Sign up with Lego please.
|# ¿ Jan 3, 2017 11:48|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 16:40|
If you don't take a Lego set I have no respect for you.
|# ¿ Jan 3, 2017 16:21|
I was sitting against the gravel embankment when Ollie got the jump on me.
“Hey!” he said as he kicked a rock over the freighter rails.
“Ready?” Ollie asked.
“One sec,” I said as I retrieved my Looney Tunes pencil case; I’d stashed four stolen cigarettes inside.
Ollie pulled a matchbook from his pocket and lit the smoke as we walked down the tracks. Somewhere, the shrill whistle of a levifreighter cut through the February wind.
Ollie taught me how to walk to the schoolhouse the day after I moved to Esk: Head down the steep hill at the end of the neighborhood, and through the abandoned shopping center parking lot where, sometimes, we’d throw rocks at the street signs. Go past the corner where Hopping Joe would stand with his cardboard sign and plastic mug. Then, turn into the woods and cross the dried river bed.
“That last part is a secret shortcut,” he’d told me.
I knew that Ollie was cool the day that Hopping Joe, with his crooked hook nose, jingled his plastic cup and asked us to share some our lunch money with him. Ollie said, “What’reya gonna do with it? Buy a new leg?” We both laughed, but then we each gave him a buck.
I could hear the thowming of the levifreighter as we turned the bend. Moments later, I saw the pyramid shaped cabin hovering along the tracks through the narrow cutaway of the birch trees.
Then, as if on a cue, Kevin rocketed from the treeline and jumped in front of the engine. The train blew its horn as he rolled between the rails, but it just continued on by, hovering into the distance.
“Kevin’s gonna hang out too,” Ollie said.
“I figured,” I said.
Kevin was the smallest kid in our grade, but that never stopped him from getting into trouble.
“What’s up, Endre?” Kevin asked. “You got a smoke for me?”
“Yeah, he’s got two left,” Ollie said as he put his own out.
I opened my the pencil case.
“Hey,” Kevin said, “I saw a cart filled with trash back in the trees there. I think it’s Hopping Joe’s.” Kevin held out a chrome lighter in the palm of his gloved hand. “Check out what I snatched from it.”
“Man,” he added, “if I’da seen him in those woods…” Kevin threw an uppercut into the air. “Boom!”
I laughed nervously.
I don’t know if Ollie could remember how we ended up being friends with Kevin; I know that I couldn’t. Nevertheless, Kevin was our third, and it was nice sometimes. Kevin’s dad was a bigwig at the naval terminal, so once or twice a month he’d treat the three of us to a movie.
The three of us walked until we came to a rusted chain-link fence that was half eaten by the salt spray of the Storegga Bay. A gate stretched across our path.
“We going in?” Ollie asked.
“Yeah,” Kevin said, “there’s a hole in the fence over here.”
“Don’t you have a keycard or something?” I asked.
“I could have grabbed dad’s keycard,” Kevin said as he lifted the bottom of the fence where the metal was slashed, “but since nobody’s working right now, it would look a little weird to swipe in. Don’t you think?”
“Well then, should we really be going in here?” I asked.
“Everyone’s gone until tomorrow,” Kevin said, “Just trust me. Plus, I have something to show you guys.”
“Endre,” Ollie said, “Kevin’s a pro at this kind of poo poo.”
The sun dipped behind steel skeletons of equipment and rigging as we followed Kevin to an equipment shed.
“These still use old fashioned keys,” he said as he unlocked the door.
Kevin pulled a metallic-orange backpack from the storage chest. Several clear tubes coiled themselves along the top of the pack before feeding into a rubber hose attached to an electronic grip.
“My dad left his email open,” Kevin said as he typed in an authenticator key into a panel on the pack’s grip
“What’s that?” Ollie asked.
“An atomic resizer,” Kevin said. “This is how they ship lots of stuff on one boat. My dad says that they only use these things on, wood and stone, but he told me that they could work on anything as long as it’s strong.”
Kevin led us to a red shipping container not far from the shed. Printed along the rippled steel side, in bright white letters was the word MAERSK. Taking a moment to adjust the levels on the screen, Kevin set the device to 1/16th scale and pulled the trigger, washing the container in iridescent light. The plastic tubing on the backpack filled with various liquids, and when the light faded, the once mammoth box was the size of a lunchpail.
“Holy poo poo,” Ollie said.
“What happened to whatever was inside?” I asked.
“Still there,” Kevin said. He turned to me with a smirk on his freckled face and adjusted the dials on the device’s grip. “Why don’t you go stand over there,” he said, “and you can check for yourself.” He continued to fiddle with the screen.
I took a few steps backwards.
“Just loving with you,” Kevin said before turning back to the container. “I’ll resize it.”
Moments later, another bright light, and the steel box was all but restored, except that the corrugated rippling along the side of the box was no longer as pronounced as it once was, more like a gentle wave.”
“What happened to it?” I asked.
“Lemme try again,” Kevin said before shrinking and resizing the container once more.
But now the sides were even more smoothed, and the text printed along the side was illegibly smudged.
“Maybe this is why they use these things on materials,” I said.
Kevin examined the dials on the machine’s grip while Ollie stepped towards the container and opened its door.
A warbling groan echoed from within.
When we finally looked inside the box, the three of us found a writhing mass of skin and fabric melted into a puddle. Two arms, jutting out from the central mass pushed impotently against the ground, while a singular leg dangled in several places until the lone boot that it wore went flying against the steel container’s walls.
I swear that I saw a crooked nose somewhere in the pile.
“That’s Hopping Joe!” I said while turning to see what Kevin was going to do.
I never saw Ollie run inside to help old Hopping Joe.
Neither did Kevin.
By the time the light dissipated, the steel container was the size of a pack of smokes. Ollie was gone.
I ran over to the little red thing, but before I could open it up, Kevin stopped me.
“Let me,” he said.
It looked like the door would break in his fingers, but after he opened it, we both could hear the sounds of tiny screams.
It only took one look.
Kevin was crying when he dropped the lighter into the hole, closed the door, and threw the thing as hard as he could into the icy bay.
We left through the hole in the fence, and walked home in silence.
|# ¿ Jan 9, 2017 01:23|
i am your third judge.
i have nothing inside me.
the person who puts something.
the biggest thing.
the best thing.
will be my choice for winner.
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2017 03:03|
make me feel anything.
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2017 03:05|
since sittinghere couldnt be bothered to make an appropriate flavor image, i did it
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2017 21:54|
Judge Burps. Everything read on judgemode. You know the deal.
Wake Up In The Morning Feelin' Like E. Tiddy
I thought this was annoying at first, then I liked it for a few lines, then I ultimately didn’t think much about it at all. Technically the writing is solid but the story isn’t my style at all and I found the humor to mostly miss. I say mostly because I did enjoy the reference to those 90’s S things that kids drew as the pattern to open the lock. I was going to say that there are no stakes, but that’s a dumb comment considering the tone of the story, so, instead I’ll just say that I don’t understand the opening in the context of the greater story. The first paragraph reads as if it’s happening after the events of the story, but the events of the invalidate the details you establish in the first paragraph. Idk. Technically you did write a story though, so thats cool, although the fact that all the pop songs are from different times drives me crazy.
Fills me with: blue jello
(4000 words means that I’m going to start skimming if this is boring.)
First line of dialogue already has me confused. Is Thess, Jenkins, or Maura speaking? IDK until like 3 lines later. I’m not a fan of science fiction. You’ve got too many fake future proper nouns going on here and it makes following things annoying.
“Pale greens and deep blues washed over the awed faces of her officers as the abstract numbers of registry numbers and their coordinates were given life as a hologram projected from the table.”
WTF bruh. Numbers within numbers? Numbers of numbers? Blue and Green? Shieeet.
There’re a lot of talking heads and direct characterization going on. I’m like a 6th of the way through this and here’s what I think is happening. There are the good guys. One of the good guys has a crazy plan to get out of some pickle that the bad aliens made for them. They need to rescue a ship. Then like 1000 words pass and the ship is thrown into hyperdrive and they get out and you scene break. So a bunch of dudes just sat in chairs for like a billion words.
Okay I got to the end and nothing happened. I mean, stuff happened but nothing of note happened. Dudes talked to each other.
WLOTM: God damnit sittinghere, you roped me into another Karflapper hive!
SH: Don’t worry I’ve got a plan to reverse the Jungo thruster and incinerate the queen.
Rhino (On another ship): You can’t kill the queen or some poo poo because that’s bad business for some reason.
SH: Trust me.
WLOTM: What if we keep talking?
Rhino: Genius idea, Karflappers hate the sound of human voices.
Fills me with: lets plays of mass effect 1
The Fires Of Discontent:
Lol this is a script. Since this is a writing contest I’m going to ignore all of your stage directions and just read the dialogue.
I can’t tell if the first line is self aware or not. If it is, that’s funny, but also an easy joke. If it isn’t self aware, well, that's just plain sad. You see, these characters are old timey (like before FDR but after Jesus) because they use latinades.
Okay I finished this and it’s just more heads talking. Also the latinades might as well be generic science fiction mumbo jumbo. Ladies chat about nonsense, dickhead rolls in makes a vague threat, then he leaves. The end.
Fills me with: game of thrones episodes but only the ones that don't feature rape, incest, or titties
Hell yeah this is what I’m talking about; I’m going to read every word of this loving thing.
K, I read it. This is fine and the imagery is okay, but there’s no conflict here and nothing to work towards. Just a manifesto about an eating disorder. I get it, the cage is the ribs, but also the cage is the expectation to just silently deal with your problems.
My question is why do I give a gently caress?
Fills me with: cotton balls and tic tacs
Outside a View
This collage sounds cliche as gently caress. Okay, a few stanzas in and I see that your decision was intentional! Cool. Also this is okay so far. Despite your description of the artist, I don’t feel bad for her if she is making that poo poo you described earlier.
Okay so I read it and I think I like it. I’ll need to go back and maybe reread it to fill in some of where I am confused, but I don’t entirely understand who the visitor is supposed to be or represent, but I like what’s here and I like the detached writing style as it works with the author’s cynical attitude towards the subject.
Fills me with: tofu
Soul, The Contents Emptied
At first I was annoyed because creation type myths are all kind of the same in a way that makes me instantly bored, but this was pretty good and I found it interesting and well written. This is definitely my favorite story thus far, but I would have liked it more if you had ended it without the extra scene at the end.
Fills me with: grapefruit
I feel like this is a matter of just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. Ultimately this is the story of a powerless person, and, unfortunately, the story submitted right before yours did the idea better (in terms of my taste). The narrative voice that comments on the senselessness of the death at the end of the story doesn’t work for me because if the death was entirely senseless then why is the narrator wasting my time. No lessons are learned and nothing really happens.
Fills me with: freezer frost
Before the Lion, he laid Bare
Again, I love a detached narrator. Part of me wants to say, as I’ve already said for multiple stories, that nothing happens in this thing, but I knew what I was getting into during this week, and I don’t really mind this kind of stuff. This is an interesting conceptual study on a well-realized fictional book. I actually googled it to make sure that it was in fact fictional. That said, my biggest problem with this is that I don’t understand why you’ve chosen to submit this during this week. There’s not an overarching reason that I can grasp, save for the little bit of characterization at the end by the narrator.
Fills me with: sand
The Cave Adventure.
“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.“Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.
I think the biggest issue with this story is the lack of characterization on the brothers. Both are essentially talking heads except that one is younger than the other. The reveal that they are playing in a closet is annoying because I was hoping for something cool to happen in the cave. Instead you reveal that they are being abused by their mother and also that neither of the brothers needs to go peepee go poopoo. I can’t really tell if the author thinks that locking a child in a closet is an appropriate punishment or not, which I think is kind of important when interpreting this story, because of how you have the characters react to their circumstances.
Fills me with: the line "Do you need to go peepee go poopoo?” she asked.
Boring Words are Expendable
I had a pretty good idea of what you were doing by the end of the first line, so I just started skimming, which is what a lot of TD judges do anyway. The author is trying to make a point about brevity or verbosity or some poo poo, or at least I assume so because almost nothing gets said in this story and it takes forever to get there. That said, you do have a main character who wants something and takes meaningful action to get it and also has a chance to actually get it, so that’s good.
With these experimental things I like to ask myself “What is this jabroni doing?” and if I can answer that, then I like to ask, “Why is this jabroni doing this?” I can answer both of these questions for this story, but that still doesn’t make me like it.
Fills me with: all the X pages from a dictionary
Flush with Cash
If this is a 2600 word gag story I’m going to be pissed.
I read this entire loving thing and it’s… not bad. Good? I don’t know. Definitely the most complete story of the week thus far and almost entirely well written. I was a little confused at the end, but that’s on me. I quite enjoyed many of the jokes in this and the characterization as well. Buzz Rockjaw USMC is a great character and they all play meaningful roles in the story. I would like to read a similarly toned story that avoids the Trump references however, because involving him in this kind of robs the story of its glee.
I actually want to see more of this madcap world that you’ve created.
Fills me with: peppermints and pisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
Lots of intentional vagueness in this that doesn’t work IMO. At first referencing “the process” is confusing, even if you initially set up an interrogation scene with the title you’ve selected, mostly because you put a banana in with the other tools and now I think you are writing a joke story. The reversal at the end of it being the wrong guy is kind of lame and the Dolly Parton song seems like you would want this to be menacing but it’s actually just kind of silly and dumb and reflects this current media trend of using classic songs in a grim setting because some people react to it. The biggest problem is that the reversal makes it hard for your protag to work towards anything. At first we don’t know what he wants and once the reversal happens we get the sense that everything was for nothing.
Fills me with: broken bits of a record
I suspect that I know who wrote this, and I feel that it definitely captures the “write me your soul” part of SH’s prompt, but this is more of a character study than anything and I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be a story writing contest or at least a writing contest. This definitely wouldn’t win the story writing contest, because I’m not sure that this is a story, but it definitely wouldn’t lose a writing contest. Especially not this week. I think the best decision that the author made was to keep this thing as short as he or she did, as the ephemerality of emotional wisps, blown in on the breeze and back away again, are best suited for these types of little things.
Fills me with: almond skins
Sorry, I'm Not Flying
1st paragraph has me interested, so that’s good.
I read this thing and think it’s pretty okay, despite the fact that I’m mostly interested in why grandpa is a bird and was once a bird (although was supposedly a man in between being birds) and why having a seizure made the rehabilitation center turn him into a bird. There’s a bit of a trend of passive stories this week, and I am wondering if people have passive souls. I don’t know. I don’t hate it, but I think it kind of failed to follow up on the initial interest that was sparked.
Fills me with: like a single bird feather
Eh, this is okay. For some reason at first I thought this was going to be a story about a serial killer who works at a suicide hotline, but instead it’s about a trans woman whose former masculinity calls up and harasses her. This could be a tighter story and I think it would work better. It’s fine as it is, but just that. I don’t know if the bit about the masturbating callers is all that necessary, but I understand why it’s included. I think it goes on for too long though. I think that the embodiment of a former masculinity would work well as an antagonist who works against stopping Corinne from reaching a tangible and unrelated goal.
Fills me with: quarters
This was fine until you mentioned the tv series Dexter. It’s a lazy way to describe a scene and you probably shouldn’t do it unless there’s something extra important about referencing that show exactly. I don’t like the literalness of the broken heart thing maybe because it is derived from a cliche. I’m not sure. The one place where I think you should be literal, the source of Matt’s pain, is also the one place where you really restrain yourself with details, and it’s kind of annoying. I do like Matt’s interactions with the waitress and the diner stuff (Dexter reference aside).
Fills me with: receipt paper
Not Quite Friends
This story just does nothing for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading for hours or whatever, but it is just too slow and the characters are just too uninteresting and the genre is definitely not my jam. It seems technically fine, I did skim a bit in this, but I can’t say that I like it as a piece of flash fiction or as a piece of longer fiction. Maybe someone else would though.
Fills me with: vapour
The Answers You Find and the Questions You Don't
I hate this title. Love the first sentence. Love the humor. This is an okay story. The protag is interesting and the humor of the writing style carries it through the bits of cliche. I didn’t care as much for the Hawt-Dawg section, and I’m pretty sure he would have just shot the protagonist in the face, but whatever because it’s small in the grand scheme of things.
Fills me with: mashed up pig snouts
I didn’t sign up to read 6000 words. gently caress you for writing them. I’ll go ahead and start but I’m not making any promises to finish this thing.
Well I read them all. All the words. This was pretty good, but I ultimately was disappointed in it. You’ve created an interesting setting and at least one interesting character. You set her up to be betrayed and then... what, just kind of drop it after the reveal. Same thing with Nila. You have an interesting ancillary character who pushes the protag into breaking the rules of her job and…. She just kind of disappears. The resolution that you did provide was one that I certainly didn’t ask for or care for when there were two plot threads that were more interesting for you to work within. This and "Flush with Cash" are the only stories from the week that I want more from.
Fills me with: lace and pills
Let’s see, warrior dude is a badass, but also is doomed. He’s trapped with a scrawny dude who’s scratching out runes to tell his story, but it’s annoying, so the protagonist bashes the dude’s head in with a rock.
This is less interesting than most of the stories of this week and about equal in terms of the technical competence. Pretty middle of the road. Genre stuff kills it for me.
Fills me with: mulch and pebbles
Six Portraits of Negative Space
This story seems too ambitious for its wordcount. What does the broken structure add to the overall story? Is it appropriate for a Flash Fiction contest? What is really frustrating is how you spend so many words on some details that really aren’t served in the story, for example, the seven dates. All in all the structure really screwed you here. I know that someone wanted to solve a murder, but the who and why escapes me because of all the different subjects of each section. The magical twist at the end is weird and entirely unexpected.
Fills me with: iron filings
You Can't Enter Heaven Until I Enter You
This is a good story. Good stuff happens. There are characters who want things and do things to get them. I don’t know if this is the best story of the week, but it has attitude and a pacing that works and it’s not up its own rear end. IDK this might be the best story of the week. Oddly enough it isn’t the weirdest.
Fills me with: sweet cream
When It Raines, It Pours
I’m so annoyed by all the long stories this week. Without reading a word of this one, I’m going to guess that it sucks because too many of the long stories have been okay and I’m due for some supershit.
Okay, I don’t want to be rude especially if this is a first time submitter, but this first section goes like this: “I love this one thing, but gently caress that I’ll tell you later. Also I love this other thing a lot. Also I love my sister a lot and I might want to gently caress her. Also I might die. STAY TUNED!!!!”
Section 2: Dude stabs some motherfuckers and makes quips because he really wants to gently caress his sister and some other guy has her trapped
“From the left, a man in a bright purple shirt and white dust all over his face walks through a door.”
Come on dude.
I smile and let out a short laugh. “Oh, you’ve walked into hell, Mr. Warren. You just don’t know it yet.”
The protagonist literally walked into Warren’s office!!!
Okay, so this is stupid and not in a self aware way. It’s so close to being self aware that it’s almost subversive, but I think I am giving this thing too much credit. Incest is bad.
Fills me with: white dust
Ugh. I love to take things literally, but this might be the most literal story ever. It’s Needful Things but with mental illnesses instead of curses. Do I have to continue reading?
“He slept soundly, and in the morning he deposited the money into his bank account, repaid some of his loans, browsed Amazon, and purchased a new plasma television that he could mount on his wall.”
This is a weird line. Plasma TVs are old news.
This story is so corny. I wonder if the author is aware of Needful Things or the Rick and Morty parody or any number of the other shows that have parodied this concept. I do not understand the logic behind writing this.
Fills me with: legal worries
This is one of those stories where the protagonist doesn’t seem to want anything until the very end of the story and that plotline wraps itself up within five or six lines. The characterization of the two aliens was interesting; however, I feel like they didn’t have anything to do until one of them was about to die. In a week where there are many stories where interesting things happen, this isn’t enough.
Fills me with: insect wings
Okay this is a weird story and the narration is really sparse but I kind of like it. I can’t really verbalize why I like it and I’m not sure if it’s actually good, but I think it is. I think there’s a nice harmony between the title and the image of these people just disappearing. It feels like the protagonist is just missing out on seeing these people get snatched up, but he’s fine with the sudden disappearance because he’s just wrapped up in his own poo poo.
There’s a feeling of dread in this that I like.
Ultimately I think my reading of this may dovetail from the author’s intentions, but gently caress authorial intent anyways.
Fills me with: eggs
Rite of Passage
Feels like the author is withholding information here. I don’t need several hundred words of description of a girl aimlessly walking in circles without at least knowing why first. I just don't. I’m two sections in and I have no idea what’s happening except that there’s a girl named Dani, she’s walking, and there’s some weird poo poo around her. In section four there’s finally another character and there are some thematically interesting things, but I think it’s too far gone to do anything with. It’s clear that the settings have been symbolic for something(s) but it’s too unclear to have any impact on a reader.
The setting of this story, white hallway, featureless forest, nebulous antique shop... space, really hurt the final product IMO because they ultimately leave me with a feeling that I have no idea who anyone is and why anything is happening. A concrete setting could be just enough framework to make it land, but it doesn’t for me.
Fills me with: dandelion stems
One Man's Trash
There’s some good characterization here, but everything takes too long to develop. This is like the talking heads stories that were submitted at the beginning of the week, however million words ago that was. There isn’t a clear goal for Brett to chase other than to get over himself and the writing itself is kind of sloppy in the proofing (for example Clarissa’s name is wrong in the last line). I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it. I feel nothing about it, which is bad.
Fills me with: tannins
Cannon fire cannon fire cannon fire. I’m not sure if cacophonic darkness works, since they are combating senses, but whatever.
“Resolve overcome her fear. “We face it head on, then.””
The story got better once the mermaids got involved, but ultimately I don’t think this is better than the best stories of this week. It still takes too long to get moving and doesn’t hold up to the bonkers stuff that was cool in other stories. Average.
Fills me with: seawater
“I don’t like this writing style.
“End your quotes.
“Nevermind, I see this is intentional.
Meh. I don’t really know what to make of this. I thought the part about recording insects was cool, but I really just have no idea what’s going on in this story. Maybe that’s because I’ve just read 50k words and your’s are at the bottom, but I don’t think that’s the case. There’s clearly an established world here that has some interesting stuff, but those other interesting details are sidelined to focus on this tape endeavor. I have no idea why anything is happening.
Fills me with: a humming sensation
Don't Fear the Reaper (Yes, Really)
This is fanfiction and I’m tired. It can wait.
Fills me with: gently caress YOU MCREE GET BEHIND THE SHIELD YOU PIECE OF poo poo WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING TO RIGHT CLICK IF YOU ARE GOING TO loving FLANK. YOU HAVE NO SUSTAIN, RETARD. NO, MERCY WILL NOT POCKET YOU. KILL THE PHARAH.
Soul, The Contents Emptied
Flush with Cash
The Answers You Find and the Questions You Don't
Outside a View
You Can't Enter Heaven Until I Enter You
WLOTM’S top 3 good stories (in order): Soul, Spider, Alouette,
The Fires Of Discontent:
The Cave Adventure.
When It Raines, It Pours
Six Portraits of Negative Space
WLOTM’S top 3 bad stories (in order): Runes, Interrogation, Portraits,
|# ¿ Jan 18, 2017 10:39|
|# ¿ Jan 23, 2017 20:57|
I'll sign up and probably fail, but W/E.
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2017 12:59|
So that's a sign up.
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2017 13:00|
A sign up post.
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2017 13:02|
|# ¿ Feb 7, 2017 23:45|
The Sharing Economy
Ren knows that there are a few tricks to creating a welcoming environment. Obviously, keeping the space clean and organized is the most important thing for rider comfort, but Ren’s perfected other little touches that set her apart from other hosts. There’s a little glass decanter in her glove compartment, a room spray, but not the cheap kind that comes in a plastic bottle with a trigger. She pumps the bulb once and wafts her hands across the air. The scent is delicate and floral, and it will linger in the air after the rider drops in.
The display reads 7:00 PM. Saint Patrick’s Day is on a Friday this year, and Washington DC is in the middle of the warmest March it’s had in a decade. The streets are swarming in shamrock green and Ren’s painted a tiny clover on her cheekbone, a flourish against her simple beauty.
Ren checks her phone; one minute remains in the auction. The app is set to only allow for only four or five star riders to bid, and the surge pricing of a major social holiday means that she’ll easily make at least a thousand for a night of hosting, which is good, since her rent is due next weekend.
The auction timer hits zero and the phone vibrates. The winner is a woman from Omaha who’s paid two grand for an eight hour drive. Her name is Marlene Heller. Then, somewhere under Ren’s skull, the neural synthetic webbing tells her body that it’s time to go to sleep.
When someone else is driving, the world is drawn and colored in a dreamy haze, like frost covering a windshield. Ren feels her shoulders slump up and down, making little circles as Marlene reacts to the drop in. Marlene adjusts the rearview mirror to get a look at her new, temporary face. Ren never uses much makeup, typically a little lip stain and a touch of the basics but nothing more. Marlene puckers her lips and smiles at Ren’s reflection before opening the car door and stepping into the evening.
Ren’s riding shotgun in her body for the rest of the night while Marlene sips and socializes and does all the things that a woman who’s spent her entire life in a cornfield would never have had the chance to do. For the first forty five minutes, Marlene flirts with the younger men dressed in silly hats and Kiss Me, I’m Irish buttons. Of course, she never actually kisses them; that would mean a TOS violation and immediate forfeiture of the ride fee. The highly rated drivers know the rules.
Canceling a ride is like waking up from a nightmare. Ren’s done it a few times, as most hosts have- the feeling of breathlessness, the piercing light, the headaches- it’s a last resort. Not to mention the fact that some drivers, those who feel that their rides were canceled unfairly, will seek arbitration from the Cohabit company. Still, Ren knows to expect some flirting, that’s what a host signs up for on a night like this.
Before hitting the next bar, Marlene steps into the bathroom and trifles through Ren’s purse. She tries to unlock the phone inside, forgetting that it doesn’t belong to her. Instead, she checks the time.
“I just need to touch up my lips,” Marlene announces to the empty room as she stares into the mirror. A courtesy to Ren.
Ren doesn’t answer because Marlene wouldn’t hear her if she did.
Marlene draws a circle, a perfect O, on the back of her hand with the lip stain. “I love this color,” she says before dabbing the wand across her mouth. Soon, Marlene’s on the street and hailing a cab.
“Corner of Euclid and 12th,” Marlene says.
Ren wonders if she’s ever been out that way before.
Marlene steps out of the cab and rounds the corner of another bar, and Ren can see a man camped out against the wall while idly browsing his phone.
“Tommy?” Marlene calls. The man turns. Ren’s never had a driver use her in a meetup with someone else, but she knows it’s happened before.
Marlene closes her eyes as she continues to approach the figure. At first Ren assumes that Marlene must just be tired, but then she keeps her eyes shut so Ren can’t get a good look. Marlene reveals the back of her hand to Tom while she walks, showing him the circle that she drew.
“Marlene?” Tom asks. “You don’t sound at all like you did on the phone, but, wait, nevermind, I’m dumb-”
Marlene laughs, even though Ren doesn’t get the joke. Her giggles are like big swamp bubbles, emanating from deep in her stomach.
“Well you sound just like you always do during our chats,” Marlene says, “now, put your hood on so the dumb bitch can’t see.” Marlene’s beginning to use a drawl in her voice; Ren’s muscles, the ones in her tongue and her mouth that Marlene now control, are flopping and lolling like someone from Missouri rather than Nebraska.
“Okay,” Tom says, “We’re good.”
Marlene opens Ren’s eyes. Tom’s in a full facemask.
“So here’s the deal, girlie,” Marlene says. “Tommy here is going to help you help me live out a little fantasy or two tonight. I think it would be best if you just accept that this is going to happen. Tonight, I’m your customer and the customer is always right. Tommy’s not a nice guy, but we get along. If you cut my time short, the time I paid you for, Tommy’s gonna see to it that you don’t get the most welcome greeting when you take over.”
Alarm bells ring in Ren’s mind as Tom reveals a small, sharp, knife.
“We’ve got a few hours left on the clock,” Marlene says, “so we need to get moving. There’s a tattoo shop around the corner- you know, I always wanted to get a tattoo, just never had the gut to commit to anything. That’s permanent you know?”
“I got a few,” Tom says.
“Well Tommy,” Marlene says, “maybe if you do a good job tonight you can show me them later.”
Marlene takes Ren’s bird-boned fingers to the edge of Tom’s mask and rolls it over his lips, then she presses her mouth to his.
As they walk towards the shop, Tom snakes his hand into the waistband of Ren’s leggings. His fingers are heavy, callused things, and they play with the frill on Ren’s underwear.
“Tommy,” Marlene says, “you got to control yourself.”
Ren can feel something cool and heavy palmed between Tom’s hand and the swell of her back. His thumb digs into and across her skin, pulling at the blade until it’s freed from the sheath and the cool metal presses against her.
“What’re you getting into back there?” Marlene says.
“Just reminding lil’ Whatsername that you’re in charge.”
They’re at the door to the parlor and Tom pushes Marlene through.
“Ladies first,” he says.
As they enter, Ren can hear Tom sliding the wooly facemask up and over his head. Marlene takes care to stay in front of him and only face the bearded man at the register. He has a bald head and huge brown eyes that Ren stares into as Marlene began to speak. Over in the corner of the man’s eye Ren can make out the vaguest hint of the reflection of the man behind her.
“I called earlier,” Marlene says to man at the register, “about the rat tattoo.”
“Oh yeah,” he says, “the pet one.”
Marlene claps Ren’s hands together “Yes, I had a little dumbo rattie as a girl. They’re the ones with ears on the sides of their heads-” As Marlene continues on, Ren considers ending the ride and dropping back into her own skin. After all, if Tom is going to stab her he’ll have to do it in front of witnesses here. Yet as she considers the thought, Ren feels the knife pressing into her again, into her side this time. Tom drags the blade down the line of her waist like a razorblade.
“Well, come on back, I’ll be doing your art tonight,” the clerk says.
“My boyfriend’s gonna come watch,” Marlene says.
“Whatever makes you happy.”
Ren’s face is pressed into a massage chair while the clerk finishes applying the tracing paper to Ren’s skin.
“Check it out,” the clerk says.
Marlene cranes her neck and glances at the tracing in the mirror. The lines depict a dumbo rat following a girl playing the flute. More importantly, however, staring back at her own eyes, Ren’s eyes and not Marlene’s, was Tom’s unremarkable, crooked, pockmarked face.
He looked like nobody to be scared of.
“It’s perfect,” Marlene says before pressing her face back into the chair.
“Then we’ll begin,” the clerk says.
Maybe it’s the humming of the tattoo pen. Maybe it’s the firm grip Tom has on her shoulder. Maybe it’s the pressing of needle to flesh, the subdermal stabbing, but Ren realizes upon the first stroke that she must act.
She cancels the ride and drops back in.
“Tommy,” Marlene says.
Usually the drop is preceded by a languid stupor, a heaviness of the eyes, but it’s hard for Marlene to get sleepy with the needle pricking into her skin. The warning period passes unnoticed.
Then she’s gone.
In seconds Ren is calling the shots again. She could see the process out and be marked like property, walk out with Tom and sneak away into the dark to file a police report for one stolen body. Instead-
“Tommy,” Ren calls in her best Marlene impersonation.
Tom’s phone begins ringing in his pocket, but Ren swipes behind her back, yanking the tattoo pen from the hand of the artist with huge brown eyes. In one motion, she’s pressing the throttle deep into the palm of her hand like a crucifixion nail until the pen is buzzing and pumping madly. She plunges it into Tom’s neck. She does it again and again, until the thing gets tangled somewhere in his tendons.
She stumbles up and away from the chair, removing her phone from her bag.
Ren’s speaking with the Cohabit Company when the police arrive. The host service specialist runs a lookup for clients named Marlene Heller, and while she finds the account, the woman says it hasn’t been used in weeks.
“The only thing I can do from here is escalate this issue to the floor manager,” she says, “but he’ll probably need a police report if what you are saying is true.” It’s no problem; Ren knows that she’ll be riding with the cops soon anyway.
“In the meantime,” the woman adds, “we’ll have to hold disbursing that payment for your last ride until the internal cancellation audit is complete. It usually only takes about two weeks.”
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2017 04:40|
Lots of things are bad.
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2017 16:37|
There are more bad things than good things.
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2017 16:37|
more like sebmodno
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2017 20:15|
I'll take a critter.
|# ¿ Feb 14, 2017 20:27|
|# ¿ Mar 1, 2017 00:42|
ok ill write persona 5 fanfic
plz be my Makoto
|# ¿ Apr 24, 2017 22:18|
There is a non-0 chance i missed someone in my quoting frenzy, so if that's you pls let me know
u forgot me
|# ¿ Jul 7, 2017 15:53|
Your wizardry allows you give anima/life to any work of art: A sculpture, a painting, a photo, and so on.
A Call to the Restoration Crew
We join our two players, Eardrum and Button, in the middle of a debate occurring at the pickup counter of American BrewTea, the local java-joint voted Best Cup of Coffee in Sparksville for the past six years running. It’s Halloween night, and the two are hoping for a phone call.
“So, Mr. Art History,” Button says as he retrieves his latte and pops off the lid, “What am I allowed to call these cute fuckin’ pumpkins on my coffee cup?”
Eardrum takes a sip of his flat black. “I don’t care what you call them,” he says, “but if they were printed by a machine, they aren’t art. That’s just the end of it.”
“Even though some poor rear end in a top hat had to draw this picture?” Button asks.
“Doesn’t matter,” Eardrum says. “Did that poor rear end in a top hat draw them on your cup specifically? Art has to be made by hand.”
Button has an obstinate response loaded in the chamber, but he holds his fire.
His phone is ringing.
All the houses on College Row are bursting with frat bros and their sorority sisters- boys and girls pushed into making bad decisions by pulsing music, peer pressure, and the fires of substances both legal and otherwise. Each house a microcosm of madness. All but one.
The brothers at Kappa Sig killed their party, because someone killed one of their own. Todd Waterman, formerly class of 2021, now covered by an NFL bedsheet soaked through with his own blood.
“Alright kiddos,” Button says, “someone’s daddy is paying us big to keep this off the news and off the dean’s desk, but in order for us to do that, you need to answer our questions and answer them quick. Who else knows about this scene?”
“Nobody,” one of the boys answers. He’s dressed like a redneck and looks like a real dick.
Eardrum removes the sheet and examines the body. Todd’s got a puncture wound in his neck with a few matching friends in his chest and stomach. In addition to the set of holes, Todd’s got a tattoo on his bicep of the green M&M in a sexy pin-up pose. She’s wrapped in a candy-striped bra with her tits thrust skyward. The image speaks to Eardrum.
“Are-” Button asks the brothers, but the world around Eardrum begins to blur. He touches the sexy M&M and momentarily channels some hidden energy.
Then, she leans back- stretching- like she just woke up from a long nap.
The M&M turns towards Eardum and leans in, giving him an impressive view down her top. “He’s wrong,” she whispers. “You think Todd would just be up here by his lonesome? There was a girl- a blonde- dressed like an angel, but not as sexy or delicious as me, mind you. Oh what she did to my poor Todd! What do you say about springing me loose from this skin and I’ll show you where she went. Maybe after we can find someplace private and take turns eating each other.”
“I don’t take chocolate to bed,” Eardrum says.
“Worried about staining your sheets?” she asks.
Eardrum isn’t interested in going any further, so he lifts his finger from Todd’s cold skin; the drawing returns to its place.
“You have any girls over before you kicked everyone out?” Eardrum asks the redneck.
“The Alpha Phi sisters,” he answers, “but none of them-”
“Save the story,” Eardrum says.
Button cuts in. “Now my friend needs to step out for a few while we start Todd’s disappearing act. Y’all got any bleach?”
Outside of the Alpha Phi house, Eardrum finds a jack-o-lantern. It’s all dopey and bucktoothed, carved with a wide, classic grin. He presses a hand to it; it’s willing to talk.
“You seen an angel come through here?” Eardrum asks.
“Gosh, all the girls that live here are angels,” it says in a slow cadence.
“No, I mean an actual angel. Actually dressed like an angel,” Eardrum says.
“Have you tried a church?” it asks.
Eardrum doesn’t have the time to clarify his question for a second time, but he does have the time to kick Jack’s smiling face into an orange pulp. Eardrum notices there’s another pumpkin with a demon carved into it sitting opposite to the pile-of-Jack. He decides to talk to it.
“Good job,” it says, “I’ve been wanting to do the same thing to that dumb motherfucker for weeks. I saw the angel head through the alley and around back. The other girls are still out. You could light some candles, bind her, bleed her, and whisper my true name into her mouth. Give me her body and I’ll give you eternal power.”
“Maybe another night,” Eardrum says.
The backdoor of the house connects directly to the kitchen, and when Eardrum peeps through the window, everything past the refrigerator is awash in the inky dark. He decides to break the lock and take his chances on the black.
“Who’s there?” a voice calls.
“Angel?” Eardrum asks. “We need to talk about Todd Waterman.”
“What about him?” the shaky voice asks.
“Let’s start with how you killed him.”
“Look,” Eardrum says, “I’m just someone who’s paid to make this whole thing disappear, and I can’t do that if you disappear. Why don’t you turn on the light?”
Blonde. Blue eyes. She could be an actual angel if hadn’t just killed a guy.
“Now,” Eardrum asks, “what’d you use to open the kid up?”
“A screwdriver,” she says. “It was on his nightstand.”
“And where’s it now?” Eardrum asks.
“I don’t remember,” Angel says, “I threw it in a ditch when I ran here.”
“Angel, Angel, Angel-” Eardrum says, “I’ve seen some serious poo poo since I’ve entered my line of work, but that picture up in the boy’s bedroom? It’s going to take a lot of drinking to wash that one away. How many holes did you punch in him? Six? Seven? You’re an artist with that screwdriver.”
“Who are you?” she asks.
“I’m someone getting paid to erase it all,” Eardrum says, “ so you and I are going to retrace your every step until you find that loving screwdriver. When you do, my partner and I will make the body go away and we’ll help you get away.”
“And if we can’t find it?” She asks.
Eardrum doesn’t reply.
“Okay,” she says, nodding after a moment. “You know he tried to-”
“Intent doesn’t matter,” Eardrum says. “Not for him. Not for you. Not for the people paying us. The only thing that matters is finding that screwdriver. Hurry up now; you’re wasting time.”
|# ¿ Jul 10, 2017 03:38|
|# ¿ Jul 25, 2017 23:26|
“I remember what it’s like to be small- gangly, thin like your frail bones. Once, I was nothing more than stick and leaf, trembling whenever the wind blew. Trembling like you now.
There’s a storm coming.
Don’t cry, slight things. The world is full of dangers worse than a bluster. Just listen to the wind’s song as my leaves rustle. What a choir you’d all make.
I know you have lovely voices.
How about this? Once the wind moves you to singing, I’ll move you with my sapling dance.
The years of my infancy were bathed in songs and shadow. While my brothers quickly grew tall and sturdy in the blessing of the sun, fortune cast my seed to the underneath, a much darker soil. It would be years before I understood its true name. Piano.
From the underneath, I learned to stretch and sway with the motion of the sun. Morning and evening found me lapping up the dim orange light of the world, but midday sent me stretching for any bright spot within reach.
Children would sometimes play the thing. Piano. One girl had practiced the art, playing it more beautifully than all others. Against her music, the swaying of my survival became almost enjoyable.
This is how I learned to dance.
Occasionally, a less welcome visitor would come to the underneath. Cardinal. In our first meeting he clamped onto my twig-base, yanking, determined to unearth me.
‘I’ll use your body to strengthen our nest,’ he said. ‘Mama will be so proud.’
Cardinal’s wings beat against my leaves as he clawed with everything he could summon, yet in the darkness of the underneath my roots had grown wide, deep, and unmovable.
‘I am a creature of the dark,’ I said. ‘I will not be moved.’
‘This won’t be forgotten, Sapling,’ Cardinal said. And he was off.
We were both so young then, although not nearly as young as you all.
The children were still visiting Piano in the early years, but as my trunk firmed and steadied, dancing to their songs became almost impossible. Only the girl could move me.
Sometimes, I can still hear her music.
Eventually, my body began to fruit in the darkness- green, unripened little things- but mine nonetheless.
Not long after I began my maturation, I heard the striking of keys above me in the girl’s familiar tune. Still, for all that this song was perfectly ordered, the playing was off, broken, slower. Furthermore, there was no person standing before me during the playing, and soon, chirps and cracks began to fill the air between the notes. Then the song stopped, and Cardinal plunged before me.
‘I thought you’d like to hear it for old times’ sake,’ Cardinal said.
‘You aren’t as good as her,’ I told him.
Cardinal fluttered onto one of my main branches. ‘She’s long forgotten this place,’ he said.
They all had forgotten.
‘You’ve grown larger over these years,’ I said.
‘As have you,’ he replied.
I began to speak. ‘If you’re thinking to pull me from the ground-’
‘Don’t be foolish,’ he said, ‘I haven’t come for a fight.’ It was then that I felt the familiar clamping of Cardinal’s beak, this time against softer flesh. ‘I’ve come for a snack.’
I managed to rock and sway against his relentless pecking, but the red menace was too quick, eventually plucking me bare.
‘I’ll return the next time I feel hungry,’ Cardinal said. ‘I’ll return again and again until the day your hardening body cements you. Then, I’ll roost in you, old friend.’
Weekly, Cardinal would strip me and fill his belly, always playing the girl’s song before feasting.
Weekly, I grew.
First, I grew until my leaves brushed the top of the underneath, flirting with its cracked surface. Then I grew until the wires holding Piano together snapped. Then until the whole of it split in half.
One day, Cardinal appeared with his typical appetite.
‘There’s less music in these woods now,’ he said, ‘and all of the other birds have flown to more pleasant places. I intend to follow them, and find a mate. Enjoy the silence, Sapling.’
This brings us to today, little hatchlings.
Time spent a decade hardening me, but neither Cardinal nor I forgot his promise. When you’re young storms can come and go on a bird’s wing, but some winds will always blow.
Don’t cry; I knew you’d make a wonderful choir.
Although age has made me brittle, I haven’t forgotten how to move. I’ve spent these years practicing. Look down, little ones, while I dance for a moment. Do you think some keys still work?
We could find out together. I bet you have your father’s gift for music.
When he finds you splayed against your instrument, he’ll be so proud.”
|# ¿ Jul 30, 2017 16:46|
I forgot that I'm supposed to be painting my living room this weekend.
a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 11:24 on Sep 22, 2017
|# ¿ Sep 21, 2017 23:37|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 16:40|
I'll give it a try
|# ¿ Oct 9, 2017 22:30|