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Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


In, and I'll take the janitor

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Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Incomplete crits for Week 141: https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Take this newbie's advice with a grain of salt, because noob

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Broenheim posted:

oh hey that's cool i guess, good thing u guys are putting a lot work in as judges trying to help everyone out its just uhhhh


huh

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/c...ts.php?week=180

HUH


but it's alright, youre just following the time honored tradition of being lazy poo poo judges

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/c...ts.php?week=179

i guess the judges had new year resolutions to be loving garbage. great work so far guys.

Or maybe the website is loving LYING THE BASTARD

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


New Year, New Life
Word count: 1279

The buzzer rang throughout Domegrassi’s halls, letting the students gathered on the lawns and in the hallways know that first period would be beginning in but a few minutes. The sun shone brightly on the junior high’s mostly bland outer walls, nice weather for the first day of the new school year. Even as students started to pass him in the hallways that were gaudily decorated with banners and glittery plastic stars to celebrate day one, Alex Trejo, dragging a rolling trash can filled with soapy water and an old mop behind him, wondered how long it would take before a kid greeted him as -

“Mornin’, badass Mr. Trejo!” Alex smirked, amused by the nickname. The kids seemed to like a lot of the adults who worked at the school who weren’t teachers or administrators, and plenty of his coworkers had also been given “cool” nicknames by the kids. Alex was more than willing to play the part. “Better get goin’ to class! C’mon! Badass Mr. Trejo don’t take kindly to tardy kids!” It was the part of being a janitor that Alex liked; the kids were lively and made being a janitor a little less dull.

However, Alex’s amusement faded as he passed the classroom marked 23, and his thoughts turned darker. Nearby, he heard a couple of eighth-graders talking.

“Hey, who do you think is gonna teach here? I heard Mrs. Trejo’s not here anymore.”

“Dunno. New teach probably won’t be as cool as Mrs. Trejo. I wonder why she left? She was my favorite teacher ever!”

The two girls continued on, entering a classroom two doors down, and Mr. Trejo sighed sadly, as he knew the answer to that question. Those girls had seemed so oblivious to tragedy, a luxury that Alex himself didn’t have.

“Mr. Trejo, hey!”

A familiar voice called to him, snapping him from his thoughts. Alex looked in front of him and saw little Danny, a wiry boy with fiery red hair and freckles who had once been his own son’s best friend. Had.

“Oh, hey Danny. Ready for the seventh grade?” Alex asked kindly, trying to hide the sadness in his voice, even though he swore he saw the same emotion shining in the boy’s eyes.

“I think so,” Danny said after an awkward pause. “Anyways, gotta go! My dad says hi!” And there Danny went as well. Alex hadn’t seen Danny ever since that horrible day just a couple of months ago. The child seemed to be holding up alright, but Alex hoped it wasn’t just an act, a mask like Alex himself portrayed. He shuddered at the worrisome thought before heading to the custodial storage closet to prepare supplies.

Outside of cleaning up some pee that had been splattered on the bathroom floor by a boy who just couldn’t quite make it to the toilet, the morning was mostly uneventful, considering the kids had only just returned, and so, by the time his shift ended when lunch rolled around, Alex hadn’t had enough work to truly keep him occupied. He wished it had; letting his memories take over was agonizing.

*****

Alex returned that evening, several hours after school had ended, after the sun had just gone down. Even though he had been a janitor working a split shift at Domegrassi for several years already, it seemed no less unusual than the first time he had done it. Tonight, he had the task of training a new recruit, a middle-aged man by the name of Charlie. From the looks of it, Charlie likely had some mental impairment, though Alex didn’t dare ask what it was; he didn’t want to lose his new coworker just because he said something potentially horrible about a disability that he knew nothing about and the other man got offended. “So, in here we’ve got our storage closet,” Alex explained. “All of our cleaning supplies are in here. The first thing we’re going to do is - “

“What’s this?” Charlie drawled, and Alex noticed he was looking at a certain newspaper clipping that had been weighted down by a book.

“Charlie, pay attention.”

‘Domegrassi teacher and son killed… in drunk driving accident? That’s… sad,” Charlie concluded lamely. “Jolene and Johnny Trejo. Hey, that’s your name!”

Alex sighed, raking his fingers across his face. “Yes, they’re my wife and son. Well, they were. Anyways, we gotta -”

“Oh, I’m real sorry. You must be so sad.”

Alex groaned, “You have no idea, man, anyways, let’s-”

“Ast… Astron… Astraw… Astronomeeee?” Charlie was now reading the cover of the book that the newspaper had been under.

“Yes, astronomy, good. Now pay attention to -”

“What’s that?”

“Astronomy? It’s the study of… stars and space and such.”

“Whoa… sounds cool. You like it?”

Alex shrugged. “Yeah, I mean, I wanted that to be my job when I was younger, but that’s not what we need -”

“Why no job?” Charlie interrupted again, and Alex sighed with frustration.

“It takes a lot of school, and I just couldn’t handle it.”

“Try again!” The slower man suggested, the oblivious, chirpy nature of his voice enough to make Alex cringe just a little.

“I can’t just try again. I’m in my thirties, I can’t go back to school.”

Charlie scoffed. “My mom, is, like, a hundred years older than you, and she’s gonna do college next week!”

Alex raised an eyebrow. “Wha?”

“Yeah! She wants to be a.. uh.. nu.. nurse! So she’s going to school.”

“That’s, um…” Alex had no response to that, so he moved on. “Charlie, we gotta pay attention to our job. The first thing I’m going to show you is how to mop the floors. You followin’?”

“Gotcha, boss.”

*****

The next two hours moved quickly as Alex took up the task of training the newbie. To his credit, Charlie didn’t seem to mind the toil, much unlike the whiner the school had tried to hire last year who quit after having a hissy fit when a poor girl had the audacity of puking all over his brand new boots. Charlie’s hours were more limited than Alex’s own, so Charlie left after they had mopped most of the floors. Alex still needed to make sure trash cans were emptied and tables were cleared. The first room he went into was the computer lab. He turned on the lights, a trash can in tow, and stared at a computer.

And then he wondered. People older than him going to school? The idea seemed silly, but the prospect was intriguing. He also wondered if Jolene would be displeased with him that he was still a janitor. After all, it was Jolene who had made the exact same suggestion to him on the last day of school last year that Charlie had made to him just a couple hours ago. And Johnny, poor Johnny! What would he think if his father had been so defeated in life that he didn’t aspire to be anything more than a janitor? Hell, Johnny aspired to be a doctor! Johnny would be so ashamed if his father never moved on. Alex left the can in the door as he sat down at a computer and turned it on. The screen flickered warmly at him as it made a cutesy noise at startup.

He opened a browser.

In the address bar, he typed 'http://www.americatowncitycollege.edu' and pressed enter, and waited for the page to load with bated breath.

“Jolene. Johnny,” he whispered quietly, his voice barely above the noise of the computer’s whirring fans. “I’ll make you guys proud, I promise.”

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


I said this already in IRC, but thanks to the judges and Titus for the crits! Titus, the livestream also mentioned potential for a different story to be told, so you're onto something there.

I really wanna work on better interaction between characters. I think that will solidify my entries.

And yes, that bit about his wife telling him to go back to school was a mistake. It was added in later because I thought it fit, and I completely forgot to check it against the rest of the story.

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


In!

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Audio Artifacts of Earth's Final Days
1250 Words

TOP SECRET
DRACA SPACE AGENCY
DOCUMENT 437B2, ANALYSIS OF QUANTUM AUDIO TRANSMISSIONS RECEIVED BY SPACE STATION Z IN 436
SUMMARY: ENCRYPTED AUDIO WAS PICKED UP BY A REMOTE SPACE STATION. AFTER DECODING THE AUDIO AND FINDING THE DIRECTION OF THE SOURCE, WE HAVE FOUND THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TELECOMMUNICATIONS FROM THE HOME WORLD, EARTH, THAT WE HAVE FOUND IN OVER 18 DRACAN YEARS. TRANSCRIPTS FOLLOW.

*****

TRANSMISSION 1. DIRECTED FROM EARTH.

“I’ve done it! I have electricity again, for the first time in five months! I am now keeping an audio record of the events that follow. I am Dr. Arthur Pollard-Chen, and I have revived my laboratory with a novel electricity generator in the year 2543. Our Earth has been all but destroyed. It is a tragedy that could have been prevented, that should have been prevented!”

<Loud thump>

“My colleagues at Tenzine* and myself detected the gamma ray burst more than three years in advance, from a stellar explosion but a few light years away from the direction of Taurus. We presented our findings to the world congress and tried to push for greater advances in defense, but idiot politicians all across the world ignored our warning! Our planetary shields were just barely strong enough to keep the entire planet from being burnt to a crisp, but it appears we are in the midst of a mass extinction event, and my fellow humans have gone completely batshit insane. The Earth may survive this catastrophe, but humanity seems to have no intention of helping the process, as they prefer selfish destruction over cooperative construction. I long for a way off this world, to research space and find alien worlds for as long as my cybernetically-enhanced mind and body will allow me. I will find it.”

<Click>

* “Tenzine” is likely a higher level education facility, one that has the ability to conduct advanced scientific research.

*****

TRANSMISSION 2, RECEIVED 12 DAYS, 5 HOURS AFTER ORIGINAL. TRANSMISSION. DIRECTED FROM EARTH.


“I can’t count the number of times these bloody idiots have tried to kill me. Sometimes they seem more like zombies than human beings! Maybe it’s the loss of technology, maybe it’s the radiation that perhaps only I am immune to, but my fellow men and women seem to be degressing at a rapid rate.”

<Exasperated sigh>

“Without my ferric skin*, someone would have succeeded in killing me by now. But I have had a breakthrough! I infiltrated a top secret facility, abandoned for years, and I was able to use my portable generator to turn on their computers and read their information. I was glad I backed up all of Earth’s languages in my brain before the cloudnet** collapsed, otherwise I would not have deciphered the information. This government apparently found an unusual craft, likely built for space travel, abandoned in a forest several hundred miles away, containing technology they described as not built by any government, perhaps not by any man. This sounds like something I
could possibly use to escape this hellbound world. I must find it!”

<Click>

* We believe that the “ferric skin” mentioned here references to this human either wearing strong iron armor or having infused his own skin with tougher metals.

** Likely an advancement on the “internet” infrastructure that existed at the time of our departure from Earth.

*****

TRANSMISSION 3, RECEIVED 21 DAYS, 2 HOURS AFTER ORIGINAL TRANSMISSION. DIRECTED FROM EARTH.

<Faint mechanical humming>

“This forest is brown and devoid of life, and no deranged man has dared chase me here in this desolation. My nutrient pills have almost ran out, but it doesn’t matter. I have found the spacecraft! It has taken me 3 days to decipher the programming of the ship after I managed to power it up, but it seems to have been built about 250 years ago, a craft that no man would have been able to construct all that time ago. That file was right! Aliens! I saw it had a mission in its database, one of exploring a new world. It was prepared for takeoff, judging by the programs in its databases, the energy sources already on board, and even the devices and nutrients onboard the ship which were meant to sustain any life on the ship for tens, if not hundreds, of years! It seems like aliens lived here with us, and then left us. Can’t blame them.”

<Click. Increased humming>

“This vessel appears to have been left off of the expedition because of a problem with it’s hyperspace drive. Makes sense, since even lightspeed travel is probably too slow for their purposes. I think I can figure out how to get the drive working again in time. ”

<Humming intensifies>

“This ship, it was hidden in such a way that it could not easily be found by man. In fact, it seems like it had a holographic shield setup for a couple hundred years before its power ran out. It’s no wonder it took so long for anyone to find it! But I believe I am almost on track to get this thing in space! Finally, I can leave this world of ruin, and be the last Earthling explorer to ever live!”

<Click>

*****

TRANSMISSION 4, RECEIVED 4 MONTHS, 4 DAYS AFTER ORIGINAL TRANSMISSION. DIRECTED FROM A 0.32 DEGREE NEGATIVE INCLINE FROM EARTH.

“I am well beyond the reach of the solar system. I believe I have repaired the ship’s hyperdrive, but I will not be able to enter hyperspace until I have gained more momentum and energy from its propulsion. It’s almost there. I believe this ship can break into hyperspace in a matter of weeks. But I have heard communications from Earth’s direction. I could hear them… aliens! They knew that Earth’s defenses had failed. They claimed the planet for themselves. What they wish to do with it, I don’t know. Maybe they’re the ones who left this ship on Earth, but their communication seemed different than what I’ve encountered on this craft.

“... I am sending these transmissions with a device that takes advantage of quantum computing for faster than lightspeed communication, a device I perfected months before the gamma ray apocalypse. My goal is to find the makers of this ship. I want to see if they are a civilization that values science, one that values their environment. I wish to join them.

“...If you can hear me… and you are the ones who crafted this ship to leave Earth… I will say that I come in peace! Unlike other men, I am a man of progression, science and discovery! To those who built this fine ship… I hope our paths cross in the future.”

<Click>

*****

TRANSMISSION #4 WAS THE FINAL TRANSMISSION. WE HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THE HOME WORLD HAS BEEN INVADED, AND HUMANS HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT. THE PERSON WHO SENT THESE TRANSMISSIONS HAD SOMEHOW PERFECTED TECHNOLOGY THAT THE REST OF MANKIND WAS LIKELY A MILLENNIUM AWAY FROM INVENTING, PERHAPS EVEN ON LEVEL WITH OUR OWN TECHNOLOGY. WE HAVE DEEMED THAT THIS HUMAN IS NOT A THREAT TO DRACA, AND OUR STATIONS ARE SCANNING THE SKY TO SEE IF WE CAN HEAR MORE SIGNALS FROM THIS MAN, APPARENTLY THE LAST LIVING HUMAN. WE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ALIENS THAT INVADED EARTH. IF WE FIND THIS DR. ARTHUR POLLARD-CHEN, IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT WE CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THESE ALIENS, TO FIND OUT IF THEY ARE A POTENTIAL THREAT TO DRACA.

SIGNED RESPECTFULLY,
G. ALBRUS, INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR, DRACA SPACE AGENCY.
END OF DOCUMENT

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


In, and please assign me a prompt as I am too much of a babby to pick for myself...

Maybe if I'm lucky I'll write something halfway competent this week

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


My apologies for this, but my week has been pretty busy, and I have some stuff to do this weekend as well, so I'm going to be dropping out of this week. I just don't really have enough downtime to really sit down and write for this week.

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


gently caress it, I'm in to torture you all with bad writing

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Deliver Me From Fireflies
1065 words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMwImTbn_HE Owl City - “Fireflies”

Another restless night. For hours I have been trying to sleep, but nothing happens. After more tossing and turning and trying to squeeze my eyes shut to induce sleep, I look around my room. My alarm clock reads 2:29 AM, the bright red digitized numbers burning my eyes that haven’t been rested in days, or maybe weeks at this point. I had always had sleeping problems, but the insomnia has never been like this. My life has been affected horribly. I had been recently employed by the local supermarket, but I was fired just three days ago because I kept walking into walls I swore were doors. My insomnia had gotten so bad, that the doctor he had seen just the day before - who honestly looked more like a minotaur than an actual human - told me that my insomnia was causing me to hallucinate. He gave me medicine and sent me on my way into the night (though that, too, was confusing as I could have sworn it was only 2 in the afternoon when I left thee office).

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the medicine is working. “Maybe it needs more time to do its thing,” I whisper as I toss and turn again, squeezing my eyes shut and hoping something comes of it. The hallucinations are disturbing. The day I had been fired, I could have sworn that my boss was a Lovecraftian monster, tentacles threatening to eat both me and my little dog final paycheck, too. When I went home that same day, I thought my garage was the Grand Canyon. I thought I was falling hundreds of feet to my death, and had been very confused when I realized I was inside my house, laying flat on the floor and sweating profusely. Going to and from the doctor, I thought that I was riding a screaming, flaming pegasus. It all seems so real… but it can’t be… right?

Small pricks of light dance on my closed eyelids, startling me from my sleep attempt, though I soon feel excitement. Finally, I had fallen asleep and woken up with the sun! I open my eyes, and the glowing red numbers on the alarm clock burn my eyes and only serve to disappoint me. 2:37 AM, it said. As I stare at the time with mournful red eyes, I see those tiny flickers of light in my periphery once again. I turn my head and body, aching with exhaustion, so that I can see the window.

Fireflies, a whole swarm of them flying just outside my window. It looks like there’s many thousands of them. I really should not be surprised by their presence; after all, I’d seen them buzzing about for the past week or so now. I try to close my eyes again, but the lightning bugs luminate my eyelids to the point of distraction. I roll out of bed, almost falling to the floor out of sheer, exhausted clumsiness. They are beckoning me. They wish to see me outside. I hear them speak. They wish to hug me. I throw on something simple to wear to go outside; a robe, probably, though I can’t quite make out what I had just thrown over myself to wear. My body still aching, I walk towards the front door, the groaning of the wood beneath my feet matched by my own exhausted moaning.

I open the door, and walk outside. My first step onto the grass feels weightless, and I wonder if I am flying. It feels like a dream. Am I dreaming? I feel like I can’t… feel anything other than those thousands of lightning bugs, who, in their swarming, are now flying into me and bumping into my body, their collisions feeling like tiny pricks on my skin. Is this what fireflies should feel like? I remember chasing them as a kid, but I don’t remember them feeling like this… and the fireflies are getting more painful as they keep running into me. The fireflies’ hugs hurt, each one scorching me. Is my skin about to burn off?

I moan. The opening of my mouth grants entrance to several fireflies. My lungs begin to combust. I walk more, and I see something brighter beyond the fireflies:

Sunrise.

“It’s not even 3 AM,” I say aloud, and immediately feel the fire straining my voice. But still I speak. “Why is the sun rising?”

The newscast said something about this… right? Wait, that’s it! A rather boarish looking weatherman had reported that there was something very, very wrong. “The Earth will soon stop spinning. There will be no more change of seasons in just a month.” I can hear the voice in my head, prophesizing doom. “We had a good run, I guess,” I remember saying to the television. Looking back on it now, I no longer think that any of it actually happened. Had I even seen the doctor? The doctor told me I was hallucinating, but had he even been real? Do I see anything real anymore?

The sunrise disappears from view, occluded again by fireflies.

All I hear is buzzing.

All I see are their flickers of light.

All I feel is them burning me, inside and out.

In the swarm, I think I see red numbers. I can barely read them. 2:57, it looks like.

My apparent dream world shifts around me. The numbers disappear, and the lights of the fireflies burn out one at a time. I'm somehow able to count each one as their lights died. After one thousand lights had flickered out, I can no longer move. Another two thousand gone, I can no longer hear or smell, their buzzing gone. I count until there are no more. The number, over ten thousand.

Now, all my senses are numb. All I feel is tired. But now I can feel it… rest. I am going to rest. I am certain the fireflies helped me, saved me from the horror my body had been inflicting on me for far too long. I am relieved as a now unfamiliar restful feeling starts to overtake me.

Soon, rest is my everything. The fireflies must have taken me somewhere far away from home not just to rest, but to rest forever.

No more hallucinations.

No more pain.

No more life.

I must be in limbo.

I welcome the peace.

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


gently caress me, in

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


I'm in, so you can boil me mash me stick me in a stew

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


No story here. Muse death by heat, basically. Thanks, lovely California summers!

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski



Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


curlingiron posted:

INTERPROMPT: Potatomen versus the Yam People. 150 words

Just Like the Movies
69 words, 420 characters

Hollywood producer Cannabis Lector blazed a glare at the hopeful director across from him.

"Potatomen versus the Yam People?! The market is already oversaturated with lovely 'franchise versus franchise' movies. And what's more, this script has 5732 pages in it! That's like a week-long movie! You're a terrible person for thinking of this and you will never work in Hollywood if my name isn't Cassius Clay. And it's not."

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Sitting Here posted:

This but unironically because everyone knows TD is an elaborate pretext for talking about cats and sharing pictures of cats

A cat picture is worth a thousand words
1000 words

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


In with Reese's Puffs

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


I'm in, because if I keep ramming my head against the dome, eventually I'll write a story!

Also flash me

Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Spooky thought: Totally just realized this week makes Rosa Flores fanfiction acceptable.

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Blue Wher
Apr 27, 2010

The Smart Baseball Dargon Sez:

"Baseball is chaos!"

His bat is signed by Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski


Gotta try to not fail at some point. In with Get a Pet.

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