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  • Locked thread
Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Man, I am just a thread making GBS threads catalyst. I'm gonna keep getting into brawls and I'm not very good at this yet.

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ADBOT LOVES YOU

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!




Chili posted:

Man, I am just a thread making GBS threads catalyst. I'm gonna keep getting into brawls and I'm not very good at this yet.

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!




quote:

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool






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




Chili posted:

making GBS threads cat

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Someday, this poo poo may be included in a volume of bad stories.

Chili fucked around with this message at 07:14 on Jan 1, 2017

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish


February

Word Count: 737

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=4842&title=February

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 00:26 on Aug 29, 2016

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


QuoProQuid posted:

:siren: About four hours until the sign-up deadline! :siren:




Flash Rule: "Cowardice is the most terrible of vices."

Edit: hit submit instead of preview :downs:

Alika and Marcius
995 words

Gone from the dust baked trails are wheels and hooves, battles imprinted on cobbles and dirt fading far from memory. Far from untouched minds in any case.

I've felt years of roads in every muscle of my body, all roads versed in conflict, all in things too close still. The years behind me licking somber lashes on my back, saying coward again and again. Saying coward as if I don't know, as if it's not still close as a mother's labored panicked breath on a lifeless child's brow.

The horse below hasn't felt these cobbles, not this track beneath its hooves, but I've dipped four mares and a stallion onto the grey. Legs twisting ribs breaking blood sputtering and I am thrown. Amidst arrows and bolts and angry Damascus steel.

Five horses, but not this one, yet.

And believe me, I stayed, for years and for four horses I stayed. I crawled and then I stood and then I kept fighting and Alika goaded me again and again and I saw him then, and I went for him. Arrows and bolts, felling all men around him, my angry steel so giddy to kiss his blood.

And for years, he withstood. His city craved bloodshed like so many wolves and that bred a special sort. With every step I learned, he learned another, with every ally I gained, one I would lose. Like any Sisyphus from any age I threw all into nothing and got nothing. And have any of us ever been good at the arithmetic that follows blood and souls? Do we ever learn that nothing gives us nothing?

Of course not. Alika fought because he enjoyed it, I fought because I was honor bound. There are, when we get down to it, few other reasons to fight. We do it because we believe it is right, or because we realize it's good.

Then the fifth horse fell.

And when Yma collapsed below me, dead before bones broken, bolt through the eye and not a sound; I ran.

Saying coward like so many lashes, I am followed onto this hallowed ground by all those years. And they see despite the fading the blood I've left from me and others. And the city walls where Alika stood are ground to rubble and weep long grass and vines and the buzzing of cicadas.

Hours pass, I remain in the saddle, morning leaves and dew evaporates and I wait. Spear slung on the left side has no notches, steel stashed on the right has too many. The horse still living has see no blood since birth.

A coward can't ask for much.

And there he is, against the sun, and he speaks, and I know I have not heard his voice in years and his broken city hangs on every word and he is as broken as me.

But I am back in the sand with Yma broken and my arm broken and my spirit broken finally and his words echo through my head and through time. What he said then, he says now.

"Cowardice is the most terrible of vices, Marcius."

There is no joyous rage there now, it's not a scream. There is only the broken city and an age reducing those words to so much less.

His chariot is so much less, his horses less than mine.

His Damascus steel unchanged, still starved. Perfect.

Two straight lines from his wheels now, and a cloud from hooves, my mare a virgin in battle consecrating the ground again. Waking to life all that blood of old. We both know that I have nothing to say, we both know that this must end.

The rumbling of wheels so loud in my head screaming coward along with the years.

Spear now first, and he thinks the same. Arm still strong, mine is weaker. A straight throw he gives, but I lean low and to the right and hear the whistle of wood and metal pass, and with a jab I've drawn blood with my own spear. His left horse stumbling, his chariot unbalanced. Prepare for another charge.

Men like him they live on battle, but when the feed stops, they stop. I can see it now, in his shoulders on his brow. He fell before his city, when I ran and the attacks stopped and the decadence began. Without battle, he was lost.

He's found battle now, but it's been too long.

Again, Damascus steel for Alika and still a spear for Marcius. Thundering hooves turning to patter in my ears. They say; grow not too confident, be not too sure of your victory.

And I feel sad for him now, because I'm allowed the luxury to ignore the advice of elders and grow confident and sure.

And when I kill his left horse and the right one panics and he is forced from his chariot I let myself feel joy. Joy in defeating a broken man, but I am also broken. To redeem myself is the only thing I can do, and am I not allowed an ounce of joy for my only alternative?

Again we wait, he with Damascus steel, and me with my horse. But I won't let this one fall.

I dismount, draw steel. Close on him and engage, steel choir singing loud. He still has the gait of a warrior, but I have the gait of a victor.

And there he goes, Alika the tyrant. Fallen city behind him.

Paints the dust red like spilled wine.

Paints the cobbles red like festive paint.

Paints my soul clean, at last.

There never was a time for words, despite his insistence, and I'm struck with how quickly it ended.

The rumble is gone, enter cicadas and the sound of an ending. His remaining horse, panicked and wild, I release from the chariot. Soft words and soft hands and he's away.

And so am I, saddle beneath me again, the screaming years now left in the blood of Alika.

Black Griffon fucked around with this message at 21:17 on Jun 12, 2016

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Sitting Here posted:


No editing your story once you’ve posted it! As soon as you hit ‘submit’, a massive orbital fist is aimed strategically at your rear end in a top hat. Anyone who edits a submission post gets a fistin’ (and is disqualified for the week).

[*] Don’t post a preface to your story.

Congratulations! You managed to break two of the most basic thunderdome rules in one go. That's quite an achievement.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Oh who cares, I'm sure we'll all survive this too. And besides I'm an OG from the old potato days and I'll break a rule or two if I feel like it.

Edit: loving brawl me, kid.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






newtestleper posted:

Congratulations! You managed to break two of the most basic thunderdome rules in one go. That's quite an achievement.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





newtestleper posted:

Congratulations! You managed to break two of the most basic thunderdome rules in one go. That's quite an achievement.

Black Griffon posted:

Oh who cares, I'm sure we'll all survive this too. And besides I'm an OG from the old potato days and I'll break a rule or two if I feel like it.

Edit: loving brawl me, kid.

I'll judge this. 666 words, due 24 June 2359 PST, prompt: kids these days got no fuckin idea (no character over forty)

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


sebmojo posted:

I'll judge this. 666 words, due 24 June 2359 PST, prompt: kids these days got no fuckin idea (no character over forty)

Holy poo poo I have ZERO time for this. I just can't do it. I'm sorry.






















:toxx:

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?




Bystander Effect
1016 words

“Geez, it sounds like they’re killing that dog.”

Ben was right. Four punks had made camp inside the subway station, sprawled out across a dirty blanket next to the exit that led up to the city church square. They seemed like the kind of people that would be hard to have a normal conversation with, a bit drunk, or high, and also they shouted words in a foreign language. We could smell them from the other end of the entrance tunnel.

With them, there was a small dog. Some kind of mixed breed between a Corgi and a Beagle, a dark and fuzzy sausage, flappy ears sticking to its head as it tried to duck away from the slaps and shoves, whining, but not having the sense to run, like dogs rarely do. Like it thought the beating was just some kind of misunderstanding.

“Someone has to stop this,” I said. But everyone else was just standing around. The combined power of a dozen shaming stares plonked off the punks as if we’d all written sternly worded letters, crumpled them up and flicked them in their general direction.

“Nothing you can do,” Ben said. “It’s a money-making scheme. They get dogs from the shelter and then they mistreat them in public. Some bleeding-heart idiot with a fat wallet rides in and buys the dog off. And the cycle begins anew.”

“There’s something we have to do.”

“You gotta ignore it. If it stops making money, they’ll stop doing it.”

Some other observants had reached the same conclusion. The cluster of people slowly dissolved, bystanders mixing in with the passersby who were smart enough to pretend they hadn’t noticed to begin with, intently staring at their phones, or at the signs, or just anywhere else.

Ben left, and my feet moved after him on their own accord.

But I couldn’t just block out what had happened; the whining followed me deeper into the station. It rose above the steps and murmurs of the other travellers. It interspersed Ben’s ongoing monologue about the naïveté of the soft-hearted. Even when when we were down at the terminal, when the train soared in and drowned us in wind and noise, the pup’s whelps still resonated within me, along with something righteous that flared up in my gut, a single thought that I couldn’t shake off, like a moral earworm:

Someone’s gotta do something.

Maybe there was nothing I could do. It was four against one. The police wouldn’t help. At worst, the punks would be told to torture their property somewhere else.

But still.

Someone’s gotta do something.

Ben moved inside, still rambling, and only when the doors slid close behind him did he notice that I was still standing on the platform.

“Someone’s gotta do something,” I said.

From the look on his face he didn’t understand. But I didn’t care. I was going to be late for work and I had no idea what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t just look away. Not this time.

The punks were still sitting at their spot, and the dog’s crying was worse than I had remembered. Like your soul was trapped in a room with someone who’s dragging their fingernails across a chalkboard, forever. Everyone was ignoring them now, just casually walking past, and I wished I was that good at blocking out the noise.

I made a beeline for the punks, hoping they wouldn’t notice me. In retrospect, they were probably too stoned to care, but I wasn’t used to clandestine operations so I expected them to jump at me any second. My heart must have sounded like muffled dubstep to everyone else.

Maybe I could talk them into giving the dog to me. Maybe I could threaten them with the police, or maybe they were so stoned out of their mind that I could scare them into handing the dog over. Maybe I could distract them, and lure the pup away, and then put it in a shelter.

I stood before the punks and realized that I hadn’t yet decided on a plan. One of them looked up, bloodshot eyes going through me like I was a Fata Morgana.

“Hello?” he said.

“Uh. Hi.”

The other punks all turned their heads and looked at me. The dog, finally catching a break, curled up on the spot and put his paws on his nose.

I grabbed him and ran.

There were shouts behind me. “Stop.” “Thief.” But the bystander effect is a double-edged sword. Nobody stepped in. Most people conveniently didn’t even notice what was going on.

Steps picked up behind me. The punks were running pretty fast for a bunch of tweakers, and the dog did its own part to slow me down, clawing and thrashing and whining and nibbling on my hand in confusion. Felt like I was carrying a raging baby through a football game, with only seconds left to go. Maybe I hadn’t thought this through.

I darted around the corner and up the stairs. Grunts and shouts came up from behind as the punks tried to work their way through the crowded escalator next to me. I was faster, but I also ran with the fire of a man fearing for his life under my rear end, a fire that burned its way up into my lungs and came out my mouth in the form of a constant, pathetic wheezing.

I sprinted out the subway station onto the city square, past the church, down alleys and lanes. People were looking after me, the maniac with a rabid dog in his hands, but again nobody actually did anything. And then the sounds of my pursuers faded, disappeared, because I guess they didn’t care about the dog that much after all, and they didn’t come back, no matter how long I listened. We were alone. Just me and and this whining, gnawing pup in my hands, and I realized that I had no idea what to do with it.

And I was late for work.

But the whining didn’t bother me anymore.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




Chili posted:

Man, I am just a thread making GBS threads catalyst. I'm gonna keep getting into brawls and I'm not very good at this yet.



ARF.

Let's throw down. SB, still up to judge?

Carl Killer Miller fucked around with this message at 00:00 on Jun 13, 2016

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Carl Killer Miller posted:



ARF.

Let's throw down. SB, still up to judge?

Oy, I'm already in a brawl for being terrible.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


gently caress this world. 800 words or so inspired by Abbot And Costello and Orlando FL.


MATVEI:
I want to write a book.

IVAN:
Who doesn't like a good book.

MATVEI:
No, I mean, I want to write something huge, iconic. Something where I tell people not to hurt each other. Something simple.

IVAN:
Sounds good. Should be pretty easy. Just tell them not to fight. Tell them to be peaceful, to allow people to have their own beliefs.

MATVEIMATVEI:
Exactly. We're all different, I'll include that in there… something like, "You be you, I'll be me, and don't fight."

IVAN:
I like it. But there's crazy folks in the world nowadays, folks who'll use that rule to just beat the poo poo out of your readers. Maybe you should tell them something like, fighting is bad, killing is bad, and let other people believe whatever they want, unless they want to hurt you.

MATVEI:
So, tell them there's times that it's okay to fight, even though I said don't fight?

IVAN:
Exactly. But only if people want to hurt you, or make you stop believing in our book.

MATVEI:
Our book? I thought it's going to be my book.

IVAN:
Oh it is. I'm just helping you think it through so I can share it with everybody.

MATVEI:
Sounds good I suppose. Okay, so in my book, I'll write something like, "Hey don't fight, even if somebody hates you. Unless they are harming you." Does that sound good?

IVAN:
Yes! It's nice and quite specific. If somebody wants to hurt you, then it's okay to hurt them first.

MATVEI:
No, that's not what I said. I said if they are hurting you, then fight. You know. Defend yourself.

IVAN:
But that's kind of a little late, isn't it? It's better to fight when you know they're going to fight you. Best defense is a good offense, right?

MATVEI:
I don't know, that's getting a little vague, don't you think? Somebody might read that as, "It's okay to hurt somebody because they don't like you." In fact, if I write that it's okay to hurt somebody when you feel threatened, what if somebody interprets that as, "It's okay to hurt any one who doesn't like what you believe." That seems a little dangerous.

IVAN:
No, not at all. I like that it could be interpreted to say, "hurt anybody who doesn't like our book, because those people are probably going to hurt us just because they don't like what we like."

MATVEI:
But I already said it's okay for people to have different beliefs.

IVAN:
Sure you did, but you didn't say it right here, next to this part about killing non-believers to protect your religion.

MATVEI:
What? I didn't say that.

IVAN:
Sure you did. You said, "Protect our beliefs at any price, even death, because if they might hurt you, it's okay to hurt them first."

MATVEI:
The gently caress are you talking about? I never said that.

IVAN:
I'm pretty sure you did.

MATVEI:
Why would anybody agree with my book about not fighting, if I include something about killing anybody who doesn't agree with my book? That's the exact opposite of what I'm trying to do.

IVAN:
Sure, but, telling our readers that we're in this together, and that everybody else is out to get us, that's—well— look. Don't you think that's a more powerful message, and it'll carry your other ideas farther? Set us up as a lone institution instead of part of a world of differing ideas? It just feels better.

MATVEI:
No it doesn't. It feels like some people could ignore my message of peace and acceptance and jump straight to the conclusion that I want people to kill anybody who doesn't like my book. That's not at all what I wanted to write about. I don't know about this book idea now.

IVAN:
That's a shame. It's already sold millions of copies, and there are people who'll die to protect your message.

MATVEI:
Seems kind of opposite to what I had in mind. The world was already violent enough in 632A.D. I thought that maybe if I told folks to be tolerant, to not fight unless somebody was fighting you, I thought that could create a world where nobody would fight.

IVAN:
Oh it will, just as soon as we get rid of everybody who doesn't like your book.

MATVEI:
No, that's not my idea at all.

IVAN:
I'm pretty sure it is. I've memorized your book, I've taught it to everyone I know, I've gathered millions to memorize your book, and while most of us really like the non-violent-accept-everybody-for-being-different parts, there still needs to be those of us who are going to protect the rest of the true believers from those who intend to harm all of us.

MATVEI:
I really think you've got this all wrong. I'm pretty sure you want to go fight because you're just inclined to fight. I knew a kid like you in third grade. You don't need a book or a reason to fight, it just makes it easier to shift responsibility for your batshit crazy actions.

IVAN:
Finally we agree on something.

MATVE:
Hey, also, I really like this drawing of a pink room with creepy fucks holding odd objects don't you?

IVAN:
What the gently caress are you talking about.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


YES I KNOW THIS IS poo poo. Too goddamn distracted to do anything else but goddammit I submitted something.

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




magnificent7 posted:

I submitted something.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


It's a goddamn step.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!




magnificent7 posted:

YES I KNOW THIS IS poo poo. Too goddamn distracted to do anything else but goddammit I submitted something.

:suezo: (and nobody else does)

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




magnificent7 posted:

It's a goddamn step.

That's the only thing that matters in your spoiler Ed post.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=4846&title=Mince

Thranguy fucked around with this message at 04:14 on Jan 1, 2017

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014

heyHEYYYY!!!




Funding Cuts
(405 words)

‘The ship costs millions if not billions, and we don’t have simple tools on board. Thanks, Mr. President, I guess.’

‘Oh don’t start another politics row, Ben. The plan is we find locals, get help, and get the hell out of this planet. You may notice that there are no debates and discussions there.’ It was the third time Roy had to shut up Ben in the last hour. The rest of the squad preferred not to get involved.

‘Alright, you two, shush now. Look there.’ Sam pointed towards a group of locals. ‘I’d say animals, but could be sentients. Who knows with planet.’

Judging by the distant shouting and energetic gesticulation, the locals were having a quarrel.

‘drat, those are some ugly bastards. Huge, too.’ said Ben. ‘One of them has definitely spotted us, but they probably don’t see us as a threat. Still, I hope they can’t fly at least.’

‘My translating biorig isn’t picking up anything meaningful from that far,’ said Jim. ‘We’ll need to get closer so we can confirm if they are sentients.’

In the wedge formation the squad got into earshot from the locals. Now it was clear they were starting a fight. Three locals surrounded one and shoved them around. Nanoorganisms translated snippets of the conversation, something about paying for protection and shoddy smithery. Sentients, after all.

‘I think that sentient they’re harassing is a blacksmith. I suggest we get on his good side and help him out with those thugs,’ said Tom.

The squad glided down upon attackers with a high-pitched battle cry. Even though he was shocked that six giant bats had just descended from the sky and were now clawing into his foes’ faces, the blacksmith picked up something from the ground and hit one of the attackers with it.

The fight was bloody, but short. The racketeers fled in terror shouting something incoherent about witchcraft.

The blacksmith didn’t know how to react. The bats were circling above him, and they were definitely trying to communicate. Unfortunately, he couldn’t understand much because of their shrill voices.

‘Do you want this?’ he asked showing his pincers. The bats reacted with enthusiasm and one of them snatched the tool. With a squeak that sounded almost like ‘thanks’ the bats took off.

The blacksmith decided not to tell anyone about this encounter, but later that night some villagers saw a glowing orb disappearing into a cloudy night sky.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

And he had black wings

Prompt:

Words: 1156


I had felt at peace when they'd put the gun to my head. I felt nothing when they pulled the trigger except for a brief pressure, and I looked down at the sad, crumpled thing that had been my body and I could but shrug. That was it? No celestial choir? No hellish roar? Did my lack of faith condemn me to eternal torment as a shade trapped between worlds?

"No," said the very tall man with very black wings who stood beside me, a bottle in his hand. "I just wanted to finish my drink before we left."

"You can read my thoughts?" I looked up into that weary, unshaven face and saw in those tired eyes the weight of ages. I repressed a shiver.

"No," he said again. "You were speaking out loud. That's only natural; you had a lot on your mind." He nudged a spectral foot at my corpse at his feet and shook his head. "Not so much now, of course."

I frowned up at him. "That's in bad taste, sir."

He tilted the bottle back and drained it, then tossed it aside with a ghostly clatter. "You take your humor when you can get it. Now let's go, you're late."

"Late? For what?"

He shrugged. "Just late."

***

I don't know how long ago that happened. There is no time here -- I doubt there's even a "here." This place resembles the town of my birth, but ruined and burning, a child's idea of hell. At first I was terrified, but as the no-time passed I realized that this place held no dangers, save for boredom. I wanted to see more of this land, to leave this false, ruined town.

"Go ahead," said the man with black wings. He stood upon a cliff overlooking the ruined town, his eyes seeming to drink in the ever-burning scene. "But I must warn you: all who have left have never returned."

"Maybe they found someplace better."

"Maybe." The man shrugged, black wings briefly flexing. "But look around you. Does this really seem like a place to inspire hope?"

I thought for a long moment, then I met his gaze.

"Yes."

And I began walking.

***

I don't know how long I walked. Voices called from the darkness, uttering a name I did not recognize. I ignored them; I would follow my path to the end and see what else lay in store.

I saw a light in the distance, but it was faint, almost swallowed by the darkness. I threw aside my hesitation and ran toward it, my heart rising in my chest as it grew brighter and brighter.

So close, so close...!

The rustle of wings overhead interrupted my thoughts, and I glared as the winged man descended from the shadowy, ember-flecked clouds above.

"Are you so sure you want to go into the light?" He took a pipe from his pocket, filled it, and lit it with a glare of his eyes. Rich, sweet tobacco smoke soon wreathed his features, and despite my anger at his interruption I found myself relaxing at the quizzically familiar smell.

"You want so much to explore this land, to discover what lies beyond," he said, taking out his pipe and gesturing at the dark, ruined landscape around. "But have you considered there's nothing here to discover? Everyone who comes, leaves. But none of them knew themselves; they searched everywhere for something that they already had but never bothered to find."

My pulse could not race here; I felt nothing beat in my chest. But I could still feel anger, and the winged man's blathering was beginning to take its toll.

"And just what the hell do you mean? Don't get cryptic with me, I don't have the patience for it!"

He looked at me, frowned, and smacked the top of my head with his pipe.

"Your name," he said, slowly, as though coaxing a farm animal. "What is your name?"

"My name? That's ridiculous, my name is..." I trailed off, then looked up at him. He had a small, sad smile upon his lips.

"I don't know what's past that light. But I do know that once you've passed, you're gone forever." He took a drag of his pipe and blew out another fragrant cloud of smoke. "I wouldn't dream of denying you the chance to satiate your curiosity, but I would suggest you try to find yourself first."

He took off, stirring dust and ash in his wake, and I watched him until he disappeared, then I turned my gaze toward the distant light. It seemed so attractive before, but dread its knife in my guts at the thought of losing myself.

Heartbeat.

I'd always been the curious sort; that was why I became a reporter.

Heartbeat.

That was why I tailed the mobster.

Heartbeat.

And that was why he shot me.

Heartbeat.

My eyes widened as information trickled back into my mind, and I fell to my knees at the realization.

"My name is Yuri," I whispered. Then I got to my feet and cried out joyfully. "My name is Yuri!"

"I'm glad for you, but there is no need to shout," said the black-winged man from behind my shoulder. "Do you wish to go through the light now?"

"No," I whispered, emotion threatening to overwhelm. "I must know more. I need to reclaim myself."

"Then you need to wake up."

At those words, my eyes opened, and I found myself somewhere warm and unfamiliar. Fluorescent lights burned my eye and the stench of antiseptics filed the air. Half of my head was covered in heavy bandages, and it ached horribly. Parts of my body were numb, and my lips were dry and cracked.

"Water," I croaked. Self-realization, I realized, could wait. Some things were more important.

"About time you woke up," said the very tall man without wings. He frowned down at me, then poured a Styrofoam cup of water and carefully lifted it to my lips. As I drank my fill he went on. "Your mother and I were worried out of our heads about you. She kept crying your name, even when I told her you couldn't hear."

"I think I did hear," I said. My tongue felt like a dead fish in my mouth, scabrous and half-mummified.

"Really?" My father ran his fingers through his unkempt facial hair. "Don't tell her that. I'd never heard the end of it."

I attempted a laugh, but it came out as a strangled squawk.

"I'm glad you didn't go through the light," my father said, collapsing into the seat next to the bed.

I almost sat up, but the bandages and restraints prevented me. "So you really were there? In my dream?" And he had black wings.

"No," my father replied, a mischievous smile rising to his lips. "You talked in your sleep."

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!






1200 words

The Monster in the Lake and in My Stomach

flerp fucked around with this message at 16:56 on Jul 24, 2016

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


:siren: One hour until the deadline! :siren:

Get those stories in.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


1905

Barnaby Profane fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Dec 31, 2016

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


QuoProQuid posted:

:siren: One hour until the deadline! :siren:

Get those stories in.
:doh:

Misremembered the deadline as PST instead of EST. I'll still turn something in tonight, but it'll be late and therefore disqualified tomorrow, since I also just remembered I have to get up early and shouldn't be working late into the night.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at 07:27 on Jun 13, 2016

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006





Eden
1050 words

--see archive--

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Jan 2, 2017

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


A New Friend
WC: 1374 (extra 500 from week 200)

The sword gleams like red fire in the sunset the moment before it severs my head from my body. I don’t really feel anything—a slight pinch, maybe, but it’s gone before I really notice it. What I do notice is the redness of the stones as I tumble from the edge of the cliff side, almost a bloody russet. The sky tumbles and rotates in a way I never could have conceived when my head was attached to my body.



With a thunk, my head lands on a plateau jutting from the cliff face. One eye can just see over the edge, deep into the darkness, not seeing an end to the cliff.



The executioner chants his prayer to the crevasse. That’s the last thing I hear from above me. By now they’re dragging my body off to be burned, just like all the other criminals, in a black mass grave a little ways from the executioner’s block. They’ll do their final prayers there and all go back to their homes and families and stupid little meals and forget the killing. Small-minded bastards.



I sit on the plateau, watching the darkness below me deepen to a pitch that is almost palpable. The sun finally sets and silence and darkness settle together, two somnolent beasts lying down together for the night.



From the pitch, the sound of pebble falling against stone titters against the silence.



It comes again, closer.



More pebbles fall. I stare into the darkness, unable to do anything except think, “Get back! Get back!”



“Snerb is here to help!” The response doesn’t touch my ears. It’s more as if I’m thinking it myself in a voice I’ve never known before. “Snerb is very pleased to make your acquaintance. Come?”



Without waiting for a response, Snerb grabs me by the hair and carries me as he climbs back down into the crevasse. It’s too dark for me to make out much, but his skin seems pale and there’s a sunflower glow to his eyes.



“Are you the angel of death?” I ask. “Are you the devil?” It’s very odd to be directing my thoughts toward another being. Snerb seems to understand me, though he ignores the question. “I am Snerb!” he responds. “What is your name?”



“Manya,” I offer automatically before I’m able to wonder if I’d really like this creature to know my name. “Where are you taking me?”



“Home,” Snerb says, and there’s a smile in his thoughts. “Home with the others. You will like it!”



We climb down, me swinging from his fist and sometimes bumping the wall. I’m not quite used to the complete lack of feeling, to the weightlessness in the way things move around me. The strangest thing is being completely unable to move my eyes. I can see only what is directly in front of me, where about an hour earlier a sword hungered for my flesh.



We arrive at what I can only assume is ‘home’. It’s the mouth of a cave, curtained with thick black fabric. We pass through into a darkness so absolute it makes the night laughable. I can hear Snerb moving, though, feet pattering quickly on stone. A couple of white hot flashes in the dark, and a fire begins to bloom. I realize he’s set me down on some sort of plinth carved from the wall. As the blooming fire grows, so does the room. First, a second fire mirroring the first emerges. It rises as the first does until I see it’s an oval of polished obsidian set into the wall. A chair grows from the ground in the orange light; and another plinth, across from mine; and then a row of inset shelving, featuring an odd collection of photographs and children’s toys and—



and five other severed heads.



“Snerb is home!” the pale creature cries gleefully, and he moves toward the shelves. “Snerb is home, with our new friend!”



Immediately, there’s a cacophony of conversation in my mind. A piercing tenor shouts down a woman’s mellow alto, an old man wheezes in response to someone’s harsh bark. A wavering pitch rises into the hodgepodge of noise, and I realize I’m moaning in my mind. The din ends, and though like me they can’t move their eyes, I feel every head’s full attention.



Snerb straightens, and I get my first good look at him. I notice his skin right off—it’s pale, as I had seen on the climb, but in the light I can see just how pale. His flesh is like a dampened cotton cloth, muddled and grey in places, but at its base a very pure white. The hands emerging from the tattered sleeves of his military jacket flex with an ape-like wideness. His smile looks sort of ridiculous on his gaunt features, but I can’t deny the joy I see in his reptilian eyes. It’s pure, and weirdly beautiful.



This odd creature throws his hands out to each side welcomingly. “We have been waiting for you, Manya!” he extolls. “These are my friends. Here is Ilya. Here is Andra. Here are Stefan and Dominka. And here is old Pyotr!”



He introduces, in turn, a wide-lipped man, a wrinkled matron, a boy and a girl who must be siblings, and finally a wizened old man who looks as though any day he will wake up a bare skull.



“Finally,” old Pyotr wheezes, “you have arrived. We have been waiting.”



“Waiting!” Stefan shrieks. “Waiting for ages and ages. What took you?”



Snerb shifts his weight between feet nervously. “Now, now, my friends,” he soothes, “Manya couldn’t help the late date. How could she predict the time of her execution?”



“She’s here now,” the grandmotherly Dominika pipes up. “That’s what matters. I saw we get on with it.”



Grinning, then nodding and grinning, Snerb shuffles through an archway into another annex of the cave. I direct my thoughts to my fellow heads, trying to form my question as carefully as possible.



“I feel… as though I know you. All of you. But I don’t recognize your faces. I know I should be with you, but I’m not sure why or how it is I came to do it. What… what is my purpose.”



Stefan jeers. Dominika scoffs. Ilya laughs a barrel-chested guffaw. Only old Pyotr answers.



“We are brought together by circumstance,” he says. “We have been centralized in the archaic religion of one ancient practitioner. Our mutual friend, Snerb, is serving his purpose to us, just as we are confirming the validity of his own beliefs.”



I silently try to work the meaning out of the old man’s riddle.



“Snerb is ready!” Snerb calls from the annex. He comes and collects us all, stuffing Stefan an Iya into his armpits and clutching the rest of us to his chest. His smile has only grown wider since leaving.



One by one, he sets each of us down, placing me down last. The five of us sit on our necks facing a second fire, larger than the last. He steps over me and I sense him standing directly behind.



“For those who are unmourned,” Snerb calls, “Snerb mourns for you. For those released from your bodies, Snerb carries you.”



A strange tune, like thread pulled over a violin string, rises and resonates within the room, and I realize for the first time I am hearing Snerb’s natural voice.



As he sings, he speaks in our minds. “For those who have fallen uncaught, Snerb sings for you. And for those of you gathered now, saved by the mercy of stone, I send you on.”



The fire goes out. Somehow, though, floating in the darkness, I see my other bodiless companions. They float bluely in the darkness—and suddenly I tingle, I shiver, I gasp. I watch as the bodies drip from the heads of the others in the same naked blueness. Soon we are whole.



We look at each other, smiling, and old Petrov looks up. I follow his gaze, and suddenly I am gone in a blaze of blissfulness, passed on.

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Sitting Here posted:


skwidmonster, you get an HM.

:siren: EVERY HM GETS A BOON OF 500 WORDS TO USE WHENEVER THEY WISH :siren: You need only cite this post whenever you decide to use them.


Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

:siren: Submissions for Week CCI: Old Russian Joke are now CLOSED! :siren:

Fuubi, Carcer, ZeBourgeoisie, Mr Gentleman, Ibexaz, Bad Seafood, and astrofig are hereby exiled to Siberia for being caught in failure's shameful embrace. Should any of these struggle back through the snow, critique may yet meet them though glory has passed beyond reach.

Everyone else should sit tight: results should be out no later than Tuesday. Stay tuned to this channel for the announcements from our dear General-Secretary.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Legends of War

It is said, though myth is all that remain, that before the Age of Blessing, all had been war. In this era of darkness, now known as the Age of Nihil, nothing had grown but with a foulness to it. There had been no salvation for the people of this age. But then, as all seemed but lost, a light had blossomed, and a champion had stepped forth and cast the Spider King into the abyss of time.
The records of these days had been long lost, only fragments of fragments left in the wind, by the end of the Age of Blessing. No one remembered the history of the evil king, and only children's tales and bedtime stories still held some of the essense of this age long past.
So it was with great horror that one the light turned into night as the warm and gentle sun vanished behind billowing clouds of miasma, and the wind, once gentle, blew with ferocity.
A fortress, obsidian and raven, rose from the vile darkness into the sky, and the Spider King once more took rule over the lands.
There must now be said that, at the end of this age of prosperity, there were no champions ready to deliver the lands from evil's grasp. The knowledge of war had long ago been lost.
There were no champions, but there were one who, when everyone else succumbed to despair, stood up and declared "No! Darkness shall not ensnare me! I will not lose hope of salvation. I will not succumb!"
The Queen of Dragonflies, perhaps this age's answer to the cries for a champion, stood up against the forces of evil, and for a while light seemed to shine again. It was a flickering light though, a candle fighting a gale.
The war raged for a year and more, but even though they fought valiantly, the queen's armies were driven back, broken up, and destroyed one by one.
The queen was left with only a remnant of a remnant, and as a last, desperate bid, tried a covert assault on the fortress of night.

I will next present a few excerpts, translated from the Old Language, that details this dark event. The first excerpt is believed to have been written by one of the Queen's bannermen, who is said to have taken his own life shortly afterwards.

"Oh, Woe upon us! The last of the remnants, our honor is lost! The Queen! The Queen is forsaken!
Our strike upon that accursed place was ill contrieved. It was a mad gamble from the start, and now we may all suffer for our foolishness."

It would seem that the attack did not go as planned. What may have occured that would throw the Queen's plans into shambles? What did he mean by calling the Queen 'forsaken'? Another excerpt, written by one of the Queen's warriors, gives us more information.

"All is over. I have failed my Queen, and now I pay the price. This cage will be my final home, before the beasts carve me up and serve me to their king at the feast. My only blessing is that they did not take this book and quill from me.
My Queen, you were the brightest of life in this land! How could this have happened? Why did you let the darkness in?"

Did the Queen turn? Did she see her doom coming, and resolved to save her own life before her men? Did she turn to evil?
Another excerpt, this one from someone who stood by the Queen all the way into the heart of that dark abyss, will give us a better picture of the Queen's actions. The royal guard, who wrote this upon her death bed several decades after the event, speak of a dark decision.

'We confronted the beast of our nightmares in the throne room where he presided. The Queen walking under the banner of light, symbolizing our struggle and our belief in salvation.
That monster held many of our men captive, and his beastly cohorts had already set to feed on our dead. It was a sight macabre to say the least.
The evil one himself stood as we arrived, a wicked smile playing on his lips.
"Ah. My dear Queen. What a delight to see you here." He paused to stroke his long, gray beard.
"You must excuse the mess. My men can be so... unruly." He turned to the beastly beings who were ripping the flesh of our dead allies' bones.
"Now men," he started. "Is this how you behave in front of a Queen?"
His vicious laugh echoed through the halls.
"So, my Queen, what do I owe this honor?" He looked at her amusement glinting in his eyes.
The queen, may the light and love preserve her, stepped forth with an offer.
"You are a blight upon this land," she began, the fire in her heart rising and given life by her words. "And I have sought to end your foul life with all my means. I have vowed to see your lowly, miserable, husk of an existence destroyed myself!"
Her voice cooled, though the fire still shone in her eyes.
"I come to you with a proposal. You have won. We can no longer win. If you vow to let my people hiding across the lands live freely, I will let you have this land. There is enough space for your people, and you have our livestock so food is notan issue."
A gasp was head from the Queens followers.
"Queen! No!"
"Do not do this!"
"Betrayal!"
The banner of light clattered to the ground, as the bannerman stepped back in horror. Other did the same. With a cry of despair the ranks broke, and many of the men fled her side.
I myself felt the stab in my heart, but my feet stood firm next to my Queen.
"Your men betray you," the old man said.
"Yhey are of no consequence," the Queen responded.
"What say you? Do we have a deal?"
"A deal? Hah, I already own this land! You can give me nothing!"
"There is still one thing I can give," the Queen said. "Me."
"A union?" The wicked old man leered. "Now this is intriguing."
He sat back on his throne. "Very well! I vow to let your people hiding in these lands be. They are free if you marry me and become my queen!"
He sneered. "But those men who betrayed you... they are not 'hiding in this land' are they." The evil one laughed. "Men, we need meat for the feast! Go get some!"
The cruel men jered and rushed off after the soldiers who fled.
"Now let's get the preparations underway!"
Oh woe to us who are doomed, I remember thinking at that time, because it shurely felt like the end'

Now what happened next, I believe it is only prudent to conclude this story with the queen's own words.

The Spider King is dead. He died with a wimper, time itself the assassin.
I remember seeing him for the first time as he began his assault on these blessed lands, a young, cruel, king. It was a shock to me to find him an old, half-mad man only a year later. I surmise that something affected him when he was locked away in the timeless void, and once free, time sought to catch up.
I married him, became his Queen, and now I am the ruler of this land once more.
His hordes are in disarray, killing each other over leadership, and I am in a position to steer thim away from destroying this land.
There will still be some time of turmoil, but the war is over, and light has, by the fate of time, come out on top."

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


:siren: MEGABRAWL ROUND 2: a string of bullshit cliches :siren:



What is a cliche, Thunderdome? It's something beginning writers don't recognise, and most of the rest avoid like the plague. I'm going to advance a crazy proposition today: cliches are ideas that are so powerful -- that hit so drat hard -- that everybody who hears them goes on to repeat them. They're not bad ideas: they're great ideas that are worn out. Stick with me here. Consider the phrase "falling in love" - it's worthless word candy, right? If that's true, what is it about love that reminds us so much of falling? Did that hit you a bit better? Writing cliche well is a skill that more writers need to develop - it requires you to ask exactly why this idea was resonant and why it got worn out, then reframe it so we remember why we wore it out in the first place. When Ezra Pound talked about cliche, he said "make it new", and that's your task this week: I'm going to give you all the most tired, worn-out bullshit romantic cliches, and I want you to make them fresh again. Each brawling pair gets a single cliche, and the winner is the one who brings it to life the best.

The Pool

CurlingIron vs Entenzahn. Cliche: Love is blind.
Newtestleper vs DMBoogie. Cliche: absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Spectres of Autism vs Morning Bell. Cliche: their hearts skipped a beat.
Thranguy vs Sparksbloom. Cliche: they're the one .

Details

Word Count: 1500 (plus any relevant bonus words)
Deadline: 7pm EST June 28
Verboten: fanfiction

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

QuoProQuid posted:

Submission Deadline: 11:59:59 PM EST on Sunday, 12 June 2016

I thought I had more time?

Edit: I'm a dumbass. I read PST.

I deserve shaming. :classiclol:

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Fuubi posted:

I thought I had more time?

Edit: I'm a dumbass. I read PST.

I deserve shaming. :classiclol:

Read the prompt, write the story, post the story.

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