|# ¿ Feb 23, 2016 02:35|
|# ¿ Nov 28, 2020 17:39|
I Really Gotta Pee! (996 words)
I am standing here like an idiot with my dick out. My bodyweight rests on my hand as I lean in front of the urinal. Nothing comes out. The leaky faucet drips for the three hundredth time.
Despite trying thousands of times, I cannot piss anywhere but in my own bathroom.
I walk out into the office. Coworkers cheer as cake is brought out, the lights are low and the candles are bright. Like an idiot, I drink beer after beer after beer. I sing loud and show my best smile. Everything drunkenly blurs, it is dark out, and I need to get home. I try the bathroom one more time. My bladder aches. It is full and supple and filled with liquid like a ripe melon. Another sixty drips of the sink and I still cannot piss.
Everyone is gone and I pull out my phone to call an Uber. I punch in my passcode, the battery icon is red. The phone goes black. I want to scream into the air. I caught a glimpse of my last text. My roommate has a date tonight.
I waddle towards the train station like a fat duck.
There is a man in front of me buying a ticket. He opens his wallet quickly and closes it just as fast. He walks away like he is lost, he mumbles something about the wrong train station as he nervously laughs.
I buy my ticket and board the train moments later. It is fifty-nine seconds late.
At this point I wonder if it is possible to die from not peeing. I stand, thinking it will make me want to pee less. The pressure is too intense, so I sit, maybe that will help. I tighten my knees inward and clutch my fingernails into my palms. I am sure everyone is quietly thanking me for doing the opposite of manspreading.
The train stops and power shuts off. Neon city colors barely peek through the thick train. Passengers turn their cheeks in odd directions, looking for the source of inconvenience. My eyes adjust to the darkness. Many passengers sigh, others roll their eyes, they whisper and text and call.
I am currently in piss-hell and this train has no bathroom.
We are suspended several stories into the air above moving cars. People look up at us from the streets below. I can hear honking, yelling, and idle noises of a living city. No one is helping.
There’s an old man impatiently clutching his cane looking especially nervous. I think I hear sirens in the distance, maybe we shall soon be saved.
But the pain is too much, and I am three blocks away from home.
I walk towards the back of the train and I trip over the man’s cane. His sunglasses fall down his face and he glares at me. His money drops from the upturned hat in his lap as I race away and apologize. He drops to his knees and begins to gather the loose pile of money. I exit through the back.
Adrenaline rushes through me so powerfully that when I open the door I expect chilling winds to whip through my hair. Instead I am met with a calm and boring night. People watch me from below. I look at the tracks and where the train lays on them. I feel it. No matter how much the pangs hit me, I must get home to complete the deed.
There is a maintenance ladder that leads down to the streets. I jump towards it and shimmy along the side of the tracks, avoiding contacting anything that looks dangerous. People point their cameras and fingers at me. As I am halfway down the climb. I see people looking out of the train as well.
“What are you, crazy?!” a man yells.
“No, I just really have to pee!” I respond.
I jump from the last rung onto the sidewalk. People tell me where the closest restroom is, but I shove and I push and I elbow and I shoulder until they are behind me. Almost home.
When I see my apartment building, the pressure grows immense inside me like there’s a bowling ball sitting within my crotch. The fact that I have not pissed my pants by now is both miracle and curse. My kidneys are boiling. My feet are weak rubber.
With my hand between my legs I crabwalk my way inside. I turn the key to the front door and I run upstairs like a tiny, stupid dog. My hands shake as I push my apartment door open.
I hear the shower.
My roommate is getting ready for his date. The bathroom door is locked.
“Let me in, I really have to pee! Seriously, I’m gonna die if you don’t let me in!” I yell.
“Dude, I’m getting ready, just wait 10 goddamn minutes,” responds my roommate.
He is notorious for taking hideously long showers.
I kick the door in but it will not budge. My roommate screams obscenities at me.
It’s too much now.
Closest to the sink is my roommate’s chair, the one he always sits in when he drinks his coffee. I drag it and pull out the three dishes inside. They crash. My roommate yells something inaudible. I stand on the wooden seat and unzip my slacks. My bladder feels as if it is being twisted between heaven and hell. This is the greatest pleasure I have ever felt, and I am also in unmistakable agony. I turn my head and see a woman sitting on the far couch. She watches in horror.
It is two weeks from that night. I am at my job and pissing joyously into the urinal. The fire trucks rescued everyone from the broken train an hour after I had left. I am over my stupid little problem. But now my roommate rarely speaks to me and, when he does, he calls me Sinkpisser.
MEDICINE: Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord, Norway, for carefully collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of containers his patients chose when submitting urine samples. (REFERENCE: "Unyttig om urinprøver," Arvid Vatle, Tidsskift for Den norske laegeforening [The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association], no. 8, March 20, 1999, p. 1178.)
|# ¿ Feb 29, 2016 01:11|
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2016 05:04|
anime was right fucked around with this message at 04:50 on Apr 14, 2016
|# ¿ Mar 14, 2016 03:58|
thunderdome CLXXXIX: knight time
write a story about a knight. not a squire. not a lord. a knight. you dont have to abide by sword and sorcery, just keep things tight and knightly.
also, because knights are full of honor, there are three honorable rules in addition to the other usual ones:
1: there will be no middle of the pack stories this week. honorable people live or die by honor. should you not win or lose, you will be guaranteed either a dishonorable mention or an honorable mention. dont shame your ancestors here folks.
2: killing is not honorable (and predictable and boring). for every character that is murdered in any fashion, or dies in a violent manner, subtract 100 words from your word limit.
3: you will be assigned a CODE OF CHIVALRY that your knight must abide by and must be relevant to the story.
word limit: 1300
no erotica, poems, fanfiction etc etc whatever
signups 4:20PM EDT friday
submission: 4:20AM EDT monday
the order of judgment is home to three powerful thrones and in them sits: anime was right, sparksbloom and sebmojo
valiant and noble defenders of whatever (23):
carl killer miller
anime was right fucked around with this message at 08:52 on Mar 16, 2016
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 03:12|
your knight is sworn to protect all royal house pets.
im in to get my 9th dm
your knight may not work during the three great praying hours of the day.
Alright, let's have a code to abide by. In.
your knight refuses to sleep until their job is complete
Alright this is pretty much one of the things I'm worst at so I'm In.
your knight may not draw a weapon until injured in combat
your knight is a strict vegan and faces consequence of death upon animal product consumption.
your knight must slice off a finger or toe for every loved one they fail.
your knight is chaste.
your knight works only for the highest bidder. all money made is given to a local orphanage.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 03:27|
your knight must abstain from any and all drugs, even ones as minor as caffeine.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 04:03|
your knight has sworn never to tell the truth.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 04:11|
Rise, Sir Jachin
your knight has sworn to follow every order given to him by the king or queen, no matter how ridiculous or impossible it may seem.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 04:56|
Anime is bad. In.
your knight has sworn to obey the laws of an obscure and hated religion
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 05:09|
In with a for science paper week. Just couldn't make that poor ostrich gently caress a dude.
your knight has sworn to respect and protect the flag of their country.
In for the very first time.
your knight has sworn to bring all criminals to court and trial no matter the triviality of the law
Can't pass on a prompt like that. In.
your knight has sworn to never strike a person they deem their lesser.
your knight treats their animal companion as if they are their equal in all aspects of life.
your knight has sworn to never wear shoes again after a certain incident.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 15:35|
IN, let's see how far I can keep my mediocre streak going.
your knight has taken a vow to never let food go to waste.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 19:17|
your knight has sworn an actual bureaucratic oath. they are beholden to the complex nuances of a very strict organization.
|# ¿ Mar 15, 2016 23:38|
your knight is a sworn advocate and protector of an otherwise demonized creature
|# ¿ Mar 16, 2016 08:45|
your knight has sworn to always take the most challenging path in front of them.
|# ¿ Mar 16, 2016 08:47|
to clarify (i pmed this to tyrannoman since he had a question), you're welcome to be a little loose with the prompt:
"just incorporate themes of knightliness. courts, orders, swords, whatever. as long as theres enough things going on that fit the standard trope of a knight, go wild. jedis are knights, batman is a knight. obviously dont write about jedi batman. if you have a biker that wears cool armor and has a pipe instead of a sword and has a guy he calls king or something thats fine!"
i would say to be safe err on like 3 knightly tropes/themes just to be safe. similar to wizard week, I will be grading partially on Knightliness but it's entirely possible to win without scoring high in that department.
|# ¿ Mar 16, 2016 09:17|
your knight has sworn to protect someone from the elements of nature
|# ¿ Mar 16, 2016 16:05|
I'm so gonna regret this. In.
your knight has sworn to a life of peace and never accepts work involving violence.
|# ¿ Mar 17, 2016 00:18|
i was trapped in the sandwich dimension longer than anticipated. signups? they're closed.
|# ¿ Mar 18, 2016 21:33|
this should be obvious but signups are closed.
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2016 15:10|
nothin fancy just some judgment.
carl killer miller
killer of lawyers
gp is the only one who managed to wear boots in this sewer of a week. have fun buddy.
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2016 23:34|
There’s conflict, though your characters are currently their occupations about halfway in. Not terribly bored, but not terribly interested. I’m confused about who is wearing the suit. Are both of them? It’s kind of vague (around the gieger counter sentence). Once the dialogue begins, this is starting to fall apart. Why not send the doctor back to the car? Do radiation suits not cover noses? This isn’t bad so far, but so many little things are slipping through the cracks. Okay, you built tension pretty well and the ending kind of deflated. Buzzkills like this need a final moment of coolness. Also, the dr added nothing to the story and that was kind of important to the prompt.
The Finest Wine
Boo to poetry, I’m guessing you were trying to make a fairy tale here, but man it’s obnoxious to read without pretty pictures. Will DM on principle. Even though regicide is a stupid easy plot, I am enjoying the way it works with a guy who refuses to let anything edible go to waste. Good use of a bland trope. The climax was pretty weak, I thought something clever was going to happen, but the way you handled the ending was cute.
Having a Mare
Backstory backstory backstory. I actually like your protagonist though, I hate the king. Also, you opened up saying their relationship is good but it doesn’t feel that way. Passive voice all around (not in a stylistically good way, just bland). Anyway, there was zero conflict? Just a backstory about why a dude didn’t wear shoes, which was infodumped in a paragraph, along with a poorly described relationship with the king. I mean, I actually found your characters to be characters, but that didn’t carry the otherwise absence of a story.
One More Knight
This is good opening, I get the tone of the story and the mindset of the protagonist. Not incredible, but quickly established goal. This Is fun. And it kind of dropped downhill pretty fast. I mean, this is silly AF, but the characters are… not. I zoomed through towards the end and honestly? The tone was great, you kinda ran with cliché dialogue I think to ham it up, but it just didn’t seem like you were going to throw down the gauntlet and go full dumb. Decent opening, weak middle, funny ending.
Infodump seems a little unnecessary, you def could have handled that in like 3 sentences? Maybe it’ll pay off. Also, lots of telling and not showing independent of that so far. So far I’m not really getting any sense of conflict, and I didn’t really get a feel for George. You definitely could have cut the infodump and lost little with a bit of rephrasing. Honestly? I had trouble following what was going on here. So the peasant corrected George, full of ego or aggravation, and he hit him out of that? But he didn’t seem like he was holding anything back, or had a reason to talk to the peasant again? I’m just confused. Also boy that ending was soggy bread.
'Word at the Gate'
Woo, that’s… a real bad opening. Your dude is punctual, I don’t care? Obviously with something like this you have to play up the boringness or strictness of a character to entertain in some capacity. Okay, he’s inspecting dudes. What are the stakes for doing bad here? Your dude is cardboard, you gotta make something else work. I’m honestly not following the consequences or results of any action happening here and I’m pretty deep in. Actions should lead to something. Not only that, honestly, other than serving a king this poo poo wasn’t too knightly. All around stinker. No resolution, conflict, character, humor, nothing.
Mauka no Makai
The characters here feel a bit more alive than usual. Things are happening, no real story so far, but things are happening and it’s weird enough to like. Ok, they’re going to a place for a reason, what’s that reason? I think I care a little. This is kinda goofy and totally hammy, but at least it’s entertaining sofar. Okay, the metaphor joke paid off real well. The ending kind of sucked though, and they had motivation. This is fun, and almost solid.
Backstory (at least it’s ok backstory tho, I get a feel for your characters) beginning. Once you get into the meat of this story, it’s good. These feel like people, I’m not keen on the live action roleplaying thing as how you talk about knights, and I felt like this was going in a soldier-y direction. The ending was kind of… sad, but it didn’t feel like it tied things up right, mostly because I don’t really know where your character is and what changed because of the fight with Nate, and it’s kind of superfluous. That said, everything else was loving solid. Also, you had the most natural inclusion of your prompt into the actual text so far.
Ugh. Seriously? At least subvert the cliche, don’t make it your title. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a title before, so that’s new. Anyway, sweet fanfiction. There’s like, poo poo happening, the mechanics of your writing feel solid. But… eugh. Also, bad dialogue. Oh and it’s Romeo and Juliet too. Cool. Thanks. lovely plot/clichés/names, everything else was OK. This isn’t the most offensive thing I’ve read, but at least there’s distinct strengths/weaknesses with the piece. Don’t write fanfiction, double-tragedies suck as endings (usually). Also, the opening started off with a relatively funny idea and then got super romancy then super tragedy. Stay on course man, there were definitely more natural endings to work with, and if you had renamed everyone, you might have even HMed? Oh well.
Sooner or Later He Brings Up the Templars)
Ziptying someone to the rear-view mirror and then waiting in the car blocks really strangely in my head. Also, you should have named Coyote faster I feel, would have made the first paragraph a lot less muddy (had to reread it once for certainty). Your characters are kinda doofy, not whole, but way more solid than average this week, I get the feel of actual people from them, for being total criminal weirdos. The conspiracy was fine… except Donald Trump. Ok, except for chicken-nugget ninjastar, I think you baaaaarely threaded the needle on stupid idiot poo poo and ancient magic talky-sword. This was entertaining and I actually like how the conspiracy theory stuff worked into magic-sword-junk.
A Lying Prayer
“Colors fill in the scars on his face.” Love this sentence, setting is good and we have a character. Solid start.
In a highly conversational piece, this was a decent way of handling attention. I wanted to know why Karen was lying and why she stayed. It was cute and touching and it felt nice. I actually read this to the end without too much interruption, and I think the sword encounter towards the middle was hard to follow, and not too much happened, but overall for what it is, it was good. It made me feel things and had some nice sentences and the characters felt real. I did wish there was a bit more context
This was weird because… poo poo happened? I really don’t care for how things were phrased, but it had things happen. I don’t understand why this is a story within a story, it doesn’t serve a purpose, at all, and invites tons of telling with zero showing. Overall, I think this isn’t the worst thing I’ve read this week because things actually happened and I understood them, but the choices you made served nothing, and also the ending was just… bad. Like, it resolved things, but I didn’t understand why or how. “We won, happily ever after” pays no service to the words before it.
give a little
“Sarg had lunged forward and grabbed Fello by the shirt collar. He didn’t say anything; the point of his sword did all the talking for him. Fello got the point.” Somehow you made an obvious and old joke funny, so please enjoy me liking it. I did not like the dialogue preceding it though.
This is some pretty dumb post apoc but I am a sucker for lovely and fun post apoc so good job. Hooray, with have a story like halfway through. I don’t like your protagonist too much but oh well. He’s got a clear mission. This is at least clean. I got towards the end, the goony tone was ehh (pigfucker, twigganberries etc). Cartoonishly dumb post apoc though, and the plot/characters worked so this isn’t awful, and you did a real good job handling setting.
Hey you hit me hard and fast with conflict and motivation? Woah. What craziness is this? This is crazy and dumb and stupid and poo poo’s happening so good job. Anyway, this was goofy and silly but the way the ending worked was really confusing. I’m guessing she trapped the dreameater in her waking trip and then came off the high which killed it? IDK. I was enjoying this until it sort of ended. I don’t think this idea works too well in a short story. Also, a character died? and you broke the word limit? I guess ambiguity gets a pass (since it happened in space bike yazukas too)
The Feudal Struggles of Boyhood
IDK who I am rooting for here so far and I’m pretty deep in. I’m not sure who is talking. With three characters in a scene, be more blatant on who says something. You gotta treat it like a script. Dude, again with the who says what and does what. Just use “said” and then write a separate paragraph for the action with names, especially with new characters. This is frustrating imo. Holy poo poo now I don’t even know what’s going on. How do you open that well and work into this. Who bowed? Randy? Aaaa.
Things got clearer in the middle again, and there’s conflict now, so that’s good.
“ “Sir Randy.”
The silence in the no-man’s land between them almost crackled with electricity.
“You really think you can take on all of the other lords? They elected King Allen for a reason.” “
And this one should be one paragraph so not to break up who is speaking since you dropped names again. Aaaaa.
The ending was surprisingly okay, and you definitely needed to like, sell the consequence of the shoulder pop. Like, show me it hurt, or whatever. It just kinda ended there.
This is like my most hated story because it almost does things and fucks them all up. That said, there was actual plot, even if the characters were paper thin, and your opening was actually solid.
Sir Runcel the Rat
Maybe I’m an idiot but I’m really not seeing your prompt appear anywhere in this story or have any relevance at all. Your grammar is… bad. Lots of tense shifting, sentences aren’t broken up, dialogue isn’t formatted in a really interesting manner. There was a thin plot and conflict, but I really am not seeing how the beginning connects to the end here. Are these two different people? If not, why did he mistake them? If so, why do they seem nothing alike? I’m kinda lost tbh…
Hey cool fast conflict and antagonists with personality. Hooray? Good things. I read this from start to finish, and I think this story wasn’t too.. strong? Like, nothing really powerful happened and I kinda breezed through it, but I liked it, and I think there was a bit too much telling given how not super interesting the dialogue was. I did literally go “aww” at the end though.
|# ¿ Mar 21, 2016 23:38|
this week is not a good example for anything bc it was exceptionally poor and it had a dumb gimmick rule regarding HMs/DMs. flerps story would not even have come close to an HM in another week and possibly even DMed. he only got that on account of being above median quality in my opinion, but by the narrowest of margins.
|# ¿ Mar 23, 2016 16:44|
in this like guiness
|# ¿ Mar 29, 2016 03:37|
In-Putt (500 words)
“Oh no, you got another promotion, that really sucks dude,” said Cassie, her voice stale. She pulled down at the bottom of her oversized hoodie.
A quick breeze disturbed Jed’s unruly auburn hair. A line formed behind him starting with a surly man and his young boy, the only unhappy one on course at Family Fun Golf.
Jed took a shot. It narrowly missed the windmill blade and landed in the hole.
“Like I said, been due since last quarter,” said Jed.
“And like I said, you got tunnel vision dude,” said Cassie.
“Can you blame me? I’m goal oriented, so sayeth the man with the tie. I can pivot table like a…”
“Chief. Next hole,” Cassie said. She pointed at the antiquated stereotype; feathers, hatchet and all. “Ice cream place is gonna close with your pace.”
“They should make me the executive officer of excel. Excelutive officer? That’s a word, right?”
“Is my last name Mirriam?” Cassie said. She took her shot through a snaking path around the statue. “Just think about who you beat out for the promotion. Maybe they helped you and you didn’t realize it.”
“You think I really want to know though? The best man got the job as far as I’m concerned.”
“What if your coworker’s barely feeding their kids, huh?”
“Look Cass, I don’t f-“ Jed noticed the father growing red in face and clutching his boy’s shoulder. “Farting know. It’s a competition.”
Jed hurried his putt.
The next hole had a lion with a ramp into its open mouth, a chute came out of its butt.
“But you’ve got a swing handicap is what I’m saying. Plus, you’re like the whitest dude on the planet. You could jump into a vat of regular golf balls no one would find you. Like camouflage dude,” said Cassie.
“Oh c’mon, you think that mattered? My department is almost all golf and balls.”
“Hey, it’s your car. Think I can hit it? Might knock off that dumb little Tesla logo,” said Cassie, pointing her club toward the parking lot. “Look, your life is as breezy as tonight, just be a little more cognitive about it is all. That’s an actual word from the actual dictionary.”
“Okay Mirriam. What’s the score now?” asked Jed after his putt.
“23 you, 25 me.”
Last hole, a color-faded castle. Cassie took her game-ending shot.
“But it’s all your handle choke, try not cheating this time you-” asked Cassie. She turned her head to see the father with clenched teeth. His club bent in silent fury. “Meanieface.”
Jed, about to swing, looked at his grip. He lifted his hands off metal and onto the handle. He took four awkward swings.
“You reign supreme in the art of putt, my queen,” said Jed.
As they dropped off their clubs they heard a loud grunt and a loud smack against glass, followed by a child’s sobs.
“Think that’s your bonus out the window?” asked Cassie. “Also, get me a cone, mint chip.”
|# ¿ Apr 4, 2016 00:22|
in with a flash
|# ¿ Apr 5, 2016 09:28|
Ain’t No Girl Like Me (1127 words) The Wrong Child
I haven’t said a word to her, but everything feels alright when I stand next to Annie. The music is oppressive, the chords jarring, and Zach’s voice stings in the ear. It’s too loud to talk over.
Rat Hole is the sort of venue you can judge entirely by its name. I’m leaning beneath graffiti and we’re arm’s length away between two disparate sofas. My thigh is against the corduroy one with a torn up cushion, it’s orange and out of place even here. Annie’s next to a sleek leather one, brand new, but it smells a little off; I don’t know where they got it, some rich person probably dumped it on the street. The light above me flickers, signaling imminent demise, but I admire its refusal to go out.
When I was a kid, I’d look outside my window and watch Zach and his now bandmates play at the swings. They teased me because of my short hair and they left me bruised and sometimes bloodied, but it was the names they called me that hurt the most. When I told Mom, she said I should be like the other girls. On those days, I’d bury my face into my pillow and cried until it was damp.
Their set ends and Annie walks up to them, converging with my neighbors-turned-bandmates. She’s loud and animated, her hands moving like leaves on a windy day. She’s made posters for them, brought them cold sodas, and almost-danced to their music in my cul-de-sac. She’s naïve to their nature and it makes me want to sing until my lungs deflate.
Annie begins to leave and the band follows. Zach glares at me. The back-turned welcome sign flaps as they slam the door.
I sit on the leather couch, close one eye, and look into my near-empty beer bottle and ride out my buzz. My set is next.
When I sing, I feel as if everyone looks right through me.
I’m minding my own business in the chip aisle of the 7-Eleven. There’s a Twix bar, alone and discarded. I pick it up. I didn’t want chips anyway. I cough into my hand and eye the lozenges, but I walk right by them.
Zach walks through the door. Even from behind the aisle I can tell it’s him from his meticulous hair. I walk opposite of him until I get to the counter. I pay for the Twix and just as I turn to leave I feel a tap on my shoulder.
The finger is so heavy I swear my boots sink into the floor. My head whips around instinctively, a natural reflex I despise. I look up into Zach’s eyes and he downwardly returns the favor. I step back and slip out. The night is illuminated only through glass windows. The rest of the band is here, all three of them. They’re skyscrapers and their eyes are exit signs the size of billboards.
“Weirdo,” says Ryan.
“Queer,” says Andre.
“Queerdo,” says Zach from behind. His voice like a knife tickling at my neck.
“Leave me the gently caress alone,” I say. My throat is still sore.
Zach shoves my shoulder as he walks by me, causing me to drop my Twix. They get in the car and hit the high beams into my face and I barely hear them laugh underneath the revving of the engine. They’re gone.
I pick up my dropped Twix and rip the wrapper. One of the bars inside is broken.
Mom said I was wrong. Not because I lied, but rather she really wished I had. Our argument ended when I slammed the front door and tossed on my bomber jacket.
It’s that calm sort of autumn night where the trees whisper at the hint of breeze and the leaves crackle at faint suggestions. It’s rudely interrupted by guitar wailing from Zach’s garage. As I walk to 7-Eleven I see Annie hanging out with them again.
I turn. I stop. The band stops.
“Hey loser, where’s your ticket?” says Zach.
“Where’s yours? Noise pollution is a fineable offense”, I say.
“I’d say ‘gently caress you’ to that but I ain’t no girl,” says Zach.
I look at Annie and smile.
“I wouldn’t even if you were,” I say to Zach. “Hey. I got a proposal for you. Lemme try out for your band, backup singer. It’ll be fun.”
I mean really, what’s another trip to the emergency room?
Zach and friends place their aural assault weapons down. Annie leans against a wooden picket fence and her eyes skirt between me and Zach.
I inhale as I walk into familiar chaos. The air is crisp and smells of smoke and cider.
The next few minutes are a blur. A series of photographs ingrained in my head forever. Every time I blink there’s a fist or an elbow. Their faces become one and many, twisted caricatures of teeth and eyes dancing between mocking and madness. There are fingers on my skull and they’re heavier than ever before. Zach’s fingernails pierce my scalp and I squirm.
But it stops when Annie screams profanity from her gut and through the filter of her soul. Her finger is a dagger-like, she points it accusatorily at Zach and the band.
I’ve got a bloodied nose and a twisted ankle and my heart is on fire and I cry and I cry and I cry not because my face hurts but because I’m in goddamn love.
A soft hand wraps around my wrist. She lifts me up. I wrap my arm around her shoulder as I beam bloody. I can’t wait for mom to argue with the insurance company about this one.
Annie brings out two cans of Sprite from her kitchen and sits next to me on her comfortable beige sofa. She presses blotched up paper towels against my face and asks me how long they’ve been like that. I tell her all but the words they call me, and why my mom wishes I wasn’t an only child. We talk about music, coffee, and life. She laughs and promises never to hang out with Zach again. I’m so happy that I sing her a song with my rattled voice, and when I do, I feel as if she looks right through me. I think she knows something. I have to say it.
For a minute it’s like we’re alone in the universe until the crickets decide to wake up.
The words spill out of me wet and weepy. She puts her palm on my knuckles and takes in a deep breath.
It doesn’t hurt when Annie says, in that one way, she doesn’t like me.
But what really matters is she still does.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2016 23:41|
ty 4 tha crit
|# ¿ Apr 12, 2016 21:19|
Preface: I was pretty tired (read, 3 hours of sleep and after 7 hours of work) when I judged and these are a lot grumpier than I usually am for what wasn’t that awful of a week. I think all but the winning entry had some sort of pretty core problem. You got an idiot who can’t handle subtlety on his worst day. That said, many of these issues were brought up by the other judges so this preface is probably worthless. BTW these were mostly written during reading unless I breezed through your story so pretty much any comment is around a point where I got frustrated, bored, or snapped out of your story.
YOU MADE ME DO THIS
First part: Really not really getting any sort of spark with these characters even if there’s some clear motivation. They just sort of feel like disassociated lumps. Finally got interested after getting 1/3 in with the petting zoo hook.
Should have ended the convo at “That turkey is twerking”. That’s the joke. Adding commentary to the funny part is bad. Much like youtube celebrities. Turking was not the punchline.
Anyway this made me laugh and it was stupid. So so so incredibly stupid (and so Eurovision). I was pretty distant from it all, dialogue needs work, seemed like a bit too much telling and not showing going on at the beginning.
I like these words but so far they’re going nowhere and I’m pretty far in! Also, WTF is with that cutoff? “he main cafeteria” was that an interruption or was “he main cafeteria” a real phrase because that makes no sense in any context so I’m guessing it was a cutoff in which case just write the whole word I’m just assuming this is a typo tho. Okay further down again you do the ellipses interruption DON’T DO THAT USE A DASH. If you use the ellipses it feels like the sentence is fading in already so you don’t need to cut off the beginning of the word unless it’s a harsh cut anyway this made me angry because its stupid don’t do it. Anyway I liked the little blurbs but holy poo poo nothing happened and I don’t understand why she’s fading in and out and basically I hate everything about this besides the blurby nice things which were fun and cute to read. This is mostly nice writing devoid of much context or plot, though the character sort of works, barely. Just like, work on structure or something because you can clearly write a sentence (despite my one lengthy nitpick which wasn’t that influential on my decision to put this low). Again, the biggest sin here was a complete and utter lack of resolution or story to speak of, no real point A to point B.
The Final Logs of Doctor Omega
This person is a character with a motivation, not amazing but I’m surprised I worked through your technobabble coherently so good job there since I’m easily confused and angered. I don’t get why The Moment is a person and I hate this name for a person because I’m a goon. Why are the moment and Fafnir fighting? Because of the orb? Or is there another reason? IDK. This is weird. This guy is just watching stuff now and it’s kinda boring. “The monster”? Again, the nebulous nature of sci-fi is you have to overexplain everything just a little bit. Not a lot. Just enough. This is too foreign to understand imo. The ending uhhhhhh, I mean, okay, sure, but I thought the orb destroying thing was way less emotionally impactful and the protag didn’t feel upset about being tiny really? Was that the goal? I thought the motivation was fix being tiny I guess but that didn’t’ seem to be the case towards the end. Not really digging this and there wasn’t enough ham to grab me. I expected this to work in a totally different direction from the otherwise decent opening. A shame.
Looking for Paradise
Lots of setting not a lot happening but I have good pictures in my brain thank you and there is a mystery hung above my head with the ritual (I wanna know what it is) but other than that ehh? Could be better. Character pretty bland.
Would would would would don’t say would. They did or they didn’t unless something happened more than once or there’s a condition which wasn’t presented.
More passive language aaa quit it. No reason to use it here. This story already lacks bite.
Names help sell interpersonal relationships btw. Again, there’s a lot of things here I think are fine choices when done for a reason but none of this feels like it was done for a reason. Passive language can be used to disarm a sentence or give it length to build. Would is best served for conditional reasons (“whenever we stopped john would say he had to pee”) but can often be omitted. Masking names can create mystery or because a character doesn’t know them. Use these things intelligently.
Anyway, I’m not following the ending and I read this twice? Like, okay, the lieutenant wanted to end the rituals? Was there a reason? What was the sin here that made the weird god angry? Why did she wait until the murder ritual started? If she hated the god or whatever, was it because she saved the lady? That really didn’t feel like it was sold well. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Things happened without a justification for them as far as I can tell. Really liked this story otherwise which is a shame… I think like, maybe a sentence or two got cut somewhere, or you were being WAAAAAAAAAY too subtle because this was ALMOST something.
It’s Not The Dark That Kills You
Opening two paragraphs. Orange through the treelines: this is very confusing. I have no idea if they’re inside or outside, since they’re in a cellar? Maybe? I’m guessing inside, how does a treeline affect something here. Are the trees in the cellar? Is it through a window? (I’ve never seen a cellar staircase with a window before ever…) Bleh.
Soil, so, outside? IM MORE CONFUSED.
I legit cannot block this. Making poo poo up in my head now.
Good way of naturally introducing twins.
Okay, once this gets going, it’s actually a good little thing. Something insightful about two characters and what makes them different, I guess one is “evil” but not really, when the other one is paranoid he’ll actually be evil. That’s cute. I liked it. Holy poo poo that beginning was rough though. Less ambiguity there and this would have been a winner IMO?
The Dance, the Dress, their Dream, and the Sun
This is starting okay, I think, but now I’m confused on who I’m following. Best to stick to one POV even in 3rd person. Practice what from a book? How do you take images of a growing woman and turn them into a wave? 3rd paragraph is wonky AF.
Oh, ballet. Make that more clear earlier, sillyface.
And you totally took an interesting sounding concept and just like.. what? Practicing dance and making a dress for a competition, draining the power of the sun to… hope the sun rises again? What did they do with it. Ughhhhhhhh this was legit great too and it deflated into nothing. They payoff should be something tangible??? They worked hard and felt more together because of it but like…… they worked hard towards a completely different goal? Sigh.
This was cute and there was like, a conflict which was pretty dialogue driven, and then… wow. That ending was out of nowhere. Was the riddle supposed to foreshadow this because seriously I am not solving a riddle to get a story sorry. Anyway uh, this should have ended completely differently but was good until then. If you really wanted to make that part of the story you really should have alluded to it. Actually, this is like if you took the core elements of a Benny the Snake story and polished them and made them more subtle. Buncha stupid punks spouting dumb dialogue (that I liked in this case) and ends in death.
I liked this more than the other judges because I’m a weirdo, but basically to me this is the best example of setting up two core elements of a story and having a very good ending (solving the riddle later and getting a different perspective on the bully after besting them) and instead the riddle was the song lyrics and the ending was just like… came outta nowhere.
GJ, Thunderdome. Never change.
Medusa or the Lotus Eaters
Not sure which perspective im supposed to be in here. Johns? Guessing John. That was kinda hard to figure out, but eh, not the worst sin this week. Okay, this was really confusing until I made it halfway through. I thought Melissa was dead, then wasn’t (but not in a hey this is unnatural sort of way) until the dreaming part. Once I hit that mark it became a lot less confusing, but you really could have made this a lot more flashy if you made that difference clearer, I think? Like, don’t get me wrong, this is probably the first attempt at subtlety that may have worked so far this week.
“The car rolled through town. It was an uneventful Sunday until it wasn’t.”
Don’t do this.
Okay, this was probably the best suicide ending I’ve read in a while. I’m PRETTY SURE I’ve like, seen a story like this hit for hit somewhere, that or it’s just an amalgamation of really uncreative things, but poo poo, you pulled it off. A coherent story with actual characters and a laugh out loud moment. GOOD JOB.
This had tonal issues and fixing them, along with the clarity problems at the beginning and maybe alluding a little more to the afterlife and spending a couple more sentences on the ending probably would have made it the clear winner here because it had a lot more to work with than the actual winner at the foundations.
This was a good little thing but it really wasn’t a story, but jesus at least there was nothing stupidly wrong with it. Good job.
So wait, is the bruised girl the little one from before? Why was she called lady then? Or is it a different character if so where did the girl come from? Who’s knocking? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. There’s like two or three missing connections here that would otherwise make this story great. So was it the little girls mom or something? WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE LOOKING FOR HER AND WHY ARE THEY WEREWOLVES JGIDuea90yjgafgjlskdafdsa. This is otherwise fantastic but YALL REALLY NEED TO WORK ON CLARITY THIS WEEK JFC WHEN I READ STORIES TWICE AND CANT FIGURE poo poo OUT YOU ALL GOT PROBLEMS FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS.
This was solid. The middle was a little bit of a drag (barely tho) and the robots were robots in name only (though I’m going to guess this was to buy a fast us vs them sort of situation to spend more time with the characters which is a fine gambit). This hits every beat on rhythm and it’s very well paced, IMO. That said, it’s a bit tonally flat and I felt way more distant and cold on it than other pieces this week. Given that there was nothing outright stupid and I understood everything clearly though and how broken several other stories were you basically won a marathon by not tripping and falling on your face. Congratulations!
anime was right fucked around with this message at 13:12 on Apr 26, 2016
|# ¿ Apr 26, 2016 13:01|
Crits for Week CXCII: The Voices Talking Somewhere in the House
|# ¿ May 19, 2016 14:25|
can i enter on the premise of an anime flash rule only thanks
|# ¿ Jun 3, 2016 03:58|
Your story takes place within the context of the dreaded tournament arc.
man this woulda been my favorite prompt ever if i got this oh well
|# ¿ Jun 4, 2016 05:52|
|# ¿ Jun 12, 2016 07:38|
in because i like this prompt and for no other reason
|# ¿ Jun 21, 2016 11:37|
anime was right – I Really Gotta Pee!
considering my prompt, this is really all i could ask for in a crit, thanks for the crit.
|# ¿ Jul 6, 2016 02:33|
interprompt: weeds (not weed)
|# ¿ Jul 25, 2016 10:23|
how many of your hosed up animals are going to die at the end?
|# ¿ Aug 15, 2016 20:51|
IV – (1181 words)
Outside is a sign signaling the stop of the Q13, which runs every fifteen minutes from 5:15AM to 11:45PM on Tuesdays. Tory peels away from the window with sunken eyes and pulls the IV pole with him towards the bed. From the TV that hangs from the ceiling, the news runs the story of a convict who managed to escape prison with no signs of force. Tory secretly roots for the man before he thinks about where the Q13 goes, he thinks of each corner it stops at. Before he imagines where the line ends, he’s already dreaming.
He rubs his eyes as he sits up in bed, clearing the afterimage of a monster. A dream, he thought. He peels the curtain at the side of the bed to reveal the room’s open door. Cleaner air that fills his nostrils. It stings of chemicals. He sees nurse Abi behind the station in the hall. She turns her head and smiles as she picks at her cafeteria chicken and, after a moment of fussiness, puts down her half-eaten meal before walking into Tory’s room. She replaces the bags on his IV pole, showing off her bitten fingernails. Before she leaves, she scratches Tory’s head. It’s dull and soothing.
Tory bounces in and out of sleep. In his dreams the afterimage grows more tangible. It’s dark, of few teeth, and has many protrusions. But it is no nightmare.
Two dozen empty chairs surround assorted blocks and dolls in the play room on the opposite side of the hall. He missed recess, where there would be cheering. Instead there are low heads and hopeful smiles. It smells like a place that hasn’t been nuked with chemicals, like his sparse living room after a good mopping. Tory sees over the heads of the other children, which makes it easier to bear when they ignore him. He plays with an action figure attempting to shoot down an invisible monster that has invaded an alphabet block city. Unknown and unseen. Only the plastic hero within his fingers knows the truth.
He feels something large looming behind him. But when he turns his head, it’s gone.
Holding the action figure and the monster, he looks out the door and sees no one in the station. He drags his IV pole and it squeaks beside him, slowing him down. He turns his head out towards the exit. Tory slowly makes his way towards it, but he feels a hand press down on his shoulder. He looks down to see blunted fingernails and then he hears a tsk in the corner of his ear.
Tory blinks awake from an odd dream. A monster stands above his bed. It has the inklings of a face and many arms that lead into small appendages shaped like tools. One a key and another a sharp wedge like the end of a crowbar. It reminds him of the old Swiss army knife his dad gave him three days before he left. The monster moves like a paranoid spider even when still, with its circle of eyes around the top of its head darting around, never looking in the same place at once. It tries to smile with the few teeth it has, Tory knows it’s trying to tell him there will be no harm. Tory knows it cannot speak.
He names it Swiss.
Tory wonders if this is how he’s taken. He’s been in the hospital so long that he accepted it months ago. Swiss moves towards the window and spreads the digits of its lone hand among its many arms and points towards the bus stop with its key-shaped appendage. It worms and shifts. Tory looks outside towards the sign and points. They nod their heads together.
Tory almost loses his grip in Swiss’ oily mane. For once, Tory is thankful he has no hair to flop into his face.
Without the IV in him, everything feels smaller.
Swiss slides around a corner and reorients its legs before darting towards the door. It runs a card shaped appendage by a plastic lock and the light flips green with a click. Tory wraps his hands around Swiss’ neck as they tumble down the stairs. They make it to the front of the lobby, where Abi chases out of an elevator. She’s out of breath, but manages to shout something. It’s almost a word, but not quite. The tone in her voice compels Tory to turn his head back at her. He shakes his head and frowns, trying to inform her wordlessly that he knows the consequences.
Swiss presses the wheelchair button and stumbles outside. The fresh light dizzies everything to a blur. Tory blinks a few times and sees blue above, and green and gray below, all of it a blur.
A lone security guard almost catches up to Swiss before leaping towards the creature. Instead of grasping onto the rearmost limb, the guard’s arms miss and he falls on his face. Tory chuckles.
Finally, they make it to the bus stop where Swiss lets Tory off. He leans against the sign and holds himself up, then he takes a deep breath. It smells like freshly cut grass. His knees wobble as he waits. In the distance he sees the bus coming towards him until he can finally read the marquee: Q13 to Castle Road. The bus drives up and the doors part. The guard is closing distance. Before he does, Tory steps forward. Before his foot reaches that first tall step, he is swallowed by dizziness. It drags him like a current into darkness. He feels the impact, and then, the abyss.
Tory shifts in his bed to ignore the many people above and around him. They filter out, leaving only nurse Abi. Her eyes are wet and her cheekbones are more pronounced from the glisten of her coffe-stained teeth. When she speaks, it merely rings in Tory’s ear. Before she turns and leaves, she gives him a hug with her cooling arms. She steps by a security guard that remains in the door, one with a red scuff on his face. He folds his arms, blocking the doorway and facing the nurses’ station. Tory scoots out to the window with his IV in. He was so close, he thinks. He looks towards the sign, but it’s gone now. Was that all a dream?
He looks toward the IV and he punched the bag weakly, it response it swings. The news on the TV changes stories to the escaped convict from a few days ago. They found him at his wife’s house. The arrest video plays next, in it the convict is smiling.
Tory, frustrated, peels back the curtain to open up the room a little. To make it a bit freer. The drag of plastic ring against metal pole makes Tory wince. Returning his eyes to where they were before, he sees Swiss hunching over and hiding. It offers the prize contained within its many arms forward as consolation.
Tory takes the Q13 bus sign, torn free.
|# ¿ Aug 21, 2016 23:56|
fjgj dot gif
|# ¿ Aug 22, 2016 04:10|
|# ¿ Nov 28, 2020 17:39|
im gonna edit this post'
you loving monster
|# ¿ Aug 23, 2016 01:48|