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cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'm in for my first ever Thunderdome. Throw it at me.

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cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Prompt:  Pen Show!

Relationship: Calligraphers by day, drunk calligraphers by night

Relationship: Retired astronaut and paving contractor

Relationship: Millionaire collector and hundredaire collector

Location: Outside the hotel, beneath a dying apple tree in the moonlight

Object: Room key

Need: To get the pen and thereby get the boy

Tilt: An out of control rampage


Call-Con 40

1483 words

The ransom note came completely as a surprise. Jonathan Black had arrived back at his room at lunchtime to find a someone else’s key in the lock, the door wide open, and an elegantly handwritten note taped to the mirror.

“DEAREST SIR
WE HAVE TAKEN YOUR DOG. IF YOU WANT TO GET HIM BACK, BE AT THE TREE OUTSIDE THE HOTEL AT MIDNIGHT, AND BRING THE COPERNICUS WITH YOU. COME ALONE. TELL NO ONE.

KINDEST REGARDS,”

And then it was signed off with what looked like a bloody paw print.

He sat down heavily on his bed, and cradled his face in his hands.

---

Calligraphy Con! Shining jewel on the inkhead circuit. There’s not a single competitive penman who hasn’t dreamed of winning their prestigious calligraphy competition. Pen collectors who didn’t attend would find themselves laughed out of the community for missing the chance to peruse the rarest fountain pens that the world had to offer. Tickets sold out within hours of release, and Jonathan had spent the last of his savings to secure his hotel room and place in the penmanship contest. Jonathan had competed every year since he first picked up a pen, but every year he had completely failed to place. The best he’d done was at Call-Con 37, where he’d placed a competent 14th. But now some bastards had taken his beloved Prospero, and were demanding that he bring them the prize for first place - the rarest pen he’d ever seen.

“Okay,” Jonathan thought to himself. “You can do this. You can win. You can… no you can’t. You’re hosed. I’m hosed. gently caress. No, don’t panic. Call someone. Call Robert. Robert can help.” He pulled out his phone and dialled his best friend, drinking buddy and fellow inkhead.

“Robert.”

“Robert, I’m hosed. Someone’s taken Prospero and they want me to get them the Copernicus and I don’t know what to do.”

Robert replied with a long whistle. “Don’t panic. I’ll be up soon.”

A few minutes later, Robert was sitting on the bed, reading the note.

“There’s no way you can win the pen.”

“I know.”

“You’re just not that good.”

“I know!”

“So you’re going to have to steal it.”

“I kno- wait, what?”

“Hear me out. You know the judge? Guest of honour? Old guy, rich, frail? He’s donating the Copernicus, so he’ll be keeping it in his room.”

“Right…”

“Normally that would be completely out of reach, but I’ve got an in. I redid the driveway at his mansion a few months ago, and we hit it off - inkheads can tell, y’know? So we go find him, get him talking, go for a drink, convince him to go back to his suite, and then we take it when he’s not looking. Simple.”

“I dunno…”

“Look, do you want Prospero back or not?”

---

“Jonathan Black, meet Mr Alden”.

“Colonel Alden, retired!” Barked the old man, jabbing at Robert’s feet with his cane.

“Sorry, Colonel Alden. I was just telling Jonathan how much I admired your collection, and we’d love it if you’d join us for a drink.”

The Colonel didn’t take much convincing, and they practically ran to the bar, Robert leading the way, the Colonel wobbling along behind him, with Jonathan nervously bringing up the rear. As they made their way through the hotel, the Colonel talked at Jonathan about pens.

“Have you ever seen so fine a pen as the Copernicus? A beautiful piece! 9 rings of sterling silver! Rhodium plated gold nib! Inset with a meteorite stone! It’s the pride of my collection, and it does my heart in to give her away but you know, you can’t get too attached to these things. I’ve got plenty of others that need my love too, you know!”

“I’ve got a StarWalker Urban Spirit, with -”

“Oh yes, that’s a nice pen,” said the Colonel dismissively. “Not a patch on the Meisterstuck, but what is at that price range? I remember my first Meisterstuck, it was a gift from my father when I touched back down for the first time. In those days there was none of these discount brands and cheap imitations! Those vultures at Papermate, they’ve got no integrity, no integrity at all!”

The Colonel happily burbling away, they reached the hotel bar without incident. It occasionally looked like passing inkheads wanted to get the Colonel’s attention, but Robert ran interference when necessary, and the Colonel was far too absorbed in his reminiscences to notice.

---

Over at the bar, Robert slipped the bartender a $50 note.

“We’re here with Colonel Alden, so it’s all on his tab. Here’s $50, make sure his glass is never empty”

He returned to the table with three glasses filled to their brims with bourbon. Jonathan and Robert very carefully sipped at theirs, but were surprised to see the Colonel knocking his back like there was no tomorrow, in between declaiming about pens, the tragic state of penmanship these days, how inappropriate it was that there were so many women in the community these days, and so much more.

“Boys! You’re hardly touching your drinks! Why, in my day, even the specs at NASA could do better than that!”

At this stage, despite the measured pace, they were both starting to feel a bit fuzzy. The Colonel, on the other hand, seemed to be completely unaffected.

“Why isn’t it working?” murmured Jonathan, out of the corner of his mouth

“I don’t know,” Robert whispered back, then turned and addressed the Colonel, almost yelling to make himself heard. “Colonel, we’d love to see the Copernicus. Just a peek?”

“I shouldn’t… But okay, why not? It’s the only way you two’ll ever see it, eh?”

---

The three men staggered into the Colonel’s suite, Robert with a bottle of brandy in hand, courtesy of another fifty slipped to the bartender. While the Colonel bustled around trying to find the Copernicus, Robert sidled over to Jonathan.

“Okay, we’ll keep him drinking and talking until he passes out, then you can take the pen and get it to the drop off point.”

“Here she is boys! The Copernicus! The most beautiful pen you ever did see.”

He was cradling a small rectangular case in his right hand, holding it out towards them. Robert reached out towards it, but the Colonel hit his outstretched hand with his cane.

“Just look!” He shakily opened the case, unsteady with his cane in the air and at least half a bottle of bourbon in his veins. “Look at her! Look at that filigree!”

“Colonel... Sir… I have to ask a favour from you. Please. Look into your heart.” Ignoring Robert’s desperate gestures for him to shut up, Jonathan pressed on. “Someone has kidnapped my dog. To get him back, I need this pen. Please. Can you give it to me? Can you find it within yourself to help a poor inkhead out?”

The Colonel stared at him, a strange expression on his face. Was it pity? Was it -

The Colonel burst out laughing. Oh, okay. Not pity.

“Why, that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard! Of course I can’t just give you the Copernicus! What the devil made you think I would just give it to you? It’s the most valuable pen I’ve ever owned! The organizers of this drat convention are paying me more money than you’ll ever touch to give them this pen! I’m not going to just up and give it away to the first dullard who comes along and tells me some ridiculous sob story about a stolen mutt! Who do you think you-”

The rest of the Colonel’s screed was cut off as Jonathan came barrelling into him at full speed, screaming as he charged. He wasn’t thinking about what he was doing. He had felt a rising pressure within at the Colonel’s rant, until it all became too much. As he shrieked, all he could think about was Prospero, and the Copernicus, and the growing sense of shame that the Colonel had been feeding all afternoon.

---

“Is… is he dead?” were the first words out of his mouth when Jonathan came to.

“You stabbed him seventeen times in the throat with a fountain pen. I think he’s dead.”

“Oh.”

“Look, I’ll write a suicide note, hide his body in the bathtub. You go and get the Copernicus to the dognappers.”

“It’s covered in blood.”

“Tell them it’s ink, they won’t know the difference until it’s too late.”

---

Jonathan sank to the ground, his back against the skeletal apple tree, and stared up at the waning moon. He looked down at himself, idly noticing in the dappled light that he was covered in blood. “Oh well,” he mumbled. “I’m sure nobody will notice.”

There was an ambulance siren somewhere in the distance. Then a police car. Then another, and another.

“You know what?” he asked nobody in particular. “I don’t think calligraphy is for me.”

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Thanks T-Rex!

In for this week. Now I've got a taste for blood, after all.

Edit: Also flash?

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2018 around 10:53

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In with a flash and a since I failed to write something last time.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Solitude’s Not For Everyone
1768 words

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:12

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'm in.

Here you go ThirdEmperor, have the most Deviantart thing I could find.

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2018 around 02:15

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


How My New Life Began
2003 words




This is the way my world ended. Not with a whimper, but with a bang.

My name is Caoimhe (which is pronounced Kay-Oim), and I am sixteen years old. This is how my story begins.

***

My story begins on a normal school day, or what I thought was a normal school day, anyway. In The City, everyone has to attend The School, and we are separated into groups based on our eye colour. The last thing my father did before he disappeared was to give me two special eye lenses, an old technology from the Beforetime, which made my eyes look blue, hiding my naturally violet irises.

“Your eyes will mark you as being different. You must keep this a secret - you’re special, Caoimhe. These will make your violet eyes look blue.” he said, handing me the little clear lenses made of some kind of blue material.

I thought about his final words to me a lot, and was always shocked by the implications, especially when I was at The School masquerading as a Blueye. Aside from my special and unique eyes, and my father’s mysterious disappearance, I was an average City-Dwelling teenager. I went to The School every day, and worked hard so that I could learn everything I needed so I can be useful when I graduate into my assigned career. As a Blueye, I could expect to be a teacher, or a diplomat, or maybe a librarian. I don’t know what violet eyes would mean, and because I wanted to always follow the advice father gave to me before he abruptly vanished that fateful night ten years ago when I was six years old, I never would. The School was modelled on Elite Prep Schools from the Beforetime that we had read about in the Historical Texts. I didn’t fit in, because I was secretly a lot more special than all my Blueye classmates, even if they didn’t realise it, they must have realised it on an unconscious level in their subconscious minds.

I was walking down the corridor towards the Blueye Classrooms, when I was jolted out of my reverie by a commotion by the Science Rooms, into which only Greeneyes were allowed into.

“No, you foolish idiots! I’ve done the calculations too and everyone else is making a mistake.”

“Sure thing, kid. We’ll run right out and make everyone stop what they’re doing riiiight away. What makes you think you know better than all the smartest men in the Science District? Buzz off, twerp.”

I couldn’t see who it was, but the hulking School Officer, wearing his shiny regulation body armour, had just pushed someone into one of the Science Rooms, and walked off. I couldn’t help myself - I had to know. One of my biggest flaws is my curiosity.

I looked around surreptitiously, and when I knew there was nobody watching, I ducked through the door. Hunched over a lab bench was Damian, one of the smartest and most handsome boys I’d ever met. He was wearing his School Uniform, but his sleeves were rolled up charmingly, his tie in a messy half undone knot, and his signature lab coat was sprawled over the floor, seemingly abandoned. We didn’t have any classes together - he was a Greeneye, and a year above me - but we used to do homework together when his father was too busy to come and get him after school. As an Orphan of the City, I had to stay at school much later than anybody else because I didn’t have anybody to look after me. You could say I had to learn to be independent very early on.

“It’s going to be a disaster. But no-one will LISTEN!” He slammed his hand against the bench and gazed broodily into the bunsen burner that he’d been using for his calculations. “Oh, Caoimhe. I didn’t see you come in.”

He looked up at me soulfully, and I could see his soulful green eyes were rimmed with red - he’d been crying. I looked away, not wanting to meet his eyes and reveal that I’d seen him in such a vulnerable state.

“What’s wrong, Damian?”

“My father is a scientist working on the Ωmega Project, but they’ve got it all wrong. It’s not going to do what they think. It’s going to do so much more, so much worse. Caoimhe… I think it’s going to DESTROY the CITY!”

“You have to tell someone!” I told him.

“I tried, but… they wouldn’t… they wouldn’t listen. They don’t think that a teenager could be smarter than them.” He sniffled again, sensitively. He brushed his long dark hair over his piercing green eyes so that I couldn’t see the tears filling them.

I nodded sadly, knowing all too well what that was like. Even the most sensitive and insightful teens can be ignored by adults who think they know better.

“But what can we do?”

“There might be nothing we can do.” Damian’s chin slumped to lie against his powerfully built chest.

“We can’t just stand aside and do NOTHING!” I nearly yelled, my violet eyes flashing behind their contact lenses, gleaming bluely.

“Well…” He looked shyly up at me. “I know all the codes to get into the Ωmega Building, and I know they’re planning an important test tonight. Father let it slip over our regular breakfast of wheat protein flake We could wait until The School Day ends, then slip into the Science District. If we duck the City Guards and the Science Gladiators, we can put a stop to the Ωmega Experiments once and for all. But if we get caught...”

“No, Damian. We have to do it. We can’t worry about what-ifs or maybes. All we can do is try and save The City that we love. Maybe they’ll listen to us once we save everyone’s lives.”

“You really are a special girl, Caoimhe.” I looked away from him and blushed.

000

Getting through that School Day was one of the hardest things I’d done in my life up to that point. As soon as the day ended, Damian and I met up, and without waiting, ran straight to the Science District. Damian took us down an alley, where there was a small gap in the chain link fence surrounding the Ωmega Building.

“How did you know this was here?”

“I used to explore a lot when I came here with father as a kid. Now we should probably be quiet so we don’t get caught.”

I agreed, and we fell silent, stealthily making our way past the heavy security and into the bowels of the compound. Damian showed off some very impressive gymnastics, that I was hard pressed to follow.

We ran down seemingly endless corridors. Where was everyone? Surely this place should have been like a beehive on honey day, buzzing with activity and bees? My questions were answered when a door hissed open and we found ourselves in the central chamber. It was filled with workers, scientists, guards and Science Gladiators.

Suspended in the center of the room was the Ωmega Device. I could see Damian’s Father, his bald head gleaming with sweat, his eyes covered by large black goggles.

“How are we going to get close, Damian?”

“We’ll think of something. We’re so close now.”

“Hey, you kids! What’re you doing?!” yelled a guard, catching sight of us as we inched our way towards the Device.

“Oh no! Quick, this way!”

As we ran, I felt something grab my shoulder, and I stumbled over. A Science Gladiator glared at me with his lizardlike eyes, but before he could snatch me up with his grasping claw hands, Damian had turned around tackled him, wrestling him to the ground. His shirt tore open as they grappled. As they struggled their deadly struggle, he managed to gasp out a few words to me.

“Caoimhe, run! Get out of here! There’s nothing we can do, it’s too late for us to stop the Ωmega Device, so you have to get out of The City - into the Forbidden Outside! It’s your only chance. Quickly, go and get your little sister from the Orphanage, then run. As you know, there’s a secret tunnel under The School that leads to The Bridge, which is the only way out of the City. I’ll meet you out there once I can get away from this Science Gladiator and Father’s other hired goons. Everything will be okay. You’re the most unique girl I’ve ever met, Caoimhe, and I know you’re going to be just fine. You’re more special than you know! Now, run! I’ll see you when I get free!”

Tears blurring my eyes, I ran. I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again, only that I had to get back to the Orphanage before anything else went wrong. Not stopping to look back, I fled the Ωmega Building.

&&&

I don’t know how I got back to the Orphanage without getting caught. The City was on high alert. Sirens were wailing and red lights flashed everywhere while City Guards rushed about like an anthill that had been knocked over by a hungry anteater, but somehow I avoided detection.

I picked the lock of The Orphanage and made my way back to the room I shared my little sister, Saoirse (it rhymes with Mercy). She was lying in her bunk, and I shook her gently by the shoulders to wake her up.

“Saoirse, we have to go right now! There’s no time to explain.” I explained, as I dragged her out the front door of the City Orphanage. As we picked our way through the darkened halls where we had lived since Father died, I told her what had happened at the Ωmega Building, and that I’d had to leave Damian behind. I prayed that he had gotten away somehow.

But we didn’t have time to worry about that. Luckily, The Orphanage was close to The School, so it didn’t take long to get there, and we didn’t have to dodge too many guards. The tunnel was exactly where I knew it would be. It wasn’t guarded! A stroke of good luck. We scrambled through the hatch, and ran down the long tunnel. After what seemed like hours, but according to my watch had been only one, we came to the bridge. We got halfway across before I stopped. This was the first time I’d ever been outside The City walls. Was this really what I should be doing? It had been an hour, and nothing had happened. Maybe Damian had managed to prevent the device from exploding.

Then there was giant a lurch. I felt myself being picked up and thrown forwards. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible light. And then everything went dark for a while.

888

We came to, slowly and shakily.

Saoirse and I stood on the shattered bridge that we had barely crossed in time, and stared backwards at the pillar of flames that the Ωmega Project had turned the City - our home - into. The rock walls that had always protected us had been shattered, the sky was being torn asunder and jagged chunks of reality folded in on themselves. As tears poured from my violet eyes, I wondered what would become of us, and whether I’d ever see Damian ever again, if he had escaped the cataclysm he’d tried so hard to avoid, or whether he’d been killed ironically by the very thing he sought to prevent. I took Saoirse’s hand, and together we turned and walked away from the burning City, into the inky blackness of night that concealed Forbidden Outside from view, that had so long been hidden and forbidden from us, but would not be a secret anymore. I didn’t know where we were going. All I knew was that we had each other, and that we would keep walking, and that maybe the Forbidden Outside wasn’t as empty as they’d always told us at School.

And that’s how my new life began.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In with a Flash Rule.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


House Special
Flash: Drinking Contest + 200 words
1807 Words

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:13

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Thanks for judging, judges.

Tanz! posted:

The other two judges state they will be expanding their crits in their own posts. However I am lazy and instead I am offering detailed crits to anyone who asks for one, that submitted this week. Just quote this post.

I'd love a more detailed crit, if you don't mind.

Also, I am in to crit the children.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Thanks for the crit, Jon Joe! Really appreciate it. I might try and tidy up my story and enter it into the sci fi competition from the other week, since my one from that week was so dire, so the feedback is super helpful.


Also, IN for this week.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'm in, and since I shamefully failed last week, I'll and get a flash if one's going.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Special Features
Flash: At least one of your characters is in a garage band! +
1296 Words

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:14

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In, with door #3

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I would like to serve the void by taking a fine and elegant Voidmart Product flash rule.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Thanks for the feedback, Recap Crew. You were pretty much 100% on the money with how the writing process went/ how I felt about things.

I'd like to try and make it not poo poo at some stage in the future, so it's really helpful to hear you guys talking about it. Much appreciated!

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


And also I have nothing but shame planned for the long weekend, so I'd better be IN with a flash and a

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Fox, Quick and Clever
1195 words
Flash: Señor de las Limas

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:15

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In.

I'm travelling this weekend, but since John Darnielle still hasn't written "Going to Auckland", I'll get you to pick a song for me.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Yeah I'll pre-emptively to make up for this week's shameful display.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


cptn_dr posted:

Yeah I'll pre-emptively to make up for this week's shameful display.

In! With Team Corvid.



Image credit to @Ravenmaster1 over on Twitter (an A+ follow if ever I knew one)

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


One For Sorrow
1004 words
Team Prose Crows

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:15

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'm in, gimme a unit!

Also, thanks for the crits folks.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


A Little Fall of Snow
993 Words
Unit: League



I lie on the icy ground, gasping for breath, the tears that stream from my eyes freezing on my cheeks before they even reach my beard. I stare up at the sky. I don’t think I’m ever going to move again. I glance down at myself. My leg juts out at an unnatural angle. It should hurt more. I should probably be more worried that I can’t feel as much pain as I expect to, but right now, I can’t bring myself to care that much. My mind wanders away, unable to focus.

--My whole life, I’d always wanted to hike the Arctic Circle. I kept putting it off, planning but giving up, saying I’d do it next year. I finally commit to it, and now it’s going to kill me. Is that irony? Probably--

I inhale and a wave of pain – red hot, nauseating - sweeps over me, bringing me back to the here and now, though the world goes fuzzy around the edges. I guess I don’t need to start worrying about not feeling it now. The worst of it passes, and goes back to a dull shriek on the edge of my awareness.

They’ll tell you about the Swiss cheese model, that disaster only happens when everything goes wrong at the same time, but sometimes all it takes is one small mistake and then everything’s over, and you’re freezing to death thousands of miles from home, hours away from the last cabin, meters away from your emergency pack. I turn my head – twinges of pain, not enough to stop me – and eye up the pack, its contents strewn across the snow surrounding where it fell on our way down.

--I never saw a lot of snow, growing up in a subtropical city. Always imagined it would be pristine. Down here it’s stained red--

It would be easy to just lie here forever. There’s not much point to trying. I don’t know if I’ll be able to reach my emergency kit. If I do, I don’t even know if it’ll still work. If anyone will come find me. Everything has already gone wrong, why would they start going right now? I’ll just freeze in the cold and the dark. But if I can just crawl those few meters more, maybe I’ll –

--The sky is full of lights, great ribbons of colour dancing slowly across the darkness above me. Someone’s up there, dancing--

Maybe I’ll be able to call for help. I don’t feel any desperation. It would be so easy to just lie here and fall asleep. But I look up at the sky, and I can hear something, in my ear, in my mind? A voice, calling out to me from far away, telling me to move, to pull myself to safety, that to give up is to admit defeat. That I shouldn’t accept another failure in a life full of them. That I always give up just too soon.

The voice warred with the comfortable feeling of warmth that had settled itself over my body. This wasn’t so bad, after all. Still. Quiet. Almost peaceful. But the voice is still there, louder now, screaming. It sounds like it’s coming through a bad radio connection, harsh and buzzing. I can’t sleep with all this noise in my ears. I ignore it as long as I can. Snowflakes settle in my beard, on my eyelashes. I’m drifting away, the voice is fading. Then a surge of pain catches me off guard, jolting me awake, and I can’t ignore the voice any longer.

-- He’s standing there at the top of the hill, silhouetted by the setting sun. He yells at me to hurry up, but he’s got laughter in his voice. I always stop just too soon, he says.  He’s not unkind, but he’s also not wrong --

It takes some effort, but I haul myself up and over, onto my stomach. I only scream a little bit. Slowly, one hand over the other, I pull myself towards the small satchel that housed my emergency gear. I didn’t know it was possibly for the body to hurt this much and not just shut down from the pain. Time contracts, tunnel vision sets in. Reach. Drag. Switch arms. Repeat.

-- Sometimes way out above the arctic circle people go mad with hunger and isolation, and trudge out into the endless night in search of meat, driven by nothing but the will to consume, determined to strip the flesh from the bones of the first creature – or person - they run into --

I reach the emergency kit, scattered in a narrow arc in around the satchel. I don’t know how long it took to get here. 17 minutes? An hour? An instant? An eternity? I’m here, I did it. The voice is quiet now. I can’t feel my fingers anymore, but I can see that they’re still there, the tips buried in the red snow. I blearily take stock of the objects closest to me. A radio, a flare gun.

I reach out and hit the SOS button on the radio, and leave a smear of red along the side. It squawks once, loudly, then starts beeping slowly, rhythmically. My leg feels like it’s throbbing along in time with the beeps. Was that it? Is that enough? No, there was something else I had to do.

I stretch out my other hand, fumble about in the snow, and find something - the flare gun. My frozen fingers fumble with the small device, but I manage to shoot a flare into the air above me. I turn my head and, out of the corner of my eye, watch the bright speck ascend into the sky and mingle with the eerie lights above me as I feel myself descend into the warm embrace of unconsciousness. I don’t know if I’ll wake up. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. But at least I didn't just quit.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In, 6,
Gimme that weird magicky goodness.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Just Like Clockwork
1050 words
Plane: Mechanus

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2018 around 06:16

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Thanks for the crits, Armack!

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


In with Him!

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Yeah, I'd really appreciate a full crit if you've got time.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


You and Me at the End of the World
He
1028 words

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2018 around 00:30

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Yoruichi posted:

INTERPROMPT


200 words about ponies. Bonus points if it rhymes.



An Important Lesson
200 words

There was once a coterie of ponies, each more wild and untamed than the next. They spent their days joyously gambolling around the plains where they made their homes.  One day, the youngest proposed that they go on a journey.

They galloped across the fields, they cantered through the forests, and they forded treacherous rivers. After a time, they came to the strangest place that they had ever seen. It was like a field surrounded by a neatly trimmed hedge, but instead of being flat and empty, it was filled with obstacles. The oldest and wisest pony knew what this was, and wanted to leave. The middle pony whickered in agreement. But the youngest felt a yearning in his soul that he could not deny.

The older two tried to drag their friend away, but he was transfixed. He just had to leap over the obstacles in the course. There was something magnetic about them. He began to run the course, and was exhilarated. But when he came to the first jump, he misjudged and fell, screaming in pain as his leg broke beneath him.

That day, they learned the most important lesson of all - Show Jumping is Bad Jumping.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Week CCCX: Ghosts and Whiskey




Crumbling mansions! Ghosts, both literal and metaphorical! Devils! Swamps!

This week's prompt is a genre near and dear to my heart: Southern Gothic. A genre that deals with poverty, crime, religion, death, ghosts, family, lost love, alcohol, murder, the devil, race and betrayal. Oh, and the South, I guess. I want you to write me a story dealing with one or more of these themes.

I’m more interested in themes rather than setting, though, so for the purposes of the prompt, the ‘Southern’ part of Southern Gothic doesn’t have to refer to the American South (though it absolutely still can). Any south will do. Tierra del Fuego Gothic? Sure thing! Mackenzie Country Gothic? Why not! Tasmanian Gothic? Heck yeah! Just make it interesting.

Flash Rules will be handed out to anyone who asks, will be in the form of Southern Gothic-adjacent songs for you to take inspiration from, and will come with a bonus +250 words.

Standard TD rules apply: no fanfic, erotica, nonfiction, quote tags or Google Docs.

Word Limit: 1250 words
Signup deadline: Friday, 13 July at 11:59pm Pacific Time (US)
Submission deadline: Sunday, 15 July, 11:59pm Pacific Time (US)
Judges:
Can'tDecideOnAName
RandomPaul

Sinners:
Mocking Quantum - - Ain't No Grave
Antivehicular - Devil's Spoke
Captain Person - Snake Song
Solitair - Brother, My Cup is Empty
Thranguy - Sinnerman
Sebmojo
Staggy - Comin' Home
Magnificent7 - Up Jumped The Devil
Apophenium
Ibntumart - Werewolf
Flesnolk - Lungs
Vannevar
Yoruichi

cptn_dr fucked around with this message at Jul 14, 2018 around 07:37

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Also, to write crits for every story from week 309 by the time submissions close.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


MockingQuantum posted:

In, , and flash me please.

You get Ain't No Grave by Johnny Cash

Antivehicular posted:

In and flash, please.

You get Devil's Spoke by Laura Marling

Captain_Person posted:

In, obviously. Give me some good flash!

You get Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan's cover of Snake Song

Solitair posted:

In with a flash, please!

Your song is Brother, My Cup is Empty by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Thranguy posted:

In and flash

Your song is Sinnerman by DOCTOR Nina Simone

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Staggy posted:

In for my first Thunderdome. Flash me please!

Welcome to Thunderdome! Your flash song is Murder By Death's Comin' Home

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


magnificent7 posted:

In, Flash some of that slide guitar dobro backwoods rear end poo poo.

You get Up Jumped The Devil

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


ibntumart posted:

Appreciate the crits! Let's see if I do Southern-ish Gothic better. In and flash me!

Your flash song is Werewolf - Cat Power

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Cptn_Crits Part 1

I figured since the theme of the week was two of my favourite lyricists ever, and since I’m gonna have to do judging for the first time next week (also, still need co-judges if anyone’s keen), I should try my hand at writing some crits. Hopefully some of it’s helpful?

Chili
  • For a piece that is, at its heart, “why I’m an atheist now”, you did a good job at not making it smug, and though the moral at the end isn’t surprising, it feels earned. Thematically, I think it all comes together quite well.
  • That said, it took me a couple of tries to get through, because I felt like I was being lectured. It’s obvious now that’s the point, and I appreciate it for what it is in retrospect, but it was a bit of a struggle to get through at first.
  • On the other hand, the lecture was pretty effective at conveying the Rabbi’s character. I feel like I’ve got a good sense of who he is. Ditto for Chaim, too. I don’t have a huge wealth of knowledge about Judaism, but I went to Catholic School and there’s just enough similarity in religious schooling in general there for it to hit home.

Captain Person
  • I’ve given you most of my thoughts on this earlier in the week (if you’d been able to keep the formatting from the GDdoc draft, it would have worked a dozen times better), but I think you did some really strong stuff with the two voices playing off against each other, as well as some really well constructed and beautiful prose.
  • I love me some weird Angel bullshit, so I was won over pretty early on anyway, but I liked how you portrayed the angel’s perspective. It was alien, but not inhuman.

Thranguy
  • This has a messy, chaotic quality to it that I think works really well for it, but the first paragraph took me two reads to parse it properly. I’m not sure if immediately cutting to a flashback after the first paragraph works for me either, it feels a little bit like dead weight.
  • Despite the frenetic pace, I didn’t really feel the characters. The narrator felt like he was held at arm’s length, when he really should have been more visceral.
  • I do really appreciate that the ending is optimistic, but without compromising the overall tone of the piece.

Sparksbloom
  • It’s a really strong opening. A really weird concept that grabs me, and makes me want to keep reading.
  • The conversation between Suzanne and the narrator is a bit info-dumpy, but it’s interesting information so I don’t mind too much.
  • The last paragraph didn’t quiiiite work for me, though. Is the implication that the tree people had Suzanne (and by extension, everyone else in the Arboretum) killed? Or did she just give up and kill herself? It’s all very sinister and unnerving, which I like, but the realization comes pretty quickly. The narrator says they see holes in their theory, but only lists one, and I’m left a bit confused rather than shocked.
  • All that said, I think the final line is just as strong as the opening ones.

Pham Nuwen
  • This is a cool idea, but I don’t think it ever really becomes more than that. The details are good, and the world-building is solid, but that doesn’t eventuate into anything that grabbed me.
  • I think where it really fell down, for me at least, is that there are no stakes. “Oh, the narrator died. *shrug* Oh well, it didn’t slow him down.”
  • What it really needed is some more conflict, or some more well drawn characters playing off against each other, in order to make me care about the core concept.

Antivehicular
  • One of my favourite settings is pre-apocalyptic, or maybe rather half-apocalyptic, and this really nails that. The feeling that the world is emptying out, and people figuring out what to do in the face of it all. This nails that feeling really well.
  • I got a pretty good feel for the two characters, and I there were some really interesting things in the setting that’s implied by the little details.
  • Despite that, I don’t think it felt quite like a finished story. Their conversation could have been expanded on or built up a little further. Though I’m really just nitpicking, like I say, I did really like this piece.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Flesnolk posted:

Finally poking my head up from the mayhem of summer classes. In, flash.

Your song is Lungs - Townes Van Zandt

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cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


Entries closed.

If anyone's interested in judging, I still need a co-judge or two.

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