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Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Hi :downs: in!

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Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In :toxx:

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Quiet Room
1308 words

It was quiet when Bella woke up.

Actually quiet.

Bella sat up and stared out the window for a long time.

Most places are quiet at five in the morning. The sun is down, city seem farther away, and the few cars whispering by almost seem embarrassed to be so disruptive. But to Bella, who had never had a quiet morning, it was a shockingly muted experience.

Every morning, for as long as she could remember, Bella had woken to a litany of abuse: Hello, stupid. What terrible choices is your fat rear end going to make today? How are you going to embarrass yourself? She would dress, brush her teeth, and put on makeup silently while the voice whispered and nagged and insulted her. Bella would lock the door and think, loser/ Go down the stairs and think, failure. Buy a vending machine coffee at the station- fat whore!

But today, suddenly, it was just gone.

Bella felt off-balance and terribly empty. Almost shyly, she stood up and walked to the bathroom. Nothing yelped or snarled; there were no ribbons of hatred curling around her brain. For the first time, she realized, she was could hear her own thoughts without the background of distracting self-abuse. The doctor had mentioned this, had talked about how liberating the feeling would be, but in the moment, Bella was almost annoyed.

She stared at the pills in her hand. Would this last? Could she actually go a full day without obsessive negative thoughts flipping themselves through her brain like coked-up gymnasts?

The first day at work was a blur. People were used to Bella not paying attention- “a dreamer!” when really she was trapped, listening to the inner voice- and seemed surprised when she readily responded to their questions. She ate with coworkers and actually followed the conversation. Bella was surprised at how easy it was to communicate now.

The pills continued to work. For two weeks, Bella woke up in a quiet room and performed her ablutions in blissful silence. She engaged with coworkers and found it far easier not to zone out. She could follow a movie or a TV show without getting distracted. Bella even found herself learning again- she could almost feel a tickling in her head, and she could remember facts! No more re-reading the same page over and over because she couldn’t break away from the inner voice. Yet, it felt like something was missing. A phantom limb, one that she used to beat herself with. Bella loved having no uncontrollable thoughts in her head, but the clarity felt more like emptiness. She had been drained of something vital, she felt. Something primal in her nature was gone.

“Who am I?” she asked the doctor later that month, perched anxiously on the couch.

“You’re the same person you always were,” the doctor responded easily, “but now you are more fully yourself. From what you’ve been telling me, the rapid-cycling has completely stopped-that’s wonderful!”

“It’s just really different.”

“It might take some getting used to, but I want you to think of this as a liberating experience. For the first time in your life, you’re…” The doctor pursed her lips and moved her hands in a frenetic barrel roll. “…you’re the only one present in your head. The only thinking you’re doing is deliberate. I know it’s a big change for you, but I hope it’s one that you appreciate.”

“Yeah, but at the same time, I don’t feel like myself. Like, I’ve been going around my whole life like this, and I always thought everyone else did, too- it’s not that it’s a big change, it’s that my whole life is different now and it’s happening in a way that I can barely explain to anyone.”

This piqued the doctor’s interest. She leaned forward. “And are you telling people about this? Are you sharing your journey with others, like we talked about?”

Not for the first time, Bella winced. “If you mean, when people at work say ‘oh, Bella, you seem way more positive and awake all of a sudden, what’s going on?’ do I then say, ‘totally, just taking haphazardly-measured swigs of a research chemical in order to quash the evil witch who lives in my head and calls me morbidly obese stupid hooker every loving minute of my day,’ then, no.”

“We talked about how important communicating about the journey is, didn’t we?”

“I think I talked about how it’s nobody’s business.”

“And I think we talked about the significance of sharing our feelings and not keeping things bottled up inside.” The doctor thought this was the origin of the voice, and for whatever reason, Bella didn’t seem to be able to make her understand that the voice was just there without any encouragement from herself. “Agreeing to medicate yourself was a big step, and I hope you know how proud I am of you for taking it, but you need to keep moving forward. Imagine you’re going up a staircase. Do you need a landing after taking every single step?”

“No.”

“Can you walk up stairs without getting tired? Maybe not forever, but certainly you can do a few at a time, right?”

“Yes.”

The doctor nodded triumphantly, as if she had revealed some amazing truth about the universe. “Then I’d like you to continue up the stairs, Bella. And I’d like you to use the bannister.”

Bella stared.

“The place where you put your hand,” the doctor said impatiently.

“Yeah, I know what a bannister is, but are you using it as a metaphor for using other people as support?”

“Exactly!” said the doctor, with what Bella felt was a smug expression. “Your legs are doing the work, but reaching out for extra support will get you there faster/” She settled back in her chair with a little smirk.

I am authentically thinking you are an rear end in a top hat, Bella said in her deliberate inner voice.

Bella had an opportunity the next day. Marlee, who worked three cubicles down and never seemed to stop talking, sat with Bella in the break room. “What’s going on with you?” she asked, unwrapping her sandwich. “You’ve been, like, chipper all month.”

“I’m not usually chipper?” Bella asked. Marlee was loud and annoying, not one of Bella’s favorite people.

Marlee didn’t pick up on the sarcasm. “Noooo, usually you’re, like, a million miles away. What’s up? Did you start doing keto or something? You look [i]alert
.”

Bella thought for a moment, considering. “I’m in a trial for a method to treat OCD thinking by using small amounts of something like LSD and it’s really peaceful inside my head but also I feel like loving screaming because literally everything in my life is completely different and it’s scary as poo poo,” she did not say.

“Oh, I started running in the morning before work. It…helps me wake up,” she said instead.

“Ohmigod, I have to start doing that, it’s like—”

Bella found she could zone out on purpose. She did so with satisfaction.

She walked home that night instead of taking the train. It was early November, but the leaves were already mostly dead, skittering like ghosts across the sidewalk. A fire truck blared in the distance somewhere. Bella walked in silence, her earphones in her ears, but nothing playing. She could obviously hear what was going on around her, but she could also follow it- she reacted quickly now.

When she got home, she walked immediately to the mirror. The lights were off, but she could see herself dimly- a shadowy blob. Remote. Her authentic self? Who really lived in Bella’s body? She didn’t know anymore.

[i]You are a stranger here and you are doing everything wrong,
she thought on purpose. She knew this was something she really felt and truly believed. It was then she could finally cry.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


oh god loving dammit, can I fix that?

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Antivehicular posted:

Okay, so after some quick chat in IRC, here's what I'm gonna do: keep your first post as is, so I can double-check that the only edit is the formatting, but repost the story in a new post with the formatting fixed. Alternately, we can always appeal to the archivists to correct your formatting for the archive.

Okay, thanks, appreciate it. On my way to work but can do it in about 20 mins.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


TRYING IT AGAIN

Quiet Room
1308 words

It was quiet when Bella woke up.

Actually quiet.

Bella sat up and stared out the window for a long time.

Most places are quiet at five in the morning. The sun is down, city seem farther away, and the few cars whispering by almost seem embarrassed to be so disruptive. But to Bella, who had never had a quiet morning, it was a shockingly muted experience.

Every morning, for as long as she could remember, Bella had woken to a litany of abuse: Hello, stupid. What terrible choices is your fat rear end going to make today? How are you going to embarrass yourself? She would dress, brush her teeth, and put on makeup silently while the voice whispered and nagged and insulted her. Bella would lock the door and think, loser/ Go down the stairs and think, failure. Buy a vending machine coffee at the station- fat whore!

But today, suddenly, it was just gone.

Bella felt off-balance and terribly empty. Almost shyly, she stood up and walked to the bathroom. Nothing yelped or snarled; there were no ribbons of hatred curling around her brain. For the first time, she realized, she was could hear her own thoughts without the background of distracting self-abuse. The doctor had mentioned this, had talked about how liberating the feeling would be, but in the moment, Bella was almost annoyed.

She stared at the pills in her hand. Would this last? Could she actually go a full day without obsessive negative thoughts flipping themselves through her brain like coked-up gymnasts?

The first day at work was a blur. People were used to Bella not paying attention- “a dreamer!” when really she was trapped, listening to the inner voice- and seemed surprised when she readily responded to their questions. She ate with coworkers and actually followed the conversation. Bella was surprised at how easy it was to communicate now.

The pills continued to work. For two weeks, Bella woke up in a quiet room and performed her ablutions in blissful silence. She engaged with coworkers and found it far easier not to zone out. She could follow a movie or a TV show without getting distracted. Bella even found herself learning again- she could almost feel a tickling in her head, and she could remember facts! No more re-reading the same page over and over because she couldn’t break away from the inner voice. Yet, it felt like something was missing. A phantom limb, one that she used to beat herself with. Bella loved having no uncontrollable thoughts in her head, but the clarity felt more like emptiness. She had been drained of something vital, she felt. Something primal in her nature was gone.

“Who am I?” she asked the doctor later that month, perched anxiously on the couch.

“You’re the same person you always were,” the doctor responded easily, “but now you are more fully yourself. From what you’ve been telling me, the rapid-cycling has completely stopped-that’s wonderful!”

“It’s just really different.”

“It might take some getting used to, but I want you to think of this as a liberating experience. For the first time in your life, you’re…” The doctor pursed her lips and moved her hands in a frenetic barrel roll. “…you’re the only one present in your head. The only thinking you’re doing is deliberate. I know it’s a big change for you, but I hope it’s one that you appreciate.”

“Yeah, but at the same time, I don’t feel like myself. Like, I’ve been going around my whole life like this, and I always thought everyone else did, too- it’s not that it’s a big change, it’s that my whole life is different now and it’s happening in a way that I can barely explain to anyone.”

This piqued the doctor’s interest. She leaned forward. “And are you telling people about this? Are you sharing your journey with others, like we talked about?”

Not for the first time, Bella winced. “If you mean, when people at work say ‘oh, Bella, you seem way more positive and awake all of a sudden, what’s going on?’ do I then say, ‘totally, just taking haphazardly-measured swigs of a research chemical in order to quash the evil witch who lives in my head and calls me morbidly obese stupid hooker every loving minute of my day,’ then, no.”

“We talked about how important communicating about the journey is, didn’t we?”

“I think I talked about how it’s nobody’s business.”

“And I think we talked about the significance of sharing our feelings and not keeping things bottled up inside.” The doctor thought this was the origin of the voice, and for whatever reason, Bella didn’t seem to be able to make her understand that the voice was just there without any encouragement from herself. “Agreeing to medicate yourself was a big step, and I hope you know how proud I am of you for taking it, but you need to keep moving forward. Imagine you’re going up a staircase. Do you need a landing after taking every single step?”

“No.”

“Can you walk up stairs without getting tired? Maybe not forever, but certainly you can do a few at a time, right?”

“Yes.”

The doctor nodded triumphantly, as if she had revealed some amazing truth about the universe. “Then I’d like you to continue up the stairs, Bella. And I’d like you to use the bannister.”

Bella stared.

“The place where you put your hand,” the doctor said impatiently.

“Yeah, I know what a bannister is, but are you using it as a metaphor for using other people as support?”

“Exactly!” said the doctor, with what Bella felt was a smug expression. “Your legs are doing the work, but reaching out for extra support will get you there faster/” She settled back in her chair with a little smirk.

I am authentically thinking you are an rear end in a top hat, Bella said in her deliberate inner voice.

Bella had an opportunity the next day. Marlee, who worked three cubicles down and never seemed to stop talking, sat with Bella in the break room. “What’s going on with you?” she asked, unwrapping her sandwich. “You’ve been, like, chipper all month.”

“I’m not usually chipper?” Bella asked. Marlee was loud and annoying, not one of Bella’s favorite people.

Marlee didn’t pick up on the sarcasm. “Noooo, usually you’re, like, a million miles away. What’s up? Did you start doing keto or something? You look alert.”

Bella thought for a moment, considering. “I’m in a trial for a method to treat OCD thinking by using small amounts of something like LSD and it’s really peaceful inside my head but also I feel like loving screaming because literally everything in my life is completely different and it’s scary as poo poo,” she did not say.

“Oh, I started running in the morning before work. It…helps me wake up,” she said instead.

“Ohmigod, I have to start doing that, it’s like—”

Bella found she could zone out on purpose. She did so with satisfaction.

She walked home that night instead of taking the train. It was early November, but the leaves were already mostly dead, skittering like ghosts across the sidewalk. A fire truck blared in the distance somewhere. Bella walked in silence, her earphones in her ears, but nothing playing. She could obviously hear what was going on around her, but she could also follow it- she reacted quickly now.

When she got home, she walked immediately to the mirror. The lights were off, but she could see herself dimly- a shadowy blob. Remote. Her authentic self? Who really lived in Bella’s body? She didn’t know anymore.

You are a stranger here and you are doing everything wrong, she thought on purpose. She knew this was something she really felt and truly believed. It was then she could finally cry.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I am also down to judge.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Neato!
Where is chat these days, Discord?

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In and flash

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


By the way, my comments can be seen here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-wsDqazRmaMxLQ6wp068fR2jx4v-t84nDfmCHRnU9BQ/edit?usp=sharing Sorry, forgot to post this last night.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In :toxx:

BALLAD OF PATTY HEARST

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Tanya
The Ballad of Patty Hearst
1732 words

Tanya came back different. Her hair’s buzzed close to her scalp and it makes her eyes stand out. Before, Tanya didn’t even look at other people- you didn’t notice her eyes at all. Now, if she flicks them at you, it’s arresting. King of scary. They’re focusing, but they don’t seem to see.

I said “hi” right away when she came back. I still wanted to be friends, you know? “Hey, Tanya, what’s up?” So casual. My mom said just to calm, that Tanya would explain everything to me if I didn’t make a big deal over her reappearance.

I don’t think I did the right thing. Maybe I was too chill, I don’t know. Tanya just looked at me with those empty blue eyes, shrugged, and walked away. I haven’t tried to talk to her since, and neither has Ashley, even though she and Ashley were really close before she left. Ashley says she’s too weird now. I agree, but it’s not “weird” like most people in my school are.

Tanya came back different. She snarls at people. “Why the gently caress are you looking me like that?” she snapped some freshmen girls the other day. They giggled, but when Tanya took a step towards them, they flew away squawking like startled birds. Tanya just turned around, expressionless, and went back to stuffing poo poo in her locker. I wanted to say something- “Tanya, what the hell?” or “Yeah! Run away, you bitches!”- but I got nervous and acted like I hadn’t seen anything. Later, I thought maybe Tanya would want to be my friend again if I stuck up for her, but then I realized she’d just be angrier at me.

Tanya’s always had a reason to be angry, but she wasn’t. She was soft and quiet and spent most of her time drawing sexy anime girls. No one ever asked her why she was so meek, and Tanya never told them, but Ashley and I knew. We used to go to her place for sleepovers, and her parents were always really scary- her mom smelled like whiteboard markers, and when she talked it sounded like her tongue was too thick. Tanya’s dad wasn’t around much, but the few times he did show up, he’d get super mad and just scream at Tanya or her mom. He hit Tanya in front of us a few times, and everyone acted like it was no big deal, so I acted like it was no big deal. Then I mentioned it to my mom, and she stopped letting me go over there. “Let’s have Tanya come here instead,” she’d always say when I asked.

I heard that Tanya’s living with the principal, that her family’s in jail. I heard she went to rehab (for what?) and that she’s being adopted by a wealthy family two towns over, and she “went crazy” and was locked in a mental hospital, and other stupid theories. Kids were walking up to her and asking about them on her first day back. At least I was her friend, I wasn’t some rando just getting in her business. I thought.

“Tanya came back different,” I said at dinner that night.

My parents looked at each other, but all my dad said was, “I guess you probably would. Poor kid,” and kept eating.

Mom looked at me thoughtfully. “Would you like to ask Tanya over for dinner tomorrow?”

I really would like Tanya to come over for dinner. I would like her to walk into my house with her long, tangled hair all messy and her voice soft and low, carrying her stupid little kids’ backpack she’s had since second grade. But I don’t think that Tanya is going to pick up the phone when I call.

I finally had a chance to talk to her in Science one day. She still shared a table with me, and when my teacher told us “table partners,” I knew she’d have to talk to me.

I started to set up the experiment. “Can you prep the slides?” I asked casually.

She gave me a quick look, then silently started doing so.

I waited a minute before asking, “Do you understand what we’re supposed to be doing? I zoned out.” I hadn’t.

Tanya gave me another look, this one slightly peevish. “You did not,” she said.

I blinked back. Then suddenly- “Yeah, well, maybe you should just talk to me already?”

She actually looked ashamed for a moment before hardening her features. Silently, she slid the prepped slides over to me. “You don’t get to ask me for anything” she said in her normal, quiet voice. Then she raised her hand. “Ms. Gonzalez, I gotta go. I’m gonna throw up.”

______________________________________________________________________________


Ashley and I aren’t really close anymore, either. She doesn’t care about Tanya at all. In fact, the other day, she called her “white trash” and when David Chang asked her if Tanya’s family had plumbing or if poo poo in the woods like animals, she actually giggled. He’s not even cute. I would feel left out, but I honestly don’t super care anymore.

I saw Tanya walking home, though. I don’t know why, but I decided to follow her. Maybe she would be more honest outside of school, was my reasoning, but I was too shy after what happened that time in Science to actually approach her, so I just trailed after her at a comfortable distance.
She did turn onto her street. She did go to the house. I hadn’t seen it since before she left, and was surprised that the windows and doors were boarded up. The little house looked sad, dingy, like a toy forgotten on the sidewalk. Tanya was expressionless, but her eyes were carefully searching. She disappeared into the backyard.

I approached from the other side, trying hard not to snap any twigs or scuff the gravel. Tanya’s family never locked the basement entrance, which looked like part of the side of the house. Maybe they hadn’t boarded that one up, since it didn’t look like a door.

Tanya had the same idea, and she spotted me as I walked up. “What the gently caress, Danielle?”

“Hi,” I said in a normal voice. “I saw you walking over—”

“Well, thanks for following me, that’s not creepy at all.” She glared.

I shrugged. “Sorry.” Pointing to the basement door, I asked, “Locked?”

Tanya considered me with her eyes before eventually saying, “No.”

“Are you going inside?”

“What do you think?” She yanked hard on the rope handle. The door shuddered open.

“Well…can I come with you?”

“Why?”

“I dunno. I just want to.”

Tanya made a face. “Maybe I want to be alone.”

“Okay, but what are you doing?”

She sighed and started to speak to me in clipped, brisk tones, like you would when a child asks a particularly stupid question. “My parents are gone, the house is condemned. Okay? It’s condemned. They didn’t let me take anything with me, and I want my stuff. I don’t need your help and I’ll kill you if you tell anyone about this.”

“You can carry more stuff with two people,” is all I said in return.

Tanya made another disgusted noise. “Fine. What the hell. You can help me take the stuff out. Okay?”

Tanya’s house had never been clean, but I had never seen anything like what lay behind that door. The smell of piss was so strong that I could taste it, and at first I thought I was going to be sick. Tanya barely seemed to notice, just a nose wrinkle and another irritated gust of breath as she entered. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the house was filled with trash. There were a few holes in the walls, which were streaked with dirt and wet spots, and I even saw a used maxi pad stuck to the wall. That’s when I averted my eyes, trying only to look at Tanya. “I think we should be careful. There are squatters here.”

She laughed. “It looked like this before I left,” was all she said in return.

Tanya’s bedroom still looked pretty tidy, if dusty. She immediately made a beeline for the little Transformers backpack and started cramming everything small into it. She didn’t have much stuff, but I tried to help her, anyways. She took some clothes from the dresser, but none of the drawings on the walls, not even the ones I knew she was proud of.

Once outside, my head swam with relief. Tanya even smiled a little as she tried to zip up the bulging backpack. “So…where are you going?”

Tanya sat down on the big rock in the driveway. “Is that all?”

“Sorry?”

“Is that all you’re going to say?”

“Uh, you made it pretty clear you don’t want to answer any questions.”

Tanya nodded thoughtfully. Then, she asked a question. “Why didn’t you ever tell anyone about my parents?”

“What?”

“When you and Ashley saw my dad going apeshit that time- the first time-why didn’t you ever tell a teacher or something?”

I blinked. “Well, you never did, so I didn’t think you’d want me to.”

“You what?!” she said, her voice rising almost to a shriek.

“You never complained. I didn’t know if that was normal or not, like, in other families.”

The look on her face is one I’ll never forget. The disgust and hatred were transforming- she didn’t even look like herself. “How loving stupid are you?” she said, her voice breaking.

“I didn’t understand!”

“Some things are pretty loving understandable, even if you’re not, like, personally familiar!” she shouted at me. “I could have been out of here years ago, if someone had helped me!”

“Tanya, nobody knew it was this bad!”

She was already walking away. “Yes, you loving did!” she screamed over her shoulder.

I had a long, lonely walk home after that. The guilt was so heavy in my chest that I slouched. In my heart, I knew she was right- it wasn’t ignorance that kept me from speaking out so much as my fear that she would be taken away, that I’d never see her again if I said anything about her family. In the end, though, isn’t that what happened anyway? My friend is gone forever, and she’s never coming back. Not in the same way. Not as the same person.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Thunderdome Week 352/CCCLII: Do You Know? 나쁜 글쓰기!


Ulsan Industrial Complex at night

That's Korean for "bad writing" and, well, that's where our prompt is coming from.

It's very important to have pride in one's city! Korean cities have some of the best, and funniest slogans I've ever seen.

Here is a compilation of Korean city slogans. Pick one you want, or ask me to assign one to you. Obviously, these are meant to be more inspirational than literal- I don't care if Korea appears in your story at all, let alone whatever industrial hellhole you've chosen as your muse. You do not have to include the actual slogan in your story, but I should be able to read it and go "oh, okay, I get how this refers to Exquisite Ssamjang*, or whatever.

What I'm looking for here is for you to take these nonsensical mottoes and find the emotion, the hope behind them. For example, "It's Daejeon!" isn't much of a rallying cry in and of itself, but put yourself in another's shoes and examine how it could be. Maybe IT'S stands for something important to the city it does; Information, Technology, Science, maybe someone is so relieved to arrive that they have a series of wacky adventures, maybe Daejeon is the name of a monster coming around the corner. Get creative and allow your brain to work in a weird way.

2000 words or less
Signup deadline:
11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, May 3rd.
Submission deadline: 11:59 Pacific time on Sunday, May 5th.

Judges:
Fleta McGurn
Armack
Nikaer Drekin

Entrants:
Anomalous Amalgam- Pine City Gangneung
Doctor Zero- Namyangju: the Slow City
flerp- Dream Hub Gunsan
crabrock- Do Dream Dongducheon
Mr. Steak- Season your life with Sunchang
thranguy- Blue City Geoje
Sebmojo- I.Seoul.U
Salgal80- A+ Anyang
fushia tude- Hi-Brand Nowon
crimea- Dream Bay Masan
Noah- Osan Fresh Energy
Saucy_Rodent- Happy Citizen, Proud Jeongeup
Lippincott- Smiling Dalseo
Simply Simon- City of Masters, Anseong
QuoProQuid- New Hope Dangjin

*not a city

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at 10:55 on May 6, 2019

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Also, I will likely not be on Discord much this week, if at all, because I have a houseguest as well as a full workweek. If you want to judge or get ahold of me in general, PMs are better.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Anomalous Amalgam posted:

In, give me a slogan please.

Pine City Gangneung!

flerp posted:

in slogan

Dream Hub Gunsan!

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


sebmojo posted:

In, give me a slogan. Also will do crits for my week by friday 2359 pst. :toxx:

Smoj, I can't imagine anyone better equipped to handle I.Seoul.U.

Fuschia tude posted:

In, city slogan me, thanks

Hi-Brand Nowon!


e: Armack has graciously agreed to judge; still need one more!

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Nikaer Drekin posted:

I'll step in to judge! I don't have PMs and am not on the Thunderdome Discord yet, so I'm not totally sure how to get in touch with everyone, so assuming we can figure out how to stay in contact I'm willing.

You're on!

E: fletamcgurn at Gmail dot com

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at 16:36 on May 1, 2019

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Sorry, lost track of these in the brawl brouhaha.

crimea posted:

In with Dream Hub Gunsan.

This one's already been taken, but you can choose another or I can give you one.

Noah posted:

In. Slogan please.

Osan Fresh Energy!

Saucy_Rodent posted:

In. Slogan plz

Happy Citizen, Proud Jeongeup

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Sign-ups are now closed. I'll update the OP when I get home.

This is going to be a great week! Good luck to everyone.
화이팅!!!!

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Looks like we're limping towards the finish line here. Submission deadline has been extended by three hours.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Submissions are closed. 감사합니다 <3

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Thunderdome Week 352/CCCLII: Do You Know? 나쁜 글쓰기! RESULTS

Seriously, you guys, cheer up!

We waded through the post-apocalyptic zombified technological graveyard together, and honestly didn't agree on much. After much discussion over soju and silkworm pupae, we've decided on the following:

WINNER: Thranguy
HM: Sebmojo and Lippincott
DM: Saucy_Rodent and Fushia tude
LOSER: Mr. Steak

You may view my comments and brief crits here.

Please enjoy this edited photo of a real Korean statue of a kid violently shoving his fingers in another kid's butthole:


Thranguy, your butt is less sore- sit right back on the blood throne!

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at 17:28 on May 7, 2019

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


flerp posted:

fleta, if you wrote comments using google docs, we cant see them because the link only allows us the view it. you need to give us a link that lets us either comment or edit for us to see the comments

Sorry, didn't realize. How odd. Try this.

In NO WAY does this indicate that I want anyone to comment back, by the way.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In with Lutalica.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


in and :toxx:

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Many-Sided Journey
986 words

The Mystery is knowable to some, but not all, of Her children. We should not ask why, nor should we ask how it works. Mystery is a sacred thing. I know, because I can touch Her. I did once.

In the old days, the Dream-Seekers ate mushrooms to touch the Sky. They roiled and vomited and pissed mightily into enormous stone bowls, bidding onlookers to drink. In this way, the shamans passed a small amount of Mystery to their tribesmen, making all of us more of less equal before Her. Now, however, the secret is more closely guarded. We are not all considered worthy anymore.

That day, when I before the jade altar, I pretended to be contemplating the abstract and unknowable shape of Her. I could not admit that I was afraid. To be chosen was such a divine thing; how could I be fearful? How could I trust in myself so little? It would have been shameful to admit then.

The brew was cold and bitter, laced with iridescent spirals of oil. I drank from a tiny cup, eyeing the floating chunks of dried fungus. Crimson red, with purple veins. Like chunks of tissue.
It took longer than I thought, but when it happened, I felt everything at once. Existence blinked out, inaccessible. I clutched at the silken pillows beneath me for purchase, but my hands were so cold. Numb. Yet, they moved- who was moving my hands? I couldn’t feel them at all.

Suddenly, I was in their grasp. They grabbed me by the scruff of the neck like a kitten and pulled my face to look upon them. Something very big is looking at me! I turned my face away, trying to focus my eyes, only to be pulled harder.

Look at us.

I looked. I screamed.

My first impression was of sliding plates, something between scales and chunks of gunmetal rock. Shiny, almost opalescent. They twisted, shifted, and disappeared, only to be replaced by patches of multi-colored pastel light. This shimmering landscape appeared both real and unreal, mechanical and organic. It was the body of a huge beast, but it also seemed to be a vehicle. A colony?

At the sight of them, my body immediately began to shake. I wept, helpless to stop the tears, moaning like a dog the entire time. They were unfathomable, and my physical self could not handle it.

It was at this moment that I felt Her. She broke away from my terrestrial body and reached out, focusing her over-eyes and blurring out my own vision. I had read many times about how it feels when your connected soul abandons your body, but nothing had prepared me the experience. It was both terrifying and thrilling, a tingling that was deeply pleasurable and which made me feel terrible anxious. She guided me upwards as they called to me again. After another attempt to pull me up to them, they finally accepted I didn’t have the physical capability to cross over. They mourned the difference between our worlds, albeit briefly.

Some of my peers had expressed concern that they might not understand their purpose at first. There were whispers of those who had been lost between the worlds, unable to complete the journey, yet too involved to be drawn away. I, too, felt panic when I realized that I could not possibly understand what they wanted to show me.

Circles? Circle, a half-moon, and some horizontal lines? It meant nothing.

They tried again, insisted.

I can’t read this.

A rustle of discontent, of sorrow. You cannot read this yet, they cautioned, turning their great eye back to me. Reminiscent of a squid’s eye, though its shifting body also called to mind an enormous whale.

Who are you? What are you?[/b]

A pause, consideration. We are…weight. We are pressure. We are presence. We exist. Another pause. We exist more.

I gasped as pulses of energy racked my body. Can you manifest here? Can you come to us?

A regretful beat.

[i]What do you want from me?
Yet, I know. I could not gaze upon them and render them with inks, but I could understand them. I could speak for them.

At the moment of this realization, words began to pour from my mouth like light, bouncing wildly into the room and sending a flurry of indistinct shapes- the scribes, I dimly remembered- wheeling about the room. As rules, warnings, advice, and explanations exploded from me, I heard the scratching of thousands of quills, even though I knew there were only three scribes in the room. As I talked and talked, their words flowed in and out of me like waves. My body thundered with energy.

She was there. I could talk with Her. She was joyful and relieved at our cooperation. I had never known before how tenuous the link between the earthly body and our connected souls is, how she could fear for me, that she could ever fail me. I had never known that sacred things could be flawed, uncertain of themselves.

As She held my hand, I felt their tentacles unwind from my mind. I shuddered with exhaustion and loss. No one caught my fall in time, but I was beyond noticing. I sank gratefully into a deep sleep as the endless river of words finally dried up and my exhausted mouth fell slack.

I woke in a little white room, overlooking a troop of orange toadstools in the garden. I was weak and sick for days. People kept visiting and telling me how incredible my performance had been, how I had brought such enlightenment to all the world. I nodded and smiled, feeling weak and somehow sad. Many told me how much my sacrifice meant to them, but I could do nothing in response except stretch my face into a grimace of acknowledgment.

I was empty of words.

I was grateful for this.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


in, flash, :toxx:

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


A Strange Diary Found
1324 words


July 3rd
I escaped from the carriage just as we reached Fuller’s Pride Falls. A horse threw a shoe and, when the driver headed off to ask about a smithy, I flew neatly from the back and into the forest.

This marriage foolishness will not abide!!!!! I shall live in the woods as a hamadryad.

July 5th
Confound all hamadryads; I shall be a nun. It is abominably wet in the forest. Nuns at least have bedlinens. I believe. Father always threatened to send me to a convent school when I was a naughty child, so he should be fairly happy with the arrangement.

July 10th
Upon the road, I met a gentleman (such enormous whiskers!!!!) called Mr. Lupo. He was himself travelling alone and invited me to accompany him in his carriage. Being at this point quite faint from hunger and my travails, and being that he is a rather old and frail man, I have agreed to travel with him for the time being.

Mr. Lupo has been quite kind so far, even paying for me to stay alone at this pastoral inn, while he himself lodges with a bachelor friend. How angry Father would be to know that I am so unchaperoned! I cannot stop my childish giggles. In truth, I feel fairly giddy- Nanny Rush would surely dose me, were I home.

At this point, Mr. Churlish Dandified Edgar must be in a state. Perhaps I should feel more remorse.

later—

I write this in a terrible fright- in truth, I am in the necessary, as it has a lock and a candle, and I found surprisingly that my own room had neither? Although I must have had a candle when I went up to bed. I can find no explanation for its disappearance.

I was awoken very suddenly by a shifting, sloughing, growlish sort of noise. Not wanting to draw attention, I stifled myself and lay as though dead, with eye barely open. I could hardly see, but a faint flicker of light from the hall penetrated the gloom. With no lie in my heart, I record that I saw a very bent and twisted-looking beast of some sort, a rough, hairy animal, with malevolent yellow eyes. They shone like lanterns, and seemed both blind and piercing- mad eyes.

My breath nearly betrayed me. The urge to tremble was so entire that my mouth felt like a sack of loose rocks. Desperately, I held on, and feigned sleep even as the beast audibly sniffed for me. I heard its slaver splash to the floor.

At that dreadful moment, another lodger must have stirred, for I heard footsteps in the hallway. In that very instant, the beast was gone.

I lay, trembling, for as long as I dared, then dressed hurriedly and made my way cautiously dolwn the hall. Although I had heard someone before, it was now quiet.

The stable doors were locked, so I have escaped into the privy. It stinks, but is not uncomfortable, and here there is a candle. I can certainly wait here until----

July 11th, morning
The splashes on this page belie my crime- I have killed a man! And yet, they are trophies, for I am no true murderer.

When the privy door rattled, I screamed with all my might. The monster managed to force his head, neck, hands, and chest into the room. I could see he had not only fur, but scales- huge, ugly slabs of chitin. His face looked as if someone had put their fingers in his eyes and stretched— with a horrible, round little mouth stuffed with vicious teeth. His spindly fingers curled around the rough doorframe, capped not with claws or nails, but yet more teeth!

I could not have fought such a beast. I had no weapons, not even a stick. But, as it growled and hissed and tried to squeeze itself through the doorframe, I espied my savior: the candle, and a basket of hygienic rags.

Father should feel very sorry about the time he paddled me for my mischief with Mrs. Butterwick’s privy, back when I was twelve. I had no mind then to set a blaze, only to see my little flaming sticks wink merrily away into the darkness. How was I to know that ordure was so flammable? How was I to know that this childish mischief would one day save me from a demon?

I quickly lit a match and set a handful of rags ablaze, waving them in front of the monster’s face. It hissed at me, the fire glinting in its eyes. I must admit that I was quite profane as I taunted the beast, but my unladylike behavior, for once, bore fruit.

As the monster lunged its way fully into the privy, blowing the door off its hinges, I threw my bundle of fiery rags into the second privy hole and, with a great scream, slid directly through the monster’s legs and out the privy door, just as I heard a huge rushing sound.

The manure beneath the privy exploded! It must have been a very old and rather solid chamber beneath, for there was an astonishing amount of muck thrown about. I was myself blown over and into the pasture, where I luckily used an overturned water trough to block most (but, sadly, not all- hence the aforementioned stains) of the airborne mess. Besides the panicked whinnying of horses and the distant cries of disturbed men, I could hear thousands of soft, plopping noises, as unspeakable matter covered the world.

When the storm blew over, I lay low, not daring to stir and admit my part in the crime. But eventually curiosity got the better of me, and I peeked over my fortunate trough to see a ring of besmirched citizens, all looking horrified and confused, all circling the prone, white figure of a naked man.

I cautiously approached- horrible! It was Mr. Lupo!

For a moment, I was struck dumb by guilt. I thought for sure the Heavenly comeuppance Father had always warned me about had come at last. Then I realized the poor old man must have been harboring that foul demon. I admit I fell to my knees and began weeping immediately, both guilty and grateful. Thankfully, the others mistook my reaction for the natural grief a girl would have if she had lost her “uncle” in such a way, and bade me return to the inn and rest.

Even before I could clean myself, I had to record this most extraordinary day. I shall put this book under my pillow, foul as it is, as any knowledge of this surely would spell only trouble for me!


July 16th
I am quite recovered from my ordeal. For my entire life, I shall never forget the kindness of dear Mrs. Pipkin, the stout and good-hearted proprietress of this little country inn. She has allowed me to stay, free of charge, until I felt ready to commence my journey once more. If ever I have the largesse to do so, I shall repay her kindness a thousand-fold!

Sadly, I find myself in a bit of a quandary: back to Father, who shall surely place me in a far more odious marriage, or continue on to Hanbury and the boorish, overly fashionable Mr. Edgar.

As repugnant as I find the man, I am at least assured he is not possessed by a demon. About Father, I have no such certainty. It should be easy enough to escape Mr. Edgar, and then surely Father could only blame him for my transgressions.

If I can defeat an unholy demon using only the privy of a country inn, I shall certainly find a way to wriggle out of a dull marriage! In fact, I shall relish the challenge.

If this is ever found, Dear Reader, please- be careful whom you meet on the road!

Here ends the record.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


in and flash, please

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


in

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


derp posted:

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)

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

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


derp posted:

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.

Were the dictionary entries for "chump" and "inferior guy" and "bigger chump" because yeah.

Am I not doing brawl challenges right

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I believe in us both, I'll toxx if you toxx.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I agree with this. Also, I get to fart on derp's pillow if he or she fails to submit

Someone judge this majesty.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I'll take a flash, too.

We're not fighting, we're a family :unsmith:

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Wtf please

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


butt

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


derp posted:

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?

Your bravado slaps me with less force than a floppy bit of fettuccine. Bitch-rear end HO.

P.S. I fail this week; surprise beach hols. Brawl entry is still good.

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Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I'm down, in :toxx:

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