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Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

I've never done this before, but I'm in. How hard can this be, I mean Goons do it. Pshaw, as if.

Oh God please love me!


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

The Rondeau. Word count: 1,263

James told himself he knew he was wrong, that he always thought he could read people but in reality he had the social IQ of Sloth. However, knowing and feeling were two different things. She tensed up when she saw him enter the viewing room and he, rather immediately, convinced himself that she did not want to see him, she was disgusted by him. It was clear, one moment her hand was pressed on the sleeve of a consoling black-clad mourner, and the next she stood with a knitted brow staring at dead James. Her hand slipped from the sleeve.

It was her hand that cinched the deal in his gut. He couldn't imagine her reaction coming from any place other than shock at the audacity of his being there at her Mother's funeral.

You're not going to die James, you're not going to die. He told himself that whenever he felt the world beginning to close in on him. He talked to himself in the third person, he wondered if that was odd, perhaps it was a sign of mental illness. He always suspected he was touched by mental illness. He did that one, too, mentally wandering off whenever things got too thick and his anxieties got the better of him.


James told himself he was right. This was months before the funeral, they were celebrating a new job with his friends. Ever since he had accepted the position he had been hyping himself up. She wants me to make a move, he thought. He believed that women liked men who knew what they want and went for it. He wanted her and so he was going to do something grand. It was that sort of logic that always led James to his doom.

“You're so good with people,” James said. “Everyone just seems to open up to you. I can't even get words to come to mind let alone properly enunciate them, unless I'm talking with somebody I've known for years. Hell, even then I stumble over myself.”

“You have to learn to be comfortable in your own skin. You're such a sweet person, James, you should let other people see that, not just me.”

“Thanks, Kel-Bella. You always make me feel like I'm a nice guy.”

He loved the rush, the ooey-gooey mush of her attention, and believed he could secure it forever. He approached it as he did most things in life, as a series conditional statements, figuring all he had to do was discover which one resulted in the most optimal outcome.

IF He said “I'm leaving tomorrow, unless you can think of a reason for me to stay.” THEN She would say, “Me. You should stay for me.”

ELSE IF He said “I've always loved you, I can't see myself ever being with anybody else, you are my one and only.” THEN She would say, “I've always loved you too, James.”

ELSE IF He said “You are perfect in every way, you're beautiful, kind, and intelligent, and you make me a better man. I want that in my life.” THEN She would say, “but James, you're a turbo-creep. I mean, what makes you think you're worthy of me?”

He settled on a poem. He did this after dinner in the living room with all their friends gathered around. He chimed a fork against his wine glass and brought everyone's attention to him. His focus remained solely on Kelly.

“Kel-Bella is a wretched being.
Tho she shines bright in the twilight,
her heart is small and turgid green.
Kel-Bella is a wretched being,
But my love for her is oft' seen
in flight of my poetic might.
Kel-Bella is a wretched being,
but she shines bright in my twilight.”

Of course it was never going to play out as he imagined, life should have taught him that lesson already. He had bought into subprime loans in early 2007, and he had believed Windows Vista would quickly replace XP. When something did come to fruition it was never as he envisioned. The land between expectation and reality was a barren expanse of anticlimax. So, instead of getting a mutual pronouncement of love, James got a knife fight. By his reckoning the first blood went to her, as her features dropped when he spoke. By the time he was done she was in the kitchen.


“No. No more Kel-Bella.” She crossed her arms. “James, you can't do something like that, what makes you think you could do that?”

“I just wanted- I mean, I wanted you to know how much you mean to me. I'm leaving and-”

“No, you wanted to tell me that you love me. That I am the girl of your dreams.”

“I- I do. I do love you.” He watched as she sharpened her blade.

“No,” she sank the blade into his heart. “You love the idea of me. This idea that I'm some kind of Virgin Mary, healing the sick, working with the poor. But I'm not. I can't fix you. Christ, James, I've been seeing Kevin. I would have told you but I didn't want to hurt you.”

The words kept flowing along with his blood onto the linoleum floor. He would have felt sick if his stomach and intestines were still in his gut, instead they sat wiggling on the floor like worm suicides after a summer shower. Soon the blood would dry and they would shrivel up along with the rest of his insides. Good riddance, he thought.

“I thought you wanted this. You kept saying how much you were going to miss me. That you were going to be thinking about me. And we get along so well, we finish each others sentences, we're always quoting the same stuff, and I-I make you laugh.”

“You think I wanted this?” She twisted the blade. “You are my friend, and yes I am going to miss you. But, James, I am not in love with you. You're fun to be around, and sure we have a lot in common, but that isn't love. And if you can't keep that straight then you're not even my friend.”


James told himself he had changed since then. He had spent the next few months questioning every belief he held about how he perceived the world. He asked his therapist how it was that every time he saw her heart breaking and thought it was over him, he had been wrong. Her heart only ever broke for him, not over him.

His therapist didn't have an answer, but thought it was a good question.

A mutual friend told him that Kelly's mother had passed away. He got on a plane the next day. Then when he entered the funeral home and saw her standing in a crowd of mourners he felt the old swell of emotions, as raw as ever. He told himself that it is only in his mind. I am not my feelings. I am in control. Then she looked at him.

He wanted to spill his guts all over again. I'm sorry for being a terrible friend. I'm sorry for embarrassing you like that. I didn't call, or write, like you wanted. I've seen a shrink. I'm better now. I understand my problems now. I tried to send you a message on Facebook before I left but I had unfriended you. But none of it came out.

She detached herself from the group of mourners. “Stop standing there awkwardly and hug me,” she said.

James told himself that he had changed.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

So as you can already see you should all just pack it in and cal it a week, cause I got this poo poo locked down. Tight. As tight as... Um, something sexual.

gently caress yeah!

If you think you're up to the task of critiquing me, go ahead, I double dog dare you. But my poo poo is going to blow your mind. You're going to be like "Omgz did he just reference a simple poetry form? I'm not even sure what that means! I should just go back to stuffing coal up my butt to make diamonds."

I won't be around for the live event, not that you even need to do it now, but whatevahs. I hope you butt miners can think of something new to occupy your time. Cause this poo poo is done.



That's right, I only need one letter to identify me, that's how cool I am.

This post in NO WAY constitutes a challenge to anybody, because I am a scared baby.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


Ironic Twist posted:


So, this was a mixed bag of a week. Turns out, maybe the concept of “confusion” might not be the best starting point for a story. Some of you made it work, and some of you were lost forever in the grey foggy labyrinth of your own story, doomed to be consumed by obscurity.

Judging was insanely fast, as we were all fairly quick to agree which stories stood out…for better or for worse.

Our first two undisputed Honorable Mentions went to Entenzahn and crabrock, for writing emotionally moving stories, one with a more physical maze, one with a more metaphorical maze, but both were memorably detailed, human, and emotionally moving. Thanks, guys, you helped pull this week out of the gutter.

Another headjudge fiat Honorable Mention goes to docbeard for writing the most genuinely enjoyable story this week, with characters that were some of the most likable and interesting out of all the stories we read. Conversely, the non-headjudges submitted Panthotenate’s story as another fiat Honorable Mention, and I ultimately agreed—the story was technically polished and captivating even though relatively low-key. Congrats, you both earned your high honors.

On the other side of the week, Dishonorable Mentions go to both WeLandedOnTheMoon and Ceighk, one for writing an all-but-incomprehensible story about a pregnant woman trapped by smoke and clunkers and talking unborn babies that was a mess to read, and one for writing a Myspace entry that took forever to get to the loving point.

Our Loss this week is Julias. If you read even a bit of this story, you’ll know why. The judges had a lot of fun laughing at it. We were not laughing with it.

And that just leaves the Win, which goes to a story that is very polished, very detailed, and is one of the most resonant and softly heartbreaking things I’ve ever read in the ‘Dome.

God Over Djinn, take a seat on the throne. You’ve absolutely earned it.

.... You've got to be loving kidding me. This is a joke. It has got to be. There is simply no way that anybody could have read my story and not come to the conclusion that I am anything other than a literary genius. You know what? I get it. I see what you guys are trying to pull, and its funny. Clearly you're waiting for me to pop into the IRC channel and then you'll post the real results and crown me the Ike Turner of Thunderdome. That's good. I mean you almost had me.


Okay, come on now, where are the results? I keep reloading the page and its the same loving thing. This is getting a little annoying here.

You couldn't possibly believe that some penny ante Doctor Who fanfiction, which I didn't even have to bother to read more than the first line to know was poo poo, was the best in show, could you?

Holy poo poo.

They say not to kill the messenger, but Twisteh I'm not about to forgotteh. Because I've got skillz, mad motherfucking skillz, and I'm gonna blow you outta the water.

The waterdome.


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


Pham Nuwen posted:

Oddly enough this is what I thought while reading your story :nexus:

Broenheim posted:

Hi there, for this exceedingly bad post, you're getting flash ruled that your sport will be a dog show and all the dogs will be very good and i will want to pet them.

Pfft. Dogs he says. Like writing about dogs is worthy of my talent. But okay, bucko, I'll give you dogs. And it won't be dog poo poo.

Why do I like negative attention so much?

Entenzahn posted:

I look into your faces and I see that you are scared, and you have every right to be. Because you are terrible. But I believe. I believe that, by working together, we can overcome the unsurmountable odds of facing the team that has the one good writer in it (no, not crabrock). I believe that, by pulling your heads out of your asses and actually giving a poo poo sooner than sunday evening, you can maybe, MAYBE be mediocre enough to win through sheer neglect on the enemy's side.

Finally, somebody gets my artistry.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


God Over Djinn posted:

:siren: What's a SPORTS without FANS? :siren:

If you have submitted to at least three previous Thunderdomes, but you are not entering this week, you are now officially a THUNDERTOPIAN SPORTS FAN.

Every fan is entitled to write between 80-120 words on the following subject:

What's going to happen after your team wins SPORTS?

and, in the same post, declare their favorite player. This is mandatory. Doing so will result in a small word bounty being assigned to their favorite player, depending on submission quality.

Let's get hunger games up in this bitch. This opportunity will last until 10pm Pacific Time Friday, January 22.

Fans? I don't need any fans, and before anybody thinks "Aw, that's sad Titus." Don't. Because you don't know how big of a fan I am of me.

You know the story of Narcissus? Of course you don't, you illiterate invertebrate. So here's the low down on the story of Narcissus: He was this gay dude way back in ancient times, like back when men could be like "Eh, Fred, I'm bored. Wanna go slay a Dragon?"

And Fred would be like, "Nah, brah, I haven't got my Heroic+ Raid gear yet."

"Well duh, then we should go do Baradin Holds and get you your raid gear."

"Sweet idea, brah!"

Only for realzies. Anyway, this dude Narcissus had a lot of guys after him, because he was super hot, and he had a charming personality, but I think it was because he had a stable job and a nice house which was all paid off that made him such a fine suitor. You know, the type of fella you'd dream about bringing home to Mom and Dad and show them that their neocon bullshit is, well, bullshit. So he had a bunch of suitors and he spurned them all, because they were all uggos. So one guy decides to go all e/n on Narcissus and kills himself. And the worst part? He does this right on Narcissus doorstep.

What a douche nozzle.

So when Narcissus saw a dead body on his doorstep he was like "Eww, I'm just gonna step over this.... And we're good."

But the Gods didn't like this, because now they had to deal with the whiny uggo for all eternity, and they blamed Narcissus. So while Narcissus was walking down the street he saw his own reflection and instantly fell in love with it. He was all "Holy poo poo. I am so super hot. You know, I'm so hot that I can't ever settle for anybody less than me, and there is nobody greater than me, so I guess I'll just kill myself."

"Blargh." And he died.

But me? When I look into my own reflection, my reflection falls in love with me. That's how much of a fan I am.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

I want the words

Bro, I don't have to tell you why I deserve the words, because deep down in your heart you already know why I deserve them. I'm fab. I'm on another goddamn level. No, this thread doesn't need another reason for everyone to hate themselves, what this thread needs is some love. Love, Bro. The kind of Love that Pham Nuwen shows his hand every single night. No, that's not a masturbation joke, I am talking about the love of sweet, sweet, writin'.

Check this, the boys got the soul of a poet:

Pham Newun posted:

With a host of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.

Do you feel that? That's the raw power of his word smithery working on your frontal cortex.

Pham Nowin might not be the reigning champion of Thunderdome, its true that he has never won a single week, but he has earned himself an Honorable Mention. That's more than most contestants of the 'dome can say. Hell that's even more than I can say.


Now I know that you're thinking, but Broseph, that's because you got robbed. But I ain't here to be talkin' about that. No, I'm here to talk about Fham.

And Pham, buddy, I am going to loving devastate you. But that doesn't mean that I don't love you, that I don't appreciate you're hard work. Because I do, brother, I truly do. So you keep your words, you need them to sing brightly for the 'dome, and in the end... All those extra words you got will only serve to make my victory all the more glorious.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

The Runt
Word Count: 1077

He dreamed the same dream every night for a month. A dream in which he emerged from a dark tunnel into a blindly light cavernous chamber, flags from every foreign land hanging from the crisscrossed rafters. Wasam would try to find the familiar cyan and seafoam green of his country’s flag, but it was always lost somewhere in the kaleidoscope of colors. Then came his favorite part, when he would see Hamal, his shaggy pure white mountain of a dog, sitting atop a three-tiered platform being crowned Best in Show of the Autumn Olympics.

But now he couldn’t sleep. He was flying home after the competition, and while it was only the second flight in his entire life, he didn’t feel so much as a twinge at the roar of the engines and the rushing of the wind. The difference was, of course, that he was heading back to his hometown, not in triumph as his dreams had portended, but in failure.

Hamal, and by extension Wasam, had never even managed to make it into the show.

To make matters worse, Hamal was cooped up somewhere deep in the belly of the plane, nose squashed up against an undersized cage. All Wasam wanted was to dream the dream again, or hug Hamal. Instead he sat replaying the series of events, over and over again, that led him to defeat.


The day that Hamal had come into the world, Wasam had found his Papa crouched next to a pile of hay in their old barn, murmuring soft words he could not make out. He saw the old angry-looking brown shepherd dog lying in blood and had gasped in fright. Papa had turned and smiled, waving Wasam over.

“Is she dying, Papa?”

“No, she’s had pups.”

When he finally got close enough he saw them: half a dozen puppies suckling on their mother’s teats. All except for one, a little snow white pup with red eyes, off by itself. Wasam had pointed and noted the similarities between the Mastiff pup and the lambs of their flock. Papa had smiled at Wasam.

“You have named him,” Papa had said.

“Named him? I named him Hamal?”

“Yes, Lamb. It is a good name for a runt.”

Runt. Wasam hadn’t known what the word meant. He had asked an old Jaddah of the village and she told him that it was the one Papa knew would never grow large and couldn’t be sold at the market. She had also claimed that Hamal was an unnatural animal, an albino, and not to be trust around livestock. Papa had agreed. He would not allow Hamal near the flock.

Wasam had paid them no mind. He had cradled Hamal in his arms, feeding Hamal milk from a goat’s bladder, his tawny hands in stark contrast to the white fur. Wasam knew that Hamal would be a gentle dog. And Hamal had rarely barked at his flock, and never so much as nipped at the most obstinate and wayward of the goats.

Hamal had stood nearly half the size of a mule by the time Papa died.


It was a surprise, then, when Hamal bit the Judge at the Dog Show.

Traveling to America had been a shock for both of them, but the real shock had come at the Dog Show. When Wasam had entered the backstage, he was glossy eyed, confused, and exhausted. But all of that disappeared when he saw the competition. The sheer variety of dogs drew into question his very definition of what a dog was. They ranged from the rough-coated, pony sized, Irish Wolfhounds, to the tiny lamb-like Poodles. But most important were the Mastiffs. Not one Mastiff looked anything like Hamal, their features reminded Wasam of puppies. They had naturally gentle expressions, as opposed to the protruding fangs and snub nose of Hamal.

But if Wasam had taken this poorly, Hamal had taken it even worse. He had growled at the Irish Wolfhounds, but it was the treatment of the Toy Poodles that upset him. They had been primped and prodded, sprayed with cans of a cloyingly sweet aerosol, their masters handling them like little dolls. Hamal had pulled his leash taut and had begun to bark wildly when a weak-chinned woman, her grey hair as curly as her dogs, picked up the tiny Poodle.

Everything had stopped. The woman had clutched the Poodle close to her chest, which only drove Hamal wild. Wasam had been pulling on the leash and begging for Hamal to calm down, when a bald man with a swept-back mustache approached the pair.

A Judge.

“Sir! The contestants are strictly forbidden from barking,” the Judge shouted over Hamal. “I’m afraid if you are not able to control that, that dog, then you’ll be disqualified.”
The Judge had stepped in between Hamal and the Toy Poodle and that was the last straw. Hamal had lunged forward, causing Wasam to spill to the floor, and with a gentleness that only Wasam appreciated, nipped the Judge. It had not mattered that no blood was drawn, if a dog was not allowed to bark then it was not allowed to bite.
They had been expelled from the event.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Wasam had cried. Not to the Judge, but to Hamal.


After the plane landed, and after Wasam finally got Halam to settle down, and when he himself settled down, getting out all of his pent up hugging and petting, Wasam was able to say the words he meant to say earlier; “It wasn’t your fault, Hamal. You are a good Dog, a good shepherd, you were trying to protect your flock. If we can’t measure a dog by its actions, what can we measure them by?”

In the terminal, Wasam was slumped-shouldered, he didn’t expect to find anybody waiting for them. How had he ever expected such a rough beast to win an American Dog Show? He was foolish, his Papa had been right.

Then came the cheer.

Wasam looked up and found a sea of smiling faces, welcoming embraces, and congratulations. Nobody in the village’s collective memory had ever gone to America, and they all wanted to know what it was like. It mattered not that they hadn’t been on television, or won any medals - Hamal was the simple shepherd dog who flew to America. Not a runt, or an albino, but a Shepherd.

Do you see now, Papa? Wasam thought.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

I'm in like Flynn.

And SH? Hit me for the max!

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

I am thinking about using the school counselor in some way, shape, or form. Anybody get any plans to use this role?

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

The Girl with the Dead Mom
Word count: 1439

I sat in Ms. Goldacker’s office waiting for my Dad to arrive. I hated being there, though I had to sit with her for an hour every week. Just another fun perk of being The Girl with the Dead Mom. But this time was different, even I will admit that, as I was a real poo poo show, or so my Dad would say. I was amazed that she didn’t call the Principal. After all it isn’t every day you see a kid have a total meltdown, wailing and flailing about in the halls of Domegrassi Jr. High.

Though, honestly, with the stuff that goes on around here? It probably should be.

You see, I had just beaten up a girl, and depending on who you ask that girl is a ghost. Like, an honest to goodness ghost. I’m talking Casper here. Or maybe Slimer, as she is pretty ugly. Of course I didn’t believe in any of that, though not believing in Ghosts made it rather awkward when I started finding letters from my dead Mom inside of my locker.

I found the first letter the day after Christmas break. It didn’t upset me, I didn’t even give it that much thought, despite the fact that it was from my dearly departed Mum. Or it claimed to be, anyway. I’d imagine it's pretty difficult for a dead person to write a letter, being a skeleton and all, and forget about what postage must cost. But it had seemed like a harmless joke, though one in poor taste, and not exactly funny. The letter was short: Become the woman you were meant to be.

Then I got the second letter.

It was a similar message, but in it she called me Peter Rabbit. I had never shared that tidbit with anybody. That was private. It belonged to one of a handful of clear memories I had of my Mom. Her playing on the piano and singing, me hopping around the living room dressed in the coolest PJs ever. They were exactly like the one’s Ralphie gets in A Christmas Story. Every time I hopped over to my Mom she’d feed me a carrot or some broccoli. It was the only way I would eat my vegetables.

It ate away at me, why would somebody write letters like those? If they wanted to mess with me, why not write something nasty? Like, I dunno, “I wish I had an abortion. Love, Mom.” Or, “FYI I actually killed myself and it was because of you.” Not something you’d find on a motivational poster in the Assistant Principal's office.

I had gone to the Ghost Girl, her actual name is Violet, to try and figure this out. What can I say, I was desperate. I had already sat under the bleachers with Tammy Ficus, letters spread out between us, trying to solve the Locked Locker Mystery, when she suggested I consult with the supposedly dead.

“You’re crazy, girl.” I told her but meant stupid. Still, I did it anyway. I skipped second period and tracked Violet down to the girl’s bathroom. I think she had been smoking as she acted all mousy when I entered.

“Yo, Ghost Girl,” I said. “I’ve got some questions about the afterlife.”

“Um, I got to get back to class.” She squeaked.

“Hold up,” I blocked her path when she tried to scurry away. I took a chance and told her about the letters. I figured it wasn’t too likely that the girl everyone thought was a ghost would blab it to the entire school.

“You’re lucky. You’re mom must really love you.”

“It’s not my Mom. She’s dead.”


“So? The dead don’t come back. Not ever.” This was yet another perk of being The Girl with the Dead Mom. You learn very early on that the dead don’t come back. Not ever.

“Then why are you asking me?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you’re the one who's behind all of this. Maybe you think it’s good fun to mess with the Girl with the Dead Mom.”

I hated being called that.

“I would never do anything like that. I knew your Mom, she was so creative, she had synesthesia like you. That was before, you know...”

“Bullshit. You never knew my Mother, you’re a year younger than I am.”

She pushed her way past me. I followed her out into the hall.

“Believe what you want, but the dead do come back, if they have a good enough reason. And if you’re Mom is leaving you letters than you better listen to them, because she is trying to tell you something import-”

I had enough, I grabbed her hair and slammed Violet against the lockers. The loud clang and dull thud her body made seemed satisfyingly real to me. “You’re not a loving ghost! You’re just a stupid little girl who wants to be special! But you’re not. You’re not special, you’re not smart, you’re not funny, you’re not even pretty. The only reason people think you’re a ghost is because you’re so forgettable that you might as well be one.”

And I should know, I thought, because I’m the same.

This was when Ms. Goldacker stepped into the fray. She shouted my name, I turned to her, my vision blurry with tears, and when I looked back, Violet she was gone. Mousy bitch, I thought.


Ms. Goldacker was always well dressed, usually with some flowery patterned dress, a girly colored sweater, and cute but sensible high heels. When she saw my Dad approaching her office, with some kind of package in hand, she quickly flattened her skirt and touched her curly hair.

What a hoebag.

“Mr. DeForest, I am so sorry to have to call you at work, but I’m really happy you could come in for your daughter.”

“Of course, anything for my little Artiste,” he winked at me. “I would have gotten here sooner, but I think the traffic cabal is conspiring against me. I just can’t seem to get anywhere on time since they started work on I-40.”

She didn’t get that he was attempting to be funny. Nobody would, I only knew because I have been exposed to his awful sense of humor my entire life. When it finally clicked Ms. Goldacker erupted into laughter, the kind of laughter one laughs when dealing with an armed madman. “You know that if I could ever help you, or Livinia, I would be happy to.”

Especially if it involved you using your vagina, you filthy trollop, I thought. But instead I said: “Thanks, Ms. Gee, but we get by on our own.”

“You said on the phone that Liv had an outburst of some sort?”

“Yes, I’m afraid I found her in the halls hitting the lockers and shouting.”

What? How did she not see Violet? It was the first break of the day. Maybe now I wouldn’t be expelled for fighting, though I suspected that I would end up in Ms. Hoebag’s office more.

“Kid?” My Dad turned to me, his expression was flat but I knew he was worried.

“It was nothing. I was just stressed.” It wasn’t exactly a lie. I was stressed.

He sighed a long sigh, it was the hallmark of his disappointment.”You’ve been acting so differently lately. I don’t see you drawing anymore, or painting, you just close yourself up in your room as soon as you get home from school. I feel like I’m losing my little girl.”

You are. Because you’re little girl isn’t who you think she is.

“I stopped by the house before I came here. I think it’s time you had these.” He handed me the package, a box filled with letters. And there it was, the first note from my Mom, written in the same loopy scrawl: Be the woman you were meant to be.

Something broke inside of me. It felt like my rib-cage imploded. I couldn’t stop crying, snot was even rolling down my face. My Dad hugged me, patted my auburn hair, told me everything was going to be okay. I told him everything. Not just about the letters. I told him about how I thought I was terrible at art. How I thought terrible things about people all the time. How I could hardly remember Mom. How when I dreamed of her we always argued. How I lied about having synesthesia because I wanted to be special, to be more like her.

And you know what? It was okay. Because that’s the type of woman I was meant to be: Honest.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

This entire post is out of character.

I am still at work but I've got loads of time on my hands, despite it being my long day. I don't like Mondays. As a result I took some time to write some crits for people, and this being my first time critiquing anybody’s work, I wanted to try and do people some justice and being funny and kayfab just won’t work.

I apologize to some of you as I feel I was unable to give everybody the same quality of crits. For the most part this is due to me feeling like I don’t have anything of substance to offer, or else I feel as if I’m not in a place to be critical of your work. It is not a reflection of what I thought about your story or you.

Dicking Around

I have only ever read one story that was written in second person. It was awful. In general second person should never be done. Not ever. Perhaps if there was something it added to the story, but I cannot think of an instance where that would be the case. But that is a personal preference, ya? And I applaud you experimenting, because this is a great space to do just that.

So why doesn’t second person work (for me anyway)? Well, it is asking the reader to invest a lot up front. I am supposed to put myself in those shoes right away, no description can really be given as the character is supposed to be me, except it isn’t because I never acted like this little shithead. Neither did I hang out with anybody like Merrick. So for me, I was put off from the story and thus the second person had the opposite of its intended effect. Had you wrote in first person or third person I would have enjoyed the story more.

‘Cause its funny in that juvenile way. Your description of the various dicks and lines such as “A pornucopia of dicks” made me laugh. But the story is one note and doesn’t deserve 1300 words, halfway through and I was done.

So I wanted to say that I notice in my work that I have a tendency to try and play for humor when I feel I cannot be serious, not because I don’t know how to be serious, but because I feel like I will be unable to pull it off. There is a fine line between heartfelt and maudlin, one is genuine the other is overly sentimental. Comedy is easier.

I don’t know if that is what you do, but I offer it up as something to consider.

New Year, New Life

You are striving for something very human in your story. I dig, that. The story is, in essence, about starting over, and in your particular case it’s starting over in the face of tragedy. But starting over is something we all have to do in life, and we have to do it multiple times. You know we go to school and then are faced with the “real world”, that’s a kind of starting over. We change jobs, start whole new careers, that’s starting over. We form relationships, people get married and have families, and that is starting over. Then kids grow up, or relationships end, ect, ect.

In other words you have a good theme to write about. And there are a few places where I felt you had opportunities to write a different story that still sort of dealt with the same theme. For example you wrote that Mr. Trejo hoped that Danny wasn’t wearing a mask like he was, I think this was your most effective section, and that could have been a story in of itself.

I am not saying you should have wrote that story, by the way. I only wanted to point out the potential that this story had, you gave yourself places to go if you choose to take them, and they were interesting places.

You’ve got a concept. That’s cool and I hope you see that.

So now the negative. Charlie is sort of your deus ex machina, he solves a problem you had when it comes to relating Mr. Trejo story without it being a “data dump”, but it ultimately is because the conversation is so unnatural. You needed to get that information to the reader, that Trejo lost his wife and son, and that he had aspirations that he never lived up to. So you wrote Charlie as being mentally retarded so he could awkwardly ask Trejo the relevant questions.

Then I think there might be a mistake here: You have Trejo seemingly unaware that people in their thirties go back to college. (Really? Their thirties? gently caress, I feel old.) Then at the end you inform us that Trejo’s wife had told him the same thing… So he shouldn’t be shocked.

A Photo of Mr. Kellogg

Dude. Weird story. Sorry I don’t have more to say :(

Re: Teacher's Lounge Biohazard Incident

I really don’t have anything worth offering you, either.

Don’t Be Too Smart in Middle School or the Universe Might Collapse in on Itself

Three I don’t know what to say in a rows!

No, gently caress that. I’ll try to say something, and that is that the message of your story isn’t entirely clear to me. I think you are either telling a straight moral, where kids should still be able to be kids, and being a little dumb and having fun is important in life.

But then I think you are trying to say that the entire system is setup to subvert the intellectual development of children. Like, from the “cool and understanding” adults, to seemingly the very nature of the universe itself. I think this is the “correct” interpretation, because it’s pretty hosed up of the Principal to be like “Sure kids should be allowed to have porn. It’s good for them.”

In this light Cathy is the hero of the story, and a hero who fails, as she is the only one who is actually concerned about the welfare of the children.

So if I am correct, then good job, and if I’m not or if you’re like “whatevs, it’s just a story, dude.” Then gently caress you.

… You blue eyed devil.


The Finger

I enjoyed this story, and it might be that my reading skills just suck, but I had to reread some sections to figure out who was who. I just had a hard time following it. Which is pretty bad since it’s two characters. But I guess I can blame that on you? Though I don’t know. I guess my biggest advice would be to throw a bone to the reader, like having a “Jonas said” once in awhile.

I dunno, the more I look at it the more I think I am retarded.

So the only other thing is that I don’t note any differences between the way the two kids speak. Then there is stuff going on that I have no understanding of, like the party in the back of the comic book store, and the whole Jizzman business. Both of these kids seem like jerks. Then you’ve got this great moral at the end of the story, about true friendship, but none of them are being good friends so obviously they both don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

“so it’s gonna be forever or it’s gonna go down in flames”

This is not an e/n thread.


I really want to be able to provide some solid feedback for you, since you asked for some in the thread already. But I just don’t know what to say. I don’t get your story, I don’t understand what, if anything, I am supposed to take away from this. Why on Earth is this teacher getting his nephew to piss in people’s lunches and coffee? How is that supposed to get the curve to equal out? And what lesson is the nurse supposed to have learned?

I feel especially lovely asking these questions because read my story and change a few words and they all apply to me.

But when it is all said and done, how has Sarah changed? It looks like she faced troubles before and faced the same problems, people not wanting to create a scandal, and so she… Runs away? So she learned nothing.

The Little Bird Don’t Sing No More

I already told you that you can go gently caress off. Now let me tell you why. Look at your last sentence: “I crane my neck, look for a bird that I know I’m not going to see, and I wonder if it’s in a cage, or free.”

There is a rhythm to those words, a poetry, that is light and fluffy, yet it conveys something substantial. I wish I wrote lines like that. I am not going to compare you to F. Scott Fitzgerald, you aren’t anything like him, but this elegant fluff is something I think of when I think about The Great Gatsby. At least in the first half of the story he describes things, like hills leaping over fountains, or the way Gatsby would look out across the water, in a way that is airy. It’s more than that, of course, but I only want to talk about the lightness of his work. I admire that lightness. It makes it all seem so easy and yet somehow touches me deeper than I can properly express.

That line loving nails it.

The only problem I can say is that it is a line that is earned a little too late. If I were lazy (and I am) and I just happened to glance at your work, I never would have made it far enough into it to get to the point where I had a sense of what might be. The opening line, the second, or even third paragraph, something there was missing there. Something to lure me in and tell me that you had something significant in store for me.

I wish I had more for you. But that is the most I can think to say. I am not even sure I am correct. I just feel that the first half doesn’t compare to the second half.

Though, maybe I can see what was said in the live crits, about there being something almost unsatisfying about this read. Sort of like Gatsby again. We just sort of drift through it, we get to see the flash and splendor, and the hints at something grand and epic, but we never delve too closely or deeply, do we?

Don’t Let Your Star Go Out

This story filled me with such a sense of dread. Despite that sense of dread I did not expect the ending, the reveal of Mr. Walter. I said on IRC that I wanted to know what happened to Oscar after the story ended, and in the end what I really want is to be told that Oscar is going to be okay. That he either isn’t going to Mr. Walter, or he isn’t going to let his star go out, or just that he isn’t going to be hurt. He is in such an awful, horrible, place and the only outcome I see for him is bad.

But let me back up here for a sec. I am having a very difficult time organizing my thoughts in regards to this story. It elicited a strong response in me, I felt as if I got some of what Oscar was going through. I’m not going to make this an e/n thread and I am definitely not going to share my life’s story with any of you fucks, but I’ll say this: It is so rough to be a child and to grapple with the poo poo I feel Oscar is grappling with. I think Oscar, and I may totally be projecting here, doesn’t quite get the difference between certain emotions. Like love, respect, adoration, and then things like sexual attraction. These are all muddled up, and when you add in that they can be directed or confused with somebody of the same gender it can be all the rougher.

The one thing I can tell you about your story that I think stands out to me is that you are very humane in your portrayal of Walter. I didn’t expect the reveal about him at the end. I feel now like I should have. But anyway, you don’t make him out to be a monster, you withheld your judgement and even gave us a peek at something more. I am struggling to put this into words. I don’t know what it is, but when he is sitting there by Oscar’s desk I know there is more going on in him than just he’s a scary, nasty person. And it is in my nature to then wonder what that is, what is going through his head? That could be a very interesting story, and potentially distressing, but I think it would be worthy.

I had hoped that he would be the teacher that would take interest in Oscar for purely selfless reasons and help Oscar through a difficult part of his life.

I don’t know, man. I feel really sad thinking about this poo poo. But maybe that is another point I can make: You have an unfair advantage with me. Look at how much of what I wrote is me bringing my own baggage to your work. Christ, I feel like I did half of the work here, so I am far from the average reader. If you want to reach an audience with a story like this you will have to convey this stuff in a way that they can relate.

Just tell me this poo poo is going to be all right. I really need to hear that. :(

The Case of the Shy Ghost: A Domegrassi Jr. High Movie Club Mystery

I don’t know what to say to this. Sorry? I don’t mean this in a bad way, I just don’t know what to offer you. I’m not sure you were going, other than a story about friends sticking together through a fun romp. I think you did that.

The First Last Road Show

Read above.


I got a kick out of the idea. There isn’t anything else I can offer you. It was, I don’t want to say cute as that might be perceived as being derogatory, but a neat idea of taking a 1984 style kind of vibe and applying it to Jr. High. The last couple of sentences were nice enough, I especially liked the “I can feel the split down the middle of my mind now.”

Maybe, and this is only a maybe, if you were aiming at a broader point, such as how comforting conforming can be, and how we delude ourselves, or justify our own actions even when, or especially when, they are obviously (from the outside) wrong… You failed.

I mean, I see it as being your point. Rebecca is happier now that she has conformed to the party (the Jr. High status quo or whatever), yet the big about not having felt better since dating some dude was just tacked on at the end and didn’t play any part in the rest of the story (unless I’m stupid and missed it.) It was like you had to drive the point home somehow and they did it with that. Also, Rebecca doesn’t appear to struggle all that much, or maybe that isn’t right. Maybe its that she doesn’t have much of a motivation for betraying her friend. What does she get out of loving over Steph like that?

But, dude, it is a really fun idea. I wish I had something solid I could offer you, because I’d like to see this done again, maybe in a longer format? Like maybe that’s the biggest problem? I don’t know. I’m not good enough to be able to tell you :(

Pray to Dionysus

You’re characters are, like, totes too old for Domegrassi Jr. High. Like, what are they? Freshmen age? Are they stupid? They totes flunked outta High School, didn’t they? OMG.


But, seriously, I wanted to say that I appreciated you tackling this subject. I guess the only crit I can give you is that you tell us that Holladay is a oval office to your character, but I didn’t see it. I know this is flash fiction, but I think the story would have been stronger if we actually saw something, like if she had started to be a bitch as soon as she was in the bathroom and yet the protagonist felt sorry for her.

Because I think you were going for emotional growth. Your character learns a lesson about seeing people, even the nasty people in the world, as being human with their own problems and shortcomings. So she can’t hate the mean girl, because she understands her a little better, and even sympathize because she has her own plight, one that they might even share.

I think it would be stronger had something been shown up front, so we could see where they started and thus better judge the distance they’ve traveled.

But let me end positively by reiterating that you tackled a big subject and once which I'm more than a little leery to read about, as I could be offended if it was handled in a lame way. I don't think you did that, though, so I enjoyed the effort. Bring more of that!

...Now back to work where I pretend to do stuff until 6 and then finally got to leave at 8. Weeeeeeeee!

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

I've been robbed AGAIN? This poo poo so obviously rigged.

The ONLY thing saving you people right now from my MIGHTY WRATH is that Dum Dum Girls video. Because whoever picked that is a fuckin' ballah.

Which is why it couldn't possibly have been from any of the Judges. I mean just look at them: SittingHere? More like Little Ms. I'm A Pixie, and CurlingIron? You don't even use a curling iron! And the only thing ironic about Ironic Twist is that there is no twist.


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Count me in. :v:


Wait, was I supposed to come up with a word with in in it?

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Waltzing Matilda
Word count: 1250 on the nose!

It is a little known fact that the end of the universe began with Matilda Brown’s tiny red toaster. Matilda had put a bagel in, she distinctly recalled doing this despite the early hour, and the lack of coffee coursing through her system, as she lamented her frugal nature which had urged her to buy the smaller model. Thus was she destined to squash flat the bagel on the kitchen counter, remember the ordeal in precise detail, so that when she checked on the bagel and found a pile of flour in its place, she was to be terribly confused and demanded answers from the universe.

Sadly, for the fate of the entire universe, destiny was something Matilda Brown was highly skilled at thwarting. She was a cellist of exceptional talent, yet she spent her days teaching bored children to play so their wealthy parents could say, “oh, I’m so sorry, but Janet has a recital that evening.” This was due to her choice of perfume, for if she had gone with Lemon Verbena, or Eucalyptus, she never would have been bit by a mosquito and infected with the West Nile virus. No virus, no neurological damage, and her career as a cellist would have been right on track.

Unbeknownst to her, destiny had tried to offer her a second chance. But instead Matilda shrugged at the pile of four and got a bagel from the deli down the street. Had she taken the time to investigate she potentially could have warned humanity of its impending doom, giving mankind enough time to save itself. Instead, humanity’s first clue would come when an aeroplane over Gibraltar disappeared, some six months later.

It was a DC10 with 194 people aboard, on course to Frankfurt, Germany. One minute it was over the city and the next only air. A week later the passengers re-appeared at their destinations. They were all casually waiting for their luggage. After weeks of intensive scrutiny it was revealed that none of the passengers remembered anything after take off.

Conspiracy theories abound until the Earth switched its orbit with Jupiter.

Matilda had watched as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, and Michio Kaku, fruitlessly tried to explain to Barbara Walters that this was a good thing. The mechanics that governed the universe, it appeared, were becoming internally consistent across all scales, big and small. All three physicist reassured the public that in spite of the obvious chaos and mayhem it would open up a new world of possibilities. They were, however, completely wrong.


On what would be the last night of their lives, Matilda went out with her friends. They went Quantum Bowling. It had become quite the craze, with people bowling in reverse, the pins arranging themselves in an orderly triangle, as the ball rolled its way back to its owner. And unlike regular bowling, which required skill, Quantum Bowling was a game of chance, so Matilda was assured she would do just fine. This was because the ball could take multiple paths at the same time. But still the night had gone south when Matilda ran into herself.

She went to the bar by herself, having spurned the latest advance of Matthew Gaelish, a man whose idea of being charming involved brushing her hair while telling her that she would look prettier if she smiled more. It had been her friend Kathy’s idea to invite him, in an obvious ploy to match Matilda up with someone. At the bar, Matilda saw a young woman in the same yellow cardigan as her own. She failed to make the immediate connection, as who ever expects to meet themselves? Until she saw Matthew standing next to her, touching her.

“What are you doing? Get away from him!” She told herself.

Alterna-Matilda and Alterna-Matthew turned and looked at Matilda, both expressing the kind of shock you would expect given the situation. “Whoa, you’re...You’re me… How is that possible?”

“Actually,” Alterna-Matthew said, “I’ve heard about this. We’re experiencing an alternative reality.”

“Okay, so why should I get away from him?” Alterna-Matilda asked.

“Because he’s vile!”

Alterna-Matilda looked at Alterna-Matthew and shrugged. “I think he’s pretty cute.”

“Ugh!” Matilda stormed back to Matthew, not “her” Matthew, as she did not want to even take grammatical possession of him, where she promptly threw her drink in his face. “You’re a total scuz bucket and I never want to see you again!” She shouted.

“What the gently caress, lady!?”

“You know what the gently caress. You’re a slimy bastard! You think that by applying your cheap moves I’ll sleep with you.”

“You’re a crazy bitch!” He waved his hand dismissively.

They argued, in the same manner, with Matilda throwing verbal spars and Matthew returning four word retorts, for ten whole minutes. Eventually Kathy dragged Matilda outside.

“So, what just happened?” Kathy asked, making her best exasperated facial expression. This involved scrunching up her tarantula leg eyebrows into a unibrow.

“I don’t know.” Matilda paced in the empty parking lot. “I saw him, at the bar, with me. You know, not me, but me. Another me. And he was touching other-me.”

“Jesus,” said Kathy. “I’ve seen people explode from hitting the pavement after jumping off the roof, but you don’t see me acting like a oval office about it.”

“I’m not being a c-word. You shouldn’t even say that.”

“Throwing a drink in Matt’s face is pretty oval office-y, Matilda.”

“He’s been pawing at me all night long.”

“So? He’s cute,” Kathy said with a shrug.

“What is wrong with people?” Matilda asked. “When did patently awful behavior become acceptable? Or to call a woman the c-word? Nothing in this world makes sense anymore, I mean, God, just look at the parking lot!”

Kathy did look at the parking lot. It seemed like a perfectly normal parking lot to her. “What about it?”

“There are no cars, Kathy. There are no cars because it’s impossible to drive when every car can take every possible path at the same time. People aren’t meant to be able to take every path, we’re meant to take one path, and to be stuck with the consequences.”

At that very moment Matilda realized what it was that she wanted most of all in her life. It was a good thing as the universe had a remarkably little time left. All she wanted was for the world to make sense. And that was exactly what playing the cello gave her, a sense of order and structure, all of which had been missing from her life since she contracted the West Nile virus.

Matilda did the most rational thing she had ever done, and in doing so walked directly into the annals of fate: She marched home, grabbed her cello, and began to play.

This may not seem a big deal, but each movement of the bow across the strings resulted in every possible sound that could be made. Playing Beethoven was right out. So she adjusted, she listened to each potential sound as it was made, and chose the note which sounded best to her. One by one the notes coalesced, the sound of an infinite number of cellos roared in her apartment, and Matilda began to play a waltz. As she played the weight of all of those potentialities, of all the trillions and trillions of atoms, began to consume the universe until there was nothing left.

So it was that Matilda Brown played the last waltz the universe would ever know.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

5) A man tried to balance love and war, but sacrifices everything for love.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

The Gates of Mercy
Word count: 1297

The body of my brother was laid out before me. He was stacked amongst the dead, their limbs jumbled together in a tattered mess. I was not moved by the sight of him, despite the strange mustard colored blisters that riddled his body, and the one blind eye peeking out from underneath a sticky eyelid. I neither thought of the awful pain my mother would experience upon hearing that her youngest son was dead, nor the injustice of the young being robbed of their lives. No, I thought about the pressure I would receive from my family, being a Confirmed Bachelor, and how tragic it was that I would forever picture him as he was right then; with scratch marks where he had clawed at his own throat and dressed in poo poo stained trousers.

I desperately I wanted to see Alexis. I felt it as a physical need, like a man in the desert thirsts for water. I wanted him there to whisper words to me, to feel his hand upon my chest, to reassure me that the world was worth fighting and dying for.

As I walked passed the men of my company I prayed for forgiveness, for my perversion. They received me with a grim “Captain” and a promise to kill a Fritz, or a Hun, in my brother’s honor. I informed them that they would be given their chance to fulfill their promise, as we would soon show Jerry the mettle of the English Army.

Few were enthused.


Alexis was in my tent, preparing tea. This was his answer to everything, he believed a cup of earl gray could solve all of the world’s problems. It was at once a source of continued frustration and one of endearment. I sat on my cot and watched as his lithe shadow danced on the canvas walls in the flickering candle light.

When he did not speak, I shifted on my cot. “Come out with it already.”

“You don’t have to pretend with me, Willem.” Alexis said.

“What would you have me say?”

He looked off into a far horizon I could not see. “‘For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead/Dost in these lines their artless tale relate/Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn/Brushing with hasty steps the dews away/To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.’”

“Thomas Gray,” I said.

Alexis smiled. It was a game we had, quoting lines to one another, to see which of us was the more learned. Alexis never had a proper education, unlike me, but he occasionally bested me. It was one of his way of drawing me out.

He sat next to me, the cup of tea in his hands. “‘To weep is to make less the depth of grief’, sir.”

“There is nothing to say.”

“You must feel something.”

I thought for a moment. “I do, but not for Shaun. I am afraid for myself.”

“‘Cowards die many times before their deaths-’”

“No,” I cut Alexis off, though I could listen to him quote lines from Shakespeare all day long, basking in the glow of his attention. “It is not my life I fear for, it is my soul. I am afraid because I do not feel grief at the death of my beloved brother. Neither do I feel anger. He is dead and that is the end of it. There is no sympathy in my heart.”

“There is more than sympathy in your heart, Willem. I know you, and I know you are hurting. Just tell me what you are thinking.”

“What if madness is a disease?” I asked, instead of telling him the truth. “Wouldn’t that make for a better world? That the dark and sinister desires of the human heart are something we are infected with, not born with.”

“We’re not talking about Shaun, are we?”

“No, were we ever?”

Alexis leaned in, he kissed me, but all I could see was my brother’s blistered lips. He pulled back when I did not reciprocate. “‘If I profane with my unworthiest hand, this holy shrine, the gentle fine is-’”

“‘To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss,’” I said, then blew out the candle.


“Sir, you cannot leave me behind,” Alexis said. “I can fight as well as anyone.”

We stood in the trenches, surrounded by soldiers, underneath a sliver of moon. I knew Alexis would object to my decision and waited to inform him. “Do I need to repeat my orders?”

“Sir, no sir.”

“We have wounded that need looking after, please see to it.”

“Of course, sir. Am I dismissed?”

I felt the point of his words and dismissed him. I had already submitted for Alexis to be promoted, and planned, should I survive the coming battle, to pull the necessary strings for him to be reassigned back to the home front.


I saw the spindly tree atop the craggy knoll, its branches reaching up to tear at the empty sky. It marked our objective. Between us and the German’s position was still a no man’s land, a labyrinth of trenches. We crawled on our bellies until we could hear the Huns talking. I signaled for my men to stop, prepare grenades, and launch ourselves into action.

When we took the trench it was void of any Huns. The troubling remains of a crystal radio and German coats wrapped around sandbags was all that we found. Most of my men felt as if they had narrowly missed being hit by a truck. I knew better and quickly began to scramble over the parapet when the explosion took me.

The earth raised up in a wave. The trench had been set with explosives. Men who stood nearest the blast were shredded into red mist, while the rest were swallowed up by the collapsing earth. I was ejected from the area, landing in a tangle of barbed wire. I watched as my surviving men tried to dig themselves free, then driven senseless by fear, they hobbled or ran in all directions. The Germans opened fire, and one by one my men fell.

An officer should die with his men, so I waited. But then I heard the artillery, I watched as they streaked an arc across the night sky, and knew immediately that they were aimed at our camp, at Alexis. I untangled myself and began to crawl.


Gray-green clouds swept through our camp. I could hardly breath, stopping every few yards due to a fit of coughing, the taste of bile and blood in my mouth. There was fighting all over, but the Germans wouldn’t dare walk into their own poison gas, and yet I knew that was where Alexis would be.

I found him with a shirt wrapped around his face, trying, and failing, to get another man onto the back of a wagon. He slipped in the mud, fell onto his hands and knees, and did not get back up. I hardly had the strength to stumble over to him, landing in the muck next to him.

Our eyes met. I took the mask off, I must have looked ghastly as when I smiled he winched. He grabbed me and ran his hands over my body, coming away with what I knew to be blood. He said something, but I could not hear him. I struggled to put my mask on him, and when he finally relented I fell to the earth.

“‘Death lies on her like an untimely frost,’” I croaked. “‘Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.’”

As I died I prayed to God for forgiveness, not for my perversion, but for never expressing my love as I ought to have. I hoped my final act would suffice.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Feel free to jerk it to my story, nerds. You know that poo poo was hawt.

Writing this really made me want to call my ex. gently caress you, Valentine's Day!

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

This is a horrible week for me to do this... but gently caress it, I'm in.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Word count: 1002

ENTOMOLOGY: Mark Hostetler of the University of Florida, for his scholarly book, "That Gunk on Your Car," which identifies the insect splats that appear on automobile windows. [The book ispublished by Ten Speed Press.]

He is in a filthy little motel room, motes of dust hover in the slats of sunlight that manage to creep around the stained curtains, with the stench of stale urine soaking into his pores. He tries to ignore it, he tries to focus on his daughter. The blonde filaments of her hair spread across his tartan plaid. The curl her tiny fingers. The pressure of her small body against his, as she lies on his chest, each breath a prayer. He wants to know what he has done to deserve her trust, her love. He understands the role of oxytocin in parental bonding, but it doesn’t explain how he could be such an awful father and yet still be her security, her source of contentment.

It doesn’t matter. She is sleeping on his chest and that is all that matters.

Outside the hum of cicadas rises, clouds of them spiraling up away from the dingy asphalt parking lot, littered with cigarette butts, toward the clear and open sky.


The girl is screaming. It’s a guttural sound that bears down upon Mark, punctuated by undulating roars of rejection. He tries to hold her, to keep her from banging her head against the floor, but she fights him. Those tiny fingers with their tiny little fingernails rake at his face causing rivulets of blood to flow and coagulate in his scruffy beard.

“gently caress! Goddamnit, baby.” He doesn’t let go, he moves his head away from her, but it isn’t enough. She continues to scream and claw at him. “Honey, please, you’ve got to calm down. Please, honey, please.”

Her tone shifts, she starts mewling, whipping her body back and forth as if helpless caught in a monster’s grip. Part of him thinks this is how she sees him; as the monster who stole her from the familiar. He might as well be. He chose his career over her stability, knowing that travel and change would be difficult for her to adjust to.

“I love you, baby,” he tells her over and over. “I’m sorry, but it’ll be better, I promise.”

Someone bangs on the wall. “For Christ's sake, we’re trying to sleep!”

You and me both, buddy, Mark thinks. But the disturbance reignites her screams and an arms race is born. The man in the other room continues to bang on the wall, and the girl clasps her hands over her ears, crying louder until Mark feels as if he is going deaf.

“Hey! Come on, guy, you’re only making it worse for her!”

The banging stops. Mark can’t hear over his daughter's cries, but the man in the other room is pulling his pants on and marching over to Mark’s room. He tries the door, but it's locked, so he does what he does best: beat at things.

“Open the gently caress up!”

“Jesus Christ,” Mark says. His head is rushing, the girl is still screaming, and the rear end in a top hat from next door is banging at the door. “gently caress it.”

He opens the door to find himself face to face with a wind weathered man with a protruding belly and a chinless woman. She’s clutching at her jacket, despite it being a warm evening, and craning her head around the large man. The man simply points a finger in Mark’s face.

“I don’t know what it is you’ve got going, but me and my wife are trying to sleep, goddamnit. You best knock your poo poo off or I’m gonna call the cops.”

“Look, I’m sorry, but my daughter can’t help it. And all your shouting and knocking isn’t helping matters any.”

“It ain’t my problem, just shut that fuckin’ bitch up!”

“Frank,” the chinless woman says, “look at her, she’s retarded.”

“I don’t give a good goddamn if she’s an imbecile or not, I ain’t paying my money to listen to her poo poo all night.”

“Don’t loving call my daughter an imbecile, you inbred hick.”

Mark doesn’t think before he acts, he shoves the large man knocking him into his wife. Her elbow hits the rusted guardrail with an audible crack, she cries almost as loudly as Mark’s daughter. The man with the protruding belly turns red.

“Oh gently caress no.”

Mark doesn’t see the fist coming, he only feels the shock of the blow and falls on his rear end. His daughter screams grow louder, ear piercing, yet over it he can still hear the man as he walks away.

“You best get outta here, I’m calling the cops on you motherfucker.”

Mark can taste copper in his mouth. He doesn’t know what to do. Fear presses in on him, the idea that the police would see how poorly his daughter is doing spurs him to get up. He fights with his daughter to get her into his arms, and leaves. He doesn’t even shut the door behind him.


Mark drives all night. He is exhausted, but the rumbling of the motor and the monotony of the road quells his daughter’s distress. He doesn’t know how he will manage. All he wants is to find himself a bottle of tequila and slide into a scalding hot bath. To feel the weightlessness, the warm buzz crackling through his body, and the sense of peacefulness.

To escape. Mark wants to escape.

“Splat,” she says.

It’s the first words she has spoken since they’ve began travelling, almost four days now. But Mark is too exhausted and doesn’t catch what she said.

“Splat,” she says again, this time pointing at a large smear of juicey bug guts.

“Yeah, baby, the bug went splat.”

Mark points to another constellation of bug guts, but his daughter shakes her head. She points to another similar sized smear.


It clicks. He points out another smeared cicada. She giggles. So he points out another. Then he begins to try and find them on the road and run into them. She giggles even more. Soon he begins to laugh.


“Yeah, that was a big one! Super-splat!”

They drive off into the night.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Something Awful Has Happened.

They've taken away H2 (History Channel 2) and replaced it with Viceland. Viceland, a goddamn HBO TV show which is a self described lifestyle magazine for millennials, the worst people in existence on the planet*. What does this have to do with Thunderdome, nobody loving asked? Simple, they've got a show that is twelve hours of Viceland staffers listening to voice mails from random people, called 646-851-0347 Leave A Message.

So this is what I was thinking, why not call them up and read to them the biggest losers of Thunderdome?

Whaddya say?

*along with everybody else

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

... Yeah, I've already moved on. I discovered that I can fling pencils down the hall with industrial strength rubber bands.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005



That’s right, while the Thunderdome Cabal has tried to keep me down, having denied my rightful victory countless times, even going so far as to mar my record with a Dishonorable Mention, in the end they could not contain the indomitable spirit and uber writing prowess of Titus the 82nd.

Now has come the time… TO JUDGE!

:siren: Thunderdome Week 187: Lost In Translation :siren:

Words. There are so many of them, but did you know that there are words in other languages which do not have a direct translation? I know! It’s totes crazy, right? Check out some of these sweet words:

Istories me arkoudes (Greek)

Gattara (Italian)

Schadenfreude (Like you don’t know what this word means.)

So here is the prompt: Take one of words listed in this Huffington Post article and center a story around it. You do not have to use the word in the story, but the meaning of the word must be involved in the story. Bonus points (+150 words) if it's set in the culture that the word comes from.

Word Limit: 1200 Words


Signups will end at 11:59PM CENTRAL STANDARD TIME (best time) March 4th, 2016.

Submissions will end at 11:59PM CST March 6th, 2016.

Now BEG for mercy, PLEAD for forgiveness, and…WRITE TO THE DEATH!

Thanks to everybody for their help, for Ironic Twist for the Prompt, and all of you for reading!

Siddhartha Glutamate fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Mar 2, 2016

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Doh! I forgot some junk!

Word Limit: 1200 Words


Signups will end at 11:59 CENTRAL STANDARD TIME (best time) March 4th, 2016.

Submissions will end at 11:59 CST March 6th, 2016.

Edit: Also the same word can be used by more than one person.

Siddhartha Glutamate fucked around with this message at 05:48 on Mar 2, 2016

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Flerp your word is: Culaccino (Italian) which means the stain left on a table from a cold glass of water.

Noah, do you want a word or a flash rule? If it is a word then your word is: Mangata (Swedish) The glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on the water.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Titus82 is... Judico Rex

Thranguy is... Judico Grande

And you could be... Judico Venti

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


newtestleper posted:

This is so dodgy. You have clearly pre-written a story and then suggested a prompt to fit.

I concur. This is what I think happened: Twist came up with the idea for the prompt, posted the suggestion on the archive page, and then set about writing a story for each and every word so that when it was finally selected he could submit a story no matter if you were restricted to first come first serve or the free for all option I've gone with.

Which means that his story better be loving awesome OR ELSE.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


QuoProQuid posted:

If you still need a third judge, I'll willing to volunteer.

I will only accept you as a volunteer if you can pick a better judge title than Judico Venti, but not better than Judico Rex.


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


Djeser posted:

No one will be upset if you use both well, but if you clearly tried to cram two stories worth of ideas into one story and don't do either one justice, then people are going to be upset.

As a rule of thumb, if you can pull it off, you'll get away with just about anything.

Oh is that right, Djeser? I didn't realize that "Djeser" means "Judge" in Anime. OH WAIT Anime isn't a language.

BOOM, burned.

:siren: FLASH RULE :siren:

Djeser gets -69 words and must include the word Honorificabilitudinitatibus which means "I had to google this word so you can go google it too."

sebmojo posted:

don't ask permission for things act as you see fit and deal with the consequences.

Oh so now Sebmojo wants to get in out the Judging action, but did I see him volunteering for the posits? No, I didn't, so you know what?

-1000 words for Seb. Trying winning now ya Hobbit!

Let's get one thing straight people: This is not a democracy, this is a damned dictatorship and I am the King of Dictation.

And I am here ALL WEEK... Well, until Monday at Midnight. But it was all week if you count the time I've already been a judge.

Oh and Hug in a Can? You do you.

I am too lazy to check who is signed up for this week, so Seb if you did sign up ignore the flash rule.

Edit: I used "gently caress" way too much in this post.

Siddhartha Glutamate fucked around with this message at 06:42 on Mar 5, 2016

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Acceptance of new 'Domers is now closed. This weeks roster consists of the following:

Killer of Lawyers with Iktsuarpok (The frustration of waiting for someone to show up.)

Sparksbloom with tsundoku (the act of leaving a book unread after buying it.)

Guiness13 with Wabi-Sabi (Accepting the cycle of growth and decay.)

Grizzled Patriarch with Tingo (Gradually stealing your neighbor's possessions by borrowing and not returning them.)

Ghost Crow with Aware (The bittersweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty)

Flerp with Culaccino (the stain left on a table from a cold glass of water.)

Noah with Mangata (the glimmering road-like reflection that the moon creates on the water.)

Newtestleper with Lieko (A submerged tree trunk at the bottom of a lake)

Carl Killer Miller with Radioukacz (telegraphists in the resistance movement in the Soviet Union.)

Meis with Won (The reluctance on a person’s part to let go of an illusion.)

Ironic Twist with Komorebi (The effect of sunlight shining through trees.)

Rathlord* with Bakku-shan (a beautiful woman, if she is only viewed from behind.)

A Tin Can of Beans with Tingo (Gradually stealing your neighbor's possessions by borrowing and not returning them)

crabrock with Mamihlapinatapei (A wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who yearn to initiate something but are reluctant to start.)

Tyrannosaurus Rex with Won (The reluctance on a person’s part to let go of an illusion.)

Hotsoupdinner with Mamihlapinatapei (A wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who yearn to initiate something but are reluctant to start.)

Hug in a Can with Aware and Wabi-Sabi (The bittersweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty and Accepting the cycle of growth and decay.)

Graviija with tsundoku (the act of leaving a book unread after buying it)

Bird Tyrant with fernweh (feeling homesick for a place you've never been to.)

*First time domers (that I know of.)

edit: Submissions are still open... I'm pretty dumb, folks.

Siddhartha Glutamate fucked around with this message at 07:52 on Mar 5, 2016

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


Out of 19 submissions we have 13 submissions and 6 fails. So the question is, why do you hate America? Because clearly you must hate America as you wish to continue to inflict your awful writing upon it. This is what TD is for, people! To separate the chad from the wheat. Don't ask me what Chad is doing playing in the wheat, but we're here to get him the heck out!

Judging will be posted... Sometime soonish. Maybe? Tomorrow. Check back tomorrow night.

Edit: TWO sneaked in at the last minute.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Ghost Crow: You were one minute late. However, seeing as this is my first time judging, and you're first time submitting, and its a message board on the internet... You are in. Let the Archives reflect that his submission was accepted.

Please don't suck!

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005



This week was a hard fought battle, many contestants entered, but only one may ever leave... Let us take a moment to consider the fallen and their noble sacrifice.

Nay, gently caress it, let's just get to the results!

Winner: Agoraphobe
Honorable Mentions: Don't Give Up, Wild Bears, The Kindness of Strangers
Dishonorable Mentions: Aware, For Want of Pulp
Loser: Time is Nothing
Disqualification: Missive

Agoraphobe won despite of its use of second person, which I despise, but the imagery and poetry were so drat nice that it was irresistible. This had all three judges in agreement.

Don't Give Up was cute and endearing. Wild Bears made me smile. And The Kindness of Strangers gets a nodded due to the Tyranny of Tyrants, Judico Rex, me, Titus82.

Aware could have lost, along with For Want of Pulp, but they were out done by the overall shittiness of Time Is Nothing.

And Missive was a hundred words over the limit and thus disqualified.

So... Ironic Twist? I give you the crown.

Siddhartha Glutamate fucked around with this message at 21:59 on Mar 8, 2016

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


sebmojo posted:

In with a :toxx:

E: link the loser in your goddam judge posts you loving mongoloids

I'm sorry! Somebody even told me to do that and I still forgot :(

I am in.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

In with a :toxx:

Crabby, hit me with a flashrule.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


crabrock posted:

in your story all drugs have stopped working and everybody has to go through life stone cold sober. this includes caffeine

I was hoping for a tiny guillotine, but I suppose that this will suffice.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


crabrock posted:

in your story all drugs have stopped working and everybody has to go through life stone cold sober. this includes caffeine

Addiction 101
Word count: 500


A Church’s basement with rows of folding chairs, tables, and a coffee machine. A discorded crucifix rests against the far wall.

Tibbs, a man in his early 50s, is folding up the chairs when Karen R. enters.


Karen R.
I’m sorry, but is there going to be a meeting today?

(Looks up.)
Well it's just the two of us, but in AA we have a saying, if you’ve got two drunks in a room, you’ve got yourself a meeting.
(Sits down.)
You can call me Tibbs, and I’m an alcoholic.

Karen R.
(She remains standing.)
I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drug addict. Is that okay? Since they started with this whole Unobtainidone business I haven’t been able to find an NA meeting.

It's perfectly fine, you’re welcome here.
(He leans back in his chair.)
You know, when I first came to a meeting that I wasn’t dragged to by my old man, a dirty drunk himself, I remember the need I had built up inside of me. A physical need to spill my guts all over that Church’s basement floor. It was as if all of those toxins I had been putting into my body were ready to be purged. And let me tell ya, I purged. I wouldn’t shut up, I was blubbering like a little babe, the guy who was running it that night had to cut me off, the drat meeting was over with.
(A beat.)
But boy did I feel better after I that. You know what I mean?

Karen R.
Better than you might think.

So what brings you to a lonely Church basement today?

Karen R.
I took some cocaine. I told myself that I wanted to prove that it didn’t work anymore. I had been having cravings and I figured since it wouldn’t get me high I could take it, then I wouldn’t have the cravings anymore.

I did the same thing with a bottle of whiskey. Did it work?

Karen R.
No. I took more. Then I took pills. Then I…
(A beat.)
Do you know how difficult it is to find heroin or meth now days? I do. Each time I tried a new drug I found myself hoping, praying, for that clean, warm rush.

It never comes, not anymore.

Karen R.
I know that, but I still couldn’t stop. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. How can I be addicted to something that doesn’t get my high?

I said I’m an alcoholic, but that’s not true. I’m an addict. Whether or not I can get drunk is irrelevant. I smoked. I did drugs. I hosed my way out of three marriages. I’m an addict of whatever it is you got, because what I got? I want desperately to get away from.
(A beat.)
So, what do you think is wrong with you?

Karen R.
I’m an addict.
(A beat.)
My name is Karen R., and I’m an addict.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Goddamnit. This is too good an opportunity to pass up. I'm in.

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Once again I have dishonored myself. Were I a samurai I would happily spill my own intestines to prove my worth. Sadly, I'm Irish Catholic, so instead I'll just do some penance. But instead of a bunch of hail mary's and our fathers, I will only join a dome week after I have posted the two failed stories, and seeing as how this was Daphnaie's week, I'll let her pick something else (if she wants) that I must do. The only conditions are that it not be A) illegal and B) easily identifiable. So like no pictures, or something.

Until then (and until such time that I can actually make a commitment, or am willing to budget the proper time so that I can make the commitment) I will not be 'doming.


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


sebmojo posted:

Beautiful poo poo, man. Just beautiful, beautiful, poo poo.

I know we are supposed to be all kayfab and poo poo in this thread, but gently caress that noise for a minute because I've got to be serious.

Sebmojo, will you marry me? Its totes legal now, and depending on how this next election goes I might need a green card. I would totally make an awesome wife, or husband, or whatever the gently caress you want me to be, as I can cook, clean, and bring home the bacon (both literally and figuratively... but mostly figuratively.)

All I know is that after reading that story I just want to give up on everything and just read more of your words.


PS: Muffin is bad and lame.

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