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Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.



a friendly penguin posted:

In, chance and fate.
N111.3.1. Fortune's wheel turned by dead king in mountain.

G251.1. Witch recognized by seeing wasp (beetle) enter her mouth while asleep.

F767. Inaccessible city.

A Classy Ghost posted:

hello td it has been a long time

in

Humor
X514. Only usurers can carry the corpse of the usurer.

Uranium Phoenix posted:

In.

The Dead.

...

:skeltal:
E72. Resuscitation by smelling of moss.

sparksbloom posted:

In animal motifs
B16.1.2.1. Giant devastating hound.

The man called M posted:

In.

The wise and the foolish.
J861. Consolation for misfortune found in food.

Carl Killer Miller posted:

In

Unnatural cruelty
S147.1.1. Abandonment on cliff near nest of a bird.

QuoProQuid posted:

In

Captives or Fugitives
R49.2. Captivity in an oven.

R212.1. Man buried alive with king escapes from the tomb.

crabrock posted:

in

S. Unnatural Cruelty
S191. Driving insane by keeping awake.

Idle Amalgam posted:

And In, The Nature of Life :toxx:
U31. Wolf unjustly accuses lamb and eats him.

derp posted:

in with ANIMALS pls
B122.1.1. Birds tell a secret.

flerp posted:

in misc :toxx:
Z39.1. The goat who would not go home.

X902. Liar comes to believe his own lie.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



In. Marvels, please.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



sebmojo posted:

the yearking is nearly slain, so let us also, as is customary, turn off kayfabe (such as it be) and bid all speak freely of what they feel. things you like, or hate, or think should change about this thunderdome.

I'm a stupid babby with a slow brain and i appreciate detailed crit. It's a bit of a bummer when people sign up to crit and then don't. i don't think TD is mean or full of bullies or anything, but it was intimidating because it's like "oh, you wanna play with THE BIG BOYS now huh". which isnt something that needs changing!

Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.



ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

In. Marvels, please.
F52.2. Columns of smoke as ladder to upper world.

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007

Boom.



sebmojo posted:

the yearking is nearly slain, so let us also, as is customary, turn off kayfabe (such as it be) and bid all speak freely of what they feel. things you like, or hate, or think should change about this thunderdome.

My complaint will probably be evergreen, as is the same as above: Don't sign up to judge if you're not going to crit the week's stories. The three crit perspective is extremely valuable, and it's annoying to know your story needs work, but not know why because the crits never get dropped. I understand life happens and people get busy. But writers, if you're going to commit yourself to this contest, then fulfill the promise you made.

That said, it also feels like we need the new blood to join the judging triumvirate a bit more. Reading closely in order to write critiques is just as critical as writing and getting feedback for getting better as a writer, and so I will also encourage folks that have joined a few times but haven't judged to step up to the plate throne. Know that you'll usually get a relaxed but intelligent discussion about the stories of the week and then have to say something about them--even a retelling of the story is useful or opinion on how it made you feel is great. No one will yell at you for your crits, and you can be as honest as you want.

The honesty and the sanctity of the crit is still fundamental to TD, but traditions only continue if people practice them.

I do like the idea discussed in the Discord of letting people with losertars (another critical part to TD, imo) redeem themselves by writing crits or accepting some other challenge. Redemption through wordly combat seems wholly in keeping with TD tradition.

Finally, thank you to all the people who are keeping Thunderdome alive with their participation. Thunderdome reignited my passion for writing and I'll always value it for that. This community has been wonderful to be a part of.

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



Chili and Princess Chernobyl! I have been informed that you don't put enough Old Bay on your berger cookies. We must brawl!

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Dec 23, 2021

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit




Fun Shoe

a friendly penguin posted:

Chili and Princess Chernobyl! I have been informed that you don't put enough Old Bay on your berger cookies. We must brawl!

Quoth the chili:

Bring it the gently caress on

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

:siren:thunderdome winner:siren:



a friendly penguin posted:

Chili and Princess Chernobyl! I have been informed that you don't put enough Old Bay on your berger cookies. We must brawl!

Vile slander! Caluminy and lies! I sweat old bay and am, personally, a blue crab! I snap my claws menacingly and accept your challenge!

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



Chili posted:

Quoth the chili:

Bring it the gently caress on



Chernobyl Princess posted:

Vile slander! Caluminy and lies! I sweat old bay and am, personally, a blue crab! I snap my claws menacingly and accept your challenge!

:toxx:

Will an impartial judge, from outside the land, please set upon us a worthy challenge?

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 23:01 on Dec 22, 2021

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







a friendly chernobyl chili brawltimore

we're keeping it simple. there's three of you. your story is centered on a classic mexican standoff. one of the participants is not human.

2k words max.

you have until lets say jan 4 11 midnight pst. toxx up the rest of you lot

flerp fucked around with this message at 19:46 on Dec 23, 2021

The man called M
Dec 25, 2009

THUNDERDOME ULTRALOSER
2022





Edit: gently caress, beaten. :smith:

The man called M fucked around with this message at 19:54 on Dec 22, 2021

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Uranium Phoenix posted:

My complaint will probably be evergreen, as is the same as above: Don't sign up to judge if you're not going to crit the week's stories. The three crit perspective is extremely valuable, and it's annoying to know your story needs work, but not know why because the crits never get dropped. I understand life happens and people get busy. But writers, if you're going to commit yourself to this contest, then fulfill the promise you made.

That said, it also feels like we need the new blood to join the judging triumvirate a bit more. Reading closely in order to write critiques is just as critical as writing and getting feedback for getting better as a writer, and so I will also encourage folks that have joined a few times but haven't judged to step up to the plate throne. Know that you'll usually get a relaxed but intelligent discussion about the stories of the week and then have to say something about them--even a retelling of the story is useful or opinion on how it made you feel is great. No one will yell at you for your crits, and you can be as honest as you want.

The honesty and the sanctity of the crit is still fundamental to TD, but traditions only continue if people practice them.

I do like the idea discussed in the Discord of letting people with losertars (another critical part to TD, imo) redeem themselves by writing crits or accepting some other challenge. Redemption through wordly combat seems wholly in keeping with TD tradition.

Finally, thank you to all the people who are keeping Thunderdome alive with their participation. Thunderdome reignited my passion for writing and I'll always value it for that. This community has been wonderful to be a part of.

so true bestie

:toxx:ing to finish my no rules week crits before i post my story this weekend

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit




Fun Shoe

flerp posted:

a friendly chernobyl chili brawltimore

we're keeping it simple. there's three of you. your story is centered on a classic mexican standoff. one of the participants is not human.

2k words max.

you have until lets say jan 4 midnight pst. toxx up the rest of you lot

:toxx:

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

:siren:thunderdome winner:siren:



flerp posted:

a friendly chernobyl chili brawltimore

we're keeping it simple. there's three of you. your story is centered on a classic mexican standoff. one of the participants is not human.

2k words max.

you have until lets say jan 4 midnight pst. toxx up the rest of you lot

Yesssss :toxx:

rohan
Mar 19, 2008

Look, if you had one shot
or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
in one moment
Would you capture it...
or just let it slip?


:siren:"THEIR":siren:





Uranium Phoenix posted:

words about crits and judging
This is all very true, and especially pertinent this week. I’m unfortunately unable to help judge given my plans, and I suspect many others might be in the same position, so if anybody’s able to step up this week I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated.

For my part, I’ll pledge to crit every story this week at some point before the new year, so even if there is a lighter judging complement there’ll still be a good number of crits.

I only really started Thunderdome halfway through this year and it’s already been immeasurably helpful for my writing — partly for getting me to Just Write and actually get words written each week, but mostly for the incredibly helpful, caring, and talented community TD’s created. Thank you all for everything, even (especially) the mean shouty words, and I’m looking forward to getting more bad words out of my system in 2022!

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Uranium Phoenix posted:

My complaint will probably be evergreen, as is the same as above: Don't sign up to judge if you're not going to crit the week's stories. The three crit perspective is extremely valuable, and it's annoying to know your story needs work, but not know why because the crits never get dropped. I understand life happens and people get busy. But writers, if you're going to commit yourself to this contest, then fulfill the promise you made.

That said, it also feels like we need the new blood to join the judging triumvirate a bit more. Reading closely in order to write critiques is just as critical as writing and getting feedback for getting better as a writer, and so I will also encourage folks that have joined a few times but haven't judged to step up to the plate throne. Know that you'll usually get a relaxed but intelligent discussion about the stories of the week and then have to say something about them--even a retelling of the story is useful or opinion on how it made you feel is great. No one will yell at you for your crits, and you can be as honest as you want.

Yeah, this is true. The old rule of thumb, wait until you've won or at least HMed, is still a good idea; but if you've submitted a dozen+ times you already know how this game is played and what it's like writing for it, and have at least some idea of what makes good and bad stories. More importantly, the process of reading a bunch of stories and ranking them and articulating what about them works and doesn't work will improve not only your editing, but also your ability to write.


a friendly penguin posted:

Chili and Princess Chernobyl! I have been informed that you don't put enough Old Bay on your berger cookies. We must brawl!

Whoa huh. Apparently we need to set up a Thunderdome Bay meetup at some point. Ideally waiting until doing so will no longer risk our drowning in our own lung fluid.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Yoruichi has been talkin' poo poo in the Discord, she has gotten too big for her horseshoes, I am here as Elder God of Thunderdome to deliver heaven's wrath – bring fire, bring thunder, bring your best words: brawl me.

This brawl will unfortunately not be able to take place immediately: in addition to holiday commitments, I need to just, y'know, finish the sequel to my award-winning debut novel, no big, real casual, so this brawl will need to take place during January.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Omfg, I'm sorry Mr Bigshot Author Guy did I offend your delicate sensibilities? Ok, *sigh*, yes of course I'll fight you if it will make you feel important. Crikey dick. Someone give us a prompt now and an early January deadline, let's not draw this out forever or our "elder" friend over here will forget that this ever happened.

Weltlich
Feb 13, 2006


Grimey Drawer

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Yoruichi has been talkin' poo poo in the Discord, she has gotten too big for her horseshoes, I am here as Elder God of Thunderdome to deliver heaven's wrath – bring fire, bring thunder, bring your best words: brawl me.

This brawl will unfortunately not be able to take place immediately: in addition to holiday commitments, I need to just, y'know, finish the sequel to my award-winning debut novel, no big, real casual, so this brawl will need to take place during January.


Yoruichi posted:

Omfg, I'm sorry Mr Bigshot Author Guy did I offend your delicate sensibilities? Ok, *sigh*, yes of course I'll fight you if it will make you feel important. Crikey dick. Someone give us a prompt now and an early January deadline, let's not draw this out forever or our "elder" friend over here will forget that this ever happened.

I'll provide you guys with a prompt just out of morbid curiosity, but I'm worried that this is some sort of kiwi romantic ritual. So allow me to turn a hose on that right off:

I want a stories that have no romance or hookups or relationship drama. Not a single bit. I want to read about people who have problems that are completely divorced from their love life.

That said, I want some action. I want to read the most kinetically engaging stories that I can possibly read. None of that sad-sack guy sits around and thinks about poo poo. Keep this moving, keep me entertained.

Take 1000 words to do it...but I'm an American, words frighten and confuse me while pictures delight. For every illustration you provide, I'll give you another 1000 words.

Deadline is January 10th.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




:toxx:

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


:toxx:

selaphiel
Jan 31, 2019

where did all the entwives go?


In with ANIMALS.

Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.



selaphiel posted:

In with ANIMALS.

B103.4.3. Dog vomits gold and silver.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







flerp posted:

a friendly chernobyl chili brawltimore

we're keeping it simple. there's three of you. your story is centered on a classic mexican standoff. one of the participants is not human.

2k words max.

you have until lets say jan 4 midnight pst. toxx up the rest of you lot

this is now due jan 11

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007

Boom.



Prompt: Death; Resuscitation by smelling moss. It must snow.


Archived.

Uranium Phoenix fucked around with this message at 15:38 on Dec 31, 2021

Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.



Signups have closed. Merry Christmas to all.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Kayfabe off: I miss you guys so very much and I miss writing, but this pandemic and dealing with all these sick people who blame you till their last breath, and the non-stop mandatory overtime has been making me really depressed and taking its toll on my health.

I've just been surviving day to day and I hope one day I can enjoy working again and find joy in sitting down and writing stories.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Mercedes posted:

Kayfabe off: I miss you guys so very much and I miss writing, but this pandemic and dealing with all these sick people who blame you till their last breath, and the non-stop mandatory overtime has been making me really depressed and taking its toll on my health.

I've just been surviving day to day and I hope one day I can enjoy working again and find joy in sitting down and writing stories.

Yeah, do what you gotta do.

Also I have a thing tangentially related I think you would like and hopefully I'll be able to show it to you in a couple of months.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

[bird message]

Ho ho ho it’s christmas time
600w

Two young people, a man and a woman, walk across frosty park grass toward a small lake. Snow glitters above their heads in the grey December morning sky. A lone white goose paces along the water’s edge. The two walk near to each other, but not too near. Are they a couple? Maybe, maybe not. Their hands come close to touching now and then, but do not. He smokes a cigarette, and blows its fumes up into the sky, and she hugs a thermos to warm her fingers. The goose watches them both suspiciously as they approach.

“Can you believe it’s snowing?” she says. “Maybe we’ll have a white Christmas.”

“It’s always snowing somewhere,” he says. “Technically every Christmas is white.” He exhales a cloud, politely away from her, but it hangs around them in the motionless air.

She looks up at the sky, and laughs as flakes tickle her cheeks. “Isn’t it so amazing that every snowflake is unique? Every one of them is different, and there are so many.”

“Every piece of dirt is unique, too,” he says. “Everything everywhere is unique. You should be more in awe of things that are exactly alike.”

The goose honks, loudly, and they notice it staring at them with hard, black eyes like little bits of coal.

“Look at that goose, it’s so white. A Christmas goose! Oh, isn’t it pretty? This is a sign we’ll have a good Christmas.”

The goose is strutting toward them.

“Actually those things are everywhere. It’s a snow goose. There are so many of them that hunting restrictions were lifted, but still there are too many, they multiply like rats and actually are overtaking the breeding grounds of other birds like-”

HONK

The goose spreads its wings and thrusts out its magnificent, blinding white chest. It honks menacingly. The young man takes a step back, the goose a step forward. HONK

He drops his cigarette in the snow and looks at the young woman sideways. She is watching. He tries to keep his composure. “Too many people feed geese and they lose their fear of humans. You always see it in the movies, some romantic couple throwing bread on the ground, but this is really harmful to the birds and the environment in the long run because-”

HOOOOONK

The bird’s lithe white neck lurches like a snake and the beak strikes at the young man’s face. He shrieks and stumbles back. The snap flap of wings thumping against his chest, sharp bites on his nose, he falls hard onto his back. “Ahh! Gahh!” He throws fists wildly and flops in the slushy grass while the goose stomps and flaps and peks on top of him.

“Oh my god!”

“Help, dammit! Aah!”

“Shoo! Get!” She waves and kicks at the goose but it ignores her, it honks and flaps and honks, louder and louder, drowning out his screams. As she kicks she realizes she’s not trying very hard to hit the goose. A big snowflake lands on her eyelash and distracts her.

Are they a couple? Maybe they were, but not anymore. She’ll always think of him as ‘the goose guy’ after today. The snowflakes are bigger now, fluffy and magical. She catches one on her tongue and her heart glows. Something red and bright streaks out of the clouds for a moment then disappears, and she swears she hears jingling. And, is that someone saying ‘Ho Ho Ho?’ She supposes it could be “no, no no,” whimpered somewhere behind her... but... no, actually she’s sure of it now, it’s definitely a jolly ho ho ho coming from above.

“Ho ho ho!” she shouts, waving at the sky. “Merry Christmas!”

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




sebmojo posted:

the yearking is nearly slain, so let us also, as is customary, turn off kayfabe (such as it be) and bid all speak freely of what they feel. things you like, or hate, or think should change about this thunderdome.

I think Thunderdome is great :)

Sailor Viy posted:

Judges
Sailor Viy
???

It is me, I am judge.

Yoruichi posted:

:siren: Whatever the hell you do with your flashrule, please post it above your story when you submit :siren:

It makes archiving easier.

This again.

rohan
Mar 19, 2008

Look, if you had one shot
or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
in one moment
Would you capture it...
or just let it slip?


:siren:"THEIR":siren:





An Expensive Gift

K210. Devil cheated of his promised soul.

797 words

Two hours after midnight, Lawrence yawned and stretched his arms, tipping a thermos onto his desk and spilling coffee over the manuscript.

He swore quietly, though there had been no-one to wake in that house for years. Countless nights spent typing had long since driven his wife away, and she had not returned even to let their newborn son meet his father. Shaking these thoughts from his head, Lawrence padded toward the kitchenette to brew more coffee — his gift was too expensive to squander with regret.

The manuscript, sixth in his werewolf detective series, was due that afternoon. After that, he would complete his ninth science-fiction novel, followed by a children’s book about a crime-fighting rodent. And then—

The kettle boiled and he filled the thermos, adding heaped tablespoons of coffee. Drinking a scalding mouthful, he turned, and almost choked to see the figure in his chair.

‘Such a shame,’ it said, lifting a sodden page with a black-gloved hand. ‘I was enjoying this one.’

Lawrence took another swig, wishing he had something stronger.

‘Why are you here, Lucifer?’

‘Thought you deserved company,’ the devil said. ‘Everyone feasts with loved ones this night, yet here you are—alone.’

‘Didn’t think you’d celebrate Christmas,’ Lawrence said, as Lucifer summoned two glasses of something red, rich, and powerfully strong.

‘Saturnalia was more enjoyable,’ Lucifer shrugged, offering a glass and tapping his own against it. ‘Some pagan rituals live on, though.’

Lawrence drained his glass and motioned for another. The devil shrugged and proffered a bottle.

‘You’ve come to collect,’ Lawrence guessed, removing the cork.

‘I cannot lie to a master of fabrications,’ Lucifer sighed. ‘Yes, Lawrence. That was our agreement: twenty years.’

Lawrence closed his eyes. He’d returned home one Christmas, the only son without achievement or prospects. During a drunken excursion through the snowfields, he’d collapsed, and been rescued by a man in a flowing cape. In his darkened state, he’d been offered a deal: his eternal soul, for twenty years of mastery nonpareil in his chosen field.

And now those terms had come to pass, and at a cost higher than his mortal soul. For all payments are dear when time is your only currency.

‘How about,’ Lawrence probed, ‘a wager?’

‘Go on.’

‘You’ve given me mastery,’ Lawrence said, ‘in exchange for a promise. And I will uphold this deal — if you can best me in a contest.’

‘Why should I accept?’ Lucifer asked. ‘I have your soul.’

‘And I have a son,’ Lawrence continued. ‘Who I have never known. I ask twenty years to make good my mistake — and should I fail, you may add his soul to our bargain and take us both, so I shall know him in the hereafter.’

‘Very well,’ the devil said. ‘Your contest?’

‘What else?’ Lawrence said. ‘A thousand-word short story.’

***

Previously, Lawrence had written from experience, and achieved no success with characters incapable of romance or accomplishment. When gifted with supernatural talent, able to effortlessly evoke emotion and beauty, Lawrence turned instead to the unapologetically ludicrous—the joyful creation of a child’s id. It was these talents he relied upon now: within the hour, he presented a tale of man’s salvation, told as a high-fantasy heist by talking dogs.

Lucifer responded with a story told from the heart, and honesty that spoke to millennia of introspection. He wrote of a man consumed by lust for power, without the control to counter its temptation; and, for responding as created, he was exiled and vilified. His was a story told with a master’s talent and an apprentice’s ambition; reading it, Lawrence felt the inadequacy of his own craft, and sympathised for its author’s plight.

‘I concede,’ Lawrence said, setting the devil’s story down. ‘You have bested me.’

Lucifer’s bloodless lips widened. ‘Your talents are shadows of my own,’ he boasted. ‘It was foolish to challenge me.’

‘And you were foolish to accept,’ Lawrence smirked. ‘My soul for mastery nonpareil: that was our agreement.’

The devil’s smile faltered.

‘And yet,’ Lawrence said, holding the devil’s story aloft, ‘I am peerless no more.’

The devil reached to snatch the story from Lawrence’s hands, but he pulled them away in time, and raised an eyebrow.

‘You’ll lose your mastery,’ the devil snarled. ‘You’ll never publish again!’

Lawrence only smiled.

***

His werewolf detective book received scathing reviews. Moon Lunatics was widely panned as derivative, and Ratticus Holmes was used only for kindling.

Over the course of many years and many apologies, he earned himself a new audience, who admired him all the more. Together, they huddled under a thick blanket, sharing hot chocolate from a thermos while snow fell softly outside. Lawrence read new stories to his son, who listened with rapt attention, until the thermos was empty and they both fell gently to sleep.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit




Fun Shoe

A brief bit of feedback:

I've noticed that recently there has been a rise in "sign up, get an assignment" style prompts.

These are good and fun. It's totally fine to do them and it shows good investment as a head judge.

Perhaps consider as a head judge, however, that they aren't for everyone. This may just be a me thing, but I almost never go for those kinds of prompts. Because of my unpredictable schedule, I won't commit to sign up for a week unless I already have a viable first draft, I also just prefer to get started on my own. Voodoo had a great week recently where he offered many different potential assignments but also offered the freedom to do things your own way. So, all I'll say is consider that sort of thing when you're a head judge.

Otherwise, this found family continues to be incredibly important to me and I'm grateful for all of you. Here's to a great 22.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



Black Silk

G251.1. Witch recognized by seeing wasp (beetle) enter her mouth while asleep.

Adapted from Strange Tales From a Chinese Studio / Liao Zai: The Man Who Was Changed Into A Crow

Alt Title: I Rewrite a Chinese Folklore About Having a Secret Mistress to be Way Less Romantic Because Why Would They Romanticise This in the First Place

<800 words

---

https://thunderdome.cc/?story=10233

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at 09:57 on Dec 31, 2021

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



The Hollow Mountain
Word count: 747
Flash: Fortune’s Wheel turned by dead king in mountain

https://thunderdome.cc/?story=10234&title=The+Hollow+Mountain

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 14:24 on Dec 31, 2021

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







no rules week crits

sitting here

this is fun and cute. it kinda reads like a silly science poster in a high school class in a good way. insubstantial but enjoyable

azza

this plays around with tone in an interesting way. the obvious wackiness at the start of Karl Marx teaming up with Greta is then thrown directly into a depressing description of factory work. it actually does work here, i think, and karl’s jump into the story made me uncertain of what was going to happen. was this going to be a hopeful, if wacky, worker’s revolution? was this going to refute marx and call him an idealist that doesnt understand the world? or was it just going to say well this is how the world works and thats how it is? and it ended up being more or less the last one. i think the descriptions here were strong, the reaction to marx good and believable, but i was wanting something more. the story just kinda ends up on a sort of nothing that doesnt really resolve anything or say anything. everything just kinda sucks and a wacky karl marx isnt gonna change that, which is probably true, but i wanted something more than just that. there’s some interesting politics in play, the sort of idealism that people have surrounding a (communist) revolution and the brutal and depressing reality that the working force in america is so beat down that this idea could never work out even if literally karl marx came back.

hawklad

the format is interesting and plays decently well. it absolutely has the feel of both a try-hard “relatable” teacher while also feeling like a realistic key that id believe existed (besides for the asides). the narrative im iffy on, the guy is mad at some bio teacher that maybe is banging his wife. this story does feel a bit forced, like what kind of weirdo is using a key to vent out his frustrations with his wife and coworkers, but i suppose this kind of weirdo. its a little on the nose, i wonder if just having the assignment, with no notes from the character, would still work. it would require some editing to maybe work, but i think there’s a story there that doesnt need to hold our hand as much as it does now. im a bit harsher on this than i probably should have been. this is very successful at using its format to tell a complete story and give us a character in a way that we dont normally get. while story might be a bit forced, it is still a work of fiction, so i think we have to accept that.

chicken of tomorrow

creepy goon being incredibly creepy. the fact that an SA poster is getting off on random posters is both incredibly creepy and probably also true. its formatting works well here, i love how obvious it is that the receiver is 100% not wanting this. i love the innocuous words, the way cyril uses that to delude himself into believing she wants it (or maybe intentionally doing it to get off, who knows, creepy goon is creepy and we dont get into his head). the reveal of stalking is scary and i think this portrays the creepiness of online interactions and that people can so easily delude or convince themselves of things about people theyve never met. im not sure if it does enough to be stronger than just an example, but it works for what it does.

derp

while i dont have quite the same reaction (and literature knowledge) as muffin, i enjoyed this quite a bit. its a very cool vibe that captures a lot about what makes mountains cool, about their vastness in both size and history, in their lifeness despite being not alive, about names and naming, about exploring and what it means to discover things. it also just flows very nicely despite its kenning or whatever its called. i vibe with it quite a bit.

chairchucker

fun and little, like a good chucker story. it does kinda just drift about, not in a bad way, but it just kinda does its fun “time sure is wacky” bit and then goes about its day. nothing bad, but nothing that stands out. this wouldnt have DMed in any other week, but this was clearly just a chucker story and not a chucker breaks the rule story when i wanted the latter. sorry.

flesnolk

this is very strange. its rhythm is odd and it seems like events are out of order or something. its creepy and unsettling because of that. i cant really get a grasp of exactly what is going on. i think thats intentional, which is cool. i dont hate this and i think this a cool effort that im happy to see from you.

this grew on me a lot more as i reread it. it doesnt make sense but it also makes it clear that it isnt supposed to make sense. at some point in the narrative, i found myself giving up, not on reading, but on trying to create a clear narrative. this rejected the notion of “solving” a story, and so we’re given this scattered, almost multiple realities view of a serial killer who might not even be a serial killer and may have not even killed anybody. this sort of defies description (in a cool way) because everything that happens in here doesnt really happen, or at least, its never clear if it did happen. it does falter at the end, becoming too concrete and clean. im not sure where this needed to end, but it needed to keep its nonsense going instead of letting it slip.

the man called m

this isnt bad. the line “she had average depression” lands incredibly well. the reversing of the entire story i think i get. its like a sort of “i wanna redo everything” wish but then the story goes, even if given the chance to redo everything, nothing wouldve changed. and thats kinda neat and not bad. it unfortunately doesnt do too much else besides say, this person had a lovely life and was always going to have a lovely life no matter, which is both sort of lacking as a piece and also very depressing. im not sure if reversing the whole narrative was also worth what i think it did to the piece. felt like a lot of wasted space to get across a kind of simple idea (if i understand the intention correctly). it also feels like it revels in its dark tone without doing much with it. just kinda depressing and doesnt try to make meaning out of its sadness and nihilism.

Beezus

this is cool for a lot of reasons. first, it describes an alien race that is incredibly interesting, in that their perception creates reality. the second is that it doesnt land on any one point of view, but looks at the Adjacent as a society being observed, which I also enjoy. its very conceptual, in a way that is probably too smart for me, because i am an idiot. but i liked the focus on the people, i liked that it had a people with a different point of view (sort of Embassytown vibes), and i liked a lot about this. what’s missing? it feels like an introduction, not a complete thing, i suppose. like a prologue to your sci-fi story. not a bad one, but incomplete.

Carl Killer Miller

i will echo muffin and say that the format and tracking of things didnt help this story. the CYOA style stuff here, imo, isnt really that great, just because i feel like the paths are distinct enough. you can do the things that are slightly kinder to the family, or be slightly more blunt and honest to try to ease the woman into accepting her death. its long, but the length doesnt seem worth it here. the narrative overall is fine. its pathos works, the characters feel honest and real, but im not sure if the CYOA structure really did much here.

Thranguy

i understand my rule was doesnt have a beginning but i find myself disappointed that your rule breaking was so straight forward. it is just a fantasy story that starts not at the start. there’s some interesting stuff here, but there’s also a lot of just fantasy stuff. It has some decent action with some interesting magic blood stuff. However, the buy-in isnt here in this draft and it does feel like a bit too grimdark for my tastes, altho maybe thats just a me thing.

curlingiron

yeah this is also a bit too sci-fi without a good buy-in either. i cant really find myself caring that much since the protag is sort of just there and its not clear what the program is and what their goal is and despite them achieving it, it doesnt seem to matter much to me.

Antivehicular

i was the only judge who knew this was fanfic but its strong enough on its own that it doesnt feel like fanfic. i could be boring and just describe what about this is fanfic but who even cares? the narrative here is good. you have a strong character who we feel for and you use your erotic elements to actual meaningful use than just porn. this isnt really erotica, at least, because i usually define erotica as work that’s meant to be used for sexual gratifcation. it has erotic elements, but it wants to do more with than turn people on. and you do it well, to show the indecisive and depressed mood of your protag as well as providing them a way out.

Albatrossy_Rodent

there’s a lot of technical work here, since this is nearly 3000 words long, but it ends up being mostly monkey cheese comedy. its not even that i dislike comedy, its just that the comedy here is very overtly lazy. i can tell *you* (and your buddy) had fun making this, and i did have a bit of fun running along with it, but at the end, it doesnt feel like it does much with itself. i like the idea of a backwards CYOA, but i dont think you actually do anything meaningful with that idea. there’s effort here, but i also wanted you to just try and harder and do more than just lol 911.

Captain_Indigo

this is pretty cool and i like the detailed focus on description. i dont know how i feel about the end, where you then describe the protagonist deliberately creating more harmful situations. im not sure, i feel like that was trying to create a larger narrative, and im not sure thats the right thing to do. both, in that im both im not sure if the right narrative was “doctor creates larger and larger explosions to observe” and im not sure if there actually NEEDS to be a larger narrative. maybe its just enough to keep this an individual descriptive moment.

Fuschia_tude

this has a good flow although maybe im stupid (i am) but i dont really know what’s happening. i get its a tightrope type thing, but it feels like there’s more going on surrounding this, and i dont know what that is. however, this flows well and is descriptive and gets the tension across well its unique style, so its fine.

CourtFundedPoster

i will not lie and say i do not enjoy “fiction as a mystery to solve” and this feels too much like that. i dont know what’s happening and i dont really have the inclination to try and find out what is happening here. buy-in is a problem here -- i dont find particular joy in solving problems like these, so i dont have a reason to try and solve this because i dont really care.

Yoruichi

this is whatever science fiction. i dont know, im being kinda lazy here, but it has a lot of large Words and i dont care much about these Words. your protag isnt very interesting and things kinda just happen and i already dont like sci-fi, so maybe that stops me from enjoying it as much as i should, but i dont care about this religion or god or priest or whatever is happening.

crabrock

i think this is one of the few stories to have its form fit with its function. i liked how (on the youtube video) it would kind of out pace itself, so i had to pause a few times and twist my head around to try and follow it. this made it feel like the voice was against me, which fits with the narrative. overall, the narrative itself is good, with a strong voice and a strong central conceit. its maybe a bit light on plot or whatever, but idk, this was fun and cool, gj.

sebmojo

i dont know if i “get” this. it is sort of interesting in how it reflects the minute differences between our days can lead to different experiences. but idk its also really quite boring. its just 3 days in an average person’s life but it ends up being kinda dull? im not sure, i do feel like i dont rly get this but i am also quite a stupid person

steeltoedsneakers

this is a fun little drunken rant, a drunk person’s attempt to be philosophical. there’s a bit in this where i was like, yeah, im with you, in the third paragraph, but i think it starts to pull away and those moments of vibing with the protag makes it feel like its just when he gets the cadence of the words right, not when he actually starts making sense. then it all starts to crumble away again, so, “you living right?” and you realize that this whole time, couched in this language, this man was never making sense to begin with.

J.A.B.C

this is a weird story because it approaches its concept so straightforwardly. once you get over the initial “why would somebody write a literary retrospective of a dumb joke in a video game?” the story just continues at its own pace. i think instead of critiquing this, i will instead offer that you should read Antivehicular’s “‘Chest Compressions’ and the Cracked-Open Ribcage of Desire” (https://thunderdome.cc/?story=9673) as an example of something I think you’re trying to do. in particular, i think antiv was very effective and finding that larger “so what” surrounding her fictional story she was writing about and is something that’s missing in yours.

trex

this is very fun and an enjoyable read. i probably shouldve HMed this, but also, i maybe shouldnt have. its cool and useful and does it what it sets out to do. idk do i HM something that really doesnt attempt to be a story? just because its an enjoyable read, does that mean it deserves an accolade. deep questions this raises that i answered by kinda forgetting when i was judging.

regardless, this seems like really good advice if i ever want to DM so i will keep that in mind, thanks.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Prompt: Columns of smoke as ladder to upper world.

This Entry is a Prayer
800 words

{removed because I want to maybe make something of it; original available on the archive.}

ChickenOfTomorrow fucked around with this message at 20:33 on Jan 8, 2022

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Z39.1. The goat who would not go home.

800 words

Lessons

flerp fucked around with this message at 20:21 on Dec 31, 2021

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021



When the Sun Burns Out
799 Words
U31. Wolf unjustly accuses lamb and eats him.

Mark
Mark knew everyone was on edge, but he felt particularly affected. Paul had shirked his duties to attend to the bedridden Kristen, and Mark knew that he’d be the same if it had been Jessica who was branded. Still, their survival depended on all their efforts when Mark was just one man.

The permanent fog that blotted out the sun during the day made it difficult enough to see, but the storms that came at night made it nearly impossible. The only things visible from the periscope were windswept debris and clumped snow.

Kristen coughed from further inside the bunker. Paul, neurotic in his care, appeared immediately to administer aid. Mark rolled his eyes and leaned into the periscope. He didn’t expect to see anything, but he did.

A flash of gold from some point in the distance. He pulled away and rubbed his eyes, then pressed his face back into the viewport and saw a man bundled in thick furs, struggling against the storm.

“My God! Someone’s out there! There’s a man out there!”

Mark leaped from his seat and started towards the door.

Paul
”Get away from that loving door!” Paul said. His voice was little more than a whispered hiss, but it sufficed. Fuming, Mark turned towards Paul and tossed his hands. Paul realized this wasn’t the time for a pissing match, so he changed his tone and tried again.

”Look, I’m not saying you didn’t see anything— I’m sure you saw something, but think about it. Where did they come from? It’s god knows how cold outside, and it’s the dead of night, and those loving things are out there…” Paul said, trying to reason with Mark, but the plea fell flat.

Mark exploded back, barely whispering, ”I know what I saw, Paul! There are loving people out there. If they freeze to death or get eaten alive, what then? I won’t have it on my conscience!”

Paul heard his blood hammering in his ears, and he imagined himself strangling Mark then. Besides, was it not his fault that Kristen was branded? He imagined wringing the life out of Mark, burrowing his fingers into the soft flesh that surrounded his esophagus and never letting go.

Jessica saw she needed to intervene.

Jessica
“Paul’s right, Mark. I’m sure you did see someone out there, but it could be a trick… Just like with Kevin and Tammy. It could be a trick, Mark. Just think about it… Who could be out there in one of these storms? Not people. Not humans.” Jessica insisted.

Mark shook his head, displeased that Jessica saw fit to intervene, but not on his behalf.

“You didn’t see, none of you did!” Mark shouted.

“Well, let me take a look,” Jessica said.

She placed her hand on Mark’s shoulder and guided him away from the door back towards the periscope. His demeanor softened and he sighed, resting his head against her side.

“I’m so sick of this. I can’t— We’re not supposed to—”

Jessica shushed him and he exhaled. She looked in the viewport and only saw the unrelenting storm.

“There’s no one there now. Get some sleep. I’ll take the last of this shift, okay?”

Mark didn’t protest and retreated to his cot in unadmitted defeat, still convinced there was someone outside their bunker.

***

When Mark and the others had managed to get to sleep, Jessica was able to relax. It was near impossible when she had to manage the now tenuous relationships of her friends. She heard something. She placed her eyes back to the viewport and wheeled the periscope around. Then she saw it. Hanging from a nearby tree, nearly all black except for the twinkling of rime that clung to its leathery wings, a creature waited. Jessica was about to scream when a pair of thin hands slid around her throat, clamped shut, didn’t let go.

Kristen
Kristen dreams. She’s far away. Safe in the arms of loved ones. They coo to her in unfamiliar, alien tones. She strains to understand, but it sounds like something she should see, or perhaps, even feel. Her mind expands as she focuses on those strangely uttered syllables, and suddenly, she realizes what must be done.

She shambled out of her cot awkwardly and walked like a newborn fawn, all gangly and uncoordinated. Jessica, who had just seen what was waiting for them, didn’t expect Kristen and was easily overcome.

Paul must have heard the scuffle, because he’s up now, but it’s too late to make a difference. Kristen stands in the open door basked in moonlight and fresh fallen snow. A monster of a thing looms over her. It brushes her cheek with a knobby, taloned finger in a perversion of some paternal gesture, and accepts its invitation inside.

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


X514. Only usurers can carry the corpse of the usurer.

Weekend at TD’s
763 words

Leonard’s fresh corpse laid in the middle of Larry’s dining room, a broken champagne flute next to it on the floor.

“Merry Christmas, you sack of poo poo. May we never work together again,” said Larry.

“Oh, uh, I didn’t think it’d work this fast. Is him being dead already going to be a problem?” asked Ernest.

“No, but we’re gonna have to carry him there now,” Larry sighed. He looked at the clock: 1:57AM. “We only have about an hour left to get there.”

“Does it matter if we’re a bit late?”

“Probably, yeah, when we’re dealing with this magic poo poo. He was very clear about being there before 3.”

“Alright, grab his legs then, let’s go.”

Both men strained to lift Leonard’s corpse, but it didn’t budge at all, as if glued to the floor.

“Why’s he so heavy?”

The men tried again, with the same result. Larry glared at the corpse then came to a realization.

“It’s the goddamn souls! He collected so many as interest that they’re making his own weigh a ton! Couldn’t just stick to money like the rest of us!”

“How’re we going to get him out of here?”

Larry thought about it for a second then lit up. “I got an idea, actually.”

He walked over to a hallway closet and took out a box tucked in the back.

“Got it a while back, lady said it was magic and could move the dead, but I wasn’t really listening. It being silver was all that mattered, covered what she owed.”

He opened the box and carefully took out a small silver flute.

“Seems pretty far fetched.”

Larry shrugged and offered the flute to Ernest. “So’s this situation. Wanna give it a shot?”

“I don’t know how to play.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

Larry lifted the flute to his lips a few random notes, not following any sort of melody. Leonard’s body immediately slid across the room and rammed into the wall headfirst, leaving a noticeable dent in the plaster.

“Holy poo poo!” both men exclaimed.

“I can’t believe it works,” said Ernest. “Let’s slide him out of here!”

“Yeah, alright.” Larry played another series of mismatched notes on the flute. One of Leonard’s arms flailed out and flopped his torso halfway around. The body slid right through the broken champagne glass and was sent careening into the dining table, dragging it and the chairs along and rattling the whole set.

“Uh, I’ll go get the car ready while you figure this out,” Ernest said and walked out the front door.

After a few minutes of trial and error, the best Larry could manage was making the body slide in the direction he wanted, spread out like a starfish.

“Good enough for now.”

Ernest walked back in. “Car’s snowed in, I think we’re stuck here man.”

“Let’s stop by the neighbors’ place, I got an idea.”

***

The child-sized sled Ernest and Larry were perched on slid to a stop in front of an isolated cabin in the woods, pulled along by the starfishing corpse.

The front door of the cabin opened and an annoyed-looking man came out. He pointed at his watch with a black-gloved hand.

“You’re almost late. Come on,” the man says, waving them inside.

Larry played the flute and sent the corpse slamming into the side of the cabin, shaking snow off the roof and burying it..

“Look, boys, I’ve had a long night already. Some dipshit writer got the better of me and I’m all out of patience right now. I just want to pig out on a pile of souls at the witching hour. Pick him up and bring him in.”

“Uh, we can’t,” Larry responded lamely. “Gotta do it this way.” He pointed his chin at the flute and resumed his attempt at a song.

The man snatched the flute out of his hands and played a beautiful melody. Leonard’s body immediately stood up out of the snow and walked over to him. The man turned around and walked inside, still playing. Leonard followed him inside and turned around. Larry looked into Leonard’s glassy eyes. Leonard looked through and past him, then slammed the door shut.

“Hey, wait!” said Larry. “What about the deal?”

Larry walked up to the door and turned the know, expecting it to be locked, but the door swung open effortlessly. Beyond it was a bare room, no furniture, no light, no corpse.

The two men entered the room and looked around, frustrated.

“Probably was a bad idea to make a deal with him, Larry.”

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sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Shaggy Dog, Eight Stories
799 words
B16.1.2.1. Giant devastating hound.

When Owen and I drove home from our long weekend off the grid, a fifty foot dog was stomping all over our suburban town. Over a canopy of snow-dusted pine trees, the hound stood up on its rear legs and stretched, a mobile home in its slobbering jaws. A steadily falling snowfall cast a white veil between us and the dog’s shadow.

“I don’t get it,” I told Owen, “I thought these didn’t happen anymore.”

Owen shrugged. “Can’t predict dog events,” he said. We’d run out of things to say to each other on our weekend away, and I wondered if this was even going to work long-term. All I wanted to do was go home, change into pajamas, and make some shakshuka with no one telling me I needed to add more salt. Thanks to the colossal mottled mutt, I’d have to go to the town bunker instead, and Owen would be there, too.

Owen turned on the radio and changed the station from classical to NPR. They weren’t even covering the dog attack in our town because they were too busy talking about a giant cat in Hartford. They were still talking about that and what it would do to the global insurance industry when I remembered:

“Oh no,” I said. “Pickles and Kimchi.” These were my two pet rats. My sister had promised to look in on them and take care of them, but would she have made sure they got to the shelter? I pulled out my phone and tried to call her, but it went right to voicemail. She was probably underground. “We have to check.”

To Owen’s credit, he just grunted and changed course, even though that meant heading closer to the rampaging dog (now lying on its back, paws cycling in the air, rubbing its back all over what used to be the high school’s football field.) Cars sped past us in the other direction, including more than a few people with bowed-in roofs and shattered windshields.

When we pulled into my street, we were way too close to the hound. At the moment, it was casually lazing on top of our neighbor’s houses, its twitching paws just a block and a half away, one of them atop the splintered roof of a garage. Owen waited in the car while I dashed in, ran downstairs, and plucked Pickles and Kimchi from their hammock.

In a few minutes, the boys were secure in their carrier and I hurried upstairs and outside. As soon as I opened the door, Owen grabbed my hand.

“Great timing. We’re about to get eaten.”

Above us, the dog was shaking off flakes of snow. Its muddy nail gouged the pavement just three houses down. I jumped in the car next to Owen, rat carrier in my lap, and he pulled out of the driveway and we sped down the still-untrammeled road.

“You’re one of the good ones,” I said to Owen. “Not everyone would rush into dog danger just to save a couple of rats.”

“Well,” he said, “they’re your rats, so they’re worth saving.”

The ground rumbled, and in the sideview mirror I could see a glinting manic muzzle pursuing behind us. We were in a game of fetch, and we weren’t throwing.

A giant paw crashed down in front of us, and Owen swerved sharply. I gripped the rat carrier hard as the car careened off the icy road and into a drainage ditch.

And then things got dark and Owen’s car soared up, up, up, a giant canine tooth poking through the windshield, a huge uvula dangling behind it, our car’s rear wheels spinning uselessly into the air.

“Drop!” Owen shouted.

“Gently,” I added.

The dog wasn’t well trained so it didn’t do either of those things. Instead it broke off into a run somewhere. I hated dog events.

“Thea,” Owen said, “where are the rats?”

I looked down at the carrier, expecting the boys to be cowering in a hammock somewhere, but they were gone. And then I spotted them: scrambling out of the window, onto the roof, up onto the dog’s muzzle. I gripped Owen’s hand, rolled down the window, and watched as my rat boys bit down on the dog’s ear.

And then the dog let out a low growl and its legs gave out. It didn’t drop us, though – it just collapsed on a snowy hillside, lying on its flank.

“That seems unlikely,” Owen said, as the rats scurried back into the car and climbed onto my shoulder. “Not that I’m complaining.”

Pickles nibbled on my left ear, and Kimchi nibbled on my left, as Owen and I climbed out of the car and slid down the dog’s neck. Owen was right, but sometimes the unlikeliest things ended up feeling true.

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