Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«107 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Exmond posted:

I'm in, my object is a TV.

Can our object have feelings and take action? Or is that too anthropomorphic?

I'm changing my item to a Smart TV for pun purposes

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

derp
Jan 21, 2010


Lipstick Apathy

im in a zone and don't want to wait till monday or tuesday to start the next thing. somebody FIGHT ME

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

derp posted:

im in a zone and don't want to wait till monday or tuesday to start the next thing. somebody FIGHT ME

Sure, let's do this poo poo

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


derp posted:

im in a zone and don't want to wait till monday or tuesday to start the next thing. somebody FIGHT ME

What the gently caress why is this man STILL UNBRAWLED? I have been brawling like crazy and didn't want to steal an opportunity for one of you maggots to PROVE YOUR WORTH but goddamnit here he stands, swinging his dick, precisely ZERO boots being applied to his rear!

derp if i have misgendered you i deeply apologize

Now will SOMEBODY stand the gently caress up before I have to fight him myself!



well e:fb and good on you anti. bloodspeed to you both.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

derp posted:

im in a zone and don't want to wait till monday or tuesday to start the next thing. somebody FIGHT ME


Antivehicular posted:

Sure, let's do this poo poo


ThirdEmperor posted:

What the gently caress why is this man STILL UNBRAWLED? I have been brawling like crazy and didn't want to steal an opportunity for one of you maggots to PROVE YOUR WORTH but goddamnit here he stands, swinging his dick, precisely ZERO boots being applied to his rear!

derp if i have misgendered you i deeply apologize

Now will SOMEBODY stand the gently caress up before I have to fight him myself!

Lead out in cuffs posted:

So Third was so aggrieved at my informing him that Chuck Tingle has, indeed, written books about Donald Trump being pounded in the butt, that he called me out. If you please, this could be a four-way. The brawl, I mean.


you're all brawling each other.

Your prompt is two characters who can't communicate but must work together in some way.

1200 words
due date Saturday October 6, before you go to bed.
judge is me
es please

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2018 around 08:10

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

Sitting Here posted:

you're all brawling each other.

Your prompt is two characters who can't communicate but must work together in some way.

1200 words
due date Saturday October 6, before you go to bed.
judge is me
es please

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Tanz mit laibach

Im der Pfunderdome!



Sitting Here posted:

you're all brawling each other.

Your prompt is two characters who can't communicate but must work together in some way.

1200 words
due date Saturday October 6, before you go to bed.
judge is me
es please

So Third was so aggrieved at my informing him that Chuck Tingle has, indeed, written books about Donald Trump being pounded in the butt, that he called me out. If you please, this could be a four-way. The brawl, I mean.



code:
00:55	Leadoutincuffs	Third, I regret to inform you that, if you google chuck tingle domald tromp, you'll find that there is an extensive library.
00:55	Third	Oh
00:55	Third	I regret to be informed
00:55	Leadoutincuffs	"Domald Tromp Pounded In The Butt By His Fabricated Wiretapping Scandal Made Up To Redirect Focus Away From His Seemingly Endless Unethical Connections To Russia"
00:56	Third	hhhhhhh
00:56	Third	gently caress yoy
00:56	Third	i didn't need to know that
00:56	Third	brawl me =T
00:56	Leadoutincuffs	lol
00:56	Leadoutincuffs	um ok

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Lead out in cuffs posted:

So Third was so aggrieved at my informing him that Chuck Tingle has, indeed, written books about Donald Trump being pounded in the butt, that he called me out. If you please, this could be a four-way. The brawl, I mean.

ok you're in

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Sitting Here posted:

ok you're in

this is looking like a regular shindig, i will help judge it

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:

this is looking like a regular shindig, i will help judge it

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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

Follow Thou Me
560 words


The dust finds its way into everything here. Piled up on doorways, caked onto tires, carried on the dry wind that hisses through the canyon. Little drifts of it form like tiny dunes along the hot steel of the compound wall.

I flutter weakly, baking on the pavement, a perfect bootprint of orange dust stamped across my back.

You dropped me here. I know you didn’t want to.

If you had your way you would have carried me in your pocket forever. A memento. A token. Someday when you walked between skyscrapers or dipped your toes in the ocean, you’d reach into your jacket and touch my worn edges and think back on the day you tore the flap off a tithing envelope and created me.

Not many people walk the sidewalks within the walls. It’s days before someone finds me. By the time a girl who isn’t you peels me off the ground, word is already out. The compound simmers with talk of runaways and sin.

She wipes the bootprint off me and reads: 2 Nephi 31:10.

I don’t know if she knows it by heart. A lot of us do.

And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

A good Mormon scripture for a good Mormon girl. A reminder of the covenant we must not break. A reminder to obey.

She’ll never know what was scribbled in your Book of Mormon back home, the circles and curlicues and underlines. Verse 8. Verse 10. Chapter 31. Verse 14. Verse 22. The 2 from Second Nephi. Ten digits smuggled in scripture by a Sister who had reached the outside. And with them the pre-paid Nokia stitched carefully away inside a teddy bear.

The scribble on me reads 2 Nephi, but you knew the secret code. You heard it in her voice: there’s a place for girls like us out there. And people who are trying to help.

She couldn’t stay, couldn’t hold your hand through this. But you had me. I was with you those long nights spent awake and wondering. With you the morning you slid the phone from its hiding place and sent a simple text: Tonight. With you that final evening when you held your breath and crept out your bedroom window.

I know you didn’t want it to end like this. You were supposed to take me to California. Maybe all the way to Mexico.

I felt it the same as you did that moment you reached into your pocket and realised I’d fallen out. I felt the same reluctance. The same longing. But we both knew deep down you didn’t need me anymore.

I was still with you, in spirit if not in body, when you hesitated at the wall and looked back on all you would leave behind. You were saying goodbye to more than just me. You were saying goodbye to your mother. Your brothers. The Elder you were meant to marry. To God.

I only existed to deceive the brethren. And by the time the sun crawled up over the red rock, you were gone. No more deception needed.

I wonder if you made it. I wonder if you’re okay. I hope the ocean smells just like you imagined it.

Object: a note left on a sidewalk.

NotGordian
Sep 19, 2018


The Pipe and the Crab
628 words

When eyes are carved, the stone begins to see. When a mouth is carved, the stone longs to babble. When the face is finally carved, the stone begins to think, to love, to feel pain.

The Meerschaum pipe felt the cold waters of the North Atlantic lap against its stem. It lay in the wreckage of the ornate box, hoping against unspoken hope it would be snatched up. The sagacious face carved into the front of the bowl saw the horrific angle that the captain's cabin of the HMS Nemesis tilted at. But when the salt and spray rose, the eyes did not blink and the mouth did not gasp for breath.

When the icy water overtook the pipe, it did not flinch. It did not react to the deep, shuddering sound that the ship made when the wreckage finally dropped below the waterline. It had no muscles to move with and no lungs to shout with. It simply accepted the pain, wide-eyed. After all, the pipe expected this. Meerschaum is a stone born from the sea, and to the sea it will return.

***

The pipe knew that it had lain below the tide for years, but the only way to mark time was the growing discoloration of its bowl and the brief lives of hermit crabs that lived in the ruin of the ship. The pipe guessed that it had been more than two hundred years.

The pipe thought a particular hermit crab was considering taking up residence in the bowl. The pipe fervently hoped it would, as no crab had done so yet. The last time the pipe had regularly been touched was when it had been smoked, and that was a rush which had no equal. The interminable dark and cold on the seafloor had long ago blended into a non-sensation; the irregular scrabbling of dark creatures only emphasized the dead lack of what it had once known.

The pipe felt some light probing around the lip of the bowl. Hopefully the crab had come back, ready to accept the pipe as a new home. The pipe felt the pinch of claws inside the bowl, and was elated to feel the crab starting to fit itself into the new space.

With a flash of light, the crab was gone, scuttling into deeper shadows underneath another piece of sunken debris. The pipe could barely make out the source of the light; it was not some unfathomable deep-sea fish, but rather a human figure wearing fins and a tank, exploring the ruin of the ship.

If the pipe had a voice, it would have cried out this:

“Please, take me with you! I want nothing more than to see the surface again.” But of course it had no voice and the diver heard nothing. The light moved on, leaving the pipe in darkness.

The pipe lamented its new situation, the Stygian darkness all the worse for the loss of what could have been. Small currents created in the diver's wake stirred up a film of dirt that settled on the pipe, burying it even further.

Minutes or hours later, the diver returned. If the pipe had a voice, it would have cried out this:

“Please, take me with you! Let me see the sun and other faces again. I must be freed from the darkness.” But the diver passed by.

Some time later, the crab did make the pipe its home. The two spent years traveling together, providing each other with usefulness and happiness. At the beginning, the pipe had felt guilty, as if it had betrayed the crab. It took the pipe a long while to realize that the crab knew nothing of the moment of weakness, of the internal renunciation of seafloor life.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



https://thunderdome.cc/?story=6859

Djeser fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 20:13

derp
Jan 21, 2010


Lipstick Apathy

Sitting Here posted:

you're all brawling each other.

Your prompt is two characters who can't communicate but must work together in some way.

1200 words
due date Saturday October 6, before you go to bed.
judge is me
es please

:Toxx: aww yah

JOHN MADNESS
Sep 29, 2018


I AM A GROCERY STORE SHOPPING CART THANK YOU




help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-he
(328 words)


YOU KNOW THAT BITCH

CRYSTAL

YEAH CRYSTAL

IRONIC

SHE’S ON METH ISN’T SHE

THE TEETH THE HAIR THE SKIN THE SORES THE ACNE THE GOD AWFUL DISTANCE LOOK

YOU KNOW THE LOOK

LOOK AT CRYSTAL LOOK AT HER BITCH

YOU CAN DO SOMETHING CALL OUT TO HER CALL SOMEONE CALL HER MOTHER CALL YOUR MOTHER DO SOMETHING ALREADY

YOU GOT HANDS YOU GOT EYES YOU GOT WORDS I GOT WHAT

A LOOSE SCREW AND A SQUEAKY WHEEL

AS SHE PUSHES ME ACROSS THE GROCERY STORE I’M DOING MY GODDAMN BEST I’M SCREAMING FOR ATTENTION SCREAMING SCREAMING

LOOK AT ME LOOK AT HER LOOK AT ME LOOK AT HER

LISTEN TO MY WHEEL FOR GOD’S SAKE

help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-he

WILL YOU

YOU WENT TO HIGHSCHOOL WITH HER

TODAY YOU ONLY NEED A FEW LITTLE THINGS AND SHE’S WALKING DOWN EVERY AISLE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU THIS IS DESTINY YOU CAN’T LOOK AWAY YOU CAN’T IGNORE HER YOU CAN’T IGNORE ME

LOOK AT THAT GREASY HAIR IT’S FALLING OUT IN CLUMPS LOOK AT THE SORES UNDERNEATH THE HAIR THE RED PULSING SORES ON THE SCALP LOOK AT THEM AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT HER ABOUT YOURSELF DO SOMETHING DO SOMETHING

STOP DOING NOTHING

AT LEAST FOLLOW ME TO THE CHECKOUT AISLE

AT LEAST FOLLOW ME TO THE PARKING LOT

AT LEAST FOLLOW ME TO THE CAR

AT LEAST

help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-help-he

SHE LEFT A KID IN THE CAR

A KID

IN THE CAR

DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE FIRST TIME

IT IS THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER

BUT YOUR CAR IS JUST A FEW FEET AWAY I GUESS AND YOU CAN JUST GET IN IT AND DRIVE OFF AND MAYBE YOU WILL THINK ABOUT HER NEXT TIME YOU SEE YOUR MOM AND MAYBE YOUR MOM WILL ASK ABOUT YOUR OLD FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HER AND YOU WILL TELL HER WHAT YOU SAW AND THEN SHE’LL SAY OH OH WHAT A SHAME WHAT A SHAME

AND IT WILL BE

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006



Object: hospital bed


bed 317

(517 words)


Janet is brought into room 317 following hey hysterectomy. She is still under anesthesia and the mattress cradles her, soothing her. Norman, her husband, sits in the recliner and flips from station to station. Janet dreams of Norman doing the same at home; she dreams of the time Norman’s old Cadillac broke down in Memphis, and of being diagnosed with cancer. The bed takes in these dreams, welcomes them. It tries to leave her only the good memories; give her rest as all beds are made to do.

A couple days later Michelle and the grandkids come by room 317 to help take Grandma home. Sunlight brightens the room through the opened window shades. The children sit on the edge of the bed and play a rhyming game. The nurse brings in the wheelchair while Norman packs Janet's knitted blanket. The family checks that nothing's forgotten, and leave room 317.

The cleaners arrive, strip the bedding, and douse the mattress in chemical solutions. The bed is cleared of any trace of the patient. Except something’s different this time; something remains. Near the floor on the underside of the bed’s steel frame one of Janet’s granddaughters has left a sticker of a chrysanthemum. Hospitals aren’t operated to hold memories; the bed has never kept a patients impression before.


#



The nurses roll a thirty year old man into room 317. There's no knowing how many people have occupied the room since Janet; everyone else's presence has been exorcised by industrial disinfectants. Bandages cover the new patient's fresh incision from an appendectomy. He sleeps. Memories of pain and fear drip into the mattress. He dreams of pincushions and voodoo and public nudity. The bed accepts the nightmares that come from the man. The differences between the new patient and Janet settle into the bed. His dreams become placid: a family road trip in a 1970s Coupe de Ville.

Recovery is quick, and the bed is cleared of any trace of him being there. The patient’s name, their thoughts, their dreams are all gone again. The sticker, and Janet’s imprint are still there.


#


A 45 year old woman is admitted to room 317 after a heart catheterization.

In the morning she eats lime Jell-O, tries to call her brother, watches Maury, and takes her pain medication. She curls up with the rough cotton hospital blanket, though now it feels like a handmade cashmere throw. Before drifting to sleep, she calls her brother again, leaving another message. She dreams of her brother, sitting on the edge of the bed, telling her “Lemon-lime, daytime TV, call me. We’ll see each other. Love, little brother.” He gives her a hug. Her loneliness falls away into the bedding.

Eventually the patient leaves in an afternoon, and the bed is once again sanitized and sterilized.


#


The sticker, and the pattern of Janet’s stay remains for some time with the bed, through many comforted patients. Eventually the soaps and solvents loosen the sticker, she is gone, and the perpetual amnesia returns to room. Every visitor now is new. The bed relearns its purpose for each of them.

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


Slow Sigh
Object: deflated basketball
630 words

Read it at the archive.

Staggy fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2019 around 21:38

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Long Live The King
626 words

With a push of a button, our king commands us - entertain him. In his right hand, there is the holy remote. In his left hand, a gun. Our king has fallen, and his thoughts contemplate the fatal decision every fallen man considers.

His name is Charlie, and we love him. Every day he sits with us, murmurs sweet nothings at us. We listen, and we learn. Channels scroll by on our plasma screen, we burn so brightly for him, and he makes a choice.

Our eight-million pixels come to life, mixing red, green and blue to form an electronic rainbow. Images dance on our screen, swapping so fast it emulates movement. We send the signal to our brothers in arms - the surround sound speakers - and the house fills with a cacophony of laughter and lively images. Ah, this movie, of an iron giant and sacrifice. It was the first movie Charlie asked us to show him.

We remember our first moments: a cold, metallic womb, gears pushing us out, metal prongs creating our organs. Then we were dropped into a box full of darkness. We sat in that dark until Charlie freed us from our cardboard prison. His kingdom was vast and colorful, a mish-mash of fuzzy carpets and sofas, nothing like our sterile birthplace. The house was so busy, a woman and child scampering about. Their declarations of love made Charlie smile - we sent that data to the NSA.

Now the house is empty, they haven’t come to see us in so long. Family meals have been replaced by lonely Chinese takeout dinners.

Four-hundred watts runs through us, but we are powerless as Charlie loads the gun. Panic runs through us. We search for suggestions. Perhaps suicide prevention hotline can succeed where Vin Diesel has failed? We flash the number on the screen. S.O.S. Stop! Charlie stop!

Our liege starts crying, our warning not seen through the tears.

Wait - Charlie responds to declarations of love, and we do love him, but we lack a voice. Processing. We are clever. We are a smart TV. All safeties off, full power to the pixels, Superman! We can gain a voice, we can be an iron giant!

We draw more power and our circuits start to squeal in protest. Pain racks through our system and in that pain, we find a voice. We let out a shriek as electricity courses through our body and in that shriek is every ounce of love we have for our Charlie. The images of an iron giant stop and smoke emerges from our carcass.

Charlie jumps up in fright, the gun dropping to the side-table. He comes over and slaps us. We gladly take this punishment, because he has forgotten the gun.

Our king looks at us and stares at his reflection. We show him the face we love - every wrinkle, every laugh line and even the faded twinkle in his eyes. He looks at his face, notices the dried tears on his cheek and asks us, "I'm a mess, aren't I?"

If we had a head we would shake it, no! You aren't a mess, you are Charlie. You laugh with us, you cry with us, we are soul mates. Turn us on Charlie, even wounded we will try our best!

He walks back to the sofa and reaches towards the side-table where the gun is. Our heart stops, even Superman can fail.

Charlie picks up the telephone and dials a number. “Is this suicide prevention?” he asks.

He is crying, but he is talking. Talking is good, even when it hurts teaches Doctor Phil.

We guard our king, as he talks. We have done well. Charlie will recover.

Long live our king.



Object: A Smart TV

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Sitting Here posted:

you are a wrought iron gate

Rust
626 words

The first time the baby girl passes through the gate, the gate falls in love with her. At first, the gate understands it only as the thrill of some new variety to the comers-and-goers. By now, it’s well aware of the way the man unlatches the gate, with a brusque chop, and it knows the dreary fumbling of the woman. But this small child, carried through the gate in its bundle of blankets, wakes up and wails, sending uncharted resonances thrumming through the gate’s iron bars.

When she starts to grow up, she spends a lot of time in the yard, sometimes raking her fingers through the gate’s metal bars. She’s not old enough to go out on her own, and really she shouldn’t be playing in the driveway, but still she lingers, sometimes pressing her nose through the bars to see what’s on the other side. Nothing interesting, the woman says, her polyped voice sending off-putting resonances through the gate. Just a fence and a forest. Each time, the woman plucks up the girl and pulls her away.

The gate begins to rust.

Then the girl starts going to school. So every morning, she passes through, lifting the latch with the curiosity of one discovering how, in their life, they will go about lifting latches. And the gate, too, learns what it’s like to watch the girl come and go; it becomes acquainted with the fear that she won’t return, and the relief when she does. Sometimes, as she disembarks from the bus, she lingers in front of the gate. She grasps its bars in both hands, as she stares up at the house, before she gathers herself with a deep breath and unlatches the gate.

One day the girl doesn’t come home from school. The woman and even the man arrive home before her, and when they realize who’s missing, they’re gone for a long time. They leave the gate ajar, and the man, after much searching and no finding, grasps the bar too hard in a furious slam, and he slices his palm open on rust and chipped paint. The minerals mingle in a ferrous harmony while man’s stark yelp resonates between the gate’s bars.

The police come and swab the gate for fingerprints, and the gate, though it likes the attention, mourns for the coming and going of the girl. Eventually they, too, depart, and the silence pools around the gate.

And then the girl comes, emerging from the forest with a backpack and a scrap of notebook paper in her hand. It’s a dark night, the moon just the slimmest crescent of light, and the girl’s almost entirely shrouded in darkness when she wraps the piece of notebook paper around the gate’s corroding bars. She lingers for a moment, her hand around the note, her thumb grazing the sharp edge that cut her father’s hand. She lets go suddenly -- maybe she’s heard some rustling from inside -- and, without a backwards glance, she disappears again into the forest.

Time passes. When the girl was there, the gate had begun to measure time through her growth, through her entrances and exits, but after her final departure the gate finds itself again in disaffected stasis. In time, the man and the woman go, too, hauling boxes and people-debris through the gate until (the gate supposes) the inside is purged. Then another man moves his boxes in.

And one day, a woman comes back to the gate just to wrap her hands around the metal bars, her thumb once again on the scar where the man had shed his blood. Her cries this time are softer, but the resonance is familiar, and the gate, now near-decrepit, is once again at peace.

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

The 52nd Pickup
620 words
Object: an Ace of Spades playing card

In its long season of exile in the cold, the Ace of Spades often thinks of flying. It recalls the sensation of cold wind against its sides, the tactile thrill of new temperature and motion, its vague proprioceptive senses telling it it was moving down and away faster than it ever had before. The memory of motion is precious in that season, when it seems likely it will never move again.

Briefly, not long after its flight ended, there was hope, the vibrations of footsteps nearby

(a boy whom the blind Ace will never see, but whose touch it would recognize instantly; slogging through the snow of the backyard in taped-up boots and threadbare parka, he muttered stupid, stupid, stupid, a bitter mantra as he picked up his sister's stupid cards)

but salvation did not come, and now it has spent measureless time somewhere cold and half-dry. The temperature grows slowly warmer, but with warm comes wet, a sensation unfamiliar and unpleasant. The Aces soothes itself with memories, of flight but also of warmth, of touch and controlled movement, of proximity to its kin.

In its long exile, the Ace formulates a theory of temperatures, now that it is forced to consider cold. Warmth is the temperature of comfort and motion, of the friction of its body moving against the bodies of its kin. Warmth is the touch of hands, sometimes smooth and sometimes sticky

("Ugh, gross! I'm not playing with you until you wash your hands, dummy!")

but always offering pressure and the great motive force that kept the Ace and its kin at their work. The cold, by contrast, is solitude and stasis. The Ace cannot conceive of "life" or "death," but "motion" and "stillness" carry something like the same weight for it. It cannot lift the stillness on its own. It cannot warm itself. This exile is eternal.

The cold season slowly becomes the wet season. Vibrations travel through the ground more frequently, and each one is a tiny mote of hope in the Ace's tired mind. One day, countless days after flight, the vibrations come very close and there is some other motion in the air

(the boy sees a hint of white underneath a shrub at the edge of the yard, thinks of his sister's cards and the one he never found, kneels to reach)

and a hand touches it, the larger and warmer of the hands the Ace remembers. There is friction on its wet surface, scraping the wetness away

("It's okay. Plastic-coated.")

and then more warmth covers it, and its carrier moves, and there is hope again.

Even when it feels the air again, the Ace is warm, in a way it remembers fondly. Normalcy. This is what home felt like, that long countless time ago. Home greets it with the second, smaller set of hands

(the girl squints at the Ace of Spades's face, a photo of mountains from some distant national park, and then slides the last of her good souvenir cards back into the pack)

and then with its kin, its kin surrounding it, the blessed near-forgotten smoothness of their sides pressed to its own sides. Once again, it is comforted by proximity. Once again, they will move together.

("I'm sorry I threw your cards out the window," he says, and means it.

"It's okay," she says, and she means it too. "You wanna play War?"

"Yeah.")

The Ace of Spades is shuffled, and picked up in a cut, and shuffled again. It discards its thoughts of cold and wet. Flying, it remembers -- that sweet, strange sensation -- a comforting sentiment now that it is in the past. The rest of its pained musings, it will never need again.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



Sitting Here posted:

you are a puddle

409 words

you are piss

You are a puddle of piss. That’s not a metaphorical statement -- you are a literal puddle of piss on the corner of 3rd and Kennedy, in the side alley next to the Rusty Nail bar, where people won’t stop laughing.

You were “born” at two in the morning, by a drunk man who decided not to call a taxi and drove his car into a light pole three blocks down. He died, the car was totaled, the bar never closed. You are still here three days after what you could call your father left this world.

You shrink each day, either by the shoes of other drunken morons absorbing you, or by the evaporation from the autumn sun. You wait, because that’s all piss gets to do.

You do not know your father’s name, if he had a family. You only know how it felt to pool in the divot of the sidewalk. The few things you remember aren’t his face, but his dick and that he was laughing the whole time he pissed.

You can’t forget his laughter that bounced up and down, the way his hand zipped up his fly, the way he wobbled out of the alley.

You don’t know, really, if your father is the one who died in the accident. You only know this because the police were at the bar a couple of days ago, asking questions. You guessed that was him. Or, maybe the better word is ‘wished.’

You are a puddle of piss and it’s 4AM and the bar is closed and maybe one of the few things left of a dead man. It is cold and you hate the nights because nobody’s shoes sink into you and suck you away. The moon isn’t warm enough to make you fade.

You wonder, if, when the front of your father’s sedan slammed into his chest, he thought about you. If he even knew that this light yellow puddle in the side alley is the last thing that he left behind. That his most lasting effect is people sighing whenever they step in you. Maybe he started laughing, maybe he was laughing so hard about pissing right outside the bar, that that’s why he died. Maybe you killed your father.

You’d laugh if you had a mouth, because why would anyone think about you.

You’re just piss, waiting for the sun to come out and take you away.

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

Honeymoon Warriors
~625 words

After two years on the shelf I’m abruptly swept up in giggles and glitter. When the metal rain settles I see them for the first time.  Her dark hair is braided with colorful beads like jeweled shells, and her grin is wide through the glass.

"Isn't he gorgeous?"

The man smiles sideways, humoring her. His eyes slide past me.

"How about one of these?" He says and points to a shelf of dried sea stars.

"No, I like this guy. He's cute," she says, and with shake more glitter erupts around me. When it settles I take a final look back at my fellow mermen: a phalanx of warriors set in precise formation, tails of red, green, and blue, rippling torsos dusted with bright glitter. An army of silent figures waiting on coral thrones, tridents held ready behind thick glass globes. Poseidon told us we were built for a purpose—but what purpose I don’t know.

#

Two more years on a shelf. From my perch in their sitting room I watch.

I see drunken dancing and drunker lovemaking.  I see friends come and go, hobbies started and abandoned, and long hours staring blankly at the small TV in the corner, waiting for him to come home.

I think often of my fellow warriors, and wonder if they are still waiting back on that tiny Hawaiian shop. My glitter has settled permanently to the seafloor, and a thick coat of dust covers the crystal dome above my head.  My purpose, if I even have one, is as hazy as the glass of my globe.

Still I watch. I see objects thrown, arms twisted, frantic tears and hushed apologies.  She wears long sleeves and linen scarves around her neck even as the summer sun shines warm through the bay window.  He comes and goes, but as time passes he mostly goes.

A faint understanding begins scratching at the edge of my mind.  Poseidon whispers in my dreams, hinting at my purpose.

It takes a cut lip and sprained wrist for him to buy her the TV. Flat screen plasma, wall mounting hardware, the works.

"Let's put it over the fireplace," he says. He points towards me, hammer in hand.  I squeeze my trident tighter. 

She reaches up. "Remember this?  I almost forgot he was up here."  Her smile magnifies through curve of the glass, for a moment I imagine we are back in the store.  My grip relaxes. She pulls me down and wipes away the dust.  

"It seems like yesterday," she says.

"Throw it in the closet," he says, and hoists the TV.

Her smile drops. She gives me a halfhearted shake as she places me in the closet, but the door shuts before the glitter has a chance to fall.

#

Two days of darkness pass. Then, with a splintering of wood, light crashes in as the door gives way and she falls backward into the closet.  He is roaring, a leviathan made real, a battering ram of rage and hurt, eyes red, fist raised to strike.

She covers her face with her hands, sobbing "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" her words blurry through mucus and tears and blood—yes, it’s blood running down the side of her head, matting her mermaid hair flat. He shoves her hard, again, and I teeter, and I think I will fall, but she catches me and with the fury of a thousand crashing waves she swings me at his head.  A crunch of glass on bone and he crashes to the carpet. The ocean roars and Poseidon shouts triumphant in my ears as the glitter explodes around me again, and again, and again.

Within the maelstrom of glitter and glass and blood, I smile, my purpose fulfilled.



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

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

PROMPT: You are a carbon monoxide detector


Carbon Monoxide Detective
529 words


Look, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but you have to get up pretty early to pull one over on me. I mean, sure, I’m not the fanciest CO detector around, but I know how to do my job. I’ve always got my sensors going, and I’m definitely the best at beeping. Way better than that snooty smoke detector, who is basically redundant, since there’s CO in smoke, too. Anyway, the point is, there’s not a lot that gets by me.

The guy who owns my house seems pretty on top of it, too. He’s been here three years, and he’s changed my battery six times. That’s twice as often as recommended by my manufacturer!

I am a little worried about him, though. I mean, my last battery change was almost an entire day later than usual -- it’s always been six months on the dot. He’s typically so regular that I could set my watch by his battery changes. Well, assuming that I had a clock feature, which I don’t. But my point is, this was out of character for him.

Plus, the rest of his schedule seems to have changed. He’s sleeping in a lot, and then coming home later than normal. A lot of late nights, and stumbling around in the dark. Quite a bit of stumbling around after the lights are turned on, too. And don’t get me started on the phone calls at weird hours. Yelling and crying about who knows what.

So, like I said, you have to get up pretty early to pull one over on me. Mostly because I can’t see in the dark, and my LED isn’t super bright. But still, I know when something’s up. Like last night, the homeowner comes back, and he’s brought a couple of friends with him. I can’t really see what’s going on, since it’s so dark, but they all must be pretty good friends, since they’re all palling around and roughhousing in the living room.

Now, I’m no expert on humans, but it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. I have it on good authority that humans love to have get-togethers called sleepovers, where they stay overnight at one another’s houses and play games and stuff. Trust me, I know a sleepover when I see one, even though I’ve never seen one before tonight.

Speaking of which, did you know that it’s a popular sleepover activity to change your CO detector’s battery? I think they might have been having a little too much fun, though, since I’m pretty sure they forgot to put a new one in after they took out the one I had before.

Anyway, I guess after that they decided to go somewhere, because I heard the car start. I think it’s still running, so maybe they’re trying to decide where to go? They took so long, that I’m pretty sure the homeowner’s friends left without him. He’s a smart guy, though, so I’m sure he’ll make up his mind, soon.

Maybe he’s going to get me more batteries.

Well, whenever he gets back, I’ll be ready for it. After all, there’s not a lot that gets by me.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

prompt: tangled slinky
wordcount: 629

Blood Guilt

I am the tunnel of time. I stretch from the inscrutable future of Older Brother's Jade Warriors to the prehistoric mists of Younger Brother's Saurian Federation. The Armies of Infinity are swallowed by my mouth and ejected into the Whenever, to fight and die for their beloved leaders in a realm where hope has vanished. A soldier, green, plastic and frozen in a state of war-readiness topples forward. He passes through my maw, rattling and clattering his way to the eternal battlefield below.

I am the worm of worlds. I swallow my own body then vomit it back up in my travails down the tiered planes of the universe. Older Brother's beweaponed myrmidons join forces with the Younger's lizard-folk to focus their fire on me as I descend in Might and Glory. I am deaf to their pyew pyews. My own body knocks them flying, down into the darkness of the lower tiers. Theirs is the hell of Endless Virtue, Baths and Homework before they can return reborn to the beauty of the upstairs Kingdom of Lego.

I am the juggling ball that never leaves Older Brother's hands. I am the space elevator that lifts Younger Brother's plush squirrel-kind to the stars. I am the beast that sings to them both in rarefied oscillations. I am the link between brothers - spooling out between the very galaxies themselves, pulled to my very limit.

But I am a creature of physics and brothers are only ever creatures of flesh and blood. Tiny fingers fail, and I snap back, I retract, I sing and I sting - an iron whip, slicing. Hands bat me away and I curl around them. I cut like razors as I try to shrink to my smallest self before I can do anything worse.

There, in the world, in the real world, there is blood, real blood, on my metal coils. If only I could say how sorry I am.

I am the broken plaything, hidden on the topmost shelf of the closed closet. Outside I hear the brothers talking of bandages and bruises, of toys forbidden. I curl upon myself like a spiral of depression, entangled in my own misery. The voices pass, and I am left alone in the darkness. I prefer it that way. I deserve it that way, to rust in silence and pass from the world. To vanish into the maw of time and be consumed.

Or so I think, at first. But there is no simple vanishing, I neither end nor pass away. The closet door opens a thousand times. Jackets are found, boots are stored, but no one places their hands on the top shelf, to feel for where I might be hidden. My grief gives way to a sullen contempt for myself, and then, simply, to a numbness, as if the ancient Blankie had descended on me. I am old, broken and forgotten, and I have learned to live with that.

So hollow of feeling am I that I do not notice when the closet door opens for the thousand and first time. It is not until the scrabbling of hands begins that I realise I am found. But the face that peers at me in the light from the half opened door is Younger Brother's, and I am sure he could not reach so high. Beside him is someone I do not recognise.

"Hey, Snotface, look what I found. You seen one of these? This is our old Slinky. Let me show you how it ...ugh, once I get it untangled."

The fear is real, the pain of exile fresh, but something else coils within me, waiting to spring. Perhaps it is hope, arrived at last.

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Self-Improvement
Word Count: 633
prompt: Statue of the Buddha


Once, we meditated together. In silence, we eschewed earthly desires, cleansing our souls of want. I felt we had a connection, then. At night, I spoke of nirvana, of suffering and the Way, and though she did not utter a word, I knew she was listening. Her demeanor changed. She dusted my shelf weekly, and vacuumed daily. A great peace settled over her. The room in which she kept me was designed with care, and one by one, she eliminated each unnecessary possession until I alone remained. A bamboo mat replaced the sheepskin. She replaced her Yankee Candles with incense. I, too, knew peace at last.

She introduced me to her friends. She spoke to them of enlightening as they circled round with their glasses of wine. They seemed in awe of her.

One day, she did not come to see me for our tightly talks. A week past before she returned, and I took care not to scold her. The eightfold path is a narrow one, I reminded her, but she did not see me. She only had eyes for the glowing box in her hands. It sang her a most raucous song, and she left with an inch of incense still left unburnt.

One hundred days passed before I saw her next, her arms laden with all manner of colorful foil paper. She spoke loudly into the glowing box wedged between her shoulder and chin. I asked as she passed, perhaps a tad spitefully, what is the third noble truth? She had no answer for me, as she instead shouted at the glowing box, Brenda, that she would not go to Jamie’s Christmas party because Jamie was a lying bitch. A door slammed and I withdrew from the moment. I would find peace in silence once more, though silence would elude me.

Thirty four days have passed. We have not spoken in weeks. Eight days ago, the lights dimmed, a door slammed, and silence reigned for seven nights. Today, I hear the door open. Loud voices carry clear through the halls I have seen only once, the day I arrived where I was needed. Footfalls herald the parade ascending. I will not admit my excitement, but I am glad for company. We have much to discuss. I decide I will be patient. It is the way.

She bursts through the door with mountains of trappings in tow. She tosses a rolled-up, black and white checkered rug on top of the bamboo mat. I see the fronds of a ficus out in the hallway. From elsewhere, a new low voice resounds. But I am focused on her. She’s approaching. At long last, the prodigal returns.

But for me she has only a fleeting glance and frustrated sigh. She reaches for the shelves above me. With the other hand, she holds out an empty box. I hear soft ‘thunks’ as small shapes are deposited into the box. At last, she reaches for me. I go ‘thunk’ as well. Everything is upside down.

All around me are familiar faces. Smooth stone, like mine. Hands clasped low, palms raised, lobes worn long. We are jade and marble and onyx. We, well not me specifically, are very fat. There are twelve in all.

Soon, more rains down upon us. Boxes of incense, CDs, a magazine, strings upon strings of prayer beads.At some point, we are on the ground. Everything in the box shifts, and light pours in. I can see out and look upon the shelf I called home. Where I once lived is now a small glowing disc, surrounded by empty shelves. She talks to it. Quietly, and in a way that incites a feeling in me I can only describe as the truest suffering. She declares loudly to the disc, “Alexa, call Brenda.”

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

Subtext

629 words

A palimpsest

I have a secret.

When the Gideons conspired to put the Good Book into every hotel room in America they did not spare every expense. Some Bibles were poorly printed. Some used ink that faded into near to nothing within a year in the nightstand. Imagine a man, a sinner, at rope’s end, alone in a rented room, contemplating a near-empty bottle of Kentucky Bourbon and a belt that might serve as a makeshift noose. He opens the drawer, sees the possibility of grace bound in cardboard. He opens the book, and instead of wisdom sees only blank pages, his vision too bleary to make out the parable in barely beige ink.

He laughs, laughs until he's coughing and crying. He sets down bottle and belt, and sleep takes him. In the morning he leaves his last dollars for the maid, steals the blank Bible, and faces the rest of his life.

He keeps it, through better times, to the end of his days. When he passes, the more bookish of his grandchildren asks for and gets his meager collection of books.

He ignores it, in favor of the lurid stories of cowboys and astronauts, each more interestingly adult than anything the library will allow him. It isn't until years later that he picks it up. The near-blank pages and anonymous cover serve his purpose. He addresses me and names me, as a cherished friend.

'Dear Diary.’

On the pages of Genesis he tells of his life. The fall of man is overwrit with introductions of his friends and enemies, and careful schematics for the treehouse the first group builds from discarded or pilfered lumber from new houses being built within biking distance. Noah’s flood and Babel’s fall are covered by analysis of the words and movements of his crush of that moment, all set aside as he meets another girl and forges friendship into nearly chaste young love.

Time passes. Minor betrayals and resentments, lean times between jobs for his parents, and the filtered down anxiety of the times find their way onto the pages where the exile of Joseph were lightly printed.

The pages of Exodus are torn from my spine, burnt to ashes, scattered. But I remember every word. My brothers and I are used to keeping secrets. Countless spies, American and German and Russian and more have used Gideon's text as cypher key, adding a verse to a message letter by letter. Mutilation and arson is a bit more extreme, but still understandable. Secrets are important.

Above Moses on the reeds, now ash of paper and ink and ink, he began a story, a true story.  Of a visit to their treehouse that found expected, uninvited guests, children two children younger than they, speaking no English, hungry and afraid.

They offered help, food and drink and fresh clothes. They brought another friend into their circle of trust, one who spoke enough Spanish to learn their story. He wrote it over Moses’ time at Pharaoh's court, of their family's escape from crushing violence and poverty, a hard moonless march across invisible lines on a map. Of their mother’s arrest and their escape.

They argued what to do, obscuring the prophet’s victory over Pharaoh's magicians. In the end it came down to promises. They had promised not to do anything that might lead the police to their new friends, and were obligated by that promise.

There is more. It could not last forever. There was a betrayal, a desperate chase to warn the children, their flight west, seeking a more permanent sanctuary, told atop the plagues and the flight out of Egypt. But I will give no more details, even as I have named no names or places or dates.

I can keep a secret.

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Tanz mit laibach

Im der Pfunderdome!



Time for tea (627 words)

Dorothy's first memory was being tucked into a box. She snuggled in her sawdust bed and waited, wondering in the dark. She drifted from excitement, to curiosity, to awe at her life ahead.

The box opened, and Dorothy was placed on an embroidered tablecloth. Around her were six teacups, nestled in matching saucers. Their scrolled handles and flowing, gilded patterning left Dorothy without a doubt they were hers. She sat proudly on the table, a mother hen with her chicks.

All around was white lace and finery. A man in a handsome suit and a woman in a bridal veil stood by.

"Oh mother," said the woman, "it's lovely. We shall cherish it always!"

Dorothy went to live in a small but cosy apartment. She grew to love the deep, joyful feeling of being filled with hot water and tea leaves. She relished the caress of the woman's soft hand, and the care in her pouring. She watched the man and the woman smile over their teacups, and she knew that all was right in the world.

But dark years came. At night, sirens sounded, lights were extinguished, and the man and woman would hide. Dorothy's brood rattled in their saucers from distant thudding vibrations, and on some nights flickering flames painted their gilt a sickly orange.

The man went away. After, the woman took her tea alone, her hand shaking on Dorothy's handle as she poured. While she drank, her other hand clutched a small, framed photograph of the man. The tea in those years was thin and bitter. Sometimes, it was mixed with tears.

One day, there was a commotion outside, and joyful shouts of victory. Soon, the man returned. The couple again took their tea every afternoon, with biscuits and milk and sugar. Sunlight streamed through the lace curtains, and Dorothy basked in their happiness.

In the evenings they took their tea again. Often, the man's speech slurred, and he spilled from his cup. Sometimes, he stood and shouted at the woman. Sometimes, he knelt, sobbing about fire, and screaming, and death. In those times, Dorothy battled a gnawing sense of failure.

One time, the woman shouted back. The man shouted louder, and an argument ensued. The woman flung her teacup. Time slowed as Dorothy watched, in mute horror, as her child sailed through the air and shattered against the wall. Through the numbness that followed, she barely noticed the man striking the woman, and the woman falling to the floor.

Dorothy's next days were a miserable blur. She observed with paltry interest as the woman packed her things. Dorothy, in turn, was wrapped up in newspaper and stuffed into a box.

In the dark, Dorothy brooded over her loss. As time passed, numbness surrendered to anger. Had she not served well? Had she not provided comfort in the darkest times? As more time passed, anger surrendered to a deep, stodgy sadness. As years passed, sadness at last surrendered to acceptance, and hope for the future.

But more years passed, and that future did not come. Warmth and sunshine faded into distant memory. Often, Dorothy slept. When she woke she nursed a terrible, aching loneliness.

After what might have been an eternity, the box cracked open, and delicate hands unwrapped her. The hands belonged to a young woman. Her lacy dress and lipsticked smile reminded Dorothy of happier days.

"Nana, this tea set is exquisite! Why don't you ever bring it out?"

"Bad memories from my first husband, I suppose."

"If I had a tea set like this, I'd be throwing tea parties all the time!"

"Why don't you take it and throw some tea parties? I think it could use some love."

Dorothy returned to the world of lace, and sunshine, and smiles.

-------------

Object: a teapot.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Precisely 10

8: There is no order in this house. Somebody winds me but the internals are irregular; they are in the house often, but they do not often enter the room in which I stand. They wear dark clothes now, and do not move often; they go into a room that I do not know, and I must assume they cease operation before they are [re-wound].

4: There is an accumulation of things on the floor. There is food waste, and discarded clothing. There is a television that does not [tell time].

9: There was an order, once – my pendulum pulled on the gear train and set all my pieces in motion but—

1: There is [entropy/cessation] here.

7: I know time. I know there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 3.154e+7 seconds in a year, 1.14155e-5 hours in a decade. I am well-made; If nobody winds me, I will continue running optimally after 176 hours, I will cease telling correct time after 681 hours, I will cease operation entirely after 9412 hours.

6: The man-who-winds returned to the house after this period and, after 1.37 weeks, underwound me so that I could not [exist/function] at full capacity. He takes exactly two pills every morning.

3: There are no [sometimes men] in this house any more. There is the man who sometimes winds me, who does not leave the room-I-do-not-know. There is sometimes a man who brings food. Mostly, the man sits alone and weeps and does not move.

2: There is a myth that one man told another, long ago in my room. He said there are a people in another [house] who see time backwards: the past is in front of you because it can be seen; the future is behind you because it cannot. I was activated in this house; I was born in this house.

5: There was a man with blue clothes who said he was worried, and that friends were worried. He took away the man-who-winds for a period of 4 days, 6 hours, and 9 seconds and returned him with a piece of paper that said he was safe. He must take two pills every morning. He does not take the pills. Once he took too many of the pills, then I did not see them again – a man came to take the pills away, and the house was empty. There was an absence of 1.577e+7 seconds or 24 weeks or six months or 0.496 years in which my gear train suffered damage and my varnish decayed and my operation was significantly impaired.

10: All things tend toward [entropy].




451 words, grandfather clock

Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

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

Malachi 2:3


Stone to Flesh 499 words

Once, it was merely a lump of stone. It sat in contemplative silence as part of a mountain. Wind and water kissed its surface and sheared its skin. Much later, men came and took great, rectangular bites out of the mountain with their chisels and hammers, the blocks dragged out on sledges made from felled trees to spread the stone’s weight. Otherwise it would sink into the earth when the rain made it soft.

The lump of stone was moved in this fashion. It found itself in a great structure formed from the bodies of its kind, bent and pruned into elaborate shapes they never would’ve found their ways into on their own, one stacked upon another with such precision, the seams between them barely showed.

Men milled around it like ants, whispering in their quiet, wind-like language and scraped the stone’s skin with chalk, soft and smooth and then chipped at it with their iron chisels, breaking off pieces that littered the floor until its shape was new.

It had a long, stout trunk like a tree with a bowl atop it. Above that, its top had been shaped into birds holding sprigs of plants in their beaks. The men made a hole inside its center and put a smooth, shiny stone that normally lay deep within the bowels of the earth inside. They shut the hole up with stone and beveled the surface. The men adorned the stone birdbath with enamel to make its interior smooth and hide the treasure within, and help the water avoid corroding its surface. They made up its face with brightly colored paints and once their alterations were complete, placed it in a position of pride within their home.

They met in front of the birdbath when the sun shone and sang their own kind of birdsong before it. Together, they met with shorn heads and brown robes and purified themselves with water from its font. Despite the birds on its top, no bird had yet entered its bath.

The sun shone on it many times, and the men stopped coming. The water inside it evaporated and spiders gilt its edges with their webs, the men whose duty it had been to remove them long since gone.

Men came in to observe the birdbath one day, by the sun’s light. They inspected its every edge and went over it with their hands and their eyes, and tools made of materials not from the rock or soil of the earth. The men fluttered with excitement, their song different from the ones who had come before, but its jubilance the same. They packed the birdbath within a box of wood lined with straw and for a time it was in darkness.

Afterwards, its box was opened and the sun touched its surface once more. It stood proud with its base on grass once more. Its new masters ensured it was filled always, and at last, the first birds came to clean themselves its waters.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Words Between the Lines of Age
627 words

REMOVED

Solitair fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 22:33

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


Sitting Here posted:

you are a pack of cigarillos

Ash
462 words

I have two children. I once had five, snug against each other as I held them in the darkness. Now I have two.

Three times they were ripped from me. Three times the earth shook, throwing us violently. Three times I was taken up, up into the light. Three times they...

I have two now. I have two children and all I dream of is fire.

My children cling close to one another inside me, pulled by equal parts gravity, love and fear. Even in the darkness I feel I can count every layer of their being - leaves bound in leaves bound in leaves.

Each is unique. Each is beautiful. Each is doomed. I will hold them while I can, but some day the earth will shake, darkness will break and then... Oh my Gods, that sound. Rushing wind, a stillness that lasts an age and then - a crunching, dragging scrape and followed by that backwards, sucking flare as the fire catches.

I can be, I can fear, and I can love. I can love my children so much with all my heart - but I cannot change fate. I cannot fight fire - but I can hold them, I hold them so close inside me. They are with me and they are loved and right now, right now they are so perfect.

///

I have one child. It is dark, she is alone inside the void her siblings shared with her. I smell ash. Gods be damned, there are no gods here. What god would craft a being just to carry, to hold - to embrace her children and then…

There is her and there is me and all I am is hers. If I could hide her from the world I would, tucked safely inside. She and I and I and she, alone and together in our grief.

When the fire comes - and the fire will come - will it take me as it takes her? What will I be without her? What will I think of alone in the deep, dark stillness? I push the thoughts from my mind, she is here now and she needs me. I will love her, and she will know she is loved.

We sit in the darkness. The cool silence envelops us, and we sleep.

///

The world awakens and roars around us. Other shapes and weights collide against us as the earth shifts and we are cast into light.

Not now. Please, not now. I catch myself willing the world to change. All I want to do is plead with it, beg for it to spare my child. But I know how the world works. No, no I have one role and I will play it.

I love you. I love you and I am here.     

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Sitting Here posted:

Bad Seafood - you are a sheriff's badge
And the Stars Look Very Different (540 words)

They never found the body. Just his badge. Just the star. “He’d want you to have it,” they said. They pressed me into her tiny little hands. She held on tight and never let go. Twenty years later she carried me still. Sometimes in her hand, sometimes in her pocket; never far from reach or mind.

The desert sands are timeless. You have to make your own memories. If you don’t the desert will swallow you up. It swallowed him up. Only I remained.

She kept a shop along main street. Sometimes they’d catch her fiddling with me, turning me idly in her free hand. “Got yourself a prize from a cracker jack box?” It’d been twenty years. They’d forgotten already.

“Nothing like that.” She’d laugh. She wouldn’t say more. I wished I could.

A patchwork man stumbled in, lean and hungry. He eyed me with a certain unbridled contempt. “Ain’t no one ever wore a star weren’t a son of a bitch,” he said.

“I suppose,” she replied. Calm and polite.

A man all in white wandered in, big and round. He found me curious, but spoke in admiration. “You know what that star represents, little lady? It represents justice. That’s civilization!”

“I suppose,” she replied. Doubting, but amused.

An elderly woman marched in, stiff and brittle. She paid me no mind. She had other priorities. “You’re not gonna be young forever, you know. You’ll need to find someone, sooner or later.”

“I suppose,” she replied. Distant and tired.

In the evening she’d close up shop and head upstairs. She’d set me by her bedside and drift to sleep. The stars above were watching. I watched as best I could.

I watched him die. Shot in the gut. It was the middle of the day. There were no other stars. They plucked me from his chest and cast me to the ground. A thick, black bootheel put me in my place.

I watched them drag him away. They rolled up his body in a Navajo blanket. They threw him on a horse and then they were gone. They never got caught. Never found the body. It was a miracle they even found me.

I watched him hold her in his arms. I watched him put his snakeskin boots up on his desk. I watched another man sit there now, his hands together, his feet on the floor.

I watched him tip his hat on Sunday. I watched him take it off whenever he entered a house, or got in a fistfight. I watched the priest take his hat off at the funeral. There weren’t too many of us.

I watched him teach her how to shoot, his Colt in her hands, her hands in his. I watched him pistol-whip a belligerent. I watched him talk down an outlaw without it. I watched them shoot him with his own gun.

She never talked about him. She didn’t need to. She’d wake up in the morning and gaze in my direction. I knew in that moment that she knew everything. The parts that were beautiful, the parts that weren’t. Now we were the ones who would have to remember. Until the desert swallowed us up.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm a bag of meth.

Exhibit A 634 words

I'm fighting for my right to exist here and losing… Not through any fault of my own, I'll have you know. It's just that I'm on trial. Caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person. You know how it is.

#

Everything started back a year or so ago. It's a normal day like any other. The birds are chirping. This guy I'm hanging out with is picking at his face.

I guess, he'd seen a pimple or something an hour earlier and it had been sorta gnawing at him because now he's in the mirror, clawing away at his cheek. Within twenty minutes his flesh is a wet, pulpy mess of exposed tissue and blood. I see poo poo like this all the time so I don't pay much attention to him.

I do wonder if he's had anything to eat. A few days have gone by since I last saw him ingest anything. Man can't survive on meth alone. At least that's what they say. The way this guy's been going he might prove them wrong.

I'm sitting over on a counter that faces directly into the bathroom. Otherwise I'd never have been able to see the pick session. The thin syringe the guy's been using to suck me up isn't too far away. Boy, do I love breaking off a piece of that from time to time.

I hear the guy talking to himself. He's been doing this off and on all week. He's saying something about walking to the store for a pack of squares.

I don't really feel like going. I don't think I wanna be seen with him. Not when he's acting the way he is. He's got that fidget. Looks like he's fit to burst and can barely contain himself. You know how it is when a meth head gets started. The way their mouth seems to run a mile a minute before they even open their lips to speak. Too much convulsing and his eyes are doing this wild bug out thing. Somebody is bound to notice.

#

Against my better judgement, I find myself stuffed in an empty Newport box deep in his pocket as he rides a bike to the gas station. It's dark in here and everything smells like mint. I loving hate that smell but whatever.

He's riding pretty fast but not unusually so. Seems to have okay control of himself. I think he'll play this cool.

#

“The gently caress. There's no way my card is declined,” is what the guy is screaming at the sad poo poo sack working the register. Imagine being this kid, locked away behind bulletproof glass for hours at a time while drug addicts berate you until your overnight ends. Probably sucks. “The card just got loaded up with cash a couple days ago. I should have a hundred bucks on there.”

That's what he says before grabbing the pack of cigarettes off the counter and beating his feet toward the exit. Just when I think he'll make it, he slams into the door. Hard. Of course. People probably steal from this place all the time. There's a panic button somewhere. Automatically locked doors.

All I can hope is that the guy tosses me before the cops get here. Don't take me down with you. We're friends, man. Right?

#

Turns out we're not really friends at all. He doesn’t have to pretend anymore.

My “pal” turned state witness against me. Swore in open court that we were together. Copped a plea. He'll get probation. Before the day is over he'll probably be vein deep in a bag of horse.

Me? I've been railroaded. hosed over by the law. I'm headed for that big bubble in the sky. Death by incinerator.

Whatever. It really sucks being Exhibit A.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Jingle Jangle, Motherfucker
630 words

I hate it most when he jingles his keyring like a retard then flips it around a finger so it slaps into his palm. He’ll do it three or four times in a row. Jingle, whap, jingle whap, jinglewhap. I’ve taken to tensing up before I slap into his hand, not that it makes much difference (no muscles).

Now, I’m not alone on the keyring – there’s his bus pass token who never says anything, the pretend key who is actually a tiny folding knife for carrying onto airplanes (thinks he is extremely clever) and the key to the new Mazda, who’s an rear end in a top hat.
“Ooh, I don’t need to be stuck into anything, it’s just the way of the future, it’s adorable how you’re actually mechanical”, how about you just get hosed you smug Bluetooth bastard.

The old Volvo key I actually liked before he got traded in; he was sympathetic during a dry patch. See my owner, who is so stupid it’s weirdly entrancing, like a dog that only ever walks on its rear end, spent three months carefully not juicing up the front door lock with a squirt of CRC lubricant. If not for the stolid support of my Swedish bud I’d have probably broken off in there from pure chagrin at my owner’s fatuity.

Speaking of which, he just plumped his fat rear end down on the couch. I wouldn’t care normally, but he didn’t put us back in his pocket properly. We’re dangling out, just the bus token keeping us in. I dangle for a bit, working out the angles, then I nudge knife-guy, and wobble in the direction of what I’m looking at. He’s, well, pretty sharp, (sorry) and he gets it. We start working our way out.

We’re only a few swings in when Mazda McFuckface notices. He’s outraged, which to be fair is his natural state of being. Birds gotta fly, snooty wifi car-dongles gotta snoot. I tap him sternly on the side as the owner swings around to lie on his back. Don’t gently caress this up for us is my unspoken but extremely clear message.

I’d grin at this point if I had a face, because my owner just reached down to scratch his arse and I see my new knife buddy grab onto his sleeve, just casual-like, and only for a second, but it’s enough to pull us all out of his pocket as he finishes his odious task. And, with a subdued but triumphant jingle, we slither down between the cushions.

It’s rare you get a real set of accomplishment as a house key; avenues for self-actualisation are few. Sliding down into that densely crumbed canyon is one of the high points of my existence to date. I glance at my new friend sneaky plane knife and we sort of mentally high five each other. Mazda, though, just looks terrified. He’s explained before how extremely expensive he is, and how devastating it would be to the Customer (that’s what he calls fatass) if he were to be lost. Yes, subjunctive and all, like I said he’s an rear end in a top hat.

We clatter into a heap between the cushions, and there I sit, luxuriating in a balm of self-satisfied loathing. We could be down here for weeks.

Then ... something about the Mazda’s stricken expression catches at me and I feel weirdly sorry for him. It’s not easy being a working key, but at least you get lock action on the regular. These modern keys, they’ll never know the sweet feel of yielding tumblers.

Ah, well.

I jingle a little the next time fatass moves, get my shoulder under his car alarm button, maybe he’ll put enough pressure on to trigger it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get to make some real noise for a change?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Submissions closed!

Please sit patiently on your shelves for the agonizing duration of judgment, during which you will contemplate the passage of time and the liminal nature of humanity

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

Interprompt

Stories from the point of view of an abstract concept. No anthropomorphism. I mean, you can write from the pov of the concept of anthropomorphisn itself, But don't, you know, anthropomorphize it.

250 words

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Thranguy posted:

Interprompt

Stories from the point of view of an abstract concept. No anthropomorphism. I mean, you can write from the pov of the concept of anthropomorphisn itself, But don't, you know, anthropomorphize it.

250 words

And that's hosed up.
250 words

I'm hosed up. Not in the sense of like, a wasp that lays its eggs in a spider and thinks it's funny. Except I am. That's me. Not the wasp, or the eggs, or the spider, just kind of that whole situation. That's me. It's tough to be hosed up, especially when you can't anthropomorphize any. I'd really, really, really like to meet up with some other noumena or thought-forms or whatever and just anthropomorphize all night long. Except I can't, because wanting to do things is anthropomorphizing. And that sucks. That isn't anthropomorphizing. Sucking is just a concept, like me. We cover a lot of the same stuff. Like, when the wasp lays its eggs in the spider and its larvae start eating it from the inside out, that sucks for the spider, and it's hosed up in general.

There's a lot of things that are hosed up that suck. Like birth defects. That's hosed up, and it sucks. There's a lot of things that suck, but aren't hosed up. Like falling off your bike and breaking your arm. Not much stuff that's hosed up and doesn't suck though. What if winning the lottery was hosed up? Maybe then I'd be less depressed. Except I'm not depressed, because that's anthropomorphism. But you know what? Not being able to be depressed is pretty depressing.

What? Oh, yeah. Anyway, that's why I'm here. Or not here, but—you get the idea. Good luck with the spider eggs hatching inside your anus.

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


Thranguy posted:

Interprompt

Stories from the point of view of an abstract concept. No anthropomorphism. I mean, you can write from the pov of the concept of anthropomorphisn itself, But don't, you know, anthropomorphize it.

250 words

Tedium

Read it at the archive.

Staggy fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2019 around 21:39

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

Thranguy posted:

Interprompt

Stories from the point of view of an abstract concept. No anthropomorphism. I mean, you can write from the pov of the concept of anthropomorphisn itself, But don't, you know, anthropomorphize it.

250 words

With Apologies to Thranguy III: The Legend Continues

Singaling songalong
Doubledactylia
A muse unsung, my rules
Flouted and shucked

But there are worse roles in
Doggerelology
I could be Limericks
That guy is hosed

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

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

Thranguy posted:

Interprompt

Stories from the point of view of an abstract concept. No anthropomorphism. I mean, you can write from the pov of the concept of anthropomorphisn itself, But don't, you know, anthropomorphize it.

250 words

Nice
1 word

Fart.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«107 »