Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I am in.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Welp, there's another. A whelp is a puppy, and there's no H in "well" anyway.

In all sincerity, welcome to Thunderdome!

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

gently caress it. I'm in; give me a song.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Yoruichi posted:

Oooh so the Empress would like to see some blood would she? Would the Empress like to sit on her throne and watch some newbies flail horribly at each other for her amusement, hmmm?

gently caress that, I will fight you. There will be blood.

Sitting Here posted:

you have chosen a worthy blade to die on

I accept
No more than 1,250 words by the end of the 20th. For the purposes of this brawl, the 21st begins at midnight Pacific.

Yoruichi has recently acquired a Thunderdome-themed avatar. Sitting Here has had one for quite some time herself. For this story, I want a confrontation between the women in these two images. Interpret this as liberally as you see fit.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2018 around 06:01

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Sitting Here approved in IRC before I posted here.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

[Tense error fixed post-competition.]

With Apologies to Some Guy in Montreal
1068 words

Jazz ruined my life.

Nobody told me I couldn't make a living from music. They told me it would be a lot of work, and they told me the pickings were slim, but they didn't tell me I couldn't make a living. That was a lie by omission – maybe not a conscious lie, but I know deep down they knew it wasn't going to happen. They also told me a regular old lie: that I should follow my dreams. I should also spend all my savings on lottery tickets. What a Goddamn joke. I know I was a bigger liar than any of them, but I at least had a reason. At least the horseshit meant something to me. What did anyone else get out of feeding me that?

My sax is in the closet. My room is in the basement. I'm 42 and moved back in with Mom and Dad six years ago. When I moved out it was to go to college. Berklee. I was on top of the world; I was going places when I graduated. My band would get signed by a label. I'd get a paycheck. A real, honest-to-God paycheck! Can you imagine that? Of course you can, because you don't play jazz.

I don't play jazz either, not anymore. It makes me want to barf. I won't say that you can't hate something unless you've loved it, because that would be another lie (although a cute and pithy one), but I will say that you can't truly loathe jazz the way I do unless you've dumped everything into it like I did. There's a special kind of hatred that failures and betrayals provoke, and there is no bigger failure or betrayal in my life than jazz.

And at the same time, I can't get away from the Goddamn stuff. I can't sell that sax I never play, can't stop myself from listening to the records, can't help knowing that not playing jazz anymore makes me guilty as sin of something. Jazz trails me like some secret police. I'll feel shame opening my porn folder, not because it's porn, but because porn is such trash compared to jazz – the jazz police look through all my folders of trash, and it all goes in my dossier. My niece Haley will call her grandma to say Happy Birthday, and when Uncle Me gets his turn on the phone, Haley asks about the old band – the jazz police put her up to that, just to gently caress with me.

Of course I play along and tell her about the band. It's not like I could have forgotten. I tell her about the gig I remember best. Some lovely bar (the gig was memorable, but that doesn't mean the venue was), nobody listening, the usual. We played three songs, "Birdland", "Watermelon Man", and one that I'd written myself, "Green Tangerine". Elliott's piano solo in that one (played on a keyboard because he couldn't lug a piano around to every gig) was only supposed to be 16 bars, and then I was supposed to take my turn, but the guy wouldn't stop playing. He couldn't stop. His solo kept building and building, getting more and more frenzied and complex, and I realized I was scared of this. I don't know if he'd planned it out or was just doing it all on the spur of the moment, but we all forgot about "Green Tangerine". By the time he smashed out his final chord (Am6, nothing to do with the original song), everyone in the bar had stopped talking to listen. That was the first time I ever heard applause at a gig. That was when I knew I didn't have it in me, whatever "it" was, because Elliott absolutely did.

Elliott Furner is getting to be a big name now. He's playing with orchestras and with his own band. I think his second album is supposed to come out this May. I don't blame him for leaving my band, because he was far too good for us, and I don't resent his success, but he makes me feel sick anyway. Elliott's a musician, and I just play music. Played music.

The doorbell's ringing.

From upstairs: "Herman, it's for you!"

I come up out of the basement and see Mom, short and old but not fat, by the door, and in the door is someone I thought might come around "someday" but never "now".

"Elliott! What are you doing here?" My shock is obvious, but I think I manage to hide my shame. I want nothing more than to be back in the basement.

"I'm playing at the Crescent tomorrow night, and I remembered that you live here, and... well... I hope it's not too much of an imposition. Just for old times' sake."

"I'm sorry. I don't play anymore."

But the way my voice falters gives it all away. He comes in, and we talk about other things, but it's going to happen now. I'm going to play with him.

We're practicing together. I'm a lot less rusty than I'd hoped, but I can't pretend that I'm good, or at least good enough to listen to along with him.

"No. Can't do it. I'm done with jazz, loving hate it."

"Oh, don't tell me that. You can't hate it if you haven't loved it," Elliott lies.

"gently caress you." Neither of us can believe I just said that. "So I loved it. So I dumped everything I had into it. Look what I got out of it all. Look where I am! Living with my goddamn mom! And you decide to just rope me in for... for what? What were you expecting?"

"I just wanted to do something nice. It's called kindness. Have you forgotten that some people aren't cynics?"

I don't say anything, because I realize that I have.

"How much do you hate jazz? If you're going to hate it, then hate it! Make jazz your bitch!"

It's true. He really believes in me. He's really doing this for somebody he admires in some way. And he's invited me here to let me be somebody I admire.

We come out onto the stage. I take it all in, all the love and pain that have come to a head tonight. The band starts playing. I put the sax to my lips.

And for the first time in my life, I'm a musician.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2018 around 01:51

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

In.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Shoulda gone with the Egypt assignments.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Face Your Enemy brawl results

Sitting Here - "Asuga Confronts the Queen of Space"

I said in IRC that I probably wouldn't hate this story, and that proved correct. I don't. But it makes two fatal mistakes: It gives no reason for Asuga's change of heart, and it makes her sacrifice thematically meaningless by forcing her into it.

As far as I can tell, Asuga's story is that she leaves Earth to "save" it from the rioting masses and ends up saving it from her own despotism instead. But when do her ideals undergo this radical shift? It can't be on the way to the Queen's colosseum (by the way, thank you for not using the perverse "coliseum"), because then she wouldn't have bothered to confront the Queen at all. And at no point once she's there do we see any kind of re-evaluation of her motivations. All that happens is that she sees herself saying things that she's believed her whole life, but now she suddenly feels remorse and regret over them because...?

As for the sacrifice, despite the pretty sentiments of the closing remarks, "the choosing" actually is "less important" when Asuga is powerlessly coerced into it by forces beyond her strength. First, there's the black figure, which subdues Asuga and physically pushes her into the crystal. Asuga is then shown a vision of herself as a tyrant (again, without having any apparent reason to fear this idea). Either of these alone would ensure the story's outcome: The figure overpowers Asuga regardless of the vision, and the vision single-handedly drives Asuga to the equivalent of suicide.

These elements also raise further questions. The Queen is clearly using the black figure to test Asuga, but it's also a manifestation of Asuga's self-perception - is the Queen just making that connection by omnipotent fiat? If so, that's not a very satisfying connection. And if Asuga had gone into the crystal unwillingly (willingly or unwillingly, she was going in), would this doppelgänger have ended up ruling in her stead? That's absurd, given that it seems to be a construct created for this specific encounter's purposes, but that's the only way for the voluntary nature of Asuga's sacrifice to have any significance. As far as the vision goes, what is it actually? It clearly isn't showing Asuga's actual future, since she doesn't end up returning to Earth. So it's a possible future, but just about anything could be a "possible" future. What makes this specific possible future relevant is that it's the one that can motivate Asuga to give up her aspirations of power. Functionally, the Queen has brainwashed Asuga into making her "choice". This also raises the question of why that "choice" was even necessary, since Asuga apparently wasn't such a bad egg after all. Why not just show her the vision and send her back home to make the world a better place?

Speaking of which, what's going on there? Things are bad enough that there's a protest in Washington, which means that we're looking at either a nasty future or the past sixty years. Seeing Earth should give me some idea of how things end up changing between now and then, since the state of the world has motivated Asuga to undertake her cosmic quest, but I only get rear end in a top hat politicians and people who don't like them, neither of which are even new. Maybe I'm mistaken; is this power-hungry presidential hopeful trying to save the world from air pollution?

I didn't see any serious technical errors (although a physical shape is necessarily concrete, not abstract), but a couple of things gave me pause. Asuga is referenced only by her given name except in one line, which uses her family name; since the two are never explicitly paired, I had trouble for a moment figuring out this new "Hishihana" character. Also, the Queen gestures "as if conceding a point" when Asuga has just made one, so it should be "as if conceding the point" (whether she's actually conceding that point or not is irrelevant, as "as if" covers that).

As I said before, I don't hate this story - the only reason that I've spent so much time on the negatives is that my two main complaints have a lot to unpack. Inversely, while I have plenty of compliments, there isn't much to explain about them. Despite its almost comically rushed introduction, I like the strange, dream-like environment that's established for the confrontation, and its contrast with the smoggy D.C. of the flashback works well. I also admire the chutzpah of doubling down on the anime aspect of Yoruichi's avatar with the sword fight (which I like in its own right, short as it is) when the safe Thunderdome strategy would be to downplay genre trappings and try to be more "serious". I like Asuga's chutzpah in telling the Queen of Space to "poo poo or get off the pot" and how it sems to reflect Yoruichi's original challenge. I like the way that the flashback shakes the story up a bit and underscores the edge of the crystal as a boundary against the physical, immediate world, even though I don't quite know where that flashback comes from. I like the way that the story starts out cartoonish and cosmic but ends up dramatic and spiritual by the end, even if I can't really buy the spiritual drama's premises. In short, I like the story's detail, incident, setting, structure, and general attitude. They deserve better themes.

Yoruichi - "Monsters"

I'll lead with the technical issues on this one, as they stick out much more here. They're usually minor, such as leaving the hyphen out of "deep rooted" (after correctly hyphenating "moss-covered") or ignoring the "his" that would specify whose chest was "swollen with imagined bravery" (as it stands, the protagonist is the closest antecedent; while I'm at it, "swelling" would have less pathological connotations), but they pop up frequently, particularly dropped commas. The lapse into the present tense in the flashback ("It's raised and red...") and "armoured with claws and teeth" are a bit more conspicuous. "Crashes like symbols", though, is so inexcusably wrong that all the other foibles are amplified - it's an error that makes me go from believing that this is a best effort to wondering if the author edited at all.

The general style, though vivid and forceful, also has a substantial issue. There are two constructions that appear constantly: "[Gerunding], [subject] [verbs]," (almost always missing the comma) and "[Subject] [verbs] as [subject] [verbs]." I understand that they're supposed to emphasize simultaneity, but that emphasis is lost when they're used over and over like they are here. "Screaming and the smell of blood crashes [sic] over me like a wave as I run into the wide clearing around the village gate," and "The feedback of shared pain screeches up and down my skin as weapons hack and slash and blood flows," open consecutive (and very short) paragraphs; rearranging the second into something like "Weapons hack and slash, blood flows, and the feedback of shared pain screeches up and down my skin," would go a long way toward giving both more impact.

Fortunately, the story itself is good. It's driven by the slow unfolding of information about this forest's inhabitants, human and inhuman, but it quickly grabs interest with the action of the opening scene, then holds that interest with the intriguing imagery of that information's visualization (islands in a web?) and the constant moral tension between the Guardian's necessity in keeping the monsters at bay and the violent evil of her entire system. That the protagonist tries to break free of this entrenched system but ends up having to compromise herself and work within it to mitigate its worst consequences probably says something about society for anyone who cares, but what matters is that it works on its own as both personal drama and a glimpse into a strange little world.

I do have to wonder just what she turned into. It's implied that she becomes one of the monsters, but she can't be just a monster, since the monsters serve the Guardian, not each other. Her authority reflects some substantive difference, so what does that look like? I'm asking because the story's too cool for me to not care.

Decision

These stories are surprisingly similar, both featuring flashbacks, sacrifices of selfhood by the Yoruichi stand-in, and hybrid sci-fi/fantasy settings. But while one has unclear premises and muddy themes, the other is focused and compelling. Yoruichi has bested, if not dethroned, the Blood Empress.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at Jan 21, 2018 around 19:33

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

The Planet Is Fine
865 words

66 mya

Another dead giant. They're falling like the temperature, like the dust that floats down from the yellow sky. They join the cold rot of everything big: the trees, the seas, the world.

The carcass lies at the base of a towering cycad with limp, yellow leaves. Bloated flesh is beginning to slough away, and the reek draws what paltry, seed-sized insects still fly through the forest. Furry scavengers, long the giant's prey, now perch on its massive thighs and broad neck, tearing at the cratered flesh with their tiny jaws. The tongue has already been eaten from within the giant's jagged mess of a mouth; it was the first part to go.

Easy food litters the stricken forest. Marsupials grow fat on dragonflies that they wouldn't have thought to try catching. Bats and birds fight over fruit that is no longer plucked from the treetops, although there won't be any next year. And everywhere, large and small, the lizardish, birdish creatures that had ruled the understory are being picked to the bone by vermin.

2142

Sometimes, I comfort myself by remembering that it really can't happen here. It's England and Japan that are underwater; it's India that's been wiped out by heatstroke and starvation. We've had to change, make things new and start over, but the USA has stood the worst, and the worst is over. The human race has learned from its mistakes, and it's been almost a century since we last burned fossil fuels. The peace is tenuous, but we've stabilized the earth's temperature, eleventh-hour cramming that's gotten us a D but not an incomplete grade. We'll be fine as long as we get straight As from now on.

I throw on my mask and heat poncho and walk out to catch the train to work in our nation's capital. It's an impossibly fast thing for a city train, a featureless, drawn-out cylinder gleaming reflective white in the burning air. The train is a testament to the resolve humanity can achieve under enough pressure – if you told my great-grandparents that there wouldn't be a car on the streets within their lifetimes, even an electric one, they'd think you were crazy. But here I am, riding the Lexington Metro at 320 kilometers an hour.

The train's Cofi is pretty good, even in the rearmost car. I take a sip of the strong brew as the train car vaults from the tracks with an enormous, bone-rattling sound and spins out into the Kentucky scrubland. We tumble horribly in the car, shrieking along with its metal, until the thing slows to a pathetic stop. Many of us are injured – a man gingerly holds his twisted arm steady; a heaving woman begins to bleed from her mouth – but the car's design has protected us impressively on the whole. I clamber from the wreckage and see how sickeningly lucky I really am. There's the rest of the train, lying twisted in a burning heap at the end of a trail that must be a mile long. Over the wreckage hovers a huge shadowgraphic sign: WE'RE REALLY LIVING WELL, AREN'T WE? ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN

The bombing is all over the newswaves for the rest of the day. I tune it out as well as I can, but it's hard to keep from coming back to it, like picking a scab. The bomber was a scientist at the EPA, Dr. Michael Xiong. There isn't anything definite yet, but most people are guessing that something he was researching drove him to this – the knowledge that a train bombing might turn out to be the pleasant news this week hangs over everything like the 21st century's worst smog. I'm not at work. I'm not even at home. I'm with my mom; we're both too scared for me to be anywhere else.

"Who said we were living well?" Mom asks, agitation in her dark eyes more than in her soft voice. "How hard is it to appreciate that we're alive at all after all we've done?"

"I can almost see where the bastard was coming from, though," I say. "It's not enough to be alive, you know? Living and being alive are different things."

"I'm sure that living was all he wanted for the people on that train."

"I said almost."

We both hear it buzzing in the backs of our minds from a few, then dozens.

plankton beds South Pacific buildup algal blooms compromising fault 129 gigatons methane resumed warming

37 myr

The red sun filters through the cloudless morning air as the tube jungle continues its perpetual chatter. The hard, gray-green tubes have found a way to stand tall in scorching wind that would eradicate the plants of an earlier epoch – that did eradicate them, in fact. Small creatures, more lizardish than birdish, climb up the stalks, over the edges, and down inside, safe from the sun's daily ravages.

They are not safe from the sun.

The animals' vision flashes blinding white inside the tubes' darkness. Instantly, the magnetic field shielding them is erased in a rush of solar ejecta, and the world is enveloped in airless wind and lightless glare.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Chairchucker posted:

Is that a Phillip K Dick ref or whatever?
It's a Bible reference that Dick also made.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

In with the classic (?) Crystal Method hit "Comin' Back", which continues to be a not-really-all-that-guilty pleasure.

edit: linking the album version instead of the awful single mix

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2018 around 15:52

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Exmond posted:

I don't really understand this post.
The lesson to take from a DM is not "Screw the judges."

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Exmond posted:

Huh, makes you think what else you could put on the line in a brawl to make it tense?

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

BeefSupreme posted:

oh drat there are rankings??? let me see them rankings
There are rankings, but neither sebmojo nor flerp are in the top two.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I can do this.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k


The Truth is Far, Far Out There
1,178 words

The Soviet cosmonauts said that they never saw God when they were out in space... maybe they didn't just look hard enough. But here I was, launched even farther (further? farther? yes, farther...) out into the silent scream of the void, and yet, nothing was to be seen.

Nothing, save for orbs vast as moons, bedecked along three axes with six circles apiece, floating with alarming speed through what at one period in our long history of probing the waiting depths of the cosmos would have been considered "luminiferous ether"... such fools they were back then, unlike us, of their distant future, or a possible one. I called them fools in jest, by the way - we know nothing of the truth of reality. Yet. But I digress.

How did I come to be out among the orbs? My story begins years ago, when I joined my brethren astronauts in training at the Space Academy. I had filled out all the papers, done my homework and physical exercises, and now was being handed my astronaut's diploma, proclaiming me an astronaut of the Space Academy. I had high hopes. We all had high hopes, back then. Now, hopes weren't all that high at all.

The launch went well enough, considering. What could be considered was manifold: considering the youth of me, Todd Benson, my co-pilot, Glenn Hanson, our systems checker, Daniel "Duke" Bavarious, our analyst, Matt Ronson, our specialist, Robb Johnson; considering the launch window - a scant, scanty, skimpy even, forteen minutes, of which we had three left (and forty-two seconds) when we cleared the launch pad - and considering the distance of our target, which was the planet Pluto 2, orbiting a distant star in the Andromeda galaxy. Fortunately, the tachyon drive would take us there in no time at all, not even enough time to blink on the way. That was why it was also called the "blink" drive - you would get there in the "blink" of an eye.

In any case, once we arrived, Pluto 2 was underwhelming when compared to initial reports.

"It's awfully rocky," Johnson lamented. "There was supposed to be life - stuff that might breathe, eat, poo poo. Nothing to do any of that with here that I can see."

"I am afraid so," agreed Ronson. "But we have to complete this mission. The Space Academy spent years accumulating the tachyons for this trip; we cannot let this precious fuel go wasted. If this was a wild goose chase... let us catch ourselves a damned goose."

"Or at least find an egg," quipped Bavarious. Everyone laughed at his comical rejoinder, a desperate respite from the gravity that suffused our microgravity.

Hanson took control of the thrustboosts to bring us in over the planetary surface, but just then, something goes wrong. The readings are all off the charts. Huge groans are emitted from the aft bulkheads; there is tidal stress, as from an enormous gravitic entity. Pluto 2 swims, spins, swirls - distorted by a spacetime bulge.

"Jettison the spacetime bilge!" I shout as the Galileo heaves about. Tachyon ballast drizzles out in a great gleaming fan, which sorrows as much as it heartens. The blink drive's propensity for distortions without prior compensatory calculations is well-known, and this seems to be doing the trick, but there is now doubt as to whether or not we can make it all the way back home or not in time or not. We, the astronauts, look on, through the aft portscreen. And shed a single tear.

Pluto 2 again takes on a conventional appearance as we now see the cause of this distortional disturbance. Orbs have now appeared, vast as moons, bedecked along three axes with six circles apiece, floating with alarming speed through what at one period in our long history of probing the waiting depths of the cosmos would have been considered "luminiferous ether" by the "fools" of the past but we now know as the silent scream of the void. Empty space. Nothing to see, save those selfsame orbs.

"I got a bad feeling about this," quips Swanson, but nobody laughs this time, confronted now by the unfathomable bulk of the invading bodies. We wonder if Swanson is "all there" but quickly dismiss the thought; after all, he has passed the same psych tests as we have. There are three orbs. The far two are ejecting some sort of mass from two of their circles, while the third, looming great in the fore portscreen, has extended some sort of probe down to Pluto 2 and is about to penetrate the surface. It's penetrating the surface. The probe is now firmly lodged in the planetary surface and is making some sort of pumping motion, as if sucking the very planet Pluto 2 dry.

We don't understand.

Nobody can understand.

Just then, the Galileo and all my astronaut friends shear apart in a swooping arc and spiral up from around me, like a cloth pulled away in some sort of magic trick. I'm hanging there, naked in my spacesuit, as I watch reality submit itself to a new thing: It looks like a vast, celestial jellyfish. And it speaks to me?

"Todd, this is not what you came out here for," it booms in my head.

"I... suppose not," I haltingly answer.

"Todd, friend, do not worry. Your friends are not gone; you are merely seeing a more conducive view of reality to our purposes. Reality is merely perception, after all. But at the same time, there is something to worry about : The planet eaters, here feasting on the last scrap of your destination, do not rest, and there is no way for you to stop them. But that is not to say that there is no way," it booms in my head.

"What do you mean?" I tremblingly ask. "And what are you?" I ask as well.

"I am here to help my Creations," it booms in my head.

"I don't understand," I unsteadily respond.

"The planet eaters are the children of the Prince of Lies... perhaps you know him on your planet as Beelzebub, or Satan, or Lucifer. And there is nothing in this world that can stop them from consuming everything - even your own Earth," it booms in my head.

"Nothing in this world," I hesitantly echo, beginning to understand.

"Nothing in this world can stop them, but they can be stopped. My only Son died on your Earth what would in your units of time be three thousand, two hundred and sixty-five years, thirty-nine days, four hours, eleven minutes, and two seconds ago, for all your sins, so you could take part in my Kingdom."

I am at a loss for words, but I comprehendingly nod.

"To stop the planet eaters, you must accept me into your soul and be Saved, and forgiven of wrongdoings past, and they will flee from you as a child of Mine. This moment has been predestined for you, for all of you, from the beginning of time. Do you take this step?"

THE BEGINNING.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Where are the LOSERWINNER avatars?

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I can spare a few krits for kids, K-R-I-T krits for kids.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Jay W. Friks posted:

Thanks for the crits Fuschia_tude. Also, I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't call me a dumbass.
It's supposed to be the smiley, not a personal insult.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

In. Flash.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Technically Not Fanfiction
803 words

I will tell you about the city of Sylvia now. It lies in a valley lush with every kind of tree, curved up like a bowl to meet the sky, which seems to curve down and separate the place from all the world outside. All around, the valley stretches, and even the very air within it seems isolated from the weather beyond; the leaves are perpetually bathed in the dawn's dew beneath a sky half-cloudy and twilit.

One path intrudes upon the valley, though no merchant travels by it. If you were to walk this path, between the canopy and carpet of leaves, you would come across what I once saw with my own eyes.


Three days I journeyed in the valley's forest, or what seemed like three days. If I had ever known what first drew me into it, such knowledge fell from my mind as I traveled deeper and deeper in, and I found myself simply walking along the path, wondering whether I would even manage to cross the gulf of trees or be marooned in it the rest of my years. All about me grew fruits of every variety, so there was no question of hunger or thirst, but I was goaded on by the horizon, somehow always visible at the valley's far rim, no matter how deep I traversed.

I was surprised one morning, or possibly evening, by a wild pig trotting across the path, the first sign of another life that I had seen. The pig traveled scarcely fifty paces into the surrounding forest before it let out an abrupt squeal and fell to its side, an arrow buried in its shoulder. I stopped walking and turned to see the archer, a tall man whose hair hung lank at his back and whose face was long like a dog's. He went up to the pig, slit its throat with a gleaming knife, and began dragging his kill through the forest. I thought it very strange that the hunter should take no notice of me at all, and curiosity got the better of me. I followed behind him.

I was sure that my tread would disturb the man, but he seemed deaf to me as we wandered along. I felt safe, as the path was never far – sometimes nearer, sometimes curving away, but always visible as we trampled the leaves and stepped over the roots and branches cluttering the ground. Suddenly, before my mind could even realize it, we came to a grassy clearing at the end of the path, where a little house stood, firelight glowing in its windows and a well close by.

As the hunter approached the house, the door opened, and another man walked out and disappeared into the trees. Neither paid the other, or me, any heed. Despite the apathy of both men, I decided to remain outside the house, as I did not think it mine to use, and waited in the cool, dim clearing alone.

Not ten minutes had passed before the hunter came back out, his pig gutted and slung over his back, and a woman went into the house on business of her own. I had not seen her as she approached, but through the windows I could see her loveliness as she went about washing her golden hair with a bucket evidently drawn from the house's well. Then, just as quickly as she had entered, she left the house, and a third man, bleeding from his left foot, went in to dress his wound.

I sat for hours watching people come and go in and out of the little house, never availing themselves of it for long, neither cooking at the fire nor sleeping by it, which seemed to me a waste of fuel. Eventually, I could no longer stand the mystery of what I was seeing, and as a stoutly built woman made her exit, I ran up to inquire about what I had seen.

"Who is the master of this house?" I asked.

"This is my house," she answered, "although you are welcome to it."

At last, I understood what I had come across. It was not a house, but a city of countless houses, each of its countless masters using it solely as his own. And at the same time, it was much less than even one house, as no master ever put it to its full use. As I walked back down the path out of the forest, I thought to myself how the house was a metaphor for how everyone lives in a different tiny world instead of the reality they believe in, or maybe how everyone speaks their own language instead of the ones they think they share, or some other post-modern idea that I might have devised this incredibly contrived scenario around. No disrespect – Calvino rules!

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I'm in.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Wasted
774 words

It was a hot night, and I needed a drink. I went to the fridge and got a beer, popped the cap, and chugged that poo poo (it was poo poo). Then I had another. I was pleasantly tipsy at that point, when I noticed something new, something wrong.

Walking back to my desk, I realized that I was walking along a hazy, ghostly trail that seemed to constantly divide and branch away, although only a few of the branches were clearly discernible. A shimmering line of me led to the desk, while a fainter one U-turned back the way I'd come, and a third led out my door. What the hell was this?

I turned back to find out more. The moment I stepped to my right, the trail flashed thicker, and the one I had been on abruptly misted away. My new path led back to the fridge. I got another beer.

This was getting interesting. I was starting to have trouble keeping a straight line, but now I could really see what was going on. My paths were now a thicket around me. I could see them trailing away strongly here, weakly there – a very, very faint path even led out my window. And mine weren't the only ghostly trails. All around my apartment was the haze of possibility: The door fanned blurrily in place; the papers on my desk sat under a thin, shuffled layer of pale movement; the copy of Slaughterhouse-Five that I'd been reading that day smeared off the shelf and over to a me-shaped cloud on the couch. Even I, with a few bottles in me, could tell that I was seeing the future, and the future is a real mess, it turns out.

As I sat back down and tried to get back to work, I immediately understood my mistake – I wouldn't be getting any real work done that night, not like this. gently caress it, I thought. Let's see how far this goes.

I finished the six-pack, went out the door, and shakily descended the steps (keeping a firm grip on the railing) to street level. I stepped out onto the sidewalk to see a long-exposure soup of taillights above the pavement, a blur that felt like cheating death to walk through as I lurched into the street, following my own second-brightest path. I stumbled, startled, at the sound of a horn and the shriek of tires as a block of opacity broke into my cloudy little world, narrowly leaving me alive.

poo poo, I thought, if theress goina be some real danger like that i needto make the most of this shenganian. I staggered on with a new sense of purpose, an understanding that if I had been given this strange gift for the night, I was drat well going to use it for something, even if my spluttering brain could barely attempt to figure out just what that might be.

I wandered along in the heavy summer heat, streaming stinking sweat from every pore, determinedly trying to convince myself that I had a plan. Here, a promising trail streaked over to the bus stop; there, another snaked into an alley; other, dimmer ones writhed like a nest of snakes as I stepped past them all to enter a convenience store.

if i can seen the future i can get filthy rich with this poo poo!! I thought as I purchased a hundred lottery tickets. When I managed to get back out through the door, it was with renewed vigor and lust for life, a sense that I could do no wrong that night. I decided then to follow the brightest path, no matter where it led or what I had to do to stay on it. I knew that it would take me to my desnity if I only let it.

As I stumbled on, the trail started getting harder and harder to follow. I had to climb over guard rails, walk through forests of weeds in vacant areas, skirt around the deep, steaming puddles of rain from earlier in the day (when I didn't just slosh right through them) that sat in the bad pavement. I heard a few shots in the night. whatever i'm heading forbetter be drat worth it.

Suddenly, I saw my ex, out of her house in the middle of the night like me for God knows what reason. oh poo poo that's what going on! we were meaned to be totheger after all! I thought wildly as I flailed toward her.

I woke up in the middle of the street, covered in my own vomit and holding a bag full of lottery tickets.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at May 28, 2018 around 07:59

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Ah, gently caress me.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I wouldn't mind a crit for my beer story. I was surprised by how badly it went over.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

magnificent7 posted:

I set out to write something that wasn't deep nor imaginative, but rather amusing and stupid. I'll take my eleventeenth loss and this time I'll wear that motherfucker with pride. If I made y'all laugh, and it wasn't due to a retard joke, then I'm happy.

Thanks for the crits, I'll be over in the corner playing with my feces if anybody needs me.
A Domer after my own heart.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply