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Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Uncle Matthew (2497 count)

“Well. I didn’t expect to see you two here at this hour. Did you parents send you here?”

“Linda did it again… She never quits even though I tell her that me and them are like oil and water. The only reason I know about you kids it that Linda sends pictures of you guys when she gets drunk. She gets sentimental and thinks I need a reminder of what a family is supposed to be.”

“I know you’ve been into the violin for a while Samantha. The cello is what you’re working on now if I remember correctly. I wish you’d cover some actual music with your videos and not that techno seizure BS. I would go to your recitals but I get back pain sitting in those godforsaken folding chairs. You’ll excuse me if don’t want to sit around and conceal my aggravation for two hours.”

“I know you’ve got a girlfriend now Bobby. You both love those VR games. I wonder if you’ve ever met in person besides at last Christmas.”

“Yeah... I’m rude. I don’t know why your parents sent you here if they think-

A tremor just went up my spine and my entrails are squeezing into a knot. The nerves that run my body are pulling instead of pushing. It hurts sooo

“...mm! poo poo. Feels like my insides are trying to break out of solitary.”

“Yeah. I’m pretty loving sick. You kids are smart! Such an astute observation!

I spit on the floor of the hospice. A plume of dust puffs up from the loogie splatter.

“All because I’m going to die doesn’t mean you're Mom’s got to strongarm you both into coming here. She only cares about me dying because of your dad. He was freaking out because NOW I’m dying. Before that, I could see the tangible relief on his face when I tell him It was only a check-up over the phone. I know how much he hates to see me face to face.”

There’s another spasm. It’s small this time. I focus on the shredding wallpaper trying to block out the pain. Blue and white stripes. Blue and white stripes and I can see Zeke running through a hole in the wall. He’s even trying to leave my memories.

“hhhhg...Well, I’m dying now and he still won’t face me. I could tell that was the case just by how Linda sugar coated it yesterday. That woman has so many methods to explain your dad. I feel kinda bad for you all. Come all this way for him just to sulk in his hotel room. Not that being here in front of me is much better.”

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to leave your dad alone. Trying to get ahold of your old man was like pulling teeth. So many kinds of communication and he couldn’t be bothered to answer one. However, I can understand why he doesn’t answer your Grandpa's calls.”

“Believe me, that piece of poo poo would make anyone not want to pick up the phone. He does it to ME though. He’d keep ignoring me if it weren’t for Linda. I only get a call on the holidays and I get the same line from him every time.”

“Call me if you need anything, Matt. I know holidays are hard for you. I wouldn’t want to be left with just my memories during Christmas.”

“He’s right about the memories actually. He’s probably never brought it up. Your dad and I had a lot of bad things happen between us and your grandpa. I’ve always been good at letting things run off my back but Zeke’s a different story.”

There were blue and white stripes on the walls of the old townhouse too. Me and you would fantasize about opening a hole in the wall and hiding there during those bad times. I decided to stop planning it out and made a hole with a ball point hammer.

I know you got scared when I went through with it. It’s why you told on me. I got mad at you but a day later I forgave you. It was a dumb idea anyway.

“I wish your dad had listened to me about coming to see Boris when he was dying. There was something cathartic about standing above him when he let out his last breath. Even with his senility, when he saw me looking over his bed... HE knew who I was. He knew what I was there for. To watch him go out with the rest of trash this life lays ultimate karma on.”

“You don’t want me to speak ill of the dead Samantha? Samantha. That’s the POINT of dying so people can speak ill of you. You SHOULD be nice to them when they’re alive. Doesn’t matter who they are. Until you’re dying it’s a good rule of thumb to not be an rear end in a top hat. It just makes things harder for people who are just as broken as you. Not that I follow that rule but If there ever was a rule to follow that’d be it.”

“Those bible thumping friends of yours got you all mixed up Samantha. They preach good will but reality has its own good will. Attaching sanctity to corpses is the ultimate form of bullshit. It’s a way to distract from the shame of not doing anything about their pain when they were alive. That’s what should be coursing their your little red curly head-”

gently caress! That little bastard just hit me!

“Mhhg! Bobby. For a kid who forgets to eat you got a good right hook. Is that why you're here? You want to get few good licks in for your old man? I bet he’s having a hard time figuring out what to do. But excuse me if I don’t-”

Samantha yells,“Shut up! We came by ourselves! We wanted to see you!”

I lose my breath. They came here to face me because they knew their old man wouldn’t. I don’t know what to say now.This stupid wire in my chest is bleeding. Ohhh that can’t be good. It feels like my lungs are hardening. gently caress this hurts so muc-

“Hhhhg! Ah poo poo. It’s bleeding again.”

“No! Don’t call a nurse. They’ll pump me full of painkillers and then you kids will be left waiting out the storm with me asleep. You kids came here to hear me squawk and I can’t let you go empty handed.”

“Your dad and I have always had different ways of dealing with things. Zeke never learned how to face his problems but he was smart and thought farther ahead than I ever could. That didn’t help with Grandpa Boris though. He would rant at Zeke, always calling him a sissy, a human being, a limp dicked pussy. It was over some macho Russian bullshit. Boris was obsessed with us becoming modern day warriors.”

There were posters of Jason Statham and President Putin along the walls of Dad’s bedroom and a freshly greased lifting set that came straight out of the dark ages sat at the foot of his bed. When I turned 13 his idea of a present was to give me that set. I didn’t want it but I lugged every weight and cord to the foot of the bunk bed to keep him happy. Dad made me promise to share it with Zeke when he turned 13. It didn’t matter though.

When he did turn that age Boris made him do a full set of reps while imitating R. Lee Ermy.

“Boris wanted to bring back this standard of big burly men. The kind who excelled at sports like the gladiators and took in woman and wine like Vikings. I guess Zeke being so brainy made Boris disappointed. Add in a pint of vodka after work and you had rage incarnate.”

“He’d shout and get this crinkle of fury on his forehead. I never talked back to Boris but sometimes when he’d lay into Zeke I’d snap. I’d leap on him and try to choke him out. He’d respond right quick and beat the poo poo out of me.”

“That was until our senior year. Boris was livid because we were staying home from prom. The fact is, neither of us could get a date. He went after Zeke first. He tore down every part of Zeke’s reasoning why he couldn’t get a date and then pissed on the rubble.”

“Zeke rolled into a ball when Dad started curb kicking him. I jumped on Boris and that time I got the upper hand on him. I sat my knee on his fat veined neck. He could barely move after I was done with him. I told him,

“If you think any woman’s going to go anywhere with either of us when we got a man like you raising us you’re loving stupid. We got no money and we got a dad who turns psycho whenever he drinks. The reason we’re this way is you. We don’t need to be warriors. Zeke is not a pussy. He’s not any less of a man than me and is certainly more so than you. You’re the reason life is poo poo for us.”

“Boris started to cry and wouldn’t stop. Something broke in him. I wasn’t expecting any of it. I’d never seen him cry before. ‘Course I’d never stood up to him like this. I looked around for Zeke to see if he was there.”

I wanted to say. I’ll keep you safe from now on brother. I can fight him off now because I’ve become stronger.

“He ran to the neighbors and called the police. He didn’t hear any of what I said. It was a glorious moment but not for him. All he saw was me take Dad’s abuse and redirect it. He was as scared of me as he was of dad after that. My impulse was to fight and his was to call the cops.”

I know you were broken down. I know you wanted to get away. When all was said and done you needed a fresh start. I wish you’d look me in the eyes and let me tell you this. You’re my brother Zeke. I wouldn’t have gotten this far if you weren’t there. It hurts. All the pain you keep away from yourself and I know I’ll always be a reminder. Nothing else.

“Uhhhgh. poo poo. It’s like razors rolling in my guts right now. I know I’m harsh. I don’t want you kids to think you have to fit into anything I say. I speak badly because it’s my day to die and memories piss me off.”

“You’re a talented merciful soul Samantha and I hope that’s true with or without God holding your hand. Bobby, you’ve got a fire in you. I know you’re comfortable with your VR and if it’s what you need then that’s it. But if you ever want more out of life, know that the pain of reality is something sublime in itself.”

Because even though I grew old without my only family I’ve been recapturing senior year ever since. My impulse was to I do something that no else could. I broke the silence at union meetings when I got my first job as a grocer. I beat the crap out of a burglar not even at my own apartment. I got girls talking who didn’t know what to say. I spoke with impulse and it got me in trouble but it always reminded me that I was alive. It-

"It doesn’t develop character and it doesn’t reward you. Once in awhile out of all that pain and misery comes a single moment though. It arises from inside you during the hardest times and makes you want to keep feeling it. It’s when you defy yourself and do something unexpected."

I don’t know. It’s wrong. Describing it to you kids doesn’t make sense now. My chest feels numb.

“I wish I could have gotten your old man alone for a second. To tell him this or something just between us. I couldn’t do it at Thanksgiving or Christmas with Linda’s family or during your recital last autumn. It wasn’t a conversation for all of you. But if you think it is than I don’t mind if you tell him.”

I feel numb all over. There’s a wind blowing over me. It smells like salt. It’s because the doors open to the patio. We had a stray dog that came around the old townhouse. Do you remember what you said to me?

“If we want to have a dog than we keep him a secret. Dad’s liable to hit anything and I don’t want anyone else to get hurt by him.”

So we pried open the lattice and fed and watered Kato underneath the porch. We threw a frisbee for him and took mile walks to the ocean. When he stopped coming around and I asked you,

“Where’s Kato?”

You said without looking at me,

“I found a family to take Kato in.”

I was mad. I said that was OUR dog and you didn’t have the right to do what you did. But I understand now. You knew we couldn’t keep it a secret forever. Someday Dad would do something or we’d gently caress up and that dog would get dragged into our mess. I guess that’s why you didn’t know how to face me.

“He’ll get dragged in by this family.”

That what you said about why you did it, Zeke. I didn’t pay attention to the words because I was so mad. You said “family”. Not just dad but me too I guess…

The wind is so cold. It’s covering everything in numbness. I can’t cover myself from it.


The nurses came in and put the covers over his face. They asked Samantha and Bobby if their parents were around. They lied so the nurses would leave them in the room. Samantha peeled the cover away nervously.

“It looks like he’s asleep. Not dead.”

Samantha touched a finger to Uncle Matthew's forehead. He didn’t stir. Bobby wiped his eyes and picked up his backpack. He pulled the VR charger from the outlet outside the hospital room. He called to Samantha,

“We should get back before mom and dad wake up.”

Samantha pulled her pocket bible out. She crinkled her forehead unable to think of anything to say. As the wind picked up outside she put it away. Samantha hugged Uncle Matthew and said,

“Goodbye.”

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Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In

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

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Fogdog (748)

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

On the foggy road to Hell, I stopped in a yellow pasture to rest. Beside me and the pasture there is a lone leafless tree. Neuron starlings chatter incessantly from its bony branches. Pulling off my scalp I feel for the bullet. My body grows warm as life resurges within me.

The birds notice me and speak in unison, “YOU THERE! SELF HATER! WE HAVE A PROPOSITION FOR YOU.”

I ignore them as conversation would use up too much time.

“WE CAN GIVE YOU MORE TIME.”

The notion of time means something very different on the Road than it did when I was alive. The joint gaze of hundreds of fat mushy red birds was unnerving. Fear crept back into me,

I say, “You are fauna of the Road, can you betray the law of the land?”

“IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE FAUNA THAT WE CAN BREAK THE LAWS. WE STEAL FROM THE CRIPPLED DEAD TO BARTER WITH THE MOBILE DEAD LIKE YOU.”

I scoff. “The sooner I get to the wastes the sooner I get this bullet removed. Any more time would be useless for that is my most immediate concern.”

“BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE GIANTS WILL DO ONCE YOU GET THERE? SELF-HATERS ARE ONLY GOOD AS BRICKS AND MORTAR TO THEM. IF YOU RETRIEVE SHINY THINGS WE WILL GIVE ENOUGH TIME TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN PATH.”

Pain shoots through my head. I rip my scalp open and shove the bullet back into place.

“So what is this shiny thing?”

“BURIED IN THE MUD OF THE PASTURE ARE SEVERAL KEYS. BRING MANY.”

I ask, “What are keys doing in purgatory?”

“THEY ARE HERE BECAUSE THEY ARE EASILY LOST.”

The birds chatter again as they’d forgot a detail, “OH YEAH. YOU WILL NEED YOUR SENSES AS A BEAST FROM THE SHELLED WORLD LIVES THERE.”

I wonder more about the beast than the keys now. If I am going to find keys there is no time to ask questions. I pick the bullet from my skull once more to use my living nose. Shelled beasts would have a smell.

Within the dense pasture, my steps kick aside the emaciated body of another who’d lost all their time and never made it. They lay in catatonia at the moment of their death until the rare event an officer carried them further.

“Who is in my field?!” a bellowing voice calls.

I’m not sure what a living beast could do to me in purgatory.

“Respond! I am a Keeper and I'll not abide trespassers!”

I ask, “What is a Keeper?”

The pain in my temple sears.

It responds, “I was given status by the officers of divine law. I have earned favor by enduring as you should rightfully do.”

Pleading, I say, “I need keys! I will do anything you ask for payment.”

There is an acrid scent of wet fur. It lumbers through the fog. It’s a large black dog with a brown muzzle. Dangling from a chain collar are rows of keys.

It growls, “You are running out of time shade.”

The bullet flies up to my head. It pushes through like an unstoppable forefinger.

“Please! I beg you, Keeper. I did not know what you were and I need just a bit more time to make it to hell.”

My fingers snatch at the bronze key hanging from the collar. It nips at my hand and the bite freezes me in place.

Baring its teeth it says, “As a Keeper I must guard objects from the Shelled world that fall in.”

My body flattened into the grass as the bullet bursts through my parietal lobe.

The dog snorts and paws a key off its chain.

“There are too many of you shades lying around here. I will let you go with the promise that you go straight to hell once you’ve made your deal...”

My vision shattered and moments flash by like shadow puppets made of broken glass.

Kicked

out of house.

Needle in arm. Body

Rotti
ng.. I steal a

gun and

finish it.

The fragments reassemble. I’m beneath the empty tree the birds had sat in. My hand clutches something in a firm grip. It feels like sand is soaking into my palm. I can carry on with renewed hope. If a dog could earn the favor of this Intangible world than I can suck it up and weather a year of Hell's prodding.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Thanks for the crits curlingiron

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Hanna–Barbera’s Stool (#998)

“Brave space-knights of Clamydia, I implore you to strike down the laser condor that is ruling over my skies!” Queen-President Mori-pori poured her liquid face into her hands as her tears spilled over.

Captain Dikok gave her bow so low it went through the holographic floor and kissed her hand,

“Fear not Queen President! I, Captain Dikok and the Knights of the Tesseract table shall fight off this plasma infused poultry!”

The captain turned and spat out a bit of her face that had crept into his mouth and ejected a horn from his miraculous multi-functional codpiece ™. He blew into it, shaking the foundation of the liquid queens bottleneck fortress…

..and reality itself...

Off in the farthest reaches of the cosmos floated a flesh colored cylindrical shaft. It was Castle Clamydia. Within the veins of this solid manly fortress was the Tesseract Table. It was made of 90% confusing space math and it was where several gaily dressed knights uncomfortably attempted to sit.

A lanky Martian dropped several items on the table/ceiling and counted them out with multi-segmented fingers,

“I have three venusian slipper pusses and a hot bag of 82 shoulder rings. Will that suffice as a bet?”

This was Sir Cerebrum, a genius among the knights and the arch-scientist of the Universal League of Smart-Guise.

The man sitting across and or behind him popped his eyes out of his head. He rubbed the eyebots with a handkerchief and considered the bet.

“We shall accept this bet. We shall laugh at your loss and proceed to spend lots of money on silicon chips.”

This was not one man but several robots working in tandem, all these droids united resembled an anglo-saxon male. Thus, they named themselves as Sir Whitedroid ™.

Finally, there was a man leaning against the floor. He tossed his cards into the black hole trashcan. He had an acoustic guitar strewn across his chest. An heirloom and a remnant of a time long before synthetic acoustic guitars. This pure blooded Texan troublemaker was Sir Texmex,

“Wellll I do declare that this is much more than I reckoned betting. I’m out pardner.”

He put his cards on the table and tipped his holographic cowboy hat over his eyes for a snooze. Just as Sir Cerebrum and Sir Whitedroid were about to show up, they heard the horn. The knights stood at attention and made the salute of the Knights of Clamydia. It was a V with the index and mid-finger. They held it high above their heads. A single star twinkled in between the pairs of fingers. It was the signal of the horn of Galahad 2.2.

They said in a roar, “Tally hooooooo!”

They beamed into the the SAT AM transit void.

They appeared kneeling before Captain Dikok. He was armed with his famous Sonar Pistol ™. Texmex was equipped with a plasma sword and shield. Sir Cerebrum had his laser lance ™ and shield.

White-droid had a shield but no weapon as his fist was made of solid glamrock. It powered his versatile machine functions and was all he needed for defense. Captain Dickok pointed up into the violet airstreams of the liquid queen's world,

“Knights of cosmic justice! We have a mission for the Empress of all liquid organisms.”

A massive gust nearly took the men off of the castle tower as something flew past them.

Sir Cerebrum said, “Martian Jesus! Captain, what is that!?”

Captain eyes went dark from the shade cast by his serious brow. He lifted his eyes up. It was like two suns exploding over endless darkness,

“It’s the Laser Condor of St. Pustul.”

Texmex’s slack jaw caught three kinds of space amoebas before he yelled,

“That’s the gawd-dang bird that killed my cousin Joel!”

He removed a necklace from his armor. Inside the steer shaped locket was a picture of his cousin. A single tear dropped down his chin cleft. Tex unsheathed his blade and yelled,

“Laser condooooooor! I’m here to give you a whoopin’!”

The captain grabbed him and said, “Calm down cadet! We can do this together! I have a plan.”

He telepathically slapped Tex to transpose logic over his emotions.

Texmex shook himself out of the stupor, “I’m sorry captain! Won’t happen again!”

The captain nodded and pulled a blueprint from his codpiece.

He handed White-droid the blueprints,

“White-droid. Make four of these to the exact specifications.”

White-droid fed the blueprints into his rear slot. After some arguing between his components, he projected four bird shaped helmets.

Cerebrum said, “I see what you’re doing Captain. It must be mating season for the laser condor.”

Captain Dikok said,“You are correct Sir Cerebrum. These resemble the female condor. Female laser condors rest only when they’re in heat. Right before the males come.” They put them on.

A brilliant flash exploded above them as the Condor descended.

“Bwaaaaaaaaa!” It shrieked.

Captain Dikok slowed its descent with the sonar guns snail-waves ™. Captain Cerebrum threw his laser lance at a nearby parapet. It bounced off and stabbed the condor’s wing. The bird, slowed into a stupor by the sonar gun, and pinned by his wing fell in front of White-droid. Texmex leaped onto White-droids shield to get a boost into the air.

He roared, “This is for my cousin Joel!”

The sword's plasma wave tore it in half. Texmex landed at the edge of the tower. He pulled the chain from his neck and held it over the burning body of the condor.

Cerebrum said, “How ironic. Texmex has hundred of cousins but only one was named Joel. It is fitting that he kills the last Laser Condor in existence for vengeance.”

Texmex dropped the chain and said, “It’s poetic justice I reckon.”

Captain Dikok shook his head, “No. It’s Cosmic Justice! ™.




Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In I vote for [SIN].

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Impatient Oaths (#1299)

quote:

(Prompt: You have the power to enforce any promise to its fullest extent, even if the promiser no longer wants to be obligated to their vow. Doubt, injury, and death are no obstacle for your power.)

Altester Des Eides’ eyelids fluttered in his hollow sockets. He was in a deep state of slumber but his dreams were troubled and discordant. The oaths of humanity were being broken at higher rates with each new age. Des Eides’ was a Wizard of Order.

Arcana stemmed from the universal laws that governed civilization. Peace, Trust, Loyalty, Ambition, Truth, Courage, Justice, and Promise were all Astral Temples that each Wizard drew power from within their dreams. Eides’ temple was Promise. In the dreamscape it looked like an immense clasped pair of granite hands.

Eides sought communion with the cosmos but couldn’t concentrate within the closed palms of the Temple. Pain troubled him from every little cut in the walls of his dreamscape. Each cut came from a handshake, contract, or verbal agreement betrayed. This irritation had reached the waking world.

Light poured in through two spaces outside the temple. Eides flew out of the massive holes in the darkness beyond. His eyelids had opened. He coughed and rubbed his face with thin plucking fingers.

Eides picked himself up from the inlaid bed of the stone floor of the Wizard's Sanctum. The Wizard of Peace dozed to his left while the Wizard of Trust slept to the right. Each Wizard slumbered in an sunken space on a circular platform built at the peak of a floating citadel. Grains of Aether drifted around the rounded platform peaking above the Earth's atmosphere.

Each bed pointed toward a looking glass that peered into the thoughts of mortals below. From above the platform resembled a clock face made of old men and women. His dark, nearly black, blue robes hung from a disembodied hook above his personal mirror. He yelped as he saw himself.

Eides’ body had grown to eight feet tall and most of that height was his ghoulishly lanky limbs. His midsection grossly elongated and curved forward giving him a looming posture.

He snarled,“This is how mortals see me now?!”

With a wave of his hand the mirror shimmered. Eides chanted,

“Looking glass, looking glass! You sit here watching the past! Knowing what men have done, knowing what they will do! Tell me oh mirror, will any oaths stand true?”

The mirror boiled and sizzled. That wasn’t a good sign. Eides grimaced at the sight and paced around the room. His barefeet greeted wetness besides the bed of the Wizard of Truth.

On the bed lay a clear shapeless membrane around a network of red veins. The Wizard of Truth’s stable form was distorted. Mortals had corrupted the truth during her slumber. Altester gaped in horror,

“Poor little Warheit! Your round smiling face has been melted away by those scoundrels down below.”

Eides didn’t want to end up like her. He said to the mirror,

“Reflector of mankind's soul! Look into the world below! Show me those who itch the hands of trust! Place them before me so I can do as I must!”

The mirror sloshed and whirled inside its frame. It formed into an image of varying peoples and cultures. It stretched three dimensionally to encompass the many guilty parties. It was mostly weddings. They were the biggest offenders of broken promises.

Eides spied on a few. One sentence stood out in particular,

Are you prepared, as you follow the path of Marriage, to love and honor each other for as long as you both shall live?

I am.


This was the problem. Mortals were such short sighted beings. They never took into account the worth of a promise over a lifetime. Eides waved his hands above him and gathered up grains of Aether within his palms.

Particles spun around his dancing fingers as he chanted,

“On this day that I awoke I bind those below who spoke! If they spoke of love til death, if they agreed by their own breath! From now on they shall follow their own oath! No matter their sickness, their injury, their personal growth!”

Crackling blue energy flew from his fingertips into the looking glass. The energy coated each spouse. Eides dusted off his hands and smirked,

“There!”

He yawned and took his robe back off. He leaned back into the bed space and wrapped himself in a blanket of stars. He said sleepily,

“Goodnight my fellow wizards. I hope upon the next waking ceremony I have a more fitting form.”

This time his soul found satisfaction amongst the hidden microcosms of thought. Eides was in the middle of harmonizing with a supernova when he was shaken awake by a pair of tiny hands.

Blinking the asteroid dust from his eyes Eides said,
“What? Is it the waking cycle already?”

An stunted child in light red robes kneeled over him with a scowl on his face. It was the Wizard of Courage Alteste Der Tapferen. Tapfaren said in a wheezy gasp,

“drat you Eides! Because of your meddling every secret deal is made without risk! My temple’s luster takes most of its energy from the courage needed to keep to an oath!”

Eides got up and lumbered over to the looking glass. He chanted and the mirror showed him those he’d cursed. Instead of the couples now there were lawyers, mobsters and people whose livelihoods were decided by risking an agreement. The spell he’d cast had left the couples and entered the next largest group of oath makers.

Each of the cursed couples were long dead. The mirror displayed a montage of their unusual lives. Relatives and children heard their parents blaming a lack of will when it came to their marriage.

When one tempted infidelity, they’d teleport back to their spouse before they could attempt to cheat. When one would bad mouth their spouse, their voice would go mute. If a prenup was written beforehand, it was enforced even if one spouse died. They’d could still come back as a zombie afterall.

Matrimony ceased due to these aberrations. However, others craved a foolproof agreement and made promises despite the loss of autonomy. One corporate embezzler had a shady agreement with a jury he bribed keep true despite its exposure. The news started to spread on the new value of an oath.

The president himself had an oath with the Russians that gave him access to the prime minister's harem in exchange for turning the other cheek on stolen bandwidth. Despite the prime minister's reluctance to hold up his end of the deal, he’d been forced by unseen powers to allow the president to stick it to his favorite girls.

Tapfaren said, “Undo it. Now!”

Eides waved his hands and the spell dispersed. Tapfaren shook his head in disgust, “You know better than to cast a spell before a waking cycle. What made you do such a thing?”

Eides turned to the looking glass. His reflection looked like Adonis. He could grind steel on his abs. Eides said,

“You should have seen how I looked before! It was awful. I couldn’t sleep well and I didn’t want to end up like Warheit!”

Tapfaren sighed, “She’ll get her form back after the next waking cycle. Honestly Eides... You bitch about the mortals short sightedness but you can be just as bad at times. Now go to sleep and if you wake again, leave the mirror be!”

Eides muttered, “Okay.”

Eides settled down to slumber. It occurred to him that removing the spell so suddenly would cause its own share of problems. Another Wizard would probably be waking him up soon enough. Eides grumbled and felt dumb for the first time in ages.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

sebmojo posted:

inter prompt: yarn (50 words)

Widow (Word count: 125. Yeah I know, I'm a piece of poo poo)

My momma wanted to know why she had no father so she paid Grandma a visit. Grandma was rocking back and forth knitting a river when we arrived. Momma sat me on a rocking horse and asked her,

"Where is my father?"

The old woman click-clacked quietly and considered the question. She replied,

"You had no father. I made you from wool and time."

Momma didn't like the answer and left in a huff. Grandma called me over and said,

"Hello, my child. Is your momma taking care of you?"

I was shy and didn't answer. She pulled me close and picked a stray thread from my scalp. She snipped it and said,

"That's always bothered me. Glad I had a chance to fix it."

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

Organic and Inorganic

In

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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In

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Teetering Towers (#798)

At age 64 I was diagnosed with the early onset stages of Alzheimer's. I had no wife to follow me into senility, no children to visit me, no living friends to remind me I needed to be reminded. Since I was a young man I’d found no pleasure that existed outside of my head and the ones that did never met my expectations. Still, my clumsy blue collar life had been made enjoyable by those places I dreamt up during the endless waiting of modern life.

To lose my mind would make me truly alone. No one could reassure me of who I was more than my thoughts. If those left than I’d have no identity, I’d be dead all the same. It seemed that a good strong rope and a reliable beam were in order.

With the noose looped over the exposed beam in my kitchen, I was set except for what to wear. It didn’t seem appropriate for my body to be dressed for going out when I would be hanging around instead. I went into my bedroom and looked through the remaining clothes I hadn’t given to charity.

Nothing seemed to fit. I glanced at the bedroom mirror and knew I’d be dangling naked. I posted a note to the headboard. It said that my remaining cash would go to whoever reported me. I felt bad for them finding me and thought they deserved something for their troubles.

Amongst the remaining items was my notebook. It contained the drawings of the far away places I threw my inner self into when life reminded me it wasn’t interesting. I scanned the coal scratched drawings of places I’d never seen.

A cathedral going into itself in a vacuum of stars and offerings was on the first page. Next, an ocean shore of raised stone chairs that regal herons sat at. The third drawing was a dingy book shop filled with columns of books. The titles were in various languages.

The drawing had disturbed me as to how detailed it was in comparison to the others. The titles in their Slavic and Arabic looking script meant nothing to me but all felt very personal. It was unusual for me to place so much realism in something I dreamed.

I threw the book away and readied my bloated body for further bloating. One step up onto the paint cracked bar stool and I knew I was ready. It was the only chair I’d kept. I knew the chair would be used like this the first day I moved in. With a kick to the side, I lurched forward and fell into darkness.

The rope was still around my throat but gone slack. I pawed in the blackness and my fingers brushed against something swaying and ridged. My eyes adjusted to the little light around me.

It was a stack of books rising into the second floor of a boarded up book shop. I saw empty bookshelves against the back of the shop and a rickety landing of decrepit stairs led to a second floor piled to the ceiling with tumbled stacks. Behind me was a cluster of volumes, grimoires, novels, taxonomies, leaning together into a wall blocking the window.

I pulled on the rope and picked myself up, the length of it went beyond what I had cut it too. It wormed up into the second floor through a grimy knothole in the supporting ribs of the ceiling.
The stack of volumes I’d touched with my fingers tumbled in an ear splitting crash. My head split and something left.

I stood perfectly still and concentrated on what was missing. What was my last meal? Who was President? Why did I try to hang myself? I knew these events and things existed but nothing else. One of the books had split open at its binding. In it was a picture of a grim looking woman. It was my grandmother.

I knew that as soon as I saw the page. I picked up the volume and it crumbled into paper and string in my fingers. A page of a barfight, a movie that made me sad, a woman I’d lusted for. The pages were everything that was me and now were tangled into a hopeless mass. This place was my mind.

Every stack of books was its remaining order. Weeks passed, maybe years before I changed.
I stayed still, fearful of knocking anything else down. All that kept me engaged was a little pinpoint of light shooting from the covered window. With it came a stray breeze with the smell of white sand and the debating calls of otherworldly herons.

Once I understood who they were talking about, I knew I wanted to join in.


Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

In with Indoor Pool

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

Dirty Pool (#1051) [Room: Pool]

Rudy and Linda danced for an hour in the ballroom. Linda had never met a man at a party who could make her feet tired, Rudy had never met a woman ever whose sweat could turn him on. They embraced each other in a mostly vacant hallway beside a boyish servant in a petticoat.

Master Domerci was giving a speech, thanking a donor who’d come to the party of the year. Neither of the young lovers heard a word as they grinded against each other. Linda bit down on the bow tie around Rudy’s neck and flung it back into the dance hall beyond. Rudy kissed the nape of her neck and wormed his nimble fingers through a gap in her corset.

The servant coughed. They both looked at him.

Linda tied back her hair and said, “Could you go somewhere else for awhile. Me and my friend need some alone time.”

Rudy snickered, “Yes m’lad, go off and fill some drinks or something. This is our hall for now. I promise I won’t touch anything. “

Linda wrapped her arm around Rudy,

“Really? You won’t touch anything?”

She batted her eyelashes at him.

He kissed her. The servant wrinkled his nose, the two smelled like they’d spilled cognac all each other.

“Madam. Sir. I am supposed to stand guard at this door. My orders are not to let anyone enter. There is bedroom upstairs that might be more private.”

The servant wasn’t sure about that but he didn’t want them around any longer.

Rudy backed away and pulled a leather bag from his belt. He dropped a couple of gold coins in front of the servant and said,

“Take this and go.”

He didn’t leave. Linda sighed,

“The guest rooms are packed, we checked. Do us a favor and go somewhere else. We’re not going to go in, we promise.”

As if fate wanted Linda to be a liar, an audible splash echoed from behind the servant. Rudy, now curious, said,

“Is there a pool in there?”

The servant stepped aside and pointed a gold plate behind him on the door. It said,

Pool

Rudy smirked and gently grabbed Linda's hand and pretended to walk away. “Well. You have your duties…”

He pushed the servant to the floor and pulled Linda into the Pool room. Rudy grabbed the doorknob and held it tightly. Linda, pushed a table under the knob to wedge it shut.

The servant yelled,

“Sir!! Madam!! Please don’t go in there. Master Domerci will be very mad at me!”

Rudy and Linda ignored the boy and looked in awe at the room before them. Above them, four octagonal pits lined the ceiling. Brass serpents poked from the middle of each pit and dribbled a steady stream of water from their fangs. The pool was shaped like a diamond on a playing card and was hidden under the thick layer of steam that surfed across the percolating waters.

The actual size of the room was quite small in comparison to the rest of the residence. Four beach chairs and two side tables, one of which was now being used, were the only available furniture and sat two feet from the walls and the pool itself.

Linda scoffed, “It’s very...interesting but not very big.”

Rudy took his jacket and shirt off, “Big enough for us I’d say.”

Linda giggled and took her dress off. She asked him,

“Who’d have thought an old man like you could dance so well.”

Rudy took offense from that comment, he was only middle aged but was too excited to make it an issue.

He changed the subject, “Mmmhm. Say, what do you think made that splash we heard?”

Linda said nothing. He looked around and saw the dress and corset on the floor but no Linda. A splash came from the pool.

“Linda? Did you get in?”

He stumbled over himself and fell to his knees. He burped and slowly dunked his hand in the pool.

“Linda? I can’t see you if you’re in there. Say something?”

The steam made it impossible to tell if she was swimming around. All he heard was the bubbling water. He got in and found the water to be wonderfully warm. His feet couldn’t find the bottom so he grabbed at the poolside to guide him around the outside.

A hand brushed against his thigh. “Ahah! There you are.” He said.

He felt for her breasts through the steam. A guttural voice boomed, “You feel good.”

Rudy screamed as the hand clamped the bare flesh of his thigh and pulled it off. He let go of the pool side and beat at whatever was attacking him with his fist. The steam dispersed from around him.

The breasts he’d been feeling belonged to a headless creature that was a shadow of the female form. A thick cloud of oil obscured its sections below the surface of the water. A gaping hole split down its neck into its rib cage. Inside the hole was a tangle of nerves and sinew which vibrated with a sickening hum.

“I want to feel you more.” It said.

Its hands and arms were covered in red pits that little yellow worms lived in. The piece of him it ripped off was being threaded into by the worms like strings through a filter. He kicked away from her and bumped into another figure. Linda was held by a similar creature but with a masculine frame.

Her body was torn up into three. Her head and shoulders peeked at him through the inky cloud beneath the water. Her legs and torso were stuck to the arms. Her belly was bloated with the accumulating parasites that were pushing out through her belly button.

Rupert frantically swam away from the two horrors to the poolside. He pulled himself up and looked back. The female creature pulled itself along his blood trail like a climber on a rope. He couldn’t move, his body had gone into shock from blood loss.

He yelled out for help “Somebody! Anyone! Help!”

The servant did not hear him. He’d been fired promptly after he failed his duty. The master of the house had asked a custodian to put up a sign instead.

Pool closed temporarily for cleaning.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

In with movies and 1 Fleta's choice.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

Just to clarify. Is this prompt due on Sunday at 3 pm Pacific (U.S) time?

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer



(Prompt: Pic above and "Indiana Jones")

(Count: 1291)

F.D.D

In the shapeless frame of existence a select few can see the bars that separate worlds. Even fewer can traverse them. ~Always Abberations Vol. 1

Among the armaments Hassle had in his backpack, there were stun guns, a hexing wand, a pouch of smoke grenades, and a wooden box with the words Playwright stuffon it. The Border Guardian cast a quizzical eye over the weaponry and wooden mask on the counter. The Guardian said,

“You have no killing implements? It is advisable that if you go into the Endlands that you bring one weapon capable of killing.”

Hassle replied, “I don’t condone murder for any reason.”

Hassle shoved his mask back onto his face with an airy THUNK.

The Border Guardian let out a creaking sigh like foundation settling. She gave him a broken coke bottle and sunk back into the border wall.

Hassle listened to the broken bottle while leaning on the wall that separated the Birthing lands from the Endlands. He disliked the Birthing Lands and was excited to leave them. Everything was too verdant and chipper here. It was like a permanent version of Disneyland or Hitlerworld without the underbelly of malevolence. He didn’t like realities with few dangers because of they, ironically, felt unrealistic.

The bottle dissipated into a greasy plume of gas. Swing music emanated from the other side of the wall. Entries to numerous realities were hidden behind amnesia. The bottle was a fragment of a fallen world and it jogged Hassle’s primordial memories.

Forty paces south from the border wall he found the door. He stepped through it into a diner. A jukebox played while greasers shot at an unknown enemy from some blasted windows. One of them pulled a pin off a grenade and lobbed it into the dusty war zone beyond.

An earsplitting boom shook the foundation. Hassle sniffed the air to see how this world would end. He smelled a terrestrial disease and knew an infection was incoming. He dug around the diner for scents that would lead him to something more memorable.

A beam of energy shot through the window and electrocuted one of the greasers. His girlfriend, Miranda who was huddling behind a jukebox with a sniper rifle screamed,

“Danny!”

His skeleton danced inside the black silhouette of his electrified body. When the light show ended the greaser was replaced with a blond haired blue eyed muscle-bound Ken doll with a cellophane grin. The doll said,

“Golly! You guys should give up and become a model citizen like me. It’s the bee’s knees!”

Miranda screamed in anger and shot him in repulsion. The bullet went out the back Danny’s head, splattering pink juice all over a stack of boxed up apple pies.

Hassle swept away the rubble from the floor with a little pocket broom. He dusted off a pamphlet for a revolutionary body modification program:

Become the model citizen you were born to be. Come to a Z-Ray Seminar Today!

Hassle figured the current battle was a result of these seminars. It was old news, he’s seen weight loss programs destroy civilization before. The Z-Ray sounded interesting. He’d never heard of anything like it in his previous travels.

It apparently replaced 82.5% of the body with the chemical makeup of a mannequin. He wanted to add it to his collection. Hassle kneeled beside the greasers. He coughed into his hand,

“Say, are those people out there the ones with the Z-rays?”

The greasers ducked and spun around.

Miranda said,

“Who the heck are you? Why are you dressed like that?!”

Hassle clutched his robes and said, “What’s wrong with how I dress? Yellow’s always en vogue.”

One of the greasers pointed a shotgun at Hassle and said,

“Miranda's Right. You look crazy! What’s with that mask?”

Miranda pointed her rifle at Hassle’s mask, she said, “Are you another one of the Model citizens?”

Hassle put up his hands in surrender and said,

“C’mon. You said it yourself. I’m weird looking. The models are all exceptionally beautiful, right? How could I be one of them?”

The logic caught them off guard. The doorway to the diner blew in as Model woman Mary-Lou bashed the door down with her shoulder. Two other women leaped over the counter, Betty-Sue, and Veronica, and grappled with the two remaining greasers. Miranda shot wildly at them, breaking some until-now miraculously untouched plates in the kitchen.

Mary-Lou jumped over the counter with the door in hand and swung it into Miranda with inhuman strength, bashing her head into the jukebox. The three Models were victorious. Both greasers were tied and gagged.

Mary-Lou dropped the door and pulled a firearm from a plastic hollow in her torso. It looked like a blow torch with a satellite dish stuck it. She whistled as she eyed Hassle up and down,

“Well, gee! Look at you! Halloween was last month you know!” Mary-Lou said.

Betty-Sue circled Hassle and pulled at his robes, “You’re very strange looking! Are you a communist?”

Veronica gave Hassle a smile causing her cheeks to be pinched up like a living doll, “You of all people need some Z-rays!.”

The three of them pushed Hassle into the kitchen so he had nowhere to run. Mary-Lou pressed back the red lever on the Z-Ray Pistol. Hassle warned them,

“ That pistol will show my insides to you all. It is in your best interests if you don’t see beneath my pallid mask.”

They gave him a vacant look. Betty-sue said,

“I knew it! Only a communist would talk like that.”

They shot Hassle and the greasers shuddered in their ropes as they imagined their soon-to-be fate if they didn’t escape. The room went quiet as the greasers struggled out of their bindings.

“You okay Tommy?” Donnie asked.

Tommy dusted off his leather jacket and checked his hair,

“I guess so.”

Hassle plucked the pistol from Mary-Lou like an apple from a tree. Betty-Sue shrieked and jumped out a window. Mary-Lou cried and tore the door off of the pie oven and curled up inside it. Veronica had a spellbound look that stretched the remaining flesh in her face off-center. She said,

“Have you seen the Yellow Sign?”

She sat on the ground and repeated that over and over.

Tommy and Donny grabbed Hassles hand and shook it roughly. Tommy said,

“You saved us, buddy! I don’t what you did but I want to make you an official member of our gang. You can help us take back Cali from these plastoid freaks.”

Hassle stashed the Z-Ray in his pack,

“No thanks, boys. This world's done for and the aftermath of total extinction is rather boring. I suggest you make peace with your pretend deities.”

Hassle grabbed one of the leftover pies and disappeared. Later, Donny thought over the Yellow man's words as he and Tommy searched for weapons in the ruins of the gun store next door to the Diner. Donny said,

“Tommy. Are the Models gonna destroy the world?”

Tommy gulped down a bite of apple pie. He grumbled, “That yellow freak was crazy. We’re going to take back the U.S from these Squares. There’s still plenty of rebels out there like us.”

Rain started to fall ruining Tommy’s pie. He said,

“Yuck! The rain tastes like sweat!”

Far away, in a place made of stars and rivers, Hassle stepped into his throne room in Carcosa. He deposited the Z-Ray into a glass case next to a bottle of Living Drought. His collection of apocalyptic remnants was coming along nicely. He took off his mask and ate some pie.

“Mmm. Nothing like the taste of pie to make you fall in love with existence all over again.”

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

Crit for Week #260“To Be Less Than a Queen” By Flerp

This story reminds me of fables like “Bluebeard” or “The Emperor's New Clothes” as I can imagine for the most part it being told as a story from long ago, so long ago that the royalty within it is its own character and no one needs a name. This is how I read it at first.

If you were going for that “There once a was a king” vibe, you succeed in it halfway with this story. When it comes to stories, I like Grimm's fairy tales and Aesop's Fables just as much as modern day stuff. It’s like, I can watch the Twilight Zone and still be affected even though its plots and narrative structures have been repeated numerous times since it was regularly airing. There’s something about classic forms of storytelling that still makes me want to hear the rest of the tale which to me, is the most important part of any story.

The problems I see in this tale is that it gets halfway to being a simple fable but stumbles on mental musings that are left unfinished and unexplained. The baron is paranoid, that much is fine, there’s plenty of kings in fairy tales who are crazed or mad, but there is usually a reason.

Bluebeard had an obsession with his privacy, the Sultan from One Thousand and One Nights ritually killed his wives because his first one was unfaithful, the Emperor wore no clothes because his vanity overrode his logic.

If the baron is ever to be important within the wife's recollections, there needs to be a reason, not an explanation, but a simple event that the wife might remember that explains his nature phobia.

On top of that, I don’t understand why the Baron is leaving, why he is beheaded, why his castle wasn’t routed immediately with his exit. These details already present about the baron being called away to the mainland distract me from the rest of the story. I’m more interested in him being worried about his wife back in the castle and the circumstances leading up to his exodus which leads me to confusion when the rest of the story is about the wife.

The idea of a queen left along in a castle (are there no servants after the baron leaves? I thought wanted to spare the servants and the wife by leaving? Where are they in the rest of the narrative?) musing over whether she could stay in opulence, despite its present meaninglessness, or return to her roots would make a good character study.

Seeing how she passes the time, her debating with herself about loyalty to the baron or to herself could prove to be an interesting inner conflict that could be allegorical to the castle’s unchanging interior in contrast to the changing world outside. That could be a good short story, but I’m so sure about a fable. Fables don’t take much time to dwell as they are written as they are usually told orally, rather than filled with sentences to describe every facet of a character.

In any case, the story is torn between this set up of a nearly empty castle, an abandoned queen and her paranoid husband which screams “fable” to me but instead goes into a half-effort exploration into the queen's relationship with her husband and her being originally from the nature that he despises.

When she leaves the castle, I don't ‘feel anything. It doesn’t seem like much time passes, or conflict of any real magnitude before she’s like “gently caress it”. And then the ending goes back to sounding like a fable “When people came back in the years since they searched the castle.

They tore through cupboard and dressers, grabbing old rings the baron had bought her. But they never found a body. Just a broken window and an open front door.”

this line sounds dramatic, like an ending to a melancholy folktale, but that’s not what preceded it. It's a line that comes off tacked on to try to wrap up two side by side stories into a lumpy present. Like a really nice bow on a crumpled paper bag.

There are some good setups here, considering how little is written about the Baron and how much there is about the Queen, I’d cut him out except as a memory. Don’t give him his own musings, let the Queen tell his story by telling hers. This might move you away from a fable into more of a traditional character study, but it's the thickest material here you got to work with.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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FJGJ

Fat Jesus Gobbled Jam

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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DragIn

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Question: I know it's supposed to be fantasy (preferably) high fantasy. Would it be alright if I set the story in our world but pulled fantastical elements in? Like I'm not sure how much fantasy is needed on the sparkle meter to make this legit.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

F.D.D (#1037)

Whatever creates life is probably more beast than man. After all, how could something so awe-inspiring be neglected for so long? It must have been the work of something animalistic. ~Treatise on the Cosmic Dragon

Life. Been there, done that. ~ How to be a Deity and stay Awake


The Old Shaman was banished ten seasons ago when his medicines became ineffective. Recently, as the land once again grew verdant, he has come back into the lives of the tribe.

Before he was banished, the tribal guardians were the first to denounce his magic. When a young guard leg had to be cut off from a scorpion sting, the Shaman was called out by guardians. The sting was something the Shaman had healed with the Dragon's Blessing before and they called him a pretender when he could not do it once more.

The Old Shaman pleaded before the drawn arrows of the tribe,

“Let me speak to the Dragon of the Green, he will give me a reason why the magic doesn’t work.”

They gave the Shaman time. He took a sip of the boiling pot of foul smelling tea he kept hidden away. With the tea, he journeyed into the Frame of the Universe. High above the small red ball of their world, the Shaman found the slow-moving Dragon of the Green. Its body slowly wreathed around all the worlds it had visited as small bits of fungi and seeds fell from its molting scales.

It was breathing life into a dead world as the Shaman spoke, “Great Dragon, the leaves you told me would heal all poison have dried up. I beg you to give me the power to heal my tribesman without the leaves.”

The Dragon didn’t acknowledge the Shaman. The dead planet the Dragon breathed upon became fiery, steamy than filled with air and water. Little green motes erected themselves from the sea and upon these new lands ran all manners of creatures. The Shaman saw people like himself and his tribe, darkened shadows against the naked plains.

It was a replica of his own world. The Shaman asked,

“Great Dragon. Is this world a copy of ours? Please help my people before you move onto another world.”

It didn’t appear to hear his pleas. The Dragon whispered to a sleeping man who looked just like the Shaman. This man picked leaves and brewed tea the next day as if possessed. The Dragon slithered past the world as quickly as he gave life to it. The Old Shaman looked behind the Dragon and saw a marathon of worlds just like his.

When he returned to his body the Old Shaman accepted his banishment and burned off all the remains of his faith to the Dragon of the Green. He hastily packed food and water and went into the desert where all banished people go. The Old Shaman had packed away some of the sacred tea leaves without realizing he had done so.

In the starlight of the cold desert nights, the Old Shaman burned brush and blasphemed the Dragon of the Green.

“Vile worm! Absent Father! Neglectful Mother! Careless spirit!”

He said this and more. The banished people flocked around him. Some were former shamans, crippled guardians, cannibals and people who just didn’t belong anywhere. They heard the rants of the Shaman and found comfort in his words. They too began to blame the Dragon.

As his hair grew white and hardened with sand and mud, his coal black skin flaking and erupting in white boils, the Old man knew he was dying. In the frayed remains of the ox gut bag he pulled a clump of dried tea leaves. He chewed them down hoping they were medicine. So much of his primal knowledge was gone by that point that he didn’t realize what he was eating.

The Old Shaman had a dream in amongst the shivering emaciated bodies of his congregation. A blue dragon, smaller and covered in venomous spines rode down to the desert from a far off lightning storm. It stood on its fours, in a predatorial gesture before the Old Shaman. It poked the needle point of its gigantic claw into the old man's forehead.

“Serve me and I will save you.” It echoed within the Old Shamans mind.

The Old Shaman grunted, unafraid of death,

“I serve no more spirits. They are illusions of affection.”

The Blue Dragon sent a crackle through his claw. The Old Shaman found the Dragon had given him power. Not leaves, or recipes, but the buzzing energy of godhood.

The Dragon said, “Was that an illusion?”

Indeed, the Old Shaman knew he could bring life to the desert, he could bring rain to the drought, he could create fire with the lightning above. The Old Shaman asked,

“Why? Why would you help me? I blasphemed the Dragon of the Green.”

The Blue Dragon roared at the sky and the Shaman heard his own blasphemous words echo out of the bestial dirge.

It called itself Mru-Culh the Blue and left the Shaman with a mission and a promise.

Now the Old Shaman has returned to the Village with a hoard of blue eyed vagrants. Their bodies course with crackling sparks as they burn through the Old Shamans village with weapons made of thunder. The Old Shaman stands in the ruins and calls to the survivors of his rout,

“Give up the Dragon and follow me to the next Village and I will let you all live.”

The burned shivered villagers moan in pain and ask the Old Shaman, “Why? Why would you do this?”

The Shaman did not ask for questions, only Loyalty and blasted those who questioned him into ashes. He roared with bestial fury to the quickly bowing leftovers of his tribe,

“I cannot destroy the Dragon of the Green but I can erase his memory from this world.”

Inside the Shaman's soul, he heard the voice of Mru-Culh the Blue. It empathized with the Old Shaman,

“I too am an abandoned son. Dropped from the scales above as an accident. Let us erase our careless parent from this world.”

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

In with crabs unexpected rule

In a world where everything is automated

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Crit for “A Call to the Restoration Crew” by a new study bible!

Prompt: Your wizardry allows you give anima/life to any work of art: A sculpture, a painting, a photo, and so on.

This prompt had a lot of potentials and I think you knew that writing this story. It was a lot of fun seeing our mage Eardrum give temporary life to a sexy m&m and a couple of plastic pumpkins. The interactions with the objects are enjoyable as you’ve gone with the idea that the animated art has memories and personality outside of their perceived inanimate nature.

The three interactions using the magic make me immediately want to read more of your story. I want to know if actual art would have something wiser to say, maybe something by Picasso would be stuttering and speak only in Spanish. It’d be nice if you had either another art piece to interact with that was actually “art” so to see if the emotional spectrum of the magic is changed up depending on the validity of the “art” enchanted, or----to have something be a contrast to the very shallow souls that I’ve so far heard. The tattoo and the pumpkins don’t talk any kind of thought out/passionate art, they are cartoons of living beings, which to be fair, some people you run into in real life in passing are just that.

To have something to contrast against the droll attitudes the three art pieces would also make the starting conversation Eardrum has with his mate have more of a place in your story. He declines to animate the pumpkin stickers on his coffee after his friend jokingly asks him to do so (hey dude lemme see that thing you do again) which is a really cool conversation. I get the feeling his friend and the world at large see’s Eardrums abilities as a novelty than a miracle. This comes from how no one seems to react to his abilities at all except for Button’s bemused request for sapient sticker shenanigans.

The fact that no one bats an eye at this extraordinary ability could mean many things but none of them are really explained in this story. It seems as if this tale is jumping off point for some larger narrative, a kind of “this is an excerpt from my crazy life in the present moment” that will have an explanation later on revealing what led up to animating Artwork and being crime scene cleaners (?). Also, are they crime scene cleaners? Are they brought in to clean up murders for the mob and I guess...frat boys? The fraternity and the murderer don’t seem too worried about a couple of guys asking questions which mean that they have notoriety for their services (whatever that might be) and apparently a private phone number.

The unexplained nature of their profession, their ability to be invulnerable to their client's skepticism (the surround public's skepticism in the case of the sorority girl), the magic number they somehow give out that never gets them in deep poo poo with the police, and the boys themselves, Eardrum and Button. What is it that Button does that makes him partner to the crime clean up/private eye/ college safety squad business? Is he there for funny quips? Why is he named Button, why is our mage named Eardrum? It seems super non-sequitur even for a jumping off point of what seems to be a larger narrative.

The story as is reminds me heavily of “John dies at the end” by David Wong. Both stories start with a WTF causing present narrative that the rest of the book takes time to explain. Both have a pair of buddy comedy quip spouting males of unexplained age and intelligence with one having supernatural connections to help with their unnamed profession that lies between investigation and demon hunting. The demon hunting part doesn’t fit of course but if you ever decide to continue on with this story I recommend checking out the book.

As much as I see it as not being an entire “story” as it leaves so many questions in the air by the time you finish, it was fun to read and I went through it quickly which is a good sign for me at least of an enjoyable narrative.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Grass Null (#1748 )
IN A WORLD WITH AN UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED SHORTAGE

Rissa had been hungrily chomping down her caramel corn for most of “Little Shop of Horrors”. She was more interested in the free food than Rick Moranis singing to a carnivorous plant. Her boyfriend Ted sat on the floor beside her and caressed her ebony leg with his wheedling left hand. She flicked it off her thigh as he got impulsive during the final song in the movie. Rissa still hadn’t forgiven him for ditching her at the restaurant.

He said to her quietly,

“Rissa. Come on, I took to this movie, I got you your favorite snack. Let’s make up.”

She flicked his knuckles like they were four marching flies,

“Ted, I told you. I came along for an apology, that’s it. After that, we can stay friends, but you and I are over.”

Ted grumbled and made tucked his hands into his sweatshirt. It was cold inside the tenement basement. The heat was kept off so as to fool any A.T.F.L volunteers searching the buildings with heat radar. The plant puppet yelled. “OH poo poo” and died on screen. Rissa thought it was a bit anti-climactic and didn’t see so far why this movie was censored. It was a waste to have an illegal showing for a movie that was so tame.

She was about to get up and leave considering Ted was just going to sulk and not apologize but she stayed seated as she looked around the room. Ted, her boyfriend, and line cook. Martin, the old Portuguese Dishwasher. Willow, her middle aged prep cook. All of the attendees of the illegal showing were staring raptly at the screen as it blacked out on Rick Moranis and his sudden new romance. The only person not paying attention was Rissa and Law, a young man who used to be the restaurant's cashier and current renter of the basement. He was on his phone texting.

Rissa bit the trend and paid attention. The screen lit up and she saw something that made the movie illegal. Rick and his blond bimbo girlfriend stood in front of an archway opening into a sanctum off limits in the real world. It was a lawn. Not wild ferns, brambles or clumpweed which was all that grew low on the ground these days but the hewn surface of a verdant ballroom floor.

Rissa remembered walking barefoot at her Uncle’s House. He’d play loud music and she’d break into dancing on the warm wet spring grass at his Illinois brownstone. The lawn brought people from all around the neighborhood for barbecues, slumber parties, dog owner meetups, and relatives would “pop in” more than any other adult Rissa had known. Back then she had no idea why her Uncle was so popular. After the Bandit Virus became widespread from a dubious weedkiller, the destruction of the prototypical U.S Lawn made her understand.

The Lawn was rare for poor people and when someone in a community had one it acted as a magnet of nostalgia. Just like the people sat around her gazing at the green rainbow on the screen woul say, the lawn was somewhere in their childhood. It was there under their feet, with their dog, littered with frisbees and footballs. This movie reminded Rissa and the diner staff of what wonders that smell of cut grass could bring up.

Law was too young to remember these musings. He bought the movie specifically because he knew it was illegal. It made him feel good to show it off for the sake of being rebellious. That said, he wasn’t checking his phone out of habit but caution. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Lawns had volunteers all over the city. Ever since the bust at his girlfriend hydroponics set-up, Law knew another wave of stings was imminent. A light shined quickly past the shutters of above the washing machine. Law screamed,

“Turn it off!”

Ted fumbled with the remote as the other’s booked it for the stair case. Ted dropped the remote to the ground and the batteries popped out like springs out of a busted watch. He gave Law a sheepish smile and ran up the stairs after the others. Rissa crawled under the flaps of the couch and held her breath so as not breathe miasma of Cheeto dust and cat litter at the floor level.

Law ran to the remote but a surly voice accosted him.

“Put your hands up!”

The others were marched back down by a beer bellied public offender. In his hands was a shotgun. Certain volunteers were given rights to use deadly force if they reported enough crimes to the Bureau. Considering the nature of most of the people who volunteered it was a plausible assumption that they did so to earn this very right.

The man pointed at the wall with the shotgun. “Along the wall.”

The staff did so. Law sweated buckets as he considered the possibility he was going to get shot. It was 50/50 what would happen if citizens were caught with Lawn Propaganda. He would either be taken down to the local police station and get marked to have his wages garnished for a couple of years or this yahoo would shoot him. Considering how much garnishments Law already had, he wasn’t sure if he wouldn’t choose death at this point.

The man didn’t say anything. The staff grew restless leaning against the wall and so did Rissa who had given up trying not to breathe. She accepted the stuffy nose she had coming for the rest of the week. A woman in a red pantsuit walked down the stair steps. She had a plastic cup over her nose that let out a quiet wheeze of air. It was a Bureau talkie, the propagandists of the A.T. F. L.

She said, “Hello. My name is Carmen Delgado! I understand there’s been a breach of censorship here at address 7122 Dennton Street 60007. You’re in luck however because this Lawn associated crime has been randomly selected for a re-education seminar that will only garnish 15% of all your wages.”

“gently caress.” Everyone collectively sighed (and Rissa quietly did).

Carmen went into the whole spiel. About how Lawn Nostalgia is a kind of sexual deviancy. About how yearning for Lawns caused the Seattle Riots and Texas state secession. How Lawns ACTUALLY caused more allergies because they weren’t properly cared for. She finished with the golden poo poo standard of the Bureau.

“...as scientists have said. Now to finish my points I would like to remind you all that there is a concrete reason why only certain people's above a certain tax bracket are allowed to own Bandit Free Lawns.

First of all is, of course, is the legal copyright by Monsanto-Bayer who are the sole proprietors of Bandit Virus Immune Lawn and Lawncare products. But also you must consider that none of you have the financial means or education to keep a lawn free of disease and pests.

A census report of 2019 confirms that people of the lower middle to lower class were more likely to enable to the spread of the Bandit Virus by improper lawn upkeep in comparison to those of the upper middle to upper class.”

“gently caress!” Ted yelled. He couldn’t take the diatribe anymore.

The fat man with a shotgun took this as a need to blow and shot at Ted which simultaneously injured the rest of line. Carmen sighed and called for an ambulance. Ted moaned in pain and picked bird shot from his back.

The fat man said, “You lucky that wasn’t buck shot you drat n-”

Carmen put her hand over the man's mouth and latched onto it with her long red nails.

“Don’t make this racial, we don’t need another Riot.”

Carmen smoothed out her disposition and went back into her spiel, “Now that you’ve been reprimanded. An additional 5% garnish will be added onto all wages for emergency services which are on their way. If you have any questions for the Bureau or about the Monsanto-Bayer Private-Public business model please visit our website at https://www.banditfreebureau.org.

Carmen left and Rissa couldn't’ believe that there were some people who actually avoided breathing the air of the city.

The cleanup team were all volunteers and hmmed and hawwed around the basement as Rissa wheezed through her reddened nostrils. The fat man was with them too. He picked up the DVD case for Little Shop and said to his fellow volunteers,

“You guys wanna go do something else? I’m not really feeling like picking up poo poo.”

A bald scrawny woman with swastika tattooed onto her head agreed and unholstered a Luger,

“I heard there are Grassophiles hoarding clippings in the subway.”

The fat man felt his heart skip a beat and thought he might be in love,

“Well sheeet. Let's go rain lead on them.”

The two left and the other volunteers followed out of laziness rather than bloodlust.

Rissa crawled out from the couch and nearly vomited as she expelled a combination of sneezing and hacking. She’d gotten lucky for sure but she felt miserable now that she’d witnessed a sting first hand.

“poo poo. This is my world.” She sighed.

Deciding to take advantage of the moment. She picked up a grocery bag stuffed all the illegal DVDs she could find. She thought it’s better to give them to other people who’d appreciate the memories they called rather than have half-rear end viewing parties. In her haste to pick at the shelf, she pulled a wire that sticking out from behind a collector's edition of Edward Scissorhands. A cabinet moved beside revealing a small hidden space.

Rissa ducked into the small space and exhaled in wonder. A wheelbarrow full of hydroponics gear, a stack of books on “Growing Hemp and Indoor plants”, two sacks of soil and sack of Bandit-free seed were crowded into the wheelbarrow like pirate's booty in a treasure chest.

Behind the wheelbarrow was a rolled up bundle. She pulled out the wheelbarrow and went back to unfurl the strange bundle. It unfurled into a lime green patch of grass. It was still alive, the roots hungrily reaching for the artificial light above. Rissa ran her fingers through the blades. She remembered springs and early summers and all the people who became a family on the lawn.

She decided she was going to make more memories.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In with Ozzy Bee

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Bacchus Lite (#1249) (Prompt: Ozzy Bee)

Inside the temple of booze, alcoholics drenched themselves in their favorite brandy, wine and beer. The manner in which they reached this Mecca was that they drown themselves in liquor. This ritual was done so that their souls would fall through the murky liquor and after a time spent floating along the ocean floor of booze, they would rise again. Through the rejuvenating hops to slide out of the ever flowing sacred vats.

The Saint of this Temple and it's founder was Ozzy Bee. He looked down upon all his liquor soaked retirees from the vantage point of his VIP skybox. He lounged in a red and white hammock, hooked across two huge plastic bananas from a long forgotten gas station promotional display. Sometimes he’d demand a price for the continued consumption of the endless booze of his private dimension.

Ozzy spied them all from beneath his half-stitched straw hat. A rowdy group of young ladies had joined up. One of the young women chugged from an upside down keg. Her white t-shirt soaked up falling foam and made her ample breasts stick out like sore thumbs on an umpire.
She’d been a mother of two and gotten tired of her wheedling family.

She besmirched her traitorous body which punished her with ever-increasing amounts of hangover pains. When she heard of the temple from a night out with a peculiar group of bachelors, she decided to give it a go. She was already black out drunk so committing to the drowning wasn’t that big of a deal at the time.

Now that she had embraced her new sanctum, her stomach had a permanent purple blotch decorating it. It was a blessing of Ozzy so that her new form could ingest booze without the hangover symptoms the next morning. Ozzy picked up a plastic conch shell microphone and said,

“Yo! Brenda number threeeee!”

The keg tap was pulled from her suckling mouth like a pacifier by the other woman. Brenda blinked one eye than the other. She yelled back at Ozzy with obvious irritation,

“Whatisit?! I’matryingto have fuuuun.”

Ozzy said, “C’mon up here girllllll. We gotta talk about yo membership.”

Brenda smacked her lips loudly and ignored the patron saint.

Something coursed inside her belly and all the pleasant vibes of stage 1 thru 10 drunkdom went away. She’d become dead sober.

Brenda grabbed her head as the pounding bass that had been barely noticeable became a jackhammer. She screamed,

“Ahhhhgh! The gently caress!”

Ozzy didn’t take no from his guests. “Alrighty. Get up here girly. We gotta talk dues and I don’t want no sass. I’m sure you’d like to skip this headache riiiiight?”

Brenda clamped a grip on the rails leading up through the spire of vats and champagne fountains to the top. She nearly flew into the easy chair in Ozzy’s skybox when she entered. Sweat poured out her forehead like faucets were left on in her brain. Her wet t-shirts smell now fully hit her. It smelled like sour fruit and compost.

She hadn’t changed the shirt since she died. She wished she’d gotten a new set of clothes along with the new body because the smell was making her want to-

nevermind

She puked for a good three minutes onto Ozzy’s floor. Ozzy picked his sandals off ground just in time and stowed them in the hammock.

He tilted up his hat, his grizzled reddened skin was a sharp contrast to his dark green eyes. They were the eyes belonging to a Saint of Thought. Ozzy scratched at his armpit, a section of his Hawaiian shirt was chafing it. He said,

“Brenda three. Baby cakes, I need you to do favor fo’ me. Fact is, drowning yerself in booze is step one of entry, now we’s got to take care of step two. The fee.”

He eyed her rocking breasts.

Brenda wiped her mouth and then unceremoniously wiped her hand on the easy chair. She said,

“Dying wasn’t enough? I gotta gently caress you too?”

Ozzy was struck dumb by her words but then he realized that’s probably what she guessed he wanted.

He said, “Oh no girl. I was checking out your assets because of they might be good fo’ sales. I don’t pro’cate with mortals. Tends to split their ecto’ plism in half.”

He pulled a screen down from behind him. The fluorescent lights went off and a movie played on the white screen. There was a young man tending a bar. He served drinks like a pro, doing fancy mixing tricks and sniping glasses with a seltzer bottle.

Despite his likeability at the local bar, this young man didn't touch a drop of liquor. He dreamed of being an astronaut and could only do so if he stayed on the right track. Ozzy stopped the movie with a snap of his fingers,

“Sooo as you can see, this ‘tender is representing m’ temple but not buying the scripture. I need you to go in there and seduce him into giving in to the booze he juggles on a nightly bas’s.”

Brenda narrowed her eyes, partly from the lights turning on but also from suspicion. She said,

“Why me?”

Ozzy threw a stack of books into the pool of vomit. They were hustler magazines, all with a similar type of lady on them.

Ozzy said, “He likes a certain type of lady as you can see. Older with a bit more oomph in the bust. My best bet is if you smooze up to him, you’d have the best chance to get him to party down! Woooh!”

Ozzy took out a party favor and popped it letting out a bang of confetti. Brenda’s vision doubled as the sound reverberated throughout the skybox. She said,

“Ohhhh. poo poo, no more loud noises.”

Ozzy replied, “Then get me that atheist. You gotta conv’t him or you’ll never get your drunk-on again. I’ll haves you detoxing the rest of your stay in my temple if you refuse.”

Brenda said, “Okay okay! I’ll be your dealer and get this guy. Can I at least drink while I’m top side? I can’t be putting on the charm if my head feels like a split melon.”


After a moment of consideration on his smartphone Ozzy said, “Alrights. I’ll give you up to stage 4 drunkdom. After that you go dead sober. Get him hooked and you get back to party time faster than l’ter.”

Ozzy snapped his fingers and a red dress spiraled around Brenda, concealing her old clothes smells and stains. With another snap Brenda turned into a pool of foam reminiscent of aphrodite blacking out.

Time passed.

Brend showed up one-day diving into a bubbling pond of Guinness. Her red dress was frayed and stained worse off than the white shirt ever was.

Ozzy cast a glance around the soft lit chamber of his temple for her prey. Sure enough, the same young man swam after her. His left arm was gone for some reason. He floated after her as she laughed and kicked dark water into his face.

Ozzy turned on his feed, curious how he lost his arm. Two years from the day Brenda entered his life and subsequently left is when it happened. He was wearing a cardboard astronaut helmet and leapt into a watery gorge with a gaggle of red necks. He misjudged the depth of the water.

Laughing, Ozzy took a picture and sent it to his friends Chad and Hell-Mary. He captioned it,

“YOLO!”

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Isn't submissions supposed to be over by 3am pst? I converted the time from 12am est to pst and that's what I got.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Exmond posted:

Hey I just met you.
And this is crazy
But PST is 3 hours behind EST
So post at 9pm PST maybe?

Thanks Hindsight Man!

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Awesome crits Kai!

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer



In

Edited with new pic

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at 04:47 on Sep 13, 2017

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

I don't see it up here.(Nvm, I found it. Pic is changed.)

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at 04:47 on Sep 13, 2017

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

(edited)

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at 04:11 on Jan 3, 2018

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Uranium Phoenix posted:

Interprompt: Duels at high noon
75 words

Two pistoleros shoot to kill. One bullet splits a vacancy sign in two, another blows dirt into the face of our snoozing town drunk. The young gunners scrunch their faces in shame.
Everyone feels their embarrassment but I take their lack of accuracy as a chance to save face.

I say,

"Before you try again, please let me re-measure your widths. I don't want to waste any wood like last time."

#72

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


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Grimey Drawer

In

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Thanks for the crits sh.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

sebmojo posted:

you are all horrible monsters that need to be punished Speak up if you agree and want a savage flash rule branded on your hide.

Okay, hit me Seb.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Gonna bow out this week. Taking a break from TD.

(gently caress it. I had a burst of inspiration. I'm back in)

Jay W. Friks fucked around with this message at 03:20 on Sep 25, 2017

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Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Thanks Muffin

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