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Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Personality: Taurus Sun Aquarius Moon
Hell rule: Your dialogue participants are unconscious

Deep dive

800

Red, too much red. Powerful emotions color his mind, but I'm not sure which yet.

"Ran, it's nice to meet you. I'm Sam," I say.

The room he's chosen is crimson in all aspects, drapes, walls floors. He's wearing a suit, perfectly tailored, not singed as it was in the crime scene photos.

"What are you doing here?" he says, "What- what am I doing here?"

"You don't know me, but I promise, I'm just here for a quick chat."

He looks around, takes in the room.

"What is this place?"

"A meeting room of sorts, a mind palace," I pause for a moment, consider my words, "There's no easy way to say this, and I'm never good with these kinds of things, but you're dying."

He looks at me for a long time, then looks at himself, studies his hands, turns them over.

"I'm sorry." I say, giving him a smile I instantly regret.

"I don't feel like I'm dying."

"In here, you'll feel how you want to feel."

I sit down in a plush, red chair, elbows on knees.

"How do you feel?" I say.

"Confused."

"That's to be expected-" I say, and then I feel a sharp pain in my head. They've found out.

"Are you alright?" he says, looking at me.

"I... This takes a toll on me, I'm visiting your mind after all."

It's a lie, I'm used to this, I've done it hundreds of times. I've been sloppy, underestimated the fail-safes, again.

"Everyone's confused in these scenarios," I say, "But I need you to stick with me. Beyond the confusion, what do you feel?"

He looks down for a long time, studies the red carpets strewn about the room.

"Desperation."

A blitz of thoughts and theories through my head.

"What's the last thing you remember?" I say.

"I came home. There was something wrong. The minute I turned on the lights I felt it."

"Your husband, he was home?"

"Yes, yes he was but- I can't grasp it."

He grabs his head, looks up at the ceiling, tears forming in his eyes.

"There was something wrong with him," he says.

I can feel something inching closer to me, to my unconscious body.

"Ran, I need you to remember. What was wrong? What was wrong with your husband?"

He looks at me, confusion in his eyes.

"He'd turned on the stove."

A long pause, the red seems to grow deeper.

"It was after midnight, we'd already eaten dinner earlier that day. He'd turned on the stove."

"Ran," I say, extending a hand towards his. He takes it almost instinctively, when I keep hold of his hand in mine he doesn't resist.

"Ran, your husband was a powerful man."

"... Was."

"And powerful men, they cover what they touch, like a miasma."

"He looked at me, and he wasn't himself."

"And when powerful men die, someone writes their death for them. Written by the victor and all that."

I know they're close, but I need to spend this moment here with him. I already have what I need, but he doesn't.

"I need you to understand something Ran. I need you to understand that there are people out there unwilling to let such things happen. Whatever place you're going to after this, I need you to remember that."

Bits and pieces are starting coalesce in his mind, I can see it. In this space, nearly unrestricted by the material, his mind is still working. In this realm he's not a comatose burn victim, and he's no murderer.

"They think I killed him," he says.

"No, Ran, they know you didn't. But you're never gonna wake up," I pause, pinch my eyes together, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so direct. But... Ran, you're dying, and even if there is a chance for you, they'll make sure there isn't."

"Sam?"

"Yes, Ran."

"Why did he do it?"

We're running out of time, I hear voices now, muffled, subsonic. I'm gonna have a fight on my hands. I think about the senator's blackmail file, the rumors floating around the dark web, the photographs. I look Ran in the eye.

"When you first met," I say, "Did you know it was real? That you loved him?"

"Yes, yes of course..."

He turns away, puts his hand on his knees, palm down, takes a deep breath.

"I know it was real, at some point."

"Then make that your last thought. When I leave you'll be asleep again, until you're not. Remember that a moment in the span of your life was nothing but love."

And then he drifts apart before me, shades of crimson overlapping until what I see is the red of my eyelids, and I awaken with muscles ready to spring into action, a lead, and a purpose.

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Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)



Here's my prompt

Vinestalk
Jul 2, 2011



Libra Sun Virgo Moon

Help Me, Help you
319 words

"Don't you have a fuckin' life to go back to? Like some shithole apartment?"

"Buddy, I got all the time in the world. I'm here for you."

"Shove it. You're here to roll me. I got nothin' which means I'm givin' your monkey suit wearin' rear end nothin' too."

"You don't know what you have until someone asks for it. Just do me a favor and look at these..."

"gently caress outta here with those."

"Come on. Do you know how long it takes to organize one of these files to bring in here?"

"Like I give a gently caress."

"Listen. I don't care what you're doing for Slow Eye Steve. I know all about it-"

"You don't know poo poo or you would have arrested me. No charge, no knowledge. Keep fishing, fucker."

"I know you're burning buildings in Hamtramck and your rooms in the Russell are a front for drug deals..."

"gently caress off."

"Oooh a little less feisty now, are we? As I said, I don't care what you do for Steve. I want something else entirely."

"What?"

"Truth and justice. You were down river when Eddie got shot, correct?"

"Which Eddie?"

"Which Eddie... Eddie Castro. Chief Victor Castro's nephew. I know you were there, because these pictures show it."

"Yeah. What about it?"

"Well, who shot him? Cause he was doing a job with you-"

"I never said poo poo about us doing jobs together."

"Donnie. Please. Who shot him?"

"What's in it for me?"

"Depending on what you got, I could be convinced to not pass along your whereabouts to our mutual friends from Armenia."

"You crooked gently caress."

"Is there any other kind of cop from Detroit?"

***

"Did you get it?"

"I always do, Chief. Never in doubt."

"Make a copy of the tape and give one to me. Get the other over to Slow Eye Steve. Keep Donnie here."

"Well, I guess Donnie's about to get an unexpected guest."

Vinestalk
Jul 2, 2011



Thanks for the crits earlier. I should have went with my first instinct and dropped the lyrics.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Megaviscera
Prompt: INTJ
623 words


“She seemed nice,” the voice said.

“Ah, you’re back.” Frederick sat down to take off his shoes.

“Your mom would like her.”

“My mom doesn’t have it together enough to like or dislike someone.”

The voice hesitated. “I know.”

In his bedroom, Frederick knelt down to pray. “Dear God,” he started.

“Fred, come on, you still do this?”

“God please give me the willpower to do what’s best for my mom. Give me the strength for the coming day. Show me I can still believe in you. I need someone to believe in.”

“Why not me, Fred? Hey, Fred?”

“Amen.”



“She’ll be well taken care of here, Frederick.” The lady smiled as Frederick signed the documents.

“I’ll be back tomorrow to move her in.”

“Of course.”

“So soon, Fred?” The voice said. “Have you even sold the house yet?”

Frederick handed over the papers. “See you tomorrow.”

Once outside, Frederick let out a deep sigh. “Dear God let this voice leave me alone.”

“Do you really think there is a God? Or that God would want to listen to you? God might not even be paying attention anymore. But I’m here, Fred. I’m paying attention. Isn’t that enough?”

Frederick stood flummoxed by this outburst. “You know I left seminary because of you.”

“I did know that. But I never knew why. What did I do?”

“You were new information. I lost my faith and had to reckon with your existence.” Frederick pulled into his apartment’s assigned parking spot.

“I didn't like that home, Fred. I think you should move in with your mom, not put her in a care home.”

“I’m not interested in your opinion.”

Before eating dinner, Frederick prayed again. “Heavenly Father, protect me from evil influences. Be my guiding hand when I stray from Your path. And may this food nourish my body and my soul, amen.”

“Why do you still pray, Fred?”

Around a mouthful of black beans, Frederick said, “I didn’t for a while. But it’s comforting. It reminds me of when I was younger.”

“Of your mom?”

Frederick gave a slight nod. He finished his meal in silence.

“I’m sorry if I’ve made things harder for you, Fred. I just wanted someone to talk to. And it seemed like you wanted someone to talk to. But maybe you just wanted to know someone was listening.”



“Do you like the room, mom?” Frederick glanced around. The room looked just like her living room, with a small bed instead of a couch.

“Yes. Can we go home now?”

“No, mom. This is home. You are home.”

“Oh, okay. I’m ready for dinner.”

“We just had dinner.”

“Oh.”

“Do you want a snack?”

“Okay.”

“Cheese and crackers?”

“Okay.”

“You used to make cheese and crackers when I got home from school. Do you remember?”

“Yes. Can I have my cheese and crackers now?”

“I’m making them right now, mom, see?”

“Oh. I hope we can go to dinner soon.”

“Here’s your snack mom.”

“Thanks. Ready to go home?”

“I’ll be back tomorrow, mom. I love you.”

“Okay, love you. Bye.”

Outside, Frederick pulled his truck around to a shady spot and cried.



The mute TV showed an infomercial for some supplement. Frederick's phone beeped and a tinny voice came from it. “This is Raf, leave a message,”

“Can you call me when you get this? I'm not doing great. Maybe we can get drinks.”

Feeling heavy, Frederick prayed from his spot on the couch. “God please let my mom be safe. Please let her be loved. Please love her. Please.”

Staring at the ceiling, Frederick sobbed. “Are you still there?” he asked.

Later, on the cusp of sleep, Frederick heard the voice reply. “Yes, Fred. I’m here. Talk to me.”

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


The Elephant in the Room, Or Sometimes Your Family Are Cunts.
Prompt: ISFP (listed in post as ESFP, but this is the link.)
Word count: UNLIMITED! BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T POST A WORD COUNT LIMIT, SPARKSBLOOM! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!... but 924.

1.

“I don’t see why these elephants have to have their own parade. You don’t see me putting on a parade for humans,” auntie Emily said, referring to images of marching elephants on the television. “Of course they’d call me a speciesist if I did!”

“Elephants are the real speciesists,” concurred uncle Edgar. “Always bringing up species in every conversation they have.”

“They were already in the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” agreed aunt Carol.

“And they were at the county fair,” said Carol’s husband, Carl. “Except not at the circus, oh no, that’d be wrong.”

Everyone nodded.

Oliver, the sole elephant in the room, froze as he poured himself a cup of tea. He looked at the lot of them, his family, and wondered if after a lifetime of unanswered birthday wishes had he finally become invisible? The thought lifted his heart. He had a brief glimpse of himself free of his familial bonds, living out on the savanna, flapping his unbridled ears to cool himself while standing in the warm sunlight, surrounded by his own kind, their tusks long and craggy and just aching to tear through a bunch of ivory poachers.

“You know they still murder elephants just for our tusks,” Oliver found himself saying. “Or, uh, so I’ve heard.”

“Sure in some backwards countries they do, but it’s not actually like that here, that’s just what the media wants you to think,” said Carl. “I know.”

“Oh hun,” auntie Emily said, “we’re not talking about you. You’re different. You’re not in your face about it like those other elephants.”

Oliver’s heart sank.

2.

“She was absolutely right,” Oliver said, lying on the doctor’s elephant sized couch. It wasn’t required it just seemed the proper thing to do, so Oliver did it. “I try my best to hide the fact that I’m an elephant everywhere I go, including while I’m with my own family, as if being an elephant is some kind of grand insult.”

“I thought we talked about this, you said you were going to try to be more expressive of your true self.” Oliver’s therapist put her pen and pad down.

She was disappointed, Oliver knew it. A crinkle always appeared above the bridge of her glasses when she was disappointed. “I have been, I’ve really been trying. I don’t have my ears tied back do I?” Oliver flapped his ears for her.

“Did you say anything for yourself?”

He hadn’t.

“Well, I told them about the poaching...”

“I think sometimes when we are faced with the threat of a confrontation, or disapproval, it's important we assert ourselves, and you have a plan for this. Did you utilize your plan?”

He hadn’t.

“Well, I did tell myself what we talked about. I said my mantra.”

“But you’re still getting your tusks filed down.”

“It’s-it's just practical isn’t it?”

“Are you being honest with me, Oliver?”

He wasn’t.

3.

“You’re lying to your therapist,” Topsy said as he rubbed his tusks against a post. They were long and caked in mud, and Oliver thought they looked magnificent. “And this is helping you how exactly?”

“I have commitments. People expect me to be professional, I can’t just swing my trunk all over the place.”

“We can’t all be loving Babar, Oliver. In fact none of us can, because Babar is a fictional character created by a homosapien.”

“I’m not Babar, I just don’t act like how she wants me to act.”

“Act like what, an elephant?” Topsy stared at his friend dead in the eyes, his ears flared out wide. “No, you’re not Babar, you’re a sad and pathetic little elephant who's desperately clinging onto societal acceptance, terrified of the mouse that is rejection because you’ve bought into the lies that very same society has sold you since you were a child.”

“Jesus,” Oliver said. “Where the hell did that come from?”

“From experience,” Topsy said, his ears falling. “I’ve been there, right on the brink of change but too scared to do it. Do you see me playing the part of the good little ‘phant now? It was the hardest thing I ever did, but it was also the best thing I ever did. I finally get to go to sleep not hating myself! I can look at my tusks, or my tail, swing my big ol’ trunk around, and I feel loving lovely! I wake up a proud elephant. A happy elephant.”

“I wish I was like you.”

“You are! We’re both elephants! And it’s not just me, there are groups of us, so you’re not alone. I get together with a bunch of them every Saturday to play soccer. You should come.”

“What about my family?”

“Oliver, they’re all cunts.”

“But, auntie Emily-”

“Is the worst kind of oval office, because she pretends not to be a oval office.”

4.

Oliver was rubbing his long craggy tusks against a tree, the bark scratching off the mud and muck. It was the best sensation, one that made his eyes roll, one he wondered why he had denied himself for so long. When he finished he saw a young elephant, standing near the mud pit the local elephants used for their soccer field. His tusks were short, his ears tied back, and his trunk curled up.

Oliver knew the look, it had been his a few years ago.

He stamped over to the newcomer, trunk swinging like a grandfather clock. “Hey! Welcome, buddy! I’m Olly and it’s wonderful to meet you!”

Oliver offered the newcomer his trunk to shake, his heart soaring.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


The People v. Courtney Allan, using Enneagram Type 2
Word Count: 769

“The People call the Accused, Mr. Courtney Allan, to testify on his own behalf.”

---

"Mr. Allan, you were a pilot employed by All-Ways Charters, correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"And what planes were you qualified to fly?"

"Cessnas, Bonanzas, Pipers--"

"In summary, 'light utility props'?"

"Yes, sir."

"And no others."

"Correct."

"The People present to this Court Exhibit A, a transcript of air traffic communications at Leighlines Airport, hub of All-Ways Charters, on the day of the Incident. Mr. Allan, would you please read starting from line 246."

---

"Clarion 777 to Leighlines Tower, declaring IFE. Pilot ill aboard; we request immediate landing permission."

"Tower to Clarion 777, IFE acknowledged, landing clearance granted. Tower to All-Ways 413, cancel takeoff clearance, hold short of runway. Pattern disrupted by IFE."

"All-Ways 413 to Tower, confirm holding short on Taxiway 3."

---

"Who was speaking for All-Ways 413, Mr. Allan?"

"The company's head pilot, Morgana Weiss, sir."

"And what type of aircraft was All-Ways 413?"

"A Gulfstream, sir."

"For the record, is that a light utility propeller driven aircraft?"

"...no, sir."

"Please continue reading."

---

“Tower to Clarion 777, runway is clear, begin landing approach.”

“Clarion 777 to Tower, confirming landing. We see aircraft on the taxiways. Will they be a factor?”

“Tower to Clarion 777, all aircraft have been informed of your IFE and will keep runway clear for you.”

“...he’s annoying...yeah, I know...keeps going on about what he pays us for...I’ll go back and talk to him...”

---

“That doesn’t sound like communication with Leighlines Tower, Mr. Allan. What was happening there?”

“Erm, one of the regular passengers...a real jet setter type. A ton of money.”

“Go into more detail. Why exactly did Ms. Weiss choose to leave the cockpit at that time?”

“He...he was in a relationship with Morgana at the time. Six months, twelve days.”

“That is a very precise count.”

“He was a terrible fit for her. I heard he bought her a freaking HondaJet! Wonder what kind of gently caress up he was covering up for--”

“Mr. Allan. He is not on trial here. You are. Continue reading.”

---

“Clarion 777 on final approach. Wheels down.”

“Tower to Clarion 777, we see you. Authorized to complete landing.”

“Clarion 777 to Tower, acknowledged. Be advised we see one aircraft on runway access point three with interior cockpit lights on. It’s out of line with the runway guide lights. Approaching touchdown point...”

“It’s not...there are...no, don’t...AAAAH!...what’s—oh Goddess above...it’s not what you think...no!”

“...Tower to All-Ways 413, say status. What’s happening?”

“All-Ways 413 to Tower, we have a situation on board, stand by!”

---

“That’s you speaking for All-Ways 413, correct, Mr. Allan?”

“It is, what of it?”

“What happened to Ms. Weiss at this time?”

“She was being choked out by her bastard of a boyfriend!”

“What is All-Ways’ company procedure for an unruly passenger, Mr. Allan?”

“She’d have been dead by the time the flight attendant got him off her! It wouldn’t have worked...”

“Did you think you could assist--”

“Have you seen the guy?! He must take steroids! I couldn’t fight that!”

“So instead...?”

“He was choking her!...I had to do something!...He was standing--in the aisle, so I...I put my hand on the throttles and...!”

Continue reading the transcript.

---

“Tower to All-Ways 413, say again, what is your--”

“Clarion 777 to Tower, we see an aircraft bolting for the runway!”

“It worked! Morgana, get up here, now! Lock the door! ...Courtney, what are you doing?!”

“Tower to All-Ways 413, you do not have runway permission! Cut power immediately and--!”

“It’s okay, Morgana, let me turn this here... turning radius! We’re blocking the runway!”

“Clarion 777 to Tower, we are wheels on ground and don’t have space to get airborne! Turn away! Hard left and brace!”

“Tower to All-Ways 413, acknowledge and divert!”

“It’s okay, everything’s fine...he’s in the cockpit!...you bastard!”

“All-Ways 413, acknowledge, Goddess damned--!”

“The wing! Goddess above, we’re gonna cra--”

---

“Do you understand the nature of the charges against you, Mr. Allan?”

“gently caress off! You weren’t there!”

“Do you regret your actions?”

“I’d do it again to save Morgana!”

“I see. The People present to this Court Exhibit B, medical record from Leighlines Emergency Hospital, under one Morgana Weiss.”

“I—You--!”

“‘Burns on the legs requiring amputation above the knee...left arm paralysis...’ That scarcely sounds like you saved her.”

“That...NO!”

“Not to mention 15 deaths—including your own, I might add.”

“I...I did what I had to...to protect her...”

---

"...The People have no further questions. Goddess Above and Below, we await your judgement."

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Siddhartha Glutamate posted:

Word count: UNLIMITED! BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T POST A WORD COUNT LIMIT, SPARKSBLOOM! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!... but 924.

sparksbloom posted:

Max words: 800

:raise:

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005



Well poo poo, I can't read. Sorry Sparks, other judges, and Kaishai.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Siddhartha Glutamate posted:

Well poo poo, I can't read. Sorry Sparks, other judges, and Kaishai.

so next week's theme is obviously hubris

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Here to Help

721 words

Prompt: ENFJ

The doorbell buzzed insistently. Mark forced his eyes open against the morning's paste of gunk. His alarm clock blinked midnight at him uselessly. The buzzing continued, an inscrutable pattern of short and long presses. Mark groped for his phone, and found it. Seven minutes after nine.

"I'm coming," he said, pulling grey sweatpants over underwear. He pulled out and rejected two t-shirts with obscure and vaguely obscene slogans, going with a plain blue shirt, a few slight bleach stains but no holes, and answered the door.

She bulled right past him, with a recording drone hovering over her right shoulder. She wore a pink dress that made her look like something between a poodle and a boa constrictor, and a name tag announcing her as Magda Starling, in a bolded monotype font."This shouldn't take too long," she said. "Do you understand the purpose of this visit?"

"I understand that my check's got twenty bucks lighter these past week."

"Precisely. When the penalties pass a certain threshold, it triggers a little visit, to see if we can set things right. Shall we begin?"

Mark slowly nodded. "Been getting to where there's not much left over."

Magda nodded. "Well, let's start there. You understand the program is set up to make healthier diet choices more affordable. Even before the penalties you're costing yourself quite a bit. Hamburgers three times a week, Mark?"

"Nature's perfect food. Besides, not much point,cooking for one."

"Yes, about that. It's been more than a year since the breakup. Shouldn't you be moving on? We can recommend several well-vetted dating services."

"Hold on, is that what this is about?"

"About two dollars on the week. Going this long is a warning sign. We don't see any other warning signs for gender-based resentment, but it's best to nudge you along. Before we have to put you on a list."

Drummer Kyle had warned Mark, when the interview was scheduled. "Don't get mad at them, no matter what. They can put you on a list, like that."

"A list? What, like Santa Claus? Naughty or nice?" he had said.

"They don't have no nice list, Mark."

"So, eat a salad, get out more," said Mark. "Anything else?"

She pushed a piece of paper over the cluttered kitchen table. "These are nine people in your social media network. Mostly ones you haven't seen in person for decades. Every time they post PRM-"

"PR what?"

"PRM, potentially radicalizing material."

"What, you mean, like Chris' bullshit politics memes?"

"Exactly. Each time you read them it costs you a few cents, and some of them post quite often. Now you could sign an observation agreement..."

"Narcing? Not going to happen."

"Well, it's not mandatory." Mark could hear a note of regret. "So I'd advise unfollowing or muting these."

"Right," said Mark. "Next?"

"The bulk of the remaining healthfulness surcharges are sleep-related. Six hours at least, and at the same time each night is best."

"Anything else?"

"Well," she said, "There is your masturbation schedule."

"Hold on a minute," said Mark, starting to stand up. "You don't-"

"Sit down, Marcus Fairfax," she said. The drone bobbed with mechanical menace. "You will listen. We have no problem with the act itself. It's the ones who don't or can't who get put at the top of a list. But your choices in viewing material are disturbing to our algorithm. Correlates with antisocial tendencies. I'd suggest you change your pattern."

Mark sat silently for a minute. Then he mumbled "I don't see how that's any of your business."

Madge smiled. "You're young. You don't remember the Mayhem. Those years taught us that we can't let anyone keep anything completely to themselves. Privacy is for your neighbors, not for us. If nobody's watching then a few, a few too many will start to go bad, like a wormy apple or a rabid dog. Build a gun, or take a car offline, make a pipe-bomb or just find some oily rags and a knife. This way is better. For the good of everyone."

She stood, leaving a long detailed report on the table. "Start with the sleep and the diet," she said. "The rest will take care of itself, usually. You will be better. Happier. And remember-"

"That you're watching?"

"Nobody forgets that, Mark. No. Remember that we care."

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016







Prompt: Enneagram 1
Hellrule: :siren: your characters all finish each others' sentences :siren:

Manaakitanga
579 words

“Poppa, there are houses down there. Why are we all up here in the Akawar.. the Ak- "

Brian and his granddaughter stood in the bracing wind, hair and beard and cloth whipped about as they surveyed the valley floor below.

“The Akatarawas? It’s been a while since people lived down there in the valley. There’s no food near the houses anymore, you’d have to walk for hours just to start hunting for breakfast. Besides, nobody works to stop the floods anymore, you’d - "

“You’d get wet shoes!” Tui cackled gleefully, dancing an elaborate interpretation of boots splashing in puddles.

“Yeah, alright Tūī. Let’s get you - ”

“Home?” Jeanette rounded the corner of the track behind them. “How about you two actually find us some food this morning before you go sit on your arse all afternoon? And she’s not Tūī, Dad - she’s Tui. I named her, I sh- “

“You should know. Yep. Things have changed though, Jeannie. It’s important that we do what we can to keep our - "

“Our what, Dad? Our culture? You’re not even Maori. Eight years up here in the bush and you’re Mr te reo Mao- "

“Māori, Mum. It’s te reo Māori. And we’re kati.. kaiki- ”

“Kaitiaki, Tūī. We’re Kaitiaki, along with anyone else who knows bits and pieces. We have to care for it and respect it, because if we don’t it’ll be - "

“It’ll be lost!” Tui pouted theatrically.

Jeanette was standing beside them now, gazing out over the valley. She drew Tui in tight against her.

“Listen, Dad. I get what you’re doing. Really, I do. I respect it. But there are - “

“More important things. I know, love. There always are.”

///

“Muuuum, I’m hungry. When’s Poppa coming back, it’s been - "

“Two hours, Tui. It’s only been two hours. He’ll be back soon, just be - "

“Grumpy!? I will.” She flopped melodramatically onto the low bed frame, the walls of the hut shuddering in frustrated sympathy.

Tui’s namesakes croaked and sang, their short melodies punctuated by squawks from their second voicebox. Pīwakawaka chattered in the late afternoon sun while bush, leaves and wind filled the space behind the sound with rolling waves of rustling white noise.

///

Voices came up the path, Brian’s gentle baritone bouncing off a weathered contralto.

"Jeannie, look who it is! I was out checking the snares and I found - "

"Aunty!" Tui bounded across the clearing to the older woman, disappearing into the folds of her thick wool jumper briefly.

"What brings you up this way, Margaret? I thought you lot were headed n- "

"North? Ha! So did I for a bit, but it's slim pickings up that way. Better somewhere you know - "

"With people you know." Brian finished, looking pointedly at Jeanette.

///

“You didn’t have to give her one of our pigeo - "

“One of our kererū. And I did, we don’t know when we’ll next need help. Last winter was rough. Remember, nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou - “

“Ka ora ai te iwi!” Tui shouted triumphantly. “With your food basket and my food basket the people will thiv - thhhh -”

“Thrive, poppet.” Jeanette drew the young girl who’d snuck up between them into a cuddle. Her beaming pride in Tui pushing her frustration with her father off her face.

“We’ll talk tomorrow, Dad. It’s still not okay for you to give our food away.” She took the pan off the fire, the sizzling fading away with the tension as she served up. “L - “

“Let’s eat!” Tui whooped. And they did.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Personality type: ISTP (https://personalityjunkie.com/istp-type-profile/)
Hell rule: Your story takes place during a nuclear war. No-one may die.

I sneezed on your baby
745 words


“Stop it, you little fuckers,” I mouth-breath to the army of germs that are attacking the interior surfaces of my face.

YOU ARE NOT FIT TO TAKE CARE OF A BABY, they respond in unison.

“I told Lucy that I’m sick but she said there was no one else free and that if she had to push a screaming baby around Countdown one more time she’d probably leave him there, so--” I wave my hand at the toy-speckled scene of before me. Liam is lying on his back on a sheepskin rug. He gives me a solemn look and puts his foot in his mouth.

Fingers of cold slime are working their way down my nostrils. YOU CAN’T KEEP US IN HERE FOREVER, they chant.

“Lucy said she’d be half an hour.” I reach for the box of tissues. It’s empty. “I can hold you until then.” With a mighty inhale I sniff the germ escape pods back into the confines of my skull.

SHE’S ALREADY BEEN GONE 40 MINUTES. YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE BABIES.

“I have to like this one. He’s my nephew. There’s not way I’m going to you infect--” My sentence is cut off by a wheezing cough and I double over, palm pressed against my mouth.

Liam’s frown deepens as I choke on my own diseased breath. He takes his foot out of his mouth and lets out a single, exploratory sob.

ADMIT IT, HE TERRIFIES YOU.

With a shudder I swallow a glob of phlegm. “That’s not true.”

It is true though; I have no idea how Lucy does it. Liam’s mouth is widening alarmingly. “Hey buddy, it’s ok. Look!” I pick up a pale blue teddy bear and waggle it at him. Clouds of microscopic dust particles and desiccated baby-slobber waft from its matted fur and coat the surface of my eyeballs.

WE’VE GOT YOU NOW! I hear from somewhere behind my throbbing forehead.

My eyes start watering like crazy and fire-ants prickle the inside of my nose. I press the butts of my hands against my cheekbones, then pinch the bridge of my nose and tip my head back, directing the tears and mucus down the back of my throat.

“No! I lub this baby,” I say, tilted over the back of the couch.

DO YOU? YOU HAVEN’T TOUCHED HIM ONCE SINCE LUCY LEFT!

From the floor I hear a long, high-pitched whine, and I lurch back upright. The enemy troops redirect down my inflamed nasal passages. “I’ve touched him before! I just don’t want to make him--”

Liam fills his lungs and lets out a wail at a volume that should be impossible for such a tiny person. I jam the sleeve of my hoodie against my streaming nostrils and slide off the couch to kneel next to him.

“C’mon bud, don’t cry,” I say, my hands hovering above the little bundle of inexplicable rage. “Please.”

SEE? YOU’RE A TERRIBLE AUNT!

“Why don’t you just gently caress off?”

HAVE IT YOUR WAY.

At the centre of my maxillary sinus, a red button is pressed. The germs go nuclear. Mucus pours down the back of my throat and my nose feels like it’s full of rapidly expanding foam. I can’t breath. My eyes stream and my vision blurs. My body tries to suck in air, and snot and phlegm flood down my trachea. I’m drowning and Liam is screaming and everything goes dark--

FREEDOM! scream a million tiny voices.

A giant mushroom cloud of snot and saliva erupts from my nose and mouth. The particles glitter as they drift through the shaft of sunlight coming through the ranchsliders. The inside of my face feels like a blasted wasteland, and I suck in a mercifully clear breath. There is a moment of perfect, sunlit silence, and then Liam starts to laugh. He burbles, waving his hands at the glistening cloud that drifts down around him.

The front door bangs. Lucy walks in and dumps her bags of shopping next to the fridge.

“Hey, look at you two!” she says. She pulls a box of tissues from one plastic bag and chucks it to me. “I told you you’d be okay with him.”

I smile ruefully at her and blow my nose.

“I’m sorry I sneezed on you, bud,” I say to my nephew, stretching myself out on the rug beside him.

He grins at me, tiny fists clenching and unclenching in the glimmering air.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



As Titania, my time
800 words

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 08:39 on Jan 4, 2020

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Scorpio Sun Cancer Moon

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Submissions are closed. Judging will more than likely happen at some point

Edit: Siddhartha Glutamate, if you post a story before judgment I won't call in the toxx

sparksbloom fucked around with this message at 12:08 on Aug 5, 2019

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Siddhartha Glutamate posted:

The Elephant in the Room, Or Sometimes Your Family Are Cunts.

sparksbloom posted:

Edit: Siddhartha Glutamate, if you post a story before judgment I won't call in the toxx

:raise:

That story isn't in the Archive at the time I post this, but that's because I'm running late! No fault to Mr. Glutamate on that score.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


My bad, I was phone posting. No toxx necessary!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I'll be knocking out a bunch of diamon capsule rewards tonight. If you need to prompt us for any of them, please do so!

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


:siren: Week 365 Judgment :siren:

Good dialogue can make you understand exactly what two characters are to each other. It both portrays and betrays who these people want each other to be. It’s funny, it demands to be read out loud, it sticks with us and helps us remember our favorite fictional characters far more than any narration. I love it to death, and I’ll devour otherwise medicore books if they’re full of fun or meaningful dialogue.

Good dialogue was in short supply this week. I guess Mercury was in retrograde or something.

To be fair, new-agey personality types, things that are deliberately written for each one to accurately describe almost every single human, aren’t the most specific inspiration. But look – very few of you delivered on “memorable characters who want something.”

DMs go to Doctor Zero and Davin Valkri. These were both stories that weren't a good fit for dialogue week -- especially since they were both all dialogue.

The loss goes to Vinestalk.

Siddhartha Glutamate gets a DQ for going over word limit, unfortunately. We'll still crit this story, though!

HMs go to Thranguy and steeltoedsneakers. These stories both had lively, engaging dialogue!

And the new Lord of the Blood Throne is Tyrannosaurus! Take it away.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







preemptive 'in'

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Dialogue Week

This was a mixed week leaning towards ropey. Steeltoedsneaks nearly took the win with his cleverly interlaced vaguely post apoc yarn, but T Rex's damnably precise style yoinked it from his fingers at the last moment. Herewith judgeburps, can expand on request, I've added a video you may find helpful to each story.

Dark lord
Thin watery gruel of a story with a bunch of typos – I think I don’t mind the premise though it trespasses on my good will by ending on a ‘and then their adventures started!’ I think this could have worked better if you’d had him talking to the spirit of the dark lord earlier. 3 dm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_FQU4KzN7A

Out of this world
This is a premise masquerading as a story, and it suffers from telling its story after it happened. It’s also treading very cliché’d ground, with it’s ‘THESE WEIRD DISGUSTING ALEINS CAME FROM A PLACE THEY CALL… DIRT…’ golden age stylings. There’s some nicely detailed imagining of what it is to be a cloud creature, so I’ll give it a few points for that. 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM

The solution
This is cleverly written with any number of sly little curlicues, and while (he said, frowning so as not to look smug) I saw the twist coming it was still p decent. It’s a vaporous thing though, and lacking in any particular meaning or substance, not least because all of the participants are vaguely unpleasant non-entities 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkZFuKHXa7w

Deep dive
This is sort of tangled, and I don’t think I could say exactly what the situation is at the end of it but (and this is important) I’m sure the protagonist does, and that makes it work. I really like the murky noirpunk you do here, and there’s a real emotional payload in the brief, final connection your protag has with his corpse buddy. 8 hm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDFQpJ3xzhU

Help me help you
Fuckin fuckin gently caress this fuckin dialogue is a fuckin heap of shitballs with a side of rear end on toast. You ddin’t need, and don’t really benefit from stripping out all the scene directions and visuals from this – if you think about it, you’re not even at the level of a radio play because there you get timing, acting, different voices. It takes a couple of reads to really even understand what’s happening and that’s not a level off attention you should expect. I guess it’s basically ok as a scene from a hardboiled gangster radio play or w/e but there’s nothing to make me care about any of the characters here so I don’t. 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS6zJ7IsJkM

Megaviscera

Hmmmmm. I like the pieces you’re playing with here, but they’re a little bloodless as arranged. Maybe I’m dumb but I don’t quite get all the connections – dementia mum, mysterious voice, friend on the phone… it’s decent, not sure if it makes the jump to good. 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weP5ZMKAFnc

Elephant piece

Ahah ok yes go elephant prompt. This isn’t what you’d call subtle in its analogy but I think it makes it across that problem by way of the protagonist being a literal elephant, you know what I’m saying? Also, he wants something, gets it, and the dialogue is all precisely on point. Gj. 8 hm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3znJHZ16Mbc

Courtenay allan plane story
Another all dialogue one, though in a court transcript format. I like this more when its in the strict court question and answer format, weirdly – there’s some kind of insanely melodramatic story you’re trying to lay out here and it’s in some sort of weird druidic alternate universe for no reason I can readily determine. 4 dm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnO3igOkOk

Here to help
Easily the slickest so far, and importantly the format doesn’t get in the way of the story but is a natural outgrowth of it. There’s some tight near future sf embedded in this and you deliver it well, I don’t have any particular criticisms. 8 hm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSY1VnNUJzQ

Manaakitanga
Man, your poor macron finger, I weep for it. This is a lovely piece, and I think the hellrule helped bc good dialogue does this, lines bounce and ricochet off each other. There’s some mildly apocalyptic social collapse sci fi in there I think but the warmth of the characters feelings for each other is genuinely affecting even though there’s almost no actual conflict. 8 hm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibew-vGffH0

Baby story
This is very charming, and I like the conflict of your baby-loathing protag and her microorganismal payload, but it amounts to very little because you sort of flop out of the ending and everything’s lovely. I know it's fundamentally a piece of fluff nonsense about sneezing on a baby, but that ending is saying 'nothing you just read mattered' so all the nice funny stuff you just read is retrospectively invalidated. It is funny though and I think that baby has a bright future even if it has just been bathed in a brutally infectious mist of snot globules. 7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QE_vWkqh-g

As titania
Awwww this gave me feelings and it’s just enormously clever and good. I like the way it sidles into the point with the girl, and also the way it does Drugs which have been Done but it gets the quality of the drug in question and embodies the numinous while not actually making them magic or dumb. 9 hm/w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWK87chHv-k

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 00:13 on Aug 7, 2019

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


sebmojo posted:

Courtenay allan plane story
Another all dialogue one, though in a court transcript format. I like this more when its in the strict court question and answer format, weirdly – there’s some kind of insanely melodramatic story you’re trying to lay out here and it’s in some sort of weird druidic alternate universe for no reason I can readily determine. 4 dm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnO3igOkOk

Thanks for the critique. Yeah, this is on me--I'd never heard of enneagrams before this, so figuring out how to introduce the love/codependency element into the story was confusing. (Also I completely misread what the whole enneagram thing is about--I thought the idea was that the person slips into incoherence when CONFRONTED by the type of the "disintegrative" personality, which is why Mr. Allan gets more combative as "The People" asks him more questions.)

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Davin Valkri posted:

Thanks for the critique. Yeah, this is on me--I'd never heard of enneagrams before this, so figuring out how to introduce the love/codependency element into the story was confusing. (Also I completely misread what the whole enneagram thing is about--I thought the idea was that the person slips into incoherence when CONFRONTED by the type of the "disintegrative" personality, which is why Mr. Allan gets more combative as "The People" asks him more questions.)

don't respond to crits, people will yell at u (doing it in discord is fine)

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


I N T E R P R O M P T: Baby Boomer Boomerang

What goes around comes around, but sometimes it waits til you’re old. 500 words.

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

sebmojo posted:

don't respond to crits, people will yell at u (doing it in discord is fine)

I AM GOING TO RESPOND TO A CRIT!



Thanks for them!!

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006





THE TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION

the truth is stranger than fiction

thetruthisstrangerthanfiction

welcome to mother. loving. CONSPIRACY THEORY WEEK yall i’m your host tyrannosaurus and i will be assigning you a (ya guessed it already) conspiracy theory

BUT but but buuuuut the TRUTH is STRANGER than FICTION right??? the theories that we know about are only what the g0v3rnm3nt WANTS US TO KNOW about. so your job is to look at your assignment, really look at it, peer into it, look at it some more, and then come up with an even more outlandish truth that’s hiding behind the theory. That truth will then be the setting/inspiration for your story. For instance, if I give you “the moon landing was faked” then you might write me a story where the moon doesn’t even exist! Or maybe you write about how there are two moons but one is super bashful and only appears, like, once a month. I don’t know! Lots of possibilities for ya! Have fun!

sign ups close friday midnight est
subs close sunday midnight est
1169 words (nice)

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



judges
me
steeltoedsneakers

writers
Sitting Here
Saucy Rodent
Thranguy
Black Griffon
Sebmojo
BabyRyoga
Killer Crane
Djeser
Antivehicular
Flerp
Apophenium
Derp
Yoruichi
Curlingiron
Simply Simon
Obliterati
Nikaer Drekin
Weltlich
Anomalous Blowout
GenJoe
...you?

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 01:55 on Aug 8, 2019

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


In(side job is what 9/11 was)

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Fnord fnord in fnord.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


oh hell yea in

and thanks for crits seb!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







In (or am I)

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


Yeah, in

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


quote:

A TITLE VOUCHER

You get to decide, right now, the title of sittinghere’s next thunderdome entry! OHAMGOSH

OK I'm calling this DIAMOND CAPSULE in now. Your title for this week is going to be "Grandpa's Special Mouthwash" have fun.

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


in

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







hey, sparksbloom thanks friend, good lookin' out!!

fuckit i started this before the prompt went up

Anomalous Blowout posted:

I N T E R P R O M P T: Baby Boomer Boomerang

What goes around comes around, but sometimes it waits til you’re old. 500 words.

Backwash

"I'm over you, rear end in a top hat!" cried Eleanor as she hurled her newly-exed boyfriend's name—written on a coil of scrap paper, sealed in a sticky glass Sobe bottle—into the sea. If she cried, it would've been impossible to know for the lacrimosal downpour spilling from the churning clouds, as though the sky were weeping on her behalf.

Years passed and Eleanor really did get over her ex, though not as quickly or with as much catharsis as she claimed. Quite a lot of things happened to Eleanore after that: she had children and grandchildren, and buried friends. Hopes and dreams sprouted, blossomed, and mostly withered, and those dreams that didn't wither lost their luster to the creeping patina of time.

One heavily draped day, when the sky was sodden with pregnant clouds, Eleanor made her shuffling way down to the beach of her youth, to that frothy protrusion of rock into surf where she once was so foolish as to think a broken heart would be the worst of her life's sorrows. Something glinted dully from between the slippery stones; there, swaddled in rotting seaweed, its label scaled away by salt and time, was a bottle, inside of which a slip of paper rested in its fetal coil. Eleanor didn't need to wrestle it from its stony cradle to know precisely what was written on the sun-bleached fragment of paper inside. Instead, with great care, she lowered herself onto a particularly large, flat boulder, and sat companionably beside the simpler sorrows of a better time.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



i am "in" for this "prompt"

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give



HOW CAN PROMPTS BE REAL IF OUR WORDS AREN'T REAL

(in)

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







i write :toxx:

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apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


I'm in

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