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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Greetings all.

So secret santa was a middling success this year.

As far as I know everyone in the present loop has either gotten their presents or will very soon be getting their presents.

As for the story loop? I don't think a single story has been closed yet.

I don't have the time or energy to follow up with folks on the story front anymore. So, I'm posting the list here. If you are waiting for your opener, and genuinely want to write the close, then feel free to reach out to them. If you're an opener who started something that you really want to see finished, same thing.

The lesson learned here is that I think next holiday season we'll just stick to presents. The holidays are busy and stressful enough without adding on more homework and I also don't want to pull people away from participating in weeks that are also already gonna be a little light.

If you are still awaiting gift(s) and you haven't heard from your santa, lemme know. That poo poo ain't be right.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EpHkO35oYY2Ip_BFEDKFT6SMVk8_6hHCdOyiqZEDIio/edit?usp=sharing

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

Week 380 crit

I really have to crit the rest of this week; have this in the mean time, pipe up if you want your story from 380 critted next.

Yes, please!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

:toxx: In for the next week. For whoever the judge is, no special flashes cos of the toxx, please and thank you.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Azza Bamboo posted:

With me you get, not one, but TWO detailed outfits AND a bitchin rear end motorbike story. That's real art!

And its own hype man!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Blurry
750 Words

I don’t want to see.

Rain falls down and I smile as I tuck my glasses into a sewn-in pocket in my blue bomber. I can’t collect nearly as much without them. Can’t blame folks, the glasses touch me up a bit. Horn-rimmed, that’s what they told me at the store when I got them 15 years ago.

“Ah, caramel frames, they’ll bring out your green eyes.” Back then I thought the saleswoman liked me, in retrospect, she was just pushing product.

And that’s me now. A product I’m pushing on everyone. Folks only got so many dollars to pass out to people like me. The glasses help with them, but I can’t pass up the change for things to be this burry.

A few steps later and I splash into an ankle-deep puddle; the cost of a blurry world. I have to get to Westside Men’s, unless I want to drown in all this. They like me enough there. Luckily, the directions are in the name.

As I trudge, blurs rush past me and leave me be. Occasionally, one of the blurs is kind and puts some coins in my cup. I thank them and the blur seems happy. Then they move somewhere or nowhere while something or nothing lights up in their hands. Thank God. Nice and blurry for all of us.

I pat my pocket. The frames are still there, nice and safe. I pull my soaked feet out of the puddle and keep on moving. I walk into a garbage can, which hurts but I’m glad. There’s only one can in this whole city that’s placed in the center of the sidewalk like this one. I know where Westside Men’s is from here. The purple bus stop to my right only confirms it. Fourteen blocks up and five blocks over. But, poo poo. No blurs at the bus stop. The evening commute rush is done; I’ve only got a little bit of time left to get there. I jog for only a few seconds before I splash into another puddle. A few seconds later and I slip and drat near bust my head open on the curb.

I sigh and realize that if I’m going to make good time I’ll need the curse of sight. I don’t get such perfectly blurry nights like tonight often. Between my poo poo vision and the gloss of the rain, nights like tonight lift my shoulders off my spine and pull the negativity from my mind right through my ears. I put the glasses on and find myself staring at a mirror. I may look like 175 pounds of bird poo poo but the frames are still sharp. Possessive, at least I think that’s the technology in the lenses. The bottom half was supposed to help with things up close and the top helps with things far away. I was impressed with all of that back in the day. But now? Well, I don’t need anything helping me see things this clearly. The glasses may fit fine, but now I don’t.

The blurs sharpen into trenchcoats and peacoats and folks wearing things, in the rain, that they’re wearing for the first time. The people underneath these sharp lines of style give me the benefit of their periphery, but nothing more. Their ears are filled with noise, making my job almost impossible, and their sparkling jewelry accents their pinched faces. Faces that say “Get Away From Me.”

The clarity is thick and my throat constricts. You’re mind-reading. The free shrink’s advice ticks in my head. He came around to the shelter last time to check in with everyone. When I told him about all of this he told me that I’m assuming thoughts to exist that I don’t know to be true. Then he drove off in his Lexus.

I may know where I’m going now, and I may be able to dodge puddles, but dodging people is harder. My eyes fix on them like a preoccupied tongue flicking an ulcer. One guy is nice enough to hand me some money. I see the pity in his eyes and I almost want to hand it back, but I can’t.

The sun has nearly set by the time I reach Westside Men’s. I knock on the door and Sharise, my favorite staff, greets me with a frown. A frown I know to mean that they’re all full up. She hands me a tuna sandwich and wishes me luck.

But, I don’t need it. The door closes, the glasses come off, and it’s all blurry.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Real quick: Game night on the 6th! We'll shoot for 8pm Pacific. All are welcome, new and old domers alike. We'll be in a Google Hangout. If you're interested/available shoot me a PM or find me in irc/discord to let me know. I'll want at least 5 people or so.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Good. I am here for round 2.

Go forth, my lovelies, and craft me a story.

A story that, because it's so well written, I can smell it.

Take up to 2000 words and like until 2/19 at 11:59 Eastern.

If you want a flash song for inspiration, request a choice of four and I will supply that as well.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chili posted:

Real quick: Game night on the 6th! We'll shoot for 8pm Pacific. All are welcome, new and old domers alike. We'll be in a Google Hangout. If you're interested/available shoot me a PM or find me in irc/discord to let me know. I'll want at least 5 people or so.

:siren: This is still a thing! Come play games with us! :siren:

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Anomalous Amalgam posted:

:toxx: Can I get some inspirational song choices?

Yeeeep

The song chili can't stop listening to at the moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY2FQ-LgmYo
The song chili's toddler keeps requesting at the moment (weird, I know): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_Oe-jtgdI
The song chili thinks is just, objectively, the best song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYKupOsaJmk
The song chili wants more people to be aware of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slm3BcOqMlk

Make your pick soon! Your competitor can snipe you if they arrive first! Or, they can request another batch of four.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chili posted:

Good. I am here for round 2.

Go forth, my lovelies, and craft me a story.

A story that, because it's so well written, I can smell it.

Take up to 2000 words and like until 2/19 at 11:59 Eastern.

If you want a flash song for inspiration, request a choice of four and I will supply that as well.

Bumping this back to 2/26

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Having not even participated in the week, that rapid critting is still incredibly awesome to see. Good judging, that!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

1. Givin the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Prompt: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?


Gotta Have You
1,375 Words

It occurs to me after the hostess at Denny’s greets me that only people who know where I am are the people who are here right now. I left my phone at home, per instructions, but I didn’t think to tell anybody about this. Not sure how I’d have gone about that anyway.

“Hey Mom, I’m meeting a stranger at Denny’s at 3AM tonight. Why? Oh, because they texted me, from a number I didn’t recognize and offered little to no explanation about why we should meet. What’s that? Am I crazy? Nah, you know me, I’m just a bored college guy, who pretty much says yes to anything.”

I guess one could call this an exercise in curiosity. I’m paying a price for indulging in that curiosity though. I had to come out. Going out in the wee hours as I tend to do minimizes the glances I get from strangers, but there's still glances. Glances that tell me:” You don’t really belong here, do you?”

My waitress’s name is Elizabeth. She seems nice and asks me if I want coffee before I sit down. She’s probably worried that I’m going to be an aggressive customer. I just look mean. But, I’m not. I even order a cup of coffee for my guest. May as well get started on the right foot.

You’d think a different caliber of person would be here at this hour, but not really. Just people who haven’t bothered to take off their coats and hats as they chow down on their slams. They only occasionally look around and see me, a weird guy eating all by himself at 3AM. Their gazes don’t linger, and even though it feels dismissive, a part of me appreciates the privacy.

My guest could be one of them, now that I think about it. I have no idea who they are. I’m hoping it’s a girl. I haven’t shared a meal with a girl in a really long time and it would also make this whole situation seem less odd to my fellow diners.

“You’re early. Why are you early?”

A familiar, yet off-putting voice accompanies a hand on my shoulder. I flinch but quickly realize this must be him.

I stand to meet the stranger but he keeps a light, unthreatening pressure on my shoulder.

“No need to draw more attention than we already might,” he says.

The stranger sits down in front of me. But he’s no stranger. He’s me. What is one’s first thought upon meeting an inexplicable double, at 3AM at a Denny’s? Well, my first thought is, I’m better looking than I thought I was.

“Huh, you’re actually kinda handsome,” he says to me.

He points at the coffee in front of me. “Live cup, right?” He asks.

“Of course. Decaf is a waste of time,” I say. “But you knew that, right?”

“I suppose I did.” He says.

My Cubs hat, loose hoodie, and baggy jeans are about the only thing that separates the two of us from looking identical. He sits across from me in a pressed pink button-down with a skinny black tie smarty tied in a knot I certainly don’t know how to tie.

“Who?” I ask, pointing to it.

“Youtube.” He says, “But seriously, why are you always early?”

No formalities it seems, he’s curious, but I guess I am too.

He picks the coffee up to his mouth and holds it there, breathing in the aroma and warming his lips on the rim of the mug.

I start into my early is on time speech that I’ve delivered hundreds of times before until I realize he’s probably given the same speech.

“Got nothing, do you?” he asks.

“Not really. You?”

He takes a deep breath, drinks a large mouthful of coffee, and sits his chin in his right hand.

“I was thinking about on my way over here. My best guess is: I ain’t got poo poo to offer most people, but at least I won’t keep them waiting.”

He says it and I feel the arrowhead of truth take a refreshing, honest plunge, into my psyche.

“I’m right, aren’t I? I wondered how it would feel as an epiphany.”

I nod. “Maybe, but if it's all the same, I think I’ll keep swinging the bullshit to anyone else who asks.”

He nods back. “Yeah, probably for the best. But hey, at least we won’t be lying to ourselves anymore, right?”

Elizabeth returns and we order veggie burgers and hash browns. She looks at him, then at me, makes a face, and heads back to the kitchen.

He waits for the door to close and then starts. “Any idea why you’re into…”

He’s about to ask the same question I had on my mind. Not wanting to get into my sexual perversions when Elizabeth is already finding this whole thing a little bit suspect, I stop him by raising my hand and shaking my head.

“Yeah man, I don’t know. That’s not something that ever made sense to me either.”

Suddenly my nakedness in front of button-down me washes over my body in a perplexing wave of terror and relief. There’s no obscuring my fears or insecurities from him. Mine are his.

But then, “Yours are mine?” He says.

I pick up my coffee and move it halfway across the table. He meets it for a clink and a nod.

“I don’t know what sort of wisdom I was hoping to glean from this.”

I shrug my shoulders. “Burgers will be good though.”

They come a minute later, and they are. A familiar frozen quantity that reminds us both of Saturday afternoons with grandpa.

We each get halfway through our burgers and place them down.

“Y’know?” He starts, and I realize that for the first time I don’t know where he’s going.

“Yeah?” I ask.

“This isn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s odd that you know that I had that weird sex dream about my aunt when I was sixteen and that…” he looks around “... you could very easily throw me in jail if you told anyone about what actually happened on Halloween five years ago.”

I nod my head and we both roll our eyes in unison as an insipid Black Eyed Peas track flows out of a speaker over our table. He nods too and I feel my shoulders fall lower than I can ever recall them being in public. I slouch back in the squeaky leather booth. He loosens the knot on his tie and lets out a sigh.

“Can we just?”

“Yeah, man. Let’s.”

We finish our burgers in silence, occasionally stealing opportune glances to regard ourselves in three full dimensions. I get the idea to go and borrow ketchup from a nearby table so he can see how I move. He then returns the favor by getting sugar from another table. His walk makes it clear just how lacking we are in grace. We’re big guys and we kind of lumber around like caribou. But, you know, it’s kind of cute and maybe we’re even a bit endearing.

Our minds run through everything. Every secret we’ve sworn to carry with us to the grave and every idea we’ve been too embarrassed to share floats between us like little fish swimming and flipping carefree through the air. We smile at the aquarium of our mutual creation.

The check comes and I pull a quarter out of my pocket. I spin it on the table and he calls heads. It lands heads and he picks up the check.

“Thanks,” I say.

“No problem. Same time next month?” He asks.

I smile, and he does too.

He stands up. “Alright,” he says. “I’m out first then. And how about you dress up next time, eh? I feel like I’m at work.”

“My pleasure,” I say. “And hey, I owe you an epiphany, so I’ll chew on some stuff and see what I come up with next time.”

He smiles and unbuttons the top button of his collar, and loosens his tie. He rises out of the booth, shakes my hand, and leaves. My shoulders rise back as the fish fall dead on the table. I sigh and head back to my apartment.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Thanks qpq!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chili posted:

Good. I am here for round 2.

Go forth, my lovelies, and craft me a story.

A story that, because it's so well written, I can smell it.

Take up to 2000 words and like until 2/19 at 11:59 Eastern.

If you want a flash song for inspiration, request a choice of four and I will supply that as well.

One final bump back to 2/29 at 11:59 Eastern.

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

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

:toxx: in for this next week, whatever the prompt

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

And I'll take a flash! Please, and thank you.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Rocket J. Squirrel and Pinkie Pie

Co-Pilots
1,800 Words

Sweltering sweet air smacked Raquel’s face as she peeked in the oven. She squinted through the heat and saw the top ring of the kolaches baking in the oven. Golden brow, perfection. Raquel was helming the pastry counter at the Buc-ee’s near her house. As she reached into the oven, her phone vibrated in her pocket and she jumped. Her knee kicked into the oven door and she barely yanked her arm out of it before it got slammed in.

“Again?!” She shouted. Realizing that she was at work, she pulled her top teeth down on her bottom lip as her face twisted in embarrassment. She looked around but was relieved to find that the graveyard shift was dead as usual and her lapse in professionalism went unnoticed.

She sat down on a nearby stool and withdrew her phone from her apron pocket.

omgomgomgomg praty crazy where are yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?”:love::love::love:

Raquel smiled. It was Charley, her best friend. She shot her a quick text back.

workin babe

come oonnnn, just come to the party!

She knew about the party, and it was one she didn’t want to miss. Imaging Charley there, having a good night, gave her something to be happy about for a moment. But, only a moment, as a burning smell infiltrated the air around her.

“Oh no!” She shot up and threw the oven door open and was greeted with charred fruit and burnt pastry. “I pucked ‘em”. She scolded herself as she killed the oven switch.

“That you did.”

Mr. Cantone’s booming baritone threw tremors into her heart.

“I’m so sorry!” She pleaded. But, she knew his reputation. Mr. Cantone did not suffer workplace incompetence lightly. He withdrew his hand and raised his left eyebrow.

“Your apron.” He said.

“But, Mr. Cantone, I need this job! I’ll do better, I promise. I’ll never let you down again, OK?!”

Her pleas ricocheted off Mr. Catnone’s steely demeanor and shot right back into her gut. He left his arm extended and waited. Tears welled in Raquel’s eyes. She had never done anything so poorly. Top of her class, lead in the school play, and the youngest girl in her class to get a job. The “All American Kiddo” her dad called her. But now?

As she put her apron in Mr. Cantone’s hand, he met her eyes.

“I need to think about this.” He said. “You’ve been a good worker Raquel. One of the best until now. Come back tomorrow, and we’ll talk. There may be a way back from this.”

Raquel nodded and thanked Mr. Cantone, she would be OK. Probably. Her hands trembled as she hurried out of the store before her boss could change his mind. As soon as she left, her heart plummeted into her gut.

A freefall. She’d experienced it once before but it was thankfully in the privacy of her own home. The rejection from Dartmouth, her dream school, that sent her spiraling. All over a simple realization, that took her therapist months and months of work to help her realize.

“I’m not perfect. There is no such things as perfect.” She said under her breath. It helped, but not as much as her phone that thrummed in her pocket.

partypartyparttttyyyeeeee :love: :love: :love:

Raquel’s nose tipped up and out of the freefall. Her heart found its natural place of rest and her breath returned to its natural rhythm.

ur place? She fired back.

*****

Raquel pulled her powder blue Beetle up in front of Charley’s house in Hunter’s Grove, the swankiest subdivision in the town. Charley’s house may as well have been Raquel’s. Growing up, she spent more nights there than her own. She cracked the window and killed the engine. Music was blaring in the house and neon-colored lights strobed out of the windows. She knew it was going to be a party but she didn’t know just how ‘Charley’ the party had gotten. From the looks of it, it was peak Charley.

Raquel looked down and realized that she was still in her grimy white t-shirt and jeans from work. She took a deep breath and assured herself that nobody could possibly notice her wardrobe in such a Charley party.

She reached into the backseat and grabbed the twelve-pack of Coke in the back. The party had been going for about two hours, and knowing Charley that probably meant they were running low on sugar. Raquel slammed her car door shut and inhaled the thick, humid, summer air. As she walked up to the entrance of the old colonial, the thrumming tones of Ariana Grande’s Break Free resonated in her chest. Raquel smiled and sighed, Charley’s signature song.

As she slid open the door, Charley was approaching the bridge of the song when she shrieked, dropped the microphone, and beelined toward Raquel nearly tackling her and bringing her to the ground.

“You made it!”

“I made it!”

“Duet! Right now!” Charley shouted into Raquel’s face. “Melanie, step away from the microphone!” She shot her head toward the karaoke platform. “My best friend is here, and we’re singing!”

Charley yanked Raquel up and guided her through the cliques of teens and twenty-somethings peppered throughout the house. The two sang Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, a song that conveniently allowed Raquel ample opportunity to hide behind her friend. She didn’t mind singing, but the crowds did get to her from time to time. It was nice hiding behind Raquel. Her charm and unrelenting positivity are what drew everyone to her house for this party. It certainly wasn’t the alcohol, Charley’s parties were dry, by definition. Just loud music, dancing, and singing. A great place to forget about…

Probably getting fired. And losing a job that, while it wouldn’t turn any heads, gave Raquel a sense of purpose and meaning. She began to fall. Charley didn’t notice, she was already queuing up her encore. Raquel’s heart raced and sweat beaded up over her eyebrows. She doubled over and Charley caught her by the stomach.

“Babe?” She whispered, into Raquel’s ear. “What’s wrong?”

*****

Raquel sat on the floor, her back pressed against the foot of Charley’s bed. Charley entered the room through her attached bathroom holding a damp towel. She sat on her bed behind Raquel and carefully wrapped the towel around her head.

“How’s that feel?” She asked.

Raquel rolled her eyes up at the towel and felt an uncomfortable trickle of water roll down her neck.

“It’s great.”

Raquel smiled and reached her right arm across her body. Her hand found Charley’s which was resting on her shoulder.

“Thank you,” Raquel said through a breath.

“Feel better?” Charley asked.

“I do, yeah.” Raquel nodded.

“Alright, well. Let’s get back to the party!” Charley shot up out of the bed and pumped her arms in front of her chest.

Raquel tried to steel herself and get up, but her shoulders sunk down and pulled in together. Impossible as her charm and energy was to resist, Raquel found herself immune to what she usually relied on to be her elixir.

“Music!” Charley shouted. “Let’s get some music on!” She ran over to her iMac Pro and opened up Spotify.

“Charley?” Raquel pleaded as Charley scanned through one of her upbeat playlists.

“Yeah, babe?”

“Can we talk?”

Charley turned around and looked at Raquel. Raquel’s face was cast downward to the ornate rug in front of the bed. Charley dug her index fingernails into the cuticles alongside her thumbs and started to pick.

Silence hung in the air between the two best friends. The party below them evaporated away from their awareness. Charley ambled over to Raquel and sat down on the floor next to her.

“I need you to be better than this.”

Raquel perked up at the odd request from her friend.

“I don’t help you. You help me.” Charley continued. “You know how it is. You fly. All the way up there.” Charley pointed upward. “You fly and I watch. I cheer for you and I keep you up. That’s what we do.”

Raquel didn’t realize that her mouth was hanging open until her jaw began to ache. She turned toward Charley.

“What are you talking about?”

Charley looked back down to the floor and fixed her gaze on a curlicue pattern in front of her.

“Charley, I’ve leaned on you my whole life. I’ve spent more nights here than my own home. I’ve hidden in your shadow all throughout high school. You’re my best friend and there isn’t a single person that we went to school with who wasn’t jealous of me. My whole life people have always wondered why you keep me around.”

“You’re my high flyer.”

Raquel scoffed and pulled her knees toward her chest.

“Well, your high flyer just got shitcanned from a goddamn Buc-ee’s.”

“What?” Charley cocked her head to the side. “Who on earth fires the incredibly perfect Raquel?”

“A guy who sees the incredibly perfect Raquel on her phone at…”

Charley gasped.

“It was my text, wasn’t it?”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Raquel.

“Oh my god, it’s my fault. And I dragged you to this party and I made you sing an Elton John song.”

“No, it’s my problem. It’s my fault. I can’t go blaming you when I talk to my boss about this tomorrow,” Raquel said. She stood up and looked at herself in a wall leaning mirror. Her fingers were still trembling but not as much.

“Huh? Why would you talk to your boss if he fired you?”

“He told me that we’ll have a talk tomorrow.”

“Babe, that doesn’t sound like you were fired. It sounds like he knows how loving awesome you are and that he just wanted to rattle you up a bit, but nobody gives up my Raquel.”

“Dartmouth did,” Raquel said, as she turned around and faced Charley.

“What?”

“Yeah, I’ve been waiting to tell you, but yeah, I’m not gonna be able to go to Dartmouth.”

“No! They rejected you?”

“It’s worse than that. I got in, but they didn’t give me the scholarship I applied for. I can’t afford it.”

“So wait, they didn’t reject you?”

“They may as well have. Without money, I can’t go.”

“gently caress me, Raquel. You got into loving Dartmouth.”

“I know, I know, I should be proud of just getting in. My therapist has already told me that every time I talk with her.”

“Screw that,” Charley said, as she stood up. “I’m proud of you.” She hugged Raquel from behind and looked at her face in the mirror.

“My beautiful, amazing, best friend.”

A weight that sat in the pit of Raquel’s stomach faded and her breath returned to its normal cadence.

“Charley, I think I’m ready to fly again.”

“Can I come?”

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



prompt please

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Fuschia tude posted:

Hey we don't need to wait for judgement this week is a non-week it doesn't count

paging Chili

PLUMPT PROMPP

Hey, entries haven't closed yet and I don't want to muddy the waters with a bunch of in posts.

I'll be round to post when I wake up.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Thunderdome Week CDI




Greetings!

This week, we’ll be focusing on beginnings. What I want from entrants is to submit the first section of what could be a novel.

Why?

Well, now’s as good a time as any to actually start that novel that you’ve always wanted to write! Lord knows we have more time than usual to do so. So, start it! Or, you know, just start any novel. And hey, it's a week one!

Stories will be evaluated by how they answer a largely subjective question:

Do I want to read more of this?

If you’re gonna do nothing but world-building, we better feel like we’re totally in the world and are curious to learn more about its inner workings.

Introducing a character? We better have a great sense of what their deal is and a reason to care about/root for/maybe even despise them.

Setting up some terms? Make ‘em compelling, so compelling that nothing else even matters.

Whatever you do, do it well and build intrigue.

It can be a whole chapter or just a first scene. Also, the title of your entry can be the title for the rest of the novel, if you were to write one, or it can just be a title of the thing you wrote. Also, this should generally be new content. It's OK if you've been mulling over an idea for a while or if you even jotted stuff down, but most of what you submit this week should come from this week.


You have 1,500 words to play with. Sign up by 4/10 11:59 PDT. Get it in by 4/12 11:59 PDT.


But hey, it wouldn’t be a chili week without at least some random gimmickry.

Toxx in, if you’d like, and we’ll RNG you a bonus word bounty. Between 150-350 words are up for grabs! How many will you get? Spin to win! Oh, what fun! Your bonus word amount will be displayed next to your name below.


Flashes available upon request. Flashes will not be consistent and will be largely based on the capricious whims of the judge who happens to see. You may request up to three, one from each judge. But, you can’t request specifically from which if you only ask for one or two. I don’t care too much about how well you incorporate a flash.

Judges:

Chili
Beefsupreme
Curlingiron


Entrants:

  1. Uranium Phoenix :toxx: 227 Bonus Words
  2. Doctor Eckhart :toxx: 154 Bonus Words
  3. SlipUp :toxx: 267 Bonus Words
  4. Saucy_Rodent
  5. Something Else
  6. Fuschia tude :toxx: 196 Bonus Words
  7. Simply Simon
  8. steeltoedsneakers :toxx: 332 Bonus Words
  9. Anomalous Amalgam :toxx: 323 Bonus Words
  10. Ceighk
  11. Schneider Heim :toxx: 319 Bonus Words
  12. Armack :toxx: 335 Bonus Words
  13. Thranguy
  14. Black Griffon :toxx: 266 Bonus Words
  15. Siddhartha Glutamate :toxx: 262 Bonus Words
  16. Tyrannosaurus
  17. Solitair
  18. dmboogie
  19. a friendly penguin
  20. Nethilia
  21. sparksbloom
  22. Sitting Here
  23. rohan
  24. HFCS



:toxx: to get my crits due for 384 done by the sub deadline for this week.

Chili fucked around with this message at 14:45 on Apr 11, 2020

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Thanks, Twist!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Fuschia tude posted:

in :toxx: double flash

Flash 1 :

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Vonnegut

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUvkF8lk1qI

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Black Griffon posted:

tripple flash :toxx: let's loving go

https://youtu.be/lcZmISpjQXI

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Increasing the word count limit by 100. Use it wisely, if you use it at all.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Siddhartha Glutamate posted:

In with a :toxx:

fake edit: gently caress it, double whammy (flash).

https://youtu.be/pawyZFjgFyw

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

So here we are, week 384. Somehow, I managed to miss my critting obligations for this week. When I was prompted on this I was shocked. I don’t usually miss things like this and I hate when stories go uncritted. If you want a deeper dive, feel free to request one. I’m much better at actually critting these when they are fresh on my mind, so I can really buckle down and read a couple more of these if need be.

Let’s have it.

Simply Simon’s A Quiet Cry in a City of Screams

This was a fair pick for the win. It had ambition and went straight for the jugular of anthropomorphization as opposed to that sorta soupy middle poo poo where an animal is kinda human. This just works in that regard and the imagery is vivid and crisp.

The story does well in addressing curiosity and intrigue. And though I do enjoy the motif of sound ringing out in the majority of your metaphors, the prose begins to overstay its welcome a bit towards the end when things are still a bit lilting and ominous, but I guess it’s at least consistent.

It’s a solid entry, and I didn’t quibble with it taking down the win\

Thranguy’s Signal

Welp, this was pretty much peak Thranguy, as I have come to understand Thranguy. It’s ambitious and its novel in its approach, and most of all, its polarizing. It got the HM, not because of me. I didn’t much care for this and got lost. Yes, that likely seems to be somewhat of the point but man… could the formatting of it at least be made more clear? I’m sure the choices made here were intentional but it just was too much for my brain to process.

There’s a lot to like in here though, some of the speech bubbles have a wonderfully sharp turn of phrase and, taken on their own, each sentence probably reads better than an average TD sentence. But yeah, it doesn’t quite come together for me.

flerp’s Terminally Online

Your writing style connects with me more than most in the dome and it did here again. Out of everything I’m rereading now this one pinged my memory the hardest. The way you characterize that one weird guy that we all kinda now, and how he just kinda sorta stays a presence in our life?

It’s odd, everything thinks they have that one weird person, which means we’re probably all that one weird person for someone else.

Anyhow, I didn’t like this DM’ing and if I’m remembering correctly (probably not) this impasse might have turned me off my judgely duties for the week. Why am I bringing this up a in crit? Good question.

Your prose works for me, and the relationship is believable and a difficult one to portray.

CarlKillerMiller’s Song in the Wind

Pretty standard CKM fare. Well written, pretty, somewhat ominous and overall a very contemplative pice of writing. This is you in your wheelhouse and that’s cool, cos this mostly works. I got a little lost in some of the dilaogue which isn’t consistently attributed, but that’s kinda ok, and does seem intentional. The piece is largely evocative and connects for the most part.


Something Else’s High Signal Ratio

Clever title, considering the week. The voice is consistent and strong and characterizes your protag pretty well. You got a knockdown from the win on this because of the emphasis on worldbuilding and the lack of focus on prompt. I don’t really care about the focus on prompt and think the worldbuilding here is strong enough that it gets me curious about wanting to read more and get a sense of the place. This is kinda veering into the black mirror/minority report of “sometime in the near future” but the handling of it is competent.

SlipUp’s The Dying of the Light

Your opening graph is baggy and lacks bunch as it goes on and on over something that should resonate and sting to read. It sets the tone for a slow and brooding pace and that doesn’t quite match what your story is all about.

As I’m going back over this I’m remembering why I didn’t defend it harder. There wasn’t much new here. The story of a junkie getting high and reviewing all that they’ve lost and how sad everything is… like sure. That’s probably all true and accurate in most of these cases. Why do I want to read about it? There’s nothing here that feels fresh and I’ve seen you write at a higher level with greater ambition.

rat-born cock’s Cry Beast

You didn’t really submit a story, so I’m not really going to crit this. Instead, I’ll muse a bit. I didn’t want to give this the loss. Not because it’s better than anything else, let’s be clear: it is the worst thing submitted this week, but I didn’t want to give it the loss because the loss is a badge that is earned by trying. If you’re just gonna submit poo poo like this, don’t submit at all. It’s been a bit since you’ve been round these parts. I want you to come back. I want you to come back and try. We don’t know what you’re capable of and that’s a drat shame. Whatever kept you from pounding a story out, whatever that is… gently caress that. Get your rear end back in here and give a drat. Put a story down, no matter how good, bad, or ugly, learn how to grow and make yourself better. This place is goddamn magical and you can get a lot out of being here. I hope you read this. I hope you come back.

Anomalous Amalgam’s Not Myself Anymore

OK, so onto happier news. Let’s talk about AA. AA, you’ve gotten better, at least to my eye. If I take this and put it up against your more recent work the quality of the prose, and command you have over the general execution of your writing is pretty clear. And for gently caress’s sake it hasn’t even been that long. You’re on track to keep improving and your moxie in the dome is encouraging.

As to the piece itself… eh? I see why the head judge didn’t like it. I didn’t really either. There’s some nuts and bolts errors that just muddy the waters. Tense confusion, typos, that sorta thing.

And like sentences like this: “Algaraz adjusted a dial on the chair as the humming began to take on an undulation that resonated throughout the entirety of Yanni’s body.” This receives that horrible designation of “awkward” which doesn’t mean much until it does. Sometimes, it’s better to just say “Algaraz was getting Yanni’s rocks off”. That’s what’s happening here, right?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

You're all in. It nobody else is!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Results for Week 401:


Writing the first chapter of a novel is a commendable endeavor. It’s awesome that so many of you set out to do it, and regardless of the feedback you get here, continuing on with the second chapter is advised. Worst case, you learn more about yourself and your process. Best case, you become the next big thing and can finally buy Thunderisland.

We saw a lot to like this week, and a lot that made us scratch our heads. Some of these things worked as standalone fiction, but not as novels. Some were teeming with ambition but lacked any sort of quality to really hook a reader.

The test this week, as outlined in the prompt, was “Do I want to read more of this.” Stories were judged accordingly. We were liberal with mentions. If even one judge answered that question positively, a story was likely to mention. It’s a tall order, and if you accomplished it, you deserved a mention. My crits will directly follow this post, so I’m not going to explain things here. My fabulous co-judges will be providing their critiques presently as well, so you’ll know where we were coming from.

Let’s get down to business:

Our loss goes to Simply Simon

Our dishonorable mentions go to HFCS, Doctor Eckhart, Solitair, and SlipUp

Our honorable mentions go to a friendly penguin, dmboogie, Saucy_Rodent, and Thranguy

We then had a bit of a debate between two stories for the win.

Our runner up for the week, obtaining a shiny hm, and a second-place medal goes to: Sitting Here for creating, from scratch, some of the coolest elements we saw all week.

And the winner, which best addressed the prompt’s question, had us wanting to read more:

Nethilia’s Songs of the South.

Climb right back up here Neth; you earned it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Crittin as I go. I’ll make quick little remarks in real-time as I read through your first chapter for the first time. And then, that all-important question shall be asked and answered… Do I want to read more of this?

The majority of these got a No, as an answer to that question. That doesn’t mean these stories are all bad, they just didn’t work for me as first chapters/scenes.



Sitting Here’s See-Sayer

Pretty efficient worldbuilding early on. The setting feels alive. It’s also novel that instead of following the young person wandering off, we seem to be following a different person. I wasn’t expecting that and it’s ambitious to consider that a novel could take place away from that common, yet practical archetype for a story. Let’s see how you do!

Loving these empowered and revered grannies.

The tone of this is… interesting. It’s hard to recall a hunter-gatherer-tribal type story that has some goof to it. It’s cool to see but a bit jarring. Probably because I’m just expecting this to be all serious and coming-of-agey. About 300 words in, good news, I want to read more.

And now I’m at the twist where we learn a bit about Thun’s anatomy… I’m certainly intrigued further.

Bit of a tonal shift now as the importance of the see-sayer gets highlighted. The tribe had almost a witty, bantering vibe to it and now it’s gettin all serious business. Hoping we get a bit of a sandwich here.

OK, all done.

Do I want to read more of this?

Yes. Good world, good characters, a jarring extraneous event to pull it all together. What happens next? I don’t know, and I want to know.

HFCS’S Blackfeather

Isn’t this how Windwaker starts?

The problem off the bat is it’s nigh impossible to tell how old this protagonist is. Some of the perception stuff makes them seem like a full-blown adult, but then, they’re in a crib. It’s a mystery about 100 words in, and by now it oughta be solved.

Oh, OK, so it’s a dream cold open. Not quite a fan of that, but if you’re gonna go for it, really go for it. This didn’t do all that much..

Alrighty, now we’ve got a 15 year old who seems to have pretty horrible sleep apnea, and he's’ with a sister. I should know all of this much sooner than I do, as it is, I’m still at somewhat of a loss about what’s happening here.

How messed up would it be for the Heir of the Slayer to be a demon? You ask. I have no idea, I answer, as I don’t know what any of this means.

The amount of dialogue where people are stating the obvious “i’m my father’s son.” “you’re my brother” people don’t talk like this.

What’s with these hairplumes? I don’t know what that is supposed to be, and google doesn’t either. And you keep on using that word.

Lots of exposition about what everyone knows about demons. This just ain’t grabbing me.

Do I want to read more of this?

No. This went in far too many different directions. You spend time on a trying to do a little of everything from developing a world, to introducing the story with a dream, to characterizing your protag through lots of exposition about how the world sees him. It left me largely disinterested throughout because what didn’t happen was the development of any sort of agency or narrative thrust.



Doctor Eckhart’s What You Can’t Leave Behind

Right of the jump introducing your story by calling characters “The Trio” is problematic. Who are these people? That kind of wording makes it seem like this is the second chapter and we already know these people’s names and what their deal is.

You need a comma between Well and Astrid. As it is, it looks like Astrid lives in a well or something and that’s her title, which, while funny, is probably not what you’re going for.

OK, all of this pointless back and forth and I don’t know why they were running. The trio running means that something exciting should be chasing them or they’re in a rush to get somewhere, but all the urgency is gone now.

Having a rough time telling these people apart.

Like yeah, there’s so much back and forth between these three and it’s clear you want your story to revolve around them… But there’s a reason why stories aren’t generally told this way. One protagonist allows the audience to relate to them and identify with them. Here, you’re spending all this time vacillating between them in one conversation and we’re not getting to learn about any of them as individuals because it’s just too muddy,

The conversations ping pongs around and the thrust of the action is them walking.

Do I want to read more of this?

No. I don’t care about these people and the storyline of their action is not compelling. I’d worry that if I kept on reading I’d just be jostled along through conversations that don’t do anything for me because I have no gotten properly invested in much of anything.



Something Else’s Our Curse

It’s a problematic thing to start your novel referencing another series. I see what’s going on, and it does establish your characters quite nicely, but eh. I’d prefer not to be reminded of other texts when I’m trying to start a new one.

I’m also now worried that the piece will rely on intertextual understanding. I haven’t read LOTR but I know, generally, that the ring is like, some magical scary thing? It seems like that’s going to be a big part of your story so I’m hoping you quickly veer into making this more your own thing.

Alright so by the time Alice is heading out the door, you’ve done a pretty decent job of characterizing her and establish a second character. You also make it clear what she’s out for. This is off to a decent start. Let’s see how you close.

Finished the first half and this is pretty solid so far. I’m curious to learn more about these two as a duo.

Hey, I love how you start the second beat. It almost feels like a film quick cut. It’s got good pacing and sound to it.

Hmmm, OK. I see what you’re going for, or at least I think I have an idea.

Do I want to read more of this?

Kinda. I’m curious as to the direction this will take. It’s either going to be Alice fucks the whole world, and that seems like it might be funny/good. Or is it just about a person who is trying to find love again and has gotten over her husband? If that’s the case, you’d have a tall order making this compelling.

Nothing here is incredibly exciting or gripping, but your characters are well defined enough that I’d be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and see what you want to do with them for another chapter or two.



Saucy_Rodent’s BREAD ALONE


OK, well this story is certainly one I’d like to read, at least from the jump. I’ve worked with plenty of Kimberly’s in my day. Let’s see if this rings true for me.

Hm, so the therapist is super checked out, and that somehow instills the idea in Kimberly that she should open up to her… I haven’t seen things like that generally happen, but I’ll run with it for now.

Not sure what this powerplay is with the water.

Yikes. This here is a Bad Therapist. I mean, it’s pretty clear that’s intentional and this isn’t poorly written, but yikes.

Ah, you son of a bitch. That ending was so loving obvious and I didn’t see it coming. gently caress off, but good on you.

Do I want to read more of this?

Yes. But man, it wasn’t executed at the level that I’ve seen you do before. The relationship between the therapist and client is kinda hard to identify. I’m not sure what’s motivating Kimberly to finally open up, and to Wanda of all people. And Wanda’s blasé reaction to the miracle at the end just feels off. But, I want to know what happens next! I definitely do! You accomplish a fair bit and certainly build intrigue. There are holes and threads I want to explore and if your second chapter were to start with the two of them violating all sorts of ethical boundaries and heading off to the woods, you would indeed have me engaged. If you’ve got ideas for where you want to take this, I hope you keep them up!



Uranium Phoenix’s The Conquest of Paradise

Your opening is not catchy or hooky, but I think you know that and aren’t going for that. This feels somewhat ponderous in tone but I am curious to see where it goes.

You’re running into a similar problem that others have this week. What is this parade of names/characters. Like it’s hard enough committing to and learning about one protag. What we have here is a minimally characterized protag seeing big ideas happen in front of them... But suddenly there’s all of these fantastical folks with out of the box names, and it’s just a lot to ask of a reader when they’ve just picked up your thick novel.

And man, this feels above my read-grade to be honest. It seems to lack a sort of narrative thrust or excitement that makes me want to keep going as a reader.

Stuff like this… “There is another figure, but she’s not running. She is standing, black regal hair blowing as if amidst a storm, arms pushed out as if warding back some great force. Her eyes meet mine. Ixtia. My twin sister. But you died, I think. I reach for her—”

OK, fine, cool imagery I guess but y’know, just kinda get to it a little?

Hot Take: What if your story started on the penultimate beat. “The world grows brighter…”

It’s still pretty, and pondering, but it’s sharp and gets us going. You complained about needing more words. I think you needed fewer.

Yeah. After finishing this I stand by that take. You’d have to monkey with it a little bit but the whole thing makes more sense and gets me more jazzed to read more in the back end.

Having said that…

Do I want to read more of this? No. If I picked up this book in the bookstore you would’ve lost me before things got compelling and your story found its footing. After reading the whole thing? Eh, I could stand to give it more of a shot and see where it goes but I’m certainly not eagerly turning the page to press on. It feels very literary and perhaps I’m a dimguy but maybe I’m just speaking for the people. It felt messy and unclear, then it didn’t.



Simply Simon’s I Think, Therefore I Am

A bold way to start, but it lacks any sort of original flair and, if I’m being honest, I rolled my eyes at your first sentence.

This feels almost like a film treatment. I’m not sure how much I care about all of this imagery as it doesn’t feel pariticular fresh and it’s reading as a bit indulgent

Yeah now this is getting to be like uber Terrence Malik. I don’t think that’s a particularly good thing, this is intentionally lacking in focus and perhaps I’m just not your reader, but man, I can’t imagine starting this and finding it compelling.

So this is already short (thanks for that) but I’m struggling to see how everything before “Me” is necessary here.

Yeah, OK.

Do I want to read more of this? No. This is messy and introspective but not in a way that encourages reflection. As with the piece I critted right before this, you lose a lot of my goodwill just in how this story begins with all the big hoopla stuff that makes my kinda cringe to read it. And yeah, with a title like that it’s kind of obvious that you’re going for something epic in proportion but it’s hard for me to get excited about something like this.



a friendly penguin’s Up in the Holler

Boy does that first sentence need another comma.

You do a nice job of setting the stage, efficiently, in those first two graphs. This has a very Kesey feel to it.

The stakes are established, early, and you’re also squeezing in an admirable amount of characterization.

I’m also digging on how speech is used. Not dialogue so much but spoken words used for solid effect.

drat, you kinda lost me in the end.

Do I want to read more of this? No. And that’s a tough no for me to dish out. Text wise, this is my favorite thing that I’ve read so far. You introduce these really solid characters and give me a strong sense of place. And then it seems like the thrust of the novel is that these people are going to be challenged by losing all of it. That’s good storytelling. Vonnegut says that you gotta knock your characters down so we can see what they’re made of. This story seems to be heading in the direction of treading water as opposed to doing something more meaningful and exciting. I hope I’m wrong, and if this story does continue that these characters will be tested in significant ways because you’ve otherwise got something really nice going here.



dmboogie’s Copyright Trademark

So this is certainly beginning to read like it’s a video game or something. The prose is snappy enough and I’m on board for this kind of voice.

Up to the Amazon scrip thing and you’re kinda losing me. This feels like it’s clear in your head, but it’s not reading clearly to me.

Yeah, OK I get that Blade is some kind of cyborg thing that is self-aware enough to care about perception.

So I think the problem so far is that I really am not sure why Blade wants to escape or what their deal is at all? What led them to locking themselves in this closet? What was the mission that they were on?

I’m a little concerned we’re wasting time with Rose when she feels like a character that is ultimately going to flit away after this chapter ends.

Huh, OK, well it’s sorta sweet and nice then, isn’t it?

Do I want to read more of this? No. Much like other entries, this kinda feels done. I’m having a hard time seeing how the development of an intranet could make for a compelling read. Sure, it’s a good thing Blade is doing, but I wouldn’t be thrilled to read a novel about it. There’s nothing here to indicate any sort of difficulty or complexity about the mission that would make me excited to read more. If this is a novel about the development of an intranet I need to see the barriers. And, I imagine Rose isn’t a part of that so more words would’ve been better spent on a character who would either help or hinder Blade on that task. Otherwise, this was a nice read.



Black Griffon’s Iterate

Liking the vibe of the first few graphs. Things are clear but engaging.

Hm, as the conversation is going on, the mission that Reggie is on is become more vague and obscure and I was hoping it would become clearer.

Oh, huh. The rewind sequence with the door is handled nicely. That’s some high concept stuff that would ordinarily be difficult to convey.

Having finished Zero, this is feeling very Christopher Nolan. I’m curious to see how it plays out.

OK, and now you’re losing me. This was nice and simple and I was on board for that. If you want things to get bigger and more complex with people somehow authoring characters in realtime, I kinda wish you prepared me for it.

I loved what you had going in Zero. In fact, if you ended it there… this could be in contention for the win. Short, snappy, introduces the world and a character… full of potential. One then kinda comes along and stomps on it.

Do I want to read more of this? No. As I said, I wanted to read more after Zero. I lost interest after One. You took what was good about your first half and muddied it up with other things as you went on. A story about a clearly defined protagonist and cool time travel mechanics is enough. I was so ready to follow this guy around.



Schneider Heim’s All is Fair in Love and Wrestling

Not quite a hooky opening, but I’m a little interested.

Kinda losing me with the whole cliched overprotective male thing at the end of the first beat.

Ok, this conversation is fine, but it’s not working as a start of a novel. Nothing about this is sharp, exciting, dramatic, or fresh. I’d probably stop reading about here, after the second time we have to hear the uncle ask how they met. As it is, I’ll keep going, let’s see if you turn it around.

“Oh no. We were going to progress to the next level of our relationship. Oh yes.” This is cringey prose right here, boss.

Why are we wasting so much time talking about/learning about this uncle who doesn’t seem to be the main character? Sure, he’s a wrestler, but why should I care?

Ugh, so if this is gonna be about seeing a wrestling show what in the world was the point of these first thousand words? And you’re not even showing it, you’re quickly swatting it away with a quick explanation? The narrative voice is odd. How was it? Horrifying, and then going on to tell the story of what happened is a jarring choice.

The action is described in a fine manner, but I don’t really care about any of it and I’m still having a hard time telling what this story is actually supposed to be about.

Do I want to read more of this? No. Look, you do a fine job of leaving things open. You actually bother to end your story with a “far from it” which, while lacking subtlety does indeed indicate that there are more chapters to come, which accomplishes the prompt’s task more so than others. But, beyond that. What here do I want to see more of? I don’t really want to see more of Hitomi watching a wrestling match, and I don’t really care all that much about her relationship because it wasn’t given enough attention. You needed to pick a lane here. Also, this lacked polish and you were missing words/typos here and there. Not a great look.



Rohan’s A Chance Meeting

Opening feels somewhat cliched with a space adventurerer just about to come home but then a thing happens. But, it being well-worn makes it easy enough to parse. Hoping this gets a bit fresh as we go on though.

I’m not sure what Chester’s deal is. Is he an outlaw? A hero?

Oh, but she’s readying her guns? Why?

Sorry, yeah, I don’t understand why suddenly everything is so intense and how the stakes got so high.

Is the pale blue light a sagan reference?

Miles? Oh what a card. You know, that guy that we haven’t met at all or don’t know anything about.

What in the world is going on with these two on this ship. They’re just like semi-bantering and it’s really hard to care about this.

This ending… what in the world.

Do I want to read more of this? No. The characters are not interesting and I don’t really care about what happens to Vera next, though it basically seems like that dude is just gonna pop her and that’ll be that.



Nethilia’s Songs of the South


The inclusion of magic in this setting is intriguing. I’m curious to see how it plays out.

The imagery once your protag finds Daniel is strong and powerfully handled. Sorry, I’m not critting much as I go, I’m reading this quickly.

Twist is solid as well.

Ok, slick.

Do I want to read more of this? Yes. The way I see it, this character will obviously be put into a situation where using their magic is necessary. I’d like to get a glimmer of that. Overall, this is well written and puts a fresh coat of painting a worthwhile subject.



Siddhartha Glutamate’s The Happily Hereafter

Strong opening, written nicely. I’m excited to see what this is all about after the first graph.

You lost a lot of steam and good will with that last of things people will think about or experience.

Cool. You take a bit getting there, but by the time the first beat wraps I have a good sense of place and what’s going on and I’m curious to see what your protag does to challenge things. Not sure about Santa though.

Yeah… What is going on with this Santa thing. This had a bunch of promise and I’m not sure where you’re going with it now.

The dialogue is getting unclear and man I don’t care about this poo poo with Santa.

That whole second beat belongs in the bin.

Same thing goes for the third beat.

This is just going nowhere. Which, fine, if that’s the point I get it, but why would I want to read it?

Ugh.

Do I want to read more of this? No. This had a lot of promise. I was hoping to see it go somewhere interesting. Then I started just hoping for it to go somewhere. Then I just gave up. I don’t know what the intention is here, but I think it’s quite a stretch to think people would want to read more of it.



Solitair’s Harbinger

Boy, those certainly are some names. Elicited a bit of an eye roll from me.

Can’t quite tell what’s actually happening in the first few hundred words.

And that’s continuing to be a problem another couple hundred in.

Things like this: “That signal never arrived. Instead, the sky erupted in boils, blanched itself to a jaundiced yellow, and rent itself open to reveal a weeping wound so vast it could not fit in one field of vision.” Are interfering with the narrative thrust and are just coming across as indulgent.

And at the end, it feels a lot like you’re pretty much wrapping things up in a neat bow. I’m not seeing how this is supposed to work.

Do I want to read more of this? No. I barely understood what was going on and I’m not sure how much I want to knock my reading comprehension here. It felt like you had big ideas and got too caught up in them to bother to make things clear and truly put your reader in the world that you yourself see so clearly.



SlipUp’s Oceanworld Chapter 1: The Trident

Ugh. You have lost so much goodwill by having your very first sentence be an utter mess.

Decent imagery for what it is, but I was hoping for something cooler than a rock. Like it’s fine, I don’t know.

Ok, so this guy is out there for some transgression, or something. I was fine when you alluded to it, but now I’m starting to wonder if you’re going to bother characterizing this person at all. Give us something.

I’m coming around to the idea, more and more, that when people ask for more words it’s not because they need them, but that they’re lacking the boldness to cut away what they don’t need. There’s so much here you don’t need.

The expository content of the piece is disrupting the reading pleasure of it, and man, I wouldn’t want to read on.

Do I want to read more of this? No. At no point did I find myself caring about any of this. Sure, some decent imagery, but that’s not enough to do it for me. If all you have is cool things to look at, just draw it or something. There’s not enough substance here.



Thranguy’s How To Get Over Your Ex

Here we go, that’s how you loving start something. We know what this is, and we get a sense of everything we need right away. Thank you.

So this is feeling pretty generic, after the first couple of graphs, hoping it takes a turn.

OK, a big sack of money, that’s the intrigue check box.

Wait, they didn’t check… under the bed? I mean, small detail but that’s a little silly.

Huh, and a dead girl, more intrigue.

Eh, OK.

Do I want to read more of this?No. It works well enough but it feels very formulaic in tone. Like I said in my run-n-gun you kinda go through the motions of setting up something and it definitely does work as a first chapter, better than many other entries this week, but it does work as an effective one because I can’t imagine you’re all that excited about continuing this story. This essentially felt like a first chapter exercise and not the start of something exciting.



Fuschia tude’s Unburdening

I think you like that first line more than I did.

This is feeling pretty bland, the first thing that perked me up was carbonated milk. I’m having a hard time understanding the importance of the task at hand, no good stakes for it were established early.

Reading the rest and I’m feeling pretty much the same as I did when I start. This is a big bowl of fine.

Do I want to read more of this? No. The stakes, which don’t feel all that high to begin with are established too late in the game to rouse much interest in me as a reader.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In :toxx:

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Shoot
1,060 Words

The crowd is here for me. I can’t see the signs or the t-shirts, and I can’t make out the yells, but I know what they’re chanting.

HAM-MER HAM-MER.

They’re doing the gesture like they always have. Fist clench, arm drop. Classic. Timeless. Me.

My engorged biceps make flinging The Flamboyance about an easy task. Yeah, he might be working with me, but I launch him into the ropes like a ragdoll.

He whirls back at me and flashes fire in the arena. The crowd knows what’s next: The Hammerfall. We’ve been dueling for three minutes and they’re anxious, anxious for justice. They’re ready to see their old hero take out this hotshot kid who knows nothing about the show.

I curl my arm into an L and admire my studly muscles, giving them my signature approving kiss. I feel the tap on my shoulder and in seconds, I’m on the mat, I put myself down there after a bitch slap and a nipple tweak from The Flamboyance. He whips his head around and a strand of his stupid white-boy dreadlocks catches my lips. Chemical product pools on my tongue as I taste the product he’s shoved into his scalp to get whatever ‘look’ he’s going for just right.

I lie there and watch. I watch him climb the turnbuckle and try to rouse the crowd behind him. Piteous approval, that’s all it is, as they roar and applaud a little kid who is outclassed by a consummate professional. They know, just like I do, what’s about to happen. But The Flamboyance, he’s clueless.

He turns his back on me; step one in The Razzle Dazzle, and begins his complicated dance move atop the corner of the ring. I know what’s supposed to be next, a backflip into a landing grapple that twists me into a pretzel. He’ll call back to this sequence later in the fight, conclude it, and thus The Razzle Dazzle will give birth to wrestling’s next big star. A star born in my ashes.

No.

I launch to my feet, grab him by the thighs, and toss his orange and pink panted rear end to the ring. He’s up as quickly as he fell and he dives at me, pulling me into a grapple.

“This really gonna be a shoot match, old man?” he whispers.

I show him what kind of match it's gonna be. I grab him by his dreadlocks and flip him over my shoulders.

He lies there for a moment, and I’m ready for him to run from the ring, crying foul. Now’s my time to give the people what they want. I climb the turnbuckle and raise my arms, ready to bask in the crowd’s welcoming of their hero. I warm up my biceps and prepare The Hammerfall.

Jeers. Boos. A coke can whizzes past my ear. I squint through the lights and see scowls and small children yelling and screaming. At me. The Hammer.

I’m lifted off my feet and feel myself fly backward through the air. My experience saves me but I still land awkwardly enough on my hip to send pain shooting through my spine.

“Get up, old man!” The Flamboyance yells as spit flies from his mouth. He’s seething, undisciplined, and ready to get his rear end kicked.

The pain can’t keep me down. I handspring back up and launch my right leg up toward his neck. He ducks, sweeps my left leg, and puts me on my rear end.

He’s fast. Faster than me. I can’t beat him this way. I punch the ground and grunt as I stand back up. I reach my arms out and dare him to come back for more. He does. He charges at me and grabs my shoulders. I grab him right back. Suplex time. I tighten my abs and hoist upwards. He shimmies free, spins around toward my back, and launches me out of the ring.

The crowd roars in approval. My crowd.

I look up to the ring and see the X marking the side where I know a chair has been strategically placed for The Flamboyance. Lucky me. I reach in and grab it and use it to help prop myself up. More boos. I’ve lost my crowd. If I’m going down, I’m not getting written out like a chump.

The Flamboyance looks down at me and smirks. He brushes his dreadlocks out of the way and points to his neck. I see something I hadn’t ever noticed before, an X made of hammers. My logo. The very logo on my classic red trunks. He nods at me and reaches down through the ropes, extending his hand.

I drop the chair and grab it. He hoists me back up, over the ropes. I land on my feet and turn to look at him.

“Let’s make it loving count, huh?” he says to me.

I wind up and go for a series of face slaps, but it’s a show again and they only connect just enough. He sells it and stumbles through the ring, regaining his composure with each step. I fly back into the ropes and rocket towards him with a clothesline. He slips under it and reverses me into a ground armbar pin.

“One!” screams the ref, as he pounds the floor next to my head.

“Two!”

“Get up, you old son of a bitch!” The Flamboyance hollers at me.

I kick out, spring up, and revel in the jeers from the crowd. They’re all in on this, each and every one of them. They need a hero.

I slam my foot into The Flamboyance’s back and send him careening into the ropes. A move of no significance to the crowd, but sends a clear message to my opponent, we’re back in the sequence. He brandishes a menacing smile and nods. I swing him into the corner, propel myself at him, and he dodges at the last second, leaving me crumpled, facing the crowd.

I know what he’s doing behind me, and I don’t get, or need, to see it. The callback to The Razzle Dazzle. I keep my eyes on the crowd, watching as a new star is born. The admiration on their faces and the roars of approval are still mine to share for only a few moments more as The Flambloyance scoops me up, heaves me over his shoulder, and sends me down.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Thanks flerp!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In, mouse :toxx:

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Week 404

Once upon a time there was a mouse, gently caress you
1,290 words

I was rather looking forward to being eaten. Life is fine, it’s even got some things in it, but I had a purpose, and that purpose was to one day become the miniature defecation pile of Paula the Python.

A part of something greater than myself. I was fortunate enough to see it, know it, and I came to embrace it. Yes, I cried the first night I learned of my destiny. My siblings did as well, the difference between me and them? I stopped crying.

I waited with the grace of my elders. Knowing that my part would be to communicate to the mice tomorrow the same information the elders communicated yesterday. And it’s perhaps for that reason that I sit here now, amidst the pile of twisted steel and burning embers. I don’t believe in cosmic irony, but I’m tempted to start accepting the ethos. Considering that all of my siblings who had not accepted their brutal fate now lie dead in a pile back in the reptile car, and I am here.

It does make a mouse think.

But thinking is not welcome here. Instinct and wit. That is the recipe for survival in nature, as I understand it. And perhaps that is my function now. Survive.

Survive. The word sticks in my mind and feels ugly and misshapen. The grace of certainty stripped away, I am now stuck. My goal is to exist, and with existing comes musing. Suddenly, the quest for not only existing hangs over my whiskers, but to find something deeper. For if I were to simply awaken on the morrow, in what way would that impact the system around me?

Be eaten. Simple. A functional cog in the machine. Mouse is born. Snake eats mouse. Snake brings joy to the masses. Beginning, middle, and end.

Survive. Then what? Thrive? I doubt I could find another to copulate with and procreate. No, there are unlikely to be any worthy candidates here. Beginning, and middle, as I will certainly die, but what of the end? For another may dine upon my flesh, but what of their claim to life? It’s no better than my own, to be sure. Those who exist in nature see no divine or elegant reason to be. They simply be. I was cursed with the knowledge of meaning, and stripped of that meaning.

These thoughts fill my mind as my legs carry me over branch after branch until I stumble upon a fawn.

She regards me with curiosity and seems to understand that existence is weighing heavy on my mind.

“What say you, little mouse?”

“Greetings, young fawn. I am attempting to avert an existential crisis today. How are you doing?”

“Ah, I don’t envy you. I had one of those yesterday,” she responds.

“Did you glean anything useful?” I inquire.

“I don’t believe such a thing has ever occurred,” she answers.

“Well, did you at least feel better afterward?” I ask.

“No better than I would have if I spent my focus on leaving a pile of pellets by this tree. At least, then, I’d have something to show for my troubles.”

“Oh! So you feel that a physical manifestation of effort is necessary to feel the sweetness of meaning?”

The fawn scoffs at me. “Nothing so esoteric as all that. My excrement will at least accomplish something. My musings, while salient to my own sense of being, will not help this dear tree in its quest to reach the heavens.”

“So it’s all part of contributing something? Being a part of something bigger than you?”

“You could say that,” the fawn continues. “At least, that’s what my mother told me, and her mother before her.”

I nod my mousey head and she nods her fawny one back.

I skimper around, knowing less than I did before, and feeling worse about my quest in its apparent potential for meaning.

Fortunately, I stumble upon a great horned owl.

Feeling fed up and lost, I plead to the owl: “Eat me or teach me. I have no preference, but I would appreciate it if you made the decision. My mouse brain is not suited for such pain.”

The owl does not hesitate and proffers the more stressful option of the two.

“What would you like to know, little mouse?”

“Why I am.”

“Ah, so this is going to be that sort of conversation?” The Owl regarded the darkening night sky.

“Is that a problem?” asked the mouse.

“I just regret not eating you when you made the offer.”

“Well, I don’t suppose it’s my choice. You outrank me on the proverbial food chain, do you not?”

“I do, but it would not very Owl-like to go back on a decision. So while you might want to be eaten, and I might want to eat you, that is not what shall happen next.”

The mouse’s mind ached further. This was no suitable teacher. For even if there were something worth learning here, it would be under the pretense of disappointment and a rumbly owl tummy.

While the owl gazed upwards and remarked on not allowing the transient clouds to obscure the truth of the stars, the mouse skittered down the branch and sought truth elsewhere.

Before long, he was upon an expansive meadow. In that center of that meadow sat a large dinosaur.

“Greetings,” the mouse offered.

The dinosaur nodded.

“I am here seeking the truth,” pleaded the mouse.

“Bullshit,” the dinosaur said. “You are seeking something far more valuable. You are seeking validation.”

“What do you mean?” the mouse asked.

“You are here for the same reason you’ve been here time and time again. You want me to tell you that you’re worth something.”

“I have to be, don’t I?” the mouse asked.

“No. You are useless. You are worthless. Your quest to feel better about yourself is repugnant and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Weight lifted off of the mouse’s body as the truth embraced him like a warm hug.

“Thank you,” he said.

And the mouse turned to leave, hoping to seek out the jaws of a hungry predator.

“Where the gently caress do you think you’re going?” the dinosaur roared.

“To die. That is my destiny. I will be useful in the belly of another, more capable creature.”

“Excuse me, you drivelous piece of poo poo. Did I just give you permission to kill yourself?” The dinosaur brandished his teeth in a display of hostility.

The mouse cocked his head to the side.

“I did no such thing, you verminous freak. You don’t deserve to be the meal of your superior. Do you want to be useful? Do you want purpose? Do you want to mean?”

“More than anything,” replied the mouse.

“Wanting. Funny. Everybody wants, nobody earns. You really want what you say you want?”

“I do.”

“Show me.”

The mouse pounced on the toe of the great dinosaur and darted up his body. The dinosaur’s pathetic arms reached and flailed for the body of the mouse, with no avail. The mouse proceeded to skitter up towards the thorax of the great beast and upon arriving at the central point of its chest he bit, chewed, and rent through the flesh of the dinosaur.

The dinosaur yelled out in pain as the mouse squirmed and squeezed into his chest cavity. Upon arriving at the heart, the mouse sunk his teeth into the vulnerable organ until it ceased its pulsing.

The mouse pushed back out of the dinosaur and bloodstained, he ran towards the face of his foe.

The beast heaved to breathe its final breaths.

“What do you have to tell me?” the mouse begged.

The dinosaur smiled but said nothing as his life faded from his eyes.

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Hey, I'll judge this thing.

Take up to 2,000 words to write me a solid coming-of-age tale.

If you want a song flash, request one and I'll give you a list of four to choose from. Take until May 20th sometime during that day, to finish.

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