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Oct 4, 2013

In with a flash story and a flash rule, please!


Oct 4, 2013


dmboogie fucked around with this message at 02:41 on Oct 6, 2017

Oct 4, 2013

do we need to call the dog police

Oct 4, 2013

I might have returned to the 'dome just soon enough to be unfashionably early for this party, but that's better than missing it.


Oct 4, 2013

i bet one day we'll look back on this and laugh but for tonight could you just buy me a drink
1471 words

How do you find the heart of a party? You gotta pinpoint the circles that intrigue and conversation flow through with each footfall of its gracious host. Circles of nobles, trying not to inhale too much of the air they shared with the circles of washed-but-cheaply-perfumed masses. The circles that Clara had been walking in for the past hour, notepad in hand, trying to catch even a glimpse of Lord Thaddeus Domerci - and there was a name meant to be shouted by a court crier, savoring every boomed syllable. Clara had tried it herself, cursing his name along with her flake of a partner for calling in sick and forcing her to come in to some rich jerk’s bougie birthday party on her day off. The acoustics of her bathroom robbed the gesture of most of its gravitas, but it was cathartic anyway.

Maybe that wasn’t fair. Thaddeus wasn’t a rich jerk, he was the rich jerk. Notable and extremely relevant to the world around him for being both rich and mysterious; which naturally meant that snatching a likely brief and inconsequential interview from him was a higher priority for the higher-ups than letting Clara just snuggle with her cat and watch literally anything other than the real world.

Nobody she talked to knew where Thaddeus was, only where he had been or where he was presumably going. Even more of a pain, there was no shortage of respectable-looking men with respectable-looking beards attending the grand event; and even though Clara had looked up what few clear pictures of Thaddeus existed, and she still wasn’t sure she could pick him out of a lineup. Clara had never expected it to be so drat hard to get a rich man, in his own mansion, to talk about himself for a while.

Where is Lord Thaddeus Domerci?

“He spoke to me earlier. Good man. Firm handshake.”

“Don’t know, don’t care, get away from the buffet table if you’re not gonna eat anything.”

“I don’t think I saw him blink? I mean like maybe our blinks were just like super synced up which is also kinda creepy when you think about it, but-”

“Why, he’s right there! Haven’t you got eyes, girl? Tch, the state of the press these days...”

Fighting back the urge to grasp the man’s monocle and see if she could make a full court shot into the punch bowl, Clara hurried in the direction he had pointed, just in time to see the elusive lord duck into a nearby corridor. “Excuse me, Lord Domerci!” She called out as she rushed towards him as fast as she could without mowing over any presumably innocent partygoers. Clara didn’t trust anyone who thought they were too good to be referred to as ‘mister’ unless they were a doctor or something; but no sense in annoying him.

When she turned the corner, there was no lord to be seen. Just a hallway, long enough that she couldn’t see the end of it. In the middle, there was a signpost that read “Any guest who proceeds past this point must accept what happens, for good or ill.” Weird, but Clara wasn’t going to waste time contemplating bougie philosophy when there was nowhere else her “target” could have gone.

She stepped forward. A trapdoor opened. She screamed a reasonable amount while she fell. The party continued.

Something evidently slowed Clara’s fall, as she didn’t instantly die when she landed on her back. She heard a familiar chuckle. “My, aren’t you supposed to be interviewing someone right now?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be sick, Lark?” Clara sighed as she picked herself up. The room was either dark enough or vast enough that she couldn’t see the ceiling she came from, but it was inexplicably raining. Thunder crackled in the distance. Spotlights on the ground illuminated countless gargantuan trees, sculpted into living statues, and she now realized she was sitting in the palm of one shaped like a anguished, kneeling man; hands outstretched and hoping for salvation. All in all, not the strangest place she had unexpectedly encountered her partner.

“Sick of having perfectly good parties ruined for me because I’m contractually obliged to speak to someone completely insufferable, yes.”

Yeah, that sounded about right. Clara tilted her head, trying to figure out what face Lark was wearing that evening. “Okay, nice dress, but a wineglass and a cigarette holder? Didja give up on trying to hold a pair of opera glasses, too?”

“One can never have enough class, dear,” Lark said, taking a sip from her glass. Clara caught a faint whiff of whiskey, but she wasn’t in the mood to argue.

“Any reason why you’re somewhere literally no one can see all that class, then?” Before Lark could respond, Clara heard a noise that could only be described as what you’d get if you recorded a chihuahua bark, pitch shifted it, then pasted it over itself about fifty times. A dog-adjacent robot sat at the base of the tree, angrily pawing at it as it tried to climb up to their branch. Its teeth looked perfectly adequate for tearing off bits of vulnerable flesh.

“Well, I thought it might be rather fun to steal something! Mr. Thaddeus has a lot of rooms, I’m sure I could find something that’d look better on one of my walls than on his. How many years do you think it would take him to notice that something was even missing?” Lark said as she absently swirled around the nominally classy liquid in her glass. Again, that sounded about right.

“I think the question you should be asking is if anyone will notice our chewed-up bodies,” Clara said as she stared at the sort-of-dog below. “Think he’s a good boy?”

“I suppose there’s only one way to find out!” Lark grinned, handed her wineglass to Clara, then slid down the tree trunk. There was an assortment of new and uniquely horrible barking noises as the robo-tooth-pup leaped at her, but she jabbed it with the end of her cigarette holder. Blue sparks flew as electricity ravaged the beast’s body until it finally stopped moving.

“Okay. First: nice. Second: why were you hanging out up here if you could have just done that the entire time?” Clara handed the glass back down to Lark before jumping down herself.

“Can’t a girl just sit back for a while and enjoy the ambience our dear host has crafted for us?” Lark gratefully accepted the glass, downing the remainder of its contents; after which she produced a flask from some obscure fold of her dress, filled the glass to an appropriately aesthetic half-full, took a couple swigs directly from it for good measure, then continued to swirl the definitely-not-whiskey.

“I’d rather not be stuck down here when the party ends, thank you very much.” The two wandered through the tree statue garden until they found a door. When they opened it, they saw a shining white void, yet saw themselves reflected in it. Clara had a gaping hole where her left eye should have been. Lark appeared entirely unchanged, but her smile was almost imperceptibly wider.

“Clara, dear?”

“Yes, Lark?”

“I just had a thought.”

“Yes, Lark?”

“gently caress this actually.”

They closed the door.

Hours passed, and both Clara and Lark agreed that the mansion was pretty bad. At one point, they reached one of Thaddeus’s famed libraries. “Always wondered what he keeps in here,” Clara said as she gazed upon the rows of bookshelves, each almost twenty feet high.

Lark picked one off the shelf. “Huh, this is the first book of a very popular but widely scorned series of vampire romance novels. He’s got them all here, actually.”

Clara turned to another. “This is an obscure but critically acclaimed vampire romance novel.”

“I couldn’t tell you what this one is, but the man on the cover looks like a vampire.”

“I think this is actually just a copy of Dracula.”

“This is Dracula told entirely through text messages.”

This proceeded longer than it should have.


When they finally found their way back to the main hall, the lights were dimmed. Most of the guests were already gone. Thaddeus himself sat in a chair, staring directly at the door they emerged from in a “the thinker” pose. Clara decided to seize the moment, while Lark was quietly trying to sneak away from behind her.

“Excuse me, Lord Domerci? Do you have a minute for a quick interview?”

Lord Domerci raised an eyebrow.

“What is your opinion on this very obscure but well-received vampire romance novel?”

Lord Domerci smiled wisely.


The interview was unusable, but Clara’s boss appreciated the effort anyway.

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