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 money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


:toxx: for the All Blacks

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

ur not even in wellington what is this christchurch boyyyy

We have worse coffee but better racism

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


btw Seattle and Christchurch are sister cities, and I'm going to tell Mom that you snuck out with Chad on Friday. You'll be grounded until your junior year of college.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Fine wolpertinger

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Wolpertinger the literal shittest thing ever

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Battle of Seattlebrawl
Cryptid: Wolpertinger
Theme word: Chaos
Vanquished foe: Nethilia

Dead Letters
980 words

When Yola arrived in Seattle she rented a place just off Cherry. She was alone, but she kept busy. She spackled over the initialed and dated notches cut into the doorframe of the second bedroom. She sat in the park opposite the elementary school and ordered Blue Apron on her phone. She killed animals and sewed their parts together.

She loved working for Amazon, the opportunity to take part in a vast reverse diaspora that dragged so many desperate workers to melt together in one place. They flooded the city, disrupting crusted street rhythms that the panicked locals mistook for culture. They called it chaos, but she figured it a kind of entropy, a settling of disparate elements into something still and cool and comfortable. It took her breath away.

***

Barney looked at her funny, again.

He’d asked her out one time. They went to Dick’s, and over their burgers he told her that the train was called the S.L.U.T., his brother was in jail, and that his friends gave him poo poo for his job. She told him she liked to murder crows. He replied with silence and an uncertain grin, as he tried to gauge if she was being funny.

Since then he’d barely looked at her, but today he had lurked around her. She wondered if it was him who had found the remnants she’d left behind warehouse 8B.

***

She believed that hunting was rarely an act of destruction, and she enjoyed it more when it was easy. The crows were half tame, and she had two hands—one for a piece of meat, the other a feathered neck.

She used their wings, sometimes their beaks, the occasional claw. She used squirrels’ tails and heads and teeth. Legs from the tame bunnies at Woodland park. There was one sick otter, washed up near the Bainbridge ferry terminal, that died in her bag on the way home. Its fur was less silky than she’d thought, but nonetheless became part of half a dozen wan chimeras.

Her latest creation hadn’t yet come together. She knew they were complete when they were no longer restless, when the character of each carcass disappeared into the whole.

***

“They had the dogs in the other day. Thursday.” said Barney.

“I’m sad I missed them. I like dogs.” She could see the circle of receding hair in the centre of his head from up in the cab of her forklift. “I like their legs and tails. Sometimes their ears.”

“They wrecked this package, really tore into it. When they were done we couldn’t even tell what it was, there was just this smell and black feathers over everything.” He leaned on a pallet truck, and watched her face.

She held eye contact with him, and saw the corners of his mouth turn inward, trying to keep something in. “The cleaners did a good job.”

The silence that followed was broken by the whine of an electric golf cart, and Yola turned back to her work.

***

Working a fat glover needle through loose-fitting rabbit skin–or between hollow corvid bones without fracturing them–took strength as well as skill. She took pride in her craft, and clenched her teeth each time she remembered that no one she knew would ever know it, ever love her for it.

So she sent them across the country. She swapped the contents of packages bound for Madison or Boise or Chula Vista with meticulous custom wolpertingers. Best were the banks of forwarding addresses in warehouses near hers that turned Casablanca, Addis Abbaba, or Wellington into near-identical courier tickets to be slapped on the side of a box.

There were two in the air right now, nestled heavy and content in the holds of a bright white jumbo jets. She had to content herself with the knowledge that the places they landed would, in that one detail, become a little more like each other.

***

As Yola’s shift neared its end the warehouse thronged with activity. Individual noises of people and machines combined in her ears to a flat buzz, like in an empty seashell. She’d seen Barney talking to the floor boss. While he waved his arms and pointed towards the manager just shifted his weight to his heels and crossed his arms.

She didn’t know why something that made such perfect sense to her was so unbelievable to others. It was both offensive and convenient.

Barney headed towards her, weaving between stacks of boxes with long strides. The manager scurried behind, his face white and apologetic. She thumbed the lock onto the controls.

“Go on, just ask her.” He moved closer to her, craning up on the balls of his foot, leaning forward on one of the massive forks. There was over 1000 pounds of flat-pack spa pool there, suspended in space on a column of compressed fluid.

His finger stabbed towards her. “Check her locker, you’ll see. Dead crows and poo poo.” He was spitting.

And then the fluid wasn’t compressed, and the flat-pack spa wasn’t suspended. The noise of the impact filled her consciousness completely—for half a second she couldn’t see or hear or even know she existed. Her first thought after was to realise she was smiling. Her second was to jump from the cab to scrabble on the floor with the others to search for pieces of the front of Barney’s foot that had scattered out under her vehicle.

She was first to the big toe. When she grasped it she stopped to run her fingers over the nail, sharp and sticky with blood. There was very little time for Barney to get it on ice to keep it viable and get it back where it had always been. Yola didn’t know why he’d bother. It would be much better as part of something fresh. She wondered where in the world it would end up.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Seattlebrawl crits part the first

CantDecideOnAName - Where do monsters go when we stop believing in them?

I didn't like this at all.

The first sentence starts out poorly, by saying one kind of fictional being is a different, equally fictional kind of being. It's hard to find the meaning.

While that isn't ideal, it would be possible to take an odd non-statement like that and turn it into a story, if it were used to help flesh out a character who did stuff as part of the plot of a story where things happen. Instead of that you chose to string a bunch of equally untethered sentences together in a sort of non-specifically folksy voice, with literal zero actions.

Impressively, you manage one-up the incompetence displayed thus far with the ending, which is "and then he woke up and it was all a dream" minus anything to actually wake up from in the first place.

It sounds like the brawl was quite close overall, so I feel like this really let down the team. The gulf in quality in this duel was likely the deciding factor.

Jay W. Friks - Scrapper's Gambit

This has a little bit more to it. I liked the way the oxygen supply was set up as a way to build tension early (although you could take one and a half less sentences to do it) and a simple battle between your cryptid and an exosuit-wearing soldier is a perfectly reasonable approach to the prompt.

It was mostly let down by a lack of clarity. It wasn't clear at the start why Gehenna was hiffing around chunks of rock, and this was only kind of addressed half way through. I didn't really get what happened at the end at all - the tree sort of just stopped attacking her for no discernible reason.

This could have benefited from an edit for greater clarity, removal of almost all sentences that aren't action, a quicker and clearer setup of why Gehenna was there, and some kind of thematic element woven through to make it something more than a simple action sequence.

Sitting Here - Aka-Sama Stirs After Centuries of Inscrutable Silence

Great first sentences. These do so much work - the tone, the setting, the characters. Weird coincidence to use Hori as a name - it is a derogatory term for Maori.

Amazing world, prose, characters, squid. My favourite line is "Wind stirs my hair as precious oxygen is sucked upward to feed the flames."

Everything about this is so awesome, except the punchline. "Welp, inscrutable gonna inscrut *shrugs shoulders*" is deeply unsatisfying, especially when the thread of religion vs science has been laid throughout in such an interesting way.

I would love to read this again once the ending isn't a slap in the face.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


In

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Count your nuggets before they’re dipped
460 words.

Des Drummond stood behind the counter and surveyed his cathedral of plastic, glass and brown tile. The carpenters had been out for a week, and the shiny franchisee from Auckland had retird to his room at the Park Royal for the night, on Les’s dime of course. It was silent, but he could feel an ancient electrical pressure in his ears, like the sound inside a seashell. He took off his shoes and laid them on the counter, as if the click of his heels on ceramic crack the place in two.
He felt tender. A few steps away, behind the fizzy machine - the soda fountain - was a button that would illuminate the acrylic tower outside, cast the light of his humming yellow beacon across an island. He hadn’t let them test it. His was the first McDonald's in Christchurch. His.

It had taken Des a while to develop a taste for the food. The mayonnaise and bread were too sweet, the cheese like yellow rubber. They couldn’t make a boiled egg. And why you’d need dehydrated onions when they were ten cents a pound down at Neville’s he didn’t know. He didn’t know what that was in kilograms - that was one thing the yanks got right. He still preferred a roast on Sundays, but he could stomach a cheeseburger, quite liked the battered chicken pieces called nuggets, and had no qualms eating a medium fries all to himself.

But he was nothing if not practical, and if there was anything that carpet manufacturing had taught him it was the value of getting stuck in, of knowing your business better than the next fellow. He knew a correctly dispensed ice cream - soft-serve - as well as a nicely cut multi-level pile. He knew a Big Mac from a McFeast. He slid one foot over the floor as he stalked the dining room on his final check, feeling the places where errant specks of mortar snagged the fibres of his sock.

The opening would be grand. Tomorrow a baying crowd of Linwood barbarians would be unleashed upon his red-capped regiment of servers and cooks. He puffed out his chest with confidence and pride in the perky youngsters that he’d trained. Never had his work chairing the board of the Lion’s club been so richly rewarded as when he saw the speed with which they constructed and packaged quarter pounders.

Wool prices were falling, and carpet profits were rising. But the business of flooring had taught him never to stand still. The world wouldn’t leave Des Drummond behind. He locked the doors behind him, looked up at the great, dark golden arches, breathed in deep, and strode across the car park, shoes still in his hands.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Crit: ThirdEmperor – For the Millionth Time, Be Careful What You Wish For

The first section takes too long to set up the concept. There is good stuff here, e.g. the idea of waiting for the mail, but it needs to be less than half as long. I also think I want the magic to be more explicit, and to see Simon's reaction to it – hiding it between sections doesn't do any good here.

I found it a little hard to find the conflict in this story. One conflict, Simon's alienation from his friends, bubbles throughout the second two sections but never amounts to anything. The other, the problem with the parents, is really only introduced in the last two sections, where the story stops just as it takes a big turn.

The Milhouse reference is anachronistic (at least in spirit), inaccurate, and draws a lot of attention to itself.

"There were too many possibilities lately. Simon’s brush with magic had only left him feeling less powerful than before, drowning in a world where anything could be real, especially things that scared him."

This is an interesting paragraph. I wish that the story had been about this, and instead of a few sentences of exposition you gave us some more subtle ramifications of his magic use – gave him a reason for his paranoia and showed a build up of actions that come from it.

I don't like the ending much – too big a break from the tone of the first half, which I enjoyed more.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Please don't rear end me

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Spring has sprung, the grass is grizz, I wonder where the birdies is?



with Saint Eligius

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


In, but don't tell my manager

Gimme door 2.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Am I too late to be in as a vampire?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5