Reminder that the archivist hates it when you hide your prompt with spoiler tags.
|# ¿ Jan 3, 2018 07:18|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 16:27|
UraniumPhoenix gave me some good advice after I did my first TD, he also did a line by line crit of my story, which may help you avoid the formatting and spelling errors I did my first time.
Well, I'm gonna give you two main things to work on.
Good luck and <kayfabe initiate> go gently caress yourself? </kayfabe> I think that's kayfabe
|# ¿ Jan 6, 2018 00:22|
TD Week 282 Crits
A reminder that YOU didn't fail this week and you are probably a better writer than the angry anime avatar.
Huh, neat way to start your story. You don't have as much as a conflict as a mystery, why was he auto amputated. I kind of dislike how you end the first scene, It might come off as a cop out for your first sentence, but it makes sense after you read further in.
In your second scene you try for prose. You hit a few good notes here. You introduce "the voice" (which will be explained later) but we don't know that yet. I thought it was his inner monologue. Also you have a weird thing here, They operated on the arm, above the absence. That's an odd sentence and doesn't read right. Overall the second scene starting to confuse me.
You explain things in the third scene and things start to click together. You cover a lot of ground here and quickly, which is good because there is a bit of "Fridge logic" in your story. Your prose continues to do just okay, you really allude to symmetry and it seems to be a theme.
The fourth scene is odd. It's a happy ending but a lot of questions are unanswered. Why did the protag have to cut off his left arm? Was the voice stronger with the left arm? The voice seems to want to kill the protag, so why is the voice upset about losing the left arm? Why is the mom oddly cool with this? Why did the protag suddenly gain the strength to stop listening to the voice? What was up with symmetry? Why was it important? The fourth scene is unsatisfying because it ends the story without really answering a lot of the questions we might have at this point.
Overall: This piece showed promise, it has hints of a theme about symmetry, dual forces at work but fails to deliver. There are way too many questions unanswered. Medium.
Letter from a concerned colleague (#1231)
Allright, you modified your starting sentence which goes against the prompt. Instant DM, crit don- Wait vampires!
AWW YEAH vampires in brooklyn. This is defintely my shi- annnd they are dead by the 3rd sentence. So now we have a guy talking about the cleanup and well.. hmm. Your letter format isn't bad but there are a few times where you get away from the letter format and put in some prose. I don't think a military report would have that kind of stuff in it.
But yeah, good dialogue, it's quick and fast. I didn't bump or trip over anything and got to the end, kudos to you! I kind of don't buy the "MOTHER" thing, I see what you were going for. The crater seems to take the dreams of people, or nightmares and make them manifest. I dunno why they would call the guy "MOTHER" and you don't actually have your protag write that that is the theory in your story.
Your ending wobbles a bit, since it seems the crater only targets site managers? I still get what you were going for. It kind of feels like the sphere (1998 movie about an alien artifact that does the same thing) but eh.
Overall: I enjoyed this story, flowed well. Letter format is odd and I think the protag wouldn't write like that in a story. Medium-High/High (Though it did break the prompt rules,)
Im a bit torn. This piece does a GREAT job at world building and keeping things behind a curtain, but not annoying the reader. There are several situations that are never fully explained, did Brad gain his powers or did the MAN muck with his brain. Why is brad being watched, what happens if he trangresses? These questions are never answered but it doesn't matter because they aren't the story.
All while the world is being built we get tense, much like our protagonist. Something bad is going to happen, that's the "draw" in this story. And it does a great job building tension, keeping me intrigued.
Then brad goes to his appointment and the story just... losses a lot of that built up tension. Poof, heck even brad himself mentions he doesn't need to be here. I mean it's a moment in Brad's life, that is interesting but uhhh, why is this scene in your story? Especially with the tension you built up and the world building.
Overall: An enjoyable piece that just does a great job with the start. Tension builds up, world is described, events are hidden from the reader, but loosely explained. I enjoyed this up to the moment Brad said he could skip the appointment. The story still went along, giving us characterization. Medium-High/High.
In the Blood
Great loving start, just freaking great. This is how you get my attention. It continues onward at a good clip and then the reveal is done well, not too gimmicky not too flashy. It hits well too and is easy to understand. I think the bomb is the priests own faith disappearing, the ending wobbles a bit. To be honest you use great imagery, but mentioning the bomb thing at the start and then having it fizzle at the end is a bit dissapointing.
Still a great piece!
Minor Grammar thing, is breathe by breathe or is it breath by breath?
Overall: A great piece that gets a lot done in its short word count. Wobbles a bit at the ending, but is still a great story. High
Hope Springs Eternal
The start is okay. We have Magic Olympics, so let's do this. I feel like the next paragraph does a better job drawing me in, it does some world building, we suddenly have MAGIC SOLDIERS and get to know Ernest a bit better. Shame that Ernest himself is a jerk and slowly devolves into an unlikeable, maybe cliched, soldier character? By the end of the story Ernest hasn't gone through some character development, which I might of liked a bit more. Ernest is a strong component in this story, we get to know his backstory and flaws and doing all that in a low word count is impressive!
I also think some purplish prose, or more memorable magic scenes would of been better. Like if its magic maybe having "He summoned a platoon of soldiers" could of been described or written better. It's magic, gotta make it show. Also you do tell us a few things, but you don't overstay your welcome (Im thinking how ernest loses, we are simply told that Clive's magic is better for.. reasons?)
Hmm, reading over this is this an analogy for TD?
Minor Grammar thing: A prodigy who had been a competiting?
Overall: A good story that needed flavor or prose to stand out. Medium.
Hah, good start that conveys a lot in 3 sentences. Peter suddenly becomes a character instead of a bad sentence. And there are a lot of contradictions in this story "It was a perfect day, cold as hell, rain in the forecast." I think you are taking the starting sentence of your story and running with it.
And much like the protagonists of your story you run right into the ocean and leave me confused. I think your all theme and flerpy feeling in this story, dealing with surreal issues that I can't grab onto. When I read this piece I feel like Peter is fighting something, trying to discover something but I have nothing solid to grasp.
All in all I'm confused. By the time they come back from the ocean we get on more stable land (hehe, see as I do more puns in this crit) and something starts to form, but then the story ends.
It's a shame because you had me with something, like your theme of contradictions and peter mixes very well. Unfortunately without anything to grab onto , no conflict and Peter reacting (rather than deciding), it's all formless.
Overall: A story that focuses more on theme and kind of ran with it into the ocean. Reader leaves confused. Middle-Low
Neat, i want to know more about Asa. Good starting 2nd paragraph, first paragraph is meh, 2nd paragraph is great! MURDER, REVENGE, Im in! This is good, really good. I don't understand a few things, like the father going airborne by jumping but meh, whatever. The story keeps a good pace
Overall: An interesting character dive wrapped around MURDER AND REVENGE. High
Beautiful and Terrible As the Dawn
This start is weird, lot of ideas condensed in the start. Second paragraph continues to layer on complex ideas. You don't really expand on any of these ideas, and by the fourth paragraph I'm confused and am getting tired of being told things. Yeah, there is just way too much going on here. Every paragraph introduces a neat, cool idea that needs to be explained, otherwise the reader gets confused. There is SUDDENLY MURDER, SUDDENLY DEMOCRATIC SEX, SUDDENLY 9 PEOPLE CONTROLLING ONE CONSCIENCESS, SUDDENLY GEO-POLITICAL CONFLICTS.
Overall: Way to many ideas in this story and the reader isn't given enough time to recover from each idea. Middle-Low.
Start is.. okay. There is an attempt at prose here that didn't affect me "He ignores her scrutinising, judgement eyes, with the brows all furrowed, and the yaw of the blah blah"
I dig your start, as soon as he says he deserves his dear old flesh. I smell a MYSTERY abound!
By the fifth paragraph I'm.. amused and confused. I wanna know whats in the packet, you keep talking about it and Im slowly getting confused. I'm gonna pretend it's Ben's testicles.
And I now know the twist and uhhh.. yeah. Yeah this is bad. Throwing everyone for one joke in IRC, or something mentioned in IRC, is something I can get behind! It's not a good idea, nor will it make a good story but good job!
Ill be honest, even without the "IRC JOKE" strategy I think you need to clean up the start of the story. It's very confusing what Ben is ranting and raving about and it goes on to long. You try some jokes , some land some don't. (I liked "The rules didn't apply anymore joke").
Overall: The author puts everything into one hellmary of a strategy, using an IRC joke as the twist for this story. It fails. LOW
Yet the lowlands were not so deluged is a sentence. A bad sentence. Hmm, I'm wondering if your protagonist is the lowlands itself.
Nope, that's not it. So the whole stich is that the lowlands are flooding and I'm gonna say BAD use of rule of three. I don't need three people telling their story about how they told the protagonist not to build here, or at least not as long. Then the story goes to crazy town and he gets beaten, goes to his wife, offers his belongings to people. What was the point of all that? I don't get it.
Man, lot of things happen in this story in one sentence. SUDDENLY BEATING, SUDDENLY AGATHA IS DEAD. The problem is these are big events and they just.. pass..by.
And now the protagonist is committing suicide. Good riddance you unlikable protagonist.
Like, not a lot happens in this story, and the protagonist just reacts. The only thing the protagonist did was offer his belongings to people and that went to poo poo. This is dull story with no conflict and a bad resolution.
Overall: A dull story with a dull protagonist, LOW
Hell yeah great start. I'm in lets hear more about the tweed coat boy, also why is he wearing a gown?
This dragon is a bit of an rear end in a top hat and you write him well. He might be cliched but he's not unlikeable. And then the boy responds and suddenly man's the gently caress up? And pulls an encyclopedia brown? What?
Okay this boy character is weird, but I love that he says loving lizard. Heck yeah go after that dragon.
Annnnd reality ensues. Kind of. This is an odd story, the boy character is the worst part of this story. Going from crying, to suddenly competent, to suddenly a threat and then, finally, to ash is bad, especially because there are wide jumps in attitude changes with no explanation.
Overall: A story about a Dragon punking out a kid, with odd attitude jumps. WINNER of the "God-drat it flerp ending" award. Medium-Low
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2018 05:50|
As we all wake up from our sparkly holiday hangovers, it's time to start thinking about the new year and new beginnings. Many of us have all agonized over the perfect first sentence to our next works of staggering genius, so as a New Year's gift, I'm going to be giving you the first sentences of your story! But, y'know, we live in the darkest timeline, and that means you don't get good first sentences. Your task will be to create good prose from sublimely bad starts.
"You must begin your story with the Lyttle Lytton entry I assign"
I took that literally, meaning uhh your story must begin with the Lyttle Lytton entry.
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2018 16:21|
poo poo, let's make this a thing. Let's him and him fight!
From the previous thread
Death of a story Crit:
Exmond, I'm going to be honest here: I think the major issue that stands in your way as an author at this point is self-absorption, living in your own head and not venturing outside it. There's nothing inherently wrong with the concept of using your own negative emotions for dark comedy, but it has to be passed through the filter of considering an outside audience, and right now I feel like Thunderdome needs to see something from you other than "I am angry about Thunderdome." This is a step forward in technical writing competence, but a huge step backwards in content compared to your previous work, which at least attempted some level of emotional authenticity. Please, please, return to that instead of continuing to write whatever this is.
Since we all must suffer in TD, I'm only if the setting of the brawl has to be in META YORK CITY, the same setting as my DM-Breaker "Death Of A Story"
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2018 19:46|
Nah, you're ing if you're brawling, period. At least, I'm not judging without es on the table.
I have no idea why JayFriks takes offence to my crit (Maybe he should post some more) but sure, Im in
Take your imagination and imagine having thicker skin JayFriks.
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2018 22:02|
In with "Everybody knows"
|# ¿ Jan 8, 2018 17:10|
Ty for the crit!
|# ¿ Jan 8, 2018 22:38|
Exmond, you've been gettin' real cocky in IRC. You talk like you're hot poo poo, King of the Mountain, but you're just tepid diarrhea on the sidewalk. You think you're good? Prove it. Here's my glove; I'm gonna show you your place; hold still and let me slap that dumb grin off your face. Brawl me, you hot-air-balloon excuse for a bad writer.
You.. you think I'm good?
Take a number and post-pone to February? I'm already involved in a brawl this week.
Exmond fucked around with this message at 05:59 on Jan 10, 2018
|# ¿ Jan 10, 2018 05:57|
Ahhh didn't notice the word bounty had a deadline. Gonna post my crits and stories anyway, better to DQ than fail.
If your name is Ser Cypher,crabrock,Sitting Here,sandnavyguy,Nikaer Drekin then I have crits for you! (Please don't brawl me)
Lions, Tigers and Bears by Nikaer Drekin
The start is okay, but it shifts a lot. We go from soul-searching lonelinees, to happiness, to something weird. I'm talking about the starting three paragraphs. By now I'm thinking something is weird with the water and the kid, and that's the draw.
K another three paragraphs in and your story tells us a lot of things, doesn't show a lot. It's fine for me though because i like your prose. I'm not getting your narrators "voice" but the prose is easy enough, simple enough that I'm still interested. You continue to do this "Something is weird about aqauriaums and this kid" thing that continues to interest me.
Don't really get the whole passion thing but okay, story getting a bit shaky when we are at the dolphin show. Then the story ends and it's not too satisfying, I was hoping for an explanation why he loves dolphins. You also kind of make it about the ocean, which seems out of nowhere.
Overall: Middle/Middle-High, you had my interest up until mid-way through the dolphin show.
Reset button by sandnavyguy
Ouch, bad start. I'm not interested in a cat, a can, or someone saying "Darmn it". It's a good attempt at prose, or setting the theme of your story. I'm guessing a grimy world and we are diving head deep into the baddest parts of the grime.
Your second paragarph, I uhh, I want to point out that I get it, David is drunk. You don't need to waste an entire paragraph telling me David is drunk. This didn't slow me down, but it seems odd.
Thid paragraph, good prose. Islands of Memory rose up momentarily. Good, keeps with the theme. There is a bit of a grammar problem here in this paragraph but it's good.
I'm at the middle now and the story is starting to shake, my suspension of disbelief falling down a chasm. I don't know maybe people who think "Hey rear end in a top hat it's exactly X time and im doing Y". The devil introduction (I'm betting it's the devil) does a small info dump that's good! It get's away with it with style. But at this point there has been a lot of TELLING, and not SHOWING. Having a character think an info dump at this point in the story is bad.
The David and Devil bit is okay, think you could of gone over and tightened it up. I don't know why David suddenly gets the ability to say no to the deal. It's a bit unsatisfying. I have an issue with your ending. Since Davis is our main character, it seems odd to switch to Gary and have the devil murder him. Seems disjointed, and there is enough small problems in your story that this sticks out.
Overall: Medium/Medium-Low, couple of repetition problems
Hindsight by Sitting here
By third paragraph we get the draw, the camera behind the scenes! So character is either a robot, or a telepath or something? As is, great prose that compels the reader to continue reading.
By the second "section" where the camera-eye opens , your prose is still great but you need to tell me what the camera-eye is and you need to tell me soon. I kind of feel like this could be like a robot, the next sentient Iphone? At this point you might be saying "hah Exmond you cad!" while plotting my murder and I would kindly ask you to stop sharpening that knife. You have laid out a mystery in your story but haven't explained it or offered hints save for a few descriptions of the camera. All the descriptions are also techy, or surrounded by tech. Unless you distract me with something else I will make assumptions, and so far you have offered up the story of someone named FruitPukes to distract me.
Right. third "section" and it just has mention of the camera-eye. Also great prose, it continues on, and you have talent. It keeps the reader reading. I don't know much about FruitPukes, she wants to be grounded because she spaces out due to the camera-eye. But apart from that our protagonist seems passive, bit of a ghost wandering through your story.
Fourth section, WHY DID THIS TAKE SO LONG TO GET TO. You know whats gonna distract me from the weird camera-eye you don't explain. AN AMAZINGLY DESCRIBED POST-APOCALYTPIC SCENARIO WITH HINTS OF EVERYDAY LIFE BUT NOT FULLY EXPLAINING IT. Holy shiiiit.
Fifth section. Okay now im back to confused. It sounds like she wants to join James in VR, so does she? And VR is going back in time to relive memories? What is this camera-eye thingy? Does she have control over it?
6th section. Well poo poo, you nail it and that's a super sad story. On the first read, at this point i have forgotten about the camera-eye and you get away with it.
Overall: High/Medium-High. The camera eye is never explained, and the start of the story is not needed. But ends on a sad note and the prose is great.
Coal fire by crabrock
Great opening, first off you establish more danger, then you establish a mini-mystery, how does this old man know the protagonist! One-two punch combo and I'm hooked, I want to read more.
I'm in the middle section (Protag and Old man are in a booth now) and you have some good lines. "Nothing complicated. This guy looked complicated." The story clips at a good pace and I think we are going to move onto something stronger, so far it's been light setting up the scene. It's good, just want something more meaty now.
Oh okay, drunk protag, lets go follow a random old man down some ancient miner tunnels.
Hmmm, I'm at the ending. I think this suffers from me not liking horror to much. You almost had me thinking it wasn't going to end up with MUUUUURDER when the guy was explaining the coal fire (Also that's neat). But then you go through with it. Thinking about it.. This is good. Kind of predictible, but it's good. The old man is a character and I like him, I like the explanation, I like this piece.
Upload by SerCypher
Bwhahaha, okay this is a good start. It seems like, morose horror with comedy. "Enjoy the ride, you are a bit to old to be scared of rollercoasters." I kind of feel like the protagonist knows the ride is a death trap, but so far good start that is funny. And that's hard to pull off.
Yeah, called it about the protagonist. Good prose, "From that fear, came the parks"
I'm at the end part with dave and I am confused. It sounded like our protagonist was the ride attendant, but he is participating in the ride? Also why is he scared if he knows what's going to happen?
Ending is expected. Hmmm, this piece hit middle for me. Great start, really great but you don't keep the tone. Dave's portion is some interesting world building, but lacks that dark humor. The ending is confusing, since It didn't match the start where the protag is almost joking about the uploading process.
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2018 18:08|
Fleeting Moments of Comfort
“You promised yourself you wouldn't cry.” I thought for the tenth time. The fluorescent light bulbs popped, setting the beat to my dirge. The radio played out the news - another dead boy found in the outskirts of the city - setting up the bass and my mind whispered, supplying the chorus.
You’re a failure
I didn't need to be here, I didn't want to be here.
Failed as a lover
I took a swig of the spiked coffee to try and silence the chorus. I had to be here, for her.
Failed as a mother
I slammed my hand on the coffee table and the patrons at the late night diner turned to stare at the crazy police officer. Someone in the back row muttered "Cops, not worth a drat in this city" and I was about to engage in some police brutality when the bell above the cafe door chimed. I looked up and saw him; the world fell silent.
Dan, my ex-huband, scanned the diner, and saw me. His blue eyes sprakled for a brief moment and then went dull. A few steps and he was at the booth, removing his red leather jacket and throwing a yellow envelope on the table. It landed with a loud THWACK; The world came back. The fluorescence light bulbs popped, the radio reported that yet another murderer was lose in the city and the chorus sang. I stared at the envelope hoping I could will it away.
"So, I'm here." Dan said
"Yeah, Midnight beat makes lawyers hours unworkable."
"Well, everything has to be on you terms," Dan stopped and looked up at the blinking florescent lights. "Sorry that was. It's been a long night."
"It's understandable." I said and looked up at him. He was staring at me with his large blue eyes. I wondered if he still saw the young blonde cursing up a storm at her broken down car. The curves of my lip turned upwards as I remember the first things Dan said to me, "that any lady that could curse like that didn't deserve to be in a dress as pretty as that.".
"It's good to know that I can still make you smile." Dan said, breaking me out of sweeter memories. We both stood there in a moment of silence, the tramp and the ex-husband sitting under the fluorescent moon of an old antiquated diner.
"How is Maria doing... Our-" My voice cracked up. I had no right to call her that. Hell I was signing her away tonight.
Failure as a mother
"Our daughter," Dan finished for me, "Is confused and hurt, but she will be fine."
The drat was breaking and my breath was coming in short ragged gasps. Images of Maria slipping from my grasp and running off into the city, alone and defenseless, made my heart race.
"I.. I didn-"
"Don't." Dan warned me.
"It was one scolding, she was out in the city for hours, ALONE."
"I can't remember a lot of scoldings that ended with a raised palm."
A pang of guilt ran through me. I just wanted her to listen, to learn that the city was not a place a young 6-year old girl wanders alone, not this city.
"I never hit her."
"Because I came in and grabbed your hand."
"I would NEVER hit her!"
"No, just scare her sensel-"
Dan let out a sigh and stretched his fingers, making a fist in the right hand, then the left and repeating the process until he was calm enough to speak.
"Arguing about this isn't going to help. You called me so we could do the best thing for Maria. " Dan took in a deep breath and punctuated the last words for emphasis, "You called me."
And there it was. The simple fact hitting me straight in the face. All the anger, all the frustration was punched out of me. Man up and shut up and do the right thing for your daughter you miserable failure of a mother.
I grabbed the envelope and opened it, pieces of paper littering the table. On each piece was an area for my initials. And on the last page at the very bottom, was a blank space for my name.
I closed my eyes, stayed true to my promise and did what's best for my kid.
"I, Charlotte Dunmer, " I said as I signed, "give up all custody rights to Dan Dunmer." I went through the other papers and signed my initials where required as the radio played the dulcet tones of a gravelly voiced singer.
I put the papers back into the envelope and handed it to Dan. I shivered as the cold bit into my bones and downed the rest of the coffee, ignoring the sharp sting of alcohol. As I lowered the cup Dan was staring at me again. I looked up at him, reminded myself for the eleventh time not to cry, and wondered what he saw. Did he see a young woman, tired of the injustice in this world? A burnt out police officer? A failure of a mother who almost hit her child? I didn't want to know.
"Are you doing allright?" Dan asked and then added, "before this happened."
"I'm fine." I lied.
Dan reached over and grasped my shoulder, squeezing it affectionately. It was the first time he had touched me since grabbing my upraised palm. The drat walls shuddered and collapsed, tears started forming down my eyes, I turned my head to try and hide them. Dan plopped besides me in the booth and wrapped his hands around me and I turned inward, burying my head into his shoulder.
"You're a terrible liar." Dan said.
"It's so hard, to try and change this," I said as the radio interrupted the song to report on a missing child, "it's just so god-drat hard."
Dan ran his arm up and down my shoulder and I clung onto him, my anchor in a world spiraling down the drain.
"This city.. It just eats everyone up. You agree with me Dan, she shouldn't be out there alone!"
Dan nodded in the affirmative as my tears stained his shirt.
"You're right, but you scared her, you scared me." Dan said.
Another pang of guilt ran through me and I curled up harder, trying to stop the chorus of voices. After a few minutes, I started feel warm and fuzzy, and I whispered to Dan.
"I don't want to lose you and Maria. I want to make this city better."
Dan tensed up but didn't let go of me. In a slow, calm voice he said, "You haven't lost Maria."
"But I'm a dead-beat. I didn't mea-"
Dan interrupted me, placing his arm behind my head. The world was getting dizzy, so I rested my head on his shoulder.
"I've lived with dead-beats. You're not one of them. What matters, is that you are trying to do better." He kissed me on the forehead as the warm glow from the alcohol started to make the world fuzzy and darker. Just as I closed my eyes, I felt him squeeze me last one time. "You go change the world Charloette, I'll make sure our daughter is there to see it."
I smiled and closed my eyes, as the world got dark and far away a sad part of me realized he never answered if I had lost him.
A loud noise woke me up and the world came at me in full color. The radio's volume was turned up to 11 and the flourscent lights were emitting light greater than the sun. I groaned, which was a mistake as the sound reverberated through my skull.
"Looking good Charloette. Here like you asked, ready for the midnight shift?" A voice above me said.
I looked up to see a police officer making a mockery of the official uniform. His shirt was untucked, he wore a gold necklace around his neck and I'm pretty sure skater shoes aren't regulation. Meet my partner on the midnight beat, Michael.
Michael might not look like it, but he was an angel on high, because he handed me a large glass of water and two aspirin. I drank the water and gobbled the asprin down.
"What did I tell you about your uniform?"
"That I look like a monkey in a police officers outfit. Though, I don't think you can talk with the red jacket."
I looked at him, confusion on my face and then I pawed at my shoulders. Dan's red leather jacket was draped over me, like a blanket. There was no sign of Dan, or the envelope. I grabbed the jacket and motioned for Michael to leave. I looked at the waitress and asked for the bill.
"That fine young looking man paid for your bill. Told me to tell you to keep the jacket too. A much needed kindness, he told me."
I muttered a curse and left, what the hell was Dan th-. Then a snowflake hit me on the nose.
"It's loving snowing in FLORIDA?" I asked Michael as I noticed he was putting on a winter jacket.
"Everybody knows that the world is going to hell in a handbasket." My partner said.
I tugged Dan's jacket on me, smelling his fragrance and feeling the warmth; I remembered him holding me. A sad realization hit me: that would be the last time Dan held me. I recalled his words, remembered the fleeting moment of intimacy. It wasn't much, but it would be enough.
"Let's show em a kindness, show em that people are still here to protect the world then."
|# ¿ Jan 14, 2018 18:10|
Boy howdy I sure do love my semi-regular ritual of drinking red wine and livecrittin', yes sirree
Thank you for the crits and the advice on grammar! Shame on my dialogue tag misusage, I hope to not err again.
wow this is a good post i hope you didnt write anything after this sentence or that would ruin this post!
Less shitposting more crit posting?
Exmond fucked around with this message at 23:19 on Jan 15, 2018
|# ¿ Jan 15, 2018 23:14|
Jay Friks vs Exmond brawl
Prompt: Because they had not repented, the angel stabbed the unrepentant couple thirteen times, with its sword.
Because they had not repented, the angel stabbed the unrepentant couple thirteen times, with its sword. Each time the angel slashed the sword warped and twisted to represent another sin of man. My wife had taken all seven sins, myself six. The angel unfurled its wings, holy radiance emitting from them, and lifted the sword high above its halo. The sword glowed red, the metal within it shifting like waves of Jupiter. The final sin - Wrath.
I smiled and the angel plunged the sword into my chest. Images of past-lovers scorned, victories snatched away and a crib, once full of life but now empty, filled my mind. I could feel my soul scream out for vengeance, to give in to wrath. I looked up at the angel, the machination of a master who stole everything from us and remembered why we were here. We would get him back.
My purpose tempered my soul's scream, forged it into purpose. I lifted the sword out of my chest and held onto it. No wound was upon my body, only a single scar across my sternum, my soul bore the rest.
A gentle hand helped me up and my wife glared at the angel. "You have struck us with Gluttony, cut with Greed, sliced with Pride," she said.
I stood up, making sure not to ring any of the bells attached to my robe, and continued her speech: "Carved with Envy, thrust with Lust, beaten down with Sloth and impaled with Wrath."
My wife held my hand and we spoke in unison.
"We have survived your trials, passed your tests. Give us back our son!"
The angel stood motionless, a machine waiting for instructions never to come. Its soulless white eyes did not stir as the clouds parted to reveal a staircase.
We ascended the steps, the pearly gates lying high in the distance, taunting us. Beyond them our son, taken from us too soon. His death had started our dark path down necromancy, our path to resurrect the son stolen from us by god. Each step brought forth memories: the village healer consoling us, telling us it was God's will; dark nights spent reading forbidden texts.
I started chuckling to myself and turned to my wife. "It's funny. Two necromancers ascending to heaven."
She smiled, showing her teeth. "Just wait, we have one hell of a punchline."
At the last step we saw an old man sitting on a chair, behind him a massive gate made of divinity and dreams. My wife walked forward, slapping one of the angel automatons out of her way.
The gatekeeper looked up at her and said, "My child-"
It was the wrong thing to say to a mother of a deceased child. He didn't get another word out before she grabbed him by the throat.
"We have rang the bells of Kibeth and Astarael to walk past death, we have danced through purgatory and we have endured the seven great sins of man. Give us our son back."
She released him and he coughed, "Amazing achievements for mortals, but they are nought in God's eyes. Your child has gone to a better place."
In response I channelled a necromantic bolt at the gate. Dreams and divinity held, uncaring and unbending to the necromantic energies I hurled at the gate. Beyond them I saw grassland and a small sleeping boy. He had his mother’s hair, fiery red, and my eyes.
"DAMIEN!" I yelled, but he did not stir.
I lifted the blade and leveled it at the gatekeeper. "Give him back."
My wife braced herself, knowing what was to come. We knew that stealing from the heavens wouldn't be easy. It would require sacrifice. We had played a game of cards to choose; she had won. She was always a better card player than I.
The gatekeeper shook his head. "I cannot. God's will forbids it."
I lifted the sword high above me and yelled for vengeance. The sword shifted, turned red, and waves of Jupiter swam across the hilt.
"God's will be damned." I plunged Wrath into my chest. She may be the better card player, but I was the better liar. My wife let out yell, one of betrayal and grief, as my blood splashed the clouds. The first mortal blood to spill in the heavens.
She ran towards me, tears in her eyes. "I was supposed to-"
The heavens groaned and rumbled. Angels around us tensed, knowing something was wrong. My wife grabbed the sword and ripped it out from my chest yelling, "From every great sin of man there is a chance for great virtue!"
My blood on the sword transformed into red veins and they pulsated in time with each one of my breaths. Blood continued to pour down and onto her hands. She raised the blade and yelled, "I name this blade, Sacrifice."
With one thrust Sacrifice broke apart the gates of heaven. Bars made out of dreams sundered to the blade. Divinity wilted to its might. My wife rushed to grabbed Damien. He roused and looked at me, fear and confusion in his eyes.
"It'll be all right," I said over the angel's anguished screams. "It'll be all right."
She paused for a moment and bent down to kiss me. It lasted a lifetime; it was only a moment. I struggled to try and tell her to run, but only blood came from my lips. Damien let out a small cry, and then she was gone.
I sat there, dying a few feet away from the smouldering remains of the heaven's gates. With a ring of the bell, my child and wife disappeared from the heavens. I died happy as heaven fell around me.
|# ¿ Jan 17, 2018 00:45|
I offer to judge, note that I am angry and disillusioned.
|# ¿ Jan 17, 2018 04:03|
Jay W. Frixmond Unrepetant Angel Fight -- Results and Crits
Thank you for the cirt! Good brawling jay.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2018 06:59|
Counterpoint: I don't get how this relates to the prompt and so it should default lose
Flash rule: Your story must include a ghost instructing you on puberty
Inspired by Sabriel
|# ¿ Jan 22, 2018 15:52|
It seemed to work well for Obliterati, so I'm going to live crit here:
|# ¿ Jan 23, 2018 01:00|
Interprompt: write a story about this in 200 words
"I'll pick up the eye of new later!" David insisted while primping his hair with some sort of spray that offended her nostrils.
Miss Take was busy trying to get her son to do the chores. Being the only witch in Kentucky was a challenge, but one she was up for - as long as she had the supplies.
"Pick it up NOW David," she said, her voice rising in volume as a warning.
"No, I'm going on a date with Erica, bye!" David ignored the warning shot and grabbed the keys and rushed out to the car.
Miss Take slit her eyes, and uttered a small incantation.
David was sitting in a booth, hand running down Erica's back when his grandmother materialized behind him. She had died 50 years ago, her mind had left her 25 years later.
"David, your mother told me it was time to talk about those special moments in a young boys life. Now you might be getting "feelings" but remember it's important to wank those out when you need to make important decis-"
Erica ran out of the cafe screaming and David resigned himself to failure.
Exmond fucked around with this message at 07:09 on Jan 23, 2018
|# ¿ Jan 23, 2018 07:04|
I got a LAN party to plan and another dozen things but gently caress IT, I was made for this prompt.
I'm in, time for Immortal Belgium Thieves Mark 2 to show up!
In, Double or nothing!
|# ¿ Jan 23, 2018 16:18|
Thank you for the recaps!
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2018 01:30|
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Flash Rule: Locked-Room murder mystery
"You can erase my memories?" Miss Oakfield asked.
"Don't worry we know exactly what to do," the pair said - they hadn't the faintest idea.
Luke turned a few dials and said, "Disregard the rumours, we aren't mad." - they were.
"And remember, we are scientists!" Betty said as she pulled a lever - That one was debatable
Miss Oakfield wished she didn't need to wear a hospital gown, it was awfully drafty and she could feel the chill in her old bones. She grabbed the handle to the laboratory bed, her left hand shaking. A hand that had once lead the forces of Space Belgium against the Thirteen Monarchies. A hand that now looked shrivelled and had veins popping through it. She looked forlornly at her ring finger - ringless.
Betty flicked a switch and the lab pulsed with neon light. "Next stop, your brain!"
Elizabeth opened her eyes and was back in the throne room. The room did its best to inspire loyalty, with two large oak doors being the entrance and the centrepiece; two large lions, one black and one red, guarding a large golden throne. She had always thought it a bit silly, why not simply have a large Belgium flag instead.
"That's not good," Luke said, breaking her out of her stupor.
They stood staring at the throne and her dead body. Her other self sat on the throne and upon her head was the crown. This crown wasn't the one she wore, this one was made of heavy brass and shined with loyalty. Its rusted interior was studded with sharp briars, meant to prick the skin of the predecessor, as evidenced by the dried blood running down their cheeks. The too-neat hole in the centre of the head notified everyone that she was quite dead.
Betty took out a crowbar and used it as a pointer. "This is normal. This represents the brain," she said, poking the crown with the crowbar, "conflicting with the uhh."
Klaxons blared and the large oak doors unlocked with a click. A half-dozen versions of herself marched into the room, each one unique. There was one wearing a lab coat (much to the delight of Betty, who ooh and awed), one wearing a general's outfit and another wearing a fine dress. They walked towards the trio and gasped at the dead body.
"Meet your emotions Miss Oakfield!" Luke said.
"Regret is dead!" One of her said, cowering in fear.
A snap of a baton commanded the attention of everyone, and the General spoke, "The door was locked, with no other exit. They must have done it. Round them up!"
Chaos erupted as everyone yelled at once. Miss Oakfield took a deep breath; giving into anger wasn't going to help anyone. Miss Oakfield, no, she was in the throne room. Here she was Elizabeth, reigning thirty-third monarch of Space Belgium. As if on queue she changed from a frail old woman to a strong, regal queen. She looked around and remembered the room. There weren't many pleasant memories, declarations of war, taxes, and corrupt politicians. Why she had almost used the escape tunnel to-.
"Hold on a moment," she said, "What about the escape tunnels?"
Nobody paid her any heed, so she went to the chair and pushed a button. A large groan shuddered from the wall and it opened, revealing a dark passageway filled with rose petals and memories of first kisses.
She straightened her back and got her emotions in check. "Ladies, I do believe that your culprit will be whoever walks around leaving rose petals and memories of first kisses,"
"Oh, well that would be Love, she must have escaped," One of her other selves, one holding a lollipop, said.
Before she could inquire further, there was a great commotion behind her. Betty was warding off the general with her crowbar and Luke was stuffing the crown into his sack.
"Thieves!" Everyone, including herself, yelled.
Before she could renounce anything, Luke grabbed her hand and they were running down a rose-filled passage.
"You are thieves!" Elizabeth yelled as they raced down the passageway.
The two yelled in unison, "Scientists!"
Not breaking stride Luke continued, "Think of it as a trade. We erase the memories you don't want and borrow some memories."
"Speaking of," Betty dodged an arrow that was fired at them, "Dear, could you remember something big and disruptive?"
Luke slapped his head a few times and a pearl rolled out from his ear and onto his palm. A quick toss and it landed ahead of the running trio. Roots and gigantic petals exploded out of the pearl, spreading across the passageway. And then there was lights, performers and acts of all kind of delights and pleasure. They rushed past a crowd of people and into Fremont street.
A man in a cowboy hat and shades was attempting to play a guitar the size of a building and the crowd was going wild. Elizabeth motioned to the guitar, that was being raised high above the crowd, and the trio jumped up and caught a lift. The general rushed in, just in time to see them scamper onto the rooftops.
"Our honeymoon. I'm supposed to be the one doing the sacrificing here!" Betty said.
Luke smile and replied, "It was the biggest and most disruptive event of my life."
"But you know our memories spent here can't be recovered!"
"Well," Luke said as they ran past gaping Vegas onlookers, "I suppose we shall have to have another honeymoon."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, not understanding a word they were saying. "Let's go find Love and clear this mess up."
They found Love sitting on a beach, looking out at a large lake. As the waves splashed on the beach little images of past memories drifted up from the surf; A frightened woman taking the crown; petting a sand manta ray. As each memory disappeared Love sighed.
After a moment's silence, Love asked, "Are you here to chain me up again. To lock me away?"
Elizabeth didn't answer and Love continued "The man who you loved and he loved you back, you don't even remember his face. I've sat here, searching for his memory. He would have been with us till death. And now he's dead."
The waves came in rougher now and the only memory playing from the surf was a name, on a small list of casualties.
"And now you want to forget the rest of him." Lightning struck and rain started to pour down as Love continued, "I did what I had to do to protect his memory!"
Elizabeth walked towards Love, her face wet, but not from the rain. "It hurts so much to be alone and old." She hugged Love, noticing the mistreatment of her other self. Elizabeth came to a decision. "But your right. These memories should be cherished, instead of destroyed. I'm sorry I neglected you."
Luke filled a bottle with the lakes waters and interrupted the moment, "You know, many people don't ask why we became thieves."
"To make the world a better place," Betty said as she took his hand and entwined it in hers. Elizabeth looked at the two, jealousy rising.
"We would steal the worst memories of people and they would become better. But people aren't that simple."
"So after a few tries, I think we will get this one right," Betty said and winked at Elizabeth. She turned to Luke and said, "I'll always love you, even if I forget you. Just think of it as starting over!"
She held a pearl in her hand and tossed it into the lake. It bloomed into a magnificent flower and each petal was a memory. A girl meeting a boy for the first time, a romantic dance on top of an asteroid, a proposal during a heist. As the memories sunk into the lake they got fuzzy. Instead of Luke, it was just a man, and if you looked at it right Elizabeth could trick herself into thinking it was another.
Betty looked at Luke, a confused look in her eye. "Have we met?" she asked.
Luke grabbed her hand and, with a flick of a wrist, a portal appeared behind him. "We've met. When we go on our honeymoon I'll have a grand tale to tell you,"
"Mom, are you okay?"
Elizabeth woke up to see her son shaking her awake. She was still on top of the lab bed and still in her hospital gown. The thiev- the scientists, she corrected herself, were nowhere to be seen.
"Those people who took you, they ran off. Driving towards Somner hills. The royal guard is in pursuit, we will catch them."
She remembered driving those same hills with reckless abandon, being part of a race and winning first place. The memory was faded, details of it disjointed almost as if someone had plucked the memory from her mind. Almost as if...
She placed a reassuring hand on her son's shoulder and smiled. Another memory of dancing on the asteroids with someone, she couldn't say who, played in her mind. "I think dear, that you won't."
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2018 22:11|
This sure is some slow judging huh
You could say it is some T-REXible judging.
|# ¿ Jan 30, 2018 21:55|
Unfunny Poster Crit
WOO HOO no spelling errors. Holy crap this is MUCH improved. Good job.
your story posted:
Dialogue tag error, but its minor. You should have a comma at the end of Chinese, not a period. But it's minor and didn't impact the story at all. Just pointing it out
your story posted:
All right, so at this point, the conflict reveals itself (I think). Sarah is gonna be offered a job, do you want your job or not? The top bit is all preamble, explaining the situation and the tone. You have a tone going, I'm getting that Sarah dislikes her job, or maybe she just dislikes everyone. Kind of sombre, sarcastic tone here. Your story takes a bit to get to the conflict, but we do have one.
your story posted:
HAH, gently caress yes. Okay, Greg is a bit shallow but who cares, let's beat up some scumbags. Kind of bummed out, I was hoping to learn more about Sarah and her choice, but instead, it's a binary decision. Also, I don't know if you can grit something out, but if you can the sentence should end with a comma. Not a biggie, still gonna point it out so you can really nail Dialogue Tags down (Also I'm terrible at them so it helps me practice)
your story posted:
Okay this is short, goes down easy. You didn't make the protagonist unlikeable, she's in a tough situation in a tough world. I liked that part. My biggest gripe is that there isn't much of a conflict, choice, or mystery here. Like, whats your draw in me reading the story? Your story was good enough to get me reading to "THE DEAL" and then I thought she would have a tough choice, but she didn't. And Sarah is so easily explained there isn't anything interesting or mysterious about her or her circumstances. That's fine, but with nothing to draw me in I kind of just read your story and go okay.
I can sum up the story, scumbag tries to sleep with girl, gets injured through his own fault, girl steals money to leave.
For a second entry though, this is MUCH improved. I didn't hit any snags reading your story, so you got a good fix on your grammar and structure. You also nailed a tone, something that's hard to do (especially if it's sarcastic/dour protagonist or the world.) There wasn't any point a mistake got in the way of your story, nothing sinks a good entry like grammar mistakes or spelling mistakes.
I'm looking forward to your next story!
Overall: Medium-Low (It is a story, just no choice, conflict or mysterious draw)
|# ¿ Jan 31, 2018 16:05|
based off of all the brawls of urs i had to read, this'll b a p easy win
Can I make this everyone's worst nightmare and judge?
|# ¿ Feb 3, 2018 00:23|
I am going to do LiveCrits, since it worked well last time. This will also be my second read of some drafts so huzza
|# ¿ Feb 6, 2018 00:44|
Here's some late crits that aren't very good.
All crits are good!
|# ¿ Feb 6, 2018 18:43|
I'm IN with a Story of a girl
|# ¿ Feb 9, 2018 16:21|
Story Of A Muse
Nine Days - Absolutely
Offspring - You're Gonna Go Far Kid
"I need your help."
She looked at me, with fire in her eyes. Her eyes looked forward as if to say "It's you and me against the world when we do start?" Her name was Sara, and I will never forget her smile.
It was her third time asking, and the response stayed the same. "Leave me alone," I replied as I cleaned up my tent. The homeless camp wasn't exactly known for being clean, but it was where I belonged.
She pointed at the towering apartment buildings across the lake. "You know what it takes to get there! Teach me!"
The City dwellers needed inspiration to fill their otherwise monotonous lives. They lived without want, but without passion. So they leeched off of others, feeding off of their talents and in exchange sharing their life of leisure. Only a few were chosen, and the alley was where the City dwellers came to find their next source of inspiration. If you were lucky a car would stop and whisk you away to their Ivory towers.
A blood-red dress fluttered in my mind. "I used to be a tailor of tales, living in the City. Now I just want to be left alone," I said,
"No you don't," Sara said as she looked at me and smiled at me. "You almost smiled the second time I showed up. You want to teach me!"
I told myself it was her persistence, but in truth it was her smile. Her smile made the winter chill disappear and I found myself nodding.
We flit from topic to topic, metaphors one day, dancing the other. She took to them like an old lover, laughing as she danced over refuse. The whole homeless camp rallied behind her, Old Jake even put on his cowboy hat and taught her how to do accents. In a few days she picked up a Texan accent. Over the span of a month we taught her, and soon she was ready.
"So pardner, what ya reckon is today's lesson?" Sara asked.
I looked at her, an odd sense of pride crossing my face. Old Jake stared at me and said, "Well, she must be doing something right! I think that's the first time you smiled since you've been here!"
I couldn't feign enough grumpiness to tell him to shut up, so I took Sara aside and we walked across the camp. We made our way to the frozen lake and stared across it at the City, its lights illuminating the night sky. She stared at the City, dreaming of performing to crowds. I remembered just how far people will go for inspiration.
There was a moment of silence as we looked out at the City,
"Why did you leave the city?" Sara asked, her voice barely a whisper.
"In the City I inspired thousands, but I found out that there is a fine line between inspiration and obsession." Memories of a blood-red gown surfaced in my mind. A dead seamstress, her face writhed in agony, followed. "I found out just how far people will go for inspiration."
Another moment of silence. I looked at her, saw her eyes staring at the heavens, full of wonder as the a star streaked through the sky. "Why do you want to go?" I asked her.
"I believe in people," She answered without hesitation. "People are beautiful and amazing. They can create so many things, they can do so much good. Sometimes they just need to be nudged a little."
I looked over at her and saw her smiling coyly at me. It was close, but it wasn't the smile I will always remember. She grabbed my hand and said, "I nudged you and I think you turned out great."
A pang of guilt ran through me. I don't want you to leave. The simple thought ran through my mind. But she needed to to tell her own tale, to go the City and inspire millions. Though it hurt me, I couldn't keep her caged here in the camp, she needed a chance to fly.
"You're ready. Before you go to the alleys tonight, let me tailor you a tale."
We walked back to the small tent where I had stored my tailoring gear. Sara sat down next to me and together we spun a tale. Every so often I would stop her, to add a dash of purple prose to our weaving. She stopped me and gently untangled the burs of bitterness that found their way in the tale. Together we talked, and wove a tale of stars, of hope and of tears from Mars.
The tale we made turned out to be a jacket and it sparkled as a thousand shooting stars shot across it. Sara put it on and twirled, making Mars rotate along the fabric. She looked at me and kissed me.
Much later, with her sleeping beside me, I looked at the jacket and then at her, and knew I would never spin a more beautiful tale.
She stood in the alleyway, the passing car's headlights making her jacket shine with incandescent light. She was marvelous, her eyes were staring at the stars and she was smiling. Each of us stared at her and thought she has a shot at being something.
A pair of headlights shone directly towards her, like a spotlight at a theater. She dance and sang, using all the skills we taught her. The pair of headlights stayed on our star, our sun, our little ray of sunshine and a black limousine approached her and turned into the alley. A few of the others stood in the alley, hoping to be noticed: Jake with his cowboy hat, Melody with her faerie gown. The rest of us, the ones without hope, the abandoned ones, we shuffled into the darkness and watched.
The limousine stopped when it approached Sara and a single window rolled down. A single gloved hand motioned for her to come forward. Sara stepped forward, her way to the big time just behind the metal door of the limousine. Emotionless, neutral eyes assessed her and the gloved hand ran over Sara's jacket lovingly. Sara looked up at us, at me and smiled. She was going to make it we all thought. Her time had come.
The gun let out a single loud bark and Sara dropped. The gun receded back into the limousine and the gloved hand held onto the jacket as Sara's lifeless body fell. With a final tug, her jacket slipped away into the limousine, a lone tear of Mars dropping onto the alley. With as little thought given to the execution, the limousine reversed out of the alleyway
I hadn't realized I was running towards her, hurling incoherent curses at the limousine, until I was cradling Sara in my arms. Her eyes were still open, staring lifelessly at the stars, and the smile on her face still haunts my dreams.
"Come on, say something," I pleaded.
But she remained silent. Her tale had ended. The pretty little head shot was the final period to the end of her story.
|# ¿ Feb 11, 2018 20:39|
Hey apparently I didn't crit for week 278? Well I found the document that contained the crits for that week:
|# ¿ Feb 13, 2018 17:53|
Live critting Week 288 here:
|# ¿ Feb 14, 2018 01:12|
I don't really understand this post. But since you highlighted part of Ironic Twist's crit, Ironic Twist I apologize if you took my crit badly. It was meant to be praising your story and damning my own reading comprehension.
Secondly, I guess I'll stop posting crits. The bit about my story was an experiment, since I need to spend more time analyzing and taking advice on my own stories.
Thank you for the crit!
|# ¿ Feb 14, 2018 20:47|
I'll fight Exmond. Anime must be banished from the Thunderdome.
Anime must stand strong!
Errr, can we make deadline the 24th? My weekend is a bit busy.
Exmond fucked around with this message at 16:00 on Feb 16, 2018
|# ¿ Feb 16, 2018 15:58|
hello and welcome to tab week, where we hit tab a bunch until it looks cool
Practice what you preach. If you want to get rid of the narrative structure you should be accepting of other forms of stories.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2018 06:35|
Before I offer to be in, I have issues.
What the gently caress was this? A whole lot of talk and not a lot of walk, that's what I tell ya.
Let's take your "Philosophy of art" and apply it to "Actually producing art" and let's see that redemption.
|# ¿ Feb 19, 2018 16:11|
Awww yeah who was a cojudge for SebMojo vs Flerp and didn't understand metaphors! THIS GUY!
Crits are here:
You know when I co-judged I was thi-
Write a good story first
nking that huh, brawls aren't all that tense. I mean of course, the top two mem-
pick your monster you impossible whining giblet
bers of thunderdome are going to post a story. So what are we really putting on the line?
jesus don't be such a snivelling weeble, crits are good, keep doing them, don't flounce
Huh, makes you think what else you could put on the line in a brawl to make it tense?
|# ¿ Feb 21, 2018 22:47|
I'm in, Can we make deadline March 3rd?
Prompt is.. META YORK CITY whe-
Oh I just heard we got no judges
Prompt is a place where stories turn into characters, so take Death of a story but get rid of all the TD Meta references.
Winner gets a new avatar of their choosing
|# ¿ Feb 22, 2018 02:52|
March 9th is better for me,
|# ¿ Feb 22, 2018 04:19|
Exmond vs Apophenium Brawl
A Lady Of Resources And Spirit
“Lady, I want you to haunt someone to death!” a crying girl said as she ran into the abandoned classroom, slamming the door so hard that a wood plaque hanging on the wall clattered to the ground. The girl walked over the plaque, dived into the only clean school desk and cried.
Lady Madison looked up from her desk, putting down a hot cup of tea, and rose from her rocking chair. It was similar, if not reversed roles when they had first met. Her, recently dead and afraid, haunting the halls of her classroom, and Elizabeth, an orphan breaking into places where she shouldn’t be. Her ward needed her now and she would be damned if she wouldn’t try her best.
She reached out a reassuring hand to Elizabeth, and let out a frustrated sigh as her hand passed through the child, all the warmth and comfort that she tried to offer vanishing into nothingness. Elizabeth let out another sob, ignoring the empty rocking chair, and continued to yell incoherently at the electronic device in her hand. Lady Madison sat by the desk and looked out at the rows of empty desks and at her ward, concern over her face.
“What’s wrong Elizabeth?” Lady Madison asked
In response, Elizabeth raised the electronic device in her hand. Text messages garbled out on the screen, a weird mixture of text and numbers. More akin to a scientific formula than communication Lady Madison thought.
Elizabeth wiped her nose with the sleeve of her jean jacket and managed to sob out “J-Jimmy broke up with me so he could take Sara to the dance!”
Ah, a girls first heartbreak. This was a matter of the heart, and the heart is a delicate thing. Lady Madison put a finger on her chin and thought as she looked out at the chalkboard. Today’s lesson plan may have to be skipped.
Hot tea, warm biscuits and even the special candies she dispensed when Elizabeth learned her numbers wouldn’t heal a broken heart. Emotional comfort, not physical comfort, was what was needed. And oh dear, as a ghost she could nary offer a hug of reassurance than she could leave the halls of the school.
Lady Madison rose up and looked at the crying child. She couldn’t offer a reassuring hug, she couldn’t even touch her. But what she could offer was truth, belief in her ward and the most important thing of all; love.
“Elizabeth Chalmers. I have seen you grow up from alley mouse to a lady of spirit and resources. And I know you will grow into a beautiful lady, one who will carry out things only dreamed about. Had I the means of haunting this Jimmy, I would do so. I would haunt him until he cried for forgiveness.”
She did not speak as a teacher would to a student, nor as a parent to a young child. She spoke as a lady would speak to another lady. With respect and grace.
Lady Madison took in a breath she didn’t need and continued, “But I do not have the means, and all I can do is stand here and be with you. This is just one more obstacle, and it won’t pass easily, but I know you have the strength to overcome it.” She leaned down and tried futilely to grab Elizabeth's hands in hers. ”Know that I believe in you, and more importantly, love you.”
All she could offer was words, wisdom from a teacher who had died too soon, but words that were the truth. Lady Madison stood there, looking at her ward. Elizabeth let out one last sniffle and looked at the empty rocking chair.
“Do you have any biscuits Lady?”
Lady Madison nodded and inclined her heads towards the plate assembled by the teacher’s desk. Perhaps today they would skip the numbers lesson and instead move onto happier things; hot tea and biscuits.
Elizabeth grabbed the last biscuit and looked back at the empty, dusty teacher’s desk. She picked up the wood plaque and hung it on the wall, where it would be the first thing people would see.
“Thank you, for everything Lady. Thank you for taking me in, for making those biscuits and teaching me numbers.”
Elizabeth hesitated as if wanting to say more, but curtsied and closed the door.
Madison looked out the classroom window as Elizabeth walked away from the decrepit schoolhouse. A sense of pride filled Madison's heart and smiled as she saw the wooden plaque adorned on the wall.
Lady Madison’s school for Esteemed Ladies,
Let those who pass find comfort and peace
And the strength to be a Lady, in all situations.
|# ¿ Feb 24, 2018 15:41|
Good brawling Apophenium!
|# ¿ Feb 25, 2018 06:52|
|# ¿ Oct 22, 2021 16:27|
Also, I owed Exmond a crit. Week 288: Story of a Muse
Hah story of my life! Thank you for the crit!
|# ¿ Mar 7, 2018 20:19|