The Explosion of Gold, a beery bar-tab collab by Sebmojo & Erogenous Beef (236 words; transcription follows)
He was fifteen feet high when the blast hit him, chiaroscuros of colour painting him like a teenager with a torch. "This is a hold-up--" was all he managed, then the shockwave crumpled him up like a bar napkin. It was the King that held him up -- supported his sagging shoulders as he fell. Which was preposterous, the King was - he prayed - half a dozen kilometers away, safely ensconced in the evening prayers.
Rajj hauled himself to his feet, feeling the creak of a busted bone in his hip. He could not let them take the pipe. He glanced down and saw it nestled in his arms, intricate + gleaming.
Across the bar, Balthazar stood triumphant, hands wide. "Your path to the half world is closed, cousin," he said. "Now is the Age of Faith come again." He unfurled his arm, the pipe rolling out between himself and his opponent like a cannon between enemy lands. "Kneel."
Fire leapt from the pipe's bowl, gold and rosy like the dawn. Rajj hauled himself up against the wall as it crashed over his cousin. "The King sees your lie, 'Zar. He raises them."
Balthazar's hands curled as the force hit them, then straightened. "Your king is a paper prophet, his disciples breastfeed illusions." He reached for the pipe and it crumpled before his grasp. A hand closed on Rajj's throat. "It is time you faced the true world." Blackness.
|# ¿ Sep 11, 2016 21:29|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 19:16|
In because I promised Mojo while drunk that it was time for a return to the Dome. And because I said I'd do it "next week" three weeks ago, add a .
Present a dilemma for my investigatrix to decipher.
|# ¿ Oct 18, 2016 11:19|
Your character is a deeply pious person, but after a life of flawless adherence to their faith, they long to look into the face of their god/gods. They surmise that Voidmart could only offer such a wide range of products if their supply line went directly to the source of all creation. They're going to have to infiltrate the highest echelons of VoidCorp to find god.
Mirakills, or: How I Met the Maker (1999 words due to )
"Ask my secretary," was Alan Boss' response when I asked him for an appointment, and he cocked the hammer on his HK47 'Working Girl' (walnut stock, chromium steel body, $929.99 MSRP) and pointed the barrel at my head. "Speak up. She answers quick."
"On second thought, it might put a hole in my schedule."
"You're too young to meet the Maker, anyhow." He holstered his piece and went through the executive entrance, the one where they still go through a metal detector but Security ignores the results.
As I waited to check in for morning shift with the rest of the schlebs, I shoved my hands deep into my pockets, and fingered my prayer livers. I'd been asking Boss that question for years and he pulled his piece every time.
Not that I can blame him. When I got into management, the vice-stockmaster of pasta warned me that there were only so many titles to go around. Thanks to Voidmart's excellent benefits, there wasn't much voluntary churn. I'd have to wait for a vacancy. When I asked how often those opened up, she gave me a bemused smile. Then one of my direct reports tried to drill out my guts with fusilli and it all made sense.
Fortunately, the fiery hand of Prometheus had been provident. With His guidance, and the help of my friend Bud, I'd burnt away the obstacles between myself and the office of Alan Boss, Director of Procurement. Soon his chair would be mine. I thumbed each of the three-hundred sixty-five well-polished livers and gave thanks.
"Morning, flamen. Still bothering that vulture you call a god?" Bud offered me a cup of coffee.
"My Lord, at least, doesn't command me to sweep poo poo."
"I converted over the weekend. No more janitorials." Bud flashed his badge. It was freshly-laminated and proclaimed him assistant sub-inspector of prescriptions.
"You made Pharmacy!" I slapped him on the back, and I didn't use a knife to do it.
"Yeah, and I've got a hot tip. New product and possible promotion. How's your schedule?"
It was packed, meetings stacked up taller than a VoidMart holiday-themed product pyramid ("no slaves were harmed in the making of this structure"), but for Bud I would make time. Bud was my Epimetheus. My Lord teaches us to stick by our brothers, and coffee isn't half as stimulating as holy homicide. "Warehouse, as usual?"
Bud shook his head. "Busy today. We'll use the Dead Zone."
Most managerial murders were backoffice affairs; corporate policy prohibits manslaughter in front of clientele. The Dead Zone, however, was so deserted that even Loss Prevention ignored it. We crossed the show floor, cutting through cloyingly-scented aisles of Sweet Sprinkles® urinal cakes.
Once we were past security I whispered, "Armed?"
Bud flicked aside his coatfront. At his hip was his favorite weapon: a sinus disruptor. They'd been put on security's red list after two managers sneezed their brains out. I asked him how he'd smuggled it in and he winked. "3D printing can do some pretty cool stuff."
"Blasphemy." I crossed my liver. The only proper products were given to us by the Lord Prometheus himself, not vomited up by some soulless machine, for He alone could bring such modern marvels to us mortals. We'd had this argument before.
We passed blood-red Stop signs, biohazard crosses, yellow unsmiling faces denoting moral hazard, and then we were in the Zone, a clearing amidst the thicket of shelves, carpeted with open-topped chillers. Amidst the frost-fogged freezers stood a single man, shivering.
The reason for the Dead Zone's abandonment is also the reason it's ideal for murder. This is where VoidMart stocks the one thing no modern quinoa-crunching, smoothie-swilling consumer will touch: red meat. The coolers were packed with porterhouse, pterodactyl and the choicest cuts of long pig.
We fell into our usual routine. I ducked into a parallel aisle, flanking the mark while Bud strode openly towards him, hands spread wide to show the man that weapons weren't necessary.
The man's teeth chattered. "The hell did you call me out to this dump, Bud?"
Bud grinned. "Heard your boys got an interesting shipment today."
"I know your game, Bud. Last two guys you worked for went MIA here." The man pulled a gun. His hands trembled and sweat dripped down his cheek despite the cold. I hurried silently into position behind him.
"Whoa there, partner." Bud leaned into the last word. My signal.
The divine fire of Prometheus ignited in my veins, burning for a fight. I leapt out and grabbed his neck, and he dropped the gun. Bud sidled up, drew his sinus disruptor. "Ever seen one of these in action? It ain't pretty." There was a dial on the side that controlled the disruptor's strength. He clicked it up to 'fatal mucosal maelstrom'. One zap and our captive would be snot to death.
The man elbowed me in the ribs, stomped on my feet, but he was heretic and weak and I was righteous and strong and I held him tight as Bud pushed his gun between the man's eyes and pulled the trigger.
It broke off in his hand. Bud roared and smashed the gun against the man's head, but the weapon crumbled to powder and I laughed. My Epimetheus had forgotten to test his toy.
The man kicked Bud where it hurts and Bud fell back, holding his bruised balls and singing like a ballerina. Our target snatched a vial of pills from inside his coat, raised it towards his mouth and Bud shouted a warning. I grabbed for his hand, but a dozen pills toppled onto the man's tongue and he crushed them between his teeth as I tore the strange medicine from his grasp.
The man shrieked, gibbered, the sun shone from his eyes, and I jumped away as his skin sizzled.
"Run!" Bud squealed.
I dove into a freezer, burrowed beneath lamb shanks. The man intoned the name Sol Invictus and then a flash, a roiling wave of heat. The meat above me suppurated and sizzled.
Bud and the target were ashen stains on the floor. Numb, I looked at the pills in my hand. The label said 'Mira-Kill, consume not more than one per day.' Boots stomped in the aisles, and I tucked the pills into my pocket as a platoon of riot-clad Security men rushed in. I raised my hands and they dragged me from the Dead Zone.
Maintenance tape was already strung up, closure signs positioned on the major aisles. Pardon our mess! Making Voidmart better for you! The officers hauled me up to a star-collared man. He glared at me. "Where's your uniform?"
"Management team, sir," I flashed my badge.
"And why would Procurement be interested in the Zone?" The security chief flipped my badge to his subordinates. "Pharmacy suspected there'd be a murder here today. You're detained until I say otherwise." His men patted me down. They found the pills. "What're these?"
"Medical condition," I lied.
"loving health plan covers too much poo poo these days." He handed them back.
Detention was a strange place. Security shoved me into at an office decorated with cartoons and puzzle-piece carpeting. A pleasant young attendant took down my name and employee number and ushered me into a room with a ball pit and toys. A television played reruns of the hit kids' show VoidVillage.
"Is this detention or day care?" I asked.
The attendant sighed. "Cost-cutting."
My summons soon arrived, a disciplinary hearing run by Mr. Boss himself, in his own office: the kiss of death for my career. Most employees dread a one-on-one with executives. The long iron steps to Executive Reception are in open, shameful view of shoppers and colleagues. There's a hundred sightlines for snipers.
But no smart Executive gives their ambitious underlings a clear shot at promotion.
Back when I was working helpdesk between Constitutions and Used Doorjambs, I spent every tedious day talking to customers about what the framers intended, but I also learned there's one obscure doorway that opens into a discreet little elevator. Security frogmarched me to it, slid their keycards through its locks and I ascended to heaven.
Mr. Boss' office was a vast space with a tinted window overlooking on the shop floor, standard-issue pot plants and a ButtCupper 3000 chair (black leather, mesh back, fifteen degrees of ergonomic adjustment; $799.99) behind his desk. Dexter Digits, Mr. Boss' right-hand man, stood at the window. He was open-carrying half of our Personal Security catalogue. To the side was a door spray-stenciled 'Central Procurement'.
The door opened and in came Alan Boss. He locked it behind him, pocketed the key and glared at me. "Let's make this simple. You're fired. Dex, escort our friend out."
I plunged my hands into my pockets to find my prayer livers, but grabbed the bottle of Mira-Kill instead. I made a show of shuddering and let my voice crack. "Is the paperwork all done?"
"It will be." Alan reached for his pen. I raised the pills to my mouth.
"What're you doing?" Dexter drew his weapon. "Freeze!"
"Just medicine," I said as I shook Mira-Kill onto my tongue. Nothing happened. I gulped down a second dose, a third and grimaced. Flopsweat trickled down my spine. Alan uncapped his pen. Nib hovered over paper, and then my future was signed away.
Pain stabbed my stomach, fire blazed in my veins and radiant agony swelled in my guts. Dexter dove towards me. My organs churned. I bent over.
A miraculous flock of flaming eagles erupted from my rear end in a gout of godly flame. They swooped across the office, sunk blazing claws into Dexter's eyes, cawed with incandescent fury. I dropped to my knees, shouting praise as they scorched my enemies, tore out their livers.
Then the eagles vanished like a candle flame blown out. Oily smoke rose from two corpses. Alarms rang in the hall. I scrambled to the smoldering carcass of Alan Boss, Chief of Procurement, and tore the key from his pocket.
I unlocked the door to Central Procurement and sprinted downwards to the holy of holies, whence VoidMart's bounty flows. I mumbled a prayer and dove prostrate across the threshold into the Holy Presence. "Mighty Prometheus! Your humble flamen begs a moment of your patience."
As I groveled, face pressed against floorboards, my Lord spoke to me, His divine voice oddly nasal. "Is this about the turnip twaddlers? Did Alan send you?"
Turnip twaddlers! I trembled in wonder at the things my Lord could conceive. "Alan is dead, Glorious Prometheus. I, your faithful servant, will be the conduit for your holy gifts!"
"Well, uh, here. Take a sample."
Shuddering with awe, I rose and stretched out my arms to receive my Lord's blessing.
I was in a small room littered with gadgets. Tools hung from a pegboard over a cluttered workbench. Plastic and wood shavings carpeted the floor. A lathe, circular saw and drill press sat silent in the corner. Dirty coffee cups stained a blizzard of scribble-scratched paper.
A shortish man leaned against the workbench, wearing a flannel shirt, thick-framed glasses and a nervous smile. His hair was in dreadlocks. He gave me a turnip twaddler. "What do you think? Good craftsmanship on this one, huh?"
The thing I received was a cheap piece of plastic. I wavered. "Prometheus?"
"Name's Fred actually. Dunno this Prometheus dude you keep talking about. He sounds cool, though."
"But… the products. Where is the Maker?"
"Well, I don't know about the maker, but I'm a maker. I make things, and VoidMart sells 'em." He scratched his nose. "They let me go to faires, even. And they got me a new toy!" He gestured. On his desk was a 3D printer.
I took out my bottle of Mira-Kill and, laughing, I swallowed the bitter pills.
|# ¿ Oct 23, 2016 19:47|
I don't care that the next prompt isn't up yet. Preemptively in, whatever it may be.
|# ¿ Nov 15, 2016 08:55|
Here's a prompt: I challenge you to a Beef-off
Bring it. Who shall judge the BeefBQ?
|# ¿ Nov 15, 2016 10:20|
Prompt: Centaur. Flash rule: A power struggle.
Fairly Fought (988 words)
Zacariah 'Superhoof' Reuben's nickname, painted on the billboard in gold with a shimmering coldfire outline, loomed above a topless, arm-crossed photo that showed off bulging biceps but stopped above his waist. "Superhoof Versus Wycked! Tomorrow only!" it promised. Zac stared up at the words. The fight had felt an eternity away until he saw his airbrushed self towering over the street. Unconsciously, he took a step back. A hand steadied him.
"He ain't gonna be nothing, Zac," said Coach Cain. "First round, one and done. That kid's never been in a real fight; he only wins by forfeit."
It wasn't the fight that was bothering him. "They're making me look like a man, coach. They won't even put up a real photo."
"You surprised about that, around here?" Cain spat on the sidewalk. "poo poo, this place wasn't even a one-horse town 'till we walked in."
Zac clacked his hooves on the sidewalk. "But—"
A child squealed. Just a few steps up the sidewalk, a little wizard toddled toward Zac, pointing. "That's him! That's Superhoof ain't it?" The kid's mother shushed him, grabbed his hand and dragged him across the street before they continued down the road past Zac.
It was a busy afternoon, and the sidewalk was rammed, but every witch and wizard was crossing over before passing by. Zac's cheeks got hot.
"They'll be cool when you're the champ." Cain nudged him. "Let's hit the hotel."
The public house and tavern was a two-story shack made more of mud than clapboard. A sign on the door said 'Vacancy'. Inside was one big open room filled with tables and hard-drinking men wearing beards and pointy hats. Zac and Cain's hooves thunked on the wood floor, and all eyes turned to them. In deadly silence, they trotted to the corner of the bar marked 'Reception'.
The bartender was a young witch who stood ramrod-straight as they approached. Keys hung in a rack behind her. She looked them up and down, her eyes trailing along Zac's long, well-muscled flanks and she pursed her lips. "No rooms free. Sorry."
Zac crossed him arms and glared, trying to imitate the fight poster as best he could. "We called ahead. We've got reservations."
"And I'm saying we're full up, we got nothing for you."
"Nothing, or nothing for me?" Zac gripped the counter, squeezed, and it cracked between his fingers.
All the wizards in the room jumped to their feet, shouting. Cain backed up, tripped over a stool and fell down. Wizards surrounded them, yelling at them to leave the lady alone. Hands rose, staves crackled power. Zac spun about to face the crowd and raised his fists to fighting positions.
A leathery voice pierced the shouting. "Y'all calm down now!" A short wisp of a man elbowed through the crowd. He turned his back to Zac and waved at the wizards. "Drinks're free at the bar next door. Why don't y'all go cool off? It's on me."
Faces turned and the wizards looked at one another, and then they shuffled off. One of them said, "Thanks Wycked."
Wycked flashed Zac a grin.
Zac glared down at his opponent. He outclassed Wycome 'Wycked' Wizman in weight, height, reach and speed, yet the little wizard stood his ground with all the confidence of a ship's captain. Reluctantly, Zac offered Wycked his hand. "Thanks. I owe you."
Wycked's grin vanished and he backed up a few steps, eyeing Zac's biceps. "Whoa there, partner. Sounds like you're forfeiting. Let's save that for the ring." He glanced over Zac's shoulder. "Put up our friend here, will you?"
The witch wrinkled her nose. "Only thing we have that'll fit a centaur is the shed out back."
Zac opened his mouth to protest, but Wycked cut him off. "Make it up nice then." He glanced at Zac. "Better this way, don't you think? Wouldn't want you to trip on a stair and break a super-hoof, not before tomorrow."
Cain had stood up, and he touched Zac on the arm. "Let's go, Zac. You'll fix him tomorrow."
"Sure he will. Sure." Wycked's grin returned and he sauntered out the door, whistling.
A gunshot. A woman's scream, cut short.
Zac started awake in the dark. Cain's bed was empty. He threw off the sheets and leaped out of the shed.
The hotel's rear door was open, and lights burned behind drawn shades. Dark shapes moved in the tavern-room and shouting rattled the night, then came thumps of wood on flesh and a swampy crunch.
Zac sprinted into the house, leaping clear through the door, fists raised. The witch sprawled limp over the bar, blood seeping out from a bullet hole. Cain was on the floor, skull dented and face beaten to pulp. A broken chair leg lay next to his hands.The coach twitched, his one unblooded eye rolled towards Zac.
"Run," he whispered through broken teeth. "He did it."
Men shouted outside. Zac turned and fled into the night. He dodged down alleyways, then broke out onto the main street at a full gallop.
Before he hit the town limits, blue-and-red washed the street and a bullhorn commanded him to whoa.
At the precinct, they rigged up a farce of a lineup; Zac had two more feet than any of the other suspects. His head buzzed with confusion, and then Wycked, nursing a black eye, slouched into the room and levelled an accusing finger straight at him.
The charge was murder, and the trial lasted half a day. As the wizard judge read out the guilty sentence, Zac glared up at the all-wizard jury. None of them were looking at him; they had eyes only for the champion sitting in the courtroom's front row: Wycombe 'Wycked' Wizman, winner by forfeit.
|# ¿ Nov 21, 2016 00:11|
In. 18th Century.
|# ¿ Nov 22, 2016 13:23|
Prompt: Vegans. gently caress Vegans.
Garden Variety (1561w)
On the first Monday after Temperance, back when one could still get a waiver for cream in one's coffee, Chelsea marched down the street to the Collection Center with a big green bag in her hands. She had spent all weekend cleaning out her home, and helping her less-enlightened neighbors sanitize theirs. Into the bags went leftover lamb and contraband chicken. With the dead things deposited safely in the hands of the state, she went to work with spring in her step and a sticker on her chest: I'm Doing My Part!
She lunched that day with her cubemate, Verne, and they twittered about the changes. Hope was in the air, and change; they were making the world a better place, they both agreed. And then Verne took out his dessert and Chelsea blanched.
He'd brought egg custard. Verne looked at it, red-faced, and shoved it back into the bag.
A poster hung on the wall. See Something, Say Something! Chelsea frowned at the brown bag and its yolk-yellow contents. She reached for her phone.
Verne's eyes pleaded. "I'll take it to the Center straightaway."
Chelsea tensed. But the law was about kindness, and doing one's peers a good turn, and so she swallowed her indignance, shared half her salad and Verne took the afternoon off.
A year later, Chelsea stood in her kitchen on a bright summer morning making coffee. Prohibition had passed. A big jug of olive oil stood in the corner. In the fridge she had margarine instead of butter, and in her coffee she mixed creamer instead of cream.
Two heavy bangs on the door. "Open up! Police!" They stood on the porch in green uniforms and spitpolished jackboots. They had a dog on a leash, and it led them to Chelsea's cupboard.
Inside, they found an old cheese, plaster-gray with mold. It looked like a lump of spackle, but they bagged and tagged it nonetheless, then cuffed Chelsea and took her down to the county lockup. The judge stared down from beneath a cotton-curl wig. She protested, she showed them her papers and her sticker: she'd done her part! The judge proclaimed her unrepentant and sentenced her to a year in the clink.
At the jail, matronly women received her, helped her out of her street things and into clean gray linens. "It'll be fun here, like a summer camp," they said. "We'll help you get recover. Don't you want to get better?"
Better? Chelsea knew she was already fine, she already believed in the rightness of the cause, but she bit her lip and nodded as the women signed her in.
On the first night in, Chelsea and the other prisoners were gathered in the yard. They tossed shoes and handbags into a pile, and then at the matrons' command they joined hands and dipped heads. Collectively, they spoke a prayer for the deceased and lit the pile of leather.
The prisoners turned their heads left and right, left and right, nodding to their neighbors and saying that yes, it was the right thing to do, the right thing indeed. Chelsea bobbed her head and said the words, but her eyes were on her flaming pumps.
They mixed the ashes into garden soil. To Chelsea, they were seeds poisoning the earth and, when she closed her eyes, she saw them floating like snowflakes in the dark.
They sang songs and drew pictures, and Chelsea didn't tell anyone about the gray dreams. When the summer came again Chelsea was proclaimed reformed, ready to return to the world, to treat it as an equal and respect her place among her peers, human and non.
Back on the outside, creamer was now whitener and they'd done away with bread — each loaf is a yeast holocaust, you monster, you depraved lunatic.
But the gray seeds were growing. In the corner of Chelsea's eye, there were no vibrant viridians, shocking whites or lush fuscias, only dead cold gray. At first the ashes hid behind the old, rich hues as soon as she turned her head, but they grew bolder. Soon her walk to work was a corridor of fog, nothing but gray slab and gray boxes. People strolled gaily down colorless avenues.
One day, she looked at her salad and the leafy greens were blank. She wiped her eyes and drank coffee to clear her head, but her lunch had gone gray. She held her plate out to her cubemate. "Verne, do you see anything weird here?"
He shook his head and gave her a troubled look. "Do you need a break?"
Chelsea shut up and booked herself into a state-sponsored retreat.
City-dwellers were bused to the countryside to reconnect with nature, see all the good the new order had wrought. They sat in tents and talked about how much better things were now, how much more at peace they felt, and Chelsea smiled and nodded as the gray faces flapped their gray lips around the gray fire.
Someone asked if there'd be marshmallows, and there was a long silence before the police came and hauled the criminal away.
The next day was warm and clear, and Chelsea excused herself to go for a walk. She ambled away on a path of dirt or gravel — she couldn't tell which. The thickets looked like clouds of leaves, gray puffs dancing in the wind.
A tan blur zipped through the grass, and Chelsea fell down, startled, but she scrambled up and hurried after the bit of brown. She crested a hill and for a moment Chelsea saw brown and yellow and red before they blipped off into the bushes.
Except one. Chelsea knelt down beside it.
A tiny bunny shivered in the grass, its fur the color of chocolate. She touched it, and it squirmed but did not run. She patted it on the head, ran her fingers on the silken ears, marveling at the frightened little ball of life.
The ball of meat.
Her fingers snapped its neck, her teeth tore fur from bone, flesh from fur, and crimson blood ran down her chin. She masticated.
The field was a-riot with color! Leaves emerald on one side, pale on the other; white oak and red-wood; and blue sky to the horizon. She luxuriated in her restored sight, and then the black bag came down and stole it all away.
She had a choice, they told her. There was a new treatment for cases like hers, the poor souls who found it hard to be a good person, but she had to want it. They could help her get better, and didn't she want to be all right? Of course she did.
So she said yes, and signed her name a thousand times, and then a doctor in a brilliant white smock swabbed the back of her neck — not with alcohol, of course. He told her that she wouldn't feel a thing, and she woke up with a smooth little scar on the back of her neck where they'd put in the chip.
Then she wore a little blue smock and sat in a room with other smiling scar-necked people who agreed that it was all for the best, and they were truly cured now, and wasn't this lemonade delicious? It was, Chelsea agreed, it tasted better than anything she'd ever had. She remembered drinking something else, and the lemonade was better than it, but what as it? It was warm, and tasted of iron, but when she tried to recall it, her mind simply ran into a wall, a wall cold and dark and calculating, so Chelsea smiled and chatted and tried her best to ignore the gray creeping into the corner of her eye.
Verne came to visit her and they were left alone in a little room with a little table. He looked ashen, and he took out a bag of gray carrot sticks and asked, "Would you like a snack?"
Chelsea smiled and nodded, but the carrots made her uncomfortable. What was it that ate carrots? People, her mind said. Wasn't there something else? No, her mind said. Chelsea's head was buzzing and she wiped sweat from her brow.
Verne frowned. "Are you okay?"
Chelsea's face was locked in a grin. Okay? Of course she was okay. Fit as a fiddle. Happy as a… shell? No, that wasn't right. She shuddered.
Verne glanced over his shoulder, fidgeted. "I should go." He offered his hand.
Chelsea shook it. "It was good to me— m— mee—!"
"Meet?" He squirted the meatword through his meat lips, flapping his meat tongue and wrapping his meat sticks around hers. A meatvein pulsed in his neck, carrying meatjuice to the meatbrain that thought meatthoughts, dreamed meatdreams.
She lunged, ripped, slurped meatlife into her meat-mouth, down her meat-tube. She tore, ate and drank her fill of meat, glorious meat, redolent and sticky. There were juices inside him, not just red, but black and yellow and green. They pooled on the floor and she dredged her hands in them, painted the forbidden word on the walls over and over again.
There was nothing more to be done for her. They came with the ice-pick, and they gave her peace. They made her what they loved, what they all longed to be. A vegetable.
|# ¿ Nov 22, 2016 23:51|
Can't disagree with that judgment. Good story, Erogenous. I humbly cede the title of King Beef, for now.
Well fought, and thanks to Chili for judging.
I will crit your brawlpiece in the next 48 hours.
|# ¿ Nov 23, 2016 07:40|
The Space Between
Ok, so, on the whole, this is a decent character-driven piece. I have a few macro-level criticisms to level at it. These center around predictability and a certain emotional shallowness.
From the outset, we're looking at a father-son conflict over a lifestyle issue. It's resolved, rather pat, at the end by the father simply giving in. In the flashback segments, the conflict deepens over time, but we're neither presented with an argument (emotional or otherwise) for Micah's veganism or the father's resistance to it. Nor are we presented a reason or a foreshadowing (aside from cliche) for the father's eventual capitulation.
"A family is torn apart over X, and then reconciles." This is a fine plotline, but we need to know more about the characters' thinking. Is the fight over food a proxy for some other issue in their life, or does it stem from a values difference? (Is the old man, for example, one of those manly-men hunting-and-camping Ron Swanson types?) The biggest thing that sticks in my craw is, as aforementioned, the capitulation -- why does the old man give in?
Structurally, the piece is heavily reliant on scene cuts to maintain pacing, somewhat like a Youtube vlog. It's a popular technique (Tom Clancy uses it heavily), but I feel like the "present" scenes don't do enough to contribute to our understanding of the characters involved. The big "present" timeline revelation is the engagement, which is significant, but I feel like there should be something here that helps us understand the core conflict more deeply, something that deepens the characters involved.
Some of the "driving" sentences are clunky. Example.
The stretch of highway on either side of the California-Oregon border is a desolate place, by comparison to the rest of the states to which the land belongs. Once you turn off of the 5 in Weed, California, there are few freeway offramps and fewer towns until you reach Klamath Falls, Oregon, 20 miles north of the border. From there, it’s about 2 hours to Bend.
I'd like it if this worked, metaphorically, more closely with the story itself. How does Micah react to seeing landscapes like those of his hometown? How does he react to drawing closer to home? Good opportunities for characterization, missed.
The latter two sentences do nothing for me. The verbiage is clinical, but that seems unintended, unless Micah is drawing in on himself and shielding himself with emotionless words to avoid dealing with his feelings about returning home, his worries, etc.
Overall, I neither hate nor love it. Tightening up the focus on the core conflict and rewording some of the sequences to be more emotionally resonant would strengthen this piece. Relieving the predictability of the core conflict would go a long way, as well; I was never in doubt that Micah would "win", to be honest.
|# ¿ Nov 24, 2016 21:13|
Prompt: 18th Century
All the Men Merely Players (1797 words)
Though Fort Michilimackinac was yet a mile away, beyond a hill, war-shouts cracked the crisp spring morning. Dobbs cinched his brace of beaver furs tighter on his back. It couldn't be war, not yet, the Chief had given his word, and in fifteen years Dobbs had never known Pontiac to break it. An Ojibwa boy came running down the road; Dobbs hailed him.
"Do they fight?" Dobbs asked, speaking the customary French-Algonquin creole. His French was bad, he knew, but it served.
The boy laughed. "It is the game, sir." He ran on, and Dobbs' furs felt ten times lighter.
From atop the hill, the fort looked like wooden teeth, a box of undressed tree-trunks stuck into the ground with their airborne tips sharpened, and that was the only formidable part of the place. Inside was a yard crowded with rain-rotten log huts. From one, a Union Jack hung desultorily.
In front of the barred gates, several dozen dark-skinned natives ran and jumped. Each man clutched a long pole with a basket at the end. One man cradled a leather ball in his basket, and the other men attacked him, slapping their poles at his, trying to dislodge the ball, or else they tried to swat away the challengers. The scrum of natives scrambled across the field like a drunken, many-legged crab. A redcoated rabble leaned against the palisade, watching. Coins and cigarettes changed hands as bets were won and lost.
As Dobbs approached, the gate-man straightened his musket and shook his head. "We're shut 'til this pox moves on," he said, flicking his eyes towards the game. "Captain's orders."
Dobbs grinned. "If the Captain's here, he'll want to see me."
"See you run through, more like." The guard raised his voice. "Tell the captain Dobbsy's here and ask 'im if he prefers I shoot 'im or hang 'im."
After a few more shouts, the gate opened wide enough and Dobbs squeezed through. In the yard was a wagon — strange; the roads in the Michigan backwoods were merely footpaths used by natives and fur traders. Soldiers were taking bundles from the wagon and stacking them inside a hut. The place stank of men and latrines.
In the fort's headquarters, Captain Goodson stood behind a table covered with dispatches, frowning at a map. A young lieutenant sat to the side. Four forts had been crossed off in red, and Goodson pushed woodchips around, muttering to himself, then glanced up. "Dobbs! It pleases me to see your continued disrespect for your King and countrymen has brought you neither health nor wealth." The captain flicked a finger at his lieutenant. "Tally his furs and ensure the war tax is deducted properly."
When they were alone, the Captain relaxed. "You've spoken to Pontiac?" He spread his fingers on the map. "He's burned four forts already."
Dobbs' throat tightened. "Detroit?"
"The fort stands, thank God, but barely. The savages disguised themselves as traders, tried to sneak guns in, but we knew about it. Thanks to a trapper. A loyal one." Goodson glared at Dobbs. "Outside the walls, they killed everyone. Women, children. The men say they ate a soldier — ate him!"
"It's their custom," said Dobbs, weakly. It was true. Once he'd visited a village after a battle and saw the warriors ritually tasting their fallen foes' flesh. He'd suppressed his horror long enough to swap musket-balls for beaverskins, then vomited in the woods.
"Nonsense. Savagery is savagery. If they are incapable of civilization, we must extirpate them. Which brings us to your friend Pontiac." Goodson sat down. "Will he surrender?"
A dozen Ottawa warriors surrounded Dobbs, and he held up his hands to show he was unarmed. They jeered, and one raised the butt of his musket, but a voice shouted, "He is French!" The braves faltered, then lowered their hands and let Dobbs past.
Pontiac stood on a hillside crowded with chiefs. These men were the wisest and strongest of the tribes, and Dobbs saw Lenapes and Ottawas, Ojibwas and Hurons. Twenty years ago, when he'd first come to this land, these men would never have buried the hatchet, except in each other's skulls. Now they squatted side by side, their mood sullen. Pontiac came down the hill and proclaimed in French, "Monsieur Dobbs, my brother, I am glad to see you." Then he led Dobbs aside, lowered his voice and spoke in English. "You've have word from your Governor?"
Dobbs nodded and picked his next words carefully; if Pontiac took offense and told his tribesmen, none of them would trade Dobbs a twig, let alone beaverskin. "His view of you is no better than yours of him. His answer is that his intercourse with you must be by English custom, not French. There will be no gifts."
Pontiac bridled, then sagged. "For a century, the French gave us friendship. Their knives and guns we give to our warriors, and our warriors would stand and die with them as brothers. You British gift us only the smallpox and wonder that we want war." Pontiac studied Dobbs. "There will come a day when you must choose, my friend, between this land and your own."
Dobbs grimaced. He liked Pontiac, he admired Ottawa frankness and courage, but he also liked blondes, beer and tea. "If you and the English would learn from one another, I think you'd find the choice unnecessary."
Pontiac's face darkened. "The English wish us to adopt their ways, but we have! We hunt now with muskets, and yet you will not sell us gunpowder with which to shoot our game and feed our families."
"I've brought what I can." Dobbs pointed into the forest. "There's a mule there with powder and balls. Send men you trust." Trading ammunition with the natives was forbidden by Royal Decree, but they gave Dobbs many skins for the smuggled supplies.
"It will help, but one man's powder cannot feed a nation." Pontiac thought for a moment, looking at his people. "What would they learn from us, whom they call dogs?"
"Start small," said Dobbs. In a valley below, men were playing lacrosse. The teams were mixes of men from all the tribes, yet they played well together. "Perhaps you could teach them your game. The soldiers enjoy watching it."
Pontiac shook his head. "We are at war. They will not come without their walls for a mere game."
"In the south, maybe. But in the north, near Michilimackinac, there's still some peace. It's far from Detroit. I know the Captain there, and he might consent to let his men play with yours." Dobbs pointed at the field. "If the Ottawa and Huron can play together, I see no reason my countrymen could not learn, in time."
Down on the field, the ball struck the scoring-pole and a war-whoop leapt up from the teams, and a cheer from the hill of chiefs. Men grinned at one another and embraced. Pontiac looked at them. "Michilimackinac, you say. I will send some warriors. Let the English see us play."
Captain Goodson grunted. "So he will not lay down arms, but he will distract my men with his game. You've been away from England too long, Dobbs. Your soft feelings for these primitives are giving you the most foolish ideas."
"With respect, I think it might be good for the men. Some exercise away from the miasmas and foul airs of the fort."
"Nothing good ever comes of fraternizing with the enemy, especially if the enemy is savage. I will not have my men taking up savage ways." Goodson sighed. "But so long as we haven't the manpower to exterminate them, we must put up with them. Pontiac wants gifts? The Major has sent some. Walk with me."
They went out into the yard. The wagon was empty. The cheers from the game outside were deafening, and the palisade was crowded with soldiers watching the fun. Now and then a white man whooped.
Goodson took Dobbs to the guarded hut. The men there saluted. On their wrists, Dobbs saw inoculation scars. Inside were piles of woolen blankets, spotted and stained. The Captain pulled Dobbs away from the hut and shut the door. "You see? The perfect gift for the damnably cold winters here. The Indians should be thanking us, not fighting us."
A thunderous cheer split the air, and the men on the palisade shouted and pumped their fists. The Captain told the men to shut up, but they continued to holler and then the gate opened and the guard came in.
"Begging your pardon, sir, but there's a black bugger out there who seems to want to see Dobbsy, sir. Shall I shoot 'im, sir?"
Goodson glared at Dobbs. "Be useful for once. Get them to clear off."
Outside the gate, Dobbs found himself staring up at a huge warrior holding two lacrosse sticks, one nearly as tall as Dobbs and the other no bigger than an English musket. The warrior spoke in creole. "You are the white brother Pontiac tells us of? We hold a game in your honor." He held out the smaller stick. "You join us."
Sweat rolled down Dobbs' neck. Eyes both British and native stared at him. He took the stick.
The natives raised their sticks in salute. Dobbs heard men shout in English. A soldier dropped his musket and ran out after him. A warrior tossed the soldier a stick, and then more English joined the game. Soon discarded muskets were piled beside the gate and only a few soldiers stood on the palisade.
They played, the men running back and forth, flicking the ball between them. Dobbs and the warrior found a rhythm, Dobbs circling him and peeling away challengers as the big man plowed through men like a scythe through wheat. He passed to Dobbs and Dobbs aimed, flicked the ball at the goal. It struck home. Soldiers cheered and Dobbs waved to them.
The huge warrior pulled Dobbs close in a bear hug and whispered, "Stay here." He pushed Dobbs to the floor, scooped up the ball and bellowed a war-shout in Algonquin, then flung the ball high into the air. It sailed over the wall and plunged into the fort.
The Ottawa warriors raised their sticks, cracked them across the skulls of the British, then ran and seized muskets. In minutes, the fort was aflame, the soldiers dead in the grass.
Dobbs staggered away. As he reached the hill, he saw the Ottawas hauling away a wagon laden with guns, powder and blankets. For a moment, he wondered if he should tell the warriors to burn the woolens, but then he turned his back on the flames of Michilimackinac and walked into the woods.
|# ¿ Nov 28, 2016 03:01|
Week 226: Viking Wisdom
Ég er in, ţrátt fyrir ensku ţýđingunni úr trúr Íslensku. Helvitis fokking útlendingar.
|# ¿ Dec 6, 2016 12:50|
Frozen Out (1,057 words)
Papa Winter stood on his porch, eating his customary breakfast of chilled cream, and admired his handiwork: Freezytown slumbered peacefully under a foot of flakes. At his feet snuffled his faithful pet woodchuck, Phil. Up his front drive thumped Frosty the Snowmayor, but Winter's smile faded when he saw the snowman's guest: his neighbor Esther Bunny.
"Ho, Papa Winter!" Frosty lifted his hat and duffed snow from it.
"Ho, mayor. You needn't come all this way to thank me."
"We didn't," huffed Esther. She shivered, hugged herself with her paws and tried to keep her teeth from chattering. "Tell him, mayor."
Frosty's coal-black eyes shifted from the bunny to the old gentleman on the porch, who had set down his bowl of cream and crossed his arms. "There's been some talk, Winter, about how you've been handling the weather. Complaints."
Complaints? Winter looked over the town all snuggled up in frozen blankets, a few warm candles glowing in windows. The pink of dawn glinted on snowdrifts, and there was nothing in the sky but a happy cloudlets. It was positively Christmasy. "I've always turned storms to snow, mayor. I'm a weatherman. It's what I do."
"And it's high time we had a change," sniffed the bunny. "No sense in pretending to be frozen in time."
"It's what the young people want, you see." Frosty offered a sympathetic smile.
Winter regarded them icily. "You're letting me go."
"And not a moment too soon," said the bunny.
"Now now, Esther," said Frosty, then nodded to the old man. "Think of it as a vacation. Go south, perhaps, enjoy the winter of your years."
Glacially, Papa Winter took Phil inside, pulled on his coat and clapped a hat-shaped cloud onto his head. "You'll regret this," he said, then bid Frosty good day, offered Esther no more than a frigid glance and skiied out of town on legs nimbler than his years suggested.
Thunder rumbled in the distance. A vast black cloud ringed the horizon around Freezytown, and the wind snatched at Frosty's hat as he bumbled into Esther's coffeeshop. It was hot in here, too hot; he dabbed at his forehead and was horrified to see water trickling down his hand, but he had a job to do.
He didn't really want to see the bunny, but he had to. In the few months since Papa Winter had gone, the political climate had changed and he'd watched his constituency steadily melt away. A "green" party had sprouted, and its root seemed to be here, in this little shop.
"Esther, might I have a word?"
The bunny peered imperiously at him through her horn-rimmed glasses, then nodded. "You don't look well, mayor. Want some coffee?"
He didn't doubt it. His necktie hung limply on his gaunt frame; he'd been losing weight at an alarming clip, and his hand nervously rapped on the countertop. "Vanilla, please. Iced."
"We don't serve cold things here," she said and handed him a steaming mug.
"Oh, well." He didn't want to be impolite and tipped it back. The bitter drink stung; he felt like his insides were melting, and he set it down. "We have a problem, Esther. There's another storm coming, you see, and they tell me you're going to let it hail."
"I'm the weatherbunny now," she said. "What I do with the storms is my decision."
"Surely you can't, though! The igloos and icehouses aren't built for that."
"It's not my fault some old fogies haven't felt the way the winds are blowing. Now shoo, you're dripping on my carpet."
Frosty hurried out of the horribly hot shop and headed for his office. An icicle crashed onto the sidewalk behind him, and then a spray of unfrozen rain blasted him. The street was a river, and waterlogged sleighs floated past. He fought back tears; the whole town was washing away before his eyes.
He tried the door to his office, but it was locked. His secretary shook her head and said, "Sorry, sir. Weatherbunny's in charge now that the storm's approaching, and she's said you're not to be let in."
Deposed already! Frosty sagged. There was only one person who could possibly fix this, and he regretted sending the poor old man away. The former snowmayor reached for the phone. "Let me make a call, at least."
The secretary poked her nose over her book, Making It Rain by Donald Soak. "No can do."
Balls of ice smashed against the walls, pounding them like the fists of an angry mob as Frosty tore through Papa Winter's things. It had not been a good Friday for the snowmayor. Down below, gingerbread houses collapsed beneath the relentless hail and, despite Frosty's pleas, Esther Bunny refused to stop the storm, saying only that the town would rise again.
From the corner came a chattering, and Phil burrowed out from beneath the sofa. The whistlepig circled Frosty, rubbed against the snowman and squeaked.
Frosty gave Phil a pat. "Sorry, boy. I don't know where he's gone either," he said, and then he realized what he had to do.
The snowmayor searched the house and found an old oil lamp and matches, lit it, and hoisted the light high over the groundhog. Phil glanced down, sprinted back under the sofa and at just that moment the front door banged open.
"I'm home," said Papa Winter. He glanced at Frosty, then at the hailstorm outside. "Seems you've gotten yourself in a proper fix, mayor. Need you really torture poor Phil just to find me? I have a Snapchat, you know." The old man snapped his fingers, and in a moment the pounding hail stopped and delightful snowflakes drifted lazily down from the sky.
They went out on the porch, and Frosty took off his hat. "You've saved the town again, Papa."
Winter shrugged and pointed across the road, where a furious Esther emerged from her shop and slipped on a patch of black ice. "You've got six weeks to deal with this, mayor."
"Six weeks? Good heavens, man. At this rate, it'll be summer."
"Indeed, mayor, and I've a mind to take that vacation you offered." Papa Winter smiled. "I hear New Zealand will be nice about then."
|# ¿ Dec 11, 2016 21:13|
|# ¿ Dec 13, 2016 15:06|
Mrenda those were good crits
^--- This. Thank you (and hawklad) for the crits. If either/both of you want to have a Beef Literary Bile Bath (patent pending) of a past or future piece, you're welcome to one upon request.
p.s. If you're really burning to discuss stories/crits/the contents of your sphincter, join the IRC channel. Deetz in da OP.
|# ¿ Dec 14, 2016 22:05|
A Change of Mind (800w)
Samuel Slopbucket swished his ragged old mop in a wide arc across the floor of the storage bay, edging as close as he dared to the strange plastic pod that had arrived today. It was far away from the other cargo, and there was a big red circle around it — a sergeant had ordered Sam to not even think of setting foot inside, but there were bootprints Sam couldn't reach without entering. Two officers were watching, and Sam hoped he wasn't about to get more demerits.
Across the bay, the Captain eyeballed the distance between the capsule and Sam. Three meters separated a dopey private and the galaxy's last sample of sapiophagica unilateralis, the psychic murder-fungus. Even with a protective band of foil on his head, the captain still felt the thing tugging on his mind. He glanced at his XO. "I'd rather he wore a psychosafing cap."
"He's got a neurosuppressant pump; the fungus couldn't possibly tempt him, sir."
Sam rubbed the bump at the base of his neck and a warm sensation washed over him, like he'd just drank a cup of milky tea. The bump had itched when they'd first put it in, but rubbing it made him feel better.
The XO beamed at the captain. "See? Smiling like a cat."
The captain wished he had the XO's confidence. He'd seen sapiophagica in the wild: a woody stalk with a puff of hairy psi-tendrils atop it, like an oversized dandelion. Mesmerized, two platoons of marines had murdered one another before someone napalmed the fungus. He cupped his hands. "Private, report!"
Sam snapped to attention. "Sir, the private is cleaning, sir!"
"Would you rather be doing something else, private?"
Sam looked at the captain for a second. He'd never talked to an officer before. A lieutenant had spoken to him once, to say Sam's fly was down. Sam had cleaned a lot of johns after that.
The captain scowled. "Are you hard of hearing, private?"
"Sir, no, sir!"
"Then answer! Is there anything you want, private? Anything at all?"
"Sir! Uh… a new mop, sir?"
Twenty years of command saved the captain from snickering. "A mop."
"Yes, sir. The marines get alien blood on their boots, sir." Sam raised the mop's head; he'd been patching it with old socks. "See? Eats right through, sir."
"Back to your duties, private. Make this bay shine." The captain spun on his heel and motioned for the XO to follow.
In the hallway, the XO grinned. "Xeno blood is rather acidic—"
"Button it. You're right. Poor man hasn't a light on upstairs."
Sam leaned on his tattered mop. He'd scrubbed the entire cargo bay again, but there were still bootprints next to the plastic pod. The captain had said to make the bay shine, and a captain's orders overrode a sergeant's, right? Sam stepped inside the circle, keeping his back to the pod so he wouldn't have to look at it. What was in the stupid thing, anyway?
Fifty cartons of finest Denebian whisky.
Sam blinked. He hadn't drank in a long while, but he rubbed the back of his neck and the fleeting desire passed.
Aldebaranese lads' mags, where the girls have three tits.
Sam glanced at the pod, rubbed the back of his neck again and went back to scrubbing.
Is there anything you want private? Anything at all?
"A new mop," he said to the empty cargo bay, and glanced at the pod. Was there a mop inside?
The finest mop in the galaxy.
Maybe he should look inside. No one had said he couldn't have a peek. He laid his old mop aside and twisted the top off the pod.
Inside was a wooden rod with a thick cottony-white puff on top, jammed into a pot of dirt. Sam yanked his new mop free.
In the armory, the chief of security shot two ensigns dead. In the lounge, a dozen officers tore one off another's clothes and the captain declared a general orgy. On the bridge, the navigator plotted a course to Earth, locked her console and forgot the passcode.
Sam twirled his mop over his head, grinning. A new mop! And not just any mop. This mop felt like part of his arm. He could clean anything, anywhere!
Yes, he'd go everywhere, cleaning dirt with his trusty new mop. He felt the mop thrum with excitement.
Where better to start than here? He dunked the cottony-white head into his water bucket, jammed it into the wringer and crushed sapiophagica unilateralis' delicate psychic tendrils to powder. For a moment, Sam felt his mop scream, and then he was holding only a useless stick.
|# ¿ Dec 19, 2016 02:44|
Thunderdome Week CCXXIX: The War, on Christmas
On the off chance you've not been outside in the past 20ish days or so, it may have escaped your notice that we're currently sitting just on the wrong side of Solstice, so there's insipid poo poo hung up in department stores and the same twenty canned songs are on public PAs. Also the days are short and cold (or long and hot, if you're Antipodean), which is great because now you have an excuse to be a lump, sitting on the sofa drinking peanut-butter hot cocoa and making GBS threads bad words.
This week, you're going be that distant cousin who gives terrible gifts, like ugly socks or vegan cookies. Write us a story. The story is centered (somehow) around a holiday that occurs roughly at this time of year. (If you have to ask if your holiday is permissible, the answer is "no".) The holiday may be real or fictitious. Don't tell me, I don't care.
Your story also must be affected by a war. The war can be in the story's past, present or future, but it must be a major drat part of the story. Whether it roars full-throated defiance at the holiday spirit or lurks in the shadows like the Krampus, waiting to devour the young -- that's up to you. What's that? You want to try for a "metaphorical" war? Best of luck pal, but you'll be walking on thin ice.
Declare you're going home for the holidays by Friday, 23 Dec @ 23:59 UTC-8.
Deliver your terrible gifts by Sunday, 25 Dec @ 23:59 UTC-8
Extensions will not be given just because it's loving Christmas. If you know you're going to be busy with family, post early.
Wordcount: 1000 words base. There will be word bounties.
Battle-Scarred Christmas Spirits
Erogenous Beef is General E. Scrooge
Flesnolk is the Grinch
Kaishai is the Krampus
On The Naughty List
Chili (bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +50 words)
Flerp (bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +50 words)
Sebmojo (bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +50 words)
Thranguy (bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +100 words)
BeefSupreme (bounty 1: + 100 words) (flashrule: A sausage is an important plot element.)
Boaz-Joachim (bounty 1: +100 words)
Ceighk (flashrule: Involve a "hero" with a foul motive. "Hero" does not necessarily imply "protagonist"; bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +100 words)
Baleful Osmium Sea
The Unholy Ghost
Mrenda (bounty 1: +100 words, bounty 2: +50 words)
Lead out in cuffs
ThirdEmperor (flashrule: In your war, an emperor has died. This must have some impact on your characters.)
Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 01:54 on Dec 25, 2016
|# ¿ Dec 19, 2016 14:05|
First Word Bounty
You may increase your personal wordcount by 100 words if, prior to the close of sign-ups, you offer a full, detailed critique of any story from the previous two weeks of Thunderdome. This bounty may only be claimed once per person. Warranty valid only where permitted by law; void where prohibited.
Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 14:56 on Dec 19, 2016
|# ¿ Dec 19, 2016 14:07|
Kaishai is the multigrade synthetic which keeps the cylinders of Thunderdome churning.
IN with a but having a hard time narrowing down my ideas, don't suppose someone could chuck me a flashrule?
Flash Rule: Involve a "hero" with a foul motive. (Clarification: "Hero" does not necessarily imply "Protagonist".)
Second Word Bounty
For either +50 or +100 words: Before the close of sign-ups, illustrate one of your favorite scenes from a Thunderdome story. The story may not be your own. Link to the story along with your picture. Good illustrations (as determined by the judges) will receive the larger bounty. I cannot guarantee when the 50/100 decision will be posted, but it will be at some point during Saturday, Eurogoon time. Bounty may only be claimed once per person, etc. etc.
|# ¿ Dec 21, 2016 04:10|
You requested a different one earlier, chum. Anyway. Overall take: Decent but needs editing, and a bit of a letdown at the end.
I like the first line; it's a good hook and gets straight to the premise. After that, you develop the idea a bit but you also meander a bit. I don't get the meaning of the "I type something, erase it, type it again" sentence -- I'm used to assocating this with someone being nervous about revealing a deep secret, but your premise suggests that this motive wouldn't be present any longer. Maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe it's unclear.
Second section's second paragraph seems redundant. You're already illustrating the increasingly small number of fucks people give, so I don't think you need to smack me in the face with something like this. In fact, the first/third paras go together so well that I'd suspect you inserted the second para in an attempt to add clarity.
Third section, mostly good, we're building to a crescendo here, but there's a few minor details that seem off. I don't get why Karen's eyes are red; again, I'm expecting this would be an emotionless way of expressing bloodiness, but there's no other hints about physical damage, so it reads more like "crying" which again doesn't make sense given the premise. Without more explanation of this detail, it's just distracting.
Fourth section, the whole thing falls down. Obviously you don't want to go into the cause of the weird events, but this really just reads like a buildup to some other climax scene -- one more logical step towards zero fucks given. Thing is, it follows so directly from the pattern you've set up, it comes off bland. Also, possibly because this is the one section that isn't about interpersonal relationships collapsing, it feels disconnected and tepid. The universe stops giving a gently caress; the end. Nothing learned, the trajectory hasn't altered from the start, and I'm not really terrified/chilled by the premise any longer.
Minor stuff: there's a number of places where the use of language feels awkward or repetitive, and not in an intentional way.
a tepid gulf of vacuum.
The 'X of Y' construct here interrupts the natural rhythm of the sentence. I suggest a rephrase.
My hand was still in hers but it felt inert, felt like a rubber glove taken off
Good metaphor, but the reuse of 'felt' within 3 words irritates me. Perhaps just cut the second 'felt'; I don't think it's necessary for rhythm.
I could see the old woman she was going to be walking inside her.
I'm assuming you added 'walking' here to call back to the previous sentence, but the final "walking inside her" phrase reads awkwardly. I suggest rephrasing it.
Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 00:38 on Dec 22, 2016
|# ¿ Dec 22, 2016 00:34|
Beef-Actual, this is Beef, requesting a flash rule, over.
Beef Two, this is Beef Actual. A sausage is an important plot element in your story. Over and out.
|# ¿ Dec 22, 2016 23:34|
The time to sign up has passed.
You now have 48 hours to deliver your presents. We judges will, most likely, hope that you kept the receipt.
The following people have confirmed word bounties:
Chili: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2, +100 words & +?? words
Flerp: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2, +100 words & +?? words
Sebmojo: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +?? words
Thranguy: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +?? words
BeefSupreme: Bounty 1: +100 words
Boaz-Joachim: Bounty 1: +100 words
Mrenda: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +?? words
Ceighk: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +?? words
If I missed you, speak up. Otherwise, if your name is not on this list (and/or edited into the prompt post), your word limit remains at 1000 words.
Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 00:27 on Dec 25, 2016
|# ¿ Dec 24, 2016 08:03|
OK, I read "1000 words base" as 1000 words minimum. Should I just remove my 1000+ word story?
No. Treat your failure like a plate of soggy green beans: eat it, and learn for the future. (Learn to read the OP, that is.)
|# ¿ Dec 25, 2016 00:26|
Word Bounty #2 Results
I probably should've expected what I got when I requested that writers draw things. Don't quit your day jobs, people.
By judge fiat, Thranguy and Ceighk receive the full 100 words. All others, 50.
Therefore, the word bounty tables stand as follows:
Chili: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2, +100 words & +50 words (+150 total, 1150w limit)
Flerp: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2, +100 words & +50 words (+150 total, 1150w limit
Sebmojo: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +50 words (+150 total, 1150w limit)
Thranguy: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +100 words (+200 total, 1200w limit)
BeefSupreme: Bounty 1: +100 words (1100w limit)
Boaz-Joachim: Bounty 1: +100 words (1100w limit)
Mrenda: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +50 words (+150 total, 1150w limit)
Ceighk: Bounty 1 & Bounty 2: +100 words & +100 words (+200 total, 1200w limit)
|# ¿ Dec 25, 2016 01:53|
Christmas to Forget
This appears to be a typo. Actual wordcount is 1150 according to Google Docs.
|# ¿ Dec 25, 2016 07:49|
Christmas is over, subs are closed!
With the floor bedewed in wrapping paper, crawl safe into your beds and sleep off the goose and turkey, safe in the knowledge that you shall be judged as harshly as your mean old Aunt Sally and hated with all the power of an eggnog hangover.
|# ¿ Dec 26, 2016 08:01|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 19:16|
TD CCXXIX: The War, on Christmas -- Results
I suppose it makes sense, in retrospect. The signs are all there. The prompt itself; the ubiquity of fake snow; Fallout 4 being at the top of the Steam charts. I'd hoped hoped that we'd get more than a bunch of postapoc vignettes, but in the end that's what so many of you gave us, like ugly ill-fitting socks that I'll stick in the back of my drawer and only take out when I've been too lazy to do laundry for weeks on end.
There were other problems. Unwarranted verbosity. Talking heads shouting exposition at one another. Vagueness. One story was the exemplar of these crimes, and for them we order ThirdEmperor to be nailed upon a cross, left at the crossroads of Loserville, and be named beggar-prince of that place.
Nearly as bad, we dishonorably mention the Father, the Son and The Unholy Ghost for delivering a rambling muddle that spends far too many words on the mundanity of that most unpleasant of activities (Christmas Shopping) and too few on character or plot.
Few managed to rise to the occasion and bring smiles to the cruel lips of the judges. While not without flaw, sebmojo's weird postapoc story of love between ultramen will take the week's blood crown.
May the rest of you be blessed with horrible hangovers; this week is done.
Crits to follow, tomorrow.
Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Dec 26, 2016
|# ¿ Dec 26, 2016 19:12|