Okay. First time In. I would like to for a mod challenge rule, too.
|# ¿ Oct 11, 2019 00:16|
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2022 09:39|
Your protagonist was the sole cause of the apocalypse, and feels really good about it
Flash rules included according to the prompt post. The story is 1200 words or so.
A Deal With The Snake
Tom looked at the room full of his art, a trove of masterpieces that all could be the magnum opus of a lesser artist. Tom picked up a paint brush and hurled it at a particularly good painting, but the bristles of the paint brush were dry and didn’t leave a satisfying mark on the canvas. Instead, the canvas he’d thrown the brush at started to change on it’s surface, the picture turning from some modern art rendition into a distorted version of Tom himself.
Tom knew what the picture was immediately, he was naked and in the shape of the Ouroboros, his body making an “O” created from his mouth devouring his feet. Tom wrinkled his nose. He wouldn’t ever paint a thing like that, it was too derivative and he left behind self portraiture in one of his earlier artistic phases.
As Tom watched, his portrait version continued to eat his feet, then his legs, then his hips…
Tom woke up in his bed, laughing at the images conjured by his mind in his repose. Himself as an Ouroboros. Ha! But the overall feeling of the dream stayed and tickled at his mind like the breath of an unseen wind. He thought of his studio full of million dollar paintings, his one-point-five million followers on social media, the hours of interviews, benefits, gallas, and how it all seemed to quickly fade into obscurity as the thrill from each accomplishment rapidly diminished.
A steaming cup of black coffee didn’t help matters much. Tom couldn’t shake the image of himself as a big circle, a big derivative circle. He had long since eschewed the use of cultural tripe and external images in his own art because he believed that his art-hole, so to speak, was one-way-only, meaning his content came out, pure and uncontaminated, representing his ideas and his ideas alone.
As he sipped his coffee, a revelation struck Tom...he needed to close the loop even tighter. It wasn’t enough to have a perfectly closed system of artistic inspiration in the safe room of his mind, he needed to eliminated the one variable outside of his creative control: the audience.
Tom had recently joined a sex-positive coven of Satanist anarchists, who, like Tom, thought of freedom from cultural touchpoints and inhibitions as their highest value. Mostly he went for the orgies, but in doing so had picked up on several of the summon chants used to gain the favor of the titular religious figure.
He went into his studio and drew an abstract symbol on the floor, his personal version of a pentagram but entirely unique. He sat back on his heels, thinking. If he did summon the devil, what would he ask for? Not inspiration, because that inspiration would by definition come from someone other than himself, which would violate Tom’s long-held self imposed rules of creating. No. He had to know exactly what his artistic expression needed to look like before he called upon Satan for aid, or the whole project would be for naught.
Tom thought again of the Ouroboros in his dreams, his body in it’s “O” shape. He thought about closing the loop. Art needed to change a person in some way, whether showing them the familiar in a new way, or provoking a feeling in them that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to obtain anywhere else. But how could Tom surprise, delight, change, awe, anger, enlighten, or enchant himself? It was like trying to tickle yourself, better done by someone else’s hands.
Having stripped naked for the ritual, Tom laughed and looked down at himself. Trying to make effective art for himself? He may as well try to shove his head down between his own legs and service his own parts. His highest potential achievement was a paradox of the impossible.
As he gazed down at himself, the thought hit him that there was a way to create a change inside himself, perform an act with no meaningful audience outside of his own experience.
He knew what he was going to ask of Satan.
The devil sprang into the mortal world with only a little bit of chanting and writhing around on Tom’s un-pentagram.
“It took you long enough,” Satan drawled, inspecting one red long-nailed hand. “I was beginning to think you were too proud to seek my help in taking the next step.”
“I had to know what I truly needed to create before making a deal with the devil,” Tom said, smirking.
The devil nodded in proud acknowledgment, a slow tilt up and down of his head. “Very good, my child. Now speak of your desire, and I will strike you a fitting bargain.”
Tom gulped, already ashamed of the words he was about to utter but knowing absolute precision was required. “All of my art, my pain, my glory, and my debauchery has lead me to this one request,” he intoned gravely. “Sometimes art is a journey back to the obvious, but with new understanding. As such, I require for my artistic purposes that my phallus grow to a size that allows me to,” he gulped, “orally pleasure myself for long periods of time.”
“How hedonistic,” Satan said, grinning. “I love it. And I have just the bargain. For every centimeter your phallus grows, I will remove one noun from existence.”
“A noun?” Tom repeated. “And those nouns, no one would be able to use them again?”
“Correct,” said the devil, twitching his pointed tail impatiently.
Tom considered the offer, knowing he wouldn’t get a second one. He didn’t need all that much length, maybe a foot-and-a-half or so. That wasn’t all that many nouns, in the scheme of things. Before he could second guess himself, he looked up at the devil and said, “I accept.”
“Very good,” said Satan. “I am going to start the growth process. Say “when.”” He leered perversely at Tom.
The growth began, Tom’s protrusion gaining a miniscule amount of length.
“Shoehorn,” the devil said, and Tom forgot the tool that helped him put on his dress shoes.
“Trilby. Kumquat,” the devil’s words were coming quickly now, faster than Tom’s mind could acknowledge the sudden lack of nouns. “
But he was mesmerized by the slow, almost magical growth happening between his legs, the growth gaining circumference and tumescence. It was like a legendary serpent, an uncurled Ouroboros, was rising up to kiss him like a scene from a myth.
“Ceiling,” the devil said, and there were no more coverings for the tops of houses, just an opening framed by four walls.
“Family. Friends. Society. Sanity.”
Tom was naked and alone in the wilderness, with no knowledge in his head except the art, the need to close his own circle and perform this last transcendent act of self expression. As Tom’s appendage continued to grow, he felt himself pressing against his lips, asking to be let inside himself. He opened his doors gladly, and closed his own circle.
The devil had uttered seventy nouns at that point, seventy centimeters added to Tom’s “art”. Tom was too lost in the blissful truth of his own self expression to pay anymore attention to the destruction of existence around him.
“Gravity,” intoned the devil, and Tom began to drift up into the sky, still locked in the legendary kiss with his snake, his head bobbing rhythmically.
With one last wicked grin, the devil uttered “Art.”
And suddenly Tom was just a man alone in a vacuum, sucking his own dick in a void of his own creation.
|# ¿ Oct 12, 2019 03:12|
I would like to join the week with a rule, please.
|# ¿ Oct 16, 2019 16:02|
Flash rules above. Word count is around 1200 words. Per crits, I tried to change up some of the structures of my sentences.
In the Hall of the Mountain King
The first problem with the ability to walk through walls is, it immediately becomes in the minds of others the most interesting thing about you, right up until they’re disappointed by the details.
Nevermind that I:
-can recite three-hundred digits of pi
-my appendix has a screaming problem
-my eyes are different colors
-I have a comprehensive knowledge of early Nintendo titles (I’m slightly a nerd)
-my cat is named Catsper the Unfriendly Fart Ghost (he let’s me dress him up in cat clothes, it’s great)
-I once rescued a big-time Twitter persona from a locked-door auto-erotic asphyxiation scenario...okay that is slightly related to my walking-through-walls but the more important thing was that this internet superstar felt comfortable sending me an emergency voice-to-text about their dick crisis.
Basically, being able to walk through walls is the least interesting thing about me.
The second problem with the ability to walk through walls is: lots of walls are load-bearing.
I had to get a Masters in architecture just to safely use my power. You have no idea how often i get called up on a hero gig to crack into some supervillain’s lair, only to find out the clients were expecting a non-corporeal wall-breacher, which is what they call it when you can waft through the walls like a ghost.
Me? I can pass through any wall, regardless of the substance of which its made, as long as it is conceptually a wall in the minds of the people who built/use it. Easy-peasy.
The problem is, I leave a me-shaped hole in the wall like something out of a goddamn ACME cartoon. But that means i take out any studs (heh), wires, and any key support structures that might inhabit the path of of my traversion through the wall.
So anyway whatever, I’m trying to bust into the lair of some minor league of supervillains called like the Dire Dogs or some other try-hard bullshit. I can’t even remember what their gimmick is except it seems to be walls and walls and more walls, carved straight into some mountain, no freakin’ less.
What I do know is, they’ve got my motherfucking best friend in there, the only one in the world who is fascinated by parts of my life that don’t involve me Mr. Koolaid-ing into Captain Evil’s panic room, or whatever.
According to the base schematics I stole, the Dire Dogs are apparently huge fans of walls lined with explosives (maybe that’s their gimmick). I don’t flatter myself thinking these measures are because of me...I don’t think they know I exist. The fact that they took my pal hostage was a total coincidence.
One of them must have a connection to the slimy underworld of arms-dealership, hense the copious explosives in the walls.
I’m perched on a lip of rock on the mountain-base’s exterior. From here the stone looks natural and not super remarkable. I know from the schematics that there is a hidden emergency escape passage whose walls aren’t lined with explosives, because duh. All I have to is find the concealed door and walk right in*.
*fun fact, for the purposes of my power, doors are walls unless they’re actively letting a person into a room.
I touch the rockface with my hands. I feel for the place where natural stone starts to feel like a wall, put there by man on purpose.
The muffled screaming makes me jump in spite of myself, and it takes an embarrassing second of confusion before I realize it’s just my appendix acting up again.
poo poo. I forgot to take the meds that calm it down. I went to have it removed but Dr.s said that its ability to scream in response to surgical tools qualified it as sentient life so legally they couldn’t kill it. I am allowed to sedate my appendix, which I forgot to do this morning in my rush to come rescue my best friend.
I concentrate on the door. There...I can feel the space on the other side, tantalizing, calling me to penetrate deep in the base’s defenses.
I take a few steps back, align myself with the spot I was touching a second ago, and march purposefully through the door.
There’s a crunchy crashing sound all around me and them i’m through, into a long, boring passage with some tiles and a few armored doors. I walk for a while, knowing that any doors or alternate passages will be a diversion, and probably a fatal one.
Eventually, I hear a voice up ahead, maybe some maintenance worker doing routine work.
This causes me to duck into an alcove to my left, huddling up against one of the armored doors and pressing myself hard against it’s wall-like surface.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”, my appendix screams from deep inside my belly.
“What was that?” says the now-unseen maintenance worker from up the hall.
“gently caress it,” I think, and bash myself through the door, leaving an imprint shaped like me, with my hand raised and one middle finger up because if I’m going to die I may as well be a badass about it.
I find myself in a dark room and wait for my eyes to adjust.
Suddenly, the air around me changes and I find myself scooped up into something soft and sack-like. I struggle against it, trying in vain to use my wall-breaching powers to free myself, but the thing i’m in is clearly some sort of sack or other non-wall-like container.
The lights go up and I realize I’m now suspended in a net in a room that looks like the HQ of some advanced operation. In the center of the room is a raised platform with a chrome-plated chair on top. The chair’s back is to me, but slowly it spins around, revealing its occupant to be…
“Catsper!” I gasp as I witness my cat sitting in the villainous chair. “But...I came here to save you!”
The cat is currently wearing my favorite dressup outfit, which is a little set of farm overalls with fake legs in front, so it looks like the cat’s head is on a little human body.
Catsper rips off the costume with one paw and stands up on his hind legs in the chair.
“Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah,” screams my appendix.
“For years you have complained that you are undervalued for your personality, and that people only care about you because you can walk through walls,” Catsper says. “Well it is time for the shoe to go on the other foot. Your foot, that is. And it’s a really stupid shoe.”
“You see,” Catsper continues. “I’ve been biding my time, posing in your ridiculous outfits so you can get those “hella instagram followers” you covet so much. Well consider this a pivot in your personal marketing strategy,” the cat kicks his lips.
A moment later, a wall-panel slides open, revealing a closet full of costumes...giraffes, sun flowers, giant baby clothes, and all assortments of various ridiculous apparel. At the same time, a massive camera lowers down from the ceiling, and I can see from the built-in screen that it’s connected directly to an Instagram feed, currently empty, waiting for pictures of the stupid hero-turned-joke.
The next time my appendix screams, it sounds like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
|# ¿ Oct 20, 2019 04:06|
I appreciate the Judge's feedback. As it seems my intent was not fully understood, I have done a reading of my story to hopefully emphasize what I was trying to do.
|# ¿ Oct 25, 2019 23:43|
I am feeling embarrassed in retrospect, I sense the only thing to do in that case is go in this week.
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2019 05:24|
I used less italics, per a recent crit.
A Boy and His Drone
e: 1300 words
The drone sat in its box, waiting for the small child who could activate the flight inside its plastic and circuitry. If the drone could smell, the drone would smell the dust on top of the box, the rat feces in the crannies under the shelving, and the moisture that was always seeping into the cardboard boxes that contained the drones. The drone had been there a long, long time, but the plastic and circuitry did not contain a clock, so all the drone knew was the one long moment of poop, damp and dust.
If the drone could project itself outside of the plastic and circuitry, it would rise up into the air over the shelf and see an endless grid of other shelves, all of them full of more boxes and more drones full of timelessness. There are not enough children in the world to activate the flight inside so many drones, the RC Toys section is a city unto itself, a disused city full of hollow plastic minds with no hope.
If the drone was programmed to have emotions, it would feel rage and loneliness. It would question god and demand to know why he manufactured a creature just for them to sit in compact darkness on a moldering chelf. Why he made a whole LEGION of plastic creatures who’s purpose seemed to be just occupying space.
If the drone could project itself outside again, it would see the RC Toys staff hanging up CLEARANCE SALE signs all around the drone section. It would see the pallets of newer, sexier drones waiting to fill the lonely damp currently occupied by the old, lonely drone and those like it. It would see the floor manager, shaking her head at the poor marketing that led to such a waste of product.
Soon after the clearance sale started, light flooded the secret back shelf world of the lonely drone. One by one, its brothers and sisters were lifted up and away by the hands of little children or parents looking for birthday gifts. The drones could not talk to each other while powered off and alone in their boxes, but if the drone could imagine, it would imagine that the others are happy to finally be going Home.
If the drone could imagine, it would imagine what it was like to be taken out of it’s box and activated, the propellers at the end of its arms whirring to life and churning the air underneath, sending the drone into the sky. If the drone could imagine, it might suppose the existence of green grass and trees, wind blowing past their aerodynamic body, and a whole world spread out beneath them like a patchwork quilt. The drone didn’t know what a quilt was either, but if it did, it would think it to be quite a nice thing to see all the neighborhoods and city grids laid out like a cozy blanket made by a tender grandmother beside a rustic fire.
“Daddy, I want to test it,” said the boy who had arrived before the drone. The drone was one of the last few on the shelves, as the clearance sale was quite generous in an effort to clear up shelf space in the crowded store.
“You know you’re not allowed to open things until we get home, son,” said the boy’s father. “Didn’t you do your product research? We didn’t get VoidFi installed behind your eyes just so you could look like an uninformed fool in public. They’ll think you’re the sort of person who reads the back covers of books before buying them, pah!”
“Well daddy I think we would both look like fools in public if we have to stand in the return line because this drone is defective,” the little boy said sagely.
“You and your mother, I swear,” the father said, shifting angrily from one foot to the other. “Can’t let a man have his authority. God, husband, woman, child. That’s the order of operations here.”
If the drone had emotions, the word “god” would have stirred up the rage and loneliness from months of dismal shelf life. Maybe this man had a cruel, stupid manufacturer too. Maybe he was tired of sitting on the shelf of his life, boxed in by the expectations of society.
“Well go on then, test the thing,” the father said at last, waving dismissively at his son.
With a cheer the boy carefully lifted the drone’s box from the shelf, setting it carefully on the shiny tile floor. It was the first time the drone had seen anything other than the boring view from the shelf since it’d been transported up from the manufacturing facility beneath the store.
Carefully, the boy pried apart the cleverly folded cardboard flaps that sealed the drone’s box closed. Fresh air rushed into the space, bringing smells other than rat feces and old cardboard.
The boy lifted the drone high into the heavens, above his little head, inspecting the propellers, landing gear, cameras, and other components. Then he set the drone down and unwrapped the remote control from the plastic bubble wrap, checking the battery compartment, and found it empty of batteries.
If the drone had a heart, it would sink.
The boy grinned, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a small case containing 6 VoidBrand AA batteries, the exact kind recommended on the outside of the Drone’s box. He fitted the batteries into the compartment, then snapped the exterior closed with a click of plastic.
“Get on with it,” said the boys father, tapping one foot in impatience.
The boy picked up the drone once more and flipped their switch to the On position. Something inside the drone buzzed to life, circuits alive with the dance of electric current, sensors reading the air around the drone, cameras absorbing everything there was to see within the drone’s visual range.
Finally, the flight within had been activated!
Satisfied that the drone was on, the little boy once again picked up the remote and executed a series of button presses and joystick motions.
The flight inside the drone told all of its internal components what to do. Propellers spun. Sensors monitored altitude and attitude control. The shiny tile floor dropped away, and the drone watched it go with the camera mounted on the underside of its body while the other cameras looked up at the oddly domed ceiling that stood over the busy store.
All the aisles of the store were spread out beneath the drone like the patchwork of a quilt, full of people and their huge shopping carts full of anything and everything. It wasn’t like the scenic outdoor view the drone had not-quite-imagined earlier, but it was still nice to see a space so big and open, and to fly around in the air above it all.
The drone did not command itself, but instead, relaxed into the instructions coming in a steady stream from the little boy’s fingers on the remote control. All the drone had to do was BE the flight and enjoy the show.
Eventually, the commands from the controller circled the drone back around to where it had started, and the drone’s cameras could see a confrontation happening between the boy and his father.
“Alright, you’ve had your fun, now put the silly toy back,” said the father as the drone came in for final approach.
The boy paused the drone, instructing it to hover in the air overhead the argument.
“But daddy, I thought you said I could choose a toy today!” the boy complained, stomping a foot.
“Yes well, I thought you would have the sense to choose something more cutting edge, something your little friends on VoidStream would want to watch you remove from a box on video or somesuch,” his father said, waving a dismissive hand at the boy. “Daddy needs that ad revenue, son. You remember what it was like when daddy had that boring day job that had him gone all the time?”
“At least you weren’t here to boss me around all the time,” said the boy, stomping his foot again.
Despondent, the boy let the remote control slip from his fingers, falling onto the tiled floor with a clatter, but miraculously not landing on any of the buttons, which left the drone hovering in its position above the arguing father and son.
“Come on, let’s go to the VR section and see if here isn’t something more marketable,” the father said, reaching out to grab his son and drag him away.
As the boy was pulled unwillingly down the aisle, his feet dragging on the floor, the drone continued to hover where it was, watching his only hope get smaller and smaller in the view of its cameras. It had to do something.
If it didn’t do anything, it would hover here until a staff member found it and put it away, or until its batteries died and and it fell to the floor, possibly to be mistaken for trashed and disposed of.
But no one had the remote control. There was no signal telling the drone how to protect itself.
Something stirred deep within the plastic and circuitry, an updraft of something that felt a lot like a feeling. The feeling spread out from the drone’s small processor and into the circuits and wires that connected to its various modes of motility.
It deserved to live!
With this new-found will to live, the drone surged forward toward the retreating father and boy. All of the drone’s cameras were pointed at the back of the older man’s head, with its bald spot that stood out like the bullseye of a target.
The drone walloped into the back of the man’s head, hard enough that he let go of his son’s unwilling arm and sprawled forward onto the floor. But the drone wasn’t done yet, it pummeled the back of the man’s head again and again until some sort of red lubricant oiled up and out of a rupture in the man’s exterior.
The boy had run and reclaimed the remote control.
“Stop! Don’t kill him!” the boy shouted while fiddling with the remote, finally sending the irrefutable signal that settled the drone quietly back onto the ground, as though nothing had happened.
The drone thought that killing the boy’s father might exponentially increase the chances of the drone’s prolonged happiness, but the remote control had zapped the flight right out of it, and all it could do was rest on the ground and listen to the boy’s admonishments.
The father sat up, rubbing his bloodied head, groaning something about lawsuits.
“Do you still think you’re too good for pre-testing a product now, daddy?” the boy asked innocently. “Nevermind that. I think all my friends on VoidStream would LOVE to see my new sentient drone!”
The drone’s internal ears perked up. It didn’t know what this VoidStream was, but the boys words had promise of flight evermore, of the endless opportunities of the open sky above.
rat-born cock fucked around with this message at 23:24 on Oct 27, 2019
|# ¿ Oct 27, 2019 23:21|
Hi, I'd like to wIN this thunderdome.
I would also like to for the musical peddle.
|# ¿ Dec 11, 2019 20:12|
|# ¿ Jan 27, 2022 09:39|
The waves lick the shore more gently when dressed in the orange spill of the sun's late light. Two who were two are now one, and from this new beast issues the gentle scrape of sand, a soft, craggy sound, a huff and puff of one temporary body exploring itself atop millennia of erosive jism. Before, when the two were two, and the sun was high and aloof from the water, the waves clapped petulantly on the shore like a small boy pounding the dinner table in demand of a second helping. Now all is gentle. All is sigh. All is the waver of evening on the calm flank of the ocean.
The beast with two backs pitches and back and forth on the sand, mmming and ah!ing in time with the lulling flush of sea against sand. Surf rock undulations of skin and breath slide sultrily into the evening overtop the repetitious tonguing of the waves, sounds slipping and sliding over each other in frictionless braids.
|# ¿ Dec 16, 2019 07:01|