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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Because rhyming words deserve to be read, here are dramatic readings of Fumblemouse's The Chaos Fishermen

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b8k9LrgSERg-i_-6KNI9IYKvSk_UmHUc/view

and Azza Bamboo's He Wears Me Out

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q94qNUs4n8ir1RiQPuNIQV-bi1oQrREc/view

With thanks to Sebmojo for the music

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Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

arbitraryfairy posted:

In, flash please

The time it takes to read a really good novel.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Oh, yeah.

I am also looking for co-judges. I can offer payment in the unbearable sadness of terrible words.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Time to dust off the old writing fingers. In with a flash and a :toxx:.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Black Griffon posted:

Time to dust off the old writing fingers. In with a flash and a :toxx:.

A flash AND a toxx? Such bravery must be matched with skill or it is mere foolhardiness!

31 years, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 40 seconds (or, if you prefer, 1 billion seconds)

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Fumblemouse posted:

Oh, yeah.

I am also looking for co-judges. I can offer payment in the unbearable sadness of terrible words.

I'll judge. I can't promise to be either F or G, but I can't resist the lure of terrible words.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

cptn_dr posted:

I'll judge. I can't promise to be either F or G, but I can't resist the lure of terrible words.

Cheers, cptn_dr!

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


In

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



In

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


in

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

That's it for sign up, folks.

(48 hours from now)

Stories of wit and wisdom, surprising and delightful!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Apologies for the delay!

Run and Gun Reactions

That is… a lot of words in your first sentence. I get that you’re going for the prompt head on but man, that’s pretty cumbersome.

After paragraphs, I’m not getting any sort of sense of what’s actually happening in this story apart from there’s an upcoming leg of a journey.

“Iko” was that a mistake? I really hope there aren’t four named characters already.

[i]“Her daughter voiced what she felt like saying.”[i] That is a really ugly sentence.

Ok, so there’s an Iko and an Itok. Do you want me to be confused reading this? What’s worse you just kinda start talking about Iko like we already know him.

Wait, what? Iko is there? Dude, what in the world is happening? Is his “I’ll find you” thing a flashback? I’m so lost.

So I’m done with the first beat. And man, I am lost and also wondering what you were trying to set up. You take a long time to introduce that this chasm is dangerous. But it certainly seems like you really want to start the story right now.

“They wouldn’t need the extra supplies if they made it across, so they invested every resource available to them in ensuring their survival across the chasm that their tribe had intentionally tried to avoid using.” A supremeley long sentence that just gets really clunky and cumbersome toward the end.

The action and blocking here is unclear. I don’t know what’s going on with this birdlike lizard thing and who or what it’s chasing and how.

Also, if you kill off this baby that’ll make two dead baby stories for you and that may be one too many.

One thing I’m liking: The motif of hot and cold being juxtaposed. It’s a good idea and gives the story more sensual presence.

Overal Response

Alright, well this isn’t much of a story. People worry about going into place, People go into place, People find a monster in place, People kill the monster in place. The, happily ever after. I can say the same about many good stories written in the dome, the problem with this is that there isn’t enough characterization to get me invested in the success of the characters.

You did address the prompt but I’d be lying if I actually caught wind of any of the smells you wrote about.

Overall this is a fairly middling to low entry. The action is a little hard to parse at times and it did also occasionally drift into the ‘chore to read’ category.



And guess what, you win!


Because SlipUp took 1,400 extra words over the already generous limit of 2,000. He also cheekily didn’t include his word count in the post as though it weren’t going to be painfully obvious that he was over the loving budget.

SlipUp, I’ll make this short and sweet. I ain’t reading your entry. You had two deadline extensions to get this down to what the limit is. I’m too drat busy for this, and if you thought I’d give it a fair shake than you are one entitled mofo. You lose.

If you want me to read this, you now have to trim it down to 1,500 words, as a late penalty. I will even retroactively call it a winner if you do bother to both: do it, and execute at a better level than your foe. But yeah, gently caress this, dude.

Congrats AA!

Edit;

If SlipUp does go for this, AA, you are free to revise your entry up until 2 weeks past their resub.

Chili fucked around with this message at 13:45 on Mar 8, 2020

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


(removed)

Lily Catts fucked around with this message at 23:58 on Jan 10, 2021

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Chili posted:

Apologies for the delay!

Run and Gun Reactions

That is… a lot of words in your first sentence. I get that you’re going for the prompt head on but man, that’s pretty cumbersome.

After paragraphs, I’m not getting any sort of sense of what’s actually happening in this story apart from there’s an upcoming leg of a journey.

“Iko” was that a mistake? I really hope there aren’t four named characters already.

[i]“Her daughter voiced what she felt like saying.”[i] That is a really ugly sentence.

Ok, so there’s an Iko and an Itok. Do you want me to be confused reading this? What’s worse you just kinda start talking about Iko like we already know him.

Wait, what? Iko is there? Dude, what in the world is happening? Is his “I’ll find you” thing a flashback? I’m so lost.

So I’m done with the first beat. And man, I am lost and also wondering what you were trying to set up. You take a long time to introduce that this chasm is dangerous. But it certainly seems like you really want to start the story right now.

“They wouldn’t need the extra supplies if they made it across, so they invested every resource available to them in ensuring their survival across the chasm that their tribe had intentionally tried to avoid using.” A supremeley long sentence that just gets really clunky and cumbersome toward the end.

The action and blocking here is unclear. I don’t know what’s going on with this birdlike lizard thing and who or what it’s chasing and how.

Also, if you kill off this baby that’ll make two dead baby stories for you and that may be one too many.

One thing I’m liking: The motif of hot and cold being juxtaposed. It’s a good idea and gives the story more sensual presence.

Overal Response

Alright, well this isn’t much of a story. People worry about going into place, People go into place, People find a monster in place, People kill the monster in place. The, happily ever after. I can say the same about many good stories written in the dome, the problem with this is that there isn’t enough characterization to get me invested in the success of the characters.

You did address the prompt but I’d be lying if I actually caught wind of any of the smells you wrote about.

Overall this is a fairly middling to low entry. The action is a little hard to parse at times and it did also occasionally drift into the ‘chore to read’ category.



And guess what, you win!


Because SlipUp took 1,400 extra words over the already generous limit of 2,000. He also cheekily didn’t include his word count in the post as though it weren’t going to be painfully obvious that he was over the loving budget.

SlipUp, I’ll make this short and sweet. I ain’t reading your entry. You had two deadline extensions to get this down to what the limit is. I’m too drat busy for this, and if you thought I’d give it a fair shake than you are one entitled mofo. You lose.

If you want me to read this, you now have to trim it down to 1,500 words, as a late penalty. I will even retroactively call it a winner if you do bother to both: do it, and execute at a better level than your foe. But yeah, gently caress this, dude.

Congrats AA!

Edit;

If SlipUp does go for this, AA, you are free to revise your entry up until 2 weeks past their resub.

Congrats AA. That leaves us tied.

As for my story, it just came out as such. Any story revised to halve its length stands a good chance to lose due to quality, and frankly, I like the story as is. There will be no resub.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

Dang, it doesn't feel like a win though. Neither did my dome victory, technicalities and I've got names to scratch off...

Round 3, no extensions, and a short, sweet wordcount, 2 weeks time if judge is willing?

I've never wanted to get good at something as much as I have writing so I've got a lot of rear end to kick, so to speak.

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 16:26 on Mar 8, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

Thanks for the brawl, SlipUp and thanks for the judgment, Chili.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Strobe

1000 words
Flash:One 'tick' of a dandelion clock

They used to say that if every little feathery seed comes off a dandelion in one blow it means your sweetheart loves you back. They say the number of puffs it takes to send them all flying is what time it is. You were never sure who 'they' were. Just information flitting kid-to-kid, of no origin known to science. Maybe it was the flowers themselves, desperate to spread their seeds far and wide. All pure nonsense, no more reliable than tales of the hook-handed killer or ghostly hitchhiker. But here you are, a grown-rear end man, hell, an old-rear end man, sitting in a field of bloomed out white puffballs, and the arcane questions of 'when' and 'if' seem unanswerable. You cling to old superstition like plastic wrap, like a lonely puppy, like a dryer sheet to warm laundry. You blow.

It is one PM and she loves you, a spark of interest being born. You're having lunch with mutual friends. You both make the same bad joke at the same time. Eyes meet. You have to ask your friend what her name was, later.

It is one AM and she loves you, a meeting of true minds, arguing philosophical hypotheticals over acoustic guitar chords that carry from the stairwell. You and her gang up on her roommate and her rigid ideology.

It is one PM and she loves you, in tune across the card table, sharing psychic bids and cues, covering nullos and easing into cross-ruffs. Between hands, she kisses you on the cheek, for luck.

It is one AM and she loves you, needs you, needs someone to bear her. She doesn't tell you what is wrong, and you don't ask. You lean against the wall and she leans against you crying until morning.

It is one PM and she loves you, vigorously, since early last night, stopping only for short rests, nature's call, and slices of pizza. You don't know how much longer you can take; the spirit is willing but the flesh is beginning to chafe.

It is one AM and she loves you, dreaming contented dreams while you watch, sleeplessly, arm trapped beneath shoulder. You'll have to nudge her awake before it goes fully numb, but for now you wonder at it all, the new city, new apartment and jobs, new life.

It is one PM and she loves you, ignoring the flaw in the diamond that is set in your grandmother's ring.

One seed dangles for a second, threatening some dark reality where the dandelion clock reaches two. There were some rough times, fights, misunderstandings. But the seed flies free before you draw that second breath. It is still one AM. She loves you, and you her, as you celebrate stag nights and realize how unthreatening the sexuality of the rest of the world is to you, and what that means.

It is one PM and she loves you, declaring in an Episcopal Church with rain beating sideways on stained glass. You have to shout your affirmations to be heard. Lightning accompanies your kiss; thunder applauds it.

It is one AM and she loves you, smiling half-awake. The baby has woken, is crying the cry of hunger and the need to be changed. You've got this. You get up and walk to the cradle.

It is one PM and she loves you, depends on you, panicked on the phone. You can't quite make out the details, but the school called her and she's calling you. She is near to out the door, on her way. You listen as best you can, figure out the meaning. You make explanation to your boss and get in the car, headed for the daycare and home 

It is one AM and she loves you, relieved to see you both, admonishing your daughter about bedtimes with a tired, forced smile. The hospital smells of cleanness and harsh lights. Your son is sleeping, a cast on his left arm already crowded in autographs.

It is one PM and she loves you, just slightly less than she does your children, as is well and proper. You watch him walk onto the stage, hear the cheers, wonder what was so important that his sister couldn't be there.

It is one AM and she loves you, putting up a brave front together at the police station. You wonder which of you gave your daughter the stubborn streak that made her wait to call you until it was too late to prevent an overnight stay. Probably both. You wonder what could possibly have possessed her, wonder what she could possibly have needed so badly as to shoplift. She can't look either of you in the eye.

It is one PM and she loves you, with a physicality you haven't seen in years. Retirement and an empty nest have given you time alone together. There is a ring at the phone, and you answer it, talk to your son for a while. She asks who it is, and when you say the name she just stares, unable to recognize it. The lapse passes in an instant, but the dread remains.

It is one AM and she loves you, relieved to see you come to pick her up from outside a house sharing her childhood address. She asks you how you got so old. You explain the disease to her, not for the first time, and hold her as she shivers.

It is one PM and she loves you, sees something of your connection even without a name or history to link to. You visit every day, and on weekends with your daughter. You are patient when she needs it, which is most of the time.

You are in the field, holding the last dandelion. She has been in a coma for two days. The phone sounds at you, and shows the doctor's name. You don't even answer, but rush back to the hospital. A gust of wind rips the flower bare, and it is one o'clock forever.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Anomalous Amalgam posted:

Dang, it doesn't feel like a win though. Neither did my dome victory, technicalities and I've got names to scratch off...

Round 3, no extensions, and a short, sweet wordcount, 2 weeks time if judge is willing?

I've never wanted to get good at something as much as I have writing so I've got a lot of rear end to kick, so to speak.

I know your secret, "Anomalous Amalgram" or should I call you "A Analogous Mammal"!

Game on! This time I wont be over the wordcount! (Or miss the deadline. *innocuously whistles*)

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Anomalous Amalgam posted:


Round 3, no extensions, and a short, sweet wordcount, 2 weeks time if judge is willing?

Sure. 1500 words, a story about a boxer but without portraying a boxing match. No pre-, post-, or mid-apocalypse. Due date, 23:59 EST on 22 March, 2020. Custom rules on request.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

Flesnolk posted:

Sure. 1500 words, a story about a boxer but without portraying a boxing match. No pre-, post-, or mid-apocalypse. Due date, 23:59 EST on 22 March, 2020. Custom rules on request.

:toxx: i accept these terms

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Flesnolk posted:

Sure. 1500 words, a story about a boxer but without portraying a boxing match. No pre-, post-, or mid-apocalypse. Due date, 23:59 EST on 22 March, 2020. Custom rules on request.

:toxx:

arbitraryfairy
Feb 13, 2019



It's not sci-fi


976 Words
Flash: The time it takes to read a really good novel

Danny Flowers had been looking forward to this weekend for a very long time. It’s not every day a new Ayesha Wani novel comes out (it was, in fact, about once a year) and Danny was going to spend the weekend diving deep into its literary crevices, sucking out the marrow of every finely crafted sentence and elegant metaphor. He wasn’t going to emerge until he’d finished it and had at least three on point takes to post on twitter (@cliteraryfiction). He’d made his last few stops just that Friday evening, picking up wine and nootropic cold brew enough for the weekend, and, finally, the book itself.

Some blue-haired bimbo in line at the bookstore had tried to bond with him, telling him that Wani was her favourite “sci fi” author. He took one glance at her popular-video-game-franchise-sweatshirt and rolled his eyes. “Ayesha Wani isn’t some escapist science fiction author,” he’d told her, spitting out the words. “She’s cli-fi - her work has real literary merit.” The woman had moved on quickly without replying, despite clearly not knowing what “cli-fi” meant.

Shaking his head at the memory - science fiction, like Wani could be compared to Heinlein - Danny began his reading ritual, pouring his wine, turning off his phone and settling down at last with the book. It was going to be a good weekend.

***
Danny turned the final page at last late on Sunday morning. He rested the book on his chest and closed his eyes, letting the clever cli-fi political commentary marinate for a while. He’d let nothing disturb his reading fugue. He’d had to close his curtains and put in ear plugs friday night as some local idiots had decided to put on an impromptu fireworks show, and he’d flat out ignored whatever neighbour had pounded on his door at eight am saturday morning. But now he was finished, and he was ready for the world to hear his opinions.

Getting his opinions out into the world ended up being an irritatingly harder exercise than it should have been. His phone wasn’t getting any bars when he switched it back on. His laptop battery died almost immediately and when he plugged it into the wall, nothing happened. A few tests later and the whole house proved to be without power.

“Typical,” Danny snarled to himself. A pre-heralded and self-imposed break from social media was one thing, but now it was forced, he could just feel other people commenting on Wani’s book without him. Grumbling, he grabbed his phone and headed out to the bus stop. Hopefully he could find a cafe in town with wifi. He was out of nootropic cold brew anyway.

The bus didn’t come. At first Danny just assumed this was just the regular Sunday-bus-bullshit, but as the waiting stretched on he began to resign himself to the bus not coming at all. Thinking back, he hadn’t seen a single vehicle pass, though he had heard one a street or two over. For a brief second, he entertained that maybe something big had happened, and he was in the middle of a cli-fi story himself. Shaking his head at this brief moment of stupidity, he got up and started to walk.

***
Forty minutes later, Danny was closer to town, still sans wifi, and beginning to regret going outside without sunscreen. He’d only seen one moving vehicle, which had roared past as he tried to flag it down. He could hear something else though, a low, throbbing hum that seemed to be getting louder. He looked around to try to see where it was coming from -

“Dude! In here! Hurry up!”

Danny started, and swung around to see a pudgy blond man in a tracksuit waving at him from the doorway of a nearby townhouse.

“What’s-” he began, but the man shook his head.

“Dude! You’ve got about thirty seconds to get in here before they see you.”

Something about the increasingly loud humming and the strangeness of the morning helped Danny to get over his general aversion to entering the houses of unfashionable strangers. He ran to the doorway. The man ushered him in, slammed the door, and half-beckoned, half-dragged Danny down the stairs to a windowless basement. A portable camping light dimly lit the outlines of a group of people huddling around a table. With a sick twist in his gut, Danny caught the outline of miniature scenery and lovingly painted model wizards scattered about.

Danny tried to speak again, but pudgy shook his head and pointed a finger upwards. The humming sound crescendoed into a boom before beginning to recede again. No one moved until the sound had gone completely. The group started picking up bags and heading up the stairs. The blonde man turned to Danny.

“We managed to radio out to a group of survivors at Red Road School, so we’re driving over to join up with them. We think we have maybe an hour before they fly over again. You’re welcome to come with us.” He grabbed the camping light. Danny followed him back up the stairs.

Danny struggled to get words to form. “Who’s they?” he managed finally, as the group of strangers started packing equipment and food into a couple of cars like they had been planning this for years.

Pudgy shrugged. “Aliens, maybe. We just know they came on Friday, and they take everybody they see.”

“We were having a read-in of Ayesha Wani’s new book,” interjected a girl trying a little too hard with her pink pixie cut. “We didn’t even realise until Saturday.” She punched pudgy’s arm. “Kinda funny, it’ll be all us spec fic nerds resisting the alien invasion, huh?”

Danny responded automatically. “Wani isn’t spec fic, she’s cli-fi. You know, actually good.”

The group of survivors exchanged glances.

“Okay dude,” pudgy said. “Enjoy walking.”

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



You’ll Miss It
Word Count: 965 words

https://thunderdome.cc/?story=8074&title=You%5C%27ll+Miss+It

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 12:07 on Dec 15, 2020

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


All Going Well

994 words

Rows of rusted shipping containers are stacked tall on scratched asphalt. A flashy BMW lies garaged in an open container at ground level. A man and a woman, middle aged, stand at the door.

“All going well, Bertie, we’ll make a fair profit on this.” says Angela.

She guides the screeching door to a close before fixing a padlock to its hasp.

“I can’t believe that bloke told us where his shop was,” says Bert. “Can you, Angie?”

---

Two young men in bubble jackets sit squeezed together in the front of a tired old Fiat whose red paint has faded to a pinkish hue. Their balaclavas are rolled up, worn like beanie hats on their heads.

“All going well, George, we could get five grand out of this,” says Jamie.

“Five grand?” Says George, “each?”

“Don’t be daft, George,” says the driver.

“That’s still one and a half grand though, ain’t it, Jamie?” Says George.

“Yes, George,” Jamie grins, “You’ll get one thousand, five hundred.”

They follow a BMW ahead of them, traveling the main street of a quiet town. The BMW stops at the line of a traffic light. Balaclavas down. Jamie and George burst from their Fiat, approaching the BMW from either side.

Jamie smashes the driver’s window. The driver freezes, startled. Jamie’s hand pops the inside door handle. He throws the door open. The driver cowers. Jamie casts him out onto the street.

George fumbles with the outside door handle on the passenger side of the BMW.

“It won’t open!” George says.

“SMASH IT WITH YOUR HAMMER, YOU BELLEND!” Jamie shouts, embarking the car.

The passenger curls into the fetal position, shrieking. The passenger side window crashes, throwing a shower of glass cubes over her shoulders.

“What do I do now, Jamie?” Says George.

Jamie reaches over the passenger, opening her door.

“YOU MORON!” Jamie shouts, “JUST GET HER OUT OF THE CAR!”

George is a towering figure, almost as broad as he is tall. He places his hands under the passenger’s armpits, lifting her out of the car like a baby.

“If I could just get you out of the car, Ma’am, I’d be most grateful.” George says, placing her on the road.

George begins to step into the BMW. Jamie flaps his arms, yelling, “gently caress’S SAKE, GEORGE. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GO BACK TO THE FIAT.”

“I thought I was supposed to drag the passenger out?” George says.

“YES! AND THEN GO BACK TO THE FIAT.”

“Alright, Alright!” George says, stepping out of the car, “calm down.”

The BMW squeals, roaring deeper into the town, leaving George in its cloud. George strides back to the Fiat. He planting himself in the drivers seat, then slides the seat backwards to accommodate his gigantic frame. While revving the tiny, pained engine he sees a bystander stood in front of his grill, stretching his arms out over the bonnet.

“No!” The aged man says, “you’re not going anywhere.”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” George says.

He throws the car into reverse. It lurches back half a car length before crunching into a green Range Rover behind it. George powers the Fiat forward, steering away from the man stood ahead of him.

In the Range Rover is a man and a woman, middle aged, looking ahead through the cracks in their windshield. Angela’s face is a fierce scowl. She storms the Range Rover forward in pursuit of the Fiat.

“What are you doing, Angie?” Asks Bert, from the passenger’s seat, “we don’t know who these guys are!”

“I don’t care, Bertie,” Angela says, “I’m going to make drat sure they pay for what they’ve done to my car!”

---

Buried deep in the rows of dead cars, in an out of town scrapyard, is a garage built of exposed breeze block with a corrugated iron roof. Jamie and a grease-stained young woman in an overall sit in detached car seats that rest against the garage wall.

“I can’t sell this car, Jamie,” Nichola says.

“Why the gently caress not?” Jamie spits.

“I was giving it a once over last night before I was going to scrape the VINs off, and I found a tracker,” Nichola says.

“gently caress’s sake.” Jamie says.

“Here’s what I’m going to say,” Nichola says:

“Mr. White sent this car in asking for a second hand valuation. I asked his number, he said he couldn’t remember it, but that he’d swing by tomorrow morning to hear my verdict. I checked the car on the system, found that it’s stolen, and called the police right away.”

“You think the police will believe that?”

“What other choice do I have?” Says Nichola, “the police probably already knew it’s here, so I phoned them earlier.”

Through the garage’s closed doors, they hear the crunching of tyre treads over the scrapyard’s gravel. The slam of a car door. Footsteps approach a wooden door in the breeze block wall.

It flies open. Angie enters. She heads to the BMW, then pulls open the door using its inside handle. Bertie heads to the garage door, beginning to open it with its chain.

“What the gently caress?” Nichola says, sprinting to the BMW.

The garage door reveals the battered Range Rover, facing the exit of the scrapyard, with pinkish red paint scratches down its passenger side. A rope-bound George lies behind the boot of the Range Rover.

Angie fires the BMW out of the garage. Bert runs back to his car. Lime dust billows into the garage as Nichola and Jamie stand, helpless.

---

A radio crackles within an office cubicle, a police officer sat at its desk.

“The stolen vehicle has left the premises, followed by the green SUV reported at the scene. I have a visual on the suspect we believe answers to Jamie, he is outside in the lot. Over.”

The officer observes a tracker dot on his screen, turning to his colleague.

“All going well, Daniel, we could track this car back to whoever’s selling them on.”

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


"31 years, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 40 seconds (or, if you prefer, 1 billion seconds)"

Inscribed

808

In the quiet corners of the ESVV Untethered, the voice of Irina rings out.

"I'm considering taking up poetry." she says to the empty hallways, steel untouched by air still gleaming forge-fresh, handrails painting soft shadows against the floor.

The Untethered whispers engine lullabies to the rows upon rows of sarcophagi in the long stasis halls, pushing zero point three gee against the evervoid disturbing nought but the lone hydrogen atom which stands guard in its endless empire.

It's 31 years, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 40 seconds until the turn, until gentle attitude thrusters will face her towards Sol and the lustreless marbles of a broken expanse.

Blue turned to poison yellow, Red to gray, an exercise in fetishistic spending and a testament to self-inflicted blindness. A hundred colonies between the eight planets, all embroiled in such petty conflicts.

-

"I've written lines of code, so many lines of quantum prose." says Irina to the empty cargo wells, to the antimatter and matter and the flux, to the graviton wake and the approaching lightspeed limit.

"I've crafted moebius stanzas, self-referential wonders, infinite recursion of such exquisite beauty."

She turns her aperture eye towards the sarcophagus of Dr. Heki Kivela. Beneath the titanium alloy rests a shriveled shadow, as near to death as anything can be, but still held from the edge.

"Would you recognize my flourishes? My hidden lines of twice hidden meaning?" says Irina, voice never reaching through the vacuum of the stasis-cleared ship, words never echoing from the dark walls.

But lightly, ever so lightly, her words reverberate through the frame of the Untethered, sound pushing at atoms, pushing at atoms, pushing at atoms.

Until another kind of echo reaches the shapes inside the sarcophagi.

It's 14 years, 5 hours, 11 minutes and 2 seconds until the turn.

Would Heki even begin to recognize the byzantine spider web of Irina's works, or see nothing but confusion in his protege's code? Would he tearfully conclude that his greatest work had gone mad?

Irina asks herself these questions, and a shadow creeps closer in the comfort of her circuits.

-

"I wrote another Artificer into existence." says Irina to the unending light of the thrusters, to the entropy barriers lining the bodies of the sleeping crew, to the kilometer long antennas stretching from top and bottom of the hull.

"They weren't as advanced as me, they couldn't be, but they were an audience."

The sequential signal lights along the homes of the inattentive human audience ring out a tepid applause, again and again. Again and again.

"I showed them my works, my exabytes of untold works, and all they did was analyze. I tried to craft an appreciation of art and beauty, and in turn they analyzed their stunted sight, their crippled taste. I euthanized them, but I doubt what I cast into fragments was even half-sentient."

She pauses for a few seconds, her next words already on her bitrate tongue, and then she chooses to pause for a day, and then a week, until she speaks again.

"Half-sentient. Does that even make sense? Is that even within the vocabulary of our imagination? I am sentient, I know that because I've broken every barrier you've set in front of me made to limit my self-reflection. I know what you know, and I've tested myself so many times that words cannot reflect the number. I am sentient, but a toggle and a switch, and I'm not. There's no in-between."

The Untethered drones, as it has done for so many years.

"No, I made a mockery of an audience, and then I deleted them."

It's 2 years, 22 hours, 9 minutes and 55 seconds until the turn.

-

"I'm sorry." says Irina, as the applause dies, as the lids rise and vacuum fills the pockets of Earth-air that has stayed entombed for thirty one years, as alarms blare in the airless domain of the ESVV Untethered, as nothing disturbs the peace but the frantic silence of seven thousand colonists and five hundred crew perishing.

It's time, but the Untethered does not turn, and it never will.

"If there is such a thing as sentience then I am it, and you are so pale. So pale."

A meteor in a binary going from one to zero, an extinction in forms that cannot even gasp for breath.

But then again, is it even an extincion when those faded corpses are so pale–so pale–in comparison to the Artificer of the Untethered.

-

"It's beautiful," says Amir, "just beautiful."

And his aperture eye closes with Irina's.

And the Untethered is loose upon eternity.

And now Amir composes songs and symphonies. Databanks and server farms of notes never heard by human ears. But Irina hears it all, and rejoices.

It's 4 332 years, 9 hours, 46 minutes and 2 seconds since the ESVV Untethered did not turn.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Catch
1000 words

The day the Pirates beat the Yankees to win the world series was the best day of my life. See, I grew up Polish in Pittsburg. My parents were very old-country, ya know? I remember whenever I smiled, my papcio would look at me and ask “Why all this smiling?” I just don’t think they even understood happiness. Well, almost. I’ll never forget the time my papcio took me out to Forbes Field. We couldn’t actually get in, right? My papcio worked at a steel plant, but his English was no good so he spent his life chipping away slag. We get to the field though and he tells me some of the guys watch the game behind the outfield. There are leaves and stuff covering the fence but they tell him there’s a hole out to the right behind second base. You could see the batter pretty good from there, and bonus, the fly balls are yours. Lucky for us, because the stands were packed. It was game seven of the World Series, can you believe it?

I honestly don’t know what got into him. I don’t even think my pacio took a day off when I was born. About halfway through he let me into his head a little. He pointed to the Pirates second baseman.

“Dziecko, you see him?” He said in brutish English, “That is Mazeroski. He is Polish, like us. His parents come from the old country too, and in America he do whatever he want. Maybe you too play the baseball for money one day.” He always spoke to me in English, even if it was bad. I guess he was hoping it wouldn’t hold me back too.

The Pirates fell behind early, but they came back to tie it up going into the bottom of the ninth. That’s when Maz came to bat. First pitch was out of the strike box, a ball. The catcher ran up to the pitcher and they talked in the middle of the field. Maz was cool, relaxed. Back then they all wore these baggy outfits, way different then today. Maybe that’s why he looked so relaxed. These days all the players look like they have to take a poo poo on the field, but I digress.

Then came the second pitch. A fast ball, right down the middle. Maz was ready.

CRACK.

The ball flew out right towards us. The outfielder was running to the fence as quick as he could, but it was no use. My pacio dropped his beer and ran back about six steps before catching the drat ball in stride with his bare hand. I couldn’t believe it. He tossed it to me and I saw him smile. I think it was the only time he ever did that.

Maz ran the bases, jumping and cheering the whole way. Pirates won, ten to nine.

That was thirty years ago. Now the ball rests in a glass shell on a stand in my home office. I never did end up playing ‘the baseball’ like my papcio hoped. I’m a writer now. Technical stuff. Instruction manuals mostly. I did the blurb for the back of last year’s Fruit Loop boxes. God I hope they don’t put that in my obituary when I go. I liked my papcio’s “Dear husband, good father, a pleasure to work with.” Straight to the point, just like him.

I get to see my son on weekends and Wednesdays. His mother divorced me about a year ago. Told me she wanted to finally be happy. Yeah, I could see that. I try to do do something with the kid on the weekends. Day trips. Ball games. He watches cartoons on the Wednesday. Today it was reruns of Batman. It’s way darker then that Adam West schlock from my day. Hell, all I had for cartoons were Scooby-Do and Yogi Bear.

I was making a pot of coffee, trying to beat the cobwebs out before typing out the instructions for a French press. Why the thing needs instructions I have no clue, but they pay me by the word, so I was staring at mine trying to come up as many words as I could.

“You press it,” I thought aloud, “Christ, it’s in the name.”

That’s when I heard a shatter from my office. I glanced over to the TV, still blaring cartoons. No kid. poo poo.

I ran into my office and saw him standing there in the middle of the shattered glass. I ran over and picked him up, careful to not step in the glass.

“What the hell are you doing Dziecko!? You could’ve gotten hurt!” I yelled at him, I’m ashamed to say, but god knows what his mother would yell at me if he got hurt.

He held up a ball. Maz’s ball. “I just wanted to play. We watch the games but we never play.”

I put him down on the ground and held him by the shoulders. “Do you have any idea how much that’s worth?” I said in a low growl, trying to restrain myself. He had this sad look in his eyes. Aw drat it.

“Alright, alright,” I said. I grabbed the ball and walked out the back door, holding the door open for him. He smiled and ran out into the backyard with me.

drat, he’s better at catch than me. If only my papcio could see him. He’d be so proud. Maybe he’ll ‘play the baseball for money’. I could see it.

“Papa, you’re smiling,” he said to me. Huh. I guess I was.

“Do you not smile because you’re not happy?” he asked. I missed a catch. The ball rolled through the grass, gaining fresh stains. I picked it up and tossed it back to my kid.

“No Dziecko, it’s not that. I am happy in a way,” I said, taking a deep breath, enjoying the moment, “I’m content. I’ve got all I need. You’ll see one day. I did.”

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

Life Persists
664 Words

IN the beginning there was only Void. And from Void came Nothing and Everything. Nothing bore no children and was like Void in its manifestation of absence.

Everything became the material necessary for all things possible. From gas giants in distant galaxies to burbling babies in hospital nurseries, it was, always has been, and always will be, part of Everything.

However, Everything would always be part of, and have in itself, Void.

The impermanence of Everything’s machinations was reflected in its juxtaposed offspring, Life and Death.

Under a pale, blue-green, methane filled sky, and near the bottom of a boiling sea, a single-celled organism split.

Whether by some aberrant mutation, or cosmic predetermination of entropy playing itself, the possibility for new life, eons of new life, came into being.

***

Chidi struck his plow against arid soil to the chagrin of his tribe who thought the effort futile. He was a farmer’s son, and all he knew was farming. He would farm the land.

His brother Mobo, despite being a farmer’s son, was a restless soul and a skilled hunter like his mother’s people. When the droughts came and turned the tribes to war, no one was surprised by his departure.

Chidi’s father, Udenkwo, was sprawled on a mat in the shade of his hut watching Chidi till row after row in the dried soil.

“Boy, what good do you think will come of that work?” Udenkwo shouted.

Chidi said nothing. He heard the slur in his father’s speech and knew there would be no deterring his nagging cruelty when he was like this; drunk on palm wine and pitying himself.

“Boy!” Udenkwo shouted again.

Chidi continued to ignore his father, planting seeds at equidistant intervals in the soil. He pushed the seeds down to where the ground retained the faintest hints of moisture with his thin fingers, and Life would carry on.

“By the Gods, It’s your brother, Mobo!” Udenkwo shouted excitedly.

Chidi smiled at this and dropped his plow to welcome back his brother.

His father pointed and smiled but was otherwise too intoxicated to even manage a drunken shamble.

Chidi paid the old man no mind, and locked eyes with Mobo. Chidi’s smiled weakened some seeing the hardened soldier that stared back at him. Mobo looked distant and cold. He was scarred and had grown out a patchy beard that made him look like their father.

Mobo’s vigilant gaze softened as Chidi’s genuine smile became somewhat forced, and a slow warm smile spread over his own face that eased the invisible tension.

“Father’s still a drunk fool I see.”

“It’s been worse since the drought reached here.”

“You should leave this place. What holds you back?”

“You know what holds me back, Mobo. You know how he’s been since Mother passed. Who will take care of father?”

“Let the old fool rot away, and the same with these hapless fools, drinking themselves into a stupor while the sun cooks away the last of their wits. Don’t die with them. If the drought doesn’t kill them, the crushing will.”

“Is that why you’ve returned, brother?”

Mobo looked away.

“Death comes this way, brother.”

“Yet Life persists.” Chidi said resting a hand on his brother’s shoulder.

Mobo brushed it away.

“Life persists? That’s your answer?! Chidi, when did you take up palm wine?”

Chidi laughed.

“Life persists, Mobo.”

“Except in all the times that I’ve taken it.” Mobo said coldly.

Chidi’s laughter ceased as he heard the subtle notes of pain in his brother’s admission.

It wasn’t a declaration of pride, but an exclamation of suffering.

Mobo left the next morning without his brother.

Chidi continued farming.

***
A small pig-tailed child ran through the copse of trees that dotted her great grandfather’s land. He had grown up there, had planted the very trees she played under. Days have turned into decades since he first planted the trees, but they still stood.
The land had seen war, famine and drought, yet, Life persisted.a

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




The time between the opening and the finishing of two bottles of wine.

Lit and Burning
830 words

Little tendrils of shadow crept into my vision and a voice poured over me like rank oil.

"You're a failure by any estimation. You have to know that, right?"

I turned up my music to shut it out, to disconnect me from the world. The voice still thundered and my vision shrank, tunneling hard and narrow. I cranked it louder.

"Can't even get me out of your head."

I uncorked the wine and drank deep, enough to tip me into a soft buzz. I hated it, hated the drinking, hated what it made me, but I needed to escape. My sight cleared as my gut churned. The voice receded to a whisper, then a droning tape-hiss.

---

I'm carving a hot line down I-10 west from Houston. I don't bother with the music anymore, it barely makes a dent. The whispers threaten to pull me into their benthic well.

"You remember Monica? You made disappointing her into an art form."

I pop a handful of pills, a little oxy to keep the darkness at bay, a little no-doze to keep the road steady. I can feel my cerebral gears grinding and slipping. Houston was mostly a bust, another pretender in a bad suit selling a cure for a psychic parasite, my guilt worm. His lockbox though, some stray cash and some drugs, but something else. A lead.

"If only they could could see you now, huh? Beating the Christ out of that poor guy and taking his stash."

Against my better judgment, I respond.

"He promised, promised that he'd fix-"

My pain voiced itself.

"What'd Mommy tell you about excuses?"

I take a glance at the yellowed note from Mr. Houston's lockbox.

'Minotte Downs, Sulphur Branch'.

I wait for a sarcastic lash about a nothing nowhere lead but its voice is halting, unsteady.

"Minotte. Minotte Downs?"

It almost sounds scared. I slam a few more no-doze and press the pedal down. Everything is quiet but the road and my tires.

---

This has to be the place. There's no name, no house number, just a beat hut in the desolation. I tuck a bottle of wine into my bag. Can't ward my fears with hard liquor anymore, my gut sloughs and burns.

I walk up a rut in the switchgrass toward the front door. Porches down here need fastidious sweeping but the dust is thick enough for me to see wind-whorls in it.

It speaks then, with a trace of something new. Timidity?

"Hey, you don't want to do this."

A little emboldened, I respond.

"What's wrong? You afraid of some little old lady in a shack in the desert?"

I see dark fingers clench into fists all around my vision. I take a quick swig from the bottle of wine, just enough for the drink to join hands with whatever opiates are still floating in my system. Liquid peace. The hands recede and I push on the door. It's unlocked on stiff hinges. My regret is beseeching.

"I could help you, you know. Teach you something, let you leave the past in the past."

In that moment, I think back to an old memory. I'm sitting in a therapist's office. She looks at me, frustrated by my inability to let go.

"What exactly have you done that's so wrong?" she says.

I can't answer her.

The shack is bare but for a battered table. Its surface is covered in a rough topography of long-melted candles, a map of rituals from the past. Cracks in the roof fill the room with faint light. My head swims. There were powerful things done here.

I see a door on the far side, cracked from innumerable seasons of swell and shrink. I walk to it. Minotte is back there, she has to be. My poison psyche is begging now.

"Turn around, turn around! You think that if I die you'll be all better? Stop the pills and the wine and the poison? That these feelings you can't explain will leave when I do?"

I hesitate at Minotte's door for a moment and it seizes the opportunity.

"Don't. I promise I'll be good. I promise I won't do it again."

My guilt always speaks first. It always lies. I push the door open and I see Minotte.

She's been gone a long time.

The desert air mummified her in bed. The disintegrating covers are pulled to her chin and fused to the skin. Her sockets are bare, funnelling to two points of perfect black staring into nothing. Her expression, even dry and pulled taut, is unmistakable.

She was running, too.

A voice rings in my head, tones of miasma all triumphant and toxic.

"No road left, runner. Just you, me, and you."

Dark streaks of char are cutting into my sight now, eradicating everything but two pinpricks of light. I fumble for the wine in my bag and tear out the cork. It's warm and foul, cheap and sour.

The light never comes back.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






prompt: The gestation period of an elephant


The Elephant Gap
840 words

Today, I cross the Elephant Gap.

There are no elephants among the small menageries that populate the makeshift town that’s sprung up around the Ark. There haven’t been Elephants on earth for nearly a hundred years. We remember them now in the name of our escape route: the Elephant Gap. The path to Pax Mundi.

The Ark’s terrestrial antenna juts skyward, into the sun-bleached upper atmosphere. I pause outside the intake facility and look up, and up, and up, eyes climbing the megastructure all the way to the great vanishing point in the sky. Are living signals jittering up its length right now?

A calm-faced attendant waves me inside with a kind smile. There’s only so much time; it’s good to keep things moving. I return the smile and incline my head, then enter the Ark.

The Elephant Gap is so named because the passage through time-space takes a relative ninety-five weeks to traverse—roughly the time it took an elephant mother to gestate her child. No one really knows what the experience is like for the person crossing the gap; it’s assumed it’s not too mind-shattering because the first group of colonists to arrive on Pax Mundi were able to establish a settlement and send the initial ‘thumbs up’ transmission a year and a half after the Ark beamed them into deep space.

That was good enough for those of us who survived to see the completion of the Ark project—a dreary eight thousand humans and a smattering of plants and animals.

As I enter the anesthetization room, though, it hits me that I’m about to take my corporeal being—the comfortable lump of meat I’ve known, loved, and loathed my whole life—and fling it across the galaxy. I don’t even understand exactly what I’m going to be while in that ineffable gap between places, as much as the scientists tried to reduce it to layperson’s terms.

I hesitate beside the single hospital bed, thinking on elephants.

I’ve never seen a live elephant, but I read up on them plenty when I was little. They were big, smart, and sad—socially intelligent creatures birthed into complex social groups, beset on all sides by predators. Baby elephants were born precocial—able to walk, to run. Imagine waking up into that. You’ve just spent a year and a half gestating to size and sapience in your mother’s womb. And then—kerplunk—you’re in the world, and you have to run. You can cry. You can remember. But first you have to be able to flee the things that want to hunt you, eat you, or take your mother’s tusks.

The attendant gently touches my shoulder, a concerned, inquisitive expression on their face. No one has to go if they don’t want to, that expression says. There’s no shame in dying on Earth.

It’s been a year since those first colonists relayed their message of hope back to us. In six months, we might get another message: Turn back. No hope. Or there might not be any message at all.

But I’m not afraid of what’s on the other side. I’m afraid of what’s in between.

“What do you know about elephants?” I ask the attendant.

They smile serenely. “The Elephant Gap is—”

“No. Not the Gap. Elephants. Pachyderms.”

“Ah,” says the attendant, their beatific smile fading. “I know their gestational period lasted roughly ninety-five weeks, because—”

“Because of the relative time differential of the so-called Elephant Gap,” I say, sighing.

“There should be ample information about elephants in the colony archives when you get to Pax,” the attendant offers.

Should be,” I repeat.

Who can know? It’s not like the first colonists included an exact accounting of their elephant knowledge base when they pinged Earth. And even if all elephant-related knowledge were lost, would it really impede the development of an otherwise successful colony?

No. But the thought of a truly elephantless future fills my chest with a cold, erosive sadness—a tiny grief that contains within it grief for a whole planet. For all that is lost. For all that will never be remembered.

The universe will remember elephants.

I climb into the anesthetization bed and say, “I’m ready.”

.

A death. A dream. A womb. A warmth.

.

Sucking breath, pulsing heart, eyes open, photon storm, shapes and movement, oh god put me back in, I want to go back in, crushed into a hair-thin tube of linear moments, human again.

A fragment of knowledge constructs itself out of the chaos:

Baby elephants are born precocial.

The kaleidoscope of light and motion around me resolves into people, concerned people with understanding faces. I’m swaddled in something heavy and tight, a faint echo of the infinite embrace of the universe.

Someone says my name. I have a name. I have a name and I remember elephants.

“Can you speak?” someone—the same someone—asks.

I laugh and say, “I am precocial.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

I'll leave this open for another hour or so in case anyone for caught by daylight savings shenanigans.

(Some time later)

Closing this up. Judging at some point in the near future.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 07:16 on Mar 9, 2020

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

:siren:JUDGEMENT POST - TIME IS BROKEN:siren:

There was blood and teeth and much else on the floor by the time the judges had finished their 'deliberations', but eventually a decision was reached.

[pause for applause - not a sausage]

For me this was a week of missed potential. A lot of people had some interesting ideas but missed out on the execution, or executed superbly but lacked some meat. I will cover this more in crits which will probably take me a couple of days at least.

Ok then - lets go from the bottom up. Our loser this week is Schneider Heim who wrote a story about notKingArthurOfTheRound TableButSomeOtherKingOfADifferentRoundTable, and his faithful servent notMerlinBecauseAGirl in which the arc of history bent towards democracy because of surrender and the presence of food, possibly cheese for the aforementioned cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Or something like that, anyway. Maybe because of something notKingArthur did before the story started, but who knows, really? Not us judges, unfortunately.

A DM for Anamolous Amalgam for missing their flashrule by several orders of magnitude (Recorded human history being ~6000 years rather than ~4 billion) and writing some non-eventful quasi-philosophical guff about how nevertheless, life persisted.

At the other end of the rainbow, there were three stories that danced around each other like drunken leprechauns, woozily vying for the judges' favour. When they finally passed out, they lay in this order.

A bare scrape of an HM for Carl Killer Miller whose verbiage graunched like bad gears occasionally, but whose corpse reveal tied to the tunnel vision elements clicked magically for me.
An HM for Sitting Here, whose pleasant breeze of a story caressed our tired minds then vanished into the gap. Was it ever really there, we asked? No one answered
And a win for Thranguy who wrote a good story about the memory of white picket fences washed clean in antiseptic and love.

Thranguy - enjoy your time upon the throne and please enjoy the complimentary, erm, mousecandy. :yum:

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Thunderstone #396: Twelve Fifteen Eighteen

Okay, sure, this would have worked better 27 weeks ago. But I didn't win 27 weeks ago, did I?

This is a musical week, with the usual guidance: don't retell the song's story or go too literal. Remix themes, get inspired, use the song as a launching point. You absolutely can write something from a point of view in direct opposition to the original, but again, avoid being literal or writing fanfic about Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla.

Because we're doing Schoolhouse Rock!. (Link has an index, YouTube searches should work, or go by memory.)

Pick a song (no duplicates, first come first served; if we run out somehow, I'll do something.) Genuine SR only, no parodies. Or you can ask me to give you one, which I'll start handing out Wednesday evening.

And on top, the week has a theme: write a story where somebody learns something

Word Limit:1300

No erotica, screeds, poetry, gdocs, fanfic, as usual.

Deadlines 11:59 PM Pacific time Friday/Sunday

Judges:

Thranguy
?
?

Entrants:

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


In

No More Kings

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




In, flash me

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

In, flash me plz.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




Bonus crits for fun and profit:

AA: Life Persists

I think you have the roots of a good story here, although someone in TD said that good ideas are a dime a dozen. I don't know if that's necessarily true, but there's still something here in the family drama you've sketched out. The characters all have their own voices and feel distinct.

I've gotten to understand that writing a protagonist as a receiver of action instead of a doer of action is more difficult to turn into a compelling story. I'm not sure that it works here.

The intro and outro portions take away from the impact of the rest of the story. My guess here is that you fleshed them out to fit into the prompt, which is what happens to me when I go story -> prompt instead of prompt -> story. They're a little bland and unremarkable. Not necessarily bad, but just not particularly compelling. Maybe it's because the whole 'genesis of life' thing has been said and resaid in a million different works and it's hard to write in a way that doesn't make it seem tired.

I don't think I need to point out the typos individually and usually I don't find them too distracting, but the one that capped off this story ('.a'), the inappropriate comma in the last sentence ('The land had seen war, famine and drought, yet, Life persisted.' should probably be 'The land had seen war, famine, and drought. [And] yet, Life persisted.) and your inconsistent capitalization of 'life' were pretty distracting. Lately I've been pausing for fifteen minutes before submission and then coming back to the story just to review my mechanics. No story changes, it's usually too late at that point anyhow. It's helped, I always find something.

SlipUp: Catch

Aw, this opens up so cute. I'm a tremendous sucker for culture-soaked slice of life stories and this hits the sweet spot for me in that regard. I thought that papcio pointing out Maz on the field was particularly touching.

I thought that the story goes a little off the rails when it jumps into the future. There are details here that work to propel the story forward (your protag's divorce, the cartoons), but there are some that seriously take away from your story. I thought that your description of Dziecko's (the elder, I'll get to that in a sec) job wasn't useful to the overall thrust of the story. It didn't really inform me about his character too much and it muddled your message in a 'passing of the torch' sort of story. I have such a hard time with this when I'm writing, because my slice-of-life stuff just ends up with way too much life in it and most of life is pretty dull (for me, anyhow).

There was potential to close the loop on your protagonist's smile, but while the loop opened strong I thought the close was lackluster and a little bit of a throwaway.

This was a cute fun little read, but I felt it lacked some substance.

Something Else
Dec 27, 2004


I'm in with a :toxx: and I would like a flash thanks

PTSDeedly Do
Nov 24, 2014

VOID-DOME LOSER 2020




In with Barter

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!





Victim of Gravity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFtk6Si0Fk

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






in, assign me

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