTHISDOTHISYESSSSSSS) then you automatically receive an additional 200 buddy words. Talk about sweet!

Oh!! And, what would could be more BUDDY STUFF!!! than teaming up with another writer, right? Right?! So get in the buddy spirit and grab a buddy and submit buddy stories with the same buddy characters and you can share words! Or you can just submit one singular story! Yes! How fun! I will also (maybe) be less likely to DM you! Maybe!!!

Otherwise:
Word Count: 999.
Sign ups close Friday at midnight EST.
Submissions close Sunday at midnight HAST.
Go!!!!!

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


One's a garbage man with a troubled past. The other's an eight year old truant just looking for a ride.

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Oh well, I guess I succeeded in not getting a DM... Unfortunately for the judges I don't want to quit yet so they will have to keep suffering my words until I git gud or grow tired.

One's a disgraceful fiction writer trying to make a living. The other's a talented corporate spy.

Marshmallow Blue
Apr 25, 2010


In-With

One is a parrot who can speak intelligently, but only 4 words at a time. The other is his owner, the army veteran who works in a used car lot.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


In.

One's a suburban white teenager who thinks he's DUMB LITTTT for appropriating gangsta rap culture. The other's a talking head of cauliflower.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Yuzas:
CANNIBAL GIRLS +1
Chernabob +251
Marshmallow Blue +301
Jitzu_the_Monk +101
dmboogie +201
QuoProQuid +301
Fuschia tude +301
a friendly penguin +301
Entenzahn +301
sparksbloom +201
Mr Gentleman +201
Thranguy +301
Hammer Bro +301
Carl Killer Miller +301
flerp +251
lite frisk +101
Jick Magger +301
mistaya +201
Echo Cian +201

Wezas
Tyrannosaurus
GrizzledPatriarch

Wunzas:
  • One's a garbage man with a troubled past. The other's an eight year old truant just looking for a ride.
  • One's a disgraceful fiction writer trying to make a living. The other's a talented corporate spy.
  • One is a parrot who can speak intelligently, but only 4 words at a time. The other is his owner, the army veteran who works in a used car lot.
  • One's a suburban white teenager who thinks he's DUMB LITTTT for appropriating gangsta rap culture. The other's a talking head of cauliflower.
  • One's an ancient city that has developed its own consciousness over the centuries. The other's an aged street cleane
  • One’s an obsessive overachiever running for Class President and the other’s a middle-aged ghost with an axe to grind.
  • One's a discouraged oyster farmer with an axe to grind. The other is a quiet, meticulous miniature artist.
  • One's a diminutive, Russian spy with no country the other's a two faced god from a forgotten Amazonian tribe.
  • One is a strongman with a nebulous past. The other is a circus clown who lives, and dies, for his role.
  • One's an aging playboy, trying to finish his quest to get laid in every state before he dies. The other's the minister who thinks he can save his soul.
  • One is a big-mouthed prize pig who's had it up to HERE with his owner. The other is a repentant wolf, consumed with his newfound literacy.
  • One's an illegal street doctor troubled by the compromises they make to keep their practice going. The other's a disgraced luchador wearing the tattered remnants of his final mask.
  • One is a bright-eyed idealist who wants only to help his fellow man. The other is a silver-tongued con artist who's only out to help himself.
  • One's a detective on the last case of his career and one is a fatal cancer riddling his brain and lungs.
  • one's a disgruntled god who lost his power, the other is a dog who lost his bone.
  • One's a political propagandist with a knack for destabilising governments. The other's a famous poet known to the public only by pseudonym.
  • One's a street-hardened, middle-aged Corgie, the other's an adorable Havanese pup who just wants to play.
  • One's a beat cop-turned Vampire who can't let his last case go, the other's the aging Hunter who owes him his life, and a stake through the heart.

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at May 20, 2016 around 18:31

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

CANNIBAL GIRLS posted:

One's a garbage man with a troubled past. The other's an eight year old truant just looking for a ride.

Well that sounds creepy af I hope some hilarious Dennis the Menace type hijinks go down and nothing sad because that would make me sad and not be good for the prompt +1

Chernabog posted:

One's a disgraceful fiction writer trying to make a living. The other's a talented corporate spy.

Okay yeah I could see this working +251

Marshmallow Blue posted:

One is a parrot who can speak intelligently, but only 4 words at a time. The other is his owner, the army veteran who works in a used car lot.

+301

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

One's a suburban white teenager who thinks he's DUMB LITTTT for appropriating gangsta rap culture. The other's a talking head of cauliflower.

I'm giving you +101 because the first part is strong but I dunno how someone is gonna pull off the last bit and have it not be stupid

dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



In.

One's an ancient city that has developed its own consciousness over the centuries. The other's an aged street cleaner.

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



The Aftermath: Fiasco Week Crits

Special Fiasco-based scale from 0-15 Black or White (The color differences are just flavor in this case; higher numbers are better)

Marshmallow Blue's The Senator's Crossing

Third sentence of the first paragraph bogs down a bit with two 'he's multiple times alternating. Changing the first 'he' to 'Charles', 'the Senator', or any other clear reference would make it clearer. Whole opening is a bit expositiony. Last line of paragraph four especially so, some serious 'as you know, Bob' dialog there. Thinking in direct quotes is probably not the best choice.

So, this is not exactly good. There are a lot of proofreading issues, and the two narrative threads don't quite connect together well enough, and the dialog stays expositiony from time to time. But I don't quite hate it. There's some good, clearly-described action, characters, and, some of the time, okay dialog. White 6: Weak

Chairchucker's This Cult Belongs in a Museum

Interesting opening. I'm a little bit wary, since it's mostly establishing mystery between the reader and the text rather than conflict between characters.

So, this is cute. I'm not a fan of the archaicisms ('for this was indeed Jarrod', especially since you aren't going whole hog with that kind of narrative voice), but the humor and dialog all work. Not too much substance. This was right at the edge of an Honorable Mention, but what kept it from making it over the line is that 'Nick' in the third-to-last paragraph that could have been a 'Jarrod', and the momentary confusion that made for. Always proof your stuff, people. Black 8: Nothing to Write Home About

Mr. Gentleman's The End of Some Things

Opening is a bit overwritten, but is successfully establishing a character if not yet a conflict. The prose settles down a bit, but the story is treading water up until paragraph five, which is some fairly bald exposition but may actually move things along. Ultimately, though, it's unnecessary. You could probably drop it entirely, condense the first four paragraphs into one short one, and head straight into the press conference, which does well enough establishing the situation on its own. After that first section, though, the writing gets a lot better. The overwritten/purple prose comes back a bit near the end, in the paragraph that starts 'She twirled the kebab stick”, but other than that.

The ending falls apart a bit as well. I think the entire last section could go, that the second-last one would be a better place to end the story.

So, I'm really wishing you had done the 1500 word version of this story. This might not have DMed without the special rule, and with the right major cuts might have made it a solid contender for positive mention, but as is Black 3: Harsh

Chernabog's Self heist

The opening is not good. The point of opening in media res is to actually get right to the action, so opening with a few long overwritten lines of internal monologue before getting to your opening defeats the purpose. Semicolons in narrative prose are usually bad, always avoidable, and never something you want to do more than once in every few paragraphs. They draw attention to the narrative voice (since they are essentially the narrator saying 'look, these things are related'), which you usually don't want to do.

Another very harmful proofreading failure: 'steering' instead of 'stirring' completely confuses the sense of place in the second scene, for a moment the reader thinks they're driving and cooking at the same time.

The ending is a bit rushed and anticlimactic. When you start out by deliberately not showing a bloodbath action sequence, you're promising that what actually do write about is going to be more interesting, and what we have here isn't much, either in terms of action or character. Zero: The Worst Thing in the Universe

dmboogie's Your Lists Are Numbered, Punk

Listicle Sci-Fi, a bold choice. The opening works well enough, although the third paragraph slows down a bit too much for some direct exposition.

Overall, this works. The humor hits often enough and the action is solid. It's a little bit light on character, and may spend a bit too much time before getting to the central dynamic of the story between Clara and Lark, but it's a good little yarn. White 11: Not too shabby

Oxxidation's Breath and Bone

Very strong opening, evocative and intriguing, managing to stop just short of the purple/overwritten zone and right into the sweet spot for prose.

So far, very good. I don't like the second-hand flashback. That may be the only way to convey things with the structure you've chosen, but I can't help think the story would be better if you'd at least found a way to do Lisa telling what happened as a full-on scene between her and the narrator.

I think you had Lisa mysteriously appear out of nowhere twice in a row, which feels like setup for a different sort of supernatural-ish reveal about her than the one you eventually went with. Not perfect but certainly a story I'd have been fine having win if there hadn't been one even better. Black 14: Awesome

Entenzahn's Clean

The opening run-on does a bit of a garden path thing at the very end, with the last comma phrase sort of wanting to fit the pattern. Otherwise a fairly strong opening. It's not instantly clear that Gregor is the narrator.

Overall, a good little story. I'm a bit confused about how the events work out: if Bruv and Melik already know what's up, why do they need to make the phone call/conveniently leave Gregor alone? The notebook, if not the photo, seems like fairly poor operational security on the part of the police. And it's a retrospective miracle that nobody panicked into a tell after the 'Scotland Yard' line, given what everyone knows. Black 10: Pretty good

CANNIBAL GIRLS's After the Show

Lyrics as an opening is a brave (foolish?) choice. There's not much there there in these, other than a set of really, really weak rhymes that I sincerely hoped I'didn't see lampshaded. Good thing it wasn't.

The 'real' opening is a bit over-written in that particular bad music criticism way, which may be semi-intentional. I'm not a fan of the viewpoint shift, and the subsection title doesn't make sense since this is the closing number and not the opener.

quote:

The female twin could have been a model if it weren’t for the lines around her eyes and mouth belied the youthful top and shorts that she wore
.

This sentence would be a mess even if you hadn't omitted a crucial 'that'.

Okay, the problem with this one is that it's probably from the wrong point of view. Valerie doesn't have much agency in the story, she's watching it happen, and doesn't even get to see the key parts. Or maybe you have the right character and the wrong action; Valerie is interesting enough and could probably have carried a story that was more about her.

Another DM-by-extra words case here White 3: Grim

Ceighk's Vegetarian Dreams of Violent Revolution

I like the opening line, but suspect a slightly shorter version could have even more punch. The rest of the paragraph isn't as good, with a lot of pre-telling things that are about to be shown and using too many words even for that.

quote:

Since pledging to forego meat entirely a year prior he had been haunted by a growing sense of detachment from the animal-consuming element of society, an element which, he sometimes had to remind himself, remained frustratingly dominant beyond his immediate social group, which subsisted primarily on kale.
This is really dry and overwritten, but the ending almost pulls out of the dive. Not quite, though.

This is another story that I can't really dislike all that much. It delivers some of what I'm looking for, even if it is so 'tell-y' that it almost reads like the extended outline of a longer story. I think that this could benefit from a change to full-on first person, losing the slightly arch third person limited narrator who isn't quite strongly enough on Pat's side. White 7: Weak

QuoProQuid's Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Very interesting opening. The “I will never haunt you” is a bit confusing, seems to be reversed?

So, that escalated quickly. A little too quickly. No, a lot. Not enough is done to establish Lizzie's powers, which at first seem like time-reversal, or possibly specifically ressurection. Her ability to go full-apocalypse comes out of nowhere, as does her desire to do so. Some points for effective and powerful prose, though. Black 4: Savage

flerp's Going Back Through the Smiles

Another interesting opening, establishing a single-character conflict. But your second section undermines the basic premise: an actual newscaster that smiled through that kind of story wouldn't keep their job long at all.

So, this is competently written, but there's not much substance to it. A lot of setup with no payoff. I mean, the reverse-time structure means that that can't happen in a typical narrative sense, but that structure does allow you to it a payoff with a revelation about the past that explains everything in an unexpected but logical way, and you don't do that either. Instead we have a series of almost unrelated scenes, presented in reverse-time-order for no particular reason. And it doesn't hit the prompt (the main one, that is, not the individual one.) Not much ambition, poor impulse control going on here. White 1: Dreadful

Grizzled Patriarch's The Jackalope

The opening is a bit weak, but has some promise of conflict by the end. Third paragraph is a mess.

This is a better effort at a single-character story this week than the previous story, but it doesn't quite work. I don't really buy someone being quite this stupid sober, mainly. (Or if the narrator is supposed to be genuinely mentally challenged, that needs to be clearer and then I can't see them being this unsupervised.) But the thought processes he's having are just smart enough that I can't see him doing things this stupid, at least not, as I said, unaltered or not directly provoked.

This feels sort of like a subplot ripped out of a larger piece, or at maybe the first part of one, with the rest being about someone brighter trying to get him out of this or at least minimize things. White 3: Grim

Tyrannosaur's Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Blood, and Phlegm

Strong opening. Is “a great read” anachronistic? Feels like it even if it isn't.

And a very, very strong story behind it. Speaking of anarchronisms, Given the first performances of the plays mentioned and Marlowe's death date, you have to have Shakespeare writing about six plays in advance for the timing to work, and I suspect in reality he was barely finishing them by opening night and not working on the next until well into the run. But I can suspend disbelief here. White 15: Fan-loving-tastic

spectres of autism's Triage

Another really strong opening. A lot of summary in paragraph 5, but at least it's summarizing some interesting dynamics. I almost feel like you're trolling me with those repeated narrative semicolons. None are particularly awful, but that's not a sentence structure to repeat that many times so close together.

This is another really, really good story. There have been a lot of weeks where something like this could have won, but I think it falls just short of the other two really good stories this week. Black 13: Awesome

Fuschia tude's The Road to Riches

Opener is a bit week, sort of flat dialog. Pickups, not deliveries. This story has the opposite problem as Jackalope: the characters are being a bit too rational, keep shooting down the plot they're in. But they keep going, somehow.

This story fails in a way I'm honestly surprised more of this week's stories didn't fail: not pulling off the tone shift between comedic and serious. The serious side works much better than the comic/buildup part. Another one where using the extra words did harm, this would have been solidly in the upper-middle at worst if that section were cut down and you got to the better parts sooner. White 4: Bitter

kurona_bright's Letters

Should probably be 'behind myself' or just 'behind' in the opener, which is nothing special. The long list of hiding places sort of drags. Supernatural element introduced pretty late in the story.

There are some good parts here, but they don't really hang together very well. There's too much that isn't revealed by the end of the story. (Not 'exactly what kind of undead are these two', that can go unsaid, but things like why Tom is important to her (the text strongly implies he's not her husband/the kids aren't hers), what he's accused of, how these letters will help clear him, why he's being framed. All seeds for a juicy noirish story, but instead of cultivating them we spend time on Ray's situation and dancing around the supernatural. (Also, why does the undead want education spending, anyhow?) Black 4: Savage

Mr Gentleman
Apr 29, 2003
the Educated Villain of London



Thanks for the crit and super fun prompt! But my prose will remain purple foreva!!

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

dmboogie posted:

In.

One's an ancient city that has developed its own consciousness over the centuries. The other's an aged street cleaner.

Not really what I had in mind but preeeeetty interesting anyway +201

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

WHO LOVES BLOOD SODA?
KEL LOVES BLOOD SODA!


I do. I do. I do-oo.


In.

One’s an obsessive overachiever running for Class President and the other’s a middle-aged ghost with an axe to grind.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

QuoProQuid posted:

In.

One’s an obsessive overachiever running for Class President and the other’s a middle-aged ghost with an axe to grind.

Sweet! +301

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Thanks for the crit, Thranguy!

Also:

In.

One's a discouraged oyster farmer with an axe to grind. The other is a quiet, meticulous miniature artist.

Marshmallow Blue
Apr 25, 2010


Thanks for the crit Tharanguy.

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

In.
One's a diminutive, Russian spy with no country the other's a two faced god from a forgotten Amazonian tribe.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


In.

One is a strongman with a nebulous past. The other is a circus clown who lives, and dies, for his role.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

One's an aging playboy, trying to finish his quest to get laid in every state before he dies. The other's the minister who thinks he can save his soul.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

flerp posted:

wtf is this bullshit. you know what titus, real talk, i love you kid. you got heart, and you can write good sometimes, but im so loving tired of you posting this poo poo. i think the problem is that the dome has been going too easy on newbies. all this love and caring bullshit. not anymore.

we fight. brawl me

fight flerp titus

that is the first time in all the ages of man those words have lived together in a sentence

you must do it

Mr Gentleman
Apr 29, 2003
the Educated Villain of London



In:

One is a big-mouthed prize pig who's had it up to HERE with his owner. The other is a repentant wolf, consumed with his newfound literacy.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


flerp posted:

wtf is this bullshit. you know what titus, real talk, i love you kid. you got heart, and you can write good sometimes, but im so loving tired of you posting this poo poo. i think the problem is that the dome has been going too easy on newbies. all this love and caring bullshit. not anymore.

we fight. brawl me

Wow. You really doing this, flerp? You steppin' up to me? You might want to think about this, man. Maybe pick on somebody in your peewee hack league. Don't get me wrong, kid, I get that you are looking to make a name for yourself but I think you are biting off more than you can chew.

Dude, you ain't poo poo. Hell, even poo poo has got a leg up on you. poo poo causes people to feel something, revulsion, a genuine reaction. Your writing? All it does it make people feel bad for you, because try as you might you just can't seem to crack it.

sebmojo posted:

fight flerp titus

that is the first time in all the ages of man those words have lived together in a sentence

you must do it

... Fine, anything for you Seb.

Let's brawl, Flerp.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


sebmojo posted:

fight flerp titus

that is the first time in all the ages of man those words have lived together in a sentence

you must do it
before examining the mote of dust in another man's eye, post ur fuckin story

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Fuschia tude posted:

One's a discouraged oyster farmer with an axe to grind. The other is a quiet, meticulous miniature artist.

This is right on the line of being zany-stupid but falls just short and stays in the realm of the wonderfully over-specific and bizarre and I like it. I would like to read about these buddies. +301

a friendly penguin posted:

In.
One's a diminutive, Russian spy with no country the other's a two faced god from a forgotten Amazonian tribe.

I also like this yes +301

Entenzahn posted:

One is a strongman with a nebulous past. The other is a circus clown who lives, and dies, for his role.

Yes +301

sparksbloom posted:

One's an aging playboy, trying to finish his quest to get laid in every state before he dies. The other's the minister who thinks he can save his soul.

The first bit seems a little tacky but it sets up a nice conflict. How are these guys gonna be buddies I DON'T KNOW but I think that's a good and interesting thing +201

Mr Gentleman posted:

One is a big-mouthed prize pig who's had it up to HERE with his owner. The other is a repentant wolf, consumed with his newfound literacy.

Hmm okay I guess I could read this but I'm gonna imagine it more Animal Farm than Mother Goose because I'm not sure fables are super buddy stuff but I dunno I'm open to being impressed +201

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

before examining the mote of dust in another man's eye, post ur fuckin story

Lol

e: your mum is a didn't go anywher e vv

ee: winner judges the flerp titus brawl, yeah?

sebmojo fucked around with this message at May 17, 2016 around 03:51

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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.


I liked the protagonist but ultimately this story didn't really go anywhere - it's a nice little vignette, but it doesn't do it for me.

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