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Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


In.

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Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Insidious
800 words

It wasn’t supposed to go like this. Years of planning down the drain. Out of the dozens of people she vetted, someone must have slipped up. She couldn’t say who, it could have been anyone at this point. This intricate web she’d spent the better part of her life weaving was unraveling before her very eyes. She wanted to scream. She knew better. She wouldn’t give the Croc the satisfaction.

Her so-called partner was dead and sprawled out on his back on the asphalt. Blood pooled around him from the back of his skull, forming a dark halo around his head. His face was frozen in a look of unabashed surprised while the empty casing cooled on the ground.

She couldn’t wait. Her whole life had been wasted on waiting. Today was about taking back what she never should have lost. Joan ran, up the fire escape that was supposed to have been their way out when the job was done. Now the metal screeched and shook as she scaled it, willing herself not to look at her pursuers.

She tore up the stairs. Her lungs burned, every new lungful of air felt like fire in her chest. She wanted to reach for her gun, but the clip she’d loaded wasn’t the one she could afford to waste.

Joan nearly doubled over once she reached the roof, breathing so hard that her teeth ached. She never stopped moving. She’d never stop. Not until she got the Crocodile.

They weren’t far behind. The sound of boots on steel grew louder and she propelled herself toward the skylight in front of her. There was no other way. She drew the pistol from its holster under her shoulder and fired into the glass, sending shards cascading into the room below. Without hesitation, she leapt down.

She botched the landing, hitching forward as she fell and overcorrecting so she landed on her side. Her gun flew out of her hand on impact. She let out a scream that reverberated off the bare walls and shuddered on the tile floor while pain wracked her nerves. Joan grit her teeth, straining to rise and crumbling again as she heard something in her body give with a gut-churning ‘crunch.’

And then another.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Her eyes widened as she raised her head slowly, scouring the dark for the source of the sound.

She saw his shoes first as he shuffled into the patch of moonlight where she lay. Those alligator skin monstrosities. She’d never forget. He told her where he bought them, too. Right before he kicked her four front teeth in with them.

Joan scrambled for her gun, but it lay yards away. She started to crawl, but every attempt felt like someone was driving a white-hot iron through her midsection.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

She looked up as he shambled closer, now completely exposed to the light. Joan wasn’t sure what she was looking at. Her brain looked for pieces it recognized, but it couldn’t fit them together to complete the picture.

The Crocodile’s face was contorted almost beyond recognition. His yellow, slitted glass eye glimmered in the light, stark against the steady stream of blood dripping from its sockets. His lower jaw hung down by his collar, spittle and flesh dangling like ribbons from his chin.

His white suit seemed ill-fitted, like it could barely contain him. She’d never seen him in anything short of immaculately tailored. But something else was happening here. Something horribly wrong.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Horror gripped Joan’s heart as she realized exactly where that sound was coming from.

The Croc fell to his knees, his entire body writhing unnaturally. When his side burst open, whatever remained of her composure evaporated. She screamed, momentarily numb to her own pain as she flailed to put some distance between her and the man now coming apart at the seams.

She saw the white of a rib exposed, followed by an impossibly large head slither out from within the Crocodile’s husk. A mouth like a stoat’s ground on a mouthful of bone, its two gleaming green eyes rolling asynchronously around until they fixed on Joan.

Joan fell silent, terror seizing her body.

The creature swallowed loudly, it’s wide mouth curling in something Joan might have called a smile were it a human face. But the beast was not, nor was it anything her mind could reconcile with. Its head resembled a weasel’s, but hairless and scaled like a snake. Its eyes, however, were like nothing she’d ever seen.

Slowly, it undulated its way out of the Crocodile's body. Joan waited for the gush of blood to follow, but there was nothing save a few bits of partially-consumed entrails.

The beast’s mouth cracked open to reveal two perfect rows of needle-like teeth.

“You’re late.”

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Thranguy posted:

in and flash me.

The Megaliths of Weris - Belgium


onsetOutsider posted:

In, and give me a place worth 400 words.

The Winchester Mystery House - San Jose, CA


sebmojo posted:

In, flash

The Enchanted Forest - Turner, OR

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


cptn_dr posted:

I'm in, and I'll take a flash too.

Dog Suicide Bridge - Dumbarton, Scotland

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Hey here are some late crits from Week 338 - Places of Power

In order of whatever crits had the most complete sentences when I opened my google doc tonight:

Bear Witness

Your story: “Look at these children who are probably dead, now back to me. Now look at the sky: it's full of dreams. Now look at your man again, and now look back at me. You are now a bear. I’m the megalith.”

I see what you did, but I don’t think it had the impact you were hoping for. Structurally, this was fine. You introduce some tantalizing stories in the form of vignettes, but you brushed them away without giving me a strong sense of anything. I wanted you to do more with these introductions, and I guess it’s saying something that I cared enough to want that. The interjecting commands, however, did nothing for me. Also, if you’re going to make your title a bear pun, go all in on the bear.

Fortune Cookies are Bullshit Anyway

Wow a typo in your second sentence. Not a strong start, champ. I don’t know, buddy. You’re trying to paint this picture of a comfy, hole in the wall, home town Chinese restaurant and I’m just not buying it. Also, is the mom in this just plain insane? A restaurant staffed by ghosts? Is she supposed to be funny? Is the narrator a five year old that would actually be scared by that? I don’t think it had quite the punch you think it did. Also, here’s a fun thing to consider when using compound subjects: In a sentence like “Mom and me went to the store,” take “mom” out of the sentence. Is “me went to the store” a good sentence? No it is not.

Last Night

This is just a Simon and Garfunkel song fic. What was the place of power? What was anything? You had one cringeworthy sentence in here, but otherwise it was fine I guess. You throw in bits of exposition like afterthoughts.

Froggy Went A-Portin’

You had an exciting start, but it didn’t hold up through to your ending. Basic as gently caress sentence structure. Like third grade reading level. That makes me mad because as soon as I got a whiff of what you were selling, I was on board. There was just no flair to how you did it. Just the color blue. Blue. Over and over again, blue. I should have noted how many times you used “blue” in a single paragraph. You could have broken your sentences up so much better and they wouldn't have been so clunky. Also, it’s okay to use a thesaurus once in a while, so long as you use a word you already knew but forgot you knew it.

Carhenge

There’s an amazing line in here, but it unfortunately ripped me out of your story immediately. Your next colorful line is not so great, and it takes me out of your story more. Also, how silent can it be when a dying car is creaking along, coughing and sputtering? Don’t say something is silent when it clearly isn’t in your next sentence. Ugh, honestly, your prose hiccups aside, this wasn’t a bad story. It wasn’t great, but you may stay.

Burden of Faith

If this story was a taste profile, it would be bland. For all the color you mention, it all seems awfully grey. You’re setting a scene, but building no tension and giving me no real sense of why I should care about Jesse. You allude to a great loss in her life, but she doesn’t seem all that moved by it. And just when I think I’m about to care, it ends. And this glowing moment just falls flat. Was the mountain having any effect on her? It just seemed so contrived. Like she would have called her dad anyway - she could have been in the parking lot of a Wendy’s and it would have made no difference. It’s a shame because I think this could have actually been a hearty helping of delicious sentiment, but it just ended up a little hollow.

What madness etc etc etc (your title was long or something)

Yep I liked it. Was hoping for something a little more punchy in the end, but the journey was enjoyable. Loved the rubber band scene. I had a good chucklesnort.

Somewhere Else

This was my HM contender, but I backed down before blood was drawn. Rightly so as my co-judges pointed out that absolutely nothing happened here, and they were right. I thought you painted a very good picture of Antarctic life and why someone would go there, and I liked the voice you used, but for gently caress's sake, they were right - it's more like a stream of consciousness. So I like it, but with contempt for you in my heart.

Undeath of the Author

This was nonsense. Decently-written nonsense. It was a mildly fun, Labyrinth-esque romp through some pulpy magical setting that escalated to some even more pulpy-fantasy bullshit. I can’t fault you much for your word choice and grammar, but I also have no idea what I just read or why.

A Good Friend, a Guardian Angel

If you want to write archaic speech, make sure it's digestible - what you wrote was unnaturally stilted and awful. Don’t load it up with dumb exposition. I wanted the skeletons to win the whole time. You can’t drop a reader into the middle of some action within a dense and alienating fantasy setting. This would have worked better as The Road to El Dorado fanfiction. That is why you failed.

Isla de las Munecas

I read all of those words and all I got was a dead bird.

Ok, so your structure was good. You started to set up something really cool and quite unsettling, and I had a strong sense of place, but it just didn’t seem like much happened. I liked this, but your execution and diction were lacking.

Come and Thou Shall have whatever (I can't remember the full title)

I was having a mediocre time with this until the very last line. Then I laughed. You may also stay. But learn from this and write something better next time.

Beezus fucked around with this message at 06:15 on Feb 5, 2019

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Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


Been a while. In.

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