Assembled for Your Convenience: The Thunderdome Archive!
Once upon a time, two Thunderdome veterans who shared a fondness for records, a fascination with statistics, and a touch of OCD conceived the greatest project ever imagined: the Thunderdome Archive, where everyone's literary shame could be displayed forever. crabrock bought a domain and used his mastery of code to make all his visions come true. Kaishai assisted him by trawling the threads for prompts, stories, and relevant .gifs. Together they continue to fight the crime that is data loss.
The Archive's purpose is to store the over five million words of creative effluvium written for TD to date. If you want to make use of it to the fullest degree (which includes reading the stories), you'll need an account, which you can request through the link at the top left of the page.
Note that accounts are open to participants only. If you're desperate to read about Vorpal Drones and vambraces at sea without having to search the threads, you must first shed blood.
We have graphs!
We have lists and rankings!
We have mad libs!
(Please read "Rural Rentboys," Thunderdome's most beloved classic, to understand 2016teen and to reach true spiritual enlightenment.)
And much, much more! Visit the Thunderdome Archive today!
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 05:35 on Dec 31, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 4, 2016 21:29|
|# ¿ Dec 4, 2023 23:15|
Thunderbrawls of 2016
Thunderbrawl 164 by Mercedes: Sitting Here vs. Broenheim vs. Entenzahn vs. Schneider Heim vs. klapman vs. Fuschia tude Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 165 by Sitting Here: Thranguy vs. spectres of autism Round 1 Thranguy Thunderbrawl 166 by crabrock: C7ty1 vs. Broenheim Round 1 C7ty1 Thunderbrawl 167 by Ironic Twist: God Over Djinn vs. SurreptitiousMuffin Round 1 God Over Djinn Thunderbrawl 168 by Broenheim: Sitting Here vs. Grizzled Patriarch Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 169 by sebmojo: spectres of autism vs. flerp Round 1 spectres of autism Thunderbrawl 170 by crabrock: Sitting Here vs. Ironic Twist Round 1 Ironic Twist Thunderbrawl 171 by sebmojo: Carl Killer Miller vs. newtestleper Round 1 newtestleper Thunderbrawl 172 by flerp: spectres of autism vs. Djeser Round 1 Djeser Thunderbrawl 173 by Sitting Here: sebmojo vs. SurreptitiousMuffin Round 1 sebmojo Thunderbrawl 174 by newtestleper: Carl Killer Miller vs. sebmojo Round 1 sebmojo Thunderbrawl 175 by sebmojo: flerp vs. Titus82 Round 1 flerp Thunderbrawl 176 by Entenzahn: Jitzu_the_Monk vs. sparksbloom Round 1 Jitzu_the_Monk Thunderbrawl 177 by Ironic Twist: Entenzahn vs. Sitting Here Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 178 by SurreptitiousMuffin: The Saddest Rhino vs. Thranguy Round 1 Thranguy Thunderbrawl 179 by SurreptitiousMuffin: sebmojo vs. newtestleper Round 1 newtestleper Thunderbrawl 180 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Ironic Twist vs. dmboogie Round 1 dmboogie Thunderbrawl 181 by SurreptitiousMuffin: spectres of autism vs. Maugrim Round 1 spectres of autism Thunderbrawl 182 by SurreptitiousMuffin: curlingiron vs. Titus82 Round 1 curlingiron (by default) Thunderbrawl 183 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Oxxidation vs. Entenzahn Round 1 Entenzahn Thunderbrawl 184 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Morning Bell vs. Dr. Kloctopussy Round 1 Morning Bell Thunderbrawl 185 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Carl Killer Miller vs. sparksbloom Round 1 sparksbloom Thunderbrawl 186 by flerp: Obliterati vs. Screaming Idiot Round 1 Screaming Idiot Thunderbrawl 187 by Boaz-Jachim: Chili vs. ZeBourgeoisie Round 1 Neither Thunderbrawl 188 by sebmojo: Black Griffon vs. newtestleper Round 1 Black Griffon (by default) Thunderbrawl 189 by SurreptitiousMuffin: curlingiron vs. Entenzahn Round 1 curlingiron Thunderbrawl 190 by SurreptitiousMuffin: newtestleper vs. dmboogie Round 1 newtestleper Thunderbrawl 191 by SurreptitiousMuffin: spectres of autism vs. Morning Bell Round 1 spectres of autism Thunderbrawl 192 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Thranguy vs. sparksbloom Round 1 Thranguy Thunderbrawl 193 by Ironic Twist: God Over Djinn vs. flerp Round 1 flerp Thunderbrawl 194 by SurreptitiousMuffin: curlingiron vs. spectres of autism Round 1 spectres of autism Thunderbrawl 195 by SurreptitiousMuffin: newtestleper vs. Thranguy vs. Sitting Here Round 1 Thranguy Thunderbrawl 196 by flerp: spectres of autism vs. God Over Djinn Round 1 God Over Djinn Thunderbrawl 197 by sebmojo: Tyrannosaurus vs. Jonked Round 1 Tyrannosaurus Thunderbrawl 198 by SurreptitiousMuffin: Thranguy vs. PALE SPECTRES Round 1 PALE SPECTRES Thunderbrawl 199 by crabrock: sebmojo vs. Entenzahn Round 1 sebmojo Thunderbrawl 200 by Chili: Jitzu_the_Monk vs. curlingiron Round 1 curlingiron Thunderbrawl 201 by curlingiron: PALE SPECTRES vs. Sitting Here Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 202 by Chili: Electric Owl vs. Djeser Round 1 Neither Thunderbrawl 203 by Entenzahn and Mercedes: flerp vs. Sitting Here Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 204 by Sitting Here: Mercedes vs. Entenzahn Round 1 Entenzahn Thunderbrawl 205 by SurreptitiousMuffin: llamaguccii vs. Maigius Round 1 llamaguccii (by default) Thunderbrawl 206 by flerp: Chili vs. sebmojo Round 1 sebmojo Thunderbrawl 207 by Chili: BeefSupreme vs. Erogenous Beef Round 1 Erogenous Beef Thunderbrawl 208 by crabrock: Mrenda vs. Hawklad Round 1 Mrenda Thunderbrawl 209 by Chairchucker: sebmojo vs. Sitting Here Round 1 Sitting Here Thunderbrawl 210 by Sitting Here: Djeser vs. Boaz-Jachim Round 1 Boaz-Jachim Thunderbrawl 211 by flerp: SkaAndScreenplays vs. sebmojo Round 1 SkaAndScreenplays
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 13:51 on Jan 4, 2017
|# ¿ Jan 4, 2016 21:30|
Starting in 2015teen, various Thunderdome participants turned their time, their voices, their questionable intelligence, and their ever-dubious charisma toward the task of discussing rounds recently past. These are the links to follow if you want to hear goons talk about you, assuming your writing is crappy enough to distinguish itself in the fecal pile.
You may also hear Ironic Twist singing like Justin Timberlake. Don't say you weren't warned.
Episode Recappers Week 156: LET'S GET hosed UP ON LOVE Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser Week 157: BOW BEFORE THE BUZZSAW OF PROGRESS Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 158: LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Djeser Week 159: SINNERS ORGY Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 160: Spin the wheel! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 161: Negative Exponents Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 36: Polishing Turds -- A retrospective special! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino Week 162: The best of the worst and the worst of the best Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino Week 163: YOUR STUPID poo poo BELONGS IN A MUSEUM Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 164: I Shouldn't Have Eaten That Souvlaki Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 165: Back to School Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 166: Comings and Goings Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 167: Black Sunshine Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 168: She Stole My Wallet and My Heart Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 169: Thunderdome o' Bedlam Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 170: Cities & Kaiju Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 171: The Honorable THUNDERDOME CLXXI Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 172: Thunderdome Startup Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 173: Pilgrim's Progress Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 174: Ladles and Jellyspoons Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 175: Speels of Magic Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 176: Florida Man and/or Woman Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 125: Thunderdome is Coming to Town -- Our sparkly past! SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood Week 177: Sparkly Mermen 2: Electric Merman Boogaloo SH, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, Grizzled Patriarch, and Bad Seafood Week 178: I'm not mad, just disappointed Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 179: Strange Logs Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 180: Maybe I'm a Maze Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 181: We like bloodsports and we don't care who knows! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 182: Domegrassi Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and Bad Seafood Week 183: Sorry Dad, I Was Late To The Riots Sitting Here, Djeser, Kaishai, and crabrock Week 184: The 2015teen Great White Elephant Prompt Exchange Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 98: Music of the Night -- Songs of another decade Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 185: Music of the Night, Vol. II Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 186: Giving away prizes for doing f'd-up things Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 187: Lost In Translation Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 188: Insomniac Olympics Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 189: knight time Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 190: Three-Course Tale Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 191: We Talk Good Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 192: Really Entertaining Minific Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 30: We're 30 / Time to get dirty -- A magical time Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 193: the worst week Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 40: Poor Richard's Thundervision -- Let the ESC begin! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 144: Doming Lasha Tumbai -- Classic performances Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 194: Only Mr. God Knows Why Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 195: Inverse World Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 196: Molten Copper vs. Thunderdome Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 197: Stories of Powerful Ambition & Poor Impulse Control Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 198: Buddy Stuff Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 199: EVERYBODY KNOWS poo poo'S hosed Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 1: Man Agonizes over Potatoes -- A dirty, painful birth Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo Week 200: Taters Gonna tate Fuckers Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and sebmojo Week 201: Old Russian Joke Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 202: THUNDER-O-S! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 203: MYSTERY SOLVING TEENS Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 204: Hate Week Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 205: the book of forgotten names Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 206: WHIZZ! Bang! POW! Thunderdome! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 207: Bottle Your Rage Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 208: Upper-Class Tweet of the Year Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 209: WHAT DO YOU GET A DOME THAT HAS EVERYTHING?? Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 210: Crit Ketchup Week Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 211: Next-Best Friend Week Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 212: Vice Week Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 213: Punked Out Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 214: THUNDERDOME ALL-STAR TRIBUTE Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Kaishai, and The Saddest Rhino Week 215: El sueño de la razón produce el Thunderdome Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 216: Historical Redemption (or: Sin, Lizzie) Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and Kaishai Week 217: SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS, ATTACK! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 218: Duel Nature Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 219: cos wer goffik Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 152: Rhymes with Red, White, and Blue -- Voidmart opens! Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 220: Enter the Voidmart Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 221: The Escape of the Bad Words. Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 123: Ceci N'est Pas une Nouvelle -- Surreal history Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and Bad Seafood Week 222: Deliver Us From Bad Prompting Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, Kaishai, and Bad Seafood Week 223: Dear Thunderdome Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 224: I Wanna Dome You Like An Animal Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 225: Pick a Century Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 226: Viking Wisdom Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Week 227: It was a Dark and Stormy Night.... Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and Kaishai Special Features! The Top Ten poo poo Scenes of Thunderdome Sitting Here, Kaishai, Ironic Twist, and Djeser
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 21:49 on Jan 6, 2017
|# ¿ Jan 4, 2016 23:45|
Do this through PM if you can! Otherwise, hunt me down on IRC and give me a Pastebin or GoogleDocs link with BBcode in place. I'll post the stories without names attached so that Merc can experience your word vomit in innocence.
|# ¿ Jan 5, 2016 19:24|
Please help I am locked in a tank full of sea water and they won't stop throwing glitter on me and injecting my butt with fish blood
Less typing! More dumbbell curls!
|# ¿ Jan 5, 2016 19:46|
Anonymous Mercbrawl Entry
Something’s Waiting For Us
Derek’s standing over me with these wide eyes and tight lips. My check is burning.
“What the gently caress?” he says, but the words slip through the air and I don’t really hear them. There’s a ringing, and I’m on the cold tiles, and something in my jaw’s cracked and aching.
He keeps staring at me and there’s something in his eyes, like it’s bleeding or something. He feels all red. But then he blinks a couple times and the red goes away and he sighs. He bends over and offers me his hand.
“Get up,” he says. I shake my head and he rolls his eyes. He pulls his hand away and turns away from me.
I’m still on the cold tile, looking up at the ceiling. His back’s all scratched up and there’s a little trickle of blood flowing down and making a small puddle on the white floor.
“Jesus, get up. I didn’t even hit you that hard,” he said, but that’s a lie. He came running in with those wide eyes and clenched fist. I asked what’s wrong. Then, that fist became a blur and I was down to the ground, back cracking against the tile.
“You’re an rear end in a top hat,” he says. This time he doesn’t laugh. He doesn’t turn around and smile. He believes it this time.
“Surprised it took you so long,” I say as I pull myself up a bit. I got a bit of a smirk, hoping he turns around and sees it, but he doesn’t. He’s just looking out to somewhere I can’t see and his fist is still clenched.
“You knew didn’t you. That it was a set up?”
“So that’s why you didn’t go.”
He turns around and looks at me. He takes a step towards and his eyes are strained, like they’re screaming at me.
“Stop,” he says.
“I wanted to go. It’d be easier,” I say.
“Be easier? Getting shot is easier?” He bites down hard and shakes his head.
“We gotta stop sometime.”
“We’d get off easier if we did it on our own.”
He looks down on the floor and his mouth opens like he’s about to laugh but he’s not smiling.
“You?” he says finally, still not looking up.
He looks back at me. Then he reaches over and pulls me up by the collar. I try to smile, but it’s his eyes that make me stop. They twitch and squint and they’re looking right into me and I just can’t bring myself to try and smile and lie.
“It was the only way.”
“You wanted me dead.”
“You wanted me loving dead.”
“gently caress that,” I say. “Be easier to just shot you in your sleep.”
“So then why?”
“It’s the only way you’d stop.”
He lets go of me. He turns away and shakes his head. He keeps quiet.
“You’re gonna die,” I say.
He doesn’t say anything.
“People gotta stop sometimes. We gotta stop.”
“gently caress that.”
I step closer to him and he’s still looking away.
“Could’ve just asked me,” he says.
“Could’ve just left then.”
He turns back to me but his shoulders are slouched and his eyes are looking through me. “Yeah, you could.”
“You know I can’t.”
“gently caress,” he says. “You’re an idiot.”
“I couldn’t have just left.”
“Why the gently caress not?”
“‘Cause you’re gonna die.”
He shakes his head and looks down at the floor. “Just, stop,” he says. “I don’t loving need you.”
I reached over and tried to grab onto his shoulder, but he pushes my hand away. He walks away, and I try to say something, but there’s nothing in my throat except empty breaths.
The door slams shut and I reach for my phone. I dial once. Hung up immediately. Again. Same thing. I drop on the couch and close my eyes.
He’s gonna die.
My finger’s hovering over call again.
It’s gonna be one stray bullet that rips through his chest, flies between his ribs, and strikes him right in the heart. He’ll fall over and that’ll be it before he even hits the ground. His eyes will be wide and even if I shout and shout or do anything, he’ll still be gone and dead.
“We’re not gonna die,” he always said before we went out. I thought he said it for me. He said that whenever I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.
He said it because he believed it. Even with the blood dripping from his back he still believes it.
He’s not gonna die.
That’s what I want to say. Yet, whenever I looked at him, I knew he was wrong. Whenever he got a broken arm, or got a gash on his leg, he would be smiling. He wasn’t going to die and he knew that. Even when he gets shot in the head, he’s still gonna believe that. Even when he’s falling into hell, he’ll be grinning, saying he can’t die.
But now he’s gone. He’s out there, and there’s a bullet somewhere that’ll tear through him and leave him dead on the ground. And I can’t do poo poo. Never could.
We’re both gonna die. There’s something out there for both of us. We both know that.
I hope he’s ready ‘cause I sure as hell ain’t.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 02:55|
Anonymous Mercbrawl Entry
The Forgotten Lakeside (1998 words)
We loved stories more than anything. Our days by the lake could have been as boring and still as the waters, but we got bored. We looked at what stirred beneath; invisible currents carrying strange creatures to stranger places. The lake might have been large as a square mile if you'd stretched it, but we filled it with dreams till it was fit to bursting.
The sun would rise, we'd sit, and we'd spend the whole day talking nonsense about rainbow fish and kind gods until the moon rested over the waters. Really, what got us telling stories wasn't some wanderlust; just the opposite. Other kids would explore the forest and return home cut and bruised with wide smiles, and we'd send them off with a wave every morning.
We saw the cuts before the smiles, that's all. Late at night we could hear their cries of pain as they were tended to by the camp nurses, which gave birth to some kind of sympathy born of laziness. We didn't want to go out and get hurt, since that'd just make more work for the nurses. As if two more kids with skinned knees or bruised shins would have made a difference.
For the longest time, neither of us changed. The other kids grew closer, tougher. They stopped waving at us before their morning adventures, and we followed suit soon after. Again and again the distance between us and them grew, until finally the summer came to an end and it was time to go home.
Most people promise to write, seeing it as nothing more than one last bit of the parting, not something to follow up on. The two of us took it seriously enough for a blood oath. We cut our thumbs after some whining, and pressed them together. We liked that kind of thing. Like two brothers going to war, promising to see eachother again; that's how we felt.
Every week like clockwork, i'd get a letter in the mail, and there'd be a new story inside. I'd read it, laugh, and send my own. Every story would inevitably be about something that happened in our lives, whether it was good or bad. I sent him a particularly fiery one about a she-devil who ruled like a tyrant over a desert, and was opposed only by a single downtrodden knight.
Fall flew into winter, which crawled into spring. Summer knocked at the door, and camp came once again. I stood in the half-familiar cabin, standing in the corner. I hardly even recognized my friend – he looked way cooler, more assured, like he came straight out of one of our stories. He laughed it off and clapped me on the back.
Both of us loved telling stories, and I could see it coming a mile away. Every day those same kids from a year before would go out to the forest, but he wouldn't even spare them a glance. I waited for the betrayal with bated breath, and it never came. They'd talk to him in the halls, and he'd be polite, but the moment he saw me he'd shrug them off. The summer passed again, and we promised to write. He cut his thumb, I cut mine. Again with the oath.
The stories kept coming, and i'd send mine in turn. His only became more grand, their depth growing with every attempt, while mine were tepid and weak. Every time his letter came I thought about tearing it to bits, and wallowing in my mediocrity. Instead, i'd counter every story of heroism and triumph with vague mutterings about the cruelty of fate. He'd always tell me he enjoyed them, that they made him think, but every time I looked at them all I saw was an angry kid whining alone.
Every year, we'd meet again at camp. Seven, eight, nine, ten, without any hint of betrayal. By the end i'd grown quiet, only listening to his stories even when he tried to get me to join in. The others had no idea why he spent time with me, and I could see deep in his eyes that he felt the same way.
One fall evening, tragedy finally turned its head towards me. My father died alone on a bed while I wrote a stupid story a room away without noticing a thing. Plenty of people told me it wasn't my fault, and they were right. Knowing I wasn't at fault didn't keep me from wanting to lay blame. So instead of forcing it down the throats of other people, I threw guilt at my own feet and drank from it like a dog from its bowl.
I stopped writing, but his stories still came like clockwork. Quiet little mockeries of my pain trussed up in golden armor and brilliant heroes. Always the same story, just a little better than before. I read them every week. He got so much out of a simple plot that it made me jealous; and that, in the end, was the last straw.
While my stories were bad, they were different every time. A fresh start each time, like somebody turning the ignition of many different cars and wondering why he wasn't getting anywhere. A failure, a failure, every turn another brick wall, and I would scream in the night, and my mother would come to comfort me, and I'd scream at her too.
It was such a stupid thing to go nuts over. Every time somebody asked me what was wrong, I'd just blame it on my dad's death, and I'd get away scot free. It was a little bit much to admit that it was because my friend was better at writing than I was. That self awareness did come. But by then it was all hosed anyway.
Everything hurt. My mom started to scream back, and she'd follow it with a smack. Then it was two smacks. A fist. First for good reason, then for none at all, she'd beat me. Every laugh I heard was at my expense. I'd react to every accidental touch like I would a punch, flinching away and balling myself up as best I could. I was a wreck.
People love good stories, but they want to hear them from the beginning. Somebody blundering in with a story already halfway finished and cliché at best earned themselves nothing better than pity. Often they'd get plenty worse. School let out, summer came around, and my mother decided that big boys don't go to summer camp.
Rather than a simple summer by the lake, I found myself sat in a room with my dad's old dumbbells. She'd lock me in for an hour a day, telling me to get stronger. It was weird, but boredom won out, and eventually I did as she asked. When school came around again, i'd grown stronger in body and weaker in mind.
She spotted how I looked every time I got one of those letters. They might have been the only thing keeping me on the tracks, but she didn't know or care about that. She wanted to be a hero, and I didn't have the guts to tell her how poo poo of a job she did, so I let her tear one of his stories apart right before my eyes. It hurt more than I cared to admit, but I'd grown hard like coal. I clenched my teeth and said nothing.
I fell in with a bad crowd. We were only fourteen, fifteen, so it wasn't anything more than petty vandalism and stolen booze. But we got older real quick. Soon, mom didn't even need to lock me in; I'd go in that room myself, pushing it every single day, so that I wouldn't have to worry about being powerless ever again.
Another typical story, with an obvious ending. My friend had perfected the story of the hero, and I became just as practised at self-defeat. Mom got too deep into the booze one of those nights near graduation and raised a fist against me. I'd just come home from a party, tired and drunk myself, and in the end I turned her face to mulch.
She breathed a while after that thanks to a tube slipped between her swollen gums and broken teeth, but it wasn't enough to keep her alive. Matricide at the age of sixteen. All I could think was that it was lucky I was an only child. My friends didn't visit me, but that was no surprise.
The bed in the cell was cold, but at least I was kept in solitary. It gave me time to look my sins in the eye, to become a better person, and I used it for sleep instead. The guards were fine with letting me languish. They hated me on general principle, but it was a detached sort of hatred. They didn't hit me and I hated talking anyway, so the way I saw it I'd finally won some peace.
I could get books once in a while. Strict content controls made sure I couldn't drown in my own misery, and soon I found myself reading stupid fantasies. The same he'd write, and about as good. I'd scoff, sure, and i'd whine to myself about every line, but I didn't have anything better to do. I exhausted the library of everything I could read.
And so I sat, all my entertainment finished and years yet to spend. And the letters came again. No greeting, no explanation, just another story. Another hero and another slain monster, a happy ending. Just a few pages, but it was something I didn't have to return. A week later I got another, again, and again, and again.
One day, I asked for a pen and some paper. My stories were still childish, still drivel, but they helped a little bit. I'd fill the time by writing and then copying my own stories. Carefully reading them over, reading the words aloud, sometimes writing four or more drafts before they met my standards. I got a bit better over time.
We never talked about the elephant in the room, and didn't even address eachother by name. I was Prisoner #8343, and he was someone from the past. That indirect relationship is what saved my life. Years passed and the stories piled up.
They let me loose after ten long years. All I had to my name was my inheritance, and every cent of it filled me with shame. I got a lovely apartment and a library card with what scraps my mother had left me, and I wrote freelance for a few sites. It wasn't nearly enough to make any real money, but it staved off that zero balance for just a while longer. I sent another story to my friend from my new address, and he replied back.
Just once, no story. Just login information to a website. I typed it in carefully, my mind used to tedium from years of imprisonment. One long password later and I found myself staring at a list of every story i'd ever written, with dollar values attached. Twenty for some, hundreds for others, all of them waiting to be claimed. Just had to put in my email and bank account information, and thankfully I was stupid enough to do just that.
Not long after, he sent me an email. “If you were alone, nobody would bother reading them.” Not really a condemnation, and a long ways from praise. I sat there staring at the tiny little monitor for a long time. Then I got up, walked home, and sat down with pen and pencil. I wrote another story. Whether it was good or bad, I didn't even care. Stupid kids wanted stupid stories. If they didn't get those stories, they'd live them.
A villain's nothing more than a stupid hero. I just hoped my words could make at least one kid smarter.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 02:57|
Anonymous Mercbrawl Entry
Some problems are only solved by blowing them up, or maybe not but you blow them up anyway
The humans had taken up formation in front of their precious temple, parading around in their stupid purple uniforms and turning their dumb purple rifles in a way that made it seem like they were trying to propel themselves off the battlefield, which would have probably been better for an inferior race that didn’t ascend to Goregoria after death. Rotgash pounded his chest and roared. Behind him, next to him, all around him, a green wave of muscle went through the same motions.
The humans marched forward in an orderly fashion.
It was hard not to laugh. Most orcs failed the task, but the few that lumbered ahead, grim with determination to add more heads to their Gore Count, pulled the rest with them, until the silly purple humans were marching straight into a green wave of impending pain.
The armies met at shot’s length. Laser pulsed through the air, met with lead and fireworks. Rotgash aimed his rocket launcher and pulled the trigger. The ground beneath him exploded. He flew upwards, and then right at the humans, at at least triple supersonic speed. He could read it off their lips:
“What the gently caress.”
That’s right humans. What. The. gently caress.
Shrugging off the laser that dug through his shoulder, Rotgash slammed into the pathetic humans like an orbital bombardment. Some orcs had added so many heads to their Gore Count that they prefered to make a show off the same old killings, dance and swerve through the human masses like they were beautiful ballerinas of death, but not Rotgash. He never got bored of the same old killings. He just killed. A lot. With his hands, and with his blade and sometimes by slamming humans into each other. That never got old.
He didn’t realize how eager he’d been until he was deep inside the enemy army, surrounded by levelled rifles.
The humans said something, but he didn’t speak their dumb, complicated language. It was probably something like, “Finally we have caught Rotgash, bane of humanity.” But they wouldn’t catch him. He’d go out with a bang. His hand hovered close to his grenade belt.
He closed his eyes.
Before he could pull the pins, earth exploded upwards all around him, taking humans with it, evaporating them in a shower of guts. Rotgash bathed in their remains, meaning he probably wouldn’t have to shower in blood for at least another twenty years now, not that he’d ever make it that long.
Through the swiveling dust, a smaller figure approached, jagged edges all around. The silhouette turned green, the indiscernible jags into blood-encrusted metal plate, wires connecting the various parts of the goblin’s tiny mech suit.
“Zagg,” Rotgash said.
“Did I have to pull your sorry rear end out of trouble again.” Zagg struck a heroic pose. A laser beam almost took his helmet off. He turned around, the shots from his minigun upsetting the dust motes he blindly fired through.
“I was ready to die,” Rotgash said. “Goregoria would have given me a hero’s welcome!”
“No need to thank me.” The rattle of Zagg’s gun turned to a sputter. Whatever had been in the general direction of his fire was probably a fine mist by now. “Let’s go.”
They left the other greenskins behind. They didn’t need them. The two of them was more than enough. Knives and fists and bombs and guns and a general sense of bravado, they spread the message of greenskin superiority deep behind enemy lines, not that any of the recipients lived to tell the tale.
They had such a blast breaking poo poo that they didn’t even notice when they barraged through the temple’s front door. It was Zagg who first wondered where the sun had gone. He’d always been a thinker.
The temple was dedicated to some dumb human deity, purple banners with eye symbols hanging all over bright brick walls. Who prayed to an eye? Rotgash had two eyes in his face. Did the humans pray to Rotgash too? How stupid. There were a few human soldiers in the entrance room, all of them dressed in purple robes, and none of them armed, which was a poor strategy. The soldiers charged at Rotgash and Zagg, or they tried, but somehow they ended up running the wrong way. They didn’t live long enough to be informed of their many mistakes.
The two greenskins dashed deeper into the temple. Fires were set along the way. They could have also done that on their way back out, but why wait?
At the heart of the temple was a small room with an altar. On top of that altar was some object, but they couldn’t make out what it was because a human had attached himself to it, hugging it like his mother’s teats. His robes looked more expensive than the others, so it must have been the enemy commander.
In Rotgash’s grip, the commander trashed and jittered like a tiny, insignificant fish.
The object on the table was shaped like a cube, one of its corners glistening blue, humming, radiating. It had a certain pull to it, something that, somehow, was precious.
“What’s this?” Rotgash said.
Zagg snuck closer to the object. Rotgash had never seen such an expression on the goblin’s face. Full of awe, as if they’d just told him that he was actually an orc, and eligible to fest in Goregoria.
“I think it’s a Dremerrian power cube,” Zagg said.
“I can make things go boom with this.”
“Oh.” Making things go boom sounded like fun. “I want it.”
“You don’t even know how to use it.”
“But it’s shiny!” Rotgash shook the human. “And I killed the enemy commander.”
“You didn’t kill him y--” There was a crack. “Okay, but it’s not like he was much of a challenge. I saved your life!”
“Fair point, however--” Rotgash threw the human’s corpse at Zagg. The goblin jerked his minigun up just in time to shred the human projectile into fine purply-pink pieces that pathetically slapped against his mech suit. The next thing rushing up to him was Rotgash’s fist.
He dodged just in time. The fist broke clean through the altar behind Zagg, rocking the power cube off its demolished stand. They both went for it, simultaneously grabbing it mid-air, then simultaneously pulling on it, then simultaneously trying to punch each other while simultaneously pulling on the cube. Zagg had the advantage. It was shaped like a nuclear-powered chain-saw arm. He took a swing, but Rotgash bowed out of its way with a grace he’d later be too embarrassed to admit ever having possessed. The orc pulled his own knife. They came to blows. Swing by swing they compressed the air between them, harder and harder until the sheer force of their blows rippled through reality with such a force that it knocked the cube out their hands, and slammed them into their respective ends of the altar room.
They were back on their feet before they’d even finished landing. Rotgash lobbed a set of grenades towards Zagg, who threw his homemade bombs in return, and the few that didn’t fizzle out halfway through collided with the grenades mid-air, explosives scattering all throughout the room.
They lept at each other.
Out on the battlefield, the greenskin alliance had defeated the humans. Captured slaves, bound by their wrists, were forced to clean up the battlefield, pick up the dismembered corpses of the fallen between them and toss them on the fire heap. The greenskins weren’t savages after all.
To everyone’s great dismay, some idiot had set the temple on fire before it could be plundered, or before the temple priests could be ritually sacrificed. The flames ate away at the structure, licked at the banners and occasionally spat out a lone burning human.
Then the ground trembled, and the temple erupted in an explosion. It burst open at the ceiling, spewing fireworks amidst a mushroom cloud. The shockwave sent everyone flying to their butts.
A lonely object twinkled against the bloody sky, then noisily slammed into the ground next to a group of orcs. It was a shiny cube with a blue, pulsating segment at the corner. One of the orcs carefully picked it up, and examined it.
“What’s this?” he said. “It’s shiny.”
“I’ve seen this,” another orc said. He took it in his hands and turned it. “The humans use these for their rituals. Some stupid, uhhh, symbellic.”
“What does that mean?”
“Means it’s a light bulb.”
Means it was trash.
They tossed it on the fire heap.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 02:58|
Anonymous Mercbrawl Entry
From the Grave
The necromancer unleashed his spell at the grave marker. Thorus's sword shimmered from hilt to blade, the mystic energy streaming down through the earth, pulling the corpse of a great warrior back to life. The soil churned, and a worm-eaten hand burst through, regenerating into a semblance of health as the rest of the reanimated corpse followed through.
The necromancer stepped back to admire his handiwork. With the considerable power he had given the corpse, he could have an army with a capable general. As the undead warrior stupidly mulled about, the necromancer turned the page in his tome to recite the final binding rites.
When he looked up, the corpse had its sword in hand, and his vision leaped and tilted up to the sky. I have made a mistake, he thought, comprehending the fatal separation of his head from his body. A barbarian's mind was not to be underestimated...
Thorus impaled the head with his sword for a good measure. Never trust a wizard, the old saying said. He kicked the twitching corpse to the ground, while noting his desolate surroundings.
Not alone, he thought, as the cry of a hundred restless souls resonated in his heartless body. Reaver, his sword, glowed and thrummed, abilities it did not possess in his lifetime. Half-thinking, he thrust it hilt-deep into the ground.
Tendrils of unlife radiated out of his enchanted blade, reaching to those who desperately sought release from their slumber. One by one, the wights burst out of the ground, shambling towards their undead master.
The army brought lost and violent memories back to Thorus. He had been fighting. Fighting alongside Alar, the only warrior his equal. In this very field, they fought against Exidis, Warlord of the North.
Thorus remembered being pierced in the heart, as he shielded Alar with his own body. His ruined mail revealed a hole where his heart had been. So where the hell was Alar? They could be drinking right now--except that Thorus would never get drunk. That didn't matter, as long as they were crushing skulls together again.
The undead warrior picked a direction and walked, its makeshift army shambling behind him.
In the secret chamber behind the throne room lay King Alar's sanctuary. The king lit the torches, illuminating a magnificent battle-axe hanging on the wall. It was perfectly balanced and only he could wield it.
Alar performed his drills, almost reenacting that fateful battle that had cost him Thorus. At the end, he had dealt an overhead slash that split Warlord Exidis into two, as Thorus fell.
He put the axe down, and regarded the statue of Thorus in the middle of the chamber. Thorus paid for this kingdom with his life. A bad deal, in Alar's opinion. He would rather have Thorus at his side as they rode the plains with the wind in their hair.
"What would you have done, friend?" he asked the statue. It was not even a good resemblance--Thorus was nowhere as handsome as the bronze man staring down at him. This one looked like a noble who had never set foot outside his fort, draped in nomadic clothing. And what was that with the abdominal muscles peeking out of the mail? Armor does not work that way.
There was a knock on the hidden door. No, a banging. Mharn's scepter rapped tirelessly on the stone wall. "Your Highness. There is a matter that needs your urgent attention."
"Did I not tell you that court has been adjourned for the day?"
"I've received reports of an undead army making its way into the capital."
"An undead army? Where is their necromancer?" Alar asked. There was always one.
"Reports say they are without a dark wizard," Mharn said, "but they have a fearsome general in their ranks."
Alar opened the chamber, axe in hand. "Summon Sevtar and Valcor to deal with it."
"As you command, sire. I also have another concern."
"Speak freely. I would rather deal with it sooner than later."
"It would be best for the kingdom if you sire an heir. With a queen."
Alar resisted the urge to look at the statue behind him. What would Thorus do in his place? "I feel ill-suited for marriage."
"For the kingdom, your highness," Mharn pressed on. "I suggest you give it some more consideration." Bowing, he left, closing the door behind him.
Alar picked up his axe again, and began his drills anew.
Thorus walked before the line of prisoners, who were kneeling at swordpoint. Some of the faces looked familiar, but they all looked at him with awe and terror.
"Abomination!" Sevtar called out to him. Sevtar, one of the stronger warriors in their old warband. His skill had greatly diminished--Thorus had disarmed him without much of a thought. His undead band had rolled over this city's defenses so easily that it disappointed him.
Thorus stood before him. The gaping wound that Sevtar's spear had given him had all but closed up. Even the scar would be fully gone by the morrow. "Where is Valcor?" he said. Valcor was Sevtar's closest friend, like Alar was to Thorus. Rumor even had it that they shared the same bed, though Thorus was not one to care. A man's worth was measured in the battlefield, and never elsewhere.
Sevtar spat on the ground. "You butchered him! Tore him into two! And yet you taunt me with his death?"
Thorus grinned. "I didn't recognize him. Perhaps he was too weak."
"King Alar will destroy you."
"King Alar? King Alar? Is that what he had fallen to? Protecting these livestock we used to prey on?" His old friend had exchanged him for a crown. A pitiful, jeweled thing! He would have words with him.
"Spare this one and kill the rest," Thorus said, pointing at the prisoner beside Sevtar. "Put him on a horse and send him to the capital. King Alar must know what I did here."
His army began their butcher's work, and Thorus reveled in the screams of the dying. Sevtar looked on in horror as the prisoners turned into wights as they died.
"No. You will join your friend instead." Thorus sheared Sevtar's head off with a single blow. "As I should, too."
Alar rode out of the capital gates to meet his undead friend. He had cobbled together an army from the local militia, the knights of the old orders, and his fellow nomadic warriors. It was barely a fighting force, yet they all stood with their king.
Thorus waited at the foot of the hill, ceding the advantage of high ground. Alar knew it was an invitation to attack, that his friend had a wily plan in mind. The warrior stood head and shoulders over his army of the dead. Some of them carried weapons, few were able to scavenge armor. They waited with a patience that only the dead could have.
"Sire?" Mharn leaned over the side of his horse. Unlike Alar, he was covered head to toe in chain mail.
"Send my steed back. It would be a shame to lose her. Against Thorus, I undoubtedly would."
A squire took the king's horse away. Alar raised his axe, and pointed at the enemy. The king lead the charge himself, the strongest at the tip of the spear. Thorus's army split into a concave formation, with him at the deepest hollow. He unsheathed his sword and met Alar's charge head-on.
The rest of Alar's army came into contact in one mighty clash. The enemy's line bent, but quickly rallied as Thorus roared his challenge. The undead army fought with one mind. Reeling, Alar strove to protect himself from Thorus's counterattack. His friend's undead body seemed to be enchanted with freakish strength. Even Warlord Exidis had not been so strong. He deflected the blade with the twist of his axe.
"You betrayed me," Thorus said. He swung his sword in mighty arcs, catching an unfortunate soldier who was torn in half. "You betrayed yourself. Is this how you spend your days, drunk in the easy life?"
"You think being a king is easy?" Alar snarled. All the bureaucracy, the endless talking, cajoling, bribing, he had to learn it all, and quickly, as the neighboring kingdoms turned their sights to him. He feinted a swing and scored a long gash as Thorus fell for it, revealing the gaping hole in his heart.
Thorus grinned, tearing off the rest of his mailed shirt. "Listen to yourself, poisoned by wine and hearth." Alar struggled to keep up with Thorus's onslaught--they were matched in skill, but not in strength.
"I laid you to rest, Thorus," Alar said. "We've all moved on, and here you are, wreaking havoc in undeath. I will not yield this kingdom to you!"
Thorus struck the beleaguered king with his knee, doubling him over. He grabbed Alar by his gorget and laid him on the grass. Alar's vision sharpened, seeing the dew mix with the blood as it spilled from the bodies of his men. Beauty blighted by slaughter, patches of earth exploding everywhere as violence did its grisly work. "We were destined to die together in glory! I only saved you so that it may be!"
He raised his sword. "Now, fight with me once more."
"Get away from the king!" Mharn shouted, slamming into Thorus's side and sending him back with a slash of his bastard sword. The knight picked up another sword on the ground and rained blow after blow on the undead rebel. Thorus's cruel face turned into a grin as he welcomed his adversary with a precise counter.
Mharn's sword tumbled to the ground, his severed arm holding onto it. Thorus drew his sword-arm back to deal the killing blow.
"Thorus!" It was the king's voice. Thorus looked up, catching a glimpse of the axe's edge as it went for his neck. His vision leaped and tilted to the sky, landing on a rock. Disbelieving eyes scanned the battle. He had been winning. The army of the living grew smaller as they fought back-to-back against the relentless tide of the dead. With the necromancer's enchantment in him, he could regrow his body and finish the task he had started...
And then he saw it. Alar, his crown lost, his head a wild mess of dark hair. Alar, his friend before he became king, before he became this. He was held Mharn to his side, and their blades made short work of the undead.
We've all moved on, Alar had said.
Perhaps he was right. Thorus let his vision fade into white ash, his army crumbling into dust along with him. Alar turned as the wind took Thorus's voice to his ears, bidding him farewell.
Alar laid Thorus's sword at the foot of his statue. He had the face remade following the battle. It now looked suitably menacing, but the genuine camaraderie in Thorus's eyes was present. It was the least he could do to honor his twice-fallen friend's memory.
The secret door opened, and Mharn stepped inside. The loss of a hand had not stayed his willingness to manage the kingdom's affairs, though he hung up his arms and armor for good.
"Your highness, there is an urgent matter that requires your attention."
The hairs on the back of Alar's neck prickled. "Is it a second army of undead?"
"No, sire," Mharn said. He shot Thorus's statue a look and shook his head. "I'm afraid it's outside your expertise."
"Speak, Mharn," Alar said. "As king, I will not shirk from my duty."
"A new batch of candidates have arrived," Mharn said. "With hope, you would have a queen by the end of the month."
Alar took a deep breath. His axe-hand was twitching, but he clenched it into a fist. "I'll see you later, old friend," he told Thorus's statue, leaving to do his duty.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 03:32|
Anonymous Mercbrawl Entry
The Unforgettable Prick
Boris was a heaping mound of drunken angst, slumped over one of the tavern’s long trestle tables.
“That bastard,” he moaned.
The barmaid, Hilde, patted his shoulder uncertainly. Boris was well-known for his rigid posture, his inflexibility, and his unlikely friendship with Calvyn, his fellow guardsman. He had a face like a curtain wall, and was typically about as expressive as one, except for when it came to the scrawny, foppish little guard.
“That stupid, ne’er-do-well rear end in a top hat of a...a...Calvyn,” Boris said. “That hounddog. That buggerer!”
“Aren’t you in good standing with the guard captain? Maybe y’could get him to ease off a little?” Hilde asked.
“Done it too many times,” Boris said. “The captain’s probably got a whole sheathe of paperwork by now, labeled ‘Ol Boris is Bailing Calvyn Out and Swears it Won’t Happen Again, Sir’. But there’s no reprieve for abandoning your post to rut with a merchant-lord’s daughter.”
“So where’s Calvyn now?” Hilde asked. Boris had been a mess from the moment he walked in, babbling incoherently about Calvyn, and had more or less commandeered Hilde’s attention. She had to disengage.
“Down in the Oubliette,” Boris said miserably. “The merchant-lord whose daughter he got caught rutting was some fancy personage. Y’know how those nobles are with their takings of offenses. Calvyn knew, but Calvyn only listens to Calvyn’s little prick. I warned him!”
“Boris,” Hilde said, taking the big guard’s face in her hands and tilting his head so he was looking up into her eyes. He was a mess, beard matted with dried beer and breath like a rot-toothed mule. “You’re going to regret every day you let Calvyn rot down in that dungeon.”
“There’s no ‘let’ about it, Hilde. I’ve used up all my favors. Captain’d throw me down the hole right along with Calvyn if I speak up now,” Boris said.
“You know people have escaped from the Oubliette dozens of times, right? I mean, you guards pretend it never happens, but we all know it does.”
Boris sat up straight, his back stiff, his eyes narrow, and regarded Hilde like she was some pickpocket street urchin. “You ain’t telling me you know something about that, are you Hilde?”
“Suppose I know people who know something about it,” she said.
“Absolutely not,” Boris blustered.
Hilde’s mouth quirked in a smile and she gave an ironic half-bow. “As you wish.”
“Absolutely not,” Calvyn said. “I’d rather rot down here, knowing Ilena is up above. I only hope that the air of her breath finds its way, somehow, down to this dank place.”
Calvyn was speaking to Hilde. Hilde was crouched behind a metal grate in a large, disused sluiceway. The Oubliette had once been an underground irrigation network for the great, once-living city of Baumstad, before the petrification. Even when the city-tree had stopped growing, people didn’t stop immigrating to its branches, and a lush variety of criminal underworlds grew out of the chaos of too many bodies in too little space. The live-giving sluiceways were gated off, and the oubliette was born: a labyrinthine hell that wound through the dead roots of Baumstad.
Most people didn’t know the secret ways in and out, but Hilde’s less savory customers did, and it was a small thing to loosen their lips with a few silverwood tokens.
“Boris spent a pile of tokens to get me in here,” Hilde said. “He’s a mess. He’s gonna get himself thrown down here with you ‘cause he can’t keep his brains on the job.”
The second part was true, anyway. Boris hadn’t wanted anything to do with Hilde’s rescue plan. But he refused to do anything but drink in her bar while he was off-duty, and his beard and breath were getting steadily more offensive. Hilde had always entertained mildly romantic feelings for Boris, and she wanted it to stay that way. He was married to his job, she knew, but she didn’t mind the way her heart skipped a beat when he came through those swinging tavern doors.
“Boris knows nothing of love, won’t let himself feel it,” Calvyn said, his slender fingers wrapped around the bars of the sluiceway. He looked at Hilde with an earnestness in his eyes that she’d never seen before. “Just bed him already, Hilde. Don’t wait. Show him how love makes everything worth it, and then he’ll understand what I’ve done.”
“Do you think little miss Ilena is thinking about you? Or do you think she’s eating pigeon steaks and walnut pie and dallying with more discreet guards?” Hilde was getting sick of crouching in the irrigation pipe, and the tools she’d brought to open the grate where heavy in the pack she wore upon her back.
“You cow!” A woman’s voice ricocheted off the subterranean walls. She stepped into Hilde’s view and threw back the hood of her cloak. “You speak as though you know me, as though I’m just some empty-headed daughter of a wealthy man. Well what do you think of me now?”
She could only be Ilena, of crouse. Hilde sat back on her haunches and rubbed her temples. “Right. Well. I only planned to get one of you out, but it’s not like I’m going to leave anyone behind, so--”
“Wait,” Calvyn said. “Just go, Hilde. We’re fine. We have our reasons for being here, together. Tell Boris that. Tell him not to feel responsible, and that I’m doing the right thing for once in my life. Then love him. It’s the only way to make him understand.”
“He’s not very loveable right now,” Hilde said irritably. She swung the pack of tools onto the filthy curvature that made up the floor of the sluiceway. “He’s acting like a lovesick maiden himself, except he’s got the hygiene of a vulture.” She pulled out a heavy ironwood wrench and started working at the bolts that held the grate in place.
“You’re wasting your--” Calvyn started to say, but fell silent at the distant sound of voices coming from elsewhere in the oubliette.
“My father,” Ilena said quietly, her voice taut with fear and resolve. “I didn’t think he’d sort out where I’d gone so soon.”
Calvyn cupped her cheeks with his hands. “We know this place. The guards don’t--I can attest to that. They and your father will be wandering blind, while we stay hidden, safe within these twists and turns that have become our home.” And indeed, the voices of Ilena’s father and the guardsmen seemed to be getting more distant.
“That’s nice and melodramatic,” Hilde said, grunting a little as she struggled with the ancient bolts, “but what are you trying to prove by staying down here?”
Ilena and Calvyn exchanged a look. “We would conceive a child,” Ilena said at last. “My father longs for a grandchild, and once my belly is round and firm, he won’t be able to deny us.”
Hilde had removed three of the six bolts and was working on the fourth when they heard an ungodly screeee come howling down the corridor.
“Tree bats,” Calvyn said. “Where did they get tree bats?”
“Aren’t those illegal?” Hilde said, working frantically at a stubborn bolt. “After the infestation…”
“They are,” Ilena said bitterly. “My father’s wealth is as a pair of strong hands that can bend the law as he sees fit.”
Then the swarm of bats was on them, bathing the couple in their high-pitched chittering. Hilde scrambled backward on all fours, away from the sluice grate; she knew the bats somehow used sound to see in the dark tree-caves they lived in. She didn’t want to risk revealing her alternate entrance.
It took the tree bats only a few moments to form a picture of the couple. Soon, thousands of small grey bodies were flapping back toward their masters, and their tattle-tale chittering receded.
“Looks like you’re coming with me,” Hilde said, crawling back up to the grate. “Your father and the guards will be here in five minutes or less, by the sound. I might just be able to get these bolts off by then. And remember, I have to close this thing up behind us, too.”
“Is there anything we can do to help?” Calvyn asked, clutching Ilena close to him.
“Just don’t be a goddamned Calvyn about this,” Hilde said.
“Nevermind. Just say put.”
The sixth bolt was at the bottom of the grate, where decades of trickling water and oozing detritus had all but buried it in a crust of grime.
Footsteps from further up the corridor. The sound of chittering bats drawing nearer again.
Hilde threw her weight against the grate, trying to dislodge it in spite of the remaining bolt. It gave a few inches, but there wasn’t nearly enough clearance for Calvyn and Ilena to climb through. The couple could do nothing but stand silently, clutching each other, waiting to see who would win the race: Hilde or the guards.
“You idiot bastard,” someone hissed from beyond Hilde’s field of vision. .
Calvyn’s eyes widened. “What are you doing--”
“Here, take this.” Boris shoved a mesh bag into Calvyn’s arms. It was full of screeching, disgruntled tree bats. The big guard regarded the sluice grate, and Hilde, with an expression Hilde couldn’t read.
“Hey Boris,” she said. “I don’t suppose you’re here to help us out, are you?”
“Technically, I’m here to turn you in,” Boris said. He gripped the grate in both hands and, with a mighty downward tug, liberated it from the stubborn bolt. It fell to the ground with a clattering clang. Without the bars in the way, Hilde could see that Boris had washed his beard and his teeth. He looked like the man who’d made Hilde’s heartbeat quicken when he came into the tavern. She was glad. She liked being attracted to Boris, even if nothing came of it.
“You don’t have to do this,” Calvyn said, even as he helped Ilena into the sluiceway alongside Hilde. “This was all me and my prick’s fault. You shouldn’t--”
“I don’t spose you’re in much of a position to be telling others what they ought and oughtn’t do, are you?” Boris said. He hefted the smaller man into the small passage as though Calvyn weighed no more than a fledgeling hawk. “Get those bats out of here. I’ll not have them telling tales.”
Hilde pressed herself against the side of the sluiceway, letting the couple pass. “They’ll lock you down here,” she said to Boris. “They know how close you and Calvyn are.”
“Yeah well,” Boris said, heaving his bulk into the small passage. He turned around and fished the grate up from the floor, then set it back into place. “I’ll hold, you screw. Quickly, if you please.”
Hilde didn’t argue, just got to work. The bolts went faster than they’d came out.
“I knew you were down here soon as I saw you weren’t at the tavern. Then three guards get pulled for a special chore in the oubliette--I ain’t smart Hilde, but I’m not dumb, either.”
“No one thinks you’re du--” Hilde started to say, but her words were smothered by Boris’s lips and bristly beard pressing against her face. It took her a moment to realize he was kissing her.
She relaxed into the moment, wrapping her arms around his neck, gently taking the lead. She wondered if he’d ever kissed a woman before, then decided it didn’t matter. She was a clever girl and a good teacher.
They separated with a gasp.
“So what now?” Hilde asked breathlessly.
“First we get out of Baumstad,” Boris said. “Then we find somewhere we can keep an eye on those lovestruck idiots.” He nodded in the direction of Calvyn and Ilena, who were by then some distance up the sluiceway.
Hilde went first. Her heart wasn’t singing, exactly, but it was humming a quiet love song to itself, and she thought she could hear Boris’s doing the same.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 03:51|
Question, though: What's with all the anonymous Mercbrawl entries that some random dude is posting?
In the distant, long-gone hinterlands of Page 2, Mercedes requested that entries to his brawl be posted anonymously.
I can't understand why he would ask some random dude to assist either, I assure you!
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 23:48|
What we can all learn from this list: Merc couldn't guess his way out of a paper sack.
Broenheim wrote "Something's Waiting For Us."
klapman wrote "The Forgotten Lakeside."
Entenzahn wrote "Some problems are only solved by blowing them up, or maybe not but you blow them up anyway."
Schneider Heim wrote "From the Grave."
Sitting Here wrote "The Unforgettable Prick."
Fuschia tude wrote "Please Try Not to Scream."
Congratulations, Sitting Here!
|# ¿ Jan 20, 2016 16:56|
Kai will have a draft of this story by 2359 Sat PST
This pledge has been fulfilled, and sebmojo's sweet avatar is safe for another day.
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2016 08:08|
You're correct that I haven't tallied Week 181 yet, but since Broenheim wasn't pointing to Week 181, that's not terribly relevant!
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 03:12 on Jan 28, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2016 02:52|
ENTRANTS WILL INCLUDE LINKS TO THEIR SONGS IN THEIR SUBMISSION POSTS IF THEY KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM.
I'll take care of yours, Muffin, but posters past this point should link or beware.
|# ¿ Feb 21, 2016 16:33|
Yeah, this is just not happening for me this week. I'm out.
A solid penance, Seafood. I'd be interested in your thoughts on my entry in Week 78.
|# ¿ Feb 22, 2016 03:21|
Yeah, this is just not happening for me this week. I'm out.
Since it's been quiet, and so all debts between us are paid, I'm claiming another of these for Week 85.
I'll forfeit that second draw if seven other people speak up!
|# ¿ Feb 22, 2016 07:05|
It depends on when the judges announce the results, but sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday night is the norm.
|# ¿ Feb 28, 2016 16:22|
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2016 03:49|
Jackie unfolded Sam's Ouija board on the floor of his hospital room, turning the planchette over and over again in cold hands. At length she set it down. "Sorry I didn't bring candles," she said. "Talking to you isn't worth getting yelled at by your mom."
The planchette moved under her fingertips: Liar, liar, pants on fire.
"Even a couple of tons of truck couldn't make you less insufferable, huh?"
The jury's still out on that.
Jackie caught her lips between her teeth. "Nope, I've reached a verdict, and it's that you're a stupid jerk who'd maybe be less of a stupid jerk if he woke up. Right now would be great. Unless you want to wait for your mom to get back from lunch? That'd be unusually considerate of you, but I suppose miracles... happen...."
Her words died off. Machines beeped, and bellows pumped, and Sam lay motionless in his bed. "I don't know what I'm doing. You're not here--you're not here--" She grabbed at the planchette.
It shot away from her hand, skidding over letters and the punctuation marks Sam had added to the board with a Sharpie. So I have a confession: I've always been the one moving this thing around.
"Yeah," Jackie whispered after a moment, hugging herself tight, "I figured that out when 'Great-Aunt Denise' said I should stop wearing a bra."
Kind of creepy, in retrospect. I'm less of a toad now.
"Right, all that precious retrospect three weeks can offer."
Three weeks and two tons of truck.
"I wish you'd stayed a toad," Jackie said.
Would you have said yes if a toad had asked you out to a movie?
"We're talking about the Bufo Sam-o species?"
You are the nerdiest nerd to ever nerd.
"Such charm and wit, sir. Truly I would expect no less from a guy whose ghosts have to be grammatically correct." From the floor Jackie couldn't see any part of Sam except his hand, slack and attached to a monitor. "I would have said yes, and I would have asked you to buy me a popcorn, and I would have shared it with you after you'd gobbled up your own."
I might have let you have some of my Twizzlers.
"I might have let you kiss me."
I would have been really happy.
She rubbed her thumb roughly across her eyes. "Then why didn't you ask?"
Too afraid you'd say no. The truck gave me some perspective.
The clock ticked away two minutes before Jackie could ask, "Are you going to wake up?"
I want to, so much, but I don't know.
She stood and walked to the bed, then bent to brush a light kiss against Sam's swollen lower lip, all his breathing tube would let her reach. "That's the best you get until you do," she said, "so get cracking."
I like your idea of incentive, the planchette spelled out.
"That's because you're still a toad, Sam--thank God."
|# ¿ Apr 4, 2016 01:19|
|# ¿ Apr 16, 2016 04:17|
Read it in the archive.
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Jan 1, 2017
|# ¿ Apr 18, 2016 06:39|
Thunderdome Week CXCIV: Only Mr. God Knows Why
Judges: Kaishai, anime was right, and docbeard.
Time is like thunder (ah-ah!), and its rumbles announce the approach of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. So take out your glittering jumpsuits, Thunderdome! Gel your hair to high heaven, and hope again that the wind machine and a dubstep drop will bring you to victory. Eurovision Week III is here!
Choose a video from the 2016 roster, linked above. Write a story that relates to that video and/or song in a way the judges can detect without a magnifying glass. You need to announce your choice when you sign up, because only one person can claim a performance. At this point you may be wondering whether the judges will pick a song for you if you ask, and of course the answer is yes, but there are caveats: you are likely to get something insane or inane, and you will have 200 fewer words with which to work if you go this route. But what fun would Eurovision be if no one did anything crazy?
No fanfiction, no nonfiction, no erotica, no poetry, no GoogleDocs, and no bribing the judges. Azerbaijan, this means you.
Sign-up deadline: Friday, April 22, 11:59pm USA CENTRAL
Submission deadline: Sunday, April 24, 11:59pm USA CENTRAL
Maximum word count: 1,200 if you choose your song, 1,000 if you ask to have it chosen for you.
flerp (France 2014)
newtestleper (Turkey 2012)
DurianGray (Austria): "Looking for Paradise"
Toxxupation (Finland): "Realism"
Djeser (Moldova 2011)
Daphnaie (Australia): "Silence"
Thranguy (San Marino): "The Final Logs of Doctor Omega"
Carl Killer Miller (Poland 2006; Flash rule: Don't praise the day before sunset): "The Dance, the Dress, their Dream, and the Sun"
SurreptitiousMuffin (Ireland 2011): "Brood"
Ironic Twist (Cyprus): "Peculiar"
CANNIBAL GIRLS (Azerbaijan 2008): "It's Not the Dark that Kills You"
Tyrannosaurus (Russia): "Medusa or the Lotus Eaters"
Quidnose (Czech Republic 2009): "Atlanta, 1959"
Sitting Here (Ireland 2008): "YOU MADE ME DO THIS"
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 05:04 on Apr 25, 2016
|# ¿ Apr 19, 2016 01:59|
i dont need words give me a song
France 2014: Twin Twin - "Moustache"
IN and PICK ONE for me please.
Turkey 2012: Can Bonomo - "Love Me Back"
in, give me a song from stupid song contest for dummies
Moldova 2011: Zdob si Zdub - "So Lucky"
|# ¿ Apr 19, 2016 08:03|
In w/ flash rule please
Your song is Poland 2006: Ich Troje - "Follow My Heart."
Your flash rule: Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca. (Don't praise the day before sunset.)
|# ¿ Apr 19, 2016 18:26|
Hey, this week isn't insane for me. Hit me with your rhythm stick.
How about I hit you with Ireland 2011: Jedward - "Lipstick" instead?
|# ¿ Apr 19, 2016 19:37|
In with Sweden 1974
Azerbaijan 2008: Elnur & Samir - "Day After Day" isn't ABBA, but it has its charms.
|# ¿ Apr 20, 2016 02:48|
Twenty-four hours remain to enlist for the Eurovision stage. If you're spoiled for choice, Russia, Greece, and Belarus all have memorable qualities on offer.
You could also take your chances with the luck of the draw, because I have not begun to run out of classic weird.
|# ¿ Apr 22, 2016 05:05|
e: I guess I need to read the prompt, pick something for me and give me less loving words, do it, gently caress you, what do I care?
Czech Republic 2009: Gipsy.cz - "Aven Romale"
|# ¿ Apr 22, 2016 17:12|
yeah ok fine, in and give me the eurovisionest song u got
I know just the thing.
Ireland 2008: Dustin the Turkey - "Irelande Douze Pointe"
|# ¿ Apr 22, 2016 18:30|
Two hours left!
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2016 03:01|
Sign-ups for Week CXCIV are CLOSED!
Contestants, you have no obligation whatsoever to pay attention to the lyrics of your songs, but in case you'd like to--and in hope of discouraging failure and heartbreak--I've collected links to what English translations exist.
flerp: Twin Twin - "Moustache"
newtestleper: Can Bonomo - "Love Me Back"
DurianGray: ZOË - "Loin d'ici"
Toxxupation: Sandhja - "Sing It Away"
sparksbloom: Kaliopi - "Dona"
Djeser: Zdob și Zdub - "So Lucky"
Daphnaie: Dami Im - "Sound Of Silence"
Thranguy: Serhat - "I Didn't Know"
FouRPlaY: Barei - "Say Yay!"
Carl Killer Miller: Ich Troje - "Follow My Heart"
SurreptitiousMuffin: Jedward - "Lipstick"
Ironic Twist: Minus One - "Alter Ego"
CANNIBAL GIRLS: Elnur & Samir - "Day After Day"
Tyrannosaurus: Sergey Lazarev - "You Are The Only One"
Quidnose: Gipsy.cz - "Aven Romale"
Sitting Here: Dustin the Turkey - "Irelande Douze Pointe"
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2016 05:00|
Thirty minutes left! Don't let France, Turkey, Macedonia, Moldova, Australia, or Spain down!
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2016 04:39|
Submissions for Week CXCIV: Only Mr. God Knows Why are now CLOSED!
Did somebody spike the refreshments in the Green Room? flerp, newtestleper, sparksbloom, Djeser, and FouRPlaY have brought shame upon the countries they represent by failing to show up on stage, with or without clothing, with or without wolves. I would call on Moldova's stripper cops to bring these perps in, but I have some doubts about their efficacy in the task.
Those braver souls who joined in our celebration of song and spectacle have our thanks! Watch for your scores some time between Monday night and Tuesday evening.
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2016 05:24|
Intermission interprompt: Do Falsetto Dubstep Dracula justice in 300 words or fewer.
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 05:37 on Apr 25, 2016
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2016 05:30|
Thunderdome Week CXCIV Results: Only Mr. God Knows Why
But his phone today is out of range.
I cannot, therefore, ask Mr. God why three stories out of eleven ended in sudden character suicide while another forgot that endings were a thing. Only too many of this year's songs finished on a sour note, making it ironic that the show itself saved the best for last.
THE WINNER: Welcome to Thunderdome and the Thunderthrone, Daphnaie! Your story of robotic friendship in a time of crisis pleased all three judges and was thus the easy winner. Although it was more solid than outstanding, it delivered a clear, coherent narrative, the flaws in which were relatively minor.
THE LOSER is the other new arrival, Toxxupation, whose sketch of a daydreaming teen wouldn't have landed him in this spot if it'd had anything like a conclusion at all. We couldn't justify giving the fecal crown to anything else, no matter how we tried.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS: Count your blessings, DurianGray. Resolving your story--sort of--saved you. Otherwise the incomprehensible motivations and actions of your nameless characters would surely have done you in. Thranguy, you used your song in a clever way, but the heavy technobabble made your plot a chore to follow. I didn't care about The Moment or her Nega-energy, so I couldn't connect with the protagonist's fascination.
Thank you for another year of musical mayhem, Thunderdome! Daphnaie, visit #thunderdome on IRC if you have any questions about how this judging thing works; the robe and gavel are now yours!
|# ¿ Apr 26, 2016 02:59|
Ah poo poo.
Go in anyway. Daphnaie will pick out a story for you. A couple of other first-timers have taken the plunge, so you'd even have company.
|# ¿ Apr 28, 2016 19:51|
|# ¿ Dec 4, 2023 23:15|
From beyond the Toxxic Curtain, flerp wishes it to be known that he's in with this video.
|# ¿ May 3, 2016 05:55|