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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Oh, and proof.

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Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

Echoes over the Water

246 words

Decaying leaves and bird dung scent the air. Your son sits in the front, gun on his lap. Thin, like the reedy willows that surround the boat.

"How much longer?" he asks.

You say nothing. The willows bend and crack before the bow of the boat. Insects vibrate the air.

Soon the reeds clear and before you is open water. Birds tumble over the lake, their calls echoing and redoubling as they dance and spin. You raise your gun.

"Dad. Wait."

He looks at you. Frail, his skin drawn tight. Five rounds of chemo, but it wasn't enough. Just like before.

"Not this time," he says.

You shift your weight and the boat sways. He puts a hand on the gunwale, unsteady. Eyes wide.

You want to tell him everything will be all right. That this won't be the last trip. Tomorrow will be better. That you love him. But your chest is tight. You can't breathe.

"Look at them, Dad. They don't deserve this."

The birds are beautiful and alive. And he's right. None of us do.

"Let's just watch them," he says. "This time."

He turns to watch the birds.

Memories of your father — you as a child, the same boat, the same lake. Then later, his body a twisted scar on white linens, his mind torn by cancer and morphine.

You close your eyes. The trigger feels cold in the dawn air.

Nobody deserves this.

A shot echoes over the lake. Then another.

________

Submitted

Proof!

Edited because I screwed up imgur for my proof

Hawklad fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2016 around 04:38

Crab Destroyer
Sep 3, 2011


I have some short crits for everybody who got a DM or a loss in week 220. If anybody else who posted in week 220 wants a crit, feel free to ask.

llamaguccii - The Plunge
- Connor doesn't seem to make any decisions throughout the entire piece, stuff just happens to him. I wish you told the story from Iza's perspective instead.
- At one point you use the sentence "I was nervous." You already showed us Connor was nervous through his dialogue and fidgeting.
- The last paragraph is weird. It felt like you intended Connor's name to be a secret shared between him and Iza, and forgot that you gave it to us in the second section. The last sentence seems incomplete. Where are they plunging? The first section ends with Connor and Iza plunging down a drain(?) and now they're plunging again? Is there a drain in the garden section that they're hopping in and out of? Did you mean the horticulture definition of plunging (a plant into the soil)? Are you trying to say they had sex? I googled the word "plunging" just in case you were using an obscure definition of the word I didn't know, and I still don't know what you were trying to say.
- It's clear you didn't proofread before submitting, here were the things I found most distracting: the triple ellipses in the first paragraph, intertwined themselves into, possitive, place holder instead of placeholder.

The biggest problem is definitely the protagonist not making any decisions. If you're only going to fix one thing, fix that.

Chairchucker - Yeah, the Girls
- It feels like you could cut out the whole second section without losing anything
- Why is Margaret building a tower of mannequin parts? I wanted to know where that was going, and was a little disappointed the answer was "nowhere".
- I wanted to know more about the tower of mannequin parts because it felt like nothing else was happening. If I had to summarize your story in one sentence I would say "A crazy girl meets Lucy Lawless." Is that the story you were trying to tell?

Beige - Retail Therapy
- Why is Alex even a witch? It adds nothing to your story. It changes nothing about how the plot unfolds, how we view your characters, or how they interact with each other. If Alex being a witch is important, why is it revealed by a passing stranger instead of during the supernatural employee evaluation?
- It felt like you were trying to tell three different stories: A customer is trying to figure out which department of voidmart would address their abstract want; An ordinary voidmart shopping trip is interrupted by a lovecraftian nightmare; A voidmart employee is leading a customer on a pilgrimage to an obscure department. If you had spent 1000 words on one of these ideas, I think it would have turned out better than spending ~1700 on all three.
- Your character actually had a goal they were trying to achieve, and they overcame obstacles to achieve it. Congrats. Of the stories I decided to crit, this was my favorite.

contagionist - Aisle Null
- It's weird to read a story that's both written in the third person and told in the present tense. I don't know if you actually screwed up, from a grammar standpoint, but it felt weird to read.
- There were a lot of minute details that didn't need to be included. Is it really important for the reader to know that Miles is holding a Pepsi bottle while he's pointing at Jim? Or that Jim is holding his mop as if it were a microphone stand? No, it isn't.
- When Jim mouths "motherfucker" is he calling Dusty a motherfucker, or is he frustrated that he has to actually start working after previously goofing off on the clock? If there is a definitive answer to this question, it's not included in the text.
- You can cut the first 130-190 words in your story without losing anything important.
- The encounter with the bug drags on way too long. You have ~500 words between Jim seeing the bug and the woman-man apprehending it. That's too many words to describe an encounter where nobody is in mortal danger.

Guiness13 - All Paths Lead to the End
- It's unclear what transmissions are being interrupted. Is Fitzsimmons trying to transmit his entire log? The entry for the day? Is there other data we can't see because the transmission failed? It feels like these weren't meant to be questions the reader should have when they finish your piece.
- You can cut the first 176 words (everything up to and including "Day 6, contd.") without losing anything important or interesting.
- I don't really care about anything that's happening. There's definitely stuff going on in your story, and maybe it could be interesting but I don't care. I think it's because I don't really know anything about your protagonist or what they're trying to accomplish.
- Is this supposed to be an official log or a journal? Because it feels like both.

Third Emperor - Distractions
- I couldn't make it through the entire story.
- "The spokes of the rusting bingo carousel creaked with each turn, white and red and black balls surfing up and vanishing down into the churning masses, until finally one clicked into place and slipped through the chute, a garish pink answer the fish-faced young man silently proffered." Ok I guess this isn't too hard to parse, but you could easily replace a couple of those commas with periods.
- "The wheel started to turn again before he'd finished speaking, the clerk's face a desert of meaning, and Ken broke." Wtf is a "desert of meaning" supposed to be? And what did Ken break? These are rhetorical questions, I don't want an answer, I just want you to think about them.
- "He broke into the main throughway as a horn blared, a roar of light turning his glasses blank, and a red blur whipped by, the exhaust-choked tailwind pulling at his hair. The madness only resolved into a golf cart as the brakes screeched into a turn, and then it was gone again, vanishing between the shelves." This is where I stopped reading. I think the breaking point was "the madness only resolved into a golf cart".
- Hopefully other people were able to give you more helpful crits.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Crab Destroyer posted:

I have some short crits for everybody who got a DM or a loss in week 220. If anybody else who posted in week 220 wants a crit, feel free to ask.

Thanks for doing this! I'd appreciate one.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Crab Destroyer posted:

I have some short crits for everybody who got a DM or a loss in week 220. If anybody else who posted in week 220 wants a crit, feel free to ask.

Could I get me one of them critiques you so generously handing out big fella? I'd sure appreciate it.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

deleted/publish

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Nov 17, 2016 around 11:22

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

deleted publish

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Nov 17, 2016 around 11:22

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Trickle-Down Economics

Removed. You can still read these crappy words right here in the archives!

BeefSupreme fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2017 around 08:24

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

A Dish Best Served Bird or Why She is Totally the Baby, Not Me

248 words.

His phone blared The Ramones at him, and he picked it up. “Hey, who’s this?”

“You know who it is, you bastard.” Ah. Yes. He did now.

“Oh. Nah, I’d deleted your number from my phone.” And her photos from his computer. And the songs that reminded him of her from his phone. And thrown out that jacket she’d given him.


He regretted that, in hindsight. It was a good jacket. It couldn’t warm his heart, though.


“My birds are flying all over my house,” she said.


Good. “Well yeah, they’ll do that.”


“They’re not in their cage. Their cage isn’t in my house.”


“Well, no. The cage is mine.” Which reminded him, he’d have to return her key at some point.


“They’re crapping all over my floor!”


“Hmmm, maybe you should put down some newspaper or something. Anyway, just think of it as a metaphor for what you did to my heart.”


“Why do you have to be such a baby about this?”


Such hurtful words. He hung up on her. He wasn’t the baby, she was. Breaking up with him, flushing a year long relationship down the gurgler, and for what?


Sure, he’d gotten drunk and peed in her washing machine one night; in his defence it was very near the toilet.


And he’d accidentally had sex with her sister. But only once, and he’d fallen asleep halfway through, so it hardly counted.


Was that any reason to break up with him? She was the baby.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Junk
239 words

I’m in front of the kitchen sink, pumping, and watching tiny people and their dogs scramble across Bernal Heights through the window, when the pigeons come back. One turns a slow, orange eye on me, and my fist jerks closed, squeezing the pump handle so hard my breast is sucked against the clear plastic cup, and a spurt of milk hits the side of the bottle with a splash.

I’m sorry, I tell it. It looks away.

*

Jonathan had been yelling at me to “get that loving junk off the porch,” for days. He was sick of “seeing Craig’s loving junk every time I walk in the front door” and if it was here when he got home, he wouldn’t be walking through that door ever again. I put on some old sweats and gloves and got to work. Something like half a rusted out motorcycle was there, in pieces.

I was off-balance in my strange body. I felt the tire bumping against my newly rounded belly as I tried to ease it down the stairs. I hit a step funny, and I had to let go. At the bottom, I saw the nest, the egg, already broken. Cradled in the shattered white shell was an unmoving, wet lump of feathers.

When Jonathan got home I was still crying.

“They’re pests anyway,” he said.

*

I unscrew the bottle and pour the useless milk down the drain. I’m sorry.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Submissions closed!

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool



not sure what this means, could someone spell it out for me?

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


f
j
g
j

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

ef jay jee jay

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Tweet squawk, Chirp squawk

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


anime was right posted:

not sure what this means, could someone spell it out for me?



Is that clear?

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Who is Jay G. Jay and why do we have to F him?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Who is Jay G. Jay and why do we have to F him?

i dunno, why don't you ask your mom

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Sitting Here posted:

i dunno, why don't you ask your mom

I would, but her mouth is full of your mom's dick.


....I might not be good at comebacks.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

I would, but her mouth is full of your mom's dick.


....I might not be good at comebacks.

Interprompt: A better comeback. 50 words.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


Sitting Here posted:

Interprompt: A better comeback. 50 words.

No u

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

I know you are, I said you are, but what am Iiiiiiiiii?

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Sitting Here posted:

Interprompt: A better comeback. 50 words.

Sitting Here- With a Cock In My Mouth
50 words

"ohmagrfdishkakshamashing," mumbled the elderly Egyptian lady as she knob-slobbered Sitting Here's mom's enormous meat doorhanger.

Just kidding, it was really small. So small that no comeback needed to be made. The tiny, sad dick spoke for itself, and it said "Sitting Here is adopted and Fleta Mcgurn rules."

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Sitting Here- With a Cock In My Mouth
50 words

"ohmagrfdishkakshamashing," mumbled the elderly Egyptian lady as she knob-slobbered Sitting Here's mom's enormous meat doorhanger.

Just kidding, it was really small. So small that no comeback needed to be made. The tiny, sad dick spoke for itself, and it said "Sitting Here is adopted and Fleta Mcgurn rules."

my mom's dick could beat your mom's dick up

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Thunderdome CCXXI Judgement.

So overall this was a pretty good week! I woefully neglected to write up anything about what makes for good short short fiction, but for the most part people got the concept. There was a significant amount of nice prose, open narrative, and even some very complete stories wrapped up in such few words. All in all the soggy middle was a little firmer than usual (thanks for that one sparksbloom).

I will say that there were some good stories that hit on most notes but missed on a few, that narrowly missed out on honorable mentions. I will also say that y'all did so little failing! Well done!

Before we get into the judging proper I'll get this over with since everyone has been gossiping about it. The judges hereby bestow the special award of
fanfic to The Feast by Hammer Bro.
Were this story bad enough to DM it surely would have. As it was it was a perfectly functional joke entry and couldn't live up to the badness of the bottom of the field. We're nonetheless honouring it in its own special way.

Next we have Honourable mentions, four of them.
Kotjebi by Fleta Mcgurn was a great second entry to the dome. This story made all the judges feel a thing, and was in very close contention for the win.
Deep Sky by Sitting Here is a weird and beautiful inversion, a truly different way of looking at the world.
Birdsong by steeltoedsneakers was micro-length spec-fic done right. Rich details, and a structure that mimicked the way the slow reclamation of the country.
Junk by Dr. Kloctopussy had a measured melancholy that stood out in a week marred by too much grim darkness.

Now there are five Dishonourable mentions
Cuckoo by Crab Destroyer extracted an incredibly lifeless and dull story out of a potentially interesting series of events. An insipid exercise in telling.
Passenger Pigeons by a friendly penguin was just a dull story with a trite message. Exactly as interesting as sitting in a traffic jam.
Squawk at Night by widespread showed little respect for the few words it had, and was an utter non-sequitur to boot.
Flying Machines managed to spend 250 words to say a bird fell off a desk. I wasn't expecting people to try to fit too little into this weeks stories. Also clarity issues.
From Loaf to Crumbs by anime was right was the only story to get a mention through head judge fiat. I particularly hated how muddy the prose was, though none of the judges really had much of an idea what was going on.

Despite how bad all of those stories were, there is still a loss to hand out.
Trickle-Down Economics by BeefSupreme loses for a terrible and unfunny joke entry. The dialect was cliche from the start, and things only went downhill from there. Bird poop is called guano btw. Of all the entries this week, I think this was the only one that didn't try to be more than just an anecdote.

Which brings us to our very worthy Winner!
Twittering Machines by flerp was a delightfully weird take on the prompt, that was not only strange but strangely moving, too. We loved your fantastic, useless metal birds, sad and ridiculous and extremely well written as they are. It had me from 'playstation controllers,' and never let me go.

PRRRROOOOOOOOOMMMMMPPPPPTTTTTT

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

....I might not be good at comebacks.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Losing is better than failing. I think.

my cat is norris
Mar 11, 2010

#onecallcat



College Slice

Woo good work everyone!

Beige
Sep 13, 2004


my cat is norris posted:

Woo good work everyone!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

BeefSupreme posted:

Losing is better than failing. I think.

Yep.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



newtestleper posted:

Thunderdome CCXXI Judgement.


Kotjebi by Fleta Mcgurn was a great second entry to the dome. This story made all the judges feel a thing, and was in very close contention for the win.

thank you!

Sitting Here posted:

my mom's dick could beat your mom's dick up

YEAH ON OPPOSITE DAY

Boom!

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2016 around 13:31

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Where are you flerp?!

Deliver us from promptlessness!

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

Prompt

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Week 222: Deliver Us From Bad Prompting



Twittering Machine by Paul Klee

So if you didn't know, this inspired my little story. It's cool, I like it a whole bunch, and it's in a little style called Surrealism. Maybe you heard of it. We had a Surrealism week once. It was awful. We're doing Surrealism again because it won me last week, but we're doing things a little bit differently.

First of all, let's talk about Surrealism. Surrealism is loving awesome. I love it. It attempts to link the unconscious and the conscious, inspired by the ideas of Freud and Jung, and is something you should definintely look up just because it's a lot of fun. For writing, though, there's two things I love about Surrealism. The importance of the image and the dream logic.

If you know me, I love images. Surrealism pushes that even further and says that you should focus on startling us. That's cool. Surprise us, but don't just surprise us with random crap. Surprise us with a weird logic. Everything should make sense in the weirdest way possible. Think of how dreams work and try to emulate that in your story. But rememeber, THERE IS STILL A LOGIC. I don't want a bunch of monkey cheese bullshit thrown in my face. Be smart. Please. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in this thread (itt) or in irc. Just, please, don't be wacky or crazy for its own sake. Find a reason for it.

And before you say "I just don't get Surrealism," early Walt Disney is basically Surrealism so, actually yes, you already get Surrealism

If you're looking for some good example of Surrealism, I recommend reading some James Tate (especially How the Pope is Chosen) It's poetry, but they'll give you a good idea of what Surrealism attempts to do. Remember though, a story has a character that wants a thing and does things to get the thing!!!!

Also, to give you a little bit of inspiration, I'll be giving every one of you a song. They won't have lyrics, so they might be a bit difficult to write to, but basically all I'm looking for is for me to listen to your story and read your story and for me to nod and say "Yeah this fits the story well enough." Also, I like these songs so plz dont make fun of them tia!!!

Word Count: 750
Sign-up Deadline: November 4 11:59PM PST
Submission Deadline: November 6 11:59 PM PST

Judges:
Me, flarp!
SkaAndScreenplays
Chili

Entrants:
a new study bible!
ThirdEmperor
Fuubi
ZeBourgeoisie - flash rule: someone in your story needs to learn when to keep their mouth shut
sparksbloom
The Cut of Your Jib
Beige
Hawklad
vintagepurple
Thranguy
Moxie
Crab Destroyer
newtestleper
kurona_bright
Entenzahn
Jay W. Friks
llamaguccii
Daeres
Some Strange Flea
Tyrannosaurus
BeefSupreme
widespread
Baleful Osmium Sea
Fleta Mcgurn
Fuschia tude
Maigius
Okua
TapTheForwardAssist
Djeser
Ironic Twist
(30)

flerp fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2016 around 06:34

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


Sign up post

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ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


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