THUNDER DOME CCCLXXVIII
What went wrong?
It’s about loving time you ingrates recognized me for my genius! I don’t have a great speech or prompt post all typed out for you so you’re gonna get something nice and simple with a twist of the ol’ Merc. It’s gonna be fun, so don’t gently caress it with bad words. Give me good words.
This week, you sweet mammah jammas are gonna write 1,000 words on a time something went horribly, what-the-fuckery wrong. And when you sign up I’m gonna give you the reason. You get an extra 200 words if you use any one of my recurring characters I’ve written about because 1 gently caress you, I’m the judge, 2 There’s gonna be a lot of judge pandering and I encourage it, and 3, Refer to 1.
You know the regular poo poo. No erotica and uh the other bad stuff I can’t remember at this moment. Sign ups by Friday midnight EST. Post your poo poo by Sunday midnight EST.
My Fever Dreamers:
Tibalt an untimely erection
SlipUp Glass looked like an open door
Carl Killer Miller Why is this bad/bag so light?
Flesnolk Love at second sight
asap-salafi Racist cats
Anomalous Amalgam Motherfucking math
Thranguy Too long toenails
Weltlich Trusting a fart
Barnaby Profane Sebastian is out of tune
steeltoedsneakers Porn was left up on your cellphone
sebmojo Too much love between two men
Sitting Here That crow has a full set of teeth
Mercedes fucked around with this message at 03:04 on Oct 30, 2019
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 19:54|
|# ? Jan 16, 2022 18:34|
Sure, okay, in.
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:09|
Sure, okay, in.
An untimely erection
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:10|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:23|
Glass looked like an open door
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:25|
Yeah, ok. In.
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:35|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:37|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 20:37|
I'll do the thing. In
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:00|
Yeah, ok. In.
"Why is this bag so light?"
Love at second sight
I'll do the thing. In
Mercedes fucked around with this message at 21:51 on Oct 29, 2019
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:01|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:35|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:46|
Too long toenails
Trusting a fart
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:53|
This week was a difficult one to judge, because while the losers were pretty apparent, good stories were thick on the ground. There was a fair amount of horse trading and soul searching from the judges, and some of you just missed HMs by nitpicks.
I can't speak for the other two judges, but my criteria for this round was:
1) It had to be weird. If you're writing about voidmart and it's mundane, you need to re-evaluate your life choices.
2) It had to entertain.
3) Readability is prized.
So, I can't really say "gently caress y'all for making me read this," because for the most part this was a good week to be a judge. These are quick and dirty because there were a lot of entries. If you want to know more, hit me up on discord and we'll get more into nuts and bolts.
Here's them crits -
Applewhite – A Hard Day's Night
This started out as a really cool surrealist story that had a lot of batshit, but somehow kept it together enough to be coherent. Lots of action, lots of weird. Funny and menacing at the same time.
Then you had to go and pull an “It was all a dream!” Boo! Boo this man!
crimea – Returns and Exchanges
Some witty banter that insisted on itself just a little too much. This feels a little, I dunno... phoned in?
Dr. Zero – Night Shift
A fun read that suffers from lack of proof reading.
Tibalt – Clean Up Aisle 9 -
How did you make an action scene so boring? With lots of words and a convoluted plot, that's how.
rat-born cock – A Boy and His Drone
Stop talking about your crits in this thread for fucks sake. If...if...if...if. If I read another paragraph starting with “if,” I'm going to skip to the next story. And what is going on with this dialogue? Do you know any child who actually talks like this, or any parent that talks to their child like this?
Some Strange Flea – Re: Updates to Emergency Procedures 10/27/19
This had some highs and lows. This piece needs to be edited like a bonsai tree - removing stuff that doesn't work, so that the stuff that does work can be seen. As it is, a funny concept up-front gets pretty stale by the end.
Staggy – Bargain Hunt
I like this one, it's fun and kinetic and really works with tension and the feeling of being hunted. The take on “secret shopper” as a prompt worked really well. But listen, the whole “not going to tell you what's really in the bag” bit is sort of played out and obnoxious, though. I, too, saw pulp fiction 25 years ago.
A Friendly Penguin – Judgment Day Savings!
Y'all need Jesus. This story maintained it's conceit and got really weird but without sacrificing readability. The gag at the end was a little flat, but the last line pulled it back out for me. Good job.
Mercedes – Always Read the Contract
A good read and a contender. A couple of nit-picks: The employee of the month is wearing an “Employee of the Day” shirt. It was a good scene, but having to read it a couple of times to make sure I was reading it right took some of the wind out of it. There's a couple occasions of verb-tense awkwardness. Otherwise outstanding.
Anomalous Amalgram – A Glutton for Punishment
This is gross. You're weird. Mission accomplished.
Black Griffon – Meat Joke
High grade batshit right here. Nice and surreal, it took me a little bit to get into it. But once I did I was digging it - until the second to last sentence just lost me. I'd rather pretend it wasn't there.
Carl Killer Miller – The Last Requisition
Really well written, dark, and weird. Easy to read, and compelling. Not that many mechanical errors that I could see, either. In a week where I've got 20 stories and crits to get through, that counts for a lot.
Flerp – Take One and Call Me in the Morning
This is a weird story that is also a chore to read. It's not a bad plot, but the constant imperative sentences just get tiring.
Barnaby Profane – Voidlings
Cool concept, but I'd rather have read a story about voidlings than a sell sheet. Nothing technically wrong here, and good formatting. But in a week where the competition had strong narratives, this one got bumped down in the pack.
Maigius – Komar or the Modern Sisyphus
Only 300 odd words and it's still full of sentence fragments, non-sequiters, and typos. But at least you didn't eat a DQ.
Sitting Here – The Success Formula
Pros: Gross, yet compelling imagery of a bio-tech dystopia lodged in the spaces between space.
Fleta McGurn – Garbage Disposal
So this is a classic example of why it's important to get on writing early instead of hammering something out at the last minute. At the very least you could have put something about the dude getting garbage disposaled to another dimension, or something else Voidmart-y. But take heart, because at least you're only risking a loss or a dishonorable mention, instead of a disqualification - even if this crit has a higher word count than your entry.
Sebmojo – Fooling the Eye
Excellent prose with varied sentence structure that keeps the story moving along. I might have voted this for the win, but believing 11 year olds talk like that was too much of a stretch, even if I was willing to believe in a gaping maw of void that would consume us all if only given the chance.
asap-salafi - Screens
First two parts of this were good and bleak, but last third was where you remembered this was a Voidmart prompt week, not a bleak-and-sad-reality week – so you shoehorned in a werewolf. Because, why not?
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 21:59|
gently caress yeah, in hard for Merc Week. Flash me a recurring character, I'm fixin' to pander.
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 22:01|
gently caress yeah, in hard for Merc Week. Flash me a recurring character, I'm fixin' to pander.
Sebastian is out of tune
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 22:16|
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 22:27|
In, how can I not be
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 22:51|
Porn was left up on your cellphone
In, how can I not be
Too much love between two men <3
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:01|
First crits for Week Three Seven Seven - VoidMart Week, like, three? Four?
Applewhite - A Hard Day's Night
A couple of bumpy turns of phrase in here. For example, in the opening you have "orange pools of light" and "liquid amber glare" which are fine individually, but together look like two different ways of phrasing what are, essentially, the same idea.
You also have this further down:
"the car radio sat on the shelf next to Brandon’s head where he’d gone to hide."
Which reads like Brandon has gone to hide in his own head.
I'm imaging, based on seeing the number 1299 written at the top there, that these may be a symptom of some late-game trimming being done.
Overall, fairly decent!
"Man discovers he's a robot" is fairly well trodden territory so I appreciate a bit of fakeoutery in that department. Mood's a little off-kilter, which is to be expected given the VoidMart setting. Weirdness could potentially stand to be dialled up a little bit given that it's also explicitly set in a dream.
crimea - Returns and Exchanges
Don't get this one, I'm afraid.
It's a very short dialogue piece, with only two characters don't seem to have a great deal of, well, character. And having it in chatlog format seems to preclude any character establishing details of the conversation from being apparent (hesitance, tutting, sighs and the like).
It feels like you're going for a Who's-On-First type setup, but I can't work out what The Bit is beyond simple absurdity. I'm rolling the words, "the Zone Aisle" over and over in my head thinking that some meaning is going to pop out of them, and I'm just not seeing it.
Doctor Zero - Night Shift
Opening sentence is a little flabby. "Around midnight" specifies a time, so it makes the opening "It was when..." redundant. Also watch out for repetition, e.g.: "around midnight [...] around the corner". Not huge deals, but we're right at the top here, and it looks like there's similar stuff throughout. Mismatched/missing double v single quote marks. Minor typos. Nothing individually huge, but frequent enough to be a little wigged out by.
In terms of the story itself: effectively built up with a horrid little punch at the end. Let down a little by the the protagonist being more or less just a bystander who learns about events until they eventually put together at the end what's happening, rather than being an active participant in the story. Basically you may have leant too hard into into the latter half of "Shift Supervisor".
Will go through the rest tomorrow and am happy to chat in the Discord.
Or, will be, if someone can wire me over a link to the Discord.
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:10|
oh hell why not, in
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:30|
oh hell why not, in
That crow has a full set of teeth
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:33|
In to judge.
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:37|
In to judge.
Glad to have you mang
|# ? Oct 29, 2019 23:41|
As a general note, I did enjoy the entries that came in as sales pitches, emails, chatlogs, or pamphlets. While funny and encapsulating the prompt nicely, I had a hard time picking them over stories that also had an interesting plot and good characters to go with those previously stated qualities. Just a couple lines for each due to volume, but I ‘m on discord if you want to chat about it.
A Hard Day's Night
Humour didn’t really land, too off the cuff. (I don’t got no taste buds!) Should have more build. I liked the twist. Good use of allusion. Nice action. I also didn’t see why it had a dream sequence. I think you made reference about consequences carrying over, but it would’ve been better off played straight. Kinda like adding ‘based on a fake story’ in place of the usual.
Returns and Exchanges
Too short, even for me. Made no effort to properly format dialogue, comes across more like a chat history. It did make me laugh.
Good descriptors. Mildly funny. Cautionary tale that kind of plays it safe with the plot. Dialogue was decent. Protag was passive. Things just happened to him. Tell the same story from the perspective of the guy who melts and you’d have a way better story since he’s the one with goals and does things.
Cleaning Up Aisle 9
I'M DOING IT FOR THE VINE was seriously funny for me. It kind of meanders in the beginning. The murder was a decent turn. Finished well. I feel like the capital Him's and He's were a bit much.
A Boy and His Drone
The plot runs a little safe. Reads a bit slow, payoff is somewhat anticlimactic. Dq for edit, no biggie. The philosophical musings are a little clunky. Overall, not a bad story but not a stand out. If I could offer one piece of advice: don’t sweat crits too much.
Re: Updates to Emergency Procedures 10/27/19
Funny free form entry. Starts like an email but flows into something else entirely. The transition works decently without confusing the reader. Not every joke landed but there was enough to be funny. Unfortunately the fire marshal is the closest thing to a character, and there’s no real plot to speak of .
Interesting take on the secret shopper. Lots of build but payoff was good. I feel like a lot of the beginning could’ve been cut.
Judgment Day Savings!
Good plot entwined with voidmart hijinks. Funny. Easy to read. The inclusion of a human antagonist in conjunction with the overarching supernatural menace helped the story stay grounded yet interesting.
Always Read the Contract
Great lovecraftian ritual to kick things off. Energy tails off a towards the end. Good descriptors. Dialogue invoked repressed customer service trauma from my past.
A Glutton for Punishment
2nd person reincarnation sales pitch is a good match for prompt. Plot is bare bones. Voidmartisms were funny. Some of the sentences were clunkers. The para that begins ‘a percentage of your dissatisfaction’ is an example of a para that could’ve been restructured.
Some good jokes. I liked the horse one the best, randomly. Good characters. I was a bit lost spatially. Plot kind of just peters out. Wouldn’t have spent the time explaining and getting the joke, I think this works better as a visual gag than a written one.
Good conflict, interesting characters. I kind of lost track of everything during the finger chop and the characters moving around. I think they teleport at one point. Not too sure what the end means. Either he turned into a dead guy, the void ate him, or he became a giant finger.
Take one then call me in the morning (whenever that is)
A descent into madness type story. Too many conjoiners for me, makes it slow to read. It did effectively convey a growing sense of dread though. The plot just kept its hands and feet inside the cart at all times, ya know?
It has it’s funny moments. The pamphlet format kind of freed it up to be that way but also deprived it of plot or characters.
Komar or the Modern Sisyphus
Very short. I like the classical inspiration, carts in place of a boulder. I guess you could charitably call this a character study since it develops victor a little, but the overall plot is lacking. Why did he need the bribes?
The Success Formula
Funny. Characters and dialogue are good. Plot lacks conflict.
With how brief this one is, it functions as more of a joke than a story. The joke didn’t really land for me.
Fooling the Eye
Funny, absurdist. Characters were good. Plot lacked conflict.
Dq’d for tardiness. Good conflict. Characters felt a little flat. The beginning was slow, but the ending was good.
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 00:04|
OK. Yes. Merc. I will do this. In.
Also grats on winning.
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 06:22|
OK. Yes. Merc. I will do this. In.
A sudden and violent bout of laziness
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 09:34|
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 17:45|
The Detroit Lions won the Superbowl the same year the Detroit Tigers won the World Series
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 17:58|
drat there are more of these than I thought.
Tibalt - Cleaning Up Aisle 9
There's not a great deal of dialogue in this one, but I do enjoy that there's a disconnect between the tone of the first-person narration and the character's own dialogue. Complements the idea that the protagonist is a big-bug-in-a-skin-suit quite nicely.
I'm on board with the stylised capitalisation for emphasis, but the effect is diminished in execution because of the product names you've included that necessarily need to be capitalised as well. The main sticking point for me being "the beautiful Slave I" which, as someone who doesn't know Star Wars and didn't pick up that the I was a Roman numeral, made complete sense as a phrase in the narrator's voice right up until I hit "Delta 7s" and realised what had happened.
rat-born cock - A Boy and His Drone
Putting aside the idea that you're framing the drone's thoughts and feelings as hypothetical, for style purposes, even within that framing you're still doing a lot of Hypothetical Telling rather than Hypothetical Showing. You say that the drone is rage-filled and lonely, but the most that it does, is float around to set the scene and establish the context. And have a slightly forceful word with God. It's all quite passive, and so it drags a bit.
More generally: I'd suggest trying to condense the ideas you're trying to communicate, in both the small and large scales. For small, I'm talking about avoiding repetition of words and concepts. For example: In the space of three paragraphs you use some variation on the word "alone" five times. You don't need all of them.
In the larger scale, I'm talking about trimming the narrative to focus on the most evocative or relevant events. In your story, it looks like absolutely everything that happens from the moment the boy and his father arrive at the drone, through to the ending, is explicitly described. For instance, you have:
- The boy lifts the box off the shelf.
- The boy opens the box.
- The boy takes the drone out of the box, and unwraps the remote control.
- The boy puts batteries in the remote control.
With an entire paragraph dedicated to each and none really adding any new insight.
Staggy - Bargain Hunt
Not a huge amount to say on this one. Probably has space for a little more in the way of character for your protagonist, but it's nicely tense, got a clever twist on the prompt and a fun punchline. Big thumbs up.
a friendly penguin - Judgment Day Savings!
You took the darkly comic implications of "Guns, Ammo and Liquor" and added a little spice of Religious Zealotry in there alongside. It seems like you managed to hit the voice you were aiming for, along with a few solidly chucklesome turns of phrase.
Might have liked to see a bit of fleshing-out with regards to the side characters and their relationships with the protagonist, but another solid entry.
Mercedes - Always Read the Contract
Couple proofreading notes: "Employee of the day" switches to "Employee of the month", breath vs breathe, and "tantalizing" is missing it's adverby "-ly".
The writing's solid throughout, and the two main characters are sufficiently seething / smug to carry the story. My main note would be that the opening, while great at setting the scene and sufficiently horrid, doesn't have a great deal of bearing on the rest of the story.
Anomalous Amalgam - A Glutton for Punishment
The ending's a little wordy and could be punchier, but overall, well, you appear to have achieved what you set out to achieve!!!
Black Griffon - Meat Joke
This was an odd little tale of sating the living meat machine with a bit of light-hearted stand-up, which seemed to be moving along nicely until I lost the thread around, "This is the meat filter." and never really found it again.
This is another one where specific phrases like, "The Meat Coherent" and "Little Pump" are sticking out and giving me the impression that there's some piece of information or context that I'm lacking that will make this come together, but at the moment I don't have it.
That said: You've got a solid, not-quite-explicit threat for our main character to tackle and your dialogue's put together well. The ending does a bit of damage but that aside, you had something fairly good going.
Carl Killer Miller - Last Requisition
Grisly little tale, really well paced. Worst thing I have to say about it is that it's maybe a little grim for VoidMart but that's me trying to invent a problem.
flerp - Take one then call me in the morning (whenever that is)
Assuming! That the slightly off-beat phrasing is intentional and not just a proofreading snafu, I think there are a few instances early on where it's deployed before the tone has been properly established, and so it does read as typo rather than style. Specifically:
"Then it ran out", in reference to a plural "drugs".
The contradictory use of tense in, "That was all it is".
"So won't they," as opposed to the more natural, "Neither will they".
That aside: An enjoyable slide into the surreal.
Last batch tomorrow I hope.
(And thanks to Merc and SH for the Discord invites)
|# ? Oct 30, 2019 22:04|
Barnaby Profane - Voidlings
It's relatively common in VoidMart stories for characters to treat the strange and horrifying as desirable or, at worst, mundane.
That doesn't seem to be what you're doing here. The more I read this, the more I'm inferring that Voidlings are less like the usual weird product that VoidMart are into because they're weird, and more like an Infestation of Xanax Tribbles, treated like a commodity because of their own malignant influence rather than the nature of the setting. I'm not getting a lot of that, but I am getting a bit of that, and if that is what you were going for then
The descriptive section has a few word choices that don't quite ring true based on the in-fiction audience ("vestigial", "eventually-terminal", "homodontous") but generally works.
Maigius - Komar or the Modern Sisyphus
This one has such little detail that it's hard to buy into.
The protagonists main character trait is that they demand bribes, but why?
"Repeated bribe requests had driven the old man to suicide." Why?
"Corporate had eventually found out about his bribe taking." How?
There's a suggestion that Cart Pushing is all the character does, and it's hinted to be a hard task by the fact that that's what VoidMart have demanded, but there's very little that invokes the idea of an endless, futile struggle suggested by the Sisyphean myth.
Sitting Here - The Success Formula
This one's knocked down a little by having the seemingly quite off-put Anna pivot to being Cool With It oddly quickly.
Oh, 1300 words exactly, cool yep got it.
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed what you have here. Characters have distinct voices, and your descriptions are clear and evocative. The focus is just a little off in terms of structure. I'd suggest trim the setup, flesh out character resolution the end.
Fleta McGurn - GARBAGE DISPOSAL
Reminded me of Daylight Savings. Half a star out of five.
Sebmojo - Fooling the Eye
A precocious, but thoroughly believable twelve year old. Enderby, on the other hand, a little odd. The early narration suggests a certain degree of hesitation which doesn't quite gel with her snatching a kid and jumping headlong into the void at the end.
Beyond that: Fun, tightly put together little vignette. Starts weird, develops, ends with a different form of weird.
asap-salafi - Screens
This one has a few issues with perspective.
The narration is third-person throughout, limited to Salim's perspective, but then switches abruptly to omniscient third-person at the end. Specifically, the change in noun from the the vague "dog" to the far more specific "werewolf", is jarring because Salim doesn't learn anything that would make this distinction for him.
Similarly, the narration indicates that the kid is "holding the same necklace he had been wearing when he had walked into the Voidmart that afternoon", but Salim didn't notice the kid wearing the necklace earlier, and hasn't learned anything about the necklace since. Plot-wise, the idea that this is the kid getting his own necklace back after being falsely accused by a dick, that totally tracks, but the execution doesn't land.
Throughout, there are a few lines that are in quotes, as though they were dialogue, but are Salim's internal monologue. Since the narration is already from Salim's POV, these could be delivered more cleanly by building them into the narration instead.
Anyway, that's all of them! If anyone wants a chat about the crit (or just their story generally), I'll be taking a nap in the Discord.
|# ? Oct 31, 2019 15:48|
Sign ups closed
Mercedes fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Nov 2, 2019
|# ? Nov 2, 2019 00:10|
A sudden and violent bout of laziness
I am Weary, Let Me Rest 1000 words including title.
“Get up, Bob.”
“What?” Bob rolled over and looked out the window. The sun was barely up. “Too early. Few more hours.” He rolled back over.
“There’s adventurers in the tower. Come on, look sharp. Time to earn our keep.”
Bob grumbled, then swung his legs over the end of his bed and stretched. They’d only sent one person to wake him up. Presumably everyone else was either fighting the adventurers or getting to their stations. “It’ll take them ages to get this high up the tower anyway. I could afford to sleep for at least another hour.”
“Stop being a lazy git, Bob. Don’t know why Paul keeps you on staff.”
Paul, the Dark Lord of Necromancy, kept Bob on staff because he could punch a hole through an adventurer. He was also a bit less inclined toward eating his colleagues than other ogres were. Bob needed his sleep, though, and Paul and his other minions needed to understand that. Bob got up, stretched again, then walked over to the man who’d woken him up and picked him up.
“What are you doing, Bob? Put me down you oaf!” Bob threw him out the window, then went back to bed.
Bob woke up again to a discussion between two Death Knights.
“So, why’d we capture it instead of just killing it?”
The ‘it’ in question was a Pixie, whom they’d somehow captured and stuffed into a potion bottle.
“Bait, see. Its friends will come and try to rescue it, then we’ve got them too.”
“Oi Bob, wake up, you lazy prat. We’re setting a trap.”
“Wake me up when they’re closer.”
“No, we need you fresh. Get up now!”
“Just give me half an hour.” One of them kicked him. “Ow! Fine, I’m up!”
He got up, swung his legs over the end of the bed, and stretched.
You know what, Death Knight or no, they still weren’t that big. And having woken him up, they weren’t paying attention to him. He grabbed the one closest to him. “What? Bob, put me -“ but it was too late, and Death Knight number one was on his way out the window.
Death Knight number two turned around at the sound of his screaming comrade, dropped the potion bottle with the Pixie in it and reached for his sword, but Bob thumped him over the head and he crumpled to the ground. After sending him out the window to join his fellow Death Knight, Bob picked up the potion bottle and inspected the Pixie inside.
“Are you going to eat me?” she asked.
“Not much meat on a Pixie,” said Bob.
“So, what are you going to do to me?”
“Are you going to try to stop me from sleeping?”
“Good,” said Bob. He put the potion bottle down, then went back to bed. “Keep quiet, and you stay unsquashed.”
The pixie kept quiet, and Bob fell asleep.
Bob woke up again to the adventurers discussing what to do with a sleeping ogre.
“Ogres are evil,” said the Knight. “That’s just science. We should kill him.”
“He seemed pretty chill,” said the Pixie. “Considerately didn’t eat or squish me, and saved me from the Death Knights.”
“All right,” said a Priest, “but it’s his job to stop us from getting to the top of the tower.”
Bob cleared his throat, and they all turned to him. Apart from the Pixie, the Knight and the Priest, there was also an Enchantress. Pretty standard as far as adventuring parties go. Well, the Pixie was a bit exotic. “Any chance you could have this discussion elsewhere?” he asked. “It’s hard to get some shuteye with you lot bickering about whether to heroically murder me in my sleep.”
“If all you want is sleep, why don’t I just put a sleeping enchantment on you?” asked the Enchantress. “You’ll have a couple more hours of the most refreshing sleep you ever had.”
“If you can give magically enhanced sleep, why aren’t we doing that every night?” asked the Knight.
“We might need to be able to wake you up. Our large friend here won’t be woken up by anything short of a counterspell until the spell expires.”
“Make it so,” said Bob, and she made it so.
It was the best sleep Bob had ever had. He figured he’d better go up the tower and see where the adventurers had gotten to. See if Paul – the Dark Lord of Necromancy – needed a hand.
The adventurers seemed to have done quite well. The corpses of Paul’s other minions littered the area. As Bob climbed even higher, some of the corpses started to rise again. Bob sighed. I mean sure, as a Dark Lord of Necromancy that was kind of Paul’s ‘thing’, but the walking dead were just unbelievably creepy. Bob made sure to swat any undead he passed into the walls, or pull their heads off.
He finally made it to Paul’s throne room. Paul (TDLON) was hovering about ten feet above the ground, hands outstretched in a magical battle with the Enchantress. The Enchantress had enchanted a forcefield, which the Pixie and the priest were both also inside. The Knight was lying at Bob’s feet.
“Oh, so nice of you to join us,” said Paul, the Dark Lord of Necromancy. “Have a good sleep, did you? After we’re done dispatching this lot, you and I are going to have a serious chat about worker responsibilities, like not sleeping on the job when adventurers are in the tower.”
Bob considered this. Paul TDLON had shifted his attention back to the Enchantress in her bubble. Bob picked up the Knight and threw him. The armour clad missile collided with the levitating Dark Lord, the momentum carrying them both out the window.
Bob’s unemployment was fortunately brief, as the adventurers had a sudden opening for someone with his skillset, and a keen understanding of his need for sleep.
|# ? Nov 3, 2019 11:53|
Prompt: Trusting a fart
Merc Character Cameo - The Senior Barrista
The auxiliary cable near my head jiggled. I immediately knew what was going on, because it happens every time - every single time. I looked over at the Corporal who was driving, and grinned.
“He’s going to play Highway to Hell, isn’t he?”
The Corporal side-eyed me, and sighed. He knew. There’s something about cruising down a dusty road in Hades that makes the new guys think they are soundtrack geniuses — every last one of them, no exception.
I take that back. The Corporal was different. He’d played Hell’s Bells. It was the first time since 1979 that someone threw me a curveball. And, you know what? I appreciated that. We’ve developed a good working relationship - he keeps me on my toes, I keep him alive.
“You mind?” I asked him, and jerked my head at rookie standing in the the turret hatch. He didn’t answer - just kept his eyes on the road and goosed the gas pedal. I took this as consent.
Reaching up, I pinched the cord between my thumb and index finger, and hated it. I hated the everliving snot out of it, and savored the aromatic blend of burning plastic, copper, and sulfur. Thin smoke filled the cabin as the severed audio cable drooped pathetically.
“Goddamnit!” came a howl from the turret. “The gently caress did you just do, Fart?”
I reclined my seat back, almost flat, so I could look up at the enraged newbie without having to dislocate my neck. Not that it would have actually inconvenienced me, but it makes mortals uncomfortable when bodies move in ways they’re not used to.
“Hey, listen, Fresh Meat - do you know how many times I’ve had a newbie play that song? Three hundred, and forty four. Look, I know this is your first time in Hell, so relax. Enjoy the sights!”
“gently caress you, Fart. You reek.”
He had me there. I do reek; it comes with the territory of being a flatulence demon.
Even his name calling isn’t far off the mark. The .mil types up at VMHQ love acronyms. Fetid Apparition, Rakshasa-Type - FART, that’s me. The shape is negotiable, but the smell isn’t. Today I was done up in business-casual drag, which is normally a big hit with the VM boys.
“Funny. All I can smell is Fresh Fish.”
He pouted, silently — though he tried to make it look like a manly brood, staring off vigilantly into infernal wasteland. Nothing doing - it was a pout. I changed my strategy a little.
“Aww, come on, Nancy. I know Daddy stepped out for a pack of smokes and never came back. I also know for a fact he’s in Tallahassee, not down here. So, buck up, Betsy.”
“Shut up! The name's Tyler fuckin’ Harris, and don’t you ever forget that!”
He aimed a kick at my head, but being non-corporeal it just sort of whiffed through me, erupting in a flurry of brimstone. He retched, I laughed, and the Corporal punched him in the side of the knee. I ratcheted my seat back upright, and watched Hell roll past in peace.
A few hours later, I had the the Corporal pull over.
There she was, sitting at a café table that would have looked adorable along any Parisian Boulevard, except this seating arrangement was carved from bleached bones and was sitting on bare volcanic rock. She was the very picture of Hadean elegance — skin so white it was transluscent, and her black hair done up in a French braid. Her lips were drawn into a tight expression of disdain as she watched us brake to a halt.
Also, she was sipping an iced americano. In Hell.
“You guys stay close,” I said. “This is going to be a tough sell.”
Her stare locked onto me as soon as I stepped out of the truck — cold rage and indignation. I bowed. The underworld’s still an old-fashioned place, and if you’re going to speak to your betters, you’d best mind your etiquette.
“How dare you bring them here — they who thought they could ensnare me in legal bondage?”
“They have a new job offer. Totally legitimate this time,” I said raising a hand to forestall objection, “The ‘Mart didn’t know what a good thing they had going with you, and now they are suffering the consequences of their poor decisions. Sales at the Golden Bean are down 28% this quarter.”
She sneered. “Do they honestly think I would ever return?”
“Look, the new contract states clearly that you are an employee at your pleasure. Furthermore, you are entitled to one free kill per week — customer or underling. They are willing to be generous.”
I went back to the truck, and grabbed my folder.
“You gently caress this up already, Fart?” the new fish asked, smirking.
I shot him a scowl. Leafing through my orders, I found it — room to negotiate, like usual. I bailed out of the truck and strolled over to her.
“As a show of good faith, I am willing to offer you one Tyler Harris as a bonus payment, up front.”
She smiled, her lips skinning back across those shark teeth, until she was grinning from ear-to-literal-ear.
“The gently caress?!” I heard him scream.
“Thems the rules, kiddo. You said your name; now, I own you. The Corporal wised up to that, day one. At least he was smart enough to cut out his own tongue. Welcome to Hell!”
I didn’t even get all that out before she was on him. The Corporal looked away. He always does, but I like to watch. It’s inspiring seeing an apex predator at work. You humans think you’re at the top, but watch your kids when they eat a gingerbread man. They go for legs, arms, and heads first. Find me a kid that dives right in on those candy buttons and that soft cookie belly, and there’s a true predator.
From Tyler’s screams, she was getting after that belly.
I’ll give her this, she left very little gore inside the truck. The Corporal appreciated that, I’m sure. He’s a man that treasures small blessings.
She was comfortably settled into the back seat of the truck, perfectly prim and proper in a silk blouse and pencil skirt that looked freshly sharpened. She gave me a coquettish wink, but the glowing red eyes ruined the effect.
“No eating the Corporal,” I warned her.
I walked around to the driver’s side window, but he refused to look at me. I knew these sorts of pick-ups weren’t his favorite, but we do as we must.
“Listen,” I told him, “I’m going to stretch my legs for a while. When you get back, tell them to put me down for PTO.”
He still wouldn’t meet my eye.
“I think you ought to do the same.”
He nodded, put it in gear, and started the long drive back. She was with him — he’d be fine.
I felt a fast, hot wind coming off the infernal steppes. So, I rose up on the balls of my feet and kicked off, letting it carry me up. After a job like that, I’d earned a good float.
|# ? Nov 3, 2019 18:31|
Prompt: The Detroit Lions won the Superbowl the same year the Detroit Tigers won the World Series
“Where’s my loving money, MARK?!”
The noises that Diane was making could have been cackling or sobbing -- it was hard to tell through the closed door. Neither noise suggested she was going to put down the axe she had been using. Christy had thrown every piece of furniture she could in front of the doorway, and the barricade had kept Diane out for now, but -- well, it also closed off their only point of escape.
And help was not coming.
It had been Mark’s idea to rent an AirBNB in the better part of town for the Super Bowl watch party. That way, when the riots inevitably broke out for the second time this year over Detroit’s ‘inevitable victory over the goddamn Pates’, they’d all be safe and sound. But nobody had counted on Diane being actually crazy enough to follow through on her ominous threats, because she prefaced and concluded all of her posts with hearts and duck emojis, and everyone knew Diane was a little too cowardly to assert herself.
Distantly, through the window, she could see the fires licking higher as Lions and Tigers fans continued rioting through the streets of the city. They had been at it for two hours now, both teams united as a single, monstrous force, surging through the streets through police blockades and firefighter safety nets. The police were not coming for them, not when there was property and rich white people to protect.
“Give me my loving MONEY, Mark!” Diane shrieked, renewing her assault on the door.
Christy flinched backwards, racking her brain to try and figure out what exactly was left for them. Mark was next to useless at this point, curled up on the floor, crying his eyes out. He’d been that way ever since they’d found his brother’s corpse, killed by the same axe Diane was carrying. Sssst was fading in and out of consciousness, a bedsheet the only thing holding most of his insides in after Diane had almost spilled his guts all over the coffee table with a machete.
Think, Christy commanded herself. Do something. Out through the window? Third story. She would probably survive the impact; Ssst probably wouldn’t. Hide in the closet? Even if she could manage to silence Mark’s blubbery weeping, it would be the first place Diane would look. It was the first place -she- would look.
For a fraction of a moment, she wondered: had they brought this down on themselves? Was this the righteous vengeance of a just and wise God?
“I’m getting my loving money, MARK!”
No, she decided, it wasn’t. That was bullshit. She didn’t deserve to die for the crime of accepting Mark’s offer to watch sports commercials and eat snacks in someone else’s snazzy house. Not even Mark deserved to die like this.
Power out. Cell towers down. Cops occupied by rioters. Dark room. Bedroom furniture, some upended or pushed against the door. One person she kind-of cared about, bleeding profusely. An rear end in a top hat, incoherent, the subject of their would-be killer’s fury. Think. How did they -all- get out of here?
“Hey, Forestt?” Christy said softly, kneeling next to him. “This is going to hurt. A lot. I’m sorry.”
He moaned in reply. She had to suppose this meant he was okay with that.
It was a solid door, and a decent barricade, but it was ultimately just wood and cheap particle board against a sturdy axe wielded by someone fueled by a cocktail of cocaine and a handful of ADHD meds. Diane’s first breach of the door was center-mass; she snaked an arm through the hole and fumbled for the handle, but when the barricade held, she instead turned her attention to widening the hole in the door.
The barricade, built only out of what Christy could drag over to the door, was only waist-high. Thirty more seconds of relentless hacking opened the way.
Diane snaked her way in through the hole with disconcerting ease. Inside, she noticed three things: a wide trail of blood from one wall, across the floor to another wall, to the windowsill; the window itself, letting in cold winter air and distant echoes of emergency sirens and civil unrest; behind the closet door, the sniffly blubbering of someone who had her loving money.
Diane traced the path of blood to the window and glanced outside, discovering the other two had escaped -- but faced with the choice between chasing peripheral victims down or finding her real target, there was really only one option. Unceremoniously, she dropped the axe on the floor and drew the machete from its thigh sheath.
Mark was huddled in the fetal position when she opened the closet door. “My loving money, Mark,” she hissed at him. “It’s time to pay up.”
“Babe, I don’t have your money!” Mark said, cringing further into himself. “I don’t have your money!”
Diane brought the machete down.
A fraction of a second later, Christy brought the lamp down on her head.
For a moment, Diane reeled forward, and Christy dared to hope -- but Diane kicked backwards and caught her in the chest, pushing her back several steps into the room. “Clever bitch,” Diane snarled, bracing a foot on Mark’s body and prying the machete free from bone. “Hiding under the bed with Forestt. Too slow to save him. Tonight’s the night I get my loving MONEY--”
She spun around sharply, swinging wide -- and turning right into the arc of the axe Christy had picked up from the floor.
The machete tumbled from Diane’s grasp. She slid bonelessly off the blade, landing with a wet thud on the floor, gasping for breath that did not come. Christy loomed over the fallen woman, axe raised in both hands, an awful awareness of what she was doing settling over her heart.
It didn’t stop her from finishing the job.
|# ? Nov 3, 2019 22:11|
Sometimes you're standing at the edge of a rooftop, trying to tell yourself it isn't that far down while two dozen angry white guys bang on the stairway door and you know it's just a matter of time before one of them remembers that they have a key. You've got the neck half of an electric bass in one hand, fifteen bucks in your wallet and the keys to your brother's Chevy Monte Carlo in your pocket. Yeah, we've all been there. The next building over is way too far to jump, someone's jangling keys and racking a shotgun behind that metal door, and you don't have time to think about how it came to this but it all comes rising up like a fat burp you're praying hard doesn't have a wave of vomit behind it.
I mean, you could say it all started with the umlaut. But we had that for years with no problem. The career of sonicnërve had been rocketing us to fame and rent money in the local music scene of Charleston. So what you really have to blame is Red Fred himself, and his latest girlfriend.
Red Fred was never an actual communist, by the way. Picked up the nickname from a dumbass dye job in high school, but when what passed for music journalism down here made the assumption, he rolled with it. Would memorize lines out of Das Kapital to drop in interviews, whether they made a lick of sense or not.
So, yeah, Athena. She was a tiny thing, and one of the things she did with Red Fred was, she would walk on his back. I'm not saying it wasn't a weird sex thing, 'cause everything Red Fred did was pretty much some weird sex thing or other. But it wasn't just a weird sex thing. It helped him with his low back pain, like a chiropractic sort of thing.
The other thing you've got to know about Athena is, she was even more into the band than she was into Red Fred. Fawned over us, a barely-make-ends-meet group of aging metalheads who got reduced to doing session work on fivrr whenever we had a bill from an auto mechanic, emergency room, or bail bondsman. Fawned like a teenager even though she was pushing thirty. She had tats. She had the name shaved into the sides of her black pixie cut. And that day, she 'sonicnërve' painted in white on black across her toenails. With the second toe on her right foot about a third of an inch longer, to make room for that umlaut.
So we were up on stage, playing at the Eights. Hotel bar, not our usual crowd, but it paid in advance. It was an unusually white crowd, which should have been a red flag, and already surly. Marco started up the drums for our opening number, 'Bone by Bone', and I came in with the baseline. Still no good looks from the crowd. That was fine. Usually takes a good power chord to get a crowd going. But that's when I noticed the bandage on his left shoulder. He started to lift his arm up, about to do one of those huge wheeling strums, but his arm didn't go there. He winced, on mic, right at a feedback frequency. Marco and I vamped, repeating the last four bars a few times.
Red Fred tried again, but his hand rose even less far. He just moved it straight to the strings and tried to start from there, but, you know, muscle memory. He hadn't played any of our songs without swinging that arm around since that time my girl Sarafina talked us into recording an acoustic set in her (supposedly) ex-boyfriend's coffeehouse. Everything was jangling off-key.
Red Fred backed up, Iet the guitar fall as he waited for us to stop, then stepped up to the mic. "Hence forms of social production that preceded the bourgeois form are treated by the bourgeoisie in much the same way as the Fathers of the Church treated pre-Christian religions."
And that's where it started getting violent.
We split up. And wouldn't you know, most of them didn't go after the blonde guy on drums, or the guitarist who was bigger than any two of them and looked like he could mess them up one-handed. No, they went after me, the skinny little mixed-race bass player. Go figure.
I was heading for the hotel interior, hoping to get lost. Some pasty guy steps in front of me holding a god-damned katana, like he even knew anyone who'd taken a vacation in Japan. He swung, and I raised my bass up, and that thing must have been sharp. The real deal. Hanzo steel, cut right through the poor girl's neck.
The snapping strings slapped him in the arm and cheek. He dropped the katana and clutched his face. I kneed him in the junk and booked it to the back door, and from there I took the first door, into the stairwell.
Fire code says that top door should be unlocked. In a good hotel it would be alarmed. Here, it was propped open with an old folding chair and clicked locked behind me when I pulled it out after me.
So there I was, questioning every decision since paying eighty bucks for music lessons when I was twelve. That's when I found the fire escape, just one floor down on a different wall. Not quite quick enough to make it a vanishing act, though. They were starting down after me as I finished the last few steps.
Speaking of fire codes, fire escapes like that are supposed to be able to hold lots of people at once, so that in a fire they definitely don't have their bolts tear free from the concrete and fall into the next building over, dangling everyone three stories up.
I gave them the finger as I climbed into the Monte Carlo and drove.
|# ? Nov 3, 2019 22:31|
SlipUp fucked around with this message at 20:03 on Dec 30, 2019
|# ? Nov 3, 2019 23:47|
No One Ever Believed the True Story,
So there I am, buck gently caress naked, while 17 of the sweetest undergrads of Bennett College examine my package like TSA. I mean the works - staring, holding their thumb up to gauge size, one of them is sticking her tongue like Michael Jordan and my left nut is the rim. Ain't no thing, I'm contrapposto like a motherfucking while these fine Fine Art majors get what they need.
No, the reason I'm sweating bullets and trying to remember the name of every Homestead Gray inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is because of the instructor. Right before I had stripped down, she had warned me - if I start getting hard, she'd slap it with a ruler.
Turns out, a Andy Warhol meets Grace Jones dressed liked Edith Head rear end bitch promising some light CBT can loving get it. Hey, there you go, fun fact I learned about myself today. Gonna have to meditate on what wire got crossed to usher in that particular fetish, yeah. At the moment, I had to think real hard about baseball. Especially with how she keeps circling me like that, slapping that ruler against her palm.
Cool Papa Bell, Buck Leonard, Cum Posey, Smokey JoH gently caress.
Yeah, Cum Posey may have been an amazing player, manager, and owner who turned the Homestead Grays into a premier team but right at that moment he was a loving MISTAKE.
A moment of silence, and then I'm being chased around like an ebon Pentheus, with Grace Warhol slapping my rear end with a ruler and me punching and kicking a significant portion of the Fine Arts undergrad department in my attempt to get free. Eventually I make it to the bathroom, lock the door behind me, and surveyed the situation.
Myself: dressed in my finest birthday suit, bloody and scratched to all hell, and STILL somehow ready to go a round with Grace Warhol out there. My location: a basement-level woman's bathroom with one lonely rear end window, too small to squeeze my rear end through even if it wasn't barred. My status: hosed.
I search the trash and come up with a three pack of extra large panties san one panty, half used roll of gauze, and bullwhip.
Sidenote: What the gently caress, Bennett College Fine Arts Department.
But what the hell, I'm not going to argue. I, you know, gird myself for battle with the gauze and modesty with the panties, and take a couple deep breaths. Outside I could still hear at least four of the ladies and Grace Warhol, making sure I'm not gonna escape. Well, we'll see - they've got numbers, but I've got the element of surprise. And a bullwhip, yeah.
Anyway, I throw the door open and, well, it turns out that whips are loving tricky, so that doesn't go so well. All I make is a sort of thumping sound as the whip hits the wall, and I'm standing there like an idiot. The four ladies are rushing me and Grace Warhol is prying the whip out of my hand. I know I'm real hosed if they get me down, so I start swinging and kicking like mad, and next thing you know I'm making a break for the door.
Grace Warhol doesn't let up though, she's right there behind me snapping at me with that whip, so I keep booking it. The whole way I'm hollering like a madman and Grace Warhol is screaming out abuse and we're making tracks through the whole drat building.
Anyway, I guess at some point somehow called the police because we round the corner and three school security officers are standing there. They see my big black rear end in a pair of panties running at them full speed and Grace Warhol behind me cracking that whip like crossplayed Leather Daddy Zeus, and they do about the only sensible thing: they taze the poo poo out of the both of us and arrest us for public indecency. I'm not going to argue, that looks like some weird sex poo poo.
And there you go. That's the story about how I ended being chased around Bennett College in a pair of panties while an older woman was whipping me. Absolutely no weird sex stuff involved at all, your honor. Just a series of very unfortunate misunderstandings.
Um, yeah, it was Saturday. Must have been a Saturday class.
Well, yeah, I guess I was still "excited" as you put it, but I'll figure out exactly what that means for me on my own time, your honor.
That's fair, your honor. Thank you, your honor.
|# ? Nov 4, 2019 00:25|
South-ish of Heaven
Barnaby Profane fucked around with this message at 18:01 on Jan 3, 2020
|# ? Nov 4, 2019 00:29|
|# ? Jan 16, 2022 18:34|
Misty sat on the sofa, purring loudly. The black cat watched her owner walk through the doors holding a cat carrier and purred even louder as the old woman placed it on the floor.
"Jackson's in there! Are you excited Misty? Are you excited, booboo?"
Misty narrowed her eyes. She was excited.
The old woman opened the carrier, and a beautiful cat strutted out; its luscious white fur complemented by its big blue eyes. When her owner picked Jackson up and cuddled him, Misty realized that she was unable to recall ever being held like that.
Misty also noted Jackson's pained expression. He was trying to escape the old woman's warm, comfortable hands, slowly wrangling his way out of her long skinny fingers. When he got free, Jackson jumped down onto the sofa and very nearly bumped into Misty, who stood up and hissed at him. Jackson hissed back; both of their tails completely erect.
"Now, now! That's no way to behave! You two are supposed to be friends!" The old woman stepped between them, and Jackson ran off.
Misty resumed her position on the sofa. She continued purring, comfortable in the level of authority she possessed over the house.
Later, when Misty heard the sound of the dry food box, she ran towards the cat area where a litter tray and bowl resided.
That loving bastard.
There, in front of the bowl, was the newest member of their small family feeding from her bowl.
Misty decided to eat regardless, but the old woman suddenly appeared. "No, no! Bad cat! Let little Jackson eat first!" She stuck her foot out to block Misty's path.
Misty retreated to her spot on the sofa.
What the actual gently caress? Is this white-furred motherfucker actually getting first dibs on my food before me? He can have my bowl, but this Jackson prick will never sit on my sofa.
When it became dark, Misty went back to the litter tray for a little late-night poo. She liked sleeping through the night and preferred to go out during the day time; the nights around this area were full of unkind creatures. The black cat did her stuff in the litter tray and walked back to her usual spot on the sofa.
Jackson was stretched out on the sofa, each of his paws stretching out towards a different direction, eyes closed.
"Have you lost your mind, you pasty-rear end pussy?" Misty miaowed.
She didn't even think about it and launched herself at him. Jackson's eyes opened as her claw scratched his face. He sat up, hissed, growled, and then ran off.
That's enough, time to mark my territory.
The door opened as she pissed all over the sofa,
"Misty? What on earth are you doing? Where's Jackson?”
The bright city lights confused Jackson. As he jumped down onto the street level from the rooftops he had been exploring, his gaze was met by four menacing looking black cats.
They hissed and glared at him with their tails erect. Jackson did the same thing. He noted the small pile of half-eaten food they had piled up behind them.
"loving white-furred rear end in a top hat."
The skinniest looking one pounced towards Jackson, and then the others were upon him. They clawed at his face and body, and Jackson felt the same pain he had felt earlier that evening. This hurt more.
Jackson ran as fast as he could and eventually found himself on a deserted looking street. He was bleeding. The road was covered in puddles of water and leaves stuck to his paws as he limped.
It hardly ever rained in Barcelona. The streets were not nearly as dirty or empty as this place. Arturo and Valentina lived in Barcelona. They treated me with care and kindness. Arturo fed me real food, none of this cat food poo poo. Valentina tried to give me the best life she could. They're dead now. And I'm here.
The old woman kicked Misty out without any food. The black cat's tail wagged in the air as she made her way towards the Barkley home. The Barkley's always had leftover KFC on Fridays, and the children loved tossing their half-eaten chicken legs to visiting cats.
As Misty got closer to the Barkley house, she saw a small group of people standing in the middle of the road looking worried. As she got closer, she realized it was the Barkley family. Two adults and two children were standing around something on the ground.
"How did it die?" The younger Barkley child asked his dad.
"Something attacked it, probably a fox." The dad replied.
Misty got closer. She could see Jackson's dead body sprawled on the floor, each of his paws stretching out towards a different direction, eyes closed.
The younger Barkley child noticed Misty approaching. "Oh, look! It's blackie! Was he your friend kitty cat?"
"No. He wasn't." Misty miaowed. And then she went back home, purring the entire way.
|# ? Nov 4, 2019 00:44|