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almost there
Sep 13, 2016



In with No.18 "and the house is on fire"

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almost there
Sep 13, 2016



PROMPT:

And the House is On Fire
1098 Words

Her hair was always electric blue. When they had first met she was young, maybe 12. He never thought she’d get any older. He remembers when they used to play games. She’d always want to play hide and seek and hide some place in his dream she knew he didn’t want to go. He’d always find her anyways, and he’d always take that courage back with him. Today she’s older and grazing his cock with her open palm in that obvious but casual way she could always deny if he asked. He doesn’t ask because he’s happy to see her finally grow up, but he can’t help but wonder what it means about him.

They do what they both came here to do and stare at the things by the wayside today. Not far off from where they start they see a fridge on its side between two trees that stick out sorely in a field so open. As they get closer they notice the fridge is laying down in a pool of gears, springs, circuitry, batteries and other electrical refuse that pour out obscenely from its wide open door. Blue stares at it in silence before saying that it reminded her of her dad.

Further down the path, but on the opposite side, they approach a shopping cart turned upside down on a little boy raptly staring into the cathode tube screen of a tiny television tuned to a scrambled channel. From the path they could only see the back of the boy’s head. Blue would walk around the cart to get a better view but when she came back she would say that the boy’s face always seemed turned away regardless of the angle she peered in from, and that she had also seen the boy clutching a dead finch in between his hands.

He’s certain that Blue loves him. He’s certain that she doesn’t judge him for his morbid obesity, his rank smell, or his torn clothes. She sees the abused child inside the broken man, even if he doesn’t.

~~

1:32 PM

Pirtz wakes up feeling more tired than he was in the dream. The middle of his forehead aches as the lush greens of the field resolve into the tattered concrete greys and sickly yellows of his studio apartment. He’s surrounded by litter. Pirtz’s bed sits like a solitary island in a sea of mouldy disposable coffee cups, plates caked with the hardened crusts of leftover food, and 2L empty soda pop bottles that squeak like party balloons when he wades through them. Pirtz affectionately refers to his apartment as ‘The Swamp’, and himself as ‘The Swamp Thing’.

On a desk on the other side of Pirtz’s room is his computer. Pirtz begins to rock back and forth in his bed in order to build enough momentum to slingshot himself out of bed and toward the chair carefully still turned toward the bed from the night before. The simplest tasks become daily triumphs when one weighed as much as Pirtz did. Pirtz has, since losing his mobility, knocked his bruised hips and toes against every possible corner, edge, bevel, leg and piece of furniture that made up everything he owned. In the past, these instances would spark some desire to change but, inevitably, Pirtz wouldn’t follow through. Now Pirtz finds himself enjoying the pain, he finds it comforting to know that it’s what he’s earned for himself. This time he makes it out of the bed and into the catcher’s mitt of his chair without incident.

Attached to his monitor is a tiny orange post-it note with “kill urself :3” written in a peppy hand. He tears it off and throws it behind him into The Swamp before reaching for the pack of cigs and half-empty bottle of Teachers left on his desk from last night’s consumption. Pirtz cycles through opening several matchbooks strewn about his desk before finding one with a match.

Pirtz taps the mouse and the computer’s monitor hums back into life to reveal that he never logged off the cam site from last night. He sees BlueberrySlut95 has a green circle beside her name that indicates that she’s in the middle of a show. He clicks on it.

When he gets in to the chatroom he sees that she’s not naked yet. She’s laying flat on her stomach on her bed. He PMs her,
“hey bluetiful <3 want to play again? I got credits enough for a private dance.”

He watches as she look up from the screen, brushes a wayward streak of soft blue hair snugly behind her ear and begin to type. His speakers ding when he sees her finish typing. She replies,
“heyyy sexii, I couldnt stop thinking of u last night. Cant wait till u see me naked again ;) let me freshen up b4 we 1o1, xoxo -Blue.”

He watches her blow a kiss before walking off cam. Pirtz takes the opportunity to strike his match against the matchbook’s emery board. Pirtz lights his cig and then watches the fire dance on the stick until he feels his eyes begin to burn and tighten. The pain gets him hard. He’s still holding the lit match when she comes back on cam. She’s wearing a lacy blue corset and matching frilled panties. She waves and blows the camera a kiss. He’s the only one in the chatroom now.

~~

If you were to ask Pirtz what happened to that match he might tell you that, instead of letting the match tip out of mindless fingers clumsy with lard and into The Swamp still-lit, that he could swear on everything he loved that he put that match out and waited until it cooled before throwing it into The Swamp like the countless matches before it. That you know the former to be true says a lot about momentum. Perhaps, as the fires turned his waste into kindle and the temperature increased and the heat bit into his ankles he only became more aroused. Maybe he would have reached a point where he knew the apartment was on fire, but didn’t care. As if Pirtz had resigned himself to his life’s miserable but welcome conclusion. Yet, despite what we know about Pirtz, the animal in him would run, as its liable to do, and, in its panic, he’d miss his slingshot and slam his toe against the door jamb before falling helplessly face-first into the flame.

That you know the former to be true says a lot about momentum.

almost there
Sep 13, 2016




https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uXsQ5KGMM95yW8S_3ass66DkFoeWuPJsYO9gjR8ksNw/edit?usp=sharing

I'm still willing to take on 2 other crits.

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



I'm calling out Djeser for being mean to me and hurting my feelings.
Can we get a bookie for this brawl?

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



Djeser posted:

Artist's depiction of Electric Owl after this brawl:


You see what i have to deal with ? :qq:

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



The Hypnotist
1387 Words

Vance is absentmindedly spooling a loose thread from his (newly) ruined Armani knit blazer around his finger when the two investigators walk into the tiny concrete room. The room is bare except for two aluminum chairs and a table with a recording console in the middle. Vance is unwinding the yarn from his quickly reddening finger when one of the investigators wave a manilla envelope from under Vance’s face and says,
“Wake up. This isn’t one of your therapy sessions.”

Vance stops, looks up, and locks eyes with the investigator holding the manilla envelope for a beat. They exchange expressions as blank as index cards before Vance’s lips curl into a wide customer-service rep type smile,
“Hello officer, fancy meeting you here.”
“Shut up. I’m officer Fire and this here is officer Water. Get it?” he points with his thumb to the expressionless man beside him, “we’re the ones in charge of The Hypnotist’s case at the FBI. As we understand it, you’ve worked with him before.”

Officer Fire pushes down the REC button on the console in the table in between them.

“Yeah, I’ve worked with him.”
“Good. Now, the way this is going to work is I’m going to ask you a few questions that relate to your activity with The Hypnotist while my partner stands over there looking like a sonuva bitch.”
Vance nods his head slowly, eyeing both investigators up and down before saying, “ask and ye shall receive.”

Q: “How did you and The Hypnotist meet?”
Vance smiles wryly before saying, “Well, he kinda conned me into it. Before I’d met The Hypnotist I was a tired stereotype (kinda like you); a struggling actor in L.A. He’d put out a casting call in the paper for someone 5’9 and caucasian to play a by-the-books cop in some television pilot. Seeing that at the time I was living with three other stereotypes in what may as well have been a glasshouse with a cockroach problem, I answered it.”
“You and people like you are kinda like my cockroach problem.” Mr. Fire smirks to himself before pulling out the aluminum chair from under the table and straddling it backwards in that student counsellor I’m-just-trying-to-relate-to-you kinda way. He asks,
Q: “What was your first meeting with The Hypnotist like?”
“Unorthodox. As you guys probably know the man likes to front as a therapist, so I was a little confused when I walked into his, you know, richly decorated and modern art adorned office. You probably know the one, that fou-fou place off of highway 10 in Santa Monica?”
Mr. Fire nods.
“Yeah, nice place. You see, though most actors won’t admit it, we walk in to most auditions expecting to be treated like disposable toilettes, and we certainly don’t expect to be auditioning across from an honest-to-God Rothko. Anyways, I walk in and there’s a bunch of actors that pretty much look exactly like me, some standing and some sitting in leather-upholstered chairs (chaises? Anyways, they were nice), doing the type of vocal warm-ups that make the room seem like the rec area at a high-end looney bin. So naturally, I sit down beside one blowing raspberries and start up my own exercises. I’ll be damned if any one of these basket cases get the part over me, ya know?”
Mr. Fire gives the barest semblance of a nod.
“After about half an hour his secretary at the time (her name was Audia) calls me in for my ‘appointment’,” Vance gestures hand quotes, “I say ‘appointment’ because the way everything was framed left me feeling like I was interviewing him more than the other way around. Looking back at it now, the ‘appointment’ was probably just a way he threw his mark off-kilter. I bet the Rothko wasn’t even real.
Officer Fire interjects, “You’re losing focus. What happened during that meeting?”

Vance takes a moment to look across the room at Mr. Water, then raises his hands into a steeple in front of him. His expression is dour.

“I don’t remember.” There’s a pause before Vance continues, “I think I have some idea of what his face looked like and I’m pretty sure the grift had something to do with me playing a cop but everything gets blurry after that.”
“I’ll take this moment,” Officer Fire says, “to remind you that if me or my partner have any reason to believe you’re willfully holding back information then your application to witness protection might—“
“I’m not loving playing you!” Vance says as he slams his fist on to the table. Vance takes a deep breath and watches his clenched fist loosen before continuing, “The last thing I remember is Audia letting me into His office and asking me to take a seat. Next thing I know I wake up, naked and with marks on my arms, in a studio apartment on Sunset Blvd. On the table was this note.”
Vance fishes out a piece of stationary with a Dr. Kotsik, PhD letterhead and hands it to officer Fire who begins to read it aloud,

“Dear Mr. Vance,
I’m glad you were able to overcome your initial hesitation to enter into what I believe will be a fruitful enterprise for all parties involved. From this point forward Audia will act as our liaison. In order to ensure this remains a fruitful enterprise I ask only two things of you:
1) Do not drink alcohol or ingest any other form of narcotic. Our agreement requires that you are ready for any job at a moment’s notice.
2) Do not pick up the phone. Audia will leave you voicemails with the details for the job and you are to follow the instructions left therein to a tee.

Sincerely,
Dr. Kotsik, PhD

P.S. I hope the new accommodations are to your liking.”

Officer Fire shows Officer Water the note. Officer Water says, “looks like our guy.” Officer Fire continues,
Q: “Earlier you mentioned you remember waking up with marks on your arms, do you have any idea what those were from?”
“You guys call him The Hypnotist as if he’s some spook wearing spiral sunglasses and swinging a pendulum in front of people’s faces, that could not be farther from the truth. Whatever he’s using to control people you can probably buy in a vial.”
Q: “How many jobs did Audia call you for after that?”
“Six. Six exactly. I know that because I made sure to write every detail down in a notebook. Every time it was the same story: I show up somewhere discreet then wake up in my apartment with some sort of cash gift.”
Q: “Where is that notebook and those voicemails now?”
“Probably at the apartment at Sunset, unless he already got to it. After little old ladies started pulling glocks out on me it didn’t take long for me to hustle on over to the police station.”
Q: “Excuse me?”
“Everybody is trying to kill me. Hell, that lady was the least of it. Just on the way over here I was just walking along the boardwalk when this loving kid, holding a balloon and wearing a loving windmill and looking like god drat Tweedle Dee, pulls a hand cannon out of his “mom’s” purse and gets two shots off before I can dive behind some concrete planters. Why do you think my blazer’s all hosed up?
Q: “Why do you think he’s out to kill you?”
“I got drunk.”
Q: “…and?
“That’s it.
Q: “That simple?”
“That simple.”

Officer Fire presses the REC button on the console again, turning it off.
“Okay Mr. Vance,” he says, “I think we got everything we could get today. I’ll send a cruiser to your apartment to retrieve that notebook. In the meantime, my partner here will escort you over to a secure holding cell where we’ll keep you until we figure out what to do with you.”
“Thank you” Vance says before standing up up and following Officer Water out the door and into the dimly lit hallway.

Vance and Water are standing sombrely in front of the dark holding cell when Vance faints and an empty vial tumbles out of the sleeve of his tattered Armani blazer.

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



Chili posted:

Ten minutes until the brawl is due from Djeser and Syndicate.

Edit; or right, Electic Owl. Christ pick a parachute and stick with it guy.

THE ELECTRIC OWL HAS MANY FORMS

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



Here's to not finishing last, again

*drinks so the sadness doesn't creep IN*


whoops, forgot to add I'm in with Toronto gothic

almost there fucked around with this message at 18:18 on Oct 13, 2016

almost there
Sep 13, 2016



Toronto Gothic
1534 words

Fallen From Grace

When Nub noticed the child staring at the lack of stuffing in his right sleeve he felt unnatural, like some bizarre beast. That stare, too impolite for the thousands of adults who passed him by, had in it the omen of truth. The truth that, when Nubs first felt the blowback of the wayward saw blade, led him to frantically embrace the amputated arm spasming fishlike in the wet sawdust. It hadn’t been his new reality that propelled Nub across the wood heap and towards that severed piece of himself; the melancholy thought that he’d have nothing to rub together when he got cold. But rather, it was the fear of becoming something totally and finally unnatural. The feeling of walking around with a morbid story where your arm should be.

The fear of falling from grace.

Nub took comfort in the Beatitudes of Jesus, and so recited after that child had stopped to stare,
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.

~~

Nub steps out of the church and into the dimming light. The air has a crystal edge to it that leaves daggers in his throat. It isn’t snowing yet, but it will soon. Soon the slowly spreading sheet of down will cover the tar-stained concrete, smother the grass in the park, and charm waking life to rest.

Nub thought of Jim Polanski as he plunged his left hand deeper into his lost&found-plucked coat’s pocket.

Jim was a friend of Nub’s who hadn’t been able to secure a bed at a shelter, mission, or halfway home last winter. Nub had heard through the grapevine that Jim had freeloaded off the kindness of bartenders and that that had eventually led to him being kicked out and into the cold. After Jim had passed out his body had frozen so stiff that the police had to go to the hardware store to pick up some gas heaters just to be able to separate his crystal-enamelled body from the greedy sidewalk. Nub remembers how Jim’s turgid body dropped onto the gurney with a thunk.

Thankfully, Nub and his brother Charlie wouldn’t have to share an oilcloth bed in a shelter this year, in no small part due to the kindness and piety of Father Archibald, Rector of St. Andrews Church. Father Archibald had offered Nub a position as a collection basket-bearer a few months prior, after he caught Nub trying to bless himself with his left hand in the holy water font.

Father Archibald had approached him, dipped his own right hand in to the font, and made the sign of the cross against Nub’s chest and shoulders for him.

“Remember my child,” Father Archibald had said, “Christ is seated on the right-hand of the Father, and we should follow his example.” Nub remembered bowing his head sheepishly and barely getting out a, “Thank you, Father,” before walking past the threshold and into the warm church.

After service had ended, Father Archibald sought Nub out among the parishioners and offered him the job in exchange for food, first pick at the lost & found, and winter shelter in the chapel (closed for the winter season). Nub had been so thankful that he began to weep in Father Archibald’s arms, leading Father Archibald to pat his back and recite,

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”

Nub repeats those words into a quickly evaporating cloud of cold.

Not more than a hundred meters down the sidewalk from him, Nub could see familiar faces huddled in a circle around a park bench. Some had blankets around them, and those who didn’t had their fingers curled around a bagged drink instead. Among them sat The Writer, who sat with arms crossed and the collar of his expensive peacoat pulled up against the wind.

“Knob, my man!” Charlie, his brother, cries out. Charlie offers Nub a sip out of his bag, “Be sure you don’t lick your lips before sippin’ or you might have to marry the thing!” he says.

The group of people laugh at Charlie’s joke.

“I guess that means its finally winter, Charlie. We’ll be spending our first night at the chapel tonight.” Nub says and then takes a sip out of the can of beer, “Ahhh, that’s good Charlie. Say, where’d you get the booze?”

“From me,” The Writer says, “I figured you guys could use a well-deserved sendoff. You guys have given me plenty to write about, and I look after my business associates.”

The Writer was an interloper. They came out of the woodwork, sometimes. The Writer’s name is Stephen Stoklanakov. He published a number of semi-famous novels that, through their dark art, turned Nub’s friend’s tragedies in to acclaim.

Stephen continues, “What’s this about a chapel, Nubs? Don’t you already go to church enough as it is?”

“Aye, but this isn’t for prayer. Father Archibald has been kind enough to offer me and my brother shelter from the cold in the chapel down the yard from the cemetery.”

“I presume that prude has offered you that in exchange for pimping out that tragedy of yours,” Stephen says.

“I am his Hand, not some god-forsaken whore. When Father Archibald sees neediness, he makes every effort to provide,” Nub says.

“Where’s my bed then?!” cries out Tipsy, famous for his ability to balance his vertigo with his affliction for the drink. “If he’s so big on helping the needy where’s my big bed?”

“It’s on the floor,” Nub says, “Where you’ve always made it. Come Charlie, we should bring our bedrolls to the chapel.”

“Sure, Nubs, whatever you say.”

Charlie finishes off the beer before raising it to the group and turning around and resting his right hand against Nub’s knobby shoulder.

“I hope it’s not too far of a walk, I can hardly stand.”

Nub recites to himself,
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

~~

What was a light snowfall at the beginning of Nub and Charlie’s walk had evolved into a snowstorm by the time they arrived at the chapel.

They are greeted by the figure of Father Archibald as he stands behind the altar in his neatly-pressed cassock.

“Welcome, my children,” he says, “to the house of God. I am glad you have made it before the snow proved too troublesome. You will find that I have made preparations for your coming by clearing out the pews.”

“Thank you, Father,” Nub says.

“Yessh, Fatherr, thanks you,” Charlie echoes in a drunken timbre.

Father Archibald says, “You look like you could use a rest, Charlie. Feel free to unfurl your bedroll wherever you so choose. In the meantime, I would like to talk to Nub.”

Charlie shrugs his shoulders and begins to unfurl his bed in the middle of the room.

“Goodnight, brother,” Nub says.

“G’night Knoby.”

Nub approaches Father Archibald, who makes the sign of the cross against Nub’s chest and shoulders.

“Do you consider me righteous, my child?”

“Yes Father, with your righteous hand grasping onto my left, you are the vessel with which my putrid soul is made worthy of the attention of God.”

“Prove it as Abraham did to God with the blood of his own son, Issac.”

Father Archibald looks Nub up and down slowly, considering the man’s dimensions, before letting his left hand fall by his side, the force of the motion driving a pearl-handled dagger out of the sleeve of his cassock and smoothly into the palm of his left hand.

Charlie lets out a sudden snore that causes both parties to glance in Charlie’s direction.

Nub slowly turns his head back towards the rector and asks “Will it be painless?”

“Mostly, my child. A strike through the neck might cause him some pain, but the alcohol will work to numb it and ensure that he bleed out faster.”

Nub nods his head and reaches for the dagger. The dagger’s pearl-handle feels slippery against his palm. His putrid, impure, filthy, yet only, palm. Base and equipped for death.

Nub’s knees on either side of Charlie’s head.

A choking gargle.

Ribbons of crimson blood.

The sound of foot-fall, outside.

“Somebody’s here!”

A door pulled out of Nub’s grasp by the wind.

Lost in the snow.

~~

The following is an excerpt from the October 23rd, 1996, issue of the Toronto Gazer:

AWARD-WINNING NOVELIST FOUND MURDERED IN HIS HOME
Award-winning novelist, Stephen Stoklanakov, most known for critically revered gothic novel “The Beast”, was found murdered in his home on the eve of October 18th,1996. The Toronto Police told the Gazer that the cause of death was blood loss caused by what seems to be a knife wound left by the carving of a pentagram into the victim’s torso. The pentagram, infamous for its use in mystic and magical practices, also features as a prominent motif in Mr. Stoklanakov’s aforementioned novel. If you, or anyone you know, has any information you believe could lead to the capture of the perpetrator, the Toronto Gazer strongly urges you to contact the Toronto Police tip line at : 1-888-STOP-CRIME.

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almost there
Sep 13, 2016



IN w/ a Sasquatch

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