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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Antivehicular posted:


Your random story is Unorthodox methods by Auraboks!

Your found object is "Decoration Day!"

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Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


Ultra Carp

Submissions are closed. If you want to be the third judge, you have about 12 hours to say as much.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I can't judge, obviously, but if your short on crit givers I can donate a set to the week.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Interprompt:
Trains are pretty cool!
125 words.

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Tanz mit laibach

Im der Pfunderdome!



Tyrannosaurus posted:

Interprompt:
Trains are pretty cool!
125 words.

Refrigerator Car (121 words)

I wake, and wonder why I am not dead. My fingers brush the bullet holes, but feel only numbness. Beneath me lie jagged, icy somethings. The room rocks and clacks. A train car. Cold penetrates through to my bones.

In the flickering beam of my flashlight I behold the mound. The bodies of my fellow protesters lie jumbled and frozen. I expect revulsion or grief, but find my stomach growling. Yet some new and alien instinct tells me that these empty husks will not sate me.

I wait.

The train slows, then stops. The doors open and blinding light floods the car. Warm bodies enter. Soldiers. Their scent teases my nostrils.

I rise, and to a chorus of screams, I feed.

derp
Jan 21, 2010


Lipstick Apathy

Did you know that the first train only had one wheel, and was built over one million weeks ago? Most people don't know, but the train was actually named after John Coltrane, and so was coal. This is why coal is often pulled around in trains. These cool conversation starters, as well as seventeen other interesting facts, are all available in Cool Train Facts by me, Turk Durkington. It can all be yours for the low cost of 1.99 trains. Buy my product.

NotGordian
Sep 19, 2018


The Eternal Conga-Train
121 words


I see the long, slow arc of my future bend before me. It is a procession of figures, each faceless, each nude, each stripped of anything to signify that that creature was once human. I stare at the mangy scalp before me and try to see a face in it.

I once had.

I once was able to turn the pattern of scabs and scars before me into a face, but even that visage is gone. I weep to remember the days of shredded rags! My knees buckle and I see the ground rise. But no, of course not. The faceless hands behind me grab my emaciated shoulders and haul me upright. I will not be allowed to break the chain.

****
Dancing is fun!

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Interprompt:
Trains are pretty cool!
125 words.

Trainsformation

"I'd like you to all know, that as of this moment, I identify as an Apache Helicopter." Thomas the Tank engine said. Those words would change his life forever. He looked out at the collection of rail cars, cabooses, and trains. His people, his family, his friends. He saw in them a mixture of fear, of acceptance, of loathing and of happiness. It could be worse, but it could also be better.

"I hope I can count on your support as I go through my transitioning phase." Thomas unclasped his roof and from his caboose emerged four large rotor blades. Bertha, his mother, was in such shock she derailed. A few others tooted horns in appreciation while others gasped in horror.

Thomas felt his steel frames weight and revulsion ran through him. They told him that it would be hard, but you can't resent your body, that in time things would be better. He looked at his steely frame and then looked up at the sky, his 6000 hp engine whining to a high pitch as it started up. He looked at Mr. Conductor.

"Permission to fly... sir?"

Mr. Conductor wiped away the tears with his hat. He had retired trains before, just never like this. It was an odd feeling, like seeing your best friend wrap themselves in a cocoon and come out. They are still the same person but so different.

"Granted. Show them that you can fly Thomas."

The rotors turned, faster and faster until you couldn't track them. Thomas wheezed with effort, his coal engine pushing energy to the rotors. He wanted this, he wanted to shake his trail coil, to ascend, to be whole! Sweat stung his eyes, his coal engine burned his body, but still, he continued. He closed his eye, pushing further and further, until... He felt a breeze, and heard a bird cooing.

Thomas opened his eyes and found himself in the clouds, a flock of birds to his left. Below him, the train tracks looked like tiny toothpicks assembled in a pattern. Thomas looked towards the horizon, and moved, unhindered by rusty train tracks. Thomas smiled and as he went where no train had gone before, he knew he was free.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


i dig this

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Tanz mit laibach

Im der Pfunderdome!



Rural Trainboys (125 words)

England, Shropshire, Wroxeter. Two barely-legal teen boys entered an abandoned bunker to bone. Dick showed James a train.

"That's cool! Where did you get it?"

"It cost me five quid and a blowjob. Give it a try!"

James jumped in the train and started down the hill. The train crashed for mechanically inexplicable reasons. Dick found James on the ground bleeding from his leg.

"It's OK, we can put a tourniquet on it, and you can run and call 999," said James.

Dick perused his watch.

"Oh no, I'm late for my daily buggering from the janitor!"

"Well I think it might be better if you just left me to die, then."

"Yes, I think that's best."

Dick was buggered by the janitor. James died.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Lead out in cuffs posted:

Rural Trainboys (125 words)

England, Shropshire, Wroxeter. Two barely-legal teen boys entered an abandoned bunker to bone. Dick showed James a train.

"That's cool! Where did you get it?"

"It cost me five quid and a blowjob. Give it a try!"

James jumped in the train and started down the hill. The train crashed for mechanically inexplicable reasons. Dick found James on the ground bleeding from his leg.

"It's OK, we can put a tourniquet on it, and you can run and call 999," said James.

Dick perused his watch.

"Oh no, I'm late for my daily buggering from the janitor!"

"Well I think it might be better if you just left me to die, then."

"Yes, I think that's best."

Dick was buggered by the janitor. James died.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Lead out in cuffs posted:

Rural Trainboys (125 words)

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


finally a reboot i can get behind

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Chocolate tastes bad,
also fuck you <3

Sitting Here posted:

finally a reboot i can get behind

Best place to be, probably.

derp
Jan 21, 2010


Lipstick Apathy

Ah, my train has arrived, PROMPT as ever, and the conductor is asking who is going to get IN. I climb on board and we're off in a FLASH.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Lead out in cuffs posted:

Rural Trainboys (125 words)


Nice

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


Ultra Carp

Tyrannosaurus posted:

Interprompt:
Trains are pretty cool!
125 words.

Going Underground
125 words

The keys to the Kingdom of the Underground are embedded in the dead. Its citizens carry the mummified hands of the old world's commuters, subdermal access chips glimmering through papery skin. You can, too; there are plenty of corpses left.

One swipe gets you past the ancient gates and into a terminal-city, where old-world microreactors give power and light. Merchants fill the vast vaulted squares, and buskers fill the air with music. Spend your life here, if you like. Learn gardening or wiring or the guitar. Share in the bounty.

If you're braver than that -- and you surely are -- the trains still run, between terminals and beyond. Board the first one you see. Fate rewards the bold.

Go Underground, child. The new world awaits you.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


Ultra Carp

WEEK 320: THE RESULTS

This was a week where a lot of you played it safe. Perhaps it was the source material that the Archive graciously dispensed, or maybe the fresh fall air had a chilling effect on the craziness, but the stories this week felt almost sedate and very middle-of-the-road. Also, several of you inserted sexual violence or violence against women into stories that didn't have it before, and what the gently caress was up with that?

Anyway! A mostly middle-of-the-road week means a short mention list. Your winner for this week is Sitting Here's "Narcissus," which felt like one of the few pieces this week that really took risks or got weird with its source material, and those risks paid off. The single HM for the week goes to Tyrannosaurus with "When You're Here, You're Family: a Waffle House Story," which was also weird and endearing. Truth be told, the judges heavily considered giving you a joint victory, but we didn't want to muddle succession and enrage the PORMPing hordes, so here we are. Great work, both of you.

This week's sole DM goes to AllNewJonasSalk's "A Wizard and a Pipsqueak," which took a perfectly decent sci-fi adventure story and took out all the plot progress, replacing it with barbarians and completely gratuitous ritual sacrifice. Bad times! However, following the important Thunderdome principle of "don't apologize for your submission," the loss has to go to M. Propagandalf's "Groomer," which was apologized for and also extremely unfinished, and in fact only vaguely getting to the plot at 75% of the week's wordcount.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR STORIES. ALSO, TRY TO FINISH THEM BEFORE POSTING.

Welp, time to climb out of the dumpster and go take five showers. Sitting Here, take the throne.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Crits for week 320

Congratulations Thunderdome, you took bland, middle of the road stories and wroteÖ even blander, more middle of the road stories. I at most skimmed the prompt stories and glanced at the flash rules, so if I didnít understand your genius thatíll be why.


Narcissus by Sitting Here

This is completely bizarre, and I love it for that. This is what ultimately earned it the win, as it was the only story this week to take a weird idea and execute it well.

But I think itís missing something, namely Marcus. We learn about him from the behaviour of his various doplets, but he doesnít actually appear, except as a corpse. So while the idea of being crushed to death by the weight of oneís manifest ego is pretty cool, for me the story felt a bit flat.

6.5/10


The Wind in the Pines by NotGordian

This feels like 3 cliched stories - teenage girl has fight with dickish boyfriend, young girl has magical encounter, abused woman is driven to violence - glued awkwardly together. Thereís some (weak) foreshadowing of the encounter with the fey, but they pretty much pop out of nowhere. The protag reacts with exactly zero surprise, which aside from being weird is really dull. The implied violence at the end (is she really going to stab him?) also comes out of nowhere.

The main problem though is the lack of characterisation of the protag. She is mildly sassy to start with, but after that just kind of drifts along.

You also need to watch out for small details. You say she gets sore feet after walking half a mile - this isnít very far and sheís wearing sneakers, so this doesnít make sense. At most she walks a couple of miles before giving up and going off into the woods. People walk at about 3 mph so again this canít have taken her very long. The way you described the bluff, with the city visible below, made me think she could have walked home in a couple of hours, which isnít that big a deal. If youíd made it clear that heíd left her in the middle of nowhere, and sheíd been trudging along for hours, cold and frightened, before being drawn to the fey, the whole thing would have had more tension and hung together better.

4/10


The Sisters of Sarah Jane by Mr. Sunshine

Thereís no way a story this dark should have been so boring. You spent a lot of words describing how to make dolls from corn stalks, instead of telling us about the girl, what sheís like and how she feels. Because you spend more words describing the girlís fantasies than the horror of her real situation the story loses its emotional punch.

The ending implies that the father has beaten the last sister to death, but you say that the other family members died of influenza, so Iím not sure why dad is suddenly a murderer. We also donít get to see Sarah Janeís reaction to this news, which leaves the ending feeling very hollow.

If you havenít you should read SurreptitiousMuffinís recent winning story Canto III for an example of how to do a snapshot of horror and grief well.

4/10


Hunger by Entenzahn

I quite liked this - a good creepy zombie-y version of the original. But the lack of characterisation of poor zombie-dude or weird speaker-guy means I didnít really care, and didnít feel much tension. If I was given a reason to care about whether the protag lives / dies / becomes a zombie this could have been quite good. But as it is itís a bit flat.

5.5/10


Recovery by Ottermotive Insanity

The pointless bookending with a story about a spy (who uses a drug infusion to teleport into places to retrieve things??) ruins what could otherwise have had potential as a weird dream sequence in which someone confronts their past demons.

5/10


Three Dreams, Taken by Thranguy

In which a wizard fucks a man to death, because thatís how that works, apparently.

Aside from the fact that I think someone needs to take Thranguy aside for a little talk, this isnít too bad. To really make it work I think you needed to give the young wizard a name and make it clearer, earlier that he wanted to escape from Justine. As it is I was confused about which character to focus on.

5.5/10


Haunts by Pham Nuwen

This isnít terrible, but neither is it particularly interesting. The characters are all pretty thinly sketched - the protag is a trader, Julian is a dick - and no one experiences any emotions or challenge apart from being a bit annoyed. And everyone is dead, and then theyíre still dead.

5/10


When Youíre Here, Youíre Family: a Waffle House Story by Tyrannosaurus

I really liked this. A great mix of ridiculousness and human poignancy. I like that the protag spends a whole para wondering what fish-dudeís dick looks like, because anyone who thinks that thatís not the first thing theyíd think about when confronted with a fishman at 2am is lying to themselves.

The only thing that lets it down is that the Waffle House, church and Olive Garden references are unnecessary. The story isnít about any of these things and these words would have been better spent on your characters.

7/10


Conspicuous Consumption by Chili

I donít quite get the connection between the man giving up on life and the house deciding to eat him. I felt like there was a metaphor here that I just donít understand.

Thereís not enough to this character to really make me care about what happens to them. The ďoh well there goes my toeĒ style works against the story in this respect, because the lack of concern from the protag kills any tension.

Itís also not mad enough. The premise is pleasingly weird but the story is too low-energy to really pull it off.

6/10


The Merman Gourmand by apophenium

Listen Thunderdome, this is for all of your benefit: horses do not neigh when they get a fright. I donít care what movies youíve been watching, this is not a thing they do. They neigh to communicate with each other, thatís it. Incorrect descriptions of equine behaviour will not be tolerated.

Now that weíve gotten that out of the way, I actually lolíd at this story, particularly the ending. I liked the contrast of the teenager-esque attitudes and the comedy-horror of a monstrous sea-creature attacking a horse and getting shot by a sexy cowboy.

But given this is a daft story I feel like you needed to dial up the bonkers a bit. The story needed to be written with more energy to really deliver on its nutty premise. Still, you get a higher score from me than some of the other stories this week because at least this was an entertaining read.

6/10


A Wizard and A Pipsqueak by AllNewJonasSalk

Gavin is a barbarian. Davey is a spaceman with a nice mother. The unnamed protag does not like Davey. There is an unlikely encounter, in which nothing happens. Gavin continues to be a barbarian. The end.

Having assembled the ingredients for a story, you needed to do something with them, instead of just laying them out.

3.5/10


Exit Light, Enter Night by Solitair

This story was a little slow to get going but once it did I enjoyed its crazy pinballing and dark ending.

I think it just needed a better set up for the protagís descent into madness. Maybe have him be more euphoric about his fortunes finally changing, or something, so his fall is more satisfying. At the moment the ďoh how nice Iíve got a new job letís go out for a fancy beerĒ beginning doesnít quite match the rest.

6/10


A Part of Everything by Fleta Mcgurn

This was strange, and sweet, but doesnít quite come together. I think there was maybe a little bit too much unexplained weirdness and not enough about the relationship between these two beings. Thereís not really any build-up to their separation at the end - for example, we donít get much insight into the consequences for Evelyn, or whether she wrestled with this before making her choice.

6/10


Kayfabe by Invisible Clergy

This story is missing its critical elements - who are these two guys, what is their relationship, why do they have a beef with each other, and does that get resolved? Ironically actual wrestling is better at this than your wrestling fanfic.

5/10


Loose ends by Lead out in cuffs

This feels like a summary of an action movie. But without some more characterisation Iíve got no real reason to care whether Tommy lives or dies, or Anne for that matter. You needed to create more tension by making it clearer what is at stake for the characters. If this was a full length movie Anne and Tommy would have fallen in love and her decision at the end would have been heart-rending. As it is itís just a bit, ďoh well heís dead.Ē

5.5/10


The Marble by Sebmojo

This isnít bad but I donít think the build up justifies murder-suicide as an ending. Wouldnít he want to save the city? Or at least live to see it, now that heís worked out how to get in?

The city is a non-entity, and it felt weird to not learn anything about it and not have it play any role beyond being a lump of something mysterious. To be honest Iím more curious about the city than I am about the characters, whose relationship Iím not really feeling.

6/10


Groomer by M. Propagandalf

Do not preface your stories with an apology, excuse or general whining about the state of your story. I can tell itís not finished, Iím not an idiot. But well done for submitting instead of failing.

But unfortunately this is only half a story, and a waffly one at that. The pompous style the alienís voice is written in is fine in principle but itís way too wordy, and I found myself wishing that the story would hurry up and get to the point.

We also need to see more of Brian. Is he likeable? Should we feel sad that heís been chosen by these aliens for mysterious purposes? Or is he a dick who deserves to get eaten or whatever theyíre going to do? Without this thereís not much reason to feel invested in the story, beyond mild curiosity about where itís going.

3/10

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Week 321 - Objectionable Objectification



Right, I'm about to turn 30 and am feeling the sphincteresque clutch of age tightening its grip. So let's make this short and snappy like me.

Your stories will all be from the perspective of an object. Not a plant, not an animal, not a person, not an anthropomorphized singing candelabra. A normal, everyday(ish) object.

here's a list to help you not gently caress up:

  • I'll say it again: your object MUST be your protagonist and point of view character.
  • That said, your POV can still be in first, second, or third person. You're not limited to first person.
  • No seriously, you can't just have the object I give you simply appear in the story. Your object is the main character.
  • Your object can't do anything a mundane object wouldn't be able to do. Again, I don't want you to anthropomorphize the object.
  • That said, your object should still have some sort of inner lifeóa personality.
  • You can have humans, animals, and (obviously) other objects in your story as long as none of the above rules are broken.
  • If I sense that you are trying to do something ~clever~ that isn't in the spirit of the prompt I will come down on you with all the piss and vinegar of my advanced years.

When you sign up, I will assign you an object. If you have something you feel particularly compelled to write about, you're welcome to choose your own object. I reserve the authority to veto self-chosen objects that don't fit the spirit of the prompt.

All genres are welcome so long as you don't break the above rules. No spoiler tags, quote tags, google docs, political satire, screeds, erotica, or fanfic.

Word count: 630 words
Signup deadline: Friday, September 28 at 11:59:59PM PST
Submission deadline: Sunday, September 30 at 11:59:59PM PST
Judges:
AgingHere
Apophenium
ThirdEmperor

Objects:
derp - you are a camera
Antivehicular - you are an ace of spades playing card
Ottermotive Insanity - you are a hospital bed
Thranguy - you are a palimpsest
steeltoedsneakers - you are a pack of cigarillos
Yoruichi - you are the posts of a four-poster bed.
flerp - you are a puddle
M. Propagandalf - you are a grand staircase
Hawklad - you are a snowglobe (or rainglobe, or sparkleglobe, or etc)
Invisible Clergy - you are a stone bird bath
sparksbloom - you are a wrought iron gate
WhoopieCat - you are a trophy
CascadeBeta - You are a freshwater fish tank (you are NOT the fish inside)
NotGordian - you are a Meerschaum smoking pipe
sebmojo - my object is a set of keys
Mr. Sunshine - you are a very old bottle of wine
Staggy - you are a deflated basketball
Anomalous Blowout - you are a note someone dropped on a sidewalk
Entenzahn - you are a secret box that looks like a book
Fleta Mcgurn - you are a Zippo lighter
AllNewJonasSalk - you are a bag of meth
curlingiron - you are a carbon monoxide detector
Beezus - you are a statue of the Buddha
Djeser - you are
LITERALLY A BIRD - you are an antique hand mirror
Lead out in cuffs - you are a teapot
solitair - you are a gideons bible
SurreptitiousMuffin - you are a grandfather clock
Bad Seafood - you are a sheriff's badge
exmond - you are a smart TV
JOHN MADNESS - YOU ARE A GROCERY STORE SHOPPING CART
Fumblemouse - You are a tangled Slinky toy



Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Oct 1, 2018 around 07:20

derp
Jan 21, 2010


Lipstick Apathy

Okay I will do it

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


Ultra Carp

In with whatever object you assign.

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006



In

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


In, objectize me

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


In

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

In

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



good word count in

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

In, please objectify me as well.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

derp posted:

Okay I will do it

you are a camera

Antivehicular posted:

In with whatever object you assign.

you are an ace of spades playing card


you are a hospital bed

Thranguy posted:

In, objectize me

you are a palimpsest


you are a pack of cigarillos


you are the posts of a four-poster bed.

flerp posted:

good word count in

you are a puddle


you are a grand staircase

Hawklad posted:

In, please objectify me as well.

you are a snowglobe (or rainglobe, or sparkleglobe, or etc)

Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces"

Malachi 2:3


Cool prompt. Consider me in

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Invisible Clergy posted:

Cool prompt. Consider me in

you are a stone bird bath

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Inne

WhoopieCat
Sep 15, 2018


In. Objectify me, please!

WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2018 around 03:36

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


you are a wrought iron gate

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2018 around 03:48

CascadeBeta
Feb 14, 2009

Wannabe tough guys like you really piss me off.

You really think you know how to be scary?


In

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

WhoopieCat posted:

In. Objectify me, please!

you are a trophy


You are a freshwater fish tank (you are NOT the fish inside)

NotGordian
Sep 19, 2018


In, random object please.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

NotGordian posted:

In, random object please.

you are a Meerschaum smoking pipe

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

I crashed Thunderdome's 6th Birthday and all I got was this av!

Sweet prompt. In.

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