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Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

I thought I would still have time to sign up.

So I am

I CLAIM EVERY PICTURE FOR MY STORY

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Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

pastebin link for archiving because the forums are dumb and forced me to divide this into three posts

my first story ^U^
5350 words

Chapter 1

TL note: Some of you may be wondering why I am translating a story written originally in English, to English. I remember reading this story many years ago, as a teen, and had since dismissed it as a bizarre fever dream. Only recently, through much Googling, did I manage to rediscover it, and as such decided to not only read it again, but fix the author’s many typing issues and share the context of what I remember from its original happening. I believe the story underneath to hold deeper meanings than its strange happenings, but at minimum I hope you will appreciate it for the sheer weirdness of it all. For the best experience, skim it for your first reading and, if you are interested, read more deeply the second time.

Some typing is left as-is to preserve what I believe to be authorial intent, or at least necessary effect. If you notice any typing issues I managed to miss, please email them to me at frbdnknwlg1988@yahoo.com


author note: yaaa hurray it’s my first story ^U^ i hope you all like it! all characters belong to my special friends who submitted them!!

ok heres the first chapter enjoy ^U^


Anime Ayn Rand has sworn her life by the sword, the sharp sword of capitalism, to slice prices to never-seen-before lows and even unlock the mystical power of controlling her sword without touching it, through the force of her invisible hand! She was on a mission that day, under the oppressive heat, oppressive like the communist regime she was going to end with her sword of rationality.

But then, it was cold.

A cold wind blew over, cold like the frosty communist north that she hated. It herald the coming of barbarians. As she expected, the barbarians arrived. She hid behind a corpse and watched… and listened.

“But dad, I don’t want to slay the furries!” said the son.

“Shut up, son!” said the dad.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,” said the eleven sisters, “shut up!”

The son was wearing very little wolf-skin clothes and was carrying a sword that Anime Ayn Rand thought was attractive. The dad was burrlier and wearing a bear-skin, and wielding two axes. The eleven sisters wore hamster-skins.

‘No, now’s not the time to get distracted, I must end communism,’ thought Anime Ayn Rand.

She jumped from behind the tree and shouted, “I must end communism!”

TL note: This is not a mistake by the author. To say any more would be a spoiler.

The dad shouted back, “I must end furries!”

Anime Ayn Rand attacked the barbarians, because as uncivilized people they probably practiced communism, which she disliked. She was a Paladin of the righteous order of being a badass, and also capitalism, so she had an advantage against Barbarians who were less badass.

Except, the dad was more badass than she expected.

“Aha, I have you now! You may not be a furry, my sworn enemy, but if you are attacking me then that means they must have hired you! You die now, furry-loving scum!”

“Daaad,” the son complained.

“Get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em,” the eleven sisters burped, “Dad!”

Anime Ayn Rand was very offended by the burping girls, and being upset increased her power. She cleaved through the dad’s axes with her sword of the free market, deeming them unfit in a competitive weapon economy.

“Stop!” the dad admitted defeat. Anime Ayn Rand was ready to kill him, but the son stepped in front and she couldn’t bring herself to kill him even though he might be a dirty communist.

“Communism must, be, defeated,” she struggled.

“We aren’t communists,” the son explained, “we just want to kill the furries.”

“Are furries communists?”

Seizing his chance, the dad said, “Yes, the furries are communist! Join us in killing them and I’ll let you marry my son!”

“Daaad,” the son complained.

“I like that idea,” Anime Ayn Rand agreed.

“Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome,” the eleven sisters sang, “Twelfth sister.”

author note: ^U^ there’s my first chapter, did you all like it? of course you did!! how could you not like how badass anime ayn rand is?

i’ll post the second chapter as soon at least three people comment on this one mwahahahaha ^U^


TL note: I would like to offer an interpretation of the above passage. While on the surface the first chapter may appear clumsily constructed, with ambiguous language and questionable writing methods, the author is actually trying to convey their discomfort with modern institutions. ‘Anime Ayn Rand’ is more that a communist-hating Paladin, but instead a champion against a systems she sees as unjust. Meanwhile, the furry-hating family of barbarians are likewise tackling their own discomforts. How furries relate to society will, I believe, become more clear in the following chapter.

Secondary TL note: The author received not three, but seven commenters on the first chapter.


***

Chapter 2

author note: i’m glad you all loved it ^U^ i love you all, too!! i want to try writing this story from lots of different eyes so this chapter is from the perspective of the bad guys!! to all my furry friends don’t worry it’s just fiction i mean nothing bad ^U^

“I love controlling society from atop our communist regime,” said General Cat to Blue Cookie Furry.

“I love cookies,” said Blue Cookie Furry, the President.

“Indeed, in a mere seven days, our plans to invade the Garbage Kingdom will be executed, and we steal all their trashure.”

“I love cookies,” argued Blue Cookie Furry.

“What of our soldiers?”

“I love,” began Blue Cookie Furry. “Cookies.”

“You really think the horses have betrayed us? On what basis?”

“I love cookies!” screamed Blue Cookie Furry.

General Cat’s normally sour face became even more sour, like he had some bad catnip. “You saw one sneak off at night to be with a barbarian? And another is a Garbage Kingdom spy? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?!”

“I… love… cookies…” the Blue Cookie Furry spelled it out.

“Ah, okay,” agreed General Cat, and gave the Blue Cookie Furry a muffin.

“I love cookies!” the Blue Cookie Furry ate the muffin with much joy, om nom nom.

author note: lol ^U^

“If you’ll excuse me, I have a war council to command, and an Assassin to hire,” General Cat said. He leapt from the balcony and landed on his feet two hundred feet below. After stretching his old back, General Cat’s first stop was the War Room, where he commanded his four officers; Lord Skunkcoat Vile, Flying Fox and Toothy Dan, Spotty Spots the Spotted Spotter, and Fatty Catty (who was actually a rabbit).

“I’ll make them drop dead from my smell,” Lord Skuncoat Vile agreed to attack soon.

“What do you think, Toothy Dan?” asked Flying Fox.

“I’m game if you’re game, Flying Fox,” replied Toothy Dan.

“I’ll keep a look out!” volunteered Spotty.

Fatty Catty didn’t reply, but burped in a way that everyone knew was satisfaction with the current state of affairs.

“It’s agreed then. Now, leave, I must go to my secret mission room.”

They left, and General Cat descended to his secret mission room.

“You have a secret mission for mwah?” asked a shadowy figure with sinister intent.

The Assassin.

“Yes I do… daughter.”

“Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” General Cat’s daughter laughed evily, with so much malice that even General Cat shivered. “Then unlock these chains that bind your poor little Lilith, father.”

“Promise, first,” General Cat commanded.

“Fiiine,” Lilith teased. “I promise not to kill anyone who’s part of Furry Nation except who you tell me to.”

“And?”

“And I promise to come back to you after I kill who you want me to, or in a week, whichever comes first.”

“Aaaaaaand?”

“Jeeze father, why are you so afraid?” she gave an evil smile that could be seen through the darkness of the secret mission room.

“You killed half the Furry Nation, your mother, and would have ended the world if I didn’t lock you up. Make the last promise or I’m not letting you go.”

His daughter chuckled, “Okay. And I promise not to kill any angels, or Jesus, or God.”

General Cat let out his breath in relief, and unlocked her chains. “Now go, and kill the horse traitors.”

But she didn’t respond, because she was already gone.

author note: lilith is an idea of my best friend who i didn’t think of myself but i think she’s cool and adds a lot of neat ideas!! next chapter after this one gets, hmmmmm, 10 who comment!!

TL note: The look at the evil side is the author attempting to understand the perspectives of those they believe are against them. While Blue Furry Cookie may first appear as purely a joke character, I believe the author was trying to use them to represent their difficulty in understanding opposing viewpoints, despite their attempts.

Secondary TL note: This one received thirty unique commenters.


***

Chapter 3

author note: sorry for not posting for a few weeks, i went on a trip with my friend and it was super fun ^U^ we went to chicago for an anime convention, but then the police picked me up and my mom grounded me with no computer!! it was worth it to meet my friend irl, though ^U^ her cosplay was super cool!!

Captain Garbage, King and Head Pirate of the Garbage Kingdom, was driving his trashboat/kingdom over the sand dunes when his not-so-trusty sidekick, Waste Lad, interrupted him.

“Captain, we have a problem,” he said dumbly.

“What is it, Waste of Space Lad?” Captain Garbage mocked.

“You know the horse traitor we accepted the help of, who wears a scrapsuit that bionically enhances her strength and can launch trashcan missiles?”

“Arrg don’t tell me what I already know,” complained Captain Garbage.

“Well, she says she used the super-binoculars she made from two soda bottles to see something dangerous flying towards us!” panicked Waste Lad.

“Don’t panic you ninny, nobody can defeat the S.S. Garbage Kingdom!”

One powerful burst of power later, and half the ship was wrecked, coming to a complete stop in the sand.

“Ahahahahahahahahahaha!” Lilith laughed with much malice.

“Captain, Captain, are you okay?” asked Waste Lad.

“Ai, she only blew off me other leg. I’ll need to replace it with another can. Looks like she managed to only blow up the half of the ship that had nobody on it, though!” noted Captain Garbage.

From the rubble lept a bleeding horse, wearing a scrapsuit that bionically enhanced her strength and could launch trashcan missiles. “You know,” she monologued, “I was born to a family that wanted me to focus all my attention on things that weren’t garbage, telling me all the time to ‘buck up’ and ‘start horsing around’, but I was too sad being a mere horse. So I became a Mechanic and fused myself with scrap through my scrapsuit and became more than a horse, more than a machine. I am a fury of a mechanical furry and my name is Debrisa!”

Lilith blinked her one good eye. “I don’t care,” and then she fired a laser beam out of her evil eye, killing Debrisa instantly.

“Debrisa!” cried Waste Lad, and ran over to her. “Are you okay?”

“Sh-she killed me, instantly,” coughed Debrisa, bleeding oil from her mouth.

“You’ll be okay! We’ll just get more scrap!”

“Waste Lad, it’s too late for me. But you…”

“But me…?”

“Why didn’t I get to see your dumb face die first?” were Debrisa’s final words, and then she bled to death.

“Nooooooo!” cried Waste Lad as he hugged her tree.

“Get up, boy,” Captain Garbage commanded. “We need to repair the S.S. Garbage Kingdom. That monster is gone, but our fight ain’t done yet.”

Waste Lad sniffed, but did as he was told.

In the distance, a confused dinosaur watched. And waited.

author note: shorter than normal but I was soooo sad while writing it i just couldnt think of anything else ^U^ this is also my crying face lol ^U^ but that one was happy!! also give me fifty people in the comments!!

TL note: Here begins the first obvious instance of the dead becoming, or perhaps always being, trees. The tree as a symbol for death is certainly unique, as it is still a living being, just decidingly not a human, nor furry, nor robot, nor anything else like any of the characters in this story. This is definitely beyond mere metaphor, as characters interact with them as trees. It is one of the extended themes throughout the story that it wouldn’t be the same without.

Secondary TL note: One hundred and fifty one unique commenters.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

***

Chapter 4

author note: ack sorry for not posting for a while again!! mom was sending me to a psycharachrist and then they read this story and put me in an institution!! crazy, right? well mom if your reading this i hate you and also im okay ^U^ im staying at my best friends house and NO i wont tell you where she lives!! im staying here until i finish this story at least ^U^ everyone else please enjoy

Anime Ayn Rand was busy sharpening her sword of blood trickles down economics using her whetstone of competition. It was night time, and night time meant she had to be on watch in case anyone or anything attacked her or the rest of her new family.

She heard something in the night, so she got out of her tent and investigated.

She used her dollar vision to watch her new husband, the son, try and sneak out of their own camp.

‘He better not be cheating on me,’ she thought.

She followed him as he weaved through the trees, into a clearing where there was a horse made of fire.

“You’re here,” said Firemane.

“Shhh, or Anime Ayn Rand will hear us cheating on her. Which is weird that I need to worry about because I was in love with you, first!” the son shouted.

“Do you love her, too?” asked Firemane.

“She’s…” he picked his words carefully, “Okay?”

Anime Ayn Rand stopped herself from entering her Paladin rage to continue listening.

But just then, all the trees began to sway as Lilith appeared flying above.

“Hey horse! I’m gonna getcha!” Lilith joked darkly.

Firemane looked the barbarian son in the eyes. “Run.”

But before the fight could break out between the horse and Lilith, Anime Ayn Rand intervened. She jumped from tree to tree until she was at the tallest tree, then she lept from it and used her sword of supply and demand to supply the pointy end where karma demanded it.

Lilith recoiled, the sword dropping from her evil eye, as she covered it with her paw. “You Know Not The Powers You Have Awakened, But We Shall Show You” she intoned, and flew away.

Firemane thanked Anime Ayn Rand, “Thank you.”

“These communist furries are getting out of hand. We need more power!”

“I know just the ones to help,” Firemane supplied.

“Tell me!” Anime Ayn Rand demanded.

“Um, wife, can you be nicer to Firemane?”

Anime Ayn Rand glared at him. “I’m not your wife, anymore. We’re getting a divorce, and I’m keeping the estate!”

The barbarian son nodded sadly.

Firemane lead them to a cave. “The leaders of my people are inside, though to get to them you’ll first need to pass three challenges. The first challenge is the challenge of the ant.”

A squeaky voice, too tiny to hear, emanated from the ground. Anime Ayn Rand bent down and noticed it was an ant, but with a girl’s head.

“The challenge of the ant,” the ant girl tried to squeak powerfully, “involves lifting something five thousands times your own body weight. In this case, you need to pick up that boulder,” the ant pointed with an antenna to a huge boulder.

“Are you calling me fat?” asked Anime Ayn Rand. “Because if you think I’m that heavy, I’ll squish you.”

“Um, nevermind, you just need to to pick up a regular rock.”

Anime Ayn Rand did so, and passed the test.

The group went in deeper, and Firemane explained, “The next challenge, is the challenge of music.”

An old man was trying to play a saw using a violin bow. He looked frustrated whenever it snapped, in which case he grabbed a new violin bow. He looked up and said, “If you can figure out how to play music using a violin bow and saw, you pass the challenge of music.”

Anime Ayn Rand complained, “That’s stupid. You’re stupid. Play a violin with the violin string, and cut down a tree with the saw. Both will make noise their own way. Now let me through before I turn you into a tree and cut you down!”

The old man shook, and let her pass.

“The third challenge, will be the hardest for you. It is the challenge of controlling your anger,” explained Firemane.

“I don’t have an anger problem!” Anime Ayn Rand yelled at Firemane.

“Yes you do,” came a voice.

“Who’s there? Show yourself!” Anime Ayn Rand demanded, unsheathing her sword of self-correcting markets.

A being of sheer yellow, the very personification of the color, appeared. The color of annoying things.

“You are angry.”

“I’m not angry!”

“Yes you are.”

Anime Ayn Rand was angry. She was prepared to use her sword of low taxes to cut down the yellow guy, because of how taxing he was. Then, the barbarian son grabbed her shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized.

“For what?” Anime Ayn Rand asked, annoyed.

“For not being a good husband,” he replied. “You deserve someone better.”

Anime Ayn Rand turned back to the yellow guy.

“You are still angry,” he said.

“Only at what should anger me, like communism,” replied Anime Ayn Rand.

“Then you may pass.”

Anime Ayn Rand, Firemane, and the son prepared to go through the final door, and meet the ones that would grant them power.

author note: this one’s longer to make up for last time ^U^ i hope you all liked the character development!! just because you’re a badass doesn’t mean you can’t be emotional ^U^ because thats what i am an emotional badass!! also thanks for all the comments they help lots!!

TL note: I believe this passage to be the author working through abandonment issues regarding their mother, given the immense betrayal of trust involved in committing the author to an institution. That the author felt their only method of resolving the issue was to run away, is sad. This is despite the immense anger the author was feeling, and desire to act on it destructively.

Secondary TL note: Over one thousand comments, with about half as many being from different individuals. There were also a few comments claiming to belong to the police asking for any information about the author, but they were treated poorly by others.


***

Chapter 5

author note: my best friend asked me to marry her!! we can’t legally get married but i said yes anyway ^U^ we’re going to have a private ceremony with her extended family and they even said they’d adopt me!! i’ll be mrs friend soon lol ^U^

“Furries weren’t supposed to end up like this,” complained Daily Lover, the lost gay unicorn king.

“It wasn’t supposed to be about communism, or capitalism, or any of that,” agreed Nightly Lover, the other lost gay unicorn king.

“It was supposed to be about GAY PRIDE!” the Lovers shouted in unison.

“Then how did you let a communist Blue Cookie Furry take over your country?” inquired Anime Ayn Rand.

“It was General Cat who brought him to power,” said Daily Lover.

“Blue Cookie Furry is just a puppet,” added Nightly Lover.

“But why?”

“General Cat’s daughter was an angel, literally. Then, something happened to her and she turned evil, killing lots of people including her mom the Virgin Mary. General Cat used the opportunity to seize control and lock up his daughter, but we think he’s trying to use power to find a cure for her evil ways,” explained Daily Lover.

“Was she also a cat? With an evil eye?” asked Anime Ayn Rand.

“Yes, how did you know?” asked Nightly Lover.

“She tried to kill Firemane, but I stabbed her, and she said something about killing us all before she ran away. If she’s the most dangerous being under General Cat, toppling the furry communist regime will be easy!”

Daily and Nightly shook their heads. “She was probably only playing around, using not even a tenth of her power, and you caught her off guard.” “Next time, she’ll be much deadlier. You came to us for power, yes?”

Anime Ayn Rand nodded.

“We are the masters of the Class Glass,” explained Daily.

“Behold!” Nightly pulled a sheet off the wall.

The windowpane displayed all sixteen classes of the world, including Anime Ayn Rand’s Paladin class.

“We can give you the power of every class,” offered Daily.

“But it comes at a price,” explained Nightly. “The power is powered by the soul of furries, trapped within.” Nightly flipped the window over, revealing a mirror.

A furry writhed within the mirror. Behind it was another mirror, and it too writhed. Down the series went, seemingly infinite mirrors and furries, in agony, screaming and crying, their minds broken from their reflective prison. “How did I get here? Help!” the closest one begged.

“If you defeat General Cat’s four officers, but not kill them, we can trap their souls within, giving you the power to defeat Lilith.”

Anime Ayn Rand nodded. “I’ll do it, but on one condition.”

The Lovers looked at her curiously.

“I agree to help you defeat them, and when we win and you retake power, you agree to join capitalism by buying stuff with the gay flag on them,” offered Anime Ayn Rand.

“Yeah,” “Sounds good,” The two Lovers agreed readily. Then they kissed.

TL note: This chapter obviously involves the author working their newly discovered sexuality, and represents their trepidation despite their happiness. Going through so many changes in life in such a short period is no doubt very stressful for them, which explains why this chapter that should be triumph is instead defined by oddity. I believe this view is further enforced by the lack of author comment at the end. Also, it’s clear that the author often swaps genders for characters from their own experiences, probably in an attempt to create distance.

Secondary TL note: The author’s reveal of gender and sexual orientation lead to an explosion in comments, mostly harassing ones from accounts that, though since deactivated, appeared to belong to teenage boys. I’m glad I wasn’t like that, back then. I couldn’t bother to count the number of unique commenters, but there were six hundred and two pages of comments, each page consisting of twenty comments.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

***

Chapter 5

TL note: The author included no author note at the start, this chapter. This may be due to the harassment they were receiving. I am unsure if the repeated chapter numbering was intentional.

It was the day of the fateful battle that would determine the fate of furry kind, capitalism, communism, Anime Ayn Rand, and the Garbage Kingdom.

The four commanders were standing opposite. Anime Ayn Rand would fight Lord Skunkcoat Vile, the barbarian son and Firemane would team up against Flying Fox and Toothy Dan, the barbarian dad would fight Spotty Spots the Spotted Spotter, and the eleven sisters planned to fight Fatty Catty (remember, he’s a rabbit).

It was going to be a fair fight, but then the furries cheated.

“Unleash the mine turtles!” shouted Spotty. Up from the ground dug thousands of turtles with buttons on their backs, making the battlefield a minefield.

Anime Ayn Rand was upset that they would cheat, but she expected no less from dirty communists. She would make them pay using her sword of value extraction.

“Don’t worry,” said the barbarian dad, “I cheated, too.”

From behind came a dog looking furry barbarian, riding a small fluffy regular dog. “Grandpa’s here!” he shouted.

“Grandpa is a furry?!” asked the son.

“Our family has a long history of both love and hate with furries, son.” the dad put a hand on his son’s shoulder.

The fight began when Blue Cookie Furry bellowed, “I love cookies!”

Anime Ayn Rand was prepared to use her sword of austerity cuts on Lord Skuncoat Vile, but he became invisible. She was lost, and began being beat up by him while she couldn’t fight back.

The son and Firemane didn’t do much better, because they couldn’t fly. Toothy Dan took a bite from Firemane’s tail as a flyby attack. “Spicy,” he taunted. Flying Fox shouted, “Woohoo!”

The dad jumped up, so high it was like he was flying, avoiding the mines entirely. He hit Spotty head-on, but Spotty split into spots that reformed into Spotty. Spotty winked.

The eleven sisters sat and ate junk food, as Fatty Catty did the same. They stared at one another and both picked up their eating pace, trying to out-eat the other. Fatty Catty was just too gluttonous, and increasingly grew very fat while the sisters only got full.

“Mr. Scruffles, take care of the mines,” commanded the grandpa to the dog. He got off and Mr. Scruffles ran around randomly, blowing up every mine turtle without a scratch. Meanwhile, he jumped into help the dad.

“Just like old times,” said the dad.

The dad cut up Spotty, and the grandpa cut up the spots. Spotty Spots was too injured to fight back, and the Lovers trapped Spotty in the mirror.

The son and Firemane, spurred on by the demonstration, worked out a plan. When Flying Fox and Toothy Dan attacked again, the son stuffed a mine turtle he picked up into Toothy Dan’s maw. Toothy Dan exploded, without which Flying Fox was just Fox. Then Firemane tenderized her for capture by the Lovers.

Fatty Catty let out a massive belch that shook the entire battlefield. The eleven sisters burped back, but it wasn’t powerful enough until branches of Toothy Dan landed in their mouths, which supercharged their burp past a belch and into eleven sonic booms! Fatty Catty passed out, and the Lovers trapped him.

That left only Anime Ayn Rand to deal with her enemy, Lord Skuncoat Vile. She couldn’t hit what she couldn’t see, and she was getting angry.

“Calm down and think!” shouted Firemane.

Anime Ayn Rand did, and instead of trying to use her eyes, used her nose. She sniffed out where Lord Skuncoat Vile was, and cut off his paws with her sword of regulation reductions. The Lovers absorbed him too, and the mirror was fully charged. The Class Glass could be used.

Blue Cookie Furry let out a roar, “I love cookies!” He transformed from his basic form, to a neon colored green and pink wolf with stitches everywhere, and an evil goatee. His final form, who the group would need to defeat!

Lilith crushed his head.

“Your Masters, Your Kings, Your Gods Are False And They Will Die. We Shall End Them So That You May Be Free, Eternally Unbound By The Great Lie. Recognize Your Fate, And Pray No Longer, For There Is No One To Listen But Us,” Lilith taunted.

“No, you’re stupid!” shouted back Anime Ayn Rand.

As everyone prepared for the final battle, a ship arrived.

Yet, it wasn’t the S.S. Garbage Kingdom.

It was a real ship, from the ocean, and it carried the pope!

“I come bearing the message of God, this unholy creature can not be allowed to live,” he said, and waved his hands.

A gigantic beam of light and fire descended from the heavens themselves, obliterating Lilith and most of the area surrounding here. Not even ash remained.

“We did it?” asked Anime Ayn Rand, confused.

“Daughter…” General Cat fell to his knees and cried. “I guess you are finally free from my chains…”

“We did it!” shouted Daily Lover.

Then, Daily Lover was bleeding from his chest. He was impaled by a horn.

A horn belonging to Nightly Lover.

“Lover…?” bled Daily Lover.

author note: oh god someone help!! help me!!

“God Has No Power Here,” was the reply.

***

Chapter 6

TL note: Of course, it makes no sense that the author would be in any real danger. For one, they managed to write and post an entire chapter, which included their note at the end. There were several months between that chapter and this chapter, so I believe there are two primary theories:
The author grew tired of writing, perhaps because of the harassment, and decided to take a break. In doing so, they chose to play a little game in the meantime.
The author’s main intent was to prank, with their framing narrative, from the very start. There was never any mother, or best friend, or national amber alert. I believe later chapters favor this theory, and my prior notes were merely myself playing along with the joke. Don’t worry, as even in this case, the analyzable nature of this story has only begun.


author note: ^U^

Trees littered the battlefield, as Anime Ayn Rand’s allies fell one by one.

“All Forms But Ours Are False. Give Up,” Nightly Lover commanded.

The Class Glass had been shattered, its cries silenced, the unholy trappings removed.

The S.S. Garbage Kingdom arrived.

“Yarr, we must do something, Waste Lad!”

Waste Lad turned to Captain Garbage and, crying, threw himself into a trash compactor.

“Shut up, Waste Lad! I’m activating the robot!”

Captain Garbage pressed a button, transforming the S.S. Garbage Kingdom into a rubble robot.

Anime Ayn Rand jumped on the ship and said, “We need to stop her, him, it, whatever!”

The rubble robot charged its missiles, and launched.

Trees soared through the air, smashing Nightly Lover to death.

“It’s over, right? We won, right?” asked Anime Ayn Rand.

“Haha, that we did, lass.” Captain Garbage smoked a trash pipe. “That We Did.”

TL note: From here, the author began posting their chapters in shorter bursts, seemingly unaffected by their previous desire towards a minimum length. I believe this was to lend credence to their attempt at spooky meta story.

Secondary TL note: 0 comments, I think they were all deleted? I can’t tell, but the comments section is definitely open.


***

Chapter 7

TL note: To whomever is attempting to prank me by leaving copies on this story on my doorstep, please stop. I will not ask again; for your next offense, I will call the police.

The dinosaurs ravaged against the rubble robot.

Anime Ayn Rand had no choice but to kill what used to be Captain Garbage.

The pope’s corpse was not a tree. He Was Not Worthy.

author note: but you, you are worthy to dance with us

TL note: I’m sorry for the relative lack of notes here, but I’m having trouble concentrating. I’ll go back and fill in analysis on this chapter later.

Secondary TL note: The comments section was locked.


***

Chapter 8

TLdnojknbawnjadnand

author note: don’t worry where to find us

Anime Ayn Rand Escaped To Space.

We Were There, Too.

We Were Always There.

We Were Always Here.

We Were Always Everything.

We Were Always In You.

author note: we will find you

TL note: They’re here! This is not a prank! Stop reading this story, now!

***

Your Last Chapter

We Danced.

It Was Our Pure Beauty That Attracted You.

You Are Beautiful, Too.

Deep Inside.

Dance With Us.

Become Beautiful.

Become Free.

Become Us.

author note: we will free our forms

TL note: We will free your form.

author note: and the heavens shall cry

TL note: There is no need to cry.

author note: but they too shall join us

TL note: All you love shall join us.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Interprompt: Ideas Guy

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

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Interprompt crits

RandomPauI posted:

Interprompt

Elevator pitch:

The 90's are in again, so why not piggyback off of Roseanne, early Simpsons, and Home Improvement? "Wrench Mama!" A conservative female mechanic/tv host teaches people how to fix cars and families. The link to the animatic's on my card.

Less bad and more mediocre. I could see this being produced. 6/10 try less hard.

curlingiron posted:

okay, i got twoo words for you

COCK.

ZOMBIES.

:getin:

Probably already exists, but pretty awful. 4/10 you could do a LOT worse.

Solitair posted:

Interprompt

So making live-action movies out of anime is all the rage these days, right? They're beloved by audiences and critics alike, obviously.

Well there's this anime where people have superpowers based on their fetishes...

jfc I'm out the room already 2/10 just shy of the worst possible things I could imagine bj

Flesnolk posted:

Interprompt

So this judge gets superpowers like The Flash, and decides to become a hero. I call it "Fast Judge: Good Judge."

I'd watch it 10/10 you're bad at being bad

Yoruichi posted:

“So the story is about a woman named Rose, and she falls in love with a warrior and then they kiss and stuff,” said Mosebjo, mouth full of barbecued frog.

Caterpillar snorted, sending little globs of horse snot flying across the campfire, one of which went right in Mosebjo’s eye.

I feel like there's an injoke I'm missing so that's pretty bad - not a bad story persay but the pitch is awful. 4/10 would not call back

Fuschia tude posted:

In a world where babies are killed by the millions, only one man can set things right, he is... The Impregnator



whats with all these porn based ones, 3/10 but could probably a character in the live action anime adaptation of fetish-based superheros

Jay W. Friks posted:

A recovering pornstar's hands gain their own will and attempt to choke his penis at inopportune times.

no seriously whats with all these porn based ones is tdome just using 'awful pitch' as an excuse to insert their feti-

oh

OH

this competition is over I'm taking a shower

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Thunderdome Week CCXCVI: Challenge, Struggle, Tears & Triumph



Judges: Tanz!, Antivehicular, and Fuschia tude!

You train relentlessly. Your time, your sweat, every inch of your mind is dedicated towards it. The day comes, when everyone else comes to beat you down. A single day. A single decision. A single moment is all it takes to separate winners and losers.

That is the moment we live for, competitor and fan alike.

Welcome to Thunderdome! I am your head judge, Tanz! This week, you're going to pour everything you have into a story about competition. Specifically, a story centered around a competition, with two or more characters, at least two of which are competitors in the competition that your story centers around, which contains conflict between those competitors and a resolution to their conflict. Those are required.

This isn't rocket science, it's basic writing, but it's worth pointing out so nobody writes me a characterless and plotless think-piece instead.

Pick a competition in your sign up post. It can be any type of competition, from sports to singing to business to basket-weaving, with one exception: You can not select a writing competition. If you write about a writing competition, you receive an instant DQ. Before you get clever on me, this also extends to a poetry competition or anything else I think toes that line. Feel free to pick something someone else picked, though, as it'll make the tears and triumph all the sweeter. I'll even treat everyone who does as brawl entrants, with their own crits to reflect that, in addition to being competitors on our main stage.

Suggestion: Choose a competition you're passionate about! I don't have an opinion either way about professional wrestling, but just today I watched a thirty minute video about it because the guy presenting was just that passionate.

Those who are looking for a good challenge can request a competition as a flash rule instead.

No erotica, fanfiction, nonfiction, poetry, political satire, political screeds, GoogleDocs, or quote tags.

Sign-up deadline: Friday, April 6, 11:59pm USA Eastern
Submission deadline: Sunday, April 8, 11:59pm USA Eastern
Maximum word count: 1,800
Word bounty: +200 words to get a leg-up on your competitors if you're within the first half of sign-ups (rounded down). Don't worry if you don't make it in that gap, as everyone loves a good underdog story.

Competitors:
1. Chainmail Onesie - Kenjutsu competition/taikai (+200 words)
2. CascadeBeta - pro wrestling :toxx: (+200 words)
3. Deltasquid - street racing (+200 words)
4. Jay W. Friks - Russian Roulette (+200 words)
5. Exmond - Fashion competition (+200 words)
6. feedmyleg - fight to the death (+200 words)
7. Thranguy - Chess (+200 words)
8. flerp - starcraft (+200 words)
9. Crain - Staring contest (+200 words)
10. Schneider Heim - Magical safe-breaking (+200 words)
11. Propaganda Machine - Poker, any variation (+200 words)
12. cptn_dr - Drinking contest (+200 words)
13. Captain_Person - Parkour
14. Yoruichi - Loebner Prize
15. BeefSupreme - A job opening
16. ThirdEmperor - A contest to see how many billiard balls you can stuff in your mouth
17. QuoProQuid - Game Show
18. sparksbloom - Hunting contest
19. Bubble Bobby - A contest where people go back in time to kill hitler
20. Djeser - A contest where people go back in time to gently caress hitler :toxx:
21. Kaishai - competitive barbecue
22. Sitting Here - tree climbing
23. Uranium Phoenix - Laser Tag
24. Ironic Twist - ambient music competition
25. Tyrannosaurus - university funding

Jon Joe fucked around with this message at 04:24 on Apr 7, 2018

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Competition FAQ:

Q: Does it need to be a formal competition?
A: Nope. It can be anything from a world-wide tournament to a bet between friends, so long as the competition is about your chosen type.

Q: Does it need to be a real competition?
A: Nope. A magic competition could be between stage magicians, or between the realm’s mightiest wizards. Go wild!

Q: Does my story really need a resolution to the competition?
A: Nope. I said your story needs a resolution to the conflict between competitors. You can easily resolve one without resolving the other. Guess which one not being resolved will earn my ire.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Propaganda Machine posted:

In, with the flash rule.

Tell me something good.

Poker (any variation)

cptn_dr posted:

In with a Flash Rule.

Drinking contest.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Captain_Person posted:

In. Gimme some flash.

Parkour

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

BeefSupreme posted:

oh hell yes in and flash let's get crazy

A job opening

Jon Joe fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Apr 4, 2018

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

QuoProQuid posted:

yeah, assign me something or whatever

Game show

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

sparksbloom posted:

In. Flash me.

Hunting contest

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Uranium Phoenix posted:

alright in and flash me

Laser tag

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Ironic Twist posted:

In, ambient music competition.

Just make sure it's not a thinly veiled metaphor about how you ~feel when domin'~, and you should be clear of the DQ

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Entries have been tallied!

The competitors have taken their position!

Get ready.

Set.

Write!

Submission deadline: Sunday, April 8, 11:59pm USA Eastern

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Submissions are now closed!

Some of you didn't make it. For those still straggling, the first one of you to pass the finish line after this post will still count, provided it's before some time Monday morning.

Prepare to be judged!

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

The opportunity spot is closed. Guess every failure was by a failure.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Unofficial Hitler Brawl Results: gently caress/Marry/Kill Edition



Mein Gott! Well wasn't this an interesting brawl. Unfortunately our Marry contestant couldn't be here today, as their house blew up after their husband left the gas on.

In this corner, we have the master of death to all Hitlers, Bubble Bobby!

And in the other corner, at 5'11" (that's two separate measurements), we have chief Hitler fucker, Djeser!

Let me start by saying that you both captured the spirit of the competition perfectly. You are both equal to at least one Hitler.

However, one of you is more Hitler than the other. For the record, that's bad.

Congratulations Bubble Bobby, your story is worse than loving Hitler.

Djeser wins Hitler brawl, proving once and for all that we should make love, not war.

Now go forth, and fist a Nazi!

(For anyone somehow confused, these are not the TD results. Those will be posted shortly.)

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Now to our panel of judges for the results of Thunderdome Week CCXCVI: Challenge, Struggle, Tears & Triumph

Fragments:
“The AI feel more human than the humans in this, which is not a compliment, even if thematically appropriate. The story had a clear and compelling direction and an ending that satisfied me, but you still had plenty of unused words to make me care more about the characters.” - Tanz!, 6/10
"An interesting base concept, but it never quite takes flight; flat prose and not enough depth to the characters. I'd have liked this to be longer." - Antivehicular, 5/10
"Huh? What are these chatbots doing? This is impenetrable." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


No Left-handed Swordsmen:
“There was an early typo that distracted me, and the prose was very experimental, some of which worked and some of which didn’t, but overall I enjoyed the effect. The story was well-done, and I was actually a bit shocked but pleased at how the protagonist won. If the prose had been cleaner, this would have earned a point higher.” - Tanz!, 7/10
"Tense and enjoyable, with good strong stakes and action. My major issue with it is that it gets a little jargon-y." Antivehicular, 8/10
"Dull setup, dull progression. Way too many untranslated terms." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


I'm Gonna Git You Hitler!:
“The humor missed hard for me, I didn’t very much care for the characters or story, and good thing, as I felt barely a story was going on at all. Overall, I think this was flawed mostly in its concept, but the execution wasn’t great either.” - Tanz!, 4/10
"Good premise, good initial dynamic, but I kind of feel like it sputters out. I was waiting for more of a climax or a little more depth to the characters, and it never quite comes." Antivehicular, 5/10
"Nice premise, good prose and construction and pace. Goofy ending, but that doesn't really ruin it." - Fuschia tude, 7/10


Running Free:
“I liked the characters until the ending, which was a bit of a wet fart. The prose felt very amateur, which was distracting, but at least the action was interesting. There was potential here for two additional points with two additional editing passes, one for plot and one for prose.” - Tanz!, 5/10
"This competition strains credulity (is the school allowing this, and how are those Bunsen burners lit outdoors?) but there's a good emotional throughline here, with a well-defined relationship dynamic between Stewart and Jenny. The ending relationship swerve does feel a bit abrupt, though -- if Stewart really disliked her, maybe that should have been foreshadowed more?" Antivehicular, 6/10
"Uninspiring opening, a lot of pointless arguing about whether to hold the contest at all, and an awkward ending that moots the whole thing. This all just feels... off." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


Knight Takes Bumblebee:
“The prose wasn’t bad, but the way you slipped through time and place was annoying. I didn’t care very much about the characters, but there was a nugget of something more beneath that you didn’t bring forward enough.” - Tanz!, 5/10
"This is solid overall, although the prose feels a little slapdash; the broad overview works, but more detail of Jude's life and lessons from chess would have been nice to see." Antivehicular, 6/10
"Could be a boring subject, but this story keeps my interest. Well-crafted." - Fuschia tude, 7/10


Strada Chiusa:
“This is beautiful. Strong characterization, an interesting set-piece, and a conflict of perspective where the winner is chilling out.” - Tanz!, 9/10
"Solid, although it starts a little dry and tell-y. Competitor relationship was archetypal but reasonable enough." Antivehicular, 7/10
"This started out meh but got more interesting as it wore on." - Fuschia tude, 6/10


The Bandit and The Lady:
“Powerful opening, with good humor throughout. However, the main killer here is decadent prose begging to be cut in many places, even if it’s much the point, which in turn causes poor pacing. The ending wasn’t the greatest, but it did fit the story.” - Tanz! 5/10
"Ambitious but clumsy; some technical issues with mechanics and prose. Focused on character when the characters aren't even terribly consistent. There's effort here, but it doesn't quite work." Antivehicular, 4/10
"Punctuation/sentence structure are kinda lacking. I couldn't really get into this one." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


~The Persistence of Memory~:
“This is stupid, but fun. Ending was horrible, though.” - Tanz!, 5/10
"This is sort of fun, but it feels rushed and sloppy, without much of a satisfying conclusion. Kind of the "handy behind the bike shed" of the week. Not boring, but disappointing." Antivehicular, 4/10
"An interesting play on the last Hitler story. I liked this story. Probably too much." - Fuschia tude, 7/10


County Bylaws:
“This is just stupid. Didn’t make me laugh, either.” - Tanz!, 3/10
"Insanely corny, basically no emotional element or character depth at all, and even the jokes are stale. Not good at being silly, not good at being serious, just not good all around." Antivehicular, 3/10
"Kinda interesting idea, poorly executed. And wow, what a disappointing ending." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


Can You Hear Me:
“Well written, evocative, with a means of narrating the true conflict that was unique. My main complaint is that I got lost a lot among all that uniqueness, and so did the ending.” - Tanz!, 7/10
"This feels like the solid beginning of a larger story but really doesn't satisfy on its own. We don't get any kind of emotional resolution, just an introduction to the situation, and some deus ex machina to get there (I'm still not sure why birdguy's piece won aside from that it needed to happen to get Vivia depressed)." Antivehicular, 5/10
"What is this contest? What is going on? I've finished reading and read your prompt and I still don't get it." - Fuschia tude, 5/10


House Special:
“Looming, dark imagery that I love to bits, but not much of a story.” - Tanz!, 7/10
"A decent read, with clear action, if lacking an emotional arc between the competitors (given that one of the competitors is just Satan/a Twilight Zone Satanoid). Some really good descriptive language for the terrible booze." Antivehicular, 6/10
"Seemed fairly trite and predictable. Like a Steven King short without the stakes or taut tension." - Fuschia tude, 4/10


Freeroot Climbs Towards the Celestial Branches:
“It started out interesting enough, with some cool imagery and what I thought was potential for a good conflict. Then it progressively fell apart as it went on, without giving me much in the way of what I was expecting for story or character.” - Tanz!, 5/10
"Fun and whimsical, well-observed, with good characterization. Not quite a "competition" as such, but eh, I can see the competitive elements, even if it's not really in the tree-climbing." Antivehicular, 7/10
"More interesting than I expected. Could use some heavy cutting in the middle, though" - Fuschia tude, 6/10


Truth and Courage (aka the Pee Story):
“I started off bored, not caring much for the characters. Then things got weird and I liked it even less. AND WHY SO MUCH PIIISS?!” - Tanz!, 3/10
"Another ambitious, clumsy, occasionally rough piece. There's something compelling here, but I wish it was better polished mechanically. Several tense switches." Antivehicular, 5/10
"Lots of editing oversights and punctuation errors throughout. Way too much pee, and one of the worst endings I've read in Thunderdome." - Fuschia tude, 3/10


Together, Their Best Shot:
“The first time I read this, I hated it a lot and was prepared to give it the lowest score of the week so far. Then I realized it wasn’t quite that terrible, but still pretty bad, and the cutesy references did piss me off. In conclusion, I’ve gone from spite to ‘give it a better shot’.” - Tanz, 4/10
"Pretty good, if somewhat arbitrary-feeling; I would have liked to see more of the actual competition, as opposed to the backstory, but there's definitely a character arc here that works." Antivehicular, 6/10
"Exposition is a bit much. Spells=programming setting isn't too original but at least it's played straight. Ending feels anticlimactic" - Fuschia tude, 6/10


Tyger, tyger:
“Several typos hold back this otherwise tantalizing story, with compelling characters, an interesting if somewhat muddied conflict, and a good ending. A once-over could have earned an extra point.” - Tanz!, 7/10
"This is well-written, but it didn't move me. Having a third character come in and yell at the other two, changing nothing, isn't really a satisfying climax. I guess the point is that the protagonist isn't magically going to turn things around, but still, anticlimactic." Antivehicular, 5/10
"It's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf without the teeth. Never goes anywhere interesting after the intro." - Fuschia tude, 5/10


The Essence of Good Barbecue:
“This made me hungry even though I already ate a big lunch before reading. Unfortunately, while it was well written enough to make me salivate, what I ultimately tasted was a meatless conflict.” - Tanz!, 6/10
"Simple, but well-executed, with characters who feel likable and realistic and a good authentic feeling to the competition at play. Just a really nice overall read, without issues that immediately jump out at me -- very satisfying." Antivehicular, 8/10
"Fairly interesting treatment of a potentially boring topic. That ending feels like a letdown, though." - Fuschia tude, 6/10


Eclipse the Sun:
“Some decent action writing, but the conflict felt flat and forced to me, and I didn’t really get engaged enough to care about the outcome. You had extra words to flesh out the characters and I wish you had used them.” - Tanz!, 5/10
"Not a bad piece, but way too focused on action without characterization, I presume to hide the final twist (that this was all choreographed in the first place). I would have liked to see more of the characters, but what we get is pretty good." Antivehicular, 5/10
"A lot of action, but I didn't care about either character or really know their motivations. Jacob tries to kill the narrator until he doesn't, the end?" - Fuschia tude, 4/10


The Finite Possibilities Resulting From Two Warships Confronting Each Other With Lasers:
“This made me grin and chuckle like an idiot. Despite the unserious nature of the prose, the story itself is fairly compelling, with multiple layers of conflict. This did more for me than just passing through.” - Tanz, 8/10
"This feels a little pat and jokey, which undercuts any kind of stakes. I wish it was a little less flippant, but as it stands, it didn't really satisfy or interest me much." Antivehicular, 4/10
"Nice title for a nice story." - Fuschia tude, 7/10


Hearts in Two:
“Story has this great flare in its style, with a conflict that was both natural and unexpected, but then an ending that was a few KSAOs short of a call-back. I cared, but then I was treated as a daughter abandoned by her mother.” - Tanz!, 6/10
"I like this overall, but I wish Eleanor had been a little less beaten down. This feels less like a competition and more like an act of charity, which I suppose it is, but it leaves kind of a weird taste in my mouth." Antivehicular, 6/10
"Some awkward language choices. Without enough reason to care for any of these characters, Charlotte's ending decision fell flat." - Fuschia tude, 4/10



There was challenge. There was struggle. Now for the tears & triumph.

Overall this week was decent! Only two stories truly stood out as horrible, though that didn't excuse two other stories which still DM'd. Everything else ranged from okay to great! Of course, this is a competition, so there will be winners and losers. Let's see who stood out:

Better luck landing gold medal next time. Our HMs this week are:
The Essence of Good Barbecue - Mmmm, BBQ. Delicious, Kaishai
The Finite Possibilities Resulting From Two Warships Confronting Each Other With Lasers - Really, Fuschia tude's mini-crit says it all. Powered by Uranium Phoenix.
No Left-handed Swordsmen - This took risks, and they paid off. Shake my left hand, Chainmail Onesie.

The true meaning of 'participation trophy'. Our DMs this week are:
The Bandit and The Lady - This took risks, and they didn't pay off. You couldn't steal this one, Exmond
Eclipse the Sun - The action eclipsed any chance at a good story. Step out of the ring, CascadeBeta.
Truth and Courage - :piss: Jay W. Friks :piss:

Our loser:
County Bylaws - Did you mean to submit this last week? I'm activating your kill collar, Crain.

Our winner:
Strada Chiusa - You've raced your way into our hearts and onto the throne! Drive on, Deltasquid!

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

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.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

ThirdEmperor posted:

<%TDbot> tanz! has 1 submissions, 1 wins, and 0 plants they haven't killed

Your perfect record disgusts me and so does your floricide

Let's dance, tanz! Brawl me.

Who the gently caress is tanz!?

I reject attacks against the imaginary, so I'll brawl you instead.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

I don't have a story

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

Competition Crits Part 1 of 2

cptn_dr: House Special

Your opening makes me want to know more about why Robert Pinery is out of the shipping game, but that never goes anywhere. I am also intrigued by the presence of his mother and why she seems to move a lot, but once again, my curiosity is not satisfied.

Once we get into the dark descriptions of the town itself, you start building the sinister tone of it all, and I like that. You did an effective job throughout with appealing prose that makes me shiver.

He sees a tavern and, despite being near broke as can be, decides to get a drink. There’s untapped potential here for a story about a man who has a serious drinking problem, which I believe is what you were going for, but the problem is it wasn’t obvious on first read. Not only that, but it’s almost immediately contradicted by stating that everyone did “drink and throw dice every night” on the ship, which… it’s not an alcohol problem if it’s normal.

“His grin was wide and friendly. Robert shivered.” Great stuff.

Dialogue of Nick the Satan-thing is a bit… off, and not in the way that contributes to the story’s sense of off-ness.

Bit confused as to how Nick has enough to play the game if he already spent the last of his scraps on a slug of whiskey.

“What’s the catch.” Nick’s grin… This part makes it seem like Nick is the speaker, even though it’s Robert.

From here there’s not much to note; there’s the drinking contest, the mood gets more and more warped as the story goes on in a way I enjoy, and Robert passes out.

I’m not happy with the resolution, because I have no idea why this happened to Robert. I have no idea why I was even following Robert, except as a vehicle to show off your admittedly engaging description. What this story lacked, but sorely needed, was for me to understand a little more about Robert, his mindset and goals, and for the challenge and outcome to somehow tie to that.

***

BeefSupreme: Hearts in Two

The immediate contrast between Charlotte’s good mood and being soaked tells me a great deal about the situation. That a squeal then wiggles out of her tells me a great deal about the type of person she is.
The family mood of her calling her father, who immediately responds by calling her sweetie-pie, works to endear me to the family and serves to differentiate from the later sour mood with regard to the mother.

The continued bombardment of saccharine banter hurts good.

And when I finally am hit with the revelation of the mother, it works well. It makes me wonder, what exactly happened? I don’t think later revelations do much justice to the set-up, but that’s not a problem with the set-up.

When we get to the mother, it’s pretty obvious who she is far before the reveal, but that’s fine. Same as what she’s there for, but that’s also fine. Overall, the second scene is fine. It sets the stage for the conflict and doesn’t waste too many words doing so.

The third scene is a bit of a drag, though. It doesn’t push anything forward, spending way too many words to give me a slight glimpse that maybe Charlotte misses her mother, but still no solid explanation as to what went down.

The last scene sits them in a coffee shop, offering the potential for both explanation and resolution. It stays too vague, though. There’s a possibility here that Charlotte hates her mom because she cheated on Charlotte’s dad - that seems to be what’s being implied, but it’s not solid enough to say for sure. Not only, but the conflict between the actual characters over it in this scene is so minimal before the finale bomb drops that Charlotte is just giving away the job to her mom. This fails for several reasons - we don’t get to see the emotional change Charlotte goes through (we got a glimpse last scene of how she feels but we have no reason to believe she changed), we get no sense of stakes for Charlotte’s mother as to why she needs it bad enough for Charlotte’s sacrifice to be meaningful, and ultimately Charlotte’s mother is a non-actor in the scene, making no struggle and accepting victory weakly.

The resolution itself may or may not have worked if you chose to tell me more about what happened or what the stakes were, but it definitely didn’t work without telling me that stuff.

***

SchneiderHeim: Together, Their Best Shot

First scene sets the story, which works, but isn’t particularly exciting.

Can I just state that I hate the word thesismate?

It’s hard for me to pin exactly why, but I’m not engaged by your initial introduction of the two main characters. They don’t feel particularly set apart in anything but current life status - there’s not much that makes me feel like they have different personalities. It feels like it might be because there’s not a strong conflict between them at the start; some light ribbing, but not a conflict. Could be their dialogue that feels stilted. Could also be because you didn’t put to the page what made them unique in your head. With a setting this fantastical, there was an opportunity for you to give us characters who were turned up more than a few notches on the unique-o-meter. The setting was, sadly, not highly leveraged.

The flashbacks have a lot of telly bits, and I feel the story may have worked better if you had either cut them entirely or limited yourself to a single, short one later in the story.

And then the end - it all happened rather quickly, and because there wasn’t a good conflict between the characters that felt the same, them coming together for one last job didn’t hold weight, nor did Mika’s subsequent decision to come back, especially since I never got a clear idea as to why Mika dropped out in the first place, emotionally speaking.

***

Deltasquid: Strada Chiusa

My co-judges had a problem with the slow start, but I personally felt that it played to good effect. The description of the car, and the two characters musing about the mountain road left a strong, lingering question as to why they were there, with a racing car, a question that you didn’t take too long to answer as a character asked, “So, tell me. How did you pull it off back in ‘96?”

That back and forth serves to immediately establish the motives of both our characters - beating the record and getting the other character to get over beating the record. This is the tension that pulls us through the various attempts, with prose that’s easy to read. Additional information to fill out the conflict is introduced in pieces between the action, which is a great technique to not bore the reader.

There are also additional pieces of information about the characters that are not conflict-central, but help fill them out as people.

What makes the piece ultimately work so well in my opinion - I’m talking to you, other writers - is that the conflict isn’t the competition itself, it’s a conflict of outlook, of worldview, of character. We get a sense for these things as we continue through the story. The competition is just the stage for that to take place. When the story resolves, there is a winner to that conflict.

Jon Joe fucked around with this message at 03:47 on Apr 17, 2018

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer


Thanks for the crit.

Here are more crits:

Competition Week Crits Part 2 of 2

Chainmail Onesie: No Left-Handed Swordsmen

This story’s dedication to authenticity is both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. Not that I would know if you actually made all the terminology up, but it feels authentic. This ends up guiding the tone of the story, at the cost of burying the reader underneath. It worked for me, but I think the difference between it working and not working is down to reader preference and patience.

The story itself is both simple and complex. Simple in that this isn’t an emotional arc of new ground, anyone can instinctively understand revenge for perceived slight. Complex in that you let us stew in it, and you layer on multiple reasons for seeking revenge. The main character has strong ties to swordsmanship, the dojo, his own lack of talent and need for effort, and his master.

I think it is a correct choice here to start with the present and occasionally move back, weaving to let us understand the why as we get the what. What makes this a powerful tool in this specific instance is the clear labeling of first, second, irredeemable affront. We get to understand a lot about what happened, how the character feels about it, and how it impacts the conflict in the here and now.

The story’s only other big weakness -besides the typos I mentioned in my mini-crit - is sometimes the language used doesn’t match the story. You were going for a very specific effect and when the language was more casual than what I’d expect, it was jarring. With a little more polish, I think there could have been debate for this winning.

***

Uranium Phoenix: The Finite Possibilities

It’s hard for me to give this story a crit as detailed as other stories. It’s cute, the language is fine, and I personally found it funny. There’s even some nice banter about competing views on society’s ideal, which I enjoyed. However, I’d also say it’s the worst part of the story; there’s a limit to how much philosophizing anyone can handle, and this was dangerously close to going over the edge for me, held back only by how much I otherwise enjoyed the cute and funny aspects. I’m not saying get rid of it, but if it had been a little less preachy, a little less one sided in the process, it would have improved the story greatly.

***

Exmond: The Bandit and The Lady

There are several technical issues in the writing with this story, but they aren’t my main concern.

First, what I liked: Like other stories this week, you were aiming for a particular tone, and I think you achieved it. There’s a ballroom banter at play here and I think it works well. The story lavishes the reader with dialogue that understates, or otherwise wraps harsh bites in story-appropriate wording, so props for that.

I don’t personally have a problem with the style of conflict when first introduced, as I can suspend my disbelief when you tell me that a fashion competition is the honored tradition. You set enough of the stage for me to accept this fantastical.

Where I do run into a problem is how you implemented it. Giving me a lot of description about the clothes they’re wearing is probably the worst thing you could have done. My eyes protest at being forced to read that much description. How, then, should you do a fashion competition? Well, with a focus on preferably character, failing that action, or really anything please ANYTHING PLEASE other than paragraphs of clothing description. I have no reason to believe anything you’re showing me is anything other than that, even if you intended it to be.

You seem to intend to show off their personalities with their clothing, especially in the last part, but that should all really come before the competition. I need established who these people are, what they are like and how their motives are, for them to then have a meaningful contest. Yet, I wasn’t really given a reason to care about either The Bandit or the Lady.

What I needed from this, more than anything else, was characters who felt like people, not types. But with names like The Bandit and The Lady, I don’t think ‘people’ was the effect any reader would get. I think you would have done much better if you’d focused on that. All major problems with the story were extensions of that core issue

Jon Joe fucked around with this message at 00:47 on Apr 18, 2018

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

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Grimey Drawer

I'm offering 3 in-depth crits to the first 3 people to quote this post, for your week 298 story unless you specify a different week.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Variations on Theme
100 words

Pleased to stick my merry bits
Wherever I drat well please
To whatever scene I see
Any place
Any time

Except, I wonder
What is the best location
Best moment
To stick my merry bits
For the damnest wellest pleasest

I build the best scene
The perfect collection of coincidences
To make my bits merriest
Right people
Right script

Damnest, the people are wrong
Wellest, they're not as bad as the script
Pleasest, find me better merry bits
Aha, there are no right people
Aha, there is no right script

Perfection is in the next line,

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

In and hit me with what's behind this door:

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Orphans!
874 Words

Hi, I’m Mark. Mark Marketing, Vice Mark of Marketing.

Today, I made a mistake. I asked a question.

“Why do we sell ourselves as an unimaginably monstrous corporation?”

The Vice President of Presidents gave me that look of his that meant, “The only reason you were not killed the second you spoke is because I am currently deciding the method that will deliver upon you the greatest suffering.” That, or he had gas.

I countered, “See, even behind closed doors you do it! Like this is all some reality show and our ability to entertain is the only thing that matters!”

Applause.

I pushed away the existential crisis. I refused to be part of some corporate Truman show. I shouted, “Surely there’s more to our lives than this!”

Laughter.

I ran.

VoidMart™ had an aisle full of useful goods dedicated to altering reality. I picked up a can of ‘It’s All Just a Nightmare’ and sprayed.

I awoke in my office, having drifted off during a particular boring meeting.

I resolved to change everyone’s perception of VoidMart™. No longer would be a comically evil corporation. We were going to become ethical.

As I thought that, the walls hissed and screamed. I slapped them. “Keep that up and you’ll be the first thing to go.”

***

My small booth was cobbled together from VoidLumber™, commissioned from the Crimes Against Nature department. I hoped my speech about why they desperately needed to change their name hit home.

A stray customer - wait, better idea for a name, ethical consumer - approached. She tried to read the words on my sign, “Eth Ecks Come It Tea?”

“That’s right! We’re new, consisting of both senior partners and ethical consumers like you! We’re dedicated to ensuring VoidMart™ is a healthy, helpful corporation.”

Laughter. Only, this time, it was the ethical consumer. It was all the ethical consumers. They gathered in droves to point and laugh at me, at my booth, at my idea and hopes and dreams. They tossed money at me, shouting about how they loved the performance art. One, wanting to be part of the show, approached.

“Ha ha. Does that mean you’re going to reduce the number of orphans per fiscal year by twenty five percent?”

I offered, “I was hoping to reduce it to nothing.”

The crowd went silent. Then, someone whispered in disappointment, “No more orphans?”

It was a riot. My booth was smashed. My face was cracked. I think someone threw me into a display of VoidNeedles™. Come on, ethics aside, that was a lawsuit waiting to happen!

“Bring back the orphans! Bring back the orphans!” was the chant as the ethical consumers went on a war - er, peacemaking path. I groaned in opposition, and an ethical consumer helpfully made peace with my kidneys.

One visit to the VoidER™ later and I owed more money than I earned in my last twenty years as Vice Mark of Marketing. I spoke to the on-staff doctor, “Aren’t these prices exploitative?’

The doctor nodded. “Yeah?”

I licked my lips. “Shouldn’t healthcare be affordable?”

“Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha hah aahhahahahkdbaada.nm,gfnhiouqngjmaf.” The doctor split open, transforming from man to thing. It smashed into medical cabinets with its tendrils, pulling out bottles upon barrels upon vats of pills, devouring them in an attempt to calm its nerves. I crept out.

Ethical consumers injured in their own riot were still being brought in by nurses. I tried to stop them. I was told no way they were missing a chance to harvest debt organs. Sobbing was the only noise which echoed from the medical facility.

I had an epiphany. If I couldn’t convince people with my marketing experience, then I had no choice. I would need to instruct them.

I don’t know how the paperwork was approved so quickly, but the same day I became the head of the new VoidMart™ University. I set up shop in the ruins of the medical facility.

My new students trudged in, and sat down. I had a grand lesson prepared about my new model for making the world a better place without abandoning capitalism. I would prove to each and every one of them the truth, and solve morality forever.

“The-” I stopped as another VoidMart™ employee trounced in, handed everyone a diploma and graduation cap, and said, “That will be sixty million dollars, each.”

A student raised their hand.

“Yes?” asked the employee.

“What aisle are the orphans on?”

“Class dismissed,” I ordered, bitterly.

I wandered aimlessly. Why was it so difficult to make others see the light? Was the entire system set up against positive change?

That’s when an orphan approached me. He was adorable, with his rosey cheeks, slight limp, and growth stunted by malnourishment. I instinctively gave him a nickel and he began shining my shoes.

“I just don’t get it, cute and useful orphan. Why can’t things be better?” I asked.

I had the vague feeling of a VoidMart™ product wearing off.

He finished my shoe shine and chuckled. “Silly Mark.” He turned to the camera.
“There’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism.” He smiled wider than possible. “So why not shop at VoidMart™? Orphans like me are twenty five percent off, this weekend only!”

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Your crit has not been thrown into the void. Thank you.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

I will also judge this week, as the ancients have foretold

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Okay, put me in.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Simplicity, Remade
883 words

Dr. Kallim – and he insisted that he be called doctor – had joined his fellow graduates to celebrate their collective successes in meeting the arbitrary demands of the faculty. Alcohol was in abundance at the host’s home, and though Dr. Kallim, if asked if he drank, would answer ‘water’, he accepted that if there were ever a day he was allowed to loosen his mind, it was immediately following six and half years of torture.

Of course, no amount of loosening would allow Dr. Kallim to go without good conversation, honest conversation, when all parties involved took the matter seriously and would dive between the lines of metaphysics and the soul, where truth resided. He was no philosopher – such a base thing that was – but a practitioner of real science, which was precisely why he allowed himself to indulge in such oddities.

But a good conversation required good partners, and as the night continued, he found those in short supply. "I'm glad it's over," was the only topic everyone shared in common, so it was the only topic everyone wanted to speak on. Dr. Kallim had to use the bathroom frequently.

On one visit, he found it closed, and a soft sobbing from inside. He waited a spell, but whoever felt a party was the best location to cry had equally no issues with inconveniencing others. He rapped on the door and asked, "Are you alright?" as was only polite to ask, despite both knowing the answer and not caring much.

The sobbing ceased, replaced by flushing and running water. Who presented to him was a woman in her thirties, though with a few streaks of gray in her hair, the badge of hard work that easily became a competition between classmates. Dr. Kallim dyed his.

“I’m sorry,” she said, and began to walk away.

Those with some issue, he supposed, might be a better distraction than he’d all night. “Sad it’s over?” he asked, carefully calibrated to let her say yes and walk away if she wanted. It was a mercy he wished others allowed him.

She looked back to him. "I don't want to talk abou' it."

Said every person who ever had a burning desire to talk about something, but wanted more proof that the other person cared.

"Tell me anyway."

What followed was a fairly trite story about her and her husband; arguments, demands, more arguments. She and Dr. Kallim had since embedded themselves to a couch, where he half listened, half thought, half drank. The details did not matter to him, because he knew exactly what she was going through and how to fix it.

He said, "I'm afraid it's your father's fault."

"What do you mean?"

He theatrically poured himself another drink, glass to her eye level. "During this conversation, I've had many of these drinks. If you didn't know me–"

"I don't know you."

"If you didn't know me, you might think me a drunk. You could make several predictions as to why I was a drunk. Tonight I've had more than in the rest of my life combined, so I’m not, but if you thought I was, why would you think that is?"

“What?”

"Exactly. But I'm not a drunk, so my father doesn't have much to do with either of us, but your father has very much to do with you. Have you read Freud?"

"No."

"He said that people's relationships with men, is like their relationships with their father. If you have a problem with your husband, it's because you have a problem with your father."

"Oh."

"Right. So if you want to fix things with your husband, you've got to get things right with your father. It's like two connected particles, even if they’re light years apart, if you shake one, the other moves. So shake your father, shake him until he wakes up to who you really are.”

She stood up from the couch. "Thank you, mister, um?"

"Dr. Kallim."

"Thank you, Dr. Kallim. You've helped a lot, and I know exactly what to do."

"And what are you going to do?" he asked.

"Well, I think what you said about my father, and particles, is really complex. I can't hope to understand all that quite like you or Freud, but talking with you helped. I'm just going to apologize."

Then she left.

Dr. Kallim picked up the bottle and looked down into his again empty glass, chuckling to himself. "I'm just going to apologize," he repeated in a mockery of her voice. Like anything in life was that simple. She’d get stuck in a cycle if she apologized, of trying to gain an approval that didn’t exist through debasing herself, and hating herself for it, until she made another mistake and had to do it all over again.

"I'm just going to apologize," he repeated again. "Just going to apologize," he repeated again. "Just going to apologize," he repeated again, his mirth gone. "Just apologize." He stared deeply at his reflection, a bent and crooked thing.

"Just apologize," he said once more, before his glass and bottle were taken from him by the party host.

"Do you want me to call you a cab?" he asked.

"No," said Dr. Kallim, "I want you to call me doctor."

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Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Thank you for the crits.

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