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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

is this just fight week, no prompts? i guess someone better fight me then

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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Mercedes posted:

loving put them up you piece of cabbage

Give me two weeks to submit! :toxx:

die bish :toxx:

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

My deepest apologies for my pathetic failure. Maybe I'll return someday, but if td can't inspire me to write I don't know what will. Good luck, and God speed

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

writing is for idiots and losers and i am both of those so i'll do it

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I just wrote my first story of the year. Thanks dome.

By contrast I wrote about 20 last year so, had a bit of a slump.

Feels good man

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

the 1800's

1000 words


People moved in exhausted silence up and down the street as J.J. hurried back to his photography shop from lunch. The heat was unending and burst down like flash powder held eternally in the moment of burning. No one could escape it.

He came to the street corner where the speckled mare had died three days earlier. The poor beast still lay exactly where she’d fallen. He held his breath and hastened his pace. He remembered the living creature’s wild, bright eyes and smooth pelt, and the distinctive white spiral on her haunch. ‘She’s a beaut, she is, just a lover,’ the driver had said to J.J. on their way into town. ‘She’s my best, everyone says she’s lovely.’ The man’s eyes had twinkled with pride as he tugged on his hat and grinned. J.J. sought out the unique spiral shape as he hurried across the street, but it had distended into a circle on the mare’s bloated haunch. Flies seemed to trace it in the air.

Inside his shop the shade cleared his head. He dabbed sweat from his brow and took a cup of water before noticing the Miller family had arrived. They stood at the backdrop looking patiently at him. Mr Miller was tall and gaunt with a mustache that hid his mouth, and Mrs Miller was stout and red with sorrowful eyes. Between them, balanced in the chair, was their seventeen-year-old son Bertrand, who’d died the night before. He wore a well-fitted suit, his hair was combed exactingly, and his face was powdered into a blush of health. He seemed at first glance, J.J. thought, closer to life than his parents.

“You are all ready then?” he asked, and shifted the camera on its stand.

Mr Miller nodded. “We want him to look smart, sir. He was real clever. He read books.”

“Yes, quite right.” J.J. readied the flash powder in the tray, carefully, with fingers scarred by his rare mistakes.

Mr Miller continued, “He knew lots about words, sir. Even my brother, Tom--even he asked Bertie for a word’s meaning once.”

“Shocking,” said J.J. He peered through the lens and adjusted. “You must be proud.” His attention was caught by a circular discoloration on the boy’s temple. He pointed. “This mark, ah, is it...?”

“It’s... well, we used a trepan at the last, sir.” Mr Miller said. “We tried everything, but there was nothing for it.”

The couple, it seemed, had tried to hide the trepanation hole in the boy’s skull by filling it with candle wax. J.J. envisioned the spiraling motion of the trepan burrowing through the white bone.

“He knew what a trepan was, he did,” continued Mr Miller, “he asked for it hisself. Such a bright lad, sir. A learned one not like any--” Mrs Miller nudged him into silence.

J.J. gave a tight lipped smile. “I see. Well, if we move him just so, and adjust his hair like this, we can hide the mark.” They shifted the chair, Mr and Mrs Miller composed themselves behind the body, and J.J. got behind the camera. “Right there, perfect,” he said. He prepared to light the flash. “Now don’t move. One, two--”

Some reflex of fatherly love compelled Mr Miller to lay hand on his son’s shoulder, and the body toppled like a dead tree. Mrs Miller’s hands flew at the boy’s shirtsleeve, J.J. leaped from behind the camera, but the body continued inexorably to the floor and a sickening thud froze the living on their feet.

J.J. heard three ticks from the clock on his desk, then Mrs Miller began to weep softly, “My boy! My boy!” she cried. J.J. awoke, and knelt at the body. He gripped the shoulders and looked urgently at Mr Miller. “Help me.”

They reoriented the body on the chair. J.J. caught sight of the gaping hole in the boy’s head and snatched the wax plug from the floor where it had landed. He hastily shoved it in place before the family could see. The left eye bulged, and the mouth drooped as if smeared where it hit the floor. The face now reminded J.J. of one in an asylum staring blankly from the small slit of a cell.

“He’ll be alright won’t he, sir?” Mr Miller was saying. “Ohh, I’m sorry sir. He’ll be fine, won’t he?” Mrs Miller brushed at the boy’s hair with her hands, her tears gone as suddenly as they had appeared.

J.J. tried to adjust the mouth so it would stay closed. “One moment please, don’t move.” He fetched a pot of glue from his desk and applied it between the lips and above one eyelid that was drooping. He took a step back, grimaced. It would have to do. “There we are,” he said. “Now, hold steady, and try to keep your eyes open.” He ducked behind the camera.

Flash-bang! and light burned their image into the plate. As they recovered from the noise, J.J. imagined the photograph as it would sit on the Miller’s mantle. He saw friends and relatives peering at the bulging eye, the oddly crimped mouth and the slumped shoulders, and saw how Mr Miller’s tales of the clever boy would fall on ears deafened by this sight, and how over time even the vision preserved in Mr Miller’s head might be replaced by this new one, seared forever in place by heat and light.

He stepped outside to bid the couple farewell and watched them heave the body into the carriage with them. The sun brought out sweat on his forehead instantly. The driver pulled away and across the street J.J. saw two children kicking at the corpse of the speckled mare. He distinctly heard a tearing sound like a wet cough, and red mist sprayed out from a new hole in the distended belly.

The sun was too much, and he went back inside.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

okay i will do it

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

fpgp

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Trophy

(hunter and employer)

1000 words




The campfire crackled, and Jeff Berenger took a moment to admire the African night sky behind the new grid of man-made celestial points that had joined the stars in the years since his last hunt. Now, no one could avoid the power of instant communication, and Berenger only wished he’d been the one to close his fist around the Earth in this way. He turned to his guide, who sat a few feet away. “Tomorrow, you're sure?”

The dark man’s leathery face dipped in the red firelight. “Tomorrow. She is only ten kilometers from here. It is certain.”

“Good.”

Berenger’s assistant, Robin, stepped out of the dark, flames reflecting in her circular glasses. She handed him a glowing tablet. “Just a few signatures, sir,” she said.

He took the tablet wordlessly, scanned his fingerprint on five documents, then handed it back. Despite the huge effects those contracts would have on millions of employees, his pulse did not quicken, his nostrils did not flare. Nothing. Nothing. That kind of power was mundane compared to the hunt. He would taste that elusive thrill tomorrow, but now--he hungered now. “Robin,” he said, and she looked back. “Find me one.” She nodded. She knew what he meant.

The guide, whose name Berenger didn’t care to remember, bid him goodnight, and Berenger sat alone in the light of the flames. He thought back to his first African hunt with his father, nearly forty years earlier. He remembered looking through the scope of his rifle at the vivid gold of the elephant’s eye--so bright with awareness and surrounded with ridged skin like cracked earth. He remembered the impossible weight of his finger as it rested on the trigger, and he remembered the powerful presence of his father just behind him, watching. He’d felt then that something was wrong with the situation. Something was imperfect. Father? he asked. Do I have to?

Robin returned to his side and held out the tablet. “Found one,” she said. “She’s been late eleven times in the last month. One previous warning, no other performance issues.”

Berenger took the tablet and said, “Good. You can go to bed now.”

Robin left, and he opened a video conference. The call-center employee--he checked the notes, Jenna Esmond--and her two managers appeared on the screen. They gave confused, overly respectful greetings, and awkward pleasantries were exchanged. The tension rose with each moment. Berenger had gained a reputation for these calls, and they only went one of two ways.

“Jenna,” he said, interrupting some inanity. The three fell dead silent. “You’ve been late nearly a dozen times this month,” he said. His next words could be, I’m reaching out to you personally because I know the quality of your work, and I want to inspire you to get back on the path to success... Half the time he did say something like that, and usually the employee shaped up. A personal call from the CEO and one of the richest men in the world could do that. Other times, though, the calls went differently.

Father? Do I have to? The sun was hot on his neck and the rifle heavy in his small arms. You don’t have to do anything, his father had answered. Then, I can let him go? A fly buzzed incessantly around his head but he kept the scope trained on the golden eye. Yes, you can let him go, said his father. The wrongness of the situation evaporated, and Berenger’s young heart flared with excitement. Good, he said, and pulled the trigger.

“You’re fired,” he said to Jenna. “Collect your things and leave immediately.” He watched her face crumple and listened to the beginnings of her pleas, then ended the call. He let out a satisfied sigh and saved her profile in a special folder with the others.

His father had commissioned the best taxidermist available to mount the head of his son’s first kill. When young Berenger first saw the trophy in his bedroom and stared into the dull, glass eye, void of all spark, he felt intense pleasure. There, on his wall, was proof that no amount of money or talent could ever replicate the light he’d put out.


In the morning the three ate a quick breakfast and set out with the sunrise. An hour later they left the vehicle and traversed some brush to the top of a small hill overlooking a clearing. There, the last elephant on earth drank idly from a thin stream. Berenger mounted his rifle and peered through the scope.

“You’re sure she’s pregnant?” he asked.

The guide, kneeling beside him, nodded. “It has been confirmed multiple times by your scientists.”

Months of patience and millions of dollars in purchases, research, bribes, and other preparation had led to this moment. Berenger lined up his scope and peered into the glinting, golden eye of the last living elephant. His heart raced as it hadn’t in years. His finger lay heavy with power on the trigger. “Start the live stream,” he said.

Robin started a video-cast on the tablet, and millions of Berenger’s followers tuned in to see the Elephant flipping its trunk up and down in the water. Then Robin panned over to Berenger with his eye on the scope and finger on the trigger, and the comments poured in. Robin read some of them aloud.

The elephant looked at Berenger, and Robin’s words faded to a mumble behind the throb and hiss of his own heartbeat and breath. His awareness of his body vanished in a cloud of endorphins. All that existed was the elephant, and his finger on the trigger.

You don’t have to do anything, his father had said.

That was the true pleasure. He could let go of the trigger, or squeeze. Like God, with a motion of his finger he could cause elephants to populate the savanna. Or, with a different motion he could irrevocably erase them from existence.

Blood roared in his ears.

His finger moved.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I've had an epiphany about my writing, and why people don't tend to like or 'get' it. I feel like I've been reborn. I have a feeling my next story will be much more enjoyable. I'm in.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

sebmojo posted:

was the epiphany: write better words

I've discovered 'the secret' and in about eight month's you won't hear from me anymore, because I'll be sitting at a table in Barns and Noble signing paperbacks and answering the question 'where do you get your ideas?' over and over (from God)

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

fight me u self-assured PERSON

I brawl u so hard

in the eye


And it's BARNES AND NOBLE ugh I'm so offend

Okay. I already wrote my story for this week using my new skills. In fact I wrote it yesterday, because I am so potent with these new abilities that words are spilling out of me as if someone tore up a dictionary into small bits and filled a cup with the bits then knocked it over accidentally. I am already a winner by default but you are welcome to also write a story and put it next to mine, just for fun.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I think we need to :toxx:

Otherwise, you have done great. Believe in yourself.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Hello madam/sir

I hereby :toxx: that I will enter into a 'brawl' (story writing contest) with forums member Fleta Mcgurn (hereafter referred to as the opponent)

I solemnly swear that a story meeting the requirements to be set by a judge or judges will be met, to be posted by the deadline imposed by same judge.

If the opponent fails to post I preemptively claim the right to call myself the winner, despite perceived quality of my own entry.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I will take a flash. Do your worst. Nothing can stop me.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I will do the symphonic one with the flying brains in space. What a powerful metaphor for the fragility of the human body in the cold deeps of the void. How can humanity ever move beyond the womb of earth? How can consciousness grow to meet the demands of an interstellar species? These and other meaningful and deep questions will be answered in my winning entry.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

derp posted:

I will do the symphonic one with the flying brains in space. What a powerful metaphor for the fragility of the human body in the cold deeps of the void. How can humanity ever move beyond the womb of earth? How can consciousness grow to meet the demands of an interstellar species? These and other meaningful and deep questions will be answered in my winning entry.

I have done it. I've finally been able to write the ideas that have been trapped inside me so long. I only hesitate to post them yet, so as not to discourage my opponent.

Now, who's next?

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

john the inventor
1200 words


~

Everything exploded!

John ran away from flames that were hot on his heels! If only he’d listened to the old crone who’d warned him not to offend God and nature with his meddling! But it was too late for that now!

He ran faster, but things kept exploding! A burning mirror flew by and John noticed his own handsome reflection. He wore a top hat and frock coat that had gears sewn into them. His boots and pants also were covered in gears. He was an inventor.

The explosion got louder and John’s whole house was up in flames! I have to run faster, thought John, or it will all be over! “I’ve got it!” he shouted. He quickly removed a special gear from his pocket that he’d been working on inventing all night. It just might work!

Just before the explosion killed him, John expertly attached the gear to the heel of his boot. It clicked into place just like clockwork. The gear turned, and John suddenly had a burst of speed!

He ran so fast that the explosion faded behind him and he was suddenly in a different part of the city! “What a relief!” exclaimed John. “I’m glad I am away from the explosion, but also sad about the loss of my wife and child who were inside my house!” A tear rolled down John’s cheek as he thought about some memories.

Then he nodded with resolution! “I will sell my invention so that they did not die in vain!”

He knocked on the door of the building which he was standing next to. A sign on the door said “Patent office!”

“My God, a talking sign!” observed John. “There must truly be great inventors in this city! I am in the right place!”

Inside there was a clerk who had big white hair. “Are you here to sell a new invention!?” inquired the clerk, and John replied: “Yes!”

“What is the invention?!” the clerk asked.

“It is this gear, which increases my speed!” explained John.

The clerk spat at him! “That is the stupidest, most worthless invention I have ever been forced to look at! If I were in charge of things I would have you executed!”

John frowned unhappily at the clerk’s words, because they were contrary to his hopes of selling his new invention. “Why do you say that, good sir?” he asked, interestedly.

“Because, you deranged scab, no one would ever want to move faster! What do you think we are, animals who must chase our food? You idiot! Man was meant by God to walk at a moderate pace! Are you a pagan, you satan worshiping filth? Do you murder children also, and drink their blood? Answer me you puss-filled boil! You stain!” The clerk was very put out!

The word ‘God’ made John he remember another time he heard that word recently. It was the day before, while he was drinking the blood of a baby he’d just murdered and was standing in the center of a pentagram. Red and black candles surrounded him, and a foul incense that smelled of tar was burning. It was just then that he’d got the idea for his invention! It was also at that same exact moment that a bedraggled old crone had peered around the corner of the dark and filthy alley where he stood and said “Do not offend God and nature with your meddling!”

What an odd coincidence, to hear the same word two days in a row! Thought John. But back to business! “Don’t be so quick to discount its use!” John rebutted. “This invention can be helpful for escaping explosions!”

“Abomination! Explosions are created by God and should not be perverted by science!” The clerk was angry! “How dare you spit in the face of religion! How dare you smear poo poo on purity itself with your depravity!”

Hmm, thought John, how to win him over? He decided to use logic. “If God is so good, why do explosions kill so many people?” John asked cleverly. If anyone else had been there, they would have stood up and clapped!

“Because people are evil filth who should be wiped from the Earth!” the clerk said angrily. “They all belong in hell, me included! I pray for more explosions every night before I flog myself unconscious!”

John suddenly had the most clever thought of his life. It was so smart he could barely understand it himself--but it just might work! “If I sell this invention to another office,”John posited carefully, “many more people will be able to outrun explosions.” He held up a slender, handsome finger. “But! If you buy it from me, you can destroy it, and thusly reason states therefore that it follows logically that more people will die in explosions!”

The clerk was stunned! He stared with open mouth and his face went white, and he shook all over and wobbled on his feet! He pulled at his big white hair and moaned, then he sat down and stared blankly for two hours while John smiled and nodded!

Then the clerk said: “You are right! I will purchase your invention and destroy it! How much is it, please I must have it!”

“Five bux,” demanded John, “So I can buy a new avatar.”

The clerk nodded and tears poured down his cheeks as he wrote a check with shaking hands. He offered it to John who was about to take it when suddenly someone came in the door. It was the old crone!!

“I warned you not to offend God and nature with your meddling!” she cackled. “How dare you accept money for that evil machine!”

“I’ll tell you why!” shouted John. “Because I, the inventor, am more valuable than your God and my ideas are worth more than your petty manual labor!” John opened a very heavy, thick book he always kept in his coat pocket, kissed it, and read from it: “The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time. If you worked as a blacksmith in the Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands in days and days of effort! How many tons of rail do you produce per day if you work for Hank Rearden? Would you dare to claim that the size of your paycheck was created solely by your physical labor and that those rails were the product of your muscles? The standard of living of that blacksmith is all that your muscles are worth; the rest is a gift from Hank Rearden!”

Upon hearing this the crone nodded. “All my life has been a confused lie!” she said. The clerk also was nodding. “Thank you, inventor!” he said.

John’s heart swelled with pride, and he smiled at the five dollar check, which was proof that his ideas had worth. He had proved everyone wrong! Especially his dead wife and child, who had constantly whined for his time to be given freely as if it had no value.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Thanks for the crits. More than I deserved.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Fleta brawl

BEYOND HUMANITY
2000 word

Some secret part of Captain Jack Hacker never thought the day would actually come, yet here he was, just outside the operating room saying goodbye to his wife and kids. War was never easy. Especially war with aliens.

“Goodbye Maleficent, Tucker, Jezebelle,” he said, and gave them each a loving pat on the head.

His wife (the youngest of the three) said: “Jacky, don’t go in there, I don’t want to lose you, baby!” Her big eyes were wet with tears and her lithe body squirmed in the agony of her worried love.

“I’ve got to go, baby,” he said. “I’ve got to do this for humanity.” Humanity, he thought, what was humanity anymore after this?

Just then, some construction crew who were working in the facility, which was recently damaged by an alien strike, walked by carrying a large pane of glass. Jack looked in the reflection at his sexy young wife who looked even younger than her 19 years. She sure was hot. Then he saw his own bulging muscles that tightened his sharp military uniform. His curly dark hair made him look way younger than his 51 years. His son, Tucker was tall and had a strong jaw and manly blonde hair that he got from his mother, Jack’s first wife, who was sadly killed in the Apnalix war. Then Jack noticed his daughter, Jezebelle, she was also tall, but had bright red hair that she got from her mother, Jack’s second wife, who was killed in the Yeezoo war.

What a pretty family they all made. But that would all change soon. It had to, if anyone was going to survive this new war with the Boonati. He sighed internally. His poor, innocent family didn’t know the half of it. They had no idea the hardened, badass killing machine their father was about to become.

“I love you all, please try to remember I love you when I come back out these doors.” He gave them all another hug, and gave his wife one last squeeze on her rear end. He’d miss her most of all.

He went through the doors which closed behind him like an ominous mouth, and quickly two doctors were at his side, ushering him onward. “It’s time, hurry,” said one, a tall, very attractive woman, he had time to notice, before they rushed him through empty, white halls toward the surgery room. “HURRY!” the other one shouted, a shorter, bald man. “The human race depends on us!”

In the surgery room Jack Hacker laid nobly on the operating table and a bright light shined on his eyes. Masked doctors leaned over him and held tools toward his face, then everything went dark.

~

Jack woke to complete darkness, and tried to open his eyes, but couldn’t. He realized then that it wasn’t darkness he was experiencing, but a complete absence of perception. There was simply nothing. He tried to scream, but couldn’t. Tried to move, but felt nothing, not numbness, but simply nothing. His brain roiled in turmoil, all he could feel was anxiety, fear. Emotion was his only sense.

A static filled his awareness and suddenly there were sounds. A woman spoke: “Jack, can you hear?”

He thought with as much energy as he could: Yes! And heard a synthesized voice say “Yes.”

“Ah good, that’s working,” said the same woman, which Jack now presumed to be one of the doctors who’d brought him in. “Hold on,” she said. “You should be able to see soon.”

Vision faded in from the black, but unlike before, Jack could see in all directions, up, down and all around.

“Wh...what’s happening?” he asked, though he still couldn’t feel his mouth moving. He saw the entirety of the operating room, the two doctors who’d ushered him in, and... on the operating table, a body. The face was covered with a sheet, but he recognized his own uniform. “Tell me what’s going on!”

“It’s alright,” said the woman doctor. The other bald man doctor said: “Yes, it’s okay. The procedure is complete.” They were on opposite sides of him and yet Jack felt he was somehow looking them both in the eye simultaneously.

“But, my body,” said Jack. “The new armor and weapons...”

“I’m afraid that was all a lie,” said the woman. “My name is Dr Spizak, and this is Dr Hibble, and we work for BRAIN. That is Brain Removal for Autonomous Interstellar Nexus. It is a government operation, and since you are a member of the military, your body is technically a weapon, and therefor property of the government. We can do whatever we like with it.”

“Brain removal?” Jack felt he should be screaming, but the voice came out in the same automatic tone.

“Yes,” said Spizak. “You see, human bodies have become nothing but a liability. Soon, you will understand.”

“Yes, you’ll see,” said Hibble, and threw his head back and laughed. “You’ll see everything!”

“What?” Jack didn’t shout. He couldn’t. “What will I see?”

~

He could fly, he soon found out. They’d attached an antigravity engine to the bottom of his brain. The bottom of ...him? He was his brain now: a floating brain with attached speaker and camera so he could see, hear and talk. He was an abomination!

But somehow he felt better... clearer. He could think about things he never had before. For instance... why had he always felt such an urge to kill anything non-human? Now, as a brain he felt different. He found himself wondering about the snippets of alien language he’d heard, and how it might be possible to speak with the Apnalix and the Yeezoo, whereas before, he’d only felt revulsion and desire to destroy them. Also, he wondered why he so rarely spoke to or visited Tucker and Jezebelle? Why had his previous marriages failed so spectacularly, and why in God’s name had he married a 19 year old? Jack had a hard time listening to the doctors as he struggled with these thoughts.

“...will be able to survive easily in the vacuum of space.” Spizak was saying. She’d been talking for near an hour about so many things, and Jack could hardly absorb any of it. “So, you’ll be heading to orbit soon, with the others.”

Jack noticed for the first time that Spizak was pulling at her shirt rather often. Then he noticed that for some unfathomable reason she had the top three buttons undone and her enormous breasts seemed ready to fall out at any moment, especially when she kept pulling the fabric and holding her chest out that way. “Excuse me, I’m sorry,” he interrupted. “But why are you dressed like that? Are you even a doctor? What is going on!”

Spizak nodded and smiled and buttoned up her shirt, then picked up her blazer, which was draped over the chair. “Yesterday,” she said, “you’d be having very different thoughts about how I’m dressed, wouldn’t you?”

Jack wondered: what have I become? And why do I feel so good about it?

~

The next day he arrived at the launch pad, but instead of a space-ship he just saw thousands and thousands of brains floating above the launch pad. Each one gave off a faint, electrical glow, and sometimes they sparked across to each other like open wires. The doctors urged Jack to fly over to them and mingle before a big announcement was going to be made.

As Jack flew toward the brains he felt a strange sensation of other thoughts washing over him--other feelings and memories. He felt a deep connection with all these people, thousands and thousands, all in the same situation as him.

At first the brains were all level out across the ground, but as more arrived, it just seemed natural for some of them to float up, and the whole group shifted into the shape of a sphere of brains floating above the ground. Jack found himself near the center, surrounded by thousands and thousands of brains. The different memories and emotions that sparked onto him from the others were so familiar and so vivid, that he often got them confused with his own memories.

Spizak spoke into a megaphone: “Human BRAIN of earth! You are the next generation that will save us from ourselves!”

Jack heard a dim roar of applause and looked down at the sea of onlookers he’d just noticed. He also noticed that he was seeing through the cameras of the brains on the outer part of the sphere. Somehow they were all connected and seeing through each other’s eyes.

“Up there, in orbit,” continued Spizak, “is a vast army of Apnalix and Yeezoo who have teamed up with our newest foe the Boonati, to destroy us! But war and violence has never solved our problems! It does not work! It has never worked! It’s up to you, the brain of our species, to find a new way to end this constant death, forever!”

The crowd cheered again. The sound, like rushing waves, rose up to the brains and filled them with confidence.

Jack got the idea--or maybe it was the idea of some other brain nearby, he couldn’t tell anymore--that they could all speak as one. Each brain used their own voice to speak in unison, a synthetic, yet booming voice fell on the crowd: “We will.”

The brains rose like a cloud of released balloons. Jack felt himself merging with them. All the memories and feelings of thousands of people spun and intermingled and coalesced into a single personality: that of humanity.

They used their electric powers and the antigravity to gather air around themselves as they rose, and in this way they took their own atmosphere into space with them.

Beyond the earth’s atmosphere the stars were bright as diamonds spilled on black velvet. Humanity’s brain propelled itself onward, out to the massive alien fleet waiting to destroy the planet. The ships hung over the earth like a million arrows ready to fall and pierce it to the core.

“We come in peace!” shouted the brain with all its force. It threw little bits of air at the Main Ship to carry the sound. Then, the brain, which was the new singular consciousness of humanity, realized that within its many combined personalities, there existed some research and translations of the Yeezoo language. So the brain shouted instead: “Yooboonoozoo! Ooo ooo boo boo! Woo!”

A tense moment passed, then the Main Ship opened its door and all the brains flew inside. The door shut behind them like an ominous mouth.

Inside, the brain of humanity looked around, and was shocked to see... other brains!

Several Yeezoo brains floated over to them, and said “Hello, we have learned human language out of respect for your new form.”

The brain of humanity was too shocked to reply, so the Yeezoo continued: “Yes, we also have become brains. You see, every species in the universe evolves to this point. The Apnalix, and the Boonati also have changed in this way. We detected your world centuries ago, and have journeyed here to help you, but every time we approached we were attacked. We had no choice but to defend ourselves, and many died. We managed nonetheless to transfer some technology to your people, and bit by bit, you learned what you needed to learn. And now, like us, you have become BRAIN. And now, humanity is welcomed to the Galactic Coalition of Beings!”

Everyone stood up and clapped.

Over the next decade humanity shed its hormone fueled bodies and became pure thinking brains without anger or lust, which are the leaders of all kinds of wars. Humanity worked together with their new friends, and so consciousness spread throughout the galaxy. It was a time of great prosperity and expansion, and everyone was happy, except for people who really wanted to have sex, because they couldn’t anymore, since new brains had to be grown in tubes.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

seems the subtlety of my prose went over some heads
to be expected

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Chili posted:

If you're salty, I will brawl you when I have time.

I'm down. i lost my mind a bit for my previous two stories but i'm feeling saner now. lets do it

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Owner of horns Asyut volubility of speech

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

I will brawl in Exmonds place, but only if afterward, Exmond is mod-challenged to write a story about how cool the winner is

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

sebmojo posted:

no it's not obligatory but it is insanely weak given he's just called the entire population of the dome poop-devouring molluscs lol

so yeah let's :siren: mod challenge :siren: that if this brawl is successfully completed exmonds next dome story must contain at least 50 words of unironic praise of the victor in some recognisable form, consequences for failure tbd

:getin: :toxx:

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Saucy_Rodent posted:



20,000 words.

we got a masochist here people

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

The Tomb!

primp: Owner of horns / vociferous speech
1111 words


Dr. Jack Hackman held his torch into the tomb he’d just cracked open. His colleagues watched nervously. Jack looked inside. His flame lit walls covered in strange carvings and lined with pottery and sarcophagi, statues, gold, and more.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Jack said in a sonorous, handsome voice, his eyes surveying the bounty. “Before us now is a historical find like none ever in the history of the world. Mark my words! Really, write them down in your journals. You, Marianne, write them.” Jack glanced briefly at one of his colleagues, a tall woman with red hair, and gestured at her pack, in which he assumed there would be a notebook of some kind. She didn’t move. He continued: “This day will live eternally in the hearts and minds of our descendants a million years from now. A billion years from now! Our progeny, who will be living on the moon and Mars, will remember this moment! Even when humanity has traveled beyond the stars and turned our bodies into pure electricity we will still remember this moment! Do you feel it? Can you sense how this moment has now physically altered you forever? Ah, life! Memory! Isn’t it amazing! One of my earliest memories when I was just five years old...”

The sound of stone grinding on stone echoed hollowly in the tomb. Jack’s colleague, Marianne, crept cautiously forward and peered around Jack’s bulky frame. A low groaning floated out of the dark. Jack went on: “...and my mother found me, two feet deep in the yard, digging with my bare hands! She had to drag me away! Now that was a vivid memory! And this memory, right now, shall be remembered in that same vividness! The dust in the air! The light of my torch! The glimmer of the gold! That hollow groaning sound! Each feature of this monumentally momentous moment will stay with us, with everyone! Forever! How does it feel to be part of forever?”

There was a distinct lack of cheers and claps and pats on his shoulders, so Jack turned around. He saw Marriane holding her camera up and clicking like crazy. All the other archaeologists kicked up dirt as they fled over the hill. “Ah, yes, yes,” Jack said. “Document this moment well, indeed! A wise choice Marriane! We and our children and grandchildren--and great grandchildren even!--will all treasure those pictures. All of humanity! Imagine! A picture you took will be the voice of this instant! It will speak into the minds of people who are not yet even born!”

The groaning sound threatened to drown out Jack’s voice. He determined it came from within the tomb, so poked his head inside and managed to say: “Excuse me, could you plea-” before a long, black, and dusty horn thrust into his mouth and out the back of his neck with a wet tearing sound.

Marianne kept click-click-clicking on her camera as Jack’s gurgling, twitching body seemed to float out of the tomb. Then, a desiccated, skeletal figure emerged. From above its dead, gaping eyes, two horns rose straight up like those of an oryx. Jack’s body hung from one of them. The creature shook its head and Jack flopped to the ground like a piece of meat flung off a skewer.

“QUIET” the creature bellowed, and a storm rushed from its mouth, whipping up dust and sand that clattered into Marianne's face and camera. She kept clicking.

~

“And that,” said Marianne, closing the photo album, “is how I met your father.”

Four year old Lisa laughed and clapped her hands. “Again mama, again!”

Marianne pinched her little daughter’s cheeks. “Not again, silly, we’ll annoy papa!”

“Papa!” Lisa giggled and ran to the sitting room where her father was reading in his lounge chair by the fire. She threw herself into his lap and gazed lovingly into his hollow, eyeless face. He looked down from his book and the little bells Lisa had tied to his horns earlier that day tinkled. “Quiet,” he said, and Lisa ran back to her mother, laughing, saying “He said it again, mama!”

“Your papa used to get real mad when people talked too much,” said Marianne. “He’s better now, but we still try not to annoy him with our babbling!”

“Okay mama,” said Lisa seriously. “I’ll be quiet like papa says!”

Lisa got out her crayons and stated doodling, and Marianne returned to an essay on ancient gods she’d been working on. The crackling of the fire and the rustling of paper were the only sounds in the comfy home.

~

Later that night, under the blankets in their bedroom, Marianne nuzzled into Owner of Horns’ hollow, bony chest and breathed in the dusty, dry rot smell that always accompanied him.

“Oh Horny,” she said. “Why do we never talk?”

“Quiet,” he said.

“I know you like your silence, but it’s been almost five years and we’ve still never really-”

“Quiet.”

“I just want to get to know you, the real you. I want to know what goes on inside your head while you sit alone in the dark for hours, what you feel about me when I touch you, what you think of this new world you’re in and how it compares to the one you came from! I just want to know you! I care so deeply about you and I can’t stand to be without you one minute, oh, it hurts so much when I have to be even in the next room! But I do it for you! Oh Horny, please talk to me, say what you’re thinking--oh, just say my name! Say anything!”

Owner of Horns shook his head increasingly faster as she talked. His mouth opened and his eye pits widened, and he saw his future merge with his past. All his existence narrowed to one torrent of words and noise, crashing over him, crushing, drowning him, battering him from all angles with questions, comments, curiosity, concern, who, what, where, when, why, how, you, I, me, listen listen listen-”QUIET!”

A storm erupted from Owner of Horns’ mouth and blasted the roof into the sky. The ground split and wood splintered and crashed, a scream sounded in the wind, so tiny, then gone down into the yawning earth, the quiet, dark earth, now closing above them. The storm dissipated. Silence returned.

Little Lisa, who’d been narrating a play with her dolls in her room against strict orders to be quiet, ran toward the sound and into her parents room to find them gone. Only a pile of rubble remained.

Two firemen found her hours later, a blue plastic shovel in hand, digging uselessly at the wreckage. Her eyes blazed with determination.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

is this weird thing in place of, or on top of the regular weekly prompt to be picked by the winner?

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Thanks for your thoughts!

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

okay fine but i hate fantasy

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

sparksbloom posted:

Your character is an Enneagram 8!

The Solution
800 w ords



“And that, ladies and gentlemen,” said Rick to the one lady and two gentlemen staring boredly from his living room couch, “is how I first used my Jujitsu black-belt in the real world.” He tilted his glass, grinned slyly, and took a sip.

The trio shifted their feet and tried not to look at their phones.

“That’s really great, Rick,” said Janine, tugging unconsciously at the hem of her Little Black Dress, which she’d put on for what she thought was a party. “You mentioned a trip? You’re going somewhere?”

“Oh yes, your trip!”

“I love travel! Tell us!”

The two gentlemen, Boris and Quinn, gushed at the chance to fill the absolute silence imposed by Rick’s strict ‘no music’ rules.

“Yes, of course,” said Rick. “I’m leaving, very soon. I wanted to say goodbye.”

Boris stood up, unbearably excited: “Where?” he shouted.

“First, I will tell you why.” Rick waited a calculated few seconds. Boris sat down. Rick continued. “As I’m sure you know I prefer to control my own life, my own existence, in every possible way. Once, I couldn’t afford the king crab at the casino on seafood night, so I started my own bookbinding company and made six million dollars. When I was declined a second date by the most beautiful woman in the city, I became a sixth degree master of tantric celibacy. And when I was assaulted by an extremely rude cashier in the garden section of Home Depot, I buckled down and became a black-belt in jujitsu. All that is to say: when something impedes my life, ladies and gentlemen, I unimpede it!”

Rick waited until someone (Janine) was about to speak, then continued. “In the past few years I’ve been reading about cell division, free radicals, and the prevalence of car accidents. You see, despite my vigorous health and hardened physique, I have no control over my body. My DNA is being destroyed as we speak.”

The three exchanged glances. Quinn said: “Rick, are you... have you been diagnosed with something?”

“Yes, my friends, I am dying, of age. And there is no cure, and I have no way of knowing when my time will be up.”

Sighs and groans resounded.

“And not only that!” continued Rick. “Accidents kill people every day. My house may explode. I may be shot, in any part of my body--most of which lead to death. And what is the solution, you ask?” After some silence: “You want to know the solution, yes?”

“Yes, what is the solution Rick,” Boris intoned.

“After years of research and conversations with experts across the globe, I found the solution. After six months of hard work collecting custom-made parts from sixteen countries, and many further months of practice and study, I assembled a device--by my own hand, of course, to certify absolute perfection. My project is now complete. The Solution, as of course I have named the device, is upstairs in my attic as we speak!”

Stunned glances were exchanged. “Well what the hell is it?” sputtered Janine. “What have you got up there?”

Rick swirled his champagne too fast and a bit splashed over the side. He chose not to notice. “You might call it... a door. Or you might call it a cure. A change... a transformation! It is certainly a solution, and I will never be the same again. I invite you to join me in the attic, and witness as I complete (or begin?) my journey. Come!”

The four climbed a winding staircase into a brightly lit attic with bare walls. Centered beneath a skylight was a wooden and steel contraption. The three guests could not immediately parse what they saw.

“Is it... is that...it?” Janine squinted.

“Your solution?” Quinn said slowly.

“Yes. Indeed it is.” Rick caressed a shining lever near the bottom of the device. “This machine lets me know the exact moment of my own death. It puts an end to mankind's eternal question of ‘how and when will I die?’ No more will such distractions impede life’s progress! No more fear! No more anxiety!”

“Impossible!”

“How does it work?”

“Well, when will you die then?”

Rick grinned as the questions washed over him. Then: “It is not impossible, and I will show you how it works.” He knelt down and laid on a bench-like extension, then put his head through a gap directly beneath the tallest part of the machine. He grabbed the lever, which was precisely placed to be easily reached by someone in his position.

“I know exactly when I will die!” Rick exclaimed. “I control it!” He pulled the lever.

Schick! Thunk! Janine screamed and leaped back, then shouted in disgust. Her Little Black Dress was ruined.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Sounds fun I'll do it

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Saucy_Rodent posted:

Derphartha Brawl!

I saw a tacky yard sign the other day that read “Alcohol: Because No Great Story Ever Began With Someone Eating a Salad.” Prove this sign wrong.

Write a story that begins with someone eating a salad. The consumption of the salad must be directly responsible for the plot of your story. No, “I’m eating a tasty salad oh no unrelated aliens!”

Due a month from today.

20,000 words.

me vs siddharta salad fight:

We Called Him Cesar
1600 words



A hue of green like none ever witnessed in nature. Yellow veins on thin skin. I lurch toward the irresistible smell. I salivate in anticipation of the crispness, the shock of flavor. I bare my teeth.


For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with salad. As a child I was obsessed with spinach, primarily due to the cartoon character Popeye. I believed that the deep green of the leaf held some primal power that would increase my strength. I would eat meals composed entirely of spinach, boiled into a mush or eaten raw by the handful. You can imagine the quantity of spinach required to satisfy a growing child’s belly--I regularly drained the bank with my cravings. When there was no spinach and I was forced to eat bloody flesh like the other children, I would stamp and scream so loud the neighbors often called the police. Once, my shrieks reached such a crescendo that my father’s crystal whisky snifter shattered in his hand. A shard entered his eye, permanently ruining his vision. He often squinted that eye afterwards, much like the Popeye character.

In my teens I began experimenting with other vegetables. Lettuce, carrots, radishes, all varieties of cabbage, onions, and more. I tried new combinations constantly. I believed there must exist a perfect salad, I only had to find it. By the time I reached my 28th birthday I’d tasted every commonly eaten vegetable on earth and had visited sixty-two countries in order to do so. I had begun experimenting with rarely eaten plants such as fireweed, dandelion and curlydock, and even other, less legal plants. But it was not enough. My palate craved some unidentifiable flavor. Something was missing. A ghost resided in the back of my mind, something I’d never know yet felt the absence of.

When I met Jen Wimple my life truly began. She held the key I didn’t know I’d been looking for.

Jen was the tallest woman I’d ever met. She was seven feet tall and thin as bones. She reveled in stares, and constantly wore vertical stripes to draw attention to her stature. “I eat only leaves,” were the first words she said to me. I nodded and knew I’d met a kindred spirit. I soon learned that Jen was a geneticist and worked on producing pesticide resistant crops. Her passion, though, was salad. “I’ve produced the greenest, thickest kale you can imagine,” she said. I had to look up at her and that was a strange sensation for me, a six foot tall man. “Come to my house, and try it,” she said. She put a hand on my shoulder and her fingers hung over and down across my shoulder blade, I felt unable to say no.

In her apartment, which was immaculate and bright white everywhere, she showed me her kale. It was greener than anything I’d ever seen. It tasted like pure, vibrant life. She made me a salad and we had sex on the kitchen floor for two hours. I barely remember the sex, but that salad, the crisp perfection of the mixture, the clean, throbbing life of it has never left my mind since.

But still, it was missing something.

We talked about that something constantly, for hours at a time, all through the night and often during sex. At first I thought that it must be related to the texture and the level of crunch. But it was more than that, and Jen proved it. Her kale was no more crunchy than store bought kale. We tried bite after bite, for days, to prove this to ourselves. It was not more crunchy, but it was more something. After six weeks of eating her kale and comparing it against all other types of kale, we settled on a term to describe the something.

Jen’s kale was more alive.

She thought it must have to do with the DNA. When creating her Kale she’d combined it with certain aspects of seaweed and spinach for enhanced color and survivability, but she also included, for reasons she never explained to me, squid DNA. Other variations without the squid DNA did not have the same aliveness that we first experienced as crunchiness or vibrance.

After pinpointing the cause, it was a simple task to enhance it further.

Months passed. She used my inhumanly sensitive palate to guide her biological tinkering. We found that I could detect the tiniest variations in her genetic manipulations, and could always determine whether they were closer to the final taste than the previous version.

After that first hint of success our obsession deepened. Jen used lab equipment indiscriminately, at all hours. We slept in her lab for weeks, avoiding her colleagues. We hosed under tables, knocked over microscopes and spoiled test samples for other projects with our sweat. We worked constantly with few breaks for food. We worked, and tasted, improved, hosed and tasted and improvised.

One day Jen had a bright idea. All the DNA we’d been adding to the kale and spinach was leading us down a path. We went from squid DNA to various bird DNA and then pig, and ape and dolphin. The mammalian DNA seemed more alive somehow, and the more intelligent the better. Jen’s bright idea was to try human DNA.

That was it. The crunch, the crisp, the pure vibrant life of the greens we made with human DNA was beyond anything we’d hoped for. We gorged on it, got sick, vomited, ate more. The biting into it was irresistible. We bit and tore and ripped with our teeth into the leafs and crunched on stems and roots like animals crunching bones for marrow. We ate constantly. We barely hosed anymore and I barely noticed. The greens were everything, that perfect taste.

Except, it wasn’t quite perfect. And I only noticed this after I noticed that Jen was not satisfied. This was not, in her mind, the final taste.

It took me months to realize Jen was pregnant. She said it was ours. We always used condoms but there were plenty of ways she could have managed. She always got what she wanted out of me. She ate more and more, inhuman quantities of leaves, and continuously rubbed her swollen gut. It unsettled me to see such a tall, thin person become swollen in the middle. She was like a thin branch with a cocoon hanging from it, or a long pea with a single oversized pod. She gave me constant, knowing looks and said over and over “wait till you see it.” I did not at first notice that she always said ‘it.’

Jen refused to see a doctor under any circumstances. She grew to an unreasonable size, and I begged her to go but she refused. She told me it was ours and no one else’s. She stressed ‘ours’ and said it over and over. When her water broke and a green-tinged liquid oozed across the floor, something inside me twisted with the primal opposite of revulsion: a kind of desperate, sickening attraction. The strangely familiar smell that slicked the inside of her legs made me gag with a choking hunger.

She overpowered me, forced me into the hall and locked herself in the lab. I pounded desperately, waited, pounded some more, vacillated between calling an ambulance or not. The smell prevented me from calling. I wanted no other man to smell that smell. No one but me. Mine. I salivated, swallowed convulsively. Painful hours later, she opened the door. “Come see it,” she said, and led me by the hand like a small child. I trailed behind her as if on wheels. A bundle of cloth sat in one of the lab sinks, stained the color of bruises. A keening sound wafted from it, like a leaking balloon. I floated toward it and suddenly I was there, looking down into the sodden, crumpled towels in the sink at my child.

Leaves of the most brilliant green I’d ever seen curled and glistened and seemed to throb with life. Little yellow veins pulsed as if with blood. They smelled so green. My mouth flooded, spittle poured down my chin. I panted and my nostrils flared, and all this before I saw the face and tiny grasping hands within the leaves. The muffled keening raised in pitch and I saw the mouth. It was full of leaves that grew on the insides of the cheeks. The eyes, useless, burst with leaves growing from the eyelids, from the tear ducts. The nostrils, the ears, bloomed with bouquets of green, beautiful green. My heart thundered and my skin tingled. “It’s ours,” said Jen, and she bent to kiss its head, or that’s what I thought. Instead she bit into a leaf growing from its forehead and tore savagely, jerking her clenched teeth side to side. The leaf ripped and yellow spattered across our child’s face and it shrieked and flailed. Jen’s eyes were dilated pure black, her cheeks smeared yellow. She bit again. The smell was overwhelming. I could not resist. I bit a leaf growing from the back of its little hand and the crunch was like the crunching of tiny bones, and the burst of crisp flavor and the burst of wetness on my tongue screamed more! More! I tore and crunched and my head knocked into Jen's head and we pressed against each other, our heads buried in the sodden towels in the sink as we bit and ripped, and the shrieking grew louder, like a siren, a warbling, dying bird.

Then the keening stopped. And the next bite was missing that something.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Ty. I am proud. I like kale a lot. this is why I won.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

sebmojo posted:

no it's not obligatory but it is insanely weak given he's just called the entire population of the dome poop-devouring molluscs lol

so yeah let's :siren: mod challenge :siren: that if this brawl is successfully completed exmonds next dome story must contain at least 50 words of unironic praise of the victor in some recognisable form, consequences for failure tbd

Don't forget, exmond >:]

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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

Dear sirs, I have been banned from the Voidmart and I ask you to please reconsider my case. Your actions have taken a heavy toll on my life, and my circumstances are becoming very difficult to deal with. You may not have realized, but because of your heavy handed action I am also banned from Wallmart, Target, Sears, Blockbuster, Macy's, McDonald's, Hobby Lobby, Total Wine, Starbucks, the Seattle Museum of Flight, all Airports, and all Hotels for that matter. After some research I've found that, actually, I am banned from all areas deemed to be under the umbrella of 'society'. This is completely unfair, and I demand to speak to the manager of Society because the blood only damaged 55$ worth of merchandise, which I happily volunteered to pay for. This kind of overreaction will reflect very poorly on your part if it is not corrected in a timely manner.

Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

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