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Dec 30, 2017

First time writer, In


Dec 30, 2017


Rien was the epitome of female perfection. She stood at a statuesque six feet tall, while filling out a Versace dress in all the right places. Long, perfect platinum hair that was always glossy and beautiful. Perfectly manicured nails without a single flaw or chip. Men wanted her and women wanted to be her. Rien was a lawyer, one of the best that money could buy and ruthless at ensuring her clients (who were always guilty) would be found innocent in a court of law. No prosecutor seemed able to get charges against her clients to stick.

The thing was, Rien had an ulterior motive for wanting to ensure these evil souls would not waste away in the criminal justice system. For Rien was not her given name. She was born Uradriendra over 10,000 years ago and she was a full blooded demon. Rien was the perfect cover for being able to trap the souls of the damned. While the criminals would be found not guilty in the court of law, they would disappear from the mortal world soon after. In a twisted way, she was justified in feeling that humanity benefited from her removing these souls from the mundane of existence.

Rien could not just forcibly twist these souls to her will, as that would have been immediately been stopped by the angels who sit in opposition to the demons. For long eons before Uradriendra walked the realm, heaven and hell had been at war. She thought herself to be one of the key players in this war. She wasn't a soldier, not truly, but she had a genius intellect that she had put to use in serving her master.

She used her brain to find a way to collect the souls that her master had tasked her with. Rien had to think of a creative solution to acquire the souls that she felt entitled to. So she studied and schemed and plotted for numerous human life times until she had come up with a solution. The solution was to convince the damned to sign their own lives away.

She had developed a binding contract whereby her clients would sign their own fates to be bound for all eternity. There was something beautiful and ironic about using the tool of the lawyer, the contract to trap the unclean souls into eternal torment. Every one of her clients signed over their eternal souls, and before they had any idea that they had been tricked the contract took effect.

In one country after another, Rien had been plying her trade for nearly 100 years posing as various high powered female lawyers. She had roles in Japan, China, Russia, Italy, and now the United States. She was nearly complete with the task that Lucifer had given her of acquiring 666 souls. In fact, she only needed one more soul to complete her mission.

This soul belonged to the most deranged serial killer of the modern era who was known simply as The Strangler. He was charged with a horrifying 13 crimes. How in all the realms of hell was Rien supposed to get this client to be found innocent? Her contract depended on it, The Strangler's soul would only belong to her if she was able to complete the terms of the contract. Only then would she be able to get back to Lucifer's realm which she wanted more than any mere human could desire.


The judges gavel rang out beginning the trial. The Bailiff called out “People of New York vs. Patrick Lancaster, alias “The Strangler.” The honorable Lucius Baelish presiding. All rise.” Rien did a double take, as sure enough the judge was Lucifer himself. She grinned sharply knowing that her master was present to see her final victory himself.

For six days the trial went on, as Rien built a case that Patrick was being framed by another man and she hoped there was enough evidence built up to put doubt in the mind of the jury. She would prove herself to her master and win what would be her final case. Oddly, her master wasn't really doing anything to help her to victory. If anything, it seemed like Lucifer was calling the trial right down the middle. No matter, she thought, I can better prove myself if I have to win fairly.

Soon, the defense and the prosecution rested, and the case was given to the jury. Rien was confident she would win, but she couldn't shake a nagging feeling that something was wrong. She walked to the lobby of the courthouse to get two of her favorite Starbucks beverages, a guilty pleasure for the demoness. She reached into her purse for her wallet, and soon realized she didn't have any cash. Haughtily, she pulled out a black AMEX credit card and swiped it.

When she was given a receipt to sign by the cheerful barista wearing a shiny name badge with the name Gabe written on it, she felt something but was unable to place her finger on it. She signed the receipt without thinking about it when suddenly she was teleported to a cold and dank prison cell. She looked around and saw the barista again, only this time he was wearing his full Archangel regalia.

“Uradriendra,” he said with that clear voice of an angel. “The Almighty will not allow you to complete your mission as the balance of power between heaven and hell would be shifted too far to the side of darkness. I was assigned to stop you, and I have done so. Fitting that you have been bound by a simple contract which was your tool of choice. For your crimes you will not return to your masters side instead you will spend eternity on the outside of both heaven and hell with no one but your own voice to keep you company.”

Uradriendra pleaded for her master to come to her aid, but Lucifer refused to help. Clearly he had thought her weak or a traitor to the cause in the end. Slowly, Uradriendra became insane with only herself to talk to as promised. A truly chilling fate for an immortal being of evil.

Dec 30, 2017

Oh forgot to post the word count, it was 1037. This was fun and I'll play again at some point :)

Dec 30, 2017

I still maintain it was fun, even with the worst story of the week :grin:

Dec 30, 2017


Sitting Here posted:

Week 311 crits

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve been watching a lot of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?, which is a campy 90s anthology show hosted by Jonathan Frakes. The format is basically a series of poorly-acted vignettes, with Frakes giving smarmy commentary in between, challenging the viewer to guess which vignettes are made up and which are based on actual events (allegedly). I decided that by default I am going to assume all of these stories are by the writers of that series (bad) unless your story proves itself otherwise (by being good).

IDK why I’m doing this for this particular week, there’s no connection to the prompt. Maybe I thought of it because most of the vignettes involve an ordinary situation, such as a routine day at work, going horribly wrong and/or spooky. Mostly it was an excused to write bad Jonathan Frakes-esque rhetorical puns.

Overall this week was okay, though it was made a bit sour by failscum.


The sexy, high-powered demoness lawyer is a bit of a tired trope. I’m not even sure how many sexy, high-powered demonsesses I’ve encountered in media, but any time you open up the story with a description of a hot demon babe, you raise the barrier to enjoyment to the height of my extremely raised eyebrow. Most of this story is just you describing the premise. Everything up until the BANG BANG! is just background and exposition. The ending doesn’t offer much, either; Lucifer shows up and pointedly does nothing, and Rien is summarily imprisoned by barista/archangel Gabriel. Why Gabe didn’t do this sooner is probably the only interesting question in the whole story; was heaven waiting for hell to get those 666 evil souls before putting Rien out of commission? Also, for as buxom and attractive and supposedly competent as Rien is, she is still thoroughly put in her place at the end and no one cares. That’s not terribly satisfying because it makes it seem like there was no other choice she could make to change the outcome. Her story is a straight line.

Trade: Evil lawyer
Tools: Boobs (evil, hypnotic)
Likelihood this was written by the BB:FoF writers: High
Frakes-ism: Did this devil’s tale really happen? Or does this story have a snowflake’s chance in hell of being true?

In my brain and on my draft paper I wrote down the tool was the contract. Also, I loved that show! It was campy as hell.

Dec 30, 2017

Can I please have my Avatar so I can stop looking at Trump's ugly mug? :grin:

Dec 30, 2017

In and Flash, let's see if I can do better than last place this time!

Dec 30, 2017

The words flowed quickly for me, I just hope that it meets your tastes, mighty nobles.

I present in the vein of the one who got there first

The Computer Scam
957 words

There was never any doubt that there were countless powerful figures in the world. Bankers, politicians, millionaires, influence peddlers. All of these were overtly powerful figures that thrived on being out in the open. There was power beyond the obvious as well, but often people were too blind to look. The hidden voice whispering in a kings ear, the ghostwriter of a New York Times best seller list, or the spoiled child that had to be the first in his class to have the hottest new toy before anyone else had it. All of these were power in their own right.

Computers led to another form of power, whereby those who knew their way around a computer could exert power over others on a small scale. In the age of computers, anonymity became power at least to those with the skill or resources to hide their identity. Behind a wall of anonymity people could no longer tell if the person behind the words was young or old, black or white or brown, even whether they were human at all or a very advanced AI.

Louis was a rather ordinary man. Not young or old, mixed ethnicity, but very much a live human. Louis craved more power than he had working what he felt was a dead end job. Louis was a computer programmer for the largest big box retailer in North America. His job was to adjust prices in the system at corporate direction. Hitting one key after another for eight hours a day. While his job was boring, he enjoyed the finer things in life, but he didn't have the skills to get a higher paying job. One night, he was reading about computer schemes online and then watched the classic movie “Office Space.” He wondered if he could pull off a scam similar to the one on the movie. Louis wanted more from his life, and wanted to be able to enjoy expensive liquors and Cuban cigars. Louis did his research, and he came up with a plan worthy of the guys in Office Space. He knew that if he wasn't careful, he would be caught and there was no Milton to burn down his workplace. He decided to skim a little money off the top from the company and over the long run he would have the money that he needs to live a lavish lifestyle. Louis felt that he was able to do this, since his boss was an empty suit who rarely if ever knew what Louis was actually up to. Louis was a devious sort, and felt that he was always the smartest man in the room.

Louis was simply not worried about being caught. His boss was a non entity who hadn't done any work in programming in ten years. He felt that his plan of adjusting the prices subtly to make some money for himself would give him what he needed. He wrote a program that would change the price on three or four items in every transaction by a single penny at a time and that it would look like an error made by a cashier if examined. Louis knew if he ever tried to dramatically overcharge any customers, then the game would be over. Customers would realize they were overcharged, and then he was sunk. While he hated his job, he hated searching for a new job more. Louis simply hoped that he was truly the one who got there first and resolved to check for existing programming that might be also modifying prices in the system.

It turned out that he was the one who got there first. No other software was found in his sweep that resembled what he was trying to do. He grew in confidence that his plan would be successful. His changes would take place behind the scenes where it would not be noticed, and if he kept the changes small enough he doubted anyone would ever catch on to what he was doing. He simply charged customers a single penny above the listed price and rerouted that amount to an anonymous offshore account in the Cayman Islands. These transactions were done every night and no one had caught on in seven weeks. Louis was on his way to becoming a rich man, but like many people who get power, the power will eventually corrupt.

Louis wasn't satisfied with the speed that he was making money, so he figured he'd change his program to begin to add ten cents. His boss was a moron and still didn't have a clue as to how Louis did his job on a daily basis. He had no idea how his boss had even managed to get this job. He felt that the customers still wouldn't notice, and the corporate bigwigs still wouldn't bother to trace the money. He'd go from making a few hundred to a few thousand a week and no one would be the wiser. He would be able to live a very nice life somewhere warm and far from civilization. What Louis didn't realize in his arrogance was that he had gone too fast while updating his program. He had accidentally made a fatal mistake in his line of code and the authorities were closing in.

The police were waiting for him outside of his house to book him on charges of larceny. Customers did too notice that they were being charged too much, and the store did bother to trace the money. A computer expert that had been called in was able to deduce that Louis had made one fatal mistake. He had changed his computer program from adding a penny per transaction to a dollar per transaction, completely by mistake.

Dec 30, 2017


AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm a five time loser here in the dome.

As a person who has received this criticism often (5 time loser remember?) I know a thing or two about stories that spend a lot of time telling and little time showing. This story didn't show anything at all. I love good exposition. I've always had a thing for good fantasy novels that spend thousands of words describing lakes. This was bad exposition and made me want to stick my head in a lake for 4 minutes until I stop breathing.

Also, this is more of a nitpick, but I have never seen Office Space. This normally wouldn't be a problem but you rely on knowledge of that film to sort of give a shorthand as to what's going on in your story. That's not necessarily a bad idea, I guess but the way you did it was terrible. I'd say you were hamfisted about it but that would be an insult to porky pugilists.

None of this would have mattered a bit if this had proved to be in any way entertaining. Sadly, your story is boring as poo poo. Man decides he wants to be rich, man creates lovely computer program that would never get the job done in real life, and then man goes to prison because he's a moron that doesn't understand how decimals work. How does a computer programmer make a mistake that dumb?

Good job on being first, I guess.

And don't worry, because based on my past experiences here you're gonna be able to really poo poo all over my beautiful words and make me cry!

Now I'm off to find a lake.

Aww thanks guys. I really mean it. This is only my 2nd story and I want to get better.

I posted early because I've got a busy next couple of days and didn't want to fail to post, so I put up a second draft. I'll try to see what rewrites I can come up with.

Edit: I finally figured out how IRC works

Erainor fucked around with this message at 04:40 on Aug 30, 2018

Dec 30, 2017

Well here's my attempt

“The one who was first” 928 words

Bobby was a rather ordinary man. Not young or old, mixed ethnicity, but nothing was memorable about this man. Bobby was a retail drone for the largest big box retailer in North America. His job was to adjust prices and print new tags.

Now, Bobby wasn't an evil man by any means, but he was a prankster. In High School, he would be in and out of the principal's office on a nearly weekly basis. He spray painted buildings and he put toilet paper on cars. He also loved to post on internet websites and was always the guy who would type “first” on a video even if he wasn't first. Everyone knows someone like that.

Bobby had won the best smile award in high school, but somewhere in his life he got beaten down to the point where his powerful smile was no longer with him. Something changed in Bobby one spring day. He began to remember what it was like when he was in high school, when he had the time of his life.

Bobby grinned a little to himself at work that Wednesday. No one was around him per usual at work but his scowl was beginning to fade.

On his break, he looked at himself in the mirror.

“Didn't I used to be funny? What happened to that guy?” Bobby told his reflection. Then it hit him like a lightning bolt! He had somehow stopped having fun in his life! Maybe all he needed was a way to have fun and that powerful smile would return.

Bobby wanted to have some fun so he simply began moving prices around. A two dollar towel would now ring up as a three dollar towel. A five dollar cooler would ring up for 50 cents. He switched around dozens of prices He felt that his plan of adjusting the prices would cause chaos and allow him to get a little bit of joy from his job.

He finally began to smile again while at work. He could be seen snickering in the background whenever a confused cashier would call for a price check on a 2 dollar bag of chips that was ringing up at 2.99.

His fellow retail drones took notice about his changed attitude. Cheri said, “Who is this guy and what have you done with Bobby?” as she smiled and winked in his direction.

Chip said, “Hey man, do you want to get a beer after work?”

Ashley said, “You know, Bobby, my church is having a cookout on the 14th. You should come!”

Suddenly, Bobby was no longer simply a background character in his own life. Customers no longer avoided him as he no longer walked around the store wearing a scowl and acting like he didn't want to be there. Ironically, he undid all of the silly changes he made to pricing while humming the words “Let it Be, Let it Be.”

As the days and weeks went by, Bobby began having more fun at work. Gone was the depressed sod and in his place was a man who remembered what it was like to be fun at parties. At the church cookout, on the spur of the moment he asked Ashley out on a date.

Bobby said, “Want to get out of here?” Flashing his most charming smile.

Ashley responded with “I'd love to!”

Bobby felt a rush of power and excitement that he hadn't felt since he was a child. Finally life was looking up! It was all thanks to the power of a good attitude. Bobby could always make Ashley laugh. She reminded him that they met in high school where she sat a row behind him in class and he would be posting “FIRST” on the message boards.

“Why didn't you talk to me in high school?,” Bobby asked on their fourth date.

“You had this powerful smile and girls seemed to fall all over you. I was shy and quiet in school but I always giggled when you posted on those videos,” Ashley replied.

Bobby just turned his smile up to 11 and put his arm around Ashley. Life was good when you smiled!


Many years later a large crowd had gathered to pay tribute to Bobby. Not only his grown children and grand children but a handful of the workers that he had started out with all those years ago. His wife, Ashley, who had never really paid much attention to Bobby until he showed off the winning smile that would always make her heart skip a beat. His best friend Chip, who told great one liners about the times that they would get beers together after work, in their jobs as professional stuntmen. Finally, Cheri, who became Chip's wife got up and made a speech.

“Today, we say goodbye to a dear friend who has left us behind. We used to think he was a grumpy, old stick in the mud, even though when I met him he wasn't even 30. Once he was able to get away from the soul draining life of retail, and found his true passion as a stuntman, he truly became a better man and one of my best friends.”

Then it was Ashley's turn to make a speech about her husband. She slowly walked up to the podium, adjusted the microphone and gave a small smirk knowing that her husband would appreciate what she was about to do. She cleared her throat before saying the immortal line of the internet...


Dec 30, 2017

In and Flash :)


Dec 30, 2017

The Red Tide
388 Words

We were always warned that the Great Lakes were vulnerable to invading species of marine life. We should have listened.

It all started in 2001 with the first reports of barnacles crossing into Lake Erie from the ocean. My family has been trawler fishing on these waters for as long as there has been commercial fishing on these waters. My father, his father, his father back for generations have all fished these waters.

There were warnings of over fishing and there were warnings of invading species in the Great Lakes. No one took those seriously as they were dismissed as the rantings of ecological nerds. This industry would always be there to provide a steady and moderate income to those who made a living off them.

Scientists warned us that our fishing boats were making things worse and we should make sure the hulls of our boats are cleaned off when we make the trip from the ocean into the fresh water lakes.
Who had time for that? Time is money, and I wasn’t about to spend time prying mollusks off my boat. Besides, these waters had been good to my family, why would they stop now? Some of my fellow fisherman began to follow the directive to clean the hulls off their boats. I did not, in my arrogance.

By 2006, the reports from the scientists had grown more urgent. Phrases such as “ecological catastrophe” and “permanent change” began being tossed around. The barnacles were causing permanent changes. They produced so much red algae that the lakes began to be tinted with red.

In 2015, I started to change my tune. The barnacles had spread to all five of the Great Lakes. Now cleaning off my boat became a priority, but it was too late.

Then 2018 happened. The mollusks began spreading at such high rates that the fish began dying. Suddenly, all those scientists warning us in the background turned to reports of horror. Now everyone worked together to remove the barnacles, but it would prove to be too little, too late.

On, October 31, 2018 the Great Lakes were declared federal disaster zones. Commercial fishing was banned due to the red toxin getting into the food supply. To my horror, my livelihood was completely gone. The red tide is over; the mollusks, they have won.

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