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Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER




Extrinsic Behavior
749 words

Deidre Kahn was in love with other people.

“Addicted”, her last boyfriend put it. She called him a dick. Then she dumped him and went out and had the best night of her life.

She sat on a bed in a dark room, with the shades drawn shut though the sun had set long ago, scrolling through the array of possible lives. A new one caught her eye. She stopped, zoomed in, considered, expressionless.

Subscription gave her early access. A new face in the premium content meant no one in the real world would have seen him before.

Except whoever knew the original, of course.

He was small-figured, Asian, nineteen, with an enigmatic hint of a smile.

Deidre never second-guessed. She made her selection and waited for the download. His face vanished from the array.

A new body was always an ordeal. She stumbled around her apartment, learning new muscles, stretching strange vocal cords. Then she looked for appropriate clothes to wear out.

“Start with something loose or form-fitting,” the app recommended for first timers, “to avoid any problems.” Deidre just never bothered wearing clothes when she changed.

“Danger,” “extremely experimental,” and “use only in the comfort of your own home”, the app also said. She ignored those warnings, too.

Her closet was packed full of men’s and women’s clothing of all sizes. Never knew who she would be wearing next. Now happy with her look—guys can get away with putting much less care into their outfits—she headed out.

Deidre waved her card at the reader and stepped off the transport. Music thumped from inside the club as she approached.

“You have ID, kid?” a gruff voice demanded at the front of the line. An unexpected problem with this body: he looked underage.

“Uh, one minute—” Her unpracticed voice cracked. She fumbled for her card, then held it up. Holographic information danced before the bouncer’s face.

The ID alterations might not fool a government—it seemed like every week someone was detained at an airport for attempted body-smuggling—but here, it was good enough. He grunted and let her in.

Who was this boy? Deidre couldn’t help wondering as she danced.

The array never offered any identifying information: no biography, no family, no name, no likes or dislikes or preferences. Rarely, you found one with medical warnings or allergy notices, especially in the public content. But even down there, that was unusual; most who were selected, like most who used the app, were healthy. They were ciphers. Users had to project a personality of their own devising. It was second nature, a game to her now, seeing how differently she could play each person.

Where did he live, she wondered? What languages did he speak? What was his favorite music? Was he a virgin?

She decided to try playing him as gay, for a change, for the challenge. She left the dance floor just as the music was building to a peak.

Deidre tried approaching a few guys at the bar, obliquely, talking but saying nothing. She gained confidence even as she was turned down, and she grew bolder in her intimations. This body’s voice had a whine, it seemed to her, but she couldn’t do anything about that.

With her sixth attempt, she found interest. The other guy was tall, bearded, wearing a bit of leather, a chain. He was something like her type, when she still had a type, still put herself out there. He squinted, smiled coyly, murmured to her. It had been a while. There was a shiver of anticipation as she meandered to the restrooms, where he had told her to meet him in a few.

The condition of men’s rooms in general and club urinals in particular no longer shocked her. This room was somehow, thankfully, empty. The door swung open a minute later and she turned just in time to catch the leather-clad punch. Her head struck the sink by the door and she was out for the rest.



At closing time, the staff found a bloody and unconscious Asian male, propped up inside one of the stalls. They called an ambulance, but it was too late for her.

The EULA was clear. Deidre’s original body, put up as collateral and stored for safekeeping during the exchange, timed out and was retained. With the next content update, there was a new face available in the premium array: a twenty-eight year old Caucasian woman, red-haired, medically clear, looking bored.

stitched into a tableau of ghosts

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Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Kaishai posted:

Critiques for Weeks CCXLVIII, CCXLIX, CCL, and CCLI: A List of Undeniable Problems


Thank you!

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Part-Time Work
743 words

Most of them just want to talk. Fine with me.

“My name is Candaaaaccce,” I half-whisper into the phone. “What’s your name, baby?”

If they could see us- hoodies, Technicolor dye jobs, black triangle tattoos and cellulite and bad teeth. I’ve seen our commercials- those girls must have crawled out of a shipping container right before filming. They’re not even cute, and they’re a lot better-looking than most of us. How is this sexy at all, to anyone?

The man gives me his name. We talk about nothing, really- I’m highlighting vocabulary in my Spanish textbook as we go, pausing to inject “Ooooh” or “Wow, that’s so great/cool/interesting.”

From the first question they ask, my brain turns off and my mouth spews a rehearsed backstory: Candace, nineteen, Southern (unless the caller is actually from the South himself; my accent won’t hold up to scrutiny), likes fellatio and bubble baths, hates when you hang up, baby! It is so formulaic.

Linda drops a coffee on my desk and takes my money just as I let out a yodeling orgasm. “Take it down a notch,” she whispers, as the man on the other line groans with pleasure. I’ve had conversations about restaurants in Boston, been given packing tips, even dissected the plot of a Star Trek episode, but I’ve never once had a man complain about my cartoonish ejaculations. I’ve never complained about theirs, after all.

Somewhere around the third hour of work, the greyish blankness creeps into my mind. It’s soothing, a relief from my niggling guilt and paranoia that the customer will suddenly ask, “Are you paying attention?” or “What’s your real name?” It’s an excuse to quit studying and just talk, meaningless and effortless, until my jaw is sore and my throat is scratchy and I am, amazingly, three hundred dollars richer.

Strip clubs, I muse, make sense. Porn makes sense. Erotica. But this? This is so empty. The man on the line is asking if I have a big, black pussy. Why does it matter? You can’t see it. Might as well not ask, and just imagine what you want.

The next customer is a repeat. I get a bonus when they request me, and he’s okay- just wants to chat about movies, usually, so we do that.

I’m ninety minutes from going home and swapping my sweatpants for worse sweatpants when he says, “Candace, what I like about you is that you really seem to enjoy this.”

“Oh, yeah, I do.”

“You’re just really easy to talk to.”

“Mmm, I’m good at a lot of things, baby.”

“It’s been nice chatting with you lately,” the man continues. Something changes in his voice. “It’s just…I travel a lot, you know, I don’t meet a lot of people. I feel pretty isolated.”

Trying pretending to cram your fist in your pussy while actually cramming for Calculus, I don’t say. “Ohhh, that’s too bad, sweetheart. You know, I get lonely sometimes, too, but you always help me with that, don’t you?”

Now I hear crying. I sit up straighter. “Everything okay there, baby? Want to talk about it?”

He lets out a very non-sexual moan. gently caress, this is not what I signed up for. “Hey,” I say, my accent slipping a bit. “Are you all right?”

“It’s just…” He heaves. “Sometimes you’re the only one I can talk to.”

My heart plummets. This is definitely not what I signed up for. My hand hovers over the button to release the call.

“You don’t know me,” the disembodied voice continues. “You don’t know the things I’ve done, the things I was supposed to be, and I’m not that person, I’m not— “

Tell me about it, I can’t say. “Look, everyone’s life is different from— “

He doesn't pause.. “You think I’m pathetic, don’t you?”

“No- “

“You think I’m just some sad gently caress who can only meet women on the phone?”

“I didn’t say that.”

I can hear it in his voice. “You…think I should be ashamed of myself…don’t you?”

Oh. “You should totally be ashamed,” I half-coo and half-hiss. “You’re sick, you perverted piece of poo poo, you disgust me. You’re an animal. Your cock makes me sick. Pathetic motherfucker!”

Phlegm rattles in his throat as he comes, and he hangs up without saying goodbye. I’m faintly disappointed- that was almost an actual conversation.

Anyways, he’ll call back the same time next week. I pick up my textbook and get back to real life.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Flash rule: Stranded on a shipwreck of dreams

Cut Off

Word count: 749

"Aelwyn, I need you to listen carefully to me." He was my friend, but his place on the council had put a strain on our friendship. I put it on my mental list of things to fix.

"I'm sorry for this, but the council, they-- we have decided to cut you off." His voice carried a mountain of regret and sadness. He spoke to me the way you would speak to an animal about to be put down. I was sure it was real, he still cared for me enough to give me that.

"Wh-what? No! Please, I'm so close! I almost have it in my grasp, I can feel it! I just need a little more time!" The shock on my face and in my voice was undeniable. I would know, I had practiced it in front of the mirror enough times. The delivery was a bit hammy, but I afforded myself that luxury.

"Again, old friend, I'm sorry for this," Gaeron continued. "I argued against this, I tried to remind them of your early successes, but your lack of progress in the last six months have upset them greatly." He stopped for a moment, the well-practiced dismay and disbelief displayed on my face eliciting discomfort in his.

"Archmagus Daelledeas is especially displeased with you. He told me he had had such high hopes for his protégé." Hah, I thought. Protégé my rear end. My 'apprenticeship' under him was no more than me doing all his dirty work while he lazied about. Whatever I learned of magic during those years, I taught myself. "Now he sees you as a failure."

"They-- we-- were willing to give you more time. We understand that your research into the source of magic is unprecedented, and as such would produce results irregularly. Since the nasty business with the daemon, however," the look of sheer grief might have seemed over the top to Gaeron if he hadn't been horrorstruck himself by the thought of that day a few weeks ago. I really should have practiced that one more thoroughly. "The council has lost faith in your ability to continue this research."

It was only reasonable that they would react like that. The daemon had been summoned in my hometown, and my whole family had died in the chaos and destruction. I sighed. "I understand." I said meekly. "I assume they have someone else coming in to continue my research?"

"Yes, Marrien will take over."

"And what about me?" I asked.

"I argued exile. I told them you were harmless, and would be no threat to their work." Exile, I mused. Typical Gaeron to just push his problems away. "But they would have none of that. They will have you arrested and executed."

I feigned horror again. This was as expected. It was happening a little bit faster than I'd liked, but I had planned for this eventuality. "Execution?" The shivering lip was an improvisation, but it seemed to pass as natural.

"I'm so sorry, Aelwyn. I delayed the order , but they will be here to arrest you in about an hour. You don't have much time. Grab your things and go. Leave this land and go as far awy as you can. Live a --" Yada-yada-yada. I stopped listening at that moment, insyead mentally adjusting my plans for this new set of information. One hour is plenty of time.

They would pay, of course. Five years I've worked for them, bringing new discoveries, new vistas of the fundamentals of magic, and a new level of understanding the universe. And they had profited. They had used my discoveries, and claimed it for their own. MY DISCOVERIES! MY DREAMS! They had ripped my dreams apart seeking new riches!

So when I discovered a whole new dimension of magic power, channeling chaos instead of boring, predictable, lawful magic, I had "stopped." There were no more discoveries from me, and that made them restless. And that's when I summoned the daemon. They would see my 'personal trauma' as a liability and decide to get rid of me. And that suited me fine. It was time to set down my stakes somewhere else and continue my work undisturbed.

"--so I say, farewell my friend!" Gaehad finally finished his prattle.

"Thank you," I said, and he left.

Well, I thought. Time to set out to forge a new age.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


-archive-

ThirdEmperor fucked around with this message at Dec 25, 2017 around 13:54

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

archives

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 5, 2018 around 10:54

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


One Credit Clear (452 words)

Dad’s gun has a nice weight to it.

Don’t worry, it’s not loaded. I’m not crazy or anything. I don’t even know where mom keeps the bullets - or if we even have any. I just like to hold it sometimes. I don’t want to hurt anybody.

We’ve been learning about the American Revolution, the minutemen. The gun leveled the playing field between the settlers and the British. I’ve been thinking about that lately and it makes a lot of sense.

Four blocks down there’s this laundromat I like. Riley and I hang out there. It’s where I learned to smoke, out back by the dumpsters. Riley smuggled me some cigarettes out of her older sister’s purse. She demonstrated how to inhale, exhale, and look cool.

“It’s all about acting like you don’t care whether you live or die.”

I tried it. Inhale, exhale. Turned out I cared a lot. An awful, awful lot.

She still laughs about it. You know, when it’s just us.

The guy who runs the place installed a couple of arcade cabinets next to the magazine rack. Metal Slug X and Street Fighter: Third Strike. Not a bad way to blow a few minutes. I read in Japan they do this thing where if you die you’re done for the day. No continues. When I was younger I used to feed my whole allowance to those things. Now I don’t. Play better, too. A little.

The screen door slams behind me as I step out into the yard. The stars are out. I’ve got a dollar in quarters and my dad’s gun stuffed in my pocket. Four blocks.

It’s quiet tonight. Real quiet. Like in the movies when they’re walking through the woods and there’s no music. Just sound effects. I’ll take it. Usually there’s this guy across the street playing metal at all hours. Just about everyone’s called the cops on him at least once. Maybe they got him. Maybe they didn’t. Three blocks.

Some guy arguing with his kid. He’ll never go anywhere, never amount to nothing. He’s got a cigar and a letterman’s jacket two sizes too small. The kid just looks at his shoes. They’re pretty nice shoes. The dog barks at me. Two blocks.

Jeffrey Hansen speeds past on his bike. He’s alone for once. Guess his bodyguard’s out. I imagine him crashing into some garbage cans. I imagine him stuck there until the trucks come in the morning and they pick him up, can and all, and take him away from here. Forever. I feel the grip of the fun in my pocket. I look back and he’s gone. One block.

Riley’s standing out front. She smiles. We smile.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Drifting is now archived.

Uranium Phoenix fucked around with this message at Dec 7, 2017 around 05:40

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

FJGJ

Oh wait no one's declared submissions closed? How weird and embarrassing.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


just as fast and as good as you want im not the boss of u

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Chairchucker posted:

FJGJ

Oh wait no one's declared submissions closed? How weird and embarrassing.

submissions will never close

interprompt 150 words this is just how it's gonna be from now on

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2017 around 11:51

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Permanent Interprompt
5 words

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Permanent Interprompt
5 words



Judges lost at sea. Waves _______________.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

submissions closed obviously

judging will be slow and thoughtful

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

Prompt

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Prompt Judging; Adequate Judging

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Judging at any speed is okay. I believe in everyone!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Judging at any speed is okay. I believe in everyone!

communist

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


sebmojo posted:

communist

All stories are equal, but some stories are more equal than others.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Women hold up half the world of literature!

AIM HIGH IN CREATION!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Judgement!

Overall, the judges were pretty pleased with this week. It was hard to choose a winner, because there were a lot of finely written stories. Ultimately, it came down to personal taste and a lot of bargaining. Well done, goons!

DM: Hawklad, your story wasn't badly written, but the narrative didn't earn the skeeziness in the final beat. None of the judges empathized with either of your characters, so we weren't pleased with the outcome of the piece.

Loser: Fuubi, you gave us something akin to the origin story of a super villain, but without any of the features that typically make a reader care about the events in a story. You might've done better in the short story category, where you would've had more room to develop your characters and the stakes of your world. but as it is, the judges had a hard time investing ourselves in the events of your story.

on to happier things...

There are a lot of HMs this week because you're all special and gorgeous.

Sparksbloom: evocative, emotionally resonant, and vivid.
Chairchucker: Breezy, funny, and whimsical, appealed strongly to 2/3rds of the judges
Thranguy: Well paced, good voice, complete story.
Muffin: Well-written, conceptual, appealed strongly to 2/3rds of the judges
fuschia_tude: intriguing, fresh, well-executed

And finally, our winner. I can't believe im saying this, but flerp captured the judges' attention with a poetic story that had strong imagery and a solid theme/message. Flerp, please don't poo poo up the blood throne too badly, other people have to sit there too you know....

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


dog week

i won so its dog week. you go to this website http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/ and you pick a dog and link it in your sign up post (or you can have me pick a dog) and you write a story based on that dog. no repeats. note: your story does not have to include that dog, or a dog at all, but will just have to be inspired by said dog. you can be inspired by whatever. you can pick a chihuahua and have it set in mexico or you can pick a white fluffy dog and someone in your story can have white fluffy hair. or you can have the dog in it, i dont really care. oh yeah and no dogs can die because thats against the law.

rules: no poetry, no google docs. if you deem your erotica or fanfic to be worth my time reading, then you do you. also please do not write about dog loving morally inept. also remember all dogs are good!!!!!!!!!!!

word count: 750 words

sign up deadline: Friday 11:59 PM PST
submission deadline: Sunday 11:59 PM PST

Good Boys and Girls:
Me, flerp!
curlingiron
Hawklad

Dogs who peed on the carpet:
Chili http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/greyhound/
sebmojo http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/border-terrier/
Boaz-Jachim http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/borzoi/
sparksbloom http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chihuahua/
Thranguy http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/xoloitzcuintli/
Fuubi http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/lhasa-apso/
Fleta Mcgurn http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/papillon/
Obliterati http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/otterhound/
Chairchucker http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chow-chow/
Entenzahn http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/samoyed/
SurreptitiousMuffin http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/poodle/
Jay W. Friks http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/rottweiler/
Vinny Possum http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/catahoula-leopard-dog/
QuoProQuid http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever/
ThirdEmperor http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pug/

flerp fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2017 around 21:25

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

In: http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/greyhound/

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

flerp posted:

dog week

i won so its dog week. you go to this website http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/ and you pick a dog and link it in your sign up post (or you can have me pick a dog) and you write a story based on that dog. note: your story does not have to include that dog, or a dog at all, but will just have to be inspired by said dog. you can be inspired by whatever. you can pick a chihuahua and have it set in mexico or you can pick a white fluffy dog and someone in your story can have white fluffy hair. or you can have the dog in it, i dont really care. oh yeah and no dogs can die because thats against the law.

rules: no poetry, no google docs. if you deem your erotica or fanfic to be worth my time reading, then you do you. also please do not write about dog loving morally inept. also remember all dogs are good!!!!!!!!!!!

word count: 750 words

Good Boys and Girls:
Me, flerp!
some1 else
some1 else

Dogs who peed on the carpet:
you lot

poo poo yeah (dog poop) pick a dog plz

Boaz-Jachim
Sep 20, 2015

CANERE CORAM LEONE


flerp posted:

dog week

i won so its dog week. you go to this website http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/ and you pick a dog and link it in your sign up post (or you can have me pick a dog) and you write a story based on that dog. note: your story does not have to include that dog, or a dog at all, but will just have to be inspired by said dog. you can be inspired by whatever. you can pick a chihuahua and have it set in mexico or you can pick a white fluffy dog and someone in your story can have white fluffy hair. or you can have the dog in it, i dont really care. oh yeah and no dogs can die because thats against the law.

rules: no poetry, no google docs. if you deem your erotica or fanfic to be worth my time reading, then you do you. also please do not write about dog loving morally inept. also remember all dogs are good!!!!!!!!!!!

word count: 750 words

Good Boys and Girls:
Me, flerp!
some1 else
some1 else

Dogs who peed on the carpet:
you lot

In. http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/borzoi/

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In and I'll take a dog flash

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


sebmojo posted:

poo poo yeah (dog poop) pick a dog plz

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/border-terrier/

sparksbloom posted:

In and I'll take a dog flash

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chihuahua/

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

In; and pick a good dog for me.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In Lhasa Apso

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



In avec un Papillon s'il vous plait~

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Thranguy posted:

In; and pick a good dog for me.

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/xoloitzcuintli/

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

In. Dog plz

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Thanks for fast prompting pick me a dog pls

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Obliterati posted:

In. Dog plz

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/otterhound/

Chairchucker posted:

Thanks for fast prompting pick me a dog pls

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chow-chow/

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Week 253: Crit of "Collapse Sonata"

Solitair posted:

Collapse Sonata (741 words)

A man journeyed into the Pit of Koschei at sunrise, under an ochre sky. The few people in the civilized world who knew about the Pit would blanch at the prospect; avian life flew around it, light bent in the air above it, and many on the outskirts found themselves inexplicably nauseous. The people of Radik Ngai knew far more about the Pit, even if they never talked about it. Unspoken consensus agreed that it was his turn to go.
There's a mix of prose I like and prose I'm not so fond of. "Under an ochre sky" and "light bent in the air above," are nice. "avian life flew around it" is a bit wordy. This pattern is going to continue.

Solitair posted:

He knew he'd arrived when he felt the ground bend beneath his feet, like he walked on sponges. In the distance he saw the ruins of Luso Ngai, a set of slag pustules dotting the horizon. Thrillseeking children from Radik Ngai would come this far, no further, grab a piece of viscous soil to bring home once they felt their joints ache. Every year they returned sooner. Every year they spent more time recovering. It grew.
I don't know if the thrill-seeking children part here adds anything. "Like he walked on sponges" and "set of slag pustules" is a nice ruins description.

Solitair posted:

The man kept a sluggish gait and soon saw up close the results of the pit's encroachment. Granite pillars dripped like wax onto the sloughed-off roofs they once supported. A thick carpet of smoke covered the ground, barely bothering to move around the man's footsteps, concealing scorching puddles of metal. Even the wood had melted, fibers separating and rejoining in a shriveled, deformed core covered in scarlet lacquer. An outsider showed interest in that substance, once. They never showed interest again.
I like everything up until the "An outsider showed interest..." It just is a weak note to end on after a paragraph of vivid description. I know the idea is that every part of this place is toxic, but why people don't take pieces out will become clear with the skeletons and the sickness of the protagonist soon enough.

Solitair posted:

Luso Ngai ran out soon after the man's spine began to scream. He felt it dig into the skin above, each vertebra a tooth threatening to erupt. They It made him hunch over, first a biped, than a quaruped. Onward he slouched, through deepening mud, to the inner sanctum, the house of the faithful. At the threshold, he collapsed, his leaden bones and the weight in his stomach overwhelming him.
The first line is confusing. I would go with "As he left Luso Ngai, the man's spine began to scream." Correction on pronoun.

Solitair posted:

Sorrow and regret pooled at the bottom of his skull. Every decision in his life dripped through his mind, though none indicated what had caused his neighbors to select him. Why had they turned on him? He had not strayed from the path of the goodman. He worked construction well, and his skills would not be easily replaced. Could the honors of being kin to an descended that the town would afford his family fill the hole left by his absence? What was he doing here? What was anybody doing near—
I think the selection of the neighbors is important. He was chosen, as you said earlier, by unvoiced consensus. What does that look like? Why is it? The story is perhaps partly an analogy for being spurned from society and outcast, and I think we need to know either why he was shunned or what it was like. How did he know it was time for him to go?

Solitair posted:

The phlegmy sound of a blister popping through drum-tight skin. He turned his head to see doubt pooling on the outstretched, calcified hand of an ancient supplicant. It sizzled in the haze of a sun that dripped stolen heat onto the pit. The man watched with indifference. They could have their village. He need only find the crack to mortar himself into.
Recommended cuts. I think the protagonist's spurning of his village mates and analogy only works if we know more about the circumstances. You can't say indifference, because he does care what they think or he wouldn't have left.

Solitair posted:

His arms flowed forth, one after another, dragging him over a mass of altered bodies as he journeyed to the center. The smear his legs became glazed the forms of those who had come before, over the centuries, an indistinctness marred only by the occasional bits of wing or claw or eye socket rising an inch above, natural impurities to the Pit. The man's speed remained constant; as his arms grew weak, gravity took over and pressed him deeper into the seams between bodies, feathers and scales, where little of him stuck.
Overall, I like the descriptions. I really get a sense and strong sensory images of this cursed land and all the horrors in it. I think some people might say its purple, but it's the central image and setting that the story revolves around.

Solitair posted:

The slope favored him even as it squeezed the breath out of him. He wept with joy, and then kept weeping thicker and thicker tears until his sight grew blurry and warped, then vanished completely. Most thoughts had left him by now; his name, a contingency for a live in which he would never know the Pit's embrace, was first to go. His soggy skull tumbled down, faster with every bounce, until the ground beneath it vanished.

What remained of the man fell, feeling as though he floated. The effort of being an aggregate of matter, emotions and experiences was at ends with his ultimate purpose. His soul was a meteorite, shedding mass in the atmosphere below. Down to the monad, it could not escape the pull of the languishing divine, wounded and mad, bending the land his way in desperation.

None in the world, from the metropolitan ignorants who worshipped it by different names and different aspects; nor the folk of Radik Ngai, papering over their unspoken dread with self-importance, could comprehend their master's needs. What chance had they when their sinking god hadn't the faintest clue himself?
Nice end. I like the meteorite imagine and the question at the end.

Themes: Being outcast, finding purpose when you're not sure what that is, and having a conviction that lets you carry on.

I like the strong sensory setting, and I think the piece has ideas woven in it that lend purpose to the description and the journey. I think you need to solidify either why the protagonist is here, what he left, or what drives him onward. That could deepen the story significantly. The prose needs to be cleaned up in places; I've offered suggestions, but I think it would benefit from a few readthroughs out loud and perhaps some more drastic rephrasings; do keep plenty of the vivid descriptions, though.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why didn't you invest in
Thunderdome?


give me a dog

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

Ugh three DMs in a row...looks like I need to read more.

to crit every story from this week by the sign up deadline on Friday.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Entenzahn posted:

give me a dog

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/samoyed/

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Hawklad posted:

Ugh three DMs in a row...looks like I need to read more.

to crit every story from this week by the sign up deadline on Friday.

You gotta read something other than Thunderdome stories if you want to get better....

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flerp
Feb 25, 2014


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

You gotta read something other than Thunderdome stories if you want to get better....

also write

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