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Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


The Deadliest Pudding, 314 words

It shook.

Shivered.

Slithered forward.

I gazed upon the visage of Death with open eyes, unafraid. It had, after all, been foreseen. The old woman had plucked out my eye, replaced it with the Raven’s. There was nothing to be done at this late hour. Still, I held up the torch, and the fouled thing hesitated.

There had been many choices laid out before me. Simple lives, and extravagant ones. Heroic deaths, and notables ones. Every choice at every crossroads, laid out before me as clearly as an atlas. I could have chosen much more circuitous routes to my demise, ones that allowed me to maximize my time on Earth, or my pleasure, or my infamy.

The unwholesome thing spread itself out thin, and separated.

Surrounding.

Encroaching.

Testing.

The true choice of a life well lived was to reach the end and say,

“No.

Not a single regret.

I wouldn’t change a god.

drat.

Thing.

Write that down as my final words”

Before the guillotine decapitated you, and some would-be philosopher held up your head as you desperate blinked in an attempt to send the physician a message signaling your rapidly fading intellect.

But there was one regret, if I would be honest.

It was the weird widow-peaked man behind me, some professor from Drury University who had brought me here in pursuit of an eldritch horror.

He was pantomiming.

And as the unclean liquid enveloped me, I heard him call out.

“In Soviet Russia, Pudding eats you!”

Like a reverse Antoine Joseph Wiertz, I reached a hypnotic nirvana of empathy and understanding at the moment of my own demise.

“What a country” I wheezed out, as the black sludge dissolved my lungs into an acidic slurry.

The professor howled out laughter as he fled, thoroughly mad by what he had seen.

Somewhere, a 30 year old man called his Game Master an rear end in a top hat.

Tibalt fucked around with this message at 02:44 on Sep 4, 2018

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Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


In.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


Deescalation, 973 words

"Goddamnit, you're not listening!" The patient was lanky and pale, like someone had spread him too thin. He was staring with bloodshot eyes, and his face would constantly twitch. The worst part were his hands, constantly fidgeting, wrapping the fingers around themselves. It didn't seem possible the wring your hands so hard without breaking your fingers.

At least he didn't smell. You get used to the smell of people at their most degraded, but I don't think any doctor particularly enjoyed the smell of a sick person. Unwashed body odor, rotten tooth on their breath, urine and feces, vomit. But he smelled, well... fine. In fact, the patient hadn't seemed so bad when he first arrived. He was wearing a suit at the time, and seemed like any normal business man. The only sign had been his pale and emaciated face, with the occasional twitches. Carol giving him to me instead of Dr. Rubin probably also should have been a clue. His pacing in the waiting room should have been another, but I hadn't been paying attention.

"It feels like fire underneath my skin, constantly. Sometimes my legs, sometimes my arms, all the time. I can't sleep without it waking me up - I haven't slept through an entire night in months. And I can't think, either. How the hell am I supposed to think straight when my whole body hurts? I can't keep living like this anymore."

"I understand your situation, Mr. Tennyson, and I would like to help you," I said with that Nurse Ratched voice I had practiced in medical school that brooked no disagreement. "But narcotics are not the appropriate treatment path here. Fibromyalgia is not something you can cure away with pain medication, which is why exercise and reducing your stress through therapy-"

"gently caress THERAPY," he screamed at me, his whole body quivering like a snare drum. I stepped back, involuntarily. "Therapy won't make my arms and legs stop burning! Therapy won't give me my life back! I'm going to talk the loving pain away? I need this!"

I stepped forward again, reclaiming my space. Confident, forceful, clear. I need to take control of the situation before Carol started knocking on the door asking if I needed help. "Mr. Tennyson, it's not happening. Narcotics are only going to make the problem worse over time. I can set you up with a physical rehabilitation clinic nearby, and I think counseling-" His hands shot out with surprising speed, grabbing the hem of lab coat. His grip was as strong as steel, and he all but dragged me into his personal space. I was suddenly aware of his size, easily a foot taller than me. He was still stronger, even in this worn-down state.

"gently caress therapy," he hissed me, low and rough. "gently caress water aerobics, gently caress ergonomic keyboards, gently caress talking to a shrink about my goddamn anxiety, and gently caress your antidepressants too. Do you understand me? I came here for one thing, the only thing that'll help me now. Got it?"

"Sir, let go of me. Now." I tried to make myself sound authoritative and confident, but my voice trembled and betrayed me. I tried to step back, but his arms barely budged. Reflexively, my eyes darted to the door, and his gaze followed mine.

"Or what? Huh?" His eyes stared at me now, wide and piercing. "You're going to listen to me, goddammit. That's what you're going to do. You're not going to try to fob me off to your specialists or to some other doctor. I'm right here, goddamnit! You're going to help me right now. Isn't that what you doctors are suppose to do? Help people? Not give them the loving run around!"

"Sir, I'm going to ask you one more time, LET GO. NOW." This time I said it with conviction. He blinked a few times. then nodded his head a bit to himself. He let go of my coat, and I felt the tension release across my body. The feeling was so strong that I almost felt like I would faint. I wanted to do nothing more than go to my office and cry, but I still had an obligation to this man as my patient.

He sat back down on the exam table, his hands once again folding like origami knots around themselves. "I can't do this anymore. I just want my life back. I want to work again, alright? I can't stand this anymore. I just need a break. It doesn't have to be forever, I don't care if it gets worse. I just need a few weeks where I don't hurt anymore." He was staring at me the whole time he spoke, blinking and grimacing. "That's all I want."

"I can't do that, I just can't," I said, softly. "But we can try other techniques-"

His fist slammed into my stomach, knocking the breath completely out of my body. I folded and collapsed, my arm bringing the cart down with me. We made a terrible noise and a worse mess, the cart and I. He was standing over me now, as Carol threw the door. She yelled something, and suddenly the room was full of bodies, swarming and struggling. I tried to move out of the way as best I could, hemmed in by the stomping legs.

Someone helped me to my feet as they pulled him from the office, and I tried to recover my composure as they mob-walked him through the waiting room. He was yelling and swearing, and trying his best to get an arm free for punching. Carol wouldn't let me leave. She demanded I stay until the police arrived, and I filed assault charges. I suppose I couldn't blame her. But I would rather be anywhere in the world than in that office right then.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


...well, okay. I'm in.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


A Living War Machine! Weaponized Innocence, 902 words

If Human eyes looked into the room, they wouldn’t have seen anything amiss. A young woman sleeping fitfully in her bed, while two cats watched from a nearby shelf. Only Demon eyes would see the armor of burning smoke that encased the woman, or the hulking ebony lion with a mane of lightless flame, or the white panther with claws and fangs of silver. A demon would likely be more concerned with the Sword of Love, an ornate claymore pulsing with its own heartbeat.The sword floated through the air in loose circles, occasionally swiping at nothing. Even in her sleep, the Champion of Love was dangerous.

“She’s restless,” muttered Kuro, the black cat. “She’s having nightmares again.”

“She’s had nightmares before,” replied Shiro, the white cat next to him. “They all have nightmares, it’s the nature of fighting Demons. Frankly, I’d be worried if she could face those embodiment of Human Sin and sleep easily. Don’t worry so much.”

“It’s not just that,” he growled. “She’s asking questions as well. Difficult questions. ‘Are we making any progress, when will I be finished.’ That sort of thing.”

“You’re getting soft, Kuro,” Shiro chided. “She’s not your first Champion, she’s won’t be your last. They all ask painful questions, if they last long enough. What does it matter? Her path was set the moment she took the Sword. You or I couldn’t change it, even if we wanted. ‘I swear to live and die by the Sword of Love’ – we didn’t make her say it.”

The Champion cried out in her sleep, clearly afraid. The cat spirits watched her, waiting for her to settle down. She got so little sleep as it was – waking her up would just be cruel. Eventually, she stopped tossing and turning as much, although she was still tense.

“She didn’t know a drat bit about what she was saying,” Kuro muttered finally.

Shiro stared at him in shock. “You really are getting soft!”

“Quiet, you’ll wake her.”

“What the hell is this? Silver tongued Kuro, who could talk a nun out of her knickers back in the day. Love them and leave them, all part of the game. Suddenly a conscience and a moral compass has sprung up in his heart!”

“Shut up, you!”

“‘A leopard can’t change his spots, so no use crying about it.’ Isn’t that what you said when you broke it off, and I asked how you could be so heartless?” Shiro’s voice was still gentle and soft, with just the barest hint of malice. “To you, I was just another crying maiden, a conquest of the Spirit of Lost Love. When did you of all people start worrying about who you hurt with your flowery words?”

“SILENCE,” Kuro hissed, far too loud. The Champion stirred and turned over in her bed. The two cat spirits watched motionlessly until her breathing finally settled into steady snores.

“I should go,” Shiro whispered, before lightly jumping to the floor and heading towards the door.

“Shiro…” She stopped and waited for Kuro to finish. “I’m sorry. How I treated you was cruel.”

She didn’t turn around or look back. “I appreciate the gesture. But you can’t change the past once it’s set in stone, Kuro. For me or for her.” And then she was gone.

The Champion was crying again, fighting against another terrible enemy. Kuro crawled down and snuggled next to her, and she held him close.

“I’m sorry, darling.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Wrath Demon howled, and the whole building shook. The workers had fled already, driven away by a sense of danger even if they couldn’t see the monstrous spirit. Only the Champion was left now.

“I have to tell you something,” Kuro said.

“It can wait,” the Champion replied through gritted teeth. Her left arm was broken, and she was putting together a makeshift sling.

“It really can’t. Do you remember asking me if any of this mattered?”

“No.” She replied, before forcing her arm into the sling with a yelp.

“You’re going to die fighting. This is your fate, your purpose - a weapon to kill Demons. But there’s always going to be more Demons, empowered by the very worst of Human Sin... One day, you’re going to zig when you should have zagged, and that’ll be it. I’ll take the Sword, and find a new Champion of Love. I’m sorry, but that’s what your oath means. I should have told you.”

“Is that all, you silly cat?” She stood up now, and started stretching. “That’s not what I asked you. I already knew I was going to die fighting, ever since I cut that first Demon in half. I wanted to know if you believed in Love.”

The Demon howled again, challenging her to come out and face it. She could sense its fear. She picked up the Sword of Love, and swung the claymore a few times with her one hand.

“You don’t have to believe in Love, Kuro. I just need you to believe in me. I want you to believe in me, right up until the end.” She scratched him behind the ears and smiled. “So shut up, Stupid, and follow my lead. It got lucky once, but I’ve got its number now. I'm going to die some day, but it isn't going to be today.”

She turned gracefully towards the door, and after a moment Kuro followed behind her.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


Well that's a weird prompt but I guess I'm in

(Thanks for the crit, CantDecideonaName)

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


Hell yeah, give me the full Monty, I want a random story and a found object. I'll need to go scrounging for a flash rule too.

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Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


I'm in.

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