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  • Locked thread
widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


I think I would like in on this with Carlsbad, California. An idea popped in for a li'l SoCal Gothic.

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widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


The Thirst of the Land
(Carlsbad Gothic, 1334 words.)

“Are you sure you wish to go through with this?”

“Yes. I’ve come to terms with myself, if you must know. Plus money doesn’t come cheap for a man my age.”

“But of course. Though, once it happens… well… coming back would be like doing this a second time. You can’t come back to how it was before. Do you understand?”

“I understand fully. “

“Then prepare yourself. The sacrifice happens after complete sundown.”

After a brief handshake, the two men shook hands. The one that had spoken looked to be in his mid-20s, and in rather rough shape. The attire on his body was supposed to convey an image of professionalism in this environment, consisting of a blue polo and black pants. His conversational partner was better groomed, even sporting a button-down shirt. The rugged man stared at the ground, letting a wave of depression wash over his structure. He felt as if he just signed his own death warrant, all in the name of having more than a few dollars to throw around. Not to mention the idea of sustaining the town’s energy for hopefully more than a year. With a sluggish pace, he walked to the lobby. A pamphlet caught his eye, with the title being “Why Carlsbad Needs Sacrifices”. Quietly, he picked one copy up, and began to read.

“I wouldn’t believe that pamphlet if I were you.” A passing janitor spoke. “Just saying.”

“Why’s that?” the man responded.

“It’ll try to convince you that your job’s all about keeping this city alive and prosperous. Most everyone here don’t care about that, deep down. “ The janitor walked away, continuing his routine of cleaning the floor and emptying the waste bins. “But you should still read it. Get an idea on what you just got yourself into.”

Moments pass. The rugged man eventually flipped through the pamphlet, skimming over the various categories. Only one caught his eye. The one that said, “How The Process Goes”. With a curious look, he began to read the category.

“The actual process has to remain a secret, as per city regulations. But at the end of the process, you’ll be a new person, ready to help ring in tourism for the city to prosper from!” the section read. “So be ready to help bring in those tourists. For more tourists equals more prosperity for Carlsbad!”

A grumble passed his lips. While the idea of chucking the pamphlet away crossed his mind, he slid it into his back pocket.

“Could be useful to burn some charcoal with”, he mumbled as he left the building.

-----

A few hours later, the rugged man was face-to-face with the ocean. He stood upon a sandy platform, in the same outfit he had on during the interview process. Around him, the area was black as pitch, save for a full moon and a few torches blazing in the wind. To his side was the man who interviewed him, now adorned in a black hooded robe. If the setting had more light at this time, they could see the small crowd of people with expensive cameras snapping photos from the sea wall.

“Remember. You can’t come back to this type of person after this is all done.” The hooded man said. “Are you positive you wish to do this?”

“Yes, I’m positive.” The man replied.

“Very well, then. I’ll start the ritual.”

The hooded figure stepped in front of the man, with his arms outstretched. He began to speak in what must have been an ancient dialect, complete with his hands taking on a sinister red glow. After a few seconds, the waters before them calmed. The full moon was suddenly obscured by passing clouds. Suddenly, the sound of something rising from the water could be heard. Yet, nothing could be seen coming from the water, even with the help of dozens of flash photography cameras going off. The hooded man stepped back soon after the sound was heard.

“It’s time. Good luck.” He said, stepping off the platform.

Just then, an ethereal hand emerged from the shadows of the ocean. It was white as bone, and featureless to boot. Rather than make a grab towards the sacrifice, the hand seemed to offer itself to the sacrifice before it. With a bit of hesitation, the man grasped the hand with his own hand. Fear had shot through his body, as the hand took a firmer grip and began to pull. His mind tried to resist the pull… yet he allowed himself to be taken by the hand. As he walked forward, the light of the torches shrank away into the horizon. Before he knew it, the hand he followed led him beneath the waves.

Meanwhile, the hooded figure watched as the sacrifice was taken away. All he could do was nod in approval, despite the sacrificed man’s fate being unknown to him.

“It… is done. Another sacrifice for the great of our city.” He murmured to himself.

Once underwater, the man tried holding his breath. He knew he wouldn’t last. Around him was a void. A completely darkened area, with nothing but the glow of the hand to light the way.

“Breathe, child.” A voice called out.

Just like that, the man took a deep breath in. The breath felt like air to him. Among varied breaths, he looked around.

“You shall serve to help me draw the sustenance your city needs.”

Just then, a white face formed in front of him. He wanted to scream in surprise. But… nothing came forth. Just confused thoughts remained.

“Who are you…?” the man asked.

“Don’t worry about that. For now, worry about what will happen to you.” The face replied.

Just then, a second hand similar to the first formed. The palm of this hand pressed against the man’s chest, before pulling back. Between the man’s chest and the palm, strands of energy could be seen. It didn’t take long to realize that those strands of energy were really his soul. He braced for his soul to be ripped from his flesh, ready to endure the pain it could bring. Yet, the soul was completely out of him before he fully braced for it.

“It is painless. You won’t even realize when we’re done.”

The second hand moved towards the man’s eyeballs, as if ready to pluck them out of their sockets. His vision caught a blinding white light as the hand closed in around his eye sockets.

--------

The man awoke with a startled yelp. Panicked breathing followed his sudden awakening. Before long, he looked around. He was at home. Everything was as it seemed. Except… something felt wrong. Something was just a bit off about what “home” is. The man remembered his home was just a one-story house in the suburbs with a mostly tan exterior and a basic roof. Despite this place being exactly as he envisioned his home to be, he couldn’t help but be suspicious. Slowly, he started to the bathroom. Along the way, his feet brushed against hard wood flooring, as the walls were but a basic white. This was indeed home. He must have dreamt the bits about the sacrifice.

As he washed his face inside the bathroom, the man looked into the mirror. He looked less rugged than before, even clean shaven for once. The man couldn’t help but notice he was actually pretty well groomed for the day. Suddenly, his hand reached for his back pocket. Fingers confirmed the presence of a pamphlet. Shock came over his body, as he slowly pulled the pamphlet forth.

“Why Carlsbad Needs Sacrifices” was the title. As he opened the pamphlet, a small piece of folded paper fell out. He caught it before it touched the damp sink, quickly unfurling it.

“You start on Monday at the location listed below. Sacrificing yourself will go a long way to help preserve Carlsbad for years to come. From all of us here at City Hall, we thank you.” The paper said.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Wow, that was a speedy crit. Thought it'd take a day or so.

Anyways, IN with CUSTOMER.

Because who would voluntarily pick Investigator.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Secrets of a Small Family
877 words
Prompt: You are looking for a blade that can cut through lies. Voidmart also hates deception, so I'm sure we have just the thing

God bless his soul and all, but I swear my son has something to hide. Every day I see him, he looks or feels cloudy. Everyone’s saying he’s on drugs, and I’m inclined to believe that. But every time I ask him, he just says that he isn’t. It’s worrying at this point. He’s my son, and he could be close to death for all any of us know. We considered searching his room high and low for any paraphernalia, but my wife suggested that we encourage him away from drugs via hobbies. While I love my wife and all, sometimes her methods are questionable. However, I am inclined to agree that maybe our son needs a hobby besides work. This place they call VoidMart seems to be a good start, even if I’ve no recollection of entering this place in my life.

Sipping on some coffee, I ponder over what my son could be into. At his age, there’s quite a lot he can try. My phone was buzzing from the back-and-forth texts I keep sending my wife. All the texts were of hobbies our son could try. Eventually, we both settled on collecting. After all, if he spent money on one thing, he can’t get his fix most likely. However, there are many things to base collections on. It’s not going to be easy, but I figured I’d find something that’d catch his eye. Downing the coffee, my adventure started. For the sake of my son, I hope there’s something in this strange place to catch his eye.

As I explored, I realized that VoidMart was a very strange place. Lots of things lined shelves, including things I almost know are illegal. It was then I happened upon a sinister section, one that held an assortment of ancient artifacts. Any thought I had of helping my son soon dissipated, with feelings of uneasiness setting in. Sure enough, I see a handle. It was placed between two ancient books, which I considered odd. Then again, this whole section was odd. But if it was an interesting sight, maybe it’ll be interesting for my son. Pulling the handle ever so gently, I saw the wicked blade attached. The craftsmanship was ornate, with bits of filigree lining both handle and blade. But as I stared, I felt my heart race. My mind wanted to yell as I stared. This dagger wasn’t normal, I assumed. It took a fair amount of willpower to remove the blade from the section, but I considered it a feat to even find it.

Later that evening, my wife and I perused my recent purchase. She agreed that this knife was unnerving for some reason, but neither of us knew why. Thankfully, our son had just arrived from his job. We could just hand this thing off and be done with it. The front door opened, pleasantries were exchanged, and we sat our son down at the table.

“Now son, your mom and I love you very much.” I said. “But we feel that maybe you need something to think about besides work.”

“Yes. That’s why we got you this.” My wife chimed in, handing him the dagger as carefully as she could. Her hands were trembling.

“Ooh. This blade looks fancy.” My son spoke. Without worry, he grabbed the blade by the hand. He then proceeded to stare at the blade, observing the edge and blunt of it. Watching him analyze the blade, we couldn’t help but wonder that he was handling it with a good amount of finesse. He certainly didn’t seem uneasy slashing the air to his left. But as he swung the knife, I could hear a faint female voice.

“Tell her about me…” the voice whispered. “You can’t hide our time forever…”

It was enough to send a shiver down my spine. I hadn’t thought of that woman in a few weeks, and it was as if her spirit was in our son’s gift. With a glance over to my wife, I noticed her face was mortified for reasons unbeknownst to me at that time.

“Now… how about you go find a spot to put that thing?” I blurted, as to break away from what I thought I heard. “On top of the dresser, maybe?”

“I’ll find a spot for it, dad.” My son replied, standing up. As soon as he cleared the room, I quickly leaned into my wife’s ear. As it was, she did the same thing to my ear.

“You heard her too… didn’t you?” I whispered.

“No. Did you hear him, though?” She replied.

“I didn’t. Mine was a woman’s voice.”

“Weird. But…” She fidgeted in her seat a bit. ”Listen… I need to tell you something.”

“I know. You cheated on me. I did the same thing.”

“Was it some weeks ago?”

“Yes. With a co-worker of mine, I’m afraid to admit.”

“I slept with the local lifeguard round that time, too.”

“Okay then.”

The next few minutes slogged on for ages, it seemed. Dead silence, save for our son adjusting his room to place that cursed dagger. Guilt was washing over my body, with my heart wanting to drop like a stone.

“I think we need to see the therapist again.” The wife whispered.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


I got tommorow comin' IN in in in in....

Biiiiiiiiirds.

Also thanks for the crits.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Squawk at Night. (249 words)

Squawk. That was all a woman heard for the past few hours. It was the dead of night, and the bird just couldn’t quiet itself to sleep. In the woman’s mind, she wanted to silence the bird by any means necessary. With a plastic shopping bag in hand, the woman stormed to the bird’s resting place.

The woman could remember when she had acquired this now-annoying bird. It was lying on a mountain trail she frequented, injured via unknown measures. The only thing the woman knew was that this bird could die. Without hesitation, she snatched the bird from the ground, intending to rush it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Days passed, and the bird was healthy once more. The woman felt a sense of comfort from rescuing this bird. She would then purchase a cage and some seed, as to shelter and nourish the bird for some time.

Back to the present, and the woman stood in front of that same bird’s cage. Her eyes wore heavy bags, a sign of sleep deprivation. One of her hands lurched forward, ripping the cage’s door away. The bird was right in her hands, vulnerable to whatever the woman attempted.

“You’re not going to throw me away now… are you?” the bird suddenly spoke.

The woman was rendered speechless. Since when could it talk?

“If it’s about the yelling, I’m sorry. Just tell me to quiet down next time. Please?” The bird finished.

“It’s fine.” She found herself saying.

And submission proof:

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


IN for surrealism shenanigans.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Kinder mit lego Waffen. 500 words.
Prompt: Death Road to Canada - Lootin' Away

Click. Shuffle. Click.

“Got any more of those long ones?” A young boy’s voice rang out.

“Not that I can see.” Another boy called in reply.

It was daylight. Lego Bricks decorated a good amount of the neighborhood. The two boys were carrying a decent amount of said bricks, all aligned into a crude firearm shape. One of the boys shuffled through a nearby bush.

“Long six or long eight?” The scavenger spoke. “Because there’s a lot of long eights here.”

“Yeah, long eight’s fine.”

The two boys kept scrounging for particular parts for at least a half hour, calling for this piece and that piece. Just then…

“Get to the truck! There are bad guys coming in!” A third boy cried out from a nearby truck. The first two boys looked at each other and made a break for the truck. In the distance, there appeared to be more boys holding more crude lego firearms. The sudden war cry of young kids yelling broke the air around them.

“Hurry! We need to go!” One of the boys near the truck yelled. “We’ll cover from the back!”

The truck roared to life, and it zoomed along the asphalt. In the back, the two scavenging boys were aiming their ‘Firearms’ behind the truck, where more boys in vehicles had started to appear.

“Pa-chew! Pa-chew!” One boy called out from the truck. Every time he said pa-chew, a bullet hole appeared on one of the pursuers’ vehicles.

“Papapapapapapapapapapapa!” The other boy called out. More bullet holes in the vehicles behind them. One of the boys fell over in a pained fashion.

The battle on the road lasted another good hour. The boy driving was sweating bullets. It was supposed to be a simple gathering job. How did it go so wrong?

Just then, the pursuit stopped. There were no more cars behind them, for they all had veered into a car crash.

“We’re clear!” One of the boys in the truck yelled. “Get us to safety!”

“It’s just up the road!” The driver yelled. Suddenly, the tires screeched as the truck forced itself to a stop. In front of the truck was a blockade. An entire wall of lego bricks lay before them. Atop the wall, more boys popped up with the same crude firearms.

“Surrender your payload!” One of the wall’s defenders yelled.

“Over our dead bodies!” A boy from the truck yelled. And just like that, more gunfire filled the air.

“Agh! I’m hit!” The driver yelled. One of the boys hopped out of the truck to try and reach the driver. He was promptly gunned down with just a scream as his final breath.

And there he was. The last boy still alive. Surrounded by other boys wanting to shoot him dead. One of the defending boys moved in to place his gun against the back of the boy’s skull.

“We won this round.” He said. “Wanna play again?”

“Sure! Can we switch sides, though?” The lone boy said.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


To: Thunderdome@somethingawful.com
From: widespread@somethingawful.com
Subject: Week 223 admission form.

I'M IN. FLASH RULE ME WHILE YOU'RE AT IT.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Cue another post that somehow misread EST as PST.

My Old Friend Needs A Hand Word count: 644 words

Flash Rule: Breaking the rules with a broken ruler

Dearest wife,

I have done a terrible thing. I pressed the button. But I feel it was for the best, lest we burden ourselves in something more. Time and time again, I have seen myself in front of the button. Whether it was for us or for them, I treated the button as if it was a friend. A colleague. Hell, even a drinking buddy for days where the world shows its ugly side. But today, when I went to meet the button, I thought it spoke to me.

“Charlie,” I heard it say. “I think it is time.”
“It can’t be time,” I found myself saying in response. “I mean, it was time some years ago.”

“Right. But I truly mean it when I say it is time. You know it is time as well.”

“What makes today so different? What exactly is going on that makes me want to throw it all away like that?”

“The idea that we can halt a war right now. We can make the problems just vanish.”

“Surely there’s some other way.”

“Nope. Sorry, Charlie. But it must be done.”

I felt a tear in my eye. Whether the voice was the button or my own mind, it was right. I have seen the world go through nothing but turmoil. And yet, I never saw the turmoil first hand. I was too busy living the American dream. I had a wife, I had kids, I had a home, and I had a nine-to-five job. All I had to do was watch. I had to watch as everyone spun their own story about what happened where and who did what and why.

And then, I opened my eyes. I was still in the control room. The button’s case had been lifted. My palm was ready to push away everything that made my life peaceful.

“Sir! Do you know what you’re doing?” My assistant yelled, as he ran to my position. “That button’s going to generate a lot of questions. Are you okay?”

“No, Liam,” I responded. “You should know this by now. I’ve seen too much to not do something.”

“But sir. How will you break the news?”

“Simple. I won’t. Fetch me my gun.”

“But-‘

“Just do it, Liam.”

Liam then ran off. Once more, it was me and my friend once more. My mind had made peace with itself, for my hand jammed the button in.

“Alert. Launch activated.” I heard the intercom speak. And like clockwork, the nearby phone rang. It was my duty to answer questions, whether I was to live through the aftermath or not.

“Captain Springsell. This is Admiral Jenson at the eastern silos,” the phone spoke. “We detected a major launch activation. Calling to confirm that it is just a drill.”

“It... is not,” I said, swallowing in regret. “The launch will go as planned. Relay the command to proceed to the other silos.”

“But Sir. All the silos have nuclear payloads. Are you positive you want them all to launch?”

“Positive, Admiral. Now go. And… please forgive me.”

Slowly, I hung up. Then, I unplugged the phone. As I write this, Liam is most likely searching frantically for my gun. I will then tell him to deliver this letter himself. I trust that he will do this in a quick manner. But for now, tell my kids that their father gave his life fighting for what he believes in. Tell them that their father finally ended the world’s problems. Tell them that their father was a hero.

Or tell them that their father is nothing but a disillusioned fraud who happened to have access to nuclear ICBM launch codes. I cannot tell you what to say, for by the time this reaches you, I will have already shot myself in the head.

Forever faithful to his family,

Captain Charles Springsell.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


sparksbloom posted:

Which brings us to our loser. widespread, this wasn’t terrible, but it was boring, generic sci-fi in a week where most stories has compelling voices. Please keep trying!

Tis better to lose for being boring than to lose for being a terrible writer. Thank you for the crits as well, those who gave me crits.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Lemme tell you about my favorite beast, the mINotaur.

And yes, I'm choosing that beast.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


[sup]Uh yeah, this is probably a DQ. But eh.[/sup]

To Make Artistic Effigies.
Word Count: 991 words
Prompt: Minotaur
Flash Rule: The minotaur wants to be a sculptor.

A variety of screaming could be heard throughout the village. The minotaur had rampaged across a good chunk of property in its raid. The goal was to simply grab as much stuff as possible, and to obviously kill several people in the process. Life as a minotaur was pretty simple aside from trying not to fall victim to any clever villager. Without warning, the towering beast ripped off the roof of a home. Inside, there was a man with a chisel and hammer in his hands. The tools dropped as soon as he knew what was going on, followed by a scream of terror.

“Spare me!” The sculptor exclaimed. “I am just a poor peas-“

His plea was cut off as the minotaur smashed its fist into both the sculptor’s poor body and the ground. What remained was a grotesque array of smashed bones, guts, and blood. The beast was about to head to its next target, when it noticed the brick of marble the sculptor was working on. He had just finished the arms before his untimely death. With bulky fingers, the minotaur picked up the brick, observing the arms. They reminded the beast of its own arms, what with being extraordinarily muscular. It began to wonder, for the first time in its life. With a quiet nod, the minotaur ran away from the ruined village.

The minotaur found itself in a mountain valley, after traversing by foot for a few miles. In this valley, there were other minotaurs. They seemed to be idle for the time being, despite the sun shining way above their heads. One of them held a hand in front of the running minotaur. As it stopped, the minotaur with the outstretched arm pointed at the out-of-place brick of carved marble. Said brick was an easy sight, due to how most minotaurs typically had dark skin. Without a word, the minotaur placed the brick of marble into the other beast’s hand. They both stared at the partial statue, perplexed at to what it signified. The slight blood stain on the bottom didn’t help much.

“Mrh?” The first minotaur grunted, pointing at the statue before pointing at himself.

“Mrh,” The second beast grunted in return, shaking his head. It then pointed to a large boulder a few yards away. “Mh.”

“Hrm… hm?” The first minotaur began to mimic a hammer motion.

“Uh huh.” The second minotaur pointed to a smaller pile of rocks. Said pile had almost similar rocks forming it.

“Mmhmm.” Passing the other fellow minotaur, the raiding beast approached the pile of rocks. It picked one up, then another. What it searched for was mostly unclear, but eventually it settled on two different rocks. The minotaur then approached the large boulder. With a loud grunt, it began banging the small rock against the top of the boulder. The endeavor seemed to be a wasted one, had it not been for a good amount of dust and debris flying off with each smash. Clearly, the minotaur wanted to make his own set of stone arms.

The sun had started to set, and before the minotaur was a set of crude arms attached to a boulder. The beast stepped back to observe its handiwork, huffing and sweating after hours of laborious sculpting. Other minotaurs gathered around to see this crude effigy of a statue, with some of them nodding along. One of them even approached the sweat-caked minotaur. It pointed a finger at the statue, then at the beast.

“Hm?” It asked, wondering why it was just a set of arms.

“Mrh,” the sculptor replied, shrugging. With a scratch of its head, it went back to the pile of rocks, picking up another pair of extremely crude tools. As it was, there was a good amount of boulder still left between each arm, just enough to form a head. The sculpting minotaur went back to grunting and rock smashing, attempting to form a head.

With light cresting over the valley, the sun’s rays glimmered upon a final product. The sculptor was slumped against the wall, looking at its creation.

The creation itself was as crude of a form as the arms were. Rough crags accented the entire body length, with the body being a form of yet another minotaur. It was in a flexing pose, as if to show off some inhuman muscles. Aside from being a very rough carved statue, there was one other peculiarity.

It had three legs.

Looking down at itself, then at the statue, the minotaur nodded. It then took its own loincloth off to dress the statue it had carved through the night. Just then, a large chunk of cow skin was shoved in front of the sculptor’s face. Another minotaur saw him take off the loin cloth, and was forcing the sculptor to cover up in a sense of modesty. It did cover itself up in some attempt. Of course, the piece of cow skin lacked any rope or string at the moment, so it had to be held up with one hand. The other minotaur went back to look at the now-clothed statue, then back at the sculptor. It retreated into a cave.

Moments later, it returned, bearing a horse’s skull. The skull was planted atop the sculptor’s head in a delicate fashion. The two beasts stared at each other, with the sculptor showing confusion at this gesture.

“Mh,” the second minotaur said, pointing at the statue. It then stuck its thumb up as a gesture to the sculptor. “Mhm.”

“Mmhmm,” the sculptor grunted in reply, repeating the gesture.

“Mrh?” The other minotaur pointed to another boulder.

The sculptor could only shrug at the offer presented. It then pointed towards the pathway out of the area, grunting in query at the other beast. It nodded, and then the sculptor nodded. And just like that, the sculptor walked away. Its new goal was another village, and possibly another statue for inspiration.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


You know what, in. Two weeks off feels like enough time for a break.

I guess Flash Rule me, too.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


gently caress, I can't reach the IRC to let them know of my late posting but ah well here's a latepost that's a DQ. I'm fine with that.

Hovering Away (Word Count: 1076 words)

Prompt: Freezing Rain.
FLASH RULE: It's set in the FFFFFUTURE.

The rain had started to pelt Peter’s hovercar. The radio did mention a possible hail storm that day, but the chance was low enough to consider non-consequential. Needless to say, this didn’t stop the hovering vehicle from speeding down the roadways. As Peter tried to use the windshield wipers, he found that they eventually stuck to a rain drop.

“What the hell?” he asked himself. “Is the rain freezing?!”

With all this newly-formed ice on his windshield, Peter couldn’t see much. But his speed kept the same, even if it was unsafe for this weather.

“In two miles, make a right turn,” an automated voice spoke through the car’s internal speaker system.

“At least I’m close to home. Just hope I can get there and ride this storm out,” Peter mumbled.

As if on cue, the hovercar started to wobble. The rain had started sticking to the car’s anti-gravity pads that stuck out from the chassis. Yet still, Peter’s foot was on the acceleration pedal.

“In one mile, make a right turn.”

A crackling sound could be heard over the speakers. The freezing rain had managed to seep through the cracks of Peter’s carbon fiber hood. The electronics were in the process of being fried. Peter couldn’t help but panic and fear for his safety, despite going unreasonably fast in the rain.

“In a q-quarter mile, make a- KRZZZ- a left t-t-t-t-t-“ The automated voice finally gave out, around the same time the anti-grav pads did. Peter’s car then tumbled down onto the misshapen asphalt below, creating a display of excessive sparks and horrid metal-to-ground grinding noises. The whole body veered off the road, continuing its crash course into the forests beyond. Before Peter even realized just how screwed he was, his head smashed against the chromium alloy steering wheel.

==========================================

In his mind, he saw a house in the country side. Peter was standing just outside of the home, in the same clothes he had on the moment he crashed. He walked forward, entering the front door.

“Peter! So good to see you, dear,” a female voice called out. The voice’s owner appeared to be of elderly age, complete with wrinkles and short gray hair. However, she was wearing gray clothes, and her head had no face.

“Good to see you too, mama,” Peter responded, as if nothing was wrong. He gave the figure a solid hug before walking into the door behind the two. This door would lead to the dining room, where a set of six plates were placed. Silverware lined the sides of the plates, as if in preparation for a meal.

“Dinner will be ready in just a minute. I’ve one more thing to prepare.” Soft humming could be heard emanating from another door. After a minute, the figure came out of the door with a covered tray in her hands.

“Oh mama, you always make the best meals.” Peter sniffed the air that permeated from the tray. It smelled like turkey or pot roast. The smells were indistinguishable to him.

“Why yes I do. And here’s yours.” The tray was placed in front of him, with the cover being lifted. On the tray was Peter’s severed head, complete with gashes and blood marks.

“Mm-mm. Looks delicious too!” Peter picked up a fork, and began to jab at the head’s eyes.

========================================================================================

The car was a smoldering wreck of alloys and carbon fiber. Black smoke billowed from what was once a pristine engine. One of the anti-gravity pads was lodged in a nearby tree. Inside, Peter pulled himself off of the chromium alloy wheel. He looked terrible, what with his face bearing a gash on it. Looking to the door nearest him, he realized he could escape due to how the door survived the extreme impact. In one hard shove, Peter found himself on the ground. A cough got some blood out of his mouth, as he tried to stand up. Walking away from his ruined ride- not to mention being pelted by ice at odd intervals- Peter reached into his pocket. He pulled out a glowing prism of light that had a button in the center of it. Pressing this button, the prism revealed itself to be a smart phone. Acting fast, he dialed 9-1-1.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” A voice spoke on the phone.

“My car’s totaled, and I sustained several injuries,” Peter replied.

“One second.”

Just then, the sound of a camera flipping on could be heard. The phone’s front camera was forcibly activated, complete with a blinding flash.

“Uh, sir. Your injuries have the potential to be fatal. I’m sending you a wormhole ambulance.”

“Thank you, officer.”

As if on cue, a portal appeared near the wreck. Out of it came a hovering ambulance, back end first. The back doors opened, with a paramedic popping out to retrieve Peter. The paramedic had on an exo-skeleton, which seemed to attribute to his sudden burst of strength. Peter was then carried into the ambulance and placed on the stretcher. The ambulance then hovered through the portal it had appeared through, complete with a blip to signify the wormhole closure.

========================================================================================

Hours had past. Peter’s mind had officially ceased to work properly. The images of the homestead and his meal couldn’t come back to him. It was as if fate gave him death for being a lousy driver.

“Wake up, Peter,” a female voice called out, seemingly in echo.

Peter’s eyes slowly opened. His surroundings were completely white, barring the machinery to the left of him.

“Good, he’s still with us. Feeling okay?”

“Yeah, I am,” Peter replied in a groan. “What happened?”

“That’s great. But um… good news and bad news. Good news is you’re healthy once more. Bad news is, we had to put emergency cranial implants into your head. Your brain was too far damaged to be usable.”

“Oh, that’s not good.”

“While you can function, you’ll have to undergo treatment to re-familiarize yourself to your previous life. Should take a few seconds for the most part.”

“Sounds good, doc.”

“But for now, rest easy. We’ll get you home soon.”

The curtains that made up Peter’s all-white area were pulled aside, revealing a window to Peter’s left. The window let Peter view an infinitely black space, dotted with stars. Earth could barely be seen from this view, with its blue glow seeping forth from the bottom.

Peter gave a nod at this view before returning his head to his pillow.

widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Invigorating prompt. But I think I have an idear on what to write.

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widespread
Aug 5, 2013

I believe I am now no longer in the presence of nice people.


Silver Nitride Is A Hell Of A Thing.
Words: 503.

The smoke rapidly filled the laboratory. Everyone was running away from the room, in various coughing fits. One man in particular fell face first onto the tile ground just as he cleared the doorway.

“Jackson! What on Earth has gotten into you?” a voice boomed from inside the lab. “It’s only day one of the experiment, and you’ve hosed everything up!”

“Sorry, professor,” the man on the ground replied. “I must have misread the labels or something.”

A man then stepped out of the smoke, coughing with a cut along his cheek. The cut was fresh, and trickling blood.

“Whatever it may be, it certainly will ban you from any lab experiments for the rest of the semester. And judging from that volatile reaction, this semester’s been cut short!”

Jackson had to look around at his fellow classmates. Some of them had a few cuts on their arms, legs, and faces. One even had a hand over their eye, clutching and rubbing it in pain.

“I’m sorry! I couldn’t tell it was ammonia! The label didn’t mention-“

“It’s called studying, Jackson! And you wouldn’t have multiple casualties if you knew not to mess around with the sample!”

“But it looked similar to the actual testing compound-“

“But nothing. Get out of my sight. And hope that these kids live to see their own graduation!”

-----------------------------------------------------------

Jackson slumped against the bench. He was certain that there needed to be labels in the lab. But no, no labels to designate what was a silver compound and what wasn’t. To make matters worse, his phone was constantly buzzing. Whether it was a news update or texts from his fellow classmates, he knew that this confusion screwed him out of a degree. But then, an email notification went off. Jackson quickly checked his phone to see who would email him at a time like this.

It was an automated message from the school. And inside, as Jackson found out, was the following message:

“Due to an unforeseen circumstance, we regret to inform you that you have been expelled and barred from applying next semester,” the message started. Jackson couldn’t finish the email. The guilt of possibly injuring several students permanently was enough. In a fit of rage, he lobbed his phone far away from him. The phone had landed right in front of a grounds worker’s moving lawnmower. As soon as the device disappeared under the machine, a series of clanks and thumps resonated throughout the area. Before Jackson knew, his phone was launched from the lawnmower and right at his head.

-------------------------------------------------------------

“… not long after the lab incident, a foreman witnessed what he considered a ‘freak phenomenon’,” the reporter said.

“I didn’t know he threw the phone in my direction,” the foreman spoke. “I tend to listen to music as I work the lawns, plus the phone looked like a rock to me.”

“Doctors report that the victim- one Jackson Palade- suffered instant death through an excess of immediate cranial trauma. Back to you in the studios.”

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