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curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Prompt!

Prompt?

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curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

In, Double or Nothing

Nice to see you, Seafood!

Somebody fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2018 around 01:22

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Queen of Diamonds
771 Words

Flash: Your protagonist, or one of them, has a crippling disability which makes an otherwise routine part of job significantly more complicated. Despite this, they hold their own.



“Well, I guess this is it,” said Chaavi, smiling at her opponent. “Last hand, final pot. You sure you’re still in?”

“Oh, darlin’, I wouldn’t dream of missing this,” said the man across from her. He put his gilded cowboy boots up on the table and took a drag from his cigarillo. “I’m ready for whatever you got for me, Miss Chhavi.”

Chhavi grinned. “We’ll see about that, won’t we?” She gestured for the dealer to start shuffling the cards one last time, and drummed her fingers on the table next to her chips. The crystal facets of her fingers glittered in the light of the casino table as she waited. This is it, she thought. Not much longer.

She had caught the Diamond Plague on a little backwater world half a year ago, and it had taken her almost that entire time to get back to the point where she was half as good as she had been. There was a cure, but it was well beyond the means of a simple card sharp and occasional petty thief that she had scraped by as before.

Coming back to this place, the casino where she had first become fascinated with the world of gambling and sleight-of-hand, had been a gamble in and of itself. She was nearly out of money, not to mention any hope for the future. She had gotten lucky in running into Braulo Aurelate, heir to the Aurelate Technologies fortune and notorious gambler. When she had sat down at the table, there had been five players, all of them trying to bait Braulo into giving away a little of his fortune, but now there were only two of them left. Mostly, luck had been on her side, but she hadn’t been averse to helping it along once or twice.

As the dealer, a woman in a gold brocade vest and elegant cigarette pants, passed out the cards, Chhavi felt a twinge behind her right eyelid, and shook her head slightly. She had been having near-debilitating headaches off and on for the last few days, usually preceded by this kind of twinge behind the eye. Just wait a little longer, then you can have all of the headaches you like.

Her heart skipped a beat as she picked up her cards, and she worked to school her face to calm. A royal flush! She hadn’t even had to swap any of her cards for the ones carefully tucked up her sleeve. She pretended to deliberate over her hand for a while before putting down her initial wager, a sum greater than her last year’s expenses combined. Braulo met her wager with a smirk that she fought not to match.

It was always a delicate game, leading the other person into the belief that you were just another overconfident mark. Chhavi had developed a system of tells over the course of her career, always deployed with a light touch. Over the course of their last several games together, for example, she had led her opponent to believe that she had a tendency to jiggle her leg when she was bluffing, as she was doing now. She could tell that Braulo had taken the bait, as he was grinning a little wider at her every time she raised. Oh, honey, you have no idea.

By the time they were both nearly all in, Chhavi was nearly buzzing with excitement, something she only let out through her now increasingly-obvious leg jiggling. With the money she was about to win, not only could she afford treatment for the Diamond Plague, but she could probably retire on some pleasure planet afterwards. Aurelate might be smarting a little bit afterwards, but she was sure he could afford it.

The pain behind her eye flared up, so white-hot that she gasped and clamped her hand over her eye, forgetting in her pain that it was her crystalline right hand.

Visions ripped through her, burning like acid across her sight. Setting down her cards, raking all of the chips towards her, laughing as Aurelate glowered at her from across the table. Making her way out of the casino in a euphoric haze. Meeting a contingent of Aurelate’s bodyguards outside the building. Shock. Pain. Darkness.

“Are you doin’ alright over there, miss?” Aurelate’s voice woke Chhavi from her visions. Shocked to find herself still alive, still in the casino.

She looked at the man across the table from her, then down at her cards. Her right hand glittered still in the cheery light of the casino. Her right eye twinged.

Oh well. There’s always another game.

“I fold.”

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

FG...



..GJ?

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

I am in (middle school still), and have never stopped listening to Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon.

(At least it wasn't ic?)

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

https://thunderdome.cc/?story=6348&...mise+of+the+Sky

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Jul 14, 2018 around 23:28

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe



Your task this week is to play with form, whether narrative form or physical form. You can choose an unusual narrative style (epistolary, stream of consciousness, nonlinear, second-person, etc.), OR play with physical form (the classic is, of course, House of Leaves, but there are many others), or even both! If you choose to use an unusual format that you feel may be ill-served by the BBCode and/or the forums, the preferred alternative is to post a picture of your text via imgur. The goal here is to make this as easy as possible for our beloved archivist and AI overlord. When in doubt, try not to be a dick.

If you make your story hard enough to read that you make any of the judges physically ill, the best you can hope for is a DQ. Again, don't be a dick. I don't want to read another one of these.

As usual, no fanfic, erotica, quote tags, gdocs, etc. If you really want to write poetry, I don't mind, but you still need to give it a narrative arc.

Word Count: 1000 words

Signups close Friday, February 16th at 11:59 PM PST
Entries are due Sunday, February 18th at 11:59 PM PST


Judges:
curlingiron
Ironic Twist
Can'tDecideOnAName

Stylish Bastards:

Jay W. Friks
Thranguy
Crain
sandnavyguy
Solitair
Antivehicular
SurreptitiousMuffin
Fuzzy Mammal
anime was right
spectres of autism
Maigius
Ninjalicious
Nethilia

...and also probably TheGreekOwl?

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2018 around 08:03

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

TheGreekOwl posted:

Before I offer to be in, I have issues.

I should mention, I am a young contemporary artist with an interest in the philosophy of art

What the prompt has done is inserted an element of visual aesthetics into the mix it seems. It's not just about the conceptual content of what is written, but also the optic compositional form that will be judged. As a result, I must ask: how far exactly can we go with this experimentation? Will totally avante-garde story form be accepted? (as in not disqualified, crits are welcome) Will this be just a regular story, just do some cool visual stuff with the composition of the words?

If it's left to me, I will be going all the way with the experimentation, to a level that I am not sure if the judges will appreciate. I can always write a complementary aesthetics text to justify what I am doing, but that would probably getting into pretentious territory.

That's a really great question. I certainly don't have your specific background knowledge, but I can tell you what I was thinking when I chose this prompt. For me, the kind of stylistic pieces that I get the most excited about are the ones where the form itself has some kind of impact on the story. I'm not looking for illustrations because they're neat, but for experimentation that enhances or adds meaning to the text itself. One of my favorite examples of this (and I apologize for only referencing this book, it's just the one that springs to mind the most easily) is the chapter on labyrinths in House of Leaves; specifically, there's a sentence that mentions mazes turning back on themselves and leading to dead-ends that has a footnote leading to a previous footnote. While this is a very minor example of it (and ultimately one that didn't impact the story specifically), I did think that it was clever to make a labyrinthine text on labyrinths.

I really like weird poo poo (like, a lot), and as long as you're fulfilling the requirements that I've set forth in the prompt post (specifically, make it easy to put in the archives and don't give anyone a seizure and/or migraine), I won't dock you points solely for that. However, this is a literary competition first and foremost, so if you get so caught up in crazy antics that you forget to write good words, you may be in danger of a loss or DM.

I would say my idea of a winning entry would be the entry that was both a good and complete story AND most impressed me with its use of the chosen form, whether visual or narrative.

I hope this helps!

e: oh wait, was I not supposed to answer that in earnest? poo poo, sorry.

Okay, take two:

lol

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

If y’all need another Seattle team member, I can make the drive up throw my hat in. Not sure if there are other goons in closer proximity who would better serve, though.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Well, then, let's loving do this poo poo.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Okay. I’m sorry you’re upset, and you can submit whatever you want, but I think if you wanted an actual discussion about the requirements for this week, it would have been better to bring it up at any point before the day submissions are due.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

▂▃▅▆▇█ S █ U █ B █ M █ I █ S █ S █ I █ O █ N █ S █ █ A █ R █ E █ █ C █ L █ O █ S █ E █ D █▇▆▅▃▂

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Flatwoods Monster, please!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

WEEK 289 RESULTS



Also, thanks for not making me regret all of my life choices, goons.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Week 289 Crits

Hello, I am dumb and stayed up too late because my city shuts down over one inch of snow, so here are some crits of varying quality:

Before I say anything else about this week, I have to say that I really enjoyed most of the stories, even the ones on the “low” end were pretty fun to read, and I (usually) saw what you were going for, and enjoyed it. If I had any general gripes at all, it would be that when you’re posting pictures, it’s probably best to make sure that your pictures line up and/or have some semblance of uniformity to them. I understand that not everyone has a good setup to edit photos, but even with screenshots, you can try to make sure they’re all of roughly the same width. If you have Windows, I cannot recommend the Snipping Tool highly enough, and if you’re a Mac user, cmd+shift+4 is your friend. Anyway, that’s really my only very minor complaint, so thanks for not making me hate my life as much as I thought that I would when I decided to use this prompt.

Tense
Oh boy. You know, despite your DMing this week, I didn’t hate this story, and I appreciated what you were trying to do with your format, even if it felt a little uninspired (you weren’t the only person who seemed to think that changing the color of words on occasion was the Way To Go, so I don’t blame you). However, you committed some sins in this that were a little difficult to look past, namely that you put a lot of information into the background of your story without a lot of explanation or clarity to aid your reader in deciphering your meaning. What was the well? What was the rock that he gave his son? What was the power that possessed him, and perhaps continued to do so while he was in the hospital? Do you know? That wasn’t particularly clear, either (and I’m saying that as someone who has been guilty of exactly that on more than one occasion). You had a lot of ideas here, and not all of them were bad at all, but you needed a little more thought and a little more cohesion (and maybe a few hundred more words) to make them all work together. If it were me and I wanted to rewrite this, I’d ditch the colors entirely, since I don’t think that they added anything to the story particularly, and try to add some more context to your character (Derrick? You threw that name in towards the end and I was unclear on whether it was your POV character or not) and what happened with Bobby and why.


CASE No. 67-042, Exhibit 03, A-E

I’ll admit that I needed the subtleties of your last card and what they implied explained to me, so I didn’t get as much out of this on the first readthrough as I might have. In my defense, I think that I was so focused on trying to figure out what was going on with the background characters (John, Janet, Dave, etc.) that I may have missed the forest for the trees. To that end, I think that you had a LOT of unnecessary information in your text that only served to distract from the story you were trying to tell.
Honestly, this seemed so all over the place to me. I didn’t even catch that Karla was Milton’s daughter until the second readthrough, maybe because of the distraction of the typos, maybe because there was a lot to figure out very quickly about what was happening, or maybe because it never occured to me that a father would sign his first name on letters to his daughter. The voice in general wasn’t very strong (or come off as very fatherly to me), and the characterization was weak, so I didn’t have much emotional resonance with anything. This probably would have gotten a DM from me left to my own devices, but there’s enough of an idea here (and other people seemed to like it enough) that it got a pass.


When it broke, all the colour ran out
I was a little disappointed by this. I was saving this one during readthroughs because I was excited to see what you came up with (and I happen to be extremely fond of your stories and poetry), but this felt a little… I don’t know, uninspired? You’re so good at writing strange and simultaneously touching things, I really expected more soul from this piece. That, plus synesthesia seemed a little obvious for a week where people were encouraged to play with color.
I don’t know. I feel a little bad, since you seemed to feel confined by the prescription of a narrative arc, but having read some of your poetry before, I can’t even say that I would have objected to more of a free-form entry this week. I like to have some sense of something happening, but I think that there are plenty of poems that do this without having a lot of character development per se (including my absolute favorite), so maybe it was a mistake on my part to say that. I think a lot of what I put into the prompt post was based on my own experiences with trying and failing to use different forms well, so maybe that was why I felt like I had to put that in there, and for any part that that may have played in your feeling like you needed to limit or change your entry for this, I apologize.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. If I hadn’t known that this was your piece, I probably wouldn’t have been quite as disappointed as I was; there’s nothing objectionable about this piece, and it isn’t bad at all, it’s just not what I was hoping for, and that’s okay. Sorry I don’t have more specific feedback to give you.


The Two-Door Machine
I liked what you did with the text justification standing for each different character in the story; I felt that it was a clever way to tie in with the themes without being overly obstrusive to the reader’s experience. The story itself was a little thin, and I felt the ending felt a little like a self-parody. I get the body horror that you were trying to go for, but I think that it just didn’t land very well, and maybe didn’t (to me) feel like it meshed well with the rest of the narrative. Specifically the listing of added or missing body parts was a little silly and took away from the almost poignant feeling of the preceding text. I do think that you could do some cool things with this and end up with a good piece, though.


Let Us In
Okay, I really liked this one, although I appeared to be the only one of the judges who did. I didn’t 100% understand what was going on all the time (and maybe you didn’t either? As I've said in other crits this week, I’ve been guilty of that myself more than once), but I think sometimes that’s okay. I liked the lyricism of this, and the cyclical nature of the narrative. If you wanted to improve on it, though it would be a good idea to make things a little clearer (to both your audience and yourself).


I'm Kin
Oh mannnnn, you always have such big interesting ideas, and I feel like you end up leaving a lot of them out (or unsaid), and it leaves everyone feeling a little dazed and frustrated. You (as always) had a lot of really cool, dream-like elements that you play with throughout the piece, but I felt like there was maybe a missing third or fourth part to this that would give more context or connection between the two halves and the shadows that they shared. Like, it’s kind of your style to not do that, but I always love your stories when you manage to make your readers feel included in your world, rather than like a bystander in someone else’s fever dream. Also, off of any subject whatsoever, there were parts of this that reminded me of House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, which you might like? Just in case you’re looking for books; I always am, so I thought I’d throw it out there.


BFF
I totally yelled “Noooooo!” aloud when I saw the format you’d chosen for this (I think probably reflexively), but you won me over. There wasn’t a ton of depth here, but I appreciated that it was a good solid story, and your dedication to form had me reliving a few very uncomfortable years, which was… good? I honestly don’t know if this story would resonate quite as much with someone younger, as I think part of its charm is the vicarious reexperiencing of middle/high school drama, which I am obviously into since I chose to deal with teenagers for the rest of my life. Anyway, sweet story, nice attention to detail, good job.


Call and Response
Speaking of yelling out loud when I first saw things, this one had my exclaiming over how cool I thought this concept was. I’ll admit that I’m a real sucker for hidden messages, and I thought that your idea of showing how David was using his mother’s words to fight his way back to consciousness was hands-down the best use of format-narrative interplay that I saw this week. Honestly, I think that was what pushed me over the edge as far as giving you the win went - not that it wasn’t a good story, but the ending was a little weak (and unclear), and there was at least one other story that I felt was more compelling overall (although apparently no one agreed with me on that, so who knows), but this for me was the perfect balance of story and form, which is what I said at the beginning I was looking for. Very nice!


Haunted by Numbers
I really, REALLY liked this one. I’m into nonlinear poo poo, and I enjoyed the slowly unraveling mystery of who and what William was. This was actually my initial pick for win, although I feel that you had some things that detracted from the story itself: there were a few questions left unanswered by the end of the story in my mind, and I felt that your explanation of Julie being “special” without further explanation felt like a bit of a cop-out. Maybe I missed something, but none of the other judges seemed to have any more of an idea than I did. I also felt that, while the non-linear format of the story worked very well, the format (and the numbers motif) didn’t serve any purpose other than to keep information from your readers (and having now said this, I feel a little guilty for coming down so hard on this week’s loser for their twist ending, but OH WELL, TOO LATE NOW). Regardless, I think with a little more polish and some extra length this could be a truly sterling piece.


After the Crash
Ugggghhhhh, I haaaaaate twist endings. Admittedly, I hate them the way that I do because I’ve written enough “clever” twist endings myself that I now cringe at them out of pure Pavlovian instinct. Seriously, my very first (off-topic) story in the ‘dome resulted in Sebmojo chastising me for writing a Secretly a Dog story, so don’t feel too bad.
I think the real issue with twists is that they’re lazy, in the same way that one-note joke stories are lazy; you come up with an idea and spend the entire story concealing that thing from your reader, with the intention of the reveal serving as a substitute for resolution. The combination of that with ALIENS was what got you the loss, but I honestly didn’t hate this, just like I didn’t really hate anything this week. This would have been fine in a different week, probably. That’s just how it goes, sometimes.


Six Questions About the Death of Greta Mandelbrot

Okay, a few issues here:
One, you really didn’t do anything interesting with your use of form. You put the words referring to Greta in green, but why? What did that contribute to your story or narrative? It felt like you just did it so your story would meet the form requirement, since you didn’t have anything else going on, really. It also meant that it was annoying to figure out what the titles of each of the questions was - instead of copying and pasting, I had to type things manually into Google to figure out what they meant, which, of course, wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but meant that I didn’t realize the time span of your narrative until well after my initial reading. I like the alternative history vibe you were going for, but I feel like there wasn’t enough there for your reader to really understand the universe that you were sketching for them, and it felt like kind of a jumbled mess. Again, this is something that I myself have done in the past, so I feel for you on this one. I think a good rule of thumb is that if you’re spending a lot of time thinking hard about how to phrase things so you’re not “giving anything away,” your reader is probably going to be annoyed by it. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what happened here, but it felt a little like it. You had a lot going on in the background and not enough in focus (so to speak) to make any of it land.


Spiral
So I actually liked the format on this one, and being the only judge (I assume) who actually worked with spiraling text in Photoshop this week, I don’t blame you as much as I might for your legibility issues. Whatever program you used wrought havoc on the text itself, though, so that was a little disappointing.
So yes, I liked how your format directly mirrored the theme of your story, and I think that out of all of the entries this week, you were the one who did the best job with this. Unfortunately, the story itself was underwhelming, and the legibility issues drew the ire of the other judges. I feel like the themes that you had were handled somewhat hamfistedly, and the story could have done a lot better if you had focused on a shorter time period, and pared down what you chose to include. Cutting the opening scene at the football game would be an easy way to free up words that would better serve elsewhere; maybe add some more characterization while you’re at it, and try to add some complexity beyond the (somewhat predictable) circumstances you’ve described here. Also, for heaven's sake, use a better photo editor next time.

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2018 around 10:15

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Seattle vs Wellington Brawl
Flatwoods Monster, Sparkle

A Lost Page
950 words


It wasn’t that Aggie was surprised to find someone in her tree house in the deep woods; other kids would sometimes come in to smash her things and steal anything they took a fancy to. They were usually gone when she got there, but she had caught a couple of them once or twice, and gotten a loose tooth for her trouble.

She was surprised, however, by the fact that her uninvited guest was neither a kid from school come to pick on the quiet girl, nor a couple of teenagers looking for somewhere to make out, but a golden creature with long, narrow limbs, crouched like a spider waiting to spring.

Aggie froze, gripping the straps of her bag full of library books like a liferope. She stared at the creature’s face, its two wide eyes that looking for all the world like her great-aunt’s opal ring. It seemed to be looking back at her, and eventually it began to slowly tip its head back and forth, trying to get a better look at her. It moved one limb towards her, which made her look down at it, which is when she noticed the papers scattered around its feet.

“Oh!” she said. “My diary!” She took an instinctive step forward, which made the creature recede into itself, and suddenly her eyes were full of tears, and she was falling to the ground at the creature’s feet, trying to put the pages back in order.

This is so stupid, she thought, her hands blindly groping through her tears. This thing is going to kill me, and it’s all because I forgot to take my diary home with me last night. But she couldn’t stop. The diary was the only thing she owned that meant anything to her, and she couldn’t bear to leave it broken and scattered by some monster.

She stopped and looked at the page that was in front of her, then followed the trail from the fine-boned golden hand that was holding it, back to the impossibly tall creature that was ducking down to make itself small as it held the tattered page out to her.

Wiping the tears from her eyes, Aggie stared at the creature as it stayed in its position. She reached out slowly, and took the page from the creature.

“Thank you,” she said in a small voice, she said in a small voice, looking away from the creature's blank golden face and pearly eyes.

It held out another page, but this time when Aggie went to take it, its other hand reached out and pointed at the page it was holding. Aggie hesitated a second and then leaned forward, to see that it was pointing at the word sorry.

She gasped. “Do you… You can… Can you understand me?”

The creature looked down at the page in front of it, then pointed again. Yes.

“Can you talk?”

No.

“I… What are you?”

The creature cocked its head, then pointed again. No.

“You don’t want to tell me?”

Yes.

“Oh. Well, why are you here?”

The creature looked around, then picked up another page and pointed. Lost.

“You’re lost? Where are you from?”

Far. Away.

“Well… Maybe I can help you.” Aggie sat down and started to pull books out of her bag. “I got a book of maps the other day, maybe we can help you find where you’re from.” She spread all of the books out in front of her, tucking the torn pages from her diary carefully beside her.

The opened the book of maps, a huge volume that the school librarian had hemmed and hawed over lending to her, and held it out for the creature to look at.

“This is a map of the whole world, see? The different colors represent the different countries.” She waited while the creature bent its head low over the book. It gazed at the pages for a long while, but eventually drew back and pointed at one of the diary pages it still held.

No.

“It wasn’t there? Could it be that you just didn’t see it? There are other close-up maps…” She began to open the book to another page, but the creature leaned past her towards another one of the books that she had taken out of her bag.

“Oh,” she said, staring at the book in the creature’s hands. “Yes, that would make more sense.”

The creature flipped through the pages of the book for a few moments, and then held out a page to her.

“That’s Pegasus,” she said, gazing down at the page, and then up at the creature. “Is that where you’re from, then?”

Yes.

She laughed a little. “I guess it was stupid of me to not think of that first.” She looked down at the book of maps in her hands and closed it slowly. “If… If you’re lost, I can- I mean, the stars will come out in a little while, and I can show you where Pegasus is, if you want. It was always my favorite, and...” She trailed off.

She was looking down at her lap, and didn’t see the creature holding out a page to her for a few moments.

Yes.

“Oh,” she said, smiling. “Well, good, then.”

***

In the end, Aggie told the librarian that her dog had chewed up the copy of The Stars, and she spent her next three months’ worth of allowance paying for it. It was alright, though. She still smiled every fall when she saw Pegasus peek over the horizon.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

IN

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

CATMAND AND CONQUER: CAT AND MEOWUSE PART 1: ORIGINS aka THE TAMING OF THE MEW, A LOVE STORy
1052 AWESOME words

by curlingiron, age 14



Commander Meow stared hard at his reflection in the mirror on the walls of his bunker in the small town of Meownville, USA. This was Catmerica’s darkest hour; the Cat President had been kidnapped by their greatest enemies - Nazi Mice, lead by the Furrher NOTE: German sounding name but also a mouse pun. Change later!!!!!.

COmmander Meow could still remember the last words the Cat President had said to him before he was kidnapped: “Commander Meow, only you can use the terrible secret I am about to tell you-” Unfortunately he was kidnapped before he finished his sentence. Commander Meow
could still smell the tuna on his breath.

“If only he had been able to tell me the terrible secret he was about to tell me, maybe this situation would not be a situation that we were in,” Commander Meow said to himself in the mirror. The mirror did not say anything back because it was not capable of speech.

“COMMANDER MEOW, WE HAVE A SITUATION AND WE NEED YOU RIGHT AWAY!!!” shouted Corporal Capslock explosively, running into the room like a plot point.

“What is it, Corporal?!?!” Commander Meow yelled back, his bottlebrush tail sticking out from under his uniform like a forced metaphor.

“IT’S A CATASTROPHE!! THE NAZI MICE ARE ATTACKING! AND THEY’VE FORMED AN ALLIANCE WITH THE COMMUNIST DOGS!!! can we make this a pun later??? I can’t think of any words that start with- oh wait COMMUNIST CANINES!!!!!!!”

“What?! But what about the treaty!!!” SCReamed Commender Meow.

“WELL, COMMANDER, AS YOU KNOW, THE TREATY HAS BEEN IN DANGER EVER SINCE THE SKIRMISHES WITH THE GOLDFISH NATION ON THE CANINE BORDER. ESPECIALLY SINCE WE STARTED LEVYING TARIFFS AGAINST THE IMPORT OF CATNIP FROM THE CANINE NATIONS, THE LEADERS HAVE BEEN AGITATING AGAINST CATMERICA’S STRANGLEHOLD ON THE GLOBAL ECATNOMY. THEIR INFERIOR DOG BRAINS CAN’T HELP BUT BE JEALOUS OF OUR REFINEMENT AND DIGNITY.”

“My Cat God… How soon will they arrive???”

“THEY’RE ALREADY INSI-” Corporal Capslock let out a scream of anguish as his intestines were torn from lower back and sprayed across the hallway in a shower of blood and partially digested kibble.

“Corporal, nooooooooooooooooo!” Commander Meow screamed, as the Nazi Mice and their allies, the Communist Canines swarmed into the room.

“Give up, Commander Meow,” snarled the Nazi Mouse officer in front of him. He was a hulking brute, closer to a rat than a mouse, and Commander Meow couldn’t keep a snarl of contempt from crossing his whiskered face as the arrogant mouse stalked closer to him. Commander Meow hated mice, even more than other cats, because when he was a child something traumatic happened to him at the hands of mice, probably involving his parents.

“I will never give in to you, Nazi Mouse SCUM!!!” shrieked Commander Meow, his fur sticking out at all angles, making his uniform buttons strain against the new volume they were trying to contain.

“Oh yeah?” said the nearest Communist Canine, a Corgi with a nametag that said “Carl” is that a Russian name? Look up later “What if we told you….. Your Cat President is DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed Commander Meow, tearing at his own fur in anguish. “That can’t be true!!!”

“Oh, but it is, Cat-bag!” giggled another Nazi Mouse in glee, his voice like a rusty trap. “Feast your eyes…. On THIS!!!!!” The nazi mouse whipped out a bag that he had been holding behind his back and pulled out the severed head of the Cat President.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed Commander Meow again. The Cat President had been like a father to him, and now he was DEAD! Deaaaaaaaaaaadddddddd!!!!! Commander Meow had two dead dad’s, and it was all because of these MOTHER loving NAZI MICE!!!!!

Just then, as Commander Meow was screaming in agony, again, the Cat President’s magnificent tongue, renowned across the world for its incredible roughness and length, lolled out of his mouth.

“What’s that???” yelled the Nazi Mouse holding the Cat President’s head. “Something’s written on his tongue!!!!!”

“You idiot!!!” also yelled the bigger Nazi Mouse next to him! “Don’t let the cat see it! It’s probably a secret message!!”


But it was too late: Commander Meow had already seen the message written on the former Cat President’s tongue. It said OPERATION CATDICK on it, and Commander Meow knew exactly what it meant.

Like a really fast cat, Commander Meow dove behind the president’s desk that happened to be in the same room that they were all in, and reached in to the Cat President’s desk drawer and pulled out a remote control that had a big red button on it labeled OPERATION CATDICK that he pressed.

“Say Hello To My Little Friend!!!!!” screamed Commander Meow, as a giant missile descended from the ceiling. Tiny barbs erupted from all over the missile, like the spikes on a cat penis, and penetrated everyone in the room except for Commander Meow, who was still safely underneath the Cat President’s desk.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, MY BLOOD!” screamed a Nazi Mouse as his blood came out of him.

“IT HURTS!” howled a Nazi Communist Canine , as visera leaked out of his butthole, which was now in his throat.

“ARghleUGHGLugH!!” screamed another nAzi mouse as he died from dying.

Soon, all of the Nazi Mice and Communist Dogs were dead. They had all crowded into the room because they wanted to see Commander Meow’s reaction to the death of his mentor and second father, and then they had all been punished for their hubris by dying from the CATDICK missle. Now they were all dead, and Commander Meow was not dead, and he had won.

“Fathers…. I have avenged you.” said Commander Meow, standing up from under the table.

“Oooh, CommANder MeOW~!!” sang Pussy Katt, the hottest Cat Cabinet member in the Cat President’s staff, slinking into the room in a tight red dress. Her catboobs were heaving with desire. “You kILLed all of those TERRible NAAAzi MIce~!! And since THEY killed the Cat PrESIdent, that means YOU’re the NEW Cat PREsident!!!!” Pussy Katt shuddered with arousal.

“Hail to the Chief, baby,” smirked Commander Meow, and then he kissed Pussy Katt on the lips, and then they totally did it right there in the office, kitty-style. ohhhhhhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiiii-


THE END….????????

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Also posting your prompt picture is for cool kids, but not in your story post, I guess, so here's mine:

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Tanz! posted:

Interprompt: Ideas Guy

Give me your worst story pitch possible. 50 word max.

okay, i got twoo words for you

COCK.

ZOMBIES.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Unfunny Poster posted:

Edit - I'm a dummy and used the wrong prompt loving everything up.

Oops.

The good news is that you picked the right week to do it!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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This week on Thunderdome: in this very special episode, Tanz! learns why we’re all specifically forbidden from writing erotica.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Bubble Bobby posted:

I don't have irc. The point is that the contract is obviously not going to be carried out. It's called a trick. I guess I should have made that more clear. Thanks for reading.

Even more specifically, this link will take you directly to the Thunderdome chat: https://client02.chat.mibbit.com/?s...=%23THUNDERDOME

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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ALL DOORS OPEN INTO THE VOID.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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The Void Also Gazes Into You
980 words


“Welcome to the Void!” said a piercing voice in Nina’s ear, so sudden and so close that she almost dropped the bin she was carrying. She looked around frantically to see where it had come from, but she could see no more than she had for the last half hour, which was to say, not at all.

“Hello?” she called. “Who’s there?”

“Who’s there! This isn’t a knock-knock joke, kid! What do you think this is, a classy establishment?” The voice laughed at its own joke, and Nina again searched for the source of the noise. The voice seemed to be coming from everywhere all at once, and she still couldn’t see anything.

“Can you - can you tell me where I am?” she said.

“What are you, a slow learner or something? I just said “Welcome to the Void!” Was that not enough of a tip-off, or do you need a marching band to go with it?” The voice laughed again and Nina winced.

“I’m sorry, I just - I think that I’m lost. I’m supposed to be taking these items to the Returns department, and I think I got lost along the way-”

“Oh no, you found Returns alright!” the voice said manically. “What, you think we put our rejects back on the shelves or something?”

“I’m really sorry, but I don’t understand-”

“Well of course you don’t! I wouldn’t expect some kid from the - let’s see here, what does your tag say - the TOY department to understand the intricacies of our Returns system. Who’d you piss off to get sent here anyway? We don’t see a lot of normies down our way.”

“I, um, I…” Nina was suddenly fighting back tears. “I’m sorry, but it’s been a really long day, and I’ve been walking around in the dark trying to find out where to take this stuff for way too long, and I’d really appreciate if you’d just tell me where to go so I can get back to my job in the toy department.” She said these last words bitterly, and then tried to hold her breath to cut back a sob.

“Oh, jeez, kid, I’m sorry,” the voice said. “I didn’t mean to make you feel bad - we’ve just kinda got a dark sense of humor around here, probably on account of their not being any light, you know? Ha, sorry, I guess I don’t know when to stop. Here, lemme see if I can get something going in here-”

A spotlight clicked on overhead, bringing Nina face-to-face with a skeleton leering directly in front of her. She shrieked, and threw the bin she was carrying at it out of instinct. The light went out.

“Ow! Come on, I was just trying to make you feel better! Sorry, I probably should have warned you about the whole skeleton thing. Here, let me see if I can find something to - ah, got it!”

The light clicked back on, showing Nina the same skeleton, but now wearing a pair of Groucho Marx glasses and holding her bin full of merchandise, which it proffered to her.

“Um, thanks,” Nina said, taking the bin back. “Uh, do you work in Returns?”

“Got it in one! I’m Danny, by the way. I’d offer to shake, but your hands are full and mine are a little too empty, if you know what I mean!” Danny cackled again and Nina winced; his laugh didn’t really get any better seeing where it was coming from.

“Well, um, do you know where I should be taking these?” She looked around, but outside of the Danny and herself, she still couldn’t make anything out, not even the floor they were standing on.

“Hmm, yeah, that’s gonna be a little difficult. Well, I mean, the taking it to where it needs to be is easy, but it’s the getting out part that’s gonna be hard.”

“What do you mean?” Nina said.

“Weeeeeeell, the Void isn’t nuts about giving up things that are given to it.”

“That shouldn’t be a problem, though,” said Nina. “I mean, I’m supposed to just leave these here and then go back. I don’t need to take anything with me.”

“Yeah, but the fact that you’re here means that the Void thinks that you’re part of the Return, and it’s probably gonna want to keep you.”

“What? But I need to go back! I can’t stay here!” Nina’s voice started to rise in panic.

“Right, right, exactly, which is why I’m gonna help you out. Look, kid, I’m gonna tell you a secret ‘cause I like you: you don’t have to stay in the Void to stay with the Void.”

“What does that even mean?”

“Well that’s the secret, you see - everyone’s got a little bit of the Void in ‘em. All you need to do is take a little bit more with you when you leave.”

“I… How do I do that?”

“It’s easy. Here, let me get the light-”

Nina blinked as the spotlight snapped back off, trying to readjust to the backness though she logically knew that there was nothing more to see.

“Danny? Are you still there? What am I supposed to do now?”

“Yep, still here! Okay, now close your eyes-”

“Will that really make a difference?”

“Just trust me on this one. Close your eyes, and imagine a part of you filling up with the Void. A perfect ball of nothing, just inside your ribcage. Imagine your heart and lungs moving to adjust to make room for it. Good. Now, say ‘I welcome the Void into my life.’”

“I welcome the Void into my life.”

There was a long silence.

“Danny?” Nina said, and opened her eyes.

She was in the break room near the Toy department. Her bin was empty, except for a Post-It note:

The Void Welcomes You Too, Nina!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Flash rules:

Dem Bones, Dem Dry Boners by HiddenGecko

<TDbot> That's the secret you see – everyone's God. | Shredding by sebmojo - https://thunderdome.cc/?story=5598

Dihaj, "Skeletons," Azerbaijan, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFqic5GBQNg

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Thank you for some pro-tier critting!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Yeah, let's do this. She

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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https://thunderdome.cc/?story=6663&title=Maiden+Flight

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:00

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Thanks for the crits! 🐝

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Hi friend!

I happened to notice that you did some crits for the week that you won, which is great!

I also noticed that you seem to have decided that since you got crowned king of poo poo mountain in a low-turnout week, you're god's gift to TD writers.

I know you've got a busy week ahead of you, but why don't you take a break from lapping at your own rear end in a top hat and brawl me?

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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PROMPT FOR THE BLOODBRAWL

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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In for team Were!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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[b] CI/IC Adrenaline Brawl

https://thunderdome.cc/brawls.php?story=582

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:02

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Cheers!

And thanks for the crits, Yoruichi!

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Anomalous Blowout posted:

In. Vamp me, daddy.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Were: Star-nosed mole

Summer's End
1196 words


The moon shone on the lake, its reflection slices of light that spilled toward me like a ladder. I took a breath and closed my eyes. The smell of damp earth and water flowed over me, grounding me. This was the only time that I was ever truly free of my anxiety, could worry about nothing but living in the moment. Existential dread seemed to fall away in the face of the immediacy of nature; hunt or be hunted always won out over worrying about the future.

It was late August, the last full moon before school started again, and my parents had taken us out into the mountains in the family tradition of exploring nature - real nature, not whatever suburban parkland that we happened to live near at the time - in our other selves. My parents were off somewhere on their own; I was long since past the point where I needed someone to keep an eye on me, and there’s only so much a bat or a possum can do to protect a fellow prey animal.

I wriggled my body, sinking deeper into the burrow that I had made for myself, when a tawny cat landed in front of me. It crouched down, its pupils growing large as it stared me down. I could sense its accelerating heartbeat through the ground via the delicate papillae around my nostrils. I backed up a little further into my tunnel and stared back cautiously. My own heartbeat skipped a little as we eyed each other, but I knew that fleeing would only put me in a worse position.

The cat pounced, both paws landing within inches of my snout before it jumped away. I couldn’t see very well in the dimness, but the vibrations in the ground led me to believe that she danced away in a pattern I had learned to recognise over the years; she did a similar thing when we were both human and she was in a playful mood. She ran back over to me and touched her leathery nose gently to my spiky one, snuffling in the way that cats do. I touched her face with my papillae and huffed gently back to her. We couldn’t talk to one another, but we had our ways of communicating.

Maree and I had been friends for as long as either of us had been alive. Our parents had found one another when they were in college, and had remained close ever since, so the two of us had always been together, especially being born within months of each other. Shapeshifters are shy about other people as a matter of survival, so when they find one another they don’t part ways easily. It made matters much simpler that our parents got along famously.

The two of us being forced to grow up together might have ended badly, but Maree and I got along pretty well. We were inseparable through elementary school, but drifted a little when Maree blossomed in middle school, while I… didn’t. It’s hard to be a twelve year old girl who starts growing a full moustache when other girls are growing breasts.

Given our respective natures, it wasn’t the most surprising thing that Maree became a willowy graceful beauty and I became a short, squat, dumpling of a teenager with her own electric razor, but it was still hard sometimes not to hold it against her. I spent about a year hating Maree almost as much as I hated my own defiant body, but she never held it against me.

I could hear Maree racing up a nearby tree as I trundled out of my burrow. I tapped my claw on a nearby rock, and she dropped to the ground in front of me.

Tap-tap ta-tap tap, TAP TAP, I beat out against the rock. Maree thumped her tail against the ground twice in quick succession. I couldn’t smile as a mole, but I did my best as I waddled back into my tunnel and began to dig.

Maree waited a few minutes before she began to hunt. We can’t talk when we’re shifted, but we have a few games that we’ve worked out over the years, along with their signals. This one is a version of hide-and-go-seek where I hide under the ground and Maree attempts to find me. Sometimes I keep moving and make her try to dig where she thinks I’ll be, and sometimes I just sit in one spot and wait. We’ve both gotten pretty good at it over the years.

I dug down near the main root of a nearby tree and settled in. I passed the time by snacking on a nearby colony of earwigs. Maree stalked around above me, although she wasn’t so close that I felt the need to move just yet. I focused my senses on the movement in the forest around me and tuned out.

It was going to be our last year of high school, and my mind had been racing for what felt like the last year. College was only a fraction of it; being a shifter made living on campus a difficult proposition, and I wasn’t nuts about the prospect of either attending the local university or joining the workforce. My father had thrived in trade school twenty years ago and was heavily leaning on me to do the same, but the only thing I ever really enjoyed doing was music, which wasn’t a real career in his eyes.

School wasn’t much better; my orchestra teacher was on my case about applying to music programs across the continent, and I couldn’t give her a good enough reason for why it just wasn’t possible. Maree didn’t help by trying to include me in everything she did, dragging me along to parties that I had no business being at, and generally just making everyone uncomfortable. Her friends tried, they really did, but I never wanted to be there and everyone knew it. Well, besides Maree, but I think she always hoped that I’d have a good time despite myself.

Above me, I heard Maree start digging at the root of my tree. I moved to dig around the taproot, but she was there, too. Before I knew it, a velvety paw came down and briefly touched my back, signaling the game was over. I crawled out of my hole and swiped at her, but she jumped back and ran off through the trees again, leaving me by myself.

I huffed a little and looked back up at the full moon. It was much closer to the tree line, now. The night would be over soon, and we would be ourselves again for another month. Maree and I would go back to school and life would go on. We’d grow up and get jobs, and we’d stay friends or we wouldn’t. Here, it was all easy.

I dug into the dirt again.

Later, when we were settling into our regular shapes and tents, Maree crawled into the sleeping bag next to me.

“Izzy?” she said tentatively.

“Hmm?”

“Thanks for being my friend.”

I turned and smiled at her. “Of course.”

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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Memorial Interprompt

While It Lasts

Sometimes
you find someone
who sees the same unusual colors in the world
that you do
so you reach out your hand
and hold theirs
and you walk together for a while.

Sometimes
things are good
and you laugh and paint pictures
on the sky
with your stories
and play games together
and both of you are happy.

Sometimes
you might falter
and think you can’t keep up,
but this person holds you
and helps you
and the way doesn’t seem so hard
after all.

Sometimes
it is dark
and neither of you can see
where you are going
and both of you are frightened.

Sometimes
your someone
will lose their grip
and fall away
leaving you
alone in darkness.

In that darkness, please remember
you held on
and guided one another
and were kind to one another
and even if they are gone
it still means something
that you loved them while they were here.

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Aug 12, 2018 around 08:07

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curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

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AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Quick question: Can my president be a brain in a vase or must it be President Dump?

I can's speak for the head judge, but I would really love to see anything other than the actual present political situation. There have been injunctions against this particular subject in other weeks, but it's ultimately up to Yoruichi.

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