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Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


I'm not sure if this thread is the place to discuss the stories so I would like to apologize beforehand if I'm not following the guidelines.

I would like to know how to interpret the last paragraph of the story Homecoming.

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Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


I'm IN with the flooded mall

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."




How It Had Been

774 words

Henry stood in the gloom of the long-forgotten mall, now a decaying, rotting testament to what they had all chosen for themselves. Standing in a foot of murky, fetid water surrounded by moss covered walls stinking of must, he remembered. He recalled how it had been when he was a young boy, when his mother would take him to the store known then as Sears to buy clothes. What a long, drawn out agony it had been; not the buying of clothes, but the death of “going out”. As a young adult, it had been apparent that nobody wanted to leave the comfort of their homes to buy anything anymore. Everything you ever wanted and then some could be bought for cheaper and quicker on the World Wide Web. Amazon had been a huge behemoth at the forefront of future commerce with innovations such as drones, smart algorithms that knew what you wanted and when, and sorting robots. It had been on top then but now it was God. Walmart, Costco, Sears, the mom and pop shop down the block, you name it. They had all gone under or had been bought out by the Omnipotent long ago.

The mall was forgotten because it lay in an overgrown field, almost jungle-like due to rampant climate change, off to the side of the hyper-freeway that ran between San Francisco and LA. No one could see the hulking structure even though it stood four stories tall for two reasons. The first reason was mainly due to the fact that the overgrowth obscured most of the crumbling mess of a building. The second, and real reason, why no one could see it was that self-driving cars and all the “screens” that people had today made looking out the window redundant. It made his head feel like it was going to explode, constantly being bombarded by ads on every screen you looked at. They were everywhere now and they all served the same purpose, to squeeze out every ounce of money you had. In this day and age, you were only food for the beast.

He had tried to get her out of the house, to do something special for a change. For god’s sakes, it was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and they should be celebrating it! He had pleaded with her, sitting on the couch, holding her hand and trying to get her to look into his eyes but she had not even seen him. She had brushed him away, like some pest. The new season of whatever the gently caress had just come out, and it had been apparent that it meant more to her than their dying marriage. That had been the last straw for him. He had already given up on his two children long ago.

Getting to the deteriorated ruin had been almost impossible, but midlife crises have a way of giving people superhuman abilities. The ability to say, “gently caress it”, throwing all care out the window because you don’t care anymore and you just "do". He had overridden his car’s autopilot, something that was absolutely mad considering he was going over three-hundred miles per hour, and had stopped in the emergency lane. He had fought through the jungle-like brush for hours and had finally come upon a concrete obelisk jutting up from the ground. It had turned out to be a section of the mall wall, covered in tangled knots of some species of invasive ivy. He had searched the base of the decaying façade and had found a doorway, partly open but cemented in place by rust, and had shimmied his way into darkness.

It took a while for his eyes to adjust. It took less for him to remember. Broken down as it was, he could still see how it had been. He recalled the faint elevator music that had constantly played in the background, the lights that had flashed out from the video arcade, and the seductive smell that had wafted in from the food court. The number of people shopping had been overwhelming: Families, friends and couples, just interacting with each other. The Mall had been a place full of voices and life. Most of all, he remembered what the two of them had been like when they were teenagers, just as the mall was beginning to close for good, store by store. They had held hands while they window-shopped, playing with each other’s fingers and giggling uncontrollably. When he had kissed her, she had looked at him with bright, vibrant blue eyes full of life. Today, they had been dead like the forgotten mall he stood in now.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


I'm in. Room me up.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


magnificent7 posted:

As always, it's just an honor to be considered for DM. My soul is crushed, but by god I finally turned a story in. Thanks for reading it. I'm desperate to find out where I missed the mark, (you know, other than typos, dammit).

And same. Just happy I survived the Thunderdome.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Awesome crit. Thank you!

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Great crit Mrenda. Highly appreciated.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


You guys are going to kill me but I have to back out. I'm in Oregon fishing with family and I can't find the time to write decently. Please kill me quickly, that's all I ask.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


I'm in and :toxx: because I am a filthy failure.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Not Nipsy Russell posted:

I've never done this before, but I'd like to be 'in'. How do I get 'in'?

Your avatar caption is very appropriate.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Tyrannosaurus posted:

well well well look at the time look at the time

Well, I didn't catch that the time was for the east coast. As is deserved, because this is my second time not submitting a story and I :toxx:, the punishment dealt out is deserved. I really hope I can come back in the future.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


The bards will sing
1,148 words

Its eyes were unfeeling, exempt of emotion except for the blind primal instinct to kill and feed. He had been ambushed from his right as the limbless creature undulated at high speed, its forked tongue flicking out rapidly. He had rolled backward, jaws gashing shut where he had been moments before but was rocketed through the air by the bullwhip crack of the snakes rattle on his back. He hit the canyon’s wall hard, stunned momentarily but quickly regained his bearings, bringing his shield up and running directly toward his pursuer.

The snake missed him by a hair’s length as he somersaulted over its head, sprinting on his two pink feet, tail whipping behind. The serpent had been charging too quick and had not calculated its own speed, smashing into the wall that had been behind him. It was unfazed and made chase. Tip, his mind searching frantically for a way out, ran towards a chasm in the canyon floor. It was a perilous drop flanked by loose earth and shrubbery. He turned, bringing his shield and sword up again and knew this was his only chance. His ruse worked. As the multi colored snake, with its interweaving diamond patterns, shot towards him, its slanted eyes locked onto him, he hit the earthen floor and rolled. The snake could not grip with its convulsing body and began to slip. Its head shot up and struck out as it tried to clamp on Tip for the last time but it was already over the edge, plummeting into the darkness.

The bark shield lay next to his wildly panting body. He lay there for some time, listening to his own heartbeat and thanked the Thirteen Sultans that the snake had not been sentient. As a pup his mother had told him the stories of the Sultans and why, his eyes widening in wonder, the animals had been split in two: those with the gift of knowledge and those who were denied sentience. If the snake had been able to think, he surely would be dead now.

They had laughed at him, the jeers of the humans and of their king, who had bent down and cackled in his face. The man’s breath had been overpowering, smelling of wine and garlic.

“You can’t be serious?” The king had roared with laughter. “I sent out a call for men, not mice!” The court had erupted in guffaws and shrieks. He had stood there in his cape, gnawed from the hem of a great wizard's cloak, and held his impenetrable bark shield and needle sword. “If I bring back what has been taken from you, stolen from your royal treasury and caused the death of countless of your guards, will you pay me what is promised and permit the bards to sing my name?” Tip asked, pushing out his chest and standing as straight as possible. He had spoken in the noblest voice he could muster but that did not stop a smirk appearing on the human king’s face.

“Why of course,” The king boomed, looking up from Tip and at the whole of his court. A jester in the corner hiccupped and clamped a hand over his mouth. The king continued, a grand smile on his face, “But being that you will most likely be eaten by the castle cat, that won’t be necessary.” Tip had stormed out. The faces floated now behind his eyelids as he lay on the earthen floor. His eyes opened. They were a vibrant blue, full of intelligence and cunning.

His whole life he had been made fun of by both men and mice alike. He had been the runt of his litter and had grown slower than his siblings. He had hated himself for most of his young life, believing what others had always repeated to him. “You’re too small to go on the hunt,” his brother had said. “Stay here and help mother.” he had been pushed and shoved, tormented and belittled but that all changed when he found the book in a forgotten part of the castle crypt.

It had been covered in dust and cobwebs, forgotten for centuries. Its contents had sparked in him a want he never knew existed. It had told him of adventures and quests of great men. The tome held maps of mythical locations and forgotten places. That is how he had obtained his most precious possession of all, the impenetrable bark shield taken from the feet of the trunk of the great Mother Tree. The bark that had shed was too small for any man to make armor with but for Tip, it was perfect as a shield.

The ancient tome was the reason he had honed his skills. It had pointed him in the direction of countless quests and thanks to its forgotten knowledge, he had bettered himself with each adventure. Now he lay in the canyon, the last stretch of his current conquest, to slay the great dragon that had stolen the king’s sword.

He had been traveling for months, unable to fly for no bird was an ally of any mouse. He had resorted to walking, using a torn out map from his treasure. The Dark Meadow had been terrifying, lying in eternal shadow and shrouded in mist. He had been warned from the decaying pages that the dead walked there. They did, but paid no attention to him, for he was too small to be seen, especially with his cloak which made him blend in with the surrounding.

The Great Lake, which to him seemed like a vast ocean, had been the easiest of his long journey. He had been ferried across by a kind clan of otters, sentient themselves, and been sent on his way with a flask of dew water and a parcel of catfish wrapped in oak leaves.

Now, the last leg of his quest. The entrance to the cave was pitch black and seemed to suck his soul towards it. From its depths came the faint hum of some ancient magic. The Dragon’s lair. He entered, his eyes adjusting to the gloom and walked through the caverns. Silhouettes loomed, the skeletal remains of heroes long dead.

The dragon was awake when Tip entered his main dwelling chamber. It had smelled a living creature in its domain and had coiled its tail around its armored body. Mountains of bones surrounded the beast making the cavern smell of eternal death.

Tip stood in the clearing at the end of his path, knowing that the battle would be the biggest of his life, past, present and future. He raised his shield to the glowing mouth of the dragon, now roaring and was engulfed in red flame, his tail instantly burnt to a crisp and his hair singed. He charged with his sword raised. The bards would sing his name.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Sitting Here posted:

ok stand back everyone i got this. in.

IN A WORLD WHERE A FUNGAL HIVEMIND HAS LIBERATED HUMANITY FROM ITS SUFFERING

In with this.

In a world where the oceans have turned to acid.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


sebmojo posted:

good crittin ty trex

Ditto

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Sitting Here posted:

IN A WORLD WHERE A FUNGAL HIVEMIND HAS LIBERATED HUMANITY FROM ITS SUFFERING

Neon Demon
1368 words

He awoke abruptly, afterimages of his dream still playing in his eyes. The automatic light, sensing that he was awake, came on filling his small quarters with a painful fluorescent glow. The room was pleasantly cool and smelled clean thanks to the filtration system that ran through the entirety of the ship. Without it, they would become like the rest of the now barren earthen landscape, covered in the seemingly forever swaths of purple neon fungus.

He sat there now, hunched over in his bed, images flashing through his mind. It had come out of what had remained of the Amazon. The earth had been running out of resources for a long time and the rainforest had been on the chopping block. No one had cared about the environment anymore. After The War people were just trying to survive.

He dressed the same way he had dressed for the last two months. Surplus army fatigues. A light green shirt, a belt and camo khakis. He was no soldier though. He had been saved and put aboard the ship only for the worth of his mind. He walked down the corridors passing tightly sealed airlock doorways. From the inside you would have guessed that they were floating in deep space, but in reality they were bobbing in the ocean, the last fortress against what had brought down civilization. His partner, Benny, was already with her.

“Subject D1268, formerly Anna D. Gonzalez, rescued August 6th 2089,” Benny recited mechanically. He held a page up off of his clipboard, looking at a file beneath printed on yellowing Micro-Jet paper. The woman was quarantined on the other side of a four inch titanium two way panel. She was ragged looking, her hair completely gone and parts of her body bandaged due to decomposition.

“We are going to continue from where we left off yesterday. We implore you to answer every question as objectively as you can,” Benny continued to recite robotically, exempt of emotion. Who could blame him for his cold tone anyways? They had seen enough poo poo already to stop caring. “We found you in a coma when we rescued you. You fought the rescue squad. Why?”

They had done a full medical analysis of her biology when they had put her in quarantine. Anything they could test her for to understand more about what was out there. They had broken her out at a relatively early stage of her assimilation and apart from various parts of her that had been decomposed, which they had patched up and replaced with cybernetics kits, she was in perfect health. Even so, Joshua noted mentally, her eyes were unseeing. She looked like so many countless men that had come back from war. Shell shocked.

Benny continued on to the next question, turning a page methodically on his clipboard. A mainframe computer hummed ominously in the background and gave off the faint smell of ozone. “While in your coma, did you experience anything? Did you dream or were you aware that you were in a coma?

The eyes still unseeing. She would have been pretty in another time, Joshua thought. The husk of what had been Anna was in a corner of the padded room, her legs pulled up to her chest. Her mouth, missing most of its teeth, hung slightly ajar.

“Let me ask some questions, Ben.” Joshua said, walking up to the comm protruding from the wall. Benny, smiling, raised his eyebrows as if to say “have they been approved” but shrugged his shoulders and sat down, pulling out a pack of Winston Reds. Smoking was forbidden but then again, they had stopped caring about protocol a long time ago. He lit it up.

“Do you remember who you are Anna? Do you remember your family?” He glanced over at Benny and waved his hand in the familiar motion. Benny pulled out the last of his pack and flipped it open. Smoking now, blowing out long streams of noxious fumes, Joshua continued. “My wife disappeared. We got separated. She was pregnant. Six months.”

His hand was on his temple, massaging it in quick back and forth motions. He leaned towards the titanium, turning his head slightly to the side and exhaling more smoke through his lips. “I know they are out there somewhere, in one form or another. Their consciousness’s at least.” He snubbed out the cigarette, the taste of tobacco strong in his mouth and nostrils. The air purifier kicked into overdrive, making a clunking metallic thud above their heads.

“I need you to tell me where you were when you were out there. I need that hope. We all do.” He stopped now. He wanted whiskey. He wanted something hard to put into his system but he knew better. None of that poo poo here. Long gone.

Her lips were moving but no sound came out. They were chapped and covered in scabs. She had been awake for six days now and they had not been able to make those dead brown lips move once. “Mainframe,” Benny said, pivoting on his seat. “Transcribe to printout.” Deep within the machine components buzzed and beeped. A slit to the side began to spit out Micro-Jet paper.

Benny read aloud, “You took them away from me.”

“Who did we take away from you, Anna?”

Her eyes were focused now, looking directly into Joshua’s. She was on her feet now slowly walking towards the window. “You took them away from me,” she repeated softly. She continued this with each step, raising her voice higher and higher. She was yelling twelve steps later, standing in front him.

“Who did we take away from you, Anna?” He repeated his question again, slower now and enunciating each word with an innate authority. “You need to tell me who.”

“My babies,” She wept now, openly, sliding to her knees with her hands against the pane, leaving dirty streaks on its immaculate surface.

They had a whole file on her. That was one silver lining that came from the post-war, pre-collapse government. They knew everything about her. When she was born. Her interests. Her hobbies. Her secrets. The surveillance state had been most efficient at keeping an eye on its citizens but when it came to stopping the rampant conquest of earth from what had emerged from the depths of the jungle, it had failed miserably.

She had had two children. Two beautiful baby boys that had perished in The War from radiation poisoning. They hadn’t been strong enough. After she had lost them she had lost her will to live. This was all outlined in her file. The government wouldn’t allow suicide. Survivors in that time were too important to let kill themselves. She had toiled in the factories under constant guard and when the epidemic had arisen, had been moved from camp to camp. Eight months ago the camp had been overrun by spores and its refugees, lost.

A bio-assault team had rescued who they could, putting the individuals in stasis in the ship’s hull. They had been able to retrieve twenty-three people. One by one they had been woken up and interrogated, analyzed and neutralized. One by one, the ship’s crew had learned the truth and had deserted, plunging into the depths of the ocean to be assimilated by the neon demon.

“I guess that’s it, Ben.” Joshua said, looking at his friend. She was the last one, as were they the last two on board. They had known for a long time what assimilation promised. They neutralized her, filling the chamber with gas. There was no way to save her anyways. They all died once they had been freed.

Standing on the deck of the chrome vessel they looked down into the waves. Giant chords of purple neon bobbed and weaved through the water with the current. Even if they drowned, they would be reanimated into the hive mind. There was no doubt. All the data confirmed it. Benny went first, and then Joshua. It didn’t take long for his body to lock up from hypothermia and as he drowned he was happy. He wanted to see them again. He wanted to be at peace.

Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


Thanks for the crits Uranium!

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Motorola 68000
Apr 25, 2014

"Don't be nice. Be good."


5D AUTISM SPEX posted:

thanks for the crit, uranium. my writing is p terrible now, im trying to get it together

in with hawklad's aphorism or whatever he comes up with to replace it or something

and a good conscience is a soft pillow

In and old habits die hard

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