Does a story count as "look across the vast gulf of time" if it's about someone trying to get to a relic before it'd be destroyed?
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2018 05:57|
|# ¿ Jun 24, 2019 23:41|
|# ¿ Jan 20, 2018 03:29|
Letters of the Confessor of Schwerkraftfälle - 198 words
Baron Georg Friedrich to Abbot Ekkehard of Huysburg, December 1452, in Letters of the Confessor of Schwerkraftfälle, ed. James Flansburg (New York: Sebastian Publishing, 1978), 60.
Unto the right worshipful Abbot Ekkehard of Huysburg,
On my deathbed I must confess to you the hideous plot I devised to gain favor from the court of the late Cardinal Wilhelm Albrecht the Pious, Prince-Regent of Wuerttemberg and Deuten-Freiwald, may god bless his soul.
I set about a grand deception. If I could not earn Albrecht’s favor thru his pursestrings or thru his stomach I would do so thru his devotion to Saint Geofreida, Unifier of Deuten and the Freiwald. I would present him with her long lost reliquary. The construction of this artifact required deceiving the beloved Wilhelm, the desecration of the dead, and the murder of a simpleton.
I made no pact with the devil to enact this vile scheme and did not seek the guidance of his consorts. The plan was mine alone and the blood of an innocent stains my hands. I beg the lord’s forgiveness for my heinous transgressions and I plead that you intercede on my behalf.
Your most obedient servant,
Baron Georg Friedrich
|# ¿ Jan 22, 2018 07:00|
Don Mendoza and his Sly Compatriots Strike their first Corpulent Target - 756
I, Don (Rogue) from Jabalí, shall now relate to you our tiny towns contributions, big and small, to the overthrow the vile foreign King Harold III....the tyrant [who] replaced our beloved mayor Father Montoya with the vile Louis de Poltrot….
Still, our promenade displayed our pride. Once lined with soldiers marching 15 wide by 20 deep...[their] black trichomes laced with regal blue, festooned with a white cockade not unlike the brow of the noble peacock…In their place was a less organized but no less vibrant mercado.
Though the mercado lacked the formality of infantry on parade, it still maintained a sense of order. The most reputable and respected merchants operated from bright red stalls, arranged back-to-back in two columns of ten….The poorer vendors sold their wares at the edge of the street from duller yellow tents and carts. And peddlers, buskers, and other hawkers of wares and services vied for attention and customers on the sidewalks: be it thru their wares, their gay attire, or their persistence….
The otherwise lazy Poltrot treated the mercado as his own personal fiefdom and it was here that he bared his thuggish nature like teeth. Each week he would pick on several vendors to fulfill his every whim and demand, offering no compensation in return. This demeaning abuse of authority continued without interruption for several months until my compatriots and I decided to attack the petty tyrant.
I was at the market that fateful day. Poltrot “collected” a live chicken as “tax” and forced another vendor to dress and roast it. Poltrot even screamed at the unwilling cook “your dog turns the rotisserie too fast, turn it by hand!” I knew that Poltrot would be spent the next hour or so mocking the poor cook. So I ran straight to the house my compatriots and I were renting.
“The swine is taunting Senor Cruz” I screamed as I scrambled into our den. “Poltrot stole a chicken and is forcing Senor Cruz to cook it. He will be there for a good thirty minutes at least!”. We ran to grab our tools for revenge, crude disguises and a wretched mixture of fat and paint to coat Poltorot with.
Unbeknownst to my fellows, I would also carry length of pipe. And I had on my belt a sheathed dagger to finish the deed if the pipe weren’t enough. We hadn’t yet applied my disguise when we heard a heavy wrapping from the door. Constable Armendariz had arrived.
“I beg your patience, I will be there in a moment” I screamed, my co-conspirators jumping thru an open window and out into a dark alleyway. “Open up the door now Luiz!” he replied. I opened the door, and could only trust my compatriots to drag Poltrot down in one way or another. He grabbed me by the wrist, dragging me back into my “gambling den” and throwing me to the ground. “Stay down!” he barked as he grabbed my bag, filling it with cards, dice, chips, and money. Then there was silence.
Some minutes later a whistle blew coming from the direction of the mercado. Armendariz once again grabbed me by the wrist, demanding complete silence and obedience. I found myself compelled to obey as if for fear of my life. We proceeded to run towards what I could only hope was the corpse of Poltrot.
Alas, he was not dead nor mained. He was merely covered in a foul mixture of grease, lard, paint, and feathers which this final insult would be the only insult.
“Did you catch him, did you catch the brute!” Poltrot cried.
“I’ve only just arrived but I’m certain my men are scouring the area for your foul attacker.” Armendariz replied
“And who is this with you?” Poltrot screeched in reply “What is his role in this?”
Armendariz’s reply was firm, definitive, and authoritative; “I caught this one with his miscreant friends, profaning the day with gambling.” He said, rummaging thru the sack and pulling out a loose card from the bag.
And so Poltrot sobbed his orders to Armendariz; “Give them the maximum punishment! Help me up, conduct your investigation, and punish everyone involved!”
Armendariz glared at me, shoved his face into mine, and grumbled “that was a dangerous game, there’s more at risk then your soul.” Then he shoved me down onto the ground “Report to the jail! If you don’t there’ll be hell to pay!”. I ran off to follow the instructions while the good constable helped the evil pig off the ground.
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2018 08:58|
My entry is automatically disqualified because I never entered. But I heard people had trouble with the prompt and had a few hours to kill so I figured on giving it a try.
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2018 08:59|
NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words
(note to self, everyone’s talking about fan fiction so do that too.)
Griffin had an unhealthy fascination with being eaten and with eating bananas. So his loving youtube fans celebrated his birthday by combining the two interests into one. A life-sized bananafied copy of Griffin. His clothes and skin were made with flavored fondants like chocolate-banana, and strawberry-banana. His eyes were banana slices dipped in white chocolate. Banana pudding formed his blood, banana cake the fat, banana bread the muscles, and frozen bananas the bones. Griffin greedily tore into the banana-head, ignoring youtube messages and comments asking him to slow down. Alas, the banana third-vertebrae proved Griffin’s undoing. He choked on it and died, live on youtube.
|# ¿ Jan 31, 2018 01:23|
Thanks for the crits, they were helpful.
|# ¿ Feb 1, 2018 01:43|
|# ¿ Mar 27, 2018 04:45|
I'll take a flash rule too
|# ¿ Mar 29, 2018 05:10|
The 90's are in again, so why not piggyback off of Roseanne, early Simpsons, and Home Improvement? "Wrench Mama!" A conservative female mechanic/tv host teaches people how to fix cars and families. The link to the animatic's on my card.
|# ¿ Apr 2, 2018 06:54|
I don't suppose I could buy my own door there and have it be door 4.
Edit: This is what I have in mind.
RandomPauI fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2018 around 21:04
|# ¿ Apr 30, 2018 20:55|
In, I'll take a product, and either way, I'll try to work in door 4 even if it isn't an official option
|# ¿ May 1, 2018 11:39|
I threw a collab sheet together.
|# ¿ May 2, 2018 20:45|
In as a judge.
Edit: Beaten by editing.
Fake edit: Damnit, we aren't supposed to edit posts are we? I find myself in contempt!
|# ¿ Jun 12, 2018 10:29|
Me, three days ago:
I will wait until submissions are about to close before I start reading and judging. This way no one gets an extra advantage.
Me, at 6 am today:
Oh yeah, I had other stuff to do on Monday. Better Fast Judge as Fast as possible.
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2018 16:47|
Less gabby gabby more judgy judgy.
You're a loose cannon! You'll never reach S-tier with that attitude!
|# ¿ Jun 19, 2018 00:45|
These are my personal opinions, and do not reflect the final decisions of the entire judgement panel.
My Personal Favorite
DJesser: Her Mission
I’m fond of Cascade as a missionary and a maternal theologian. This story didn’t just touch on culture and religion, it speculated what it could be. I was lost about what was meant by Yeomen, and think the story would have had more of a resonance if Orange didn’t mention religion at all. As if the spirit driving their religion was an entirely new that was uplifting the Golden Rosettes and would live up all of the octopodal kind.
My Honorable Mentions
Armac: Octopuses Remember Too Well
I felt like I was reading a story from the perspective of an octopus. I was thrilled at its ability to fool the shark and pained at its trauma from being captured and inability to find release save for risking death after evading it for so long. I felt a bit confused if you meant angler or anglerfish in the third sentence but the story doesn’t suffer for it.
Ibntumart: The Octocameral Mind
This offered the most unique glimpse into the mind of an intelligent non-humanoid. I especially appreciated the mind fighting the body and itself. Unfortunately, I also found it a distressing and anxiety-provoking read. But that’s for personal reasons that wouldn’t apply to most audiences.
The Technical Loser
BabyRyoga: Natural Selection
This story explicitly broke the prompt in the premise and the execution. On a personal level, I felt like the octopus was a bit too verbose but I recognized the behavior as one of the ways the octopus expressed pride in itself. I’m not going to begrudge an octopus or BabyRyoga for that.
I felt disoriented at the start of the story: stuck between “is this symbolism?” and “is this an octopus settlement?”. This took away my enjoyment during the first read and the confusion stuck with thru me with the second read even though I knew it was about an octopus settlement proper. This is unfortunate because exploring the structure of the society would normally be my thing. I can’t offer any advice on how to avoid that issue.
BadSeafood: As Thieves Deserve
I’m sympathetic to the crow and the boy, and was pleased to see crows communicating with each other and cooperating as if an attack on one was an attack on all. It also felt very crow-like. I felt lost during one middle section, “he claims he did not know that the soldier was mine”. Did the young crow not know it was his? Was the young crow pleading on the boy's behalf? That could use a rewrite for clarity.
Benny Profane: These few birds escape from the net, and fly away to the heavens
I liked the callback to the wrenn and also liked the cuttlefish’s desire to understand. Her giving into her instincts felt appropriate, and the deaths of her and her mate were touching. But unfortunately, it didn’t grab my attention very well. The fates of the parents and the journey itself felt predictable.
Canty: I Am Going Sledding.
The penultimate paragraph was the most joyful one to read of all the stories. But the rest suffers because so much is undeveloped. E.g., using emoji’s for an animal's perspective can be a quick and easy way to show rapid changes in body language: but it fell flat because smilies were used. And the potential for conflict or growth or plot raised in the first half of the story are completely ignored in the second half.
Capt Doc: One For Sorrow
This was a beautiful and bittersweet piece that sincerely and effectively showed the magpies care and concern for a human. It also demonstrated the magpie’s ingenuity and the cooperation between corvid-kind. I felt for her and could only hope that her human survived.
Capt Person: Under Snow At Night
I liked the raven inventiveness but by the time I got to this story, I was spent on crows eating eyes off a carcass. I didn’t get a sense of conflict or urgency either. Or a sense that I was learning anything about how raven’s see things for that matter.
Deltasquid Puzzling Affairs
I was thrilled at how Curly figured out puzzles, empathized with humanity, and reunited with the landlubber she saved. But I was at a loss for what kind of aircraft to imagine and spent too much time trying to figure what and where this could be. The most natural instinct would be to place this in the Pacific campaign of WWII; the Rubix cube placed it no earlier than 1974, but most octopuses don’t make it to 5 years.
Kaishi: Depth of Desire
The story has solid imagery and is well written, which is why it took me a second read to figure out what felt off with the story. It should have been told in the first person. In the third person, it’s reminiscent of a nature documentary where the narrator ascribes meaning to the actions of the creature. But this is obviously an intelligent creature with her own thoughts, feelings, and instincts.
Magnificent 7: I AM ELMORE STANLEY
I liked Elmore being written as an antagonistic protagonist and how he met his demise. But I’m honestly lost about the relevance of him reporting his findings back to base and the bit about the Martians. And why the cuttlefish thought humanity would succumb to drowning. I think the story’s improved by cutting that out and “and I am going to die today”. But I'm not sure by how much.
Meinberg: Call A loving Quorum
This story did the most to give the corvids noticeably distinct voices. And I loved the last line. But I was surprised that the crows didn’t already have an oral tradition of the past and had to handwave it away without coming to an explanation. And was confused why it was called a parliament when no formal decisions were made.
Solitair: The Gleam
I’m a sucker for sentimental stories. I liked the morning ritual, Skydives curiosity, and that the corvids shared cultural observations about human rituals with one another. I also enjoyed reading Skydives thought process.
I was lost about where exactly the story took place. It had to be a place humans inhabited but that’s about all I could figure out. As a result, I spent more time trying to figure out what I was supposed to visualize than identifying with the mother and her struggles. I know pictures weren’t allowed for the story but I feel like even a quick sketch of location would have been invaluable.
Thranguy: Seven for a Secret, Never to Be Told
This is one of the more enjoyable stories of the lot, and but it doesn’t meet the spirit of the prompt. It reads more like a fable or a piece of folklore set on a magical Earth using anthropomorphized corvids. The corvids using a more formal tone is a nice change of pace from them using very simple language.
Yourichi: Invasive Species
The story was very effective. The details were vivid. In general, I try to give the stories at least two read-throughs. But I was despondent and disgusted after reading this story the first time around that I gave up during the second attempt.
|# ¿ Jun 19, 2018 04:33|
Sure, I can judge.
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2018 07:33|
My crits are incoming, I haven't felt so well for the past few days so my initial opinions were based on a blurry memory of stories from Sunday and what I was able to parse on Monday before crawling into bed. Now I can approach the stories refreshed and with new eyes.
The crits are going to be posted in batches of two or three at a time. Every story gets an averaged grade that's independent of my personal enjoyment of the story.
Light of My Life, Vaneveer
Averaged Grade: B+
Thematically, this story hit the right notes: the mother based her identity on the men in her life, she depended on them to keep things from falling apart, she refused to accept any further changes to the status quo, she killed herself and her son rather than lose what she had left.
That said, I didn’t like reading the story. The imagery was too sparse, the dialogue didn’t hold my interest, and I quickly figured she was going to kill him.
The story could be improved by actually describing the son's appearance at the start of the story where he’s weeding the lawn, shortening the starting bits about how the mom sees her son as an ideal, and showing how the two-act towards each other with dialogue, physical interactions, etc.
One side note, I was confused about her desire to call for help though if she had poisoned him to specifically keep him there.
The Ghost of Blackford Manor, Yourichi
Averaged Grade: A-
This story embraces both parts of Southern Gothic. The landed patriarch depends on a literal ghost from the past to maintain the appearance of having standing even as he’s lost relevance and influence. His transgressions are forgiven or at least ignored by his wife to avoid challenging status quo.
I anticipated the ending of the story but the little details held my interest. And I appreciated the hypocrisy of the northern woman continuing the pattern of oppression once she was able to directly control it.
There were a few things that didn’t work. The dialogue didn’t match a Southern Gentleman or a New York elite. The husband was presented in such a vile way that I couldn’t imagine why the modern wife willingly stayed in a place that was falling apart or where they even got their money from. And the murders were hand-waved away as if they didn’t merit investigation.
|# ¿ Jul 19, 2018 00:33|
Averaged Grade: B+
This story was a very good Gothic story in the American Southwest. I immediately got the sense that the story could only have a tragic ending. And the requirements allowed a fair amount of wiggle room. But I didn’t see how it was properly Southern Gothic.
The story was easy to read and the events flowed logically. The protagonist's motivations and intent weren’t immediately clear to me but everything clicked at the end. And there was very vivid imagery.
I’m ashamed to admit this. I couldn’t think of ways to improve the story as a story because I was stuck on how to fit it to the prompt. I couldn't think of any way to do so that wouldn't require making major revisions.
Averaged Grade: A+
This story hit the prompt and the flash rule well. The mother appointing the eldest son as the new patriarch and deferring to him: a minor who only knew violence. The youngest son escaping the doomed farm and finding his salvation in the city only to have to escape it a second time. And the protagonist deciding to murder his brother, destroying everything that’s left of the household and the family in order to find safety and freedom.
I liked being able to sympathize with the protagonist from start to finish. And the story works as a relatively timeless piece. Even so, I’d appreciate it if you’d clarify the timeline.
I wasn’t sure how old the protagonist was when his father died, and how long it took for Sean to become the new patriarch. The story could also have happened any year from the 1930s to today. The decade the story takes place in can greatly shift the significance of Sean using an old revolver and using kerosine lamps exclusively.
RandomPauI fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2018 around 01:02
|# ¿ Jul 21, 2018 05:06|
The Piano, Magnificent 7, Averaged Grade: B-
I see how the story is southern, I had to worry about copperheads back in Virginia. I see how it’s got gothic elements: the setting is gloomy, there’s a love gone wrong. But it didn’t really feel all that gothic to me. And the parts of the song incorporated into the story felt cursory to its message.
I didn’t feel pulled into the story. It felt expository, like a deathbed confession. It could have been made longer, with the narrator going more in-depth about each scene. Or it could have been made shorter. Set the story during homecoming, have them find the place the first time, have him afraid to kiss her, and then have him be too aggressive.
One last thing. The penultimate line might work better as an introduction. Instead of wondering “what will make is this person important to the story” the reader would wonder “why would he kill someone he loved?”
RandomPauI fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2018 around 01:05
|# ¿ Jul 24, 2018 01:01|
A Drop of Venom, Captain Person, B-
I didn’t pick up any elements of the story that were southern or gothic. It was true to the flash rule though.
The driver was effectively set up as someone who was an evil killer. So much so that there wasn’t really any suspense. The kid is in over his head, this woman wants her next fix, and the fix won’t be what’s in the vial because the title implies it’s an instrument of murder.
I’m not sure how the killer is going to continue her killing spree if she insists on using a poison that she’s running or run out of. She could theoretically keep it going a bit longer though if the story were pushed back to the 90s. She could pay at the pump using stolen credit cards without fear of cameras everywhere tracking her past moments or watching her live.
I completely forgot about finishing the crits after getting better. Doh.
|# ¿ Jul 28, 2018 05:35|
In for the memorial
Do we have to do the card to for the memorial or?
|# ¿ Aug 8, 2018 03:48|
Eulogy submission - 217 words
We lost Andre on August 2nd. His death united his family and circles of friends in celebrating his life and mourning his death. One of these circles was an online writing community and literary botanical garden called Thunderdome.
Andre’s friend Tara helped grow the Thunderdome from a quirky seed of an idea to a forest of thousands of stories. She introduced Andre to the group in the hopes his writing talents would take root there and bloom.
The rest of Thunderdome would know Andre by his pen name, Jay W. Friks. He became a fixture here as a friendly and promising writer. He wrote entries almost every week: claiming a space for a story, developing a plot, sharing the fruits of his efforts for review and judgment.
He was also very sociable. He met with the other members who lived in the Seattle area, gave advice, hosted RPGs in person and online, participated in our party games. We almost expected him to stay with us as long as Thunderdome was around.
Thunderdome stories are preserved forever as they were submitted: flowers, weeds, and all. They were a way to chart his progress as his losses became honorable mentions became wins. Now they serve as an unchanging memorial of a brilliant man who left us years too soon.
|# ¿ Aug 11, 2018 01:57|
I'm in, but I'm wary about writing about real life people right now.
|# ¿ Aug 28, 2018 09:04|
|# ¿ Jun 24, 2019 23:41|
I'll chance the flash
|# ¿ Aug 28, 2018 09:11|