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Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


in

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Last minute ready-up. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's lush yet pointless description!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

Last minute ready-up. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's lush yet pointless description!

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in




LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Okay I guess I'll double-post and get this thing rolling
An event. I hope the dialogue callbacks didn't violate the not-current-time rule.




Future/Past
578 words

The night had been chosen well in advance, and the moon and the stars had been kind enough to oblige.

The former hung, serene and pendulous, in the velvet-black sky; the full silver coin of its face had smiled down upon the rooftop all evening. Its cool, bright glow had rendered the candles nearly unnecessary – but then, they were really just set dressing, after all. They had all burned down into fat waxy stubs, by now, but when they had been lit they had shone with a vigor that outmatched the innumerable glimmering stars, each itself a tiny prick of fire, and strewn across that void-black sky like so many scattered diamonds.

Echoes of laughter still seemed to shimmer in the air, like the fading redolence of the long-since devoured meal for two: baked salmon, fragrant with herbs and lemon and butter, good crusty bread with two small dishes of oil, broccolini sautéed with wine and garlic until it was just tender. The empty plates and wine glasses -- and it had been very good wine, too – were still scattered over the little folding table, forgotten at the climax of the evening.

At least they’d remembered to blow out the candles.

A breeze was beginning to pick up, now; it carried with it the tang of the sea that lay, dark and tranquil, a stone’s throw from the little rented cottage. Seaweed, fish, salt, and something deeper, something primal. It was her favorite smell, she had confessed to him over dinner, and he had smiled because he had known that, of course. It was one of the first things she’d told him of herself.

The edges of the tablecloth – white, good quality, and much nicer than the card table it covered – ruffled lightly in the sea-scent breeze, like the wings of doves settling themselves to rest. A few of the rose-petals that had been scattered across and around it lifted as well, borne fluttering away on the wind to new and grander adventures. The live roses that twined up the trellis, connecting the cottage’s stolidly planted feet to its little rooftop terrace, nodded their great soft heads slowly in approval.

They were her favorite flowers. A little cliché, she’d admitted, a year and more ago, when he’d asked her; but -- as she’d made her immediate ferocious aside -- she couldn’t help it. She liked what she liked.

He had, like the roses now, nodded in agreement, all the while thinking to himself: he liked what he liked, too.

And he suspected that what he liked was her.

A napkin skittered, fluttered at the edge of the terrace, caught by the sea-tang breeze, trying to escape before it was noticed and set too firmly in its role in the history of the evening. A print of lipstick (Raisin Red) was pressed against the skirt of its folds. Just above that was an olive-oil-stain blossom. On the other side, it held a few greasy fingerprint smudges. The napkin despaired of ever being insignificant again.

The lipstick print was smudged, too; she’d been dabbing her mouth, unselfconscious, when he’d asked her.

At last the napkin spun free, released of the confines of the terrace and the table and the rented beach-front cottage, flighted like the rose-petals, and the scent of the sea, and the joy in her voice when she’d answered his request.

The night was fading, but the stars seemed to shine yet all the brighter.

They were diamonds.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




The Teetering City
553 words


Beneath the harbour, the faultline sleeps. A cold southerly whips up white peaks on the water’s surface and dark cumulonimbus tower over Mt Victoria. A woman hurries indoors.

On her doorstep her cat fluffs its fur and glowers. The front door scraps against the concrete step and she has to yank to get it shut. Another flake of red paint shakes loose from the wood. The house is slumping from its crumbling concrete piles. It tilts towards the steep hillside below, like a person afraid of heights trying to look down over the edge.

In the kitchen, the woman stands on her tippy-toes and pushes the long stems of her good wine glasses back onto the top shelf with her fingertips. One day, she thinks, she should find a safer place to store all this glass. She has a box of emergency food in her laundry. A rat has gnawed through the cardboard and made a feast of the 2-minute noodles, the bag of milo and the instant macaroni cheese.

Below the house rainwater trickles into the fractured greywacke around the roots of a huge pine tree. The bank is full of fissures and undermined by previous slips. Exposed PVC pipes jut like long, skinny bones from an orange gash in the hillside.

The wind rattles the power lines on their old wooden poles. The lines interleave with the rough-skinned branches of the pohutukawa that guard the street. The woman steps carefully over the uneven pavement where the trees’ roots have cracked the surface.

Inside a cafe her friend waves her over to a small wobbly table. The woman weaves between bentwood chair-backs and squeezes into a seat behind a steel I-beam. The steel frame spans the ceiling and braces the cafe’s exposed brick walls. The air is steamy and full of the smell of coffee. The woman and her friend laugh and relax, oblivious to the engineering that holds back the mass of bricks above their heads.

The woman’s friend leans into the gale as she hurries from the cafe to her empty office building. She likes to catch up during these quiet hours. The building shudders and rain rumbles against the windows. Her heartbeat spikes, and suddenly she feels very alone. No one knows she’s here. The building sways and its huge glass panes flex in the wind.

Near the building’s feet the wind-whipped harbour rushes up the tumbled rocks of the reclaimed shore. The foundations extend well below the water. Overspec’d concrete, steel and rubber defy reason and tectonic forces. Nothing will stop this building from standing here, they proclaim, confident in their innovative, untested, design.

The woman’s cat has brought a tui inside. The power is out and the house is cold. The cat watches the woman chase the panicked bird around the dark house and out a window. She huddles on her couch, legs folded under her and a blanket around her shoulders. The cat purrs on her lap. The woman’s stomach growls and she regrets not having an emergency gas cooker. She checks her phone for updates. Its little battery symbol is close to empty.

The tui soars through the darkening sky. From the air the north-south line that bisects the city's steep hills can be clearly seen.

The city balances on the edge. Beneath it, the faultline sleeps.

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes


Garage
780 words

Read it at the archive.

Staggy fucked around with this message at 21:43 on Jan 3, 2019

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




The Alchemist
427 words


There is another world under the house. The faded blue basement door is held ajar by a latch meant for a casement window - just wide enough for the cat to get in and out. Untrimmed trees block the windows. Inside, the dappled light is green, and cool.

The basement is painted white and small spotlights are set into the ceiling like stars. A black-headed jumping spider zips between them like a meteor against a white sky. It hunts the bugs that live in the stack of salvaged timber leaning against the back wall.

In the center of the room is a long homemade workbench. Second hand clamps are piled beside a new table router. Ingenious hand-carved wooden joints, frames built for projects not yet started, and half-stripped recycled floorboards crowd the space on, in and under the bench.

Carving tools hang on the walls next to a series of carefully made chalk boards. The immaculately sharpened blades reflect the shaft of light from the just-open door. The chalk boards are a treasure trove of projects and plans; an attempt to impose order upon chaos. The chalk is too weak a medium for the weight of the alchemist’s ideas. The layers are being eroded by time. A thin line of green and blue grains dusts the floor, like hourglass sand marking the wasted days he is forced to spend away from his workshop.

A small black and white cat sleeps in a pile of wood shavings. Experiments in jars line the windowsills. In one, an iron nail is dissolving in vinegar. In another, a brush is soaking in tea. Off-cuts stained rust-red and burnished black litter the floor. None are perfect, yet.

The fans in the computer in the corner whir loudly, competing with the whine of the cicadas from outside. The computer is covered in dust and the fans need to be cleaned. On the screen dozens of tabs are open; world news, sourdough recipes, furniture schematics, articles about depression, a store selling weighted blankets.

Before the computer reclines a beautiful wood and leather chair. It has been crafted to fit one body. Its curved armrests are perfectly moulded to shape and length of one pair of arms. The leather holds the curl of its maker’s tired back. It was years in the making, but a body doesn’t change so much.

From the front of the house you can’t tell the workshop is there. If you asked what was at the bottom of the stairs behind the deck you would be told, “oh, nothing. Just the basement.”

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


In Lieu of (Again)

Empty coke cans. A partially consumed cup of V8 Splash. A joy-con controller sticky with frosted doughnut fingerprints. The air smells of farts issued gleefully and in spite of household flatulence protocols.

The afternoon is prematurely dark, veiled by winter's shadow. A document sits blank, the cursor flickering in and out of existence.

A pile of clothing scattered around an overnight bag. A sleeping bag on the floor, splayed open like a camo-patterned butterfly pinned to a reluctant corkboard. A text saying Sorry, we're running late. Hope he's behaving himself.

The absence of tire sounds. The persistence of Mario sounds.

In the bedroom, the bed is messy, blankets knotted into an anxious, troubled mass. In the living room, the stale smell of too many warm bodies, too many minigames, too much carbonation, and too little parental authority. In the refrigerator, over-ambitious quantities of pizza going stale in a cardboard box.

A text message asks: Did you guys get out of the house at all?

The patter of rain against the windows. A document sits blank, the cursor flickering in and out of existence.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


The Headmaster's Office
727 words

REMOVED

Solitair fucked around with this message at 23:01 on Dec 31, 2018

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Entry for week 332
Flash rule: The Lewish Chessmen

Gambit
624 Words

You enter into the bird room. A simple task at hand: feed Gambit, and look after her while your friend is on vacation at the beach.

Opaque plexiglass in a checkerboard pattern hangs on the wall behind Gambit's Cage. Its brown hues artfully mask the thrown berries, errant feces, and moistened wood shavings that would otherwise adhere to the wall.

Music fills the room: a lively upbeat pastiche of allegros curated by Gambit herself. She chose this music years ago. Voicing her disapproval until her person finally landed on a sensible, and inoffensive backing track for her existence. Ordinarily, the horn section of Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity would be accompanied by tweets and calls. Not today. Today the music is for your enjoyment alone.

Shards of rubber from torn apart bands pepper the carpet. A cursory scan of the six windows around the cage's perimeter tips you off that you're dealing with a menace. Rubber bands, twist ties, and even paper clips all join in concert to fasten the drop windows to the white iron bars intended to keep feathered inhabitants protected.

The cage is the first line of defense for Gambit against the elements. The house encircling the cage has, and will, continue to serve as her true protector. For today, like many other days, a glance at Gambit's cage provides no sighting of the white-bellied caique who's home is supposed to be this four by six-foot enclosure.

You check her enclosed hammock. A fluffy device more pristine than any other in the cage: Don't poop where you sleep. Gambit has fooled you. She has skillfully weighted down the hammock with three of her toys. One pawn, one rook, and the king, to be exact. Each wooden toy carefully plucked from her wall-mounted toybox and brought up to the enclosure. Just large enough to represent her presence with bulges, these toys serve as a perfect Gambitganger. To you, and your untrained eye, there could, very easily, be a Gambit in that hammock. Alas, when you reach into the hammock you find those pieces and just those pieces.

You're also justified in assuming that Gambit could be hiding under all of her pellets in her food cup. It's a trick she's pulled before. Her cup, after all, is big enough to conceal her, if she's careful as she burrows under her food. It's quite a nice and easy way to flee the cage.

Person comes to change the food. Food door swings open. Gambit flies away.

Today, however, a change of Gambit's food dish does not surprise you with a protruding pink beak and pellets flying hither and yon. Fibrous, stale pellets of colorful nutrition reside in the bowl, and that's all.

So, at first blush, nothing appears to be queer about Gambit's cage. You check the roof of the cage. Admittedly, the screws are not of the highest possible caliber. Some are old and stripped, and perhaps Gambit finagled her way out and replaced the roof afterward?

Explanations are becoming more and more preposterous as you go on. The bird is gone. This is all you know. Your charge was to mind your friend's pet bird for a weekend. This wasn't supposed to be so hard. Little did you know that, all along, you have fallen into Gambit's trap. You have opened every door for her, you have even reached into the cage while wearing a thick sweater. You've given her every opportunity she needed to flee.

But, she needed none of them. She made her move long ago, well before you arrived. And now, she's taking in the sun, and sneaking bites of funnel cake from her person’s plate as the misty air of the Pacific tickles her feathers.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


One Entrance, One Exit
467 Words

If you slammed the door to the room shut it would cough and rattle and dust would sweep in through the gap between it and the floor. The floor just inside used to be pristine white faux-marble tiles, each shaped like little diamonds. The first foot and a half or so of tiles are lined with scrapes from the metal trays of various food stuffs slung under the door’s gap.

If you faced the door from just inside the room, to your right would be a clear plastic towel rod, sans towel. To the left is where the cream-colored counter was. It was removed, leaving the sink standing like a porcelain flamingo on its one leg of copper pipe. The mirror stayed intact, mostly. A big plate of mirrored glass, with the bottom left corner now missing a jagged shark’s bite. This asymmetrical bit of the mirror is just above the toilet, whose bowl is stained with a ring of brown-red from whatever metal particles the water holds. Dust drapes on the white curves of the toilet’s base. Behind the toilet is a small tin that would smell like weed if you happened to find it.

Rounding out the room is the bathtub shower. Grime clings to its poorly glazed surface. A thick mat of hair lines the bottom of the tub, giving the room its only soft surface. There is no shower head, just a bent metal tube protruding like a heron beak waiting for a fish.

If you still faced the door the room would seem small. The ceiling and the one visible wall hang close and tight like a stomach ache, a sense accentuated by the ruddy matte pink of the wall and smoke stained brown of the ceiling.

If the blowing wind and fresh air at your back finally drew your attention from the room you would see a window. Perhaps about two feet wide and four feet tall. Beyond it the sun might be setting through the bare winter trees. Or there’s a dense wall of shrubs and tree leaves dancing in the rain. The window is stuck open. If you looked closely you would see the busted lock and the scratches in the sill and at the bottom of the window’s wooden frame.

If you poked your head out and looked down you would see the ground. It might be a ten foot drop, maybe more. The window’s cheap and flimsy screen is down there, nearly obscured by leaves. With your back to the door, maybe you can forget the room entirely. Forget the thin door with its multiple locks added into the frame with little care. Forget the chains and ropes and locks, some broken, frayed, rusted. If you did forget, perhaps you could leave the room.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


The View from Hades

608 words

Look, for a moment, at the galaxy as a god would see it, as the network of intelligence dancing across the fractal fringe that hugs the black hole at the core sees it, in that infinitely protracted instant before collapsing into singularity. Look.

The scars are the first thing you see, jagged lines wider than stars stretching across interstellar space, crystallized tracks of a collapse of the false vacuum to a truer one, invisible and immobile. At the fringes sometimes a mote or a ball of ice or planet or star drifts too close, and is disrupted in a frenzy of particulate violence.

Move your perceptions to closer to yourself, the civilized worlds of the inner galaxy, and look closely. There are too many stars shining, flickering even viewed through naught but vacuum. Look closer. The great shells your people built around them are broken, pierced or torn or shattered. Some were cleansed instantly, quintillions of lives lost in a heartbeat. Others retain enough structure to linger, their habitable space still shrinking at a pace at once alarmingly swift and so slow to prolong the death of the sphere to encompass the rise and fall and rise of civilizations.

Outward. Past the nebulae, poisoned with exotic particles that catalyze obscure nucleonic reactions and form weak and short-lived chunks of lithium, boron and beryllium, outcompeting any would be new star, to what remains of the world-bound infant species of the arms, sterilized by the premature explosive deaths of stars. See worlds seeded with viral life forms, carefully programmed evolution guaranteed to hurl young ecosystems toward catastrophes or stagnant dead ends. What refugees left the core on slow journey's outward will find no suitable new homes to build anew, only planets spoiled by simple replicators or oxygen poisoning or any of the thousand ways an unsupervised infant species can wreck a world. There is your former clients’ only real hope, that one of these mites will overcome every preprogrammed filter and stumble into intellect and morality, inexplicably surviving long enough for the light from the recent catastrophe to arrive, and prove kindly enough able to render aid. It is not much of a hope.

Look out now, to the deeper void between galaxies, and see the last weapon, the last bullet, speeding toward the black hole you surround. It moves fast as physics can allow matter to move, far faster than light, nearly as fast as your perceptions, but the distance it must cross is so far you have a small eternity to await it. You wonder what it would do, when it arrives and deploys around you and has you at its mercy. Will it merely disrupt the computational matter where your interest resides? Will it seize it, colonizing your corpse as a home for its offspring? Or to make a weapon to turn against some other galactic core black hole brain? Look, again, at the ruin of stars around you. If it meant to take possession would it have put it in such a state? You would shudder if you had a body capable of the gesture, imagining science and praxis beyond your own that might even destroy the supermassive core beneath you, converting all that long-trapped energy into explosive force.

But look again at the scars, the exotic collapsed matter, as it rips a small ice moonlet apart and shoots streams of tiny fragments into helical orbits that twine and collide, separate and merge. There is a beauty here, for your appreciation, and perhaps that of the distant evolved descendants of the most lucky-clever outer-arm mites. Beauty enough to make the long wait bearable.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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


In Absentia – In Morte 742 words

“How does your client plead?”

“He doesn’t plead anything. He’s dead.”

The judge shook his wigged head and did tuttings. “Not entering a plea is very irregular.”

Henry shrugged. “So is trying a dead man, but here we all are. Are we going to get this trial underway, or would you rather dispense with the pretence of justice and deliver a verdict now?”

The judge shook his head again. “Such cynicism is not seemly. Besides, I am quite looking forward to this witness.”

“Fair enough,” said Henry, “I had nothing else planned for today anyway.”

~

“How did you know the perpetrator?” the prosecutor asked Providence Harper, the witness.

“We’re still pretending this is a fair trial, right?” asked Henry.

“Fair play,” said the judge. “Prosecution will refer to Mr Garrett as ‘the defendant’ or ‘the accused’ until after I’ve found him guilty.”

“We were lovers,” said Providence, and the gallery looked suitably scandalised. “He had gorgeous black hair, dreamy eyes that you could lose yourself in for days, and could do this thing with a tricorn hat that would blow a girl’s mind. He stole my heart.”

While the gallery, still scandalised, but also with scrunched up faces trying to figure out what someone could possibly do with a tricorn hat, considered this latest revelation, the prosecutor said, “But that wasn’t all he stole, was it ma’am?”

“I have no idea what you could be implying about my dear Dick,” she said.

“He stole this,” and the prosecutor looked at his notes, “boat clock thing.”

“I don’t know nothing about that,” said Providence. “I just know that he was utterly devoted to me, and all of those other women didn’t mean nothing to him, no matter what they or anyone else says.”

“Hmph,” said the prosecutor. “No further questions for this witness.”

Henry got up, paced back and forth a couple of times, then turned to Providence. “I think, Ma’am, that there is something all of us here would like to know.”

“What’s that, then?”

“Just what is the thing with tricorn hat?”

The members of the gallery all leaned forward on their chairs.

“Objection,” said the prosecutor. “Gross.”

“The witness will disregard that question,” said the judge.

She shrugged. “Come to the Ghastly Hag Tavern after the trial and I’ll tell you all about it,” she said, and winked to the gallery.

“And stop that wanton behaviour, or I’ll have you found in contempt.”

“Sorry, your honour,” she said.

“All right,” said Henry, “never mind the tricorns. When was the last time you saw Mr Garrett?”

Providence thought for a moment. “It was a few months ago. The night before he took that ill-fated trip aboard The Terrapin.”

“For the court, can you please tell us what date it was?”

“The seventeenth of July.”

Henry nodded. “The very same day he is accused of robbing a museum. I ask you, your judgeness, how can he possibly have been both… entertaining Miss Harper, and also robbing the museum? I put it to you that he cannot.”

“Oh, you’re talking to me again?” said the judge. “I think it’s customary to finish talking to the witness, first.”

“Oh,” said Henry. “Uh. No further questions.”

“Capital,” said the judge. “I think we might move to sentencing now, it’s almost lunch time and I think we’re all eager to go down to the Ghastly Hag and have a bite to eat.” The gallery nodded enthusiastically, and despite the protestations of the prosecution, the judge continued on. “Now then,” he said, “in view of the fact that the defendant is a rotten louse, but taking into consideration the testimony of the lovely Miss Harper, but also taking into consideration that the defendant didn’t enter a plea, I find the defendant probably not guilty of the crime of stealing -” and he checked his notes, “-this boat clock thing, from Germany of all places, but guilty on the lesser charge of being a bounder and cad. He is hereby sentenced to have people in polite society speak ill of him at every opportunity.”

The judge banged his gavel, and hurried off to go to the Ghastly Hag and hear what a man could do with a tricorn hat that would possibly drive a woman wild.

And Henry went off to his carrier pigeons to send a message to Dick Garrett that he may want to remain ‘dead’ for a few months yet.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Aftermath
(218 words)

The lab and its glass sphere are empty now, though the lights are still on, the computers still running, the screens filled with data that someone will analyze later. A basin full of cloudy liquid rests on the floor, lidded and sealed against contamination. There's nevertheless a faintly sweet, faintly chemical scent that the air purifiers haven't destroyed. It comes from the towel crumpled up by the basin. The soft cotton is damp with synthetic fluid; traces of vernix cling to the threads, and this too is destined for study as soon as it is remembered.

Other presences in the room: light, heat, calipers, digital scales, needles, cameras by the dozen, a hint of anxious sweat. Numbers glow on every wall, telling time to the millisecond.

Absences: a bed, a stool, blankets, blood, acrid odors of fear or pain, feces, morphine, scissors, milk, a crib, any memory of a woman's cries. Lips pressed to a newborn forehead. Tears. Afterbirth.

The sphere gleams, rapidly drying. It holds no impression of its recent contents. The computers display biometrics and genetic sequences without pairing them to a name.

Yet just outside the door, a muffled wail demands touch and care and comfort: demands what it needs: demands more, proof beyond what science can tell that the lab has created life.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


-archived-

ThirdEmperor fucked around with this message at 06:19 on Dec 31, 2018

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007



Archival
800 words

The hallways of the house mark eras like the rings of cut redwoods. At one point, every square inch had been in use to house our family, but over the past three decades, my siblings and I and our children moved out, one at a time, until it was just my parents, then just my dad, for a few years, after my mom died.

Now, nobody.

The whole house smells of vinegar and of nonenal, that peculiar scent of the elderly. It is fainter on the perimeter, where our rooms were. They sit like museum exhibits to our lives, full of stuff once worth more than gold, to us. Now, I’d bet you not even my parents--my dad--had opened them in years. The door to my room sticks. It always did, in winter, when the moisture in the air made the wood swell. It sits, perfectly arranged like a diorama to me: Living Colour poster on the wall, binders of worthless baseball cards stacked neatly on the shelf, old worn-out coats still hanging from hooks.

My mother’s red leather recliner, grooved by years of use, sits in the den nestled between the window and the fireplace, where she would sit with a blanket and read for hours. Now a blanket of dust has settled over that corner of the house--my mother constantly ran cold, but my father never had any need for fire. It looks like nothing there has been touched in the three years since my mother died. My father’s recliner, on the other hand, ragged, threadbare, and lacking any semblance of cushioning, sits facing the television, dust free. A stack of newspapers rises all the way to the armrest from the floor next to his chair, the ones on the bottom yellowed with age, the one on top dated two weeks ago. Atop the stack sit his remotes.

At the other end of the room sits my father’s study. The panes at the top and bottom of the French doors have started to cloud, but the ones in the middle are polished and crystal clear. Inside, the dust has started to creep in, inch by inch, advancing like German battle lines in 1917. A plainly made but well-polished wooden desk sits squarely in the middle of the room, covered with trinkets--a heavy pewter paper opener, a framed, signed Ricky Henderson rookie card, his signing pen--as well as neat stacks of opened mail. The room is lined with bookshelves, full of books, boxes, souvenirs, more trinkets. The inner recesses and furthest extremes of these shelves are where the dust has made its greatest gains.

My father never let me in here, as a kid. Not long enough to look around, anyway. This room had remained a mystery for years, shut behind opaque doors of clear glass.

I thumb along the titles: Kierkegaard, Spurgeon, Plato, Tom Clancy, Jim Murray, in no particular order. Or, at least, not any order I can make sense of. A new-looking Ross Thomas novel sits next to an old-looking Ross Thomas novel sits next to a smooth, leather-bound Faulkner first edition.

The next shelf up is a row of brown leather journals, all identical. I pull one down at random and flip through a few pages: a travel journal, with dates, notes, meals eaten, sights seen. This one is from July 1975, and the few pages I read over mark three days on his and my mother’s trip to Spain. All three days include a note that it is very hot in Madrid this time of year. I flip through a few more journals, all the same. Meticulous script and detailed, mundane notes of incredible adventures my father only occasionally told us about.

At the end of that shelf, underneath a few more journals stacked sideways, is wedged a plain metal lockbox. I pull it down and it jingles with the sound of small metal objects as I try to open it, but it is locked. It only takes a minute of searching in the desk to find a small pile of keys, and a minute more to find the right one. I pop open the lid to find about a dozen silver coins, all irregularly shaped, and with a variety of designs--some animals, some Romanesque silhouettes, some celtic patterns. Inside the lid is taped a yellowed note, which reads: Small gift to a dear friend: a piece of the Cordoba Treasure -- Gabriel.

I snort. I don’t know what the Cordoba Treasure is, but I'd bet my father did. And here it is, locked in an ugly box, jammed in between his personal writings. I look around the room, at the commingling of old and new, of cheap and fine.

I’m going to have to look at every single thing in this room.

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Becoming
Word Count: 503

Noon awaits the city of Trayjav. There are no clouds, leaving the sun to scorch the already scoured streets. All doors are closed, all windows are shuttered. Animals both tame and feral have hid or fled. There is no one, save twelve youths wearing snow white gowns, chained to the triumph column in the city square.

Above the column towers a statue: the city’s once immortal champion hero, who is immortal still, but a hero no longer. Seeing it, one would assume this now half-colossus was ruined. Everything above the tip of the statue’s right shoulder, wickedly hewn in a J-shape down to the left hip, is gone. The ball of its left foot makes the slightest of contact with the pedestal, the right foot is kicked out – posed in sprint. The remnant slab of torso that balances the right arm holds its sword precariously skyward, made in the image of that mythical blade said to have sucked lightning from the skies. It was rumored that when it still had its other hand, it held a dove in desire of peace. Now the severed thing postures solely for war.

Yet grotesque as it is with a quarter of its humanness torn off, the remnant of its bronze form shimmers in pristine lustre. For the statue was bound by a sigil to make it in likeness to its champion: an ageless and indestructible thing. Something that when struck down, would resurrect. So it was with the statue, that whatever damage should visit it, if it was given reprieve, could restore itself to its first intention.

Under the pedestal of this butchered colossus, the youth await their last noon. Interspersed throughout the city, Trayjav’s loudhailers blare – a triad note of screech-roar-howl, an entanglement of rage-fear-sorrow. The air chills. The ground trembles. It comes.

***

The loudhailers sound again, now the mundane buzz of a klaxon. Tentatively, the people begin to open their windows, venturing out their doors.

The damage is no different from last time. From the outskirts of the city, the markings of giant paws had clawed the cobblestone to gravel. As the beast stomped towards its quarry, the paw marks began to diminish in size, until it left nothing at all. Yet where the pawprints faded out, a new marking scarred the ground: a deep trailing crack, scattering what looked like tree branches from every side, as though a bolt of lightning was painstakingly dragged across the road.

The treeing scar comes to an end at the foot of the pedestal. Bits of white cloth are scattered by shattered chains, but there is no blood. Above, the statue is singed into black contorted metal. Only the sword it wields is undamaged – empowered even, as it flickers and flashes from the overcharge. Eventually it will fade out, allowing the statue to heal. The pristine bronze will return, and if left alone, it could even restore itself back to what it once was.

Unless the villain can be slain, this will never come to pass.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



23
400 words

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 23:35 on Jan 1, 2019

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



May your words get the fastness and goodness of judging which they deserve.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Thunderdome Week 332 Results

Yoruichi's The Teetering City wins, but at what cost for the poor Kiwis of TD?

Staggy's Garage, which I typed out as "Gorge" in my notes and spent a minute trying to figure out what the metaphor was supposed to be, gets an honorable mention.

M. Propagandalf's Becoming was the least good out of an overall pretty decent week, and so earns a dishonorable mention.

No loss this week, since it's not terribly fair of me to give you a weird exercise and then say you lost at it.

But, take heart! Chairchucker's In Absentia - In Mortis, which missed the entire "describe a place" part of the prompt gets gently disqualified, since we couldn't really judge it alongside the others.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


O Christmas prompt
O Christmas prompt
thou prompt most fair and lovely
O Christmas prompt
O Christmas prompt
much garbage thou wilst give me

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


jingle prompt
jingle prompt
jingle prompt prompt prompt

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


i'm dreaming of a christmas prompt
just like the ones i used to know
where the word count's written and the judges listen
for just one entry that doesn't blow

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Terrible prompt
Terrible prompt
All is swamped
All is flompt

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Thunderdome Week 333: A Sparkly Merman Holiday Special



Let us continue a Thunderdome Christmas tradition. This week you will pick your very own Sparkly Merman and write a story inspired by that merman. Your story does not literally have to be about or include mermen; the judges just want to see evidence that your story was inspired by your sparkly pick.

To add a seasonal theme, I want you to tell me about what your merman did for the holidays. Interpret that as you see fit.

Post your choice when you sign up. First in first served - you can't chose the same sparkly merman as anyone else. If you find an amazing sparkly merman somewhere else on the interwebs, feel free to post that.

If you really can't decide I'll randomly assign you a merman, and bizarre flashrules will be dispensed upon request.

Word limit: 1,000 words. You may earn bonus words by posting crits of recent or otherwise uncritted stories. 100 words per crit, up to a maximum of five.
Sign-ups close 6 pm Saturday 22nd December NZ time.
Deadline 6 pm Monday 24 December NZ time.

Judges:
- The Most Sparkly Yoruichi
- Glittering Chili
- Incandescent Antivehicular

Beautiful Merpeople:
1. cptn_dr (Big Top / Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg)
2. Sebmojo (Steampunk / Your story must baffle the mind and delight the senses / Penguins)
3. Thranguy (H2O / We're walking in the air, We're floating in the moonlit sky, The people far below are sleeping as we fly)
4. Chairchucker (Super Hunk)
5. ThirdEmperor (Cajun)
6. autism ZX spectrum (Backdraft)
7. Flesnolk (King Neptune / a picture from the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland) Permatoxx and also
8. Entenzahn (Damien / Good King Wenceslas...)
9. Kaishai (Tonic Merman and Tool Merman)
10. Crabrock (Conch Daddy)
11. Killer-of-Lawyers (Cupid)
12. Sitting Here (Wizard)

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 01:12 on Dec 22, 2018

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



I am IN with Big Top, the biggest merman top there is. I’d also like a bizarre flash, as is seasonally appropriate.

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at 01:14 on Dec 19, 2018

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




cptn_dr posted:

I’d also like a bizarre flash, as is seasonally appropriate.

Jingle bells, batman smells, Robin laid an egg

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Steampunk merman for me

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


In with H20 and a bizarre flash.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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

Please assign me a merman

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Djeser posted:

No loss this week, since it's not terribly fair

THIS IS EXTREMELY GOOD SINCE THUNDERMOE IS ALL ABOUT BEING loving FIAR ALL THE FUKCING TIME

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Could entrants please include a link to or picture of their mermen?

Also:

sebmojo posted:

THIS IS EXTREMELY GOOD SINCE THUNDERMOE IS ALL ABOUT BEING loving FIAR ALL THE FUKCING TIME

THANK YOU FOR EXPRESSING THIS SENTIMENT ALBEIT WITH TYPOS I CHOOSE TO INTERPRET AS FROTHING SPITTLE OF DISDAIN

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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

OLD DOMERS YELL AT CLOUDS

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Thranguy posted:

In with H20 and a bizarre flash.

We're walking in the air
We're floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Chairchucker posted:

Please assign me a merman

Super Hunk

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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




sebmojo posted:

THIS IS EXTREMELY GOOD SINCE THUNDERMOE IS ALL ABOUT BEING loving FIAR ALL THE FUKCING TIME

This may not, on the surface, appear to be a request for flash rules, but don’t worry, I get ya.

1. Your story must baffle the mind and delight the senses.
2. Penguins

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