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Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

I'll keep it in mind that you guys might have started without any music and/or flashrules. On the off chance someone was still waiting, here's some videos:

nut posted:

Are we supposed to wait for a music vid or just go for it

Hawklad posted:

Seems like a fun week, I'm IN

steeltoedsneakers posted:

Awww yeah, you're playing my jam now. I'm in. Hit me up with some flashrule spice, please and thankyou.

Your flash spice is Sporty; you must incorporate sports themes into the story somehow.

Edit: replaced some of the songs with actual videos.

Azza Bamboo fucked around with this message at 15:23 on Feb 20, 2021


Sep 3, 2020


The Traveling Sommelier
898 words
Hellrule: 'imagine being married to johnny depp'

The oppressive air in the wine cellar clogs Amy’s lungs, making every breath a chore. Jack loves the room because he thinks it's dramatic, but the shadows make him look sickly and deranged, and the stink of old wood reminds Amy of the inside of a coffin.

There’s a stranger sitting across the table: a traveling sommelier. He seems familiar, but Amy can’t put a name to his mustachioed face.

“I usually bring a large selection with me for house calls,” the sommelier says to Jack, “but after talking with you—and watching your movies—I knew the exact vintage you’d like.”

“Hear that, Amy?” says Jack. “He’s a marvel, just like the magazine said.”

Amy wrings her hands. “You told me I should never believe what they write in the magazines.”

“Not the tabloids, no. Mr. Stone was in Vanity Fair.”


“Are you feeling unwell, Miss Amy?” says Mr. Stone.

“No, no, I’m fine. I just thought I knew you from somewhere else, that’s all.”

“Most girls say I remind them of their fathers.” His chuckle makes Amy shiver. “Shall we get to the tasting?”

Amy hesitates. “I’m not sure I should be drinking this early.”

“It’s hardly a drink,” says Jack. “You won’t even feel it.”

“I will.”

“Would that be so bad? You could stand to relax a little.” He rubs her shoulders. She shudders, but she doesn’t withdraw.

The sommelier fills three glasses with a practiced pour. The burgundy liquid settles with an oily smoothness, rounding gracefully at the edges.

“It’s beautiful…” Amy murmurs.

“It’s a meritage,” Mr. Stone replies.

“Meritage is French for ‘cheap.’ Do I look poor to you?” Jack says.

“I’d thought a man of your discerning palate wouldn’t be duped by labels.” He slides his hand overtop Jack’s glass.“But if you’re not interested in Martin Scorcese’s favorite wine—”

“Marty likes this?”

“I thought you were mad at Marty,” Amy says.

“Of course not. We just had a disagreement. I just need to get some face time with him again—get him to see how much I care about the craft.”

“You could invite him over for the wine,” Mr. Stone says.

“Perfect! I’ll call him over tonight.”

“You might want to buy the bottle first.” There’s something in the sommelier’s tone that makes Amy tense. It’s familiar, just like his face, but she can’t name it any more than she can name the sick feeling crawling under her skin.

“Did you know Jack was fighting with Marty?” she says.

“Everyone fights with Marty. The man cares deeply about his work.” The sommelier liberates Jack’s glass. “Shall we?”

“You haven’t said what it costs.”

“Really, Amy?” Jack says. “You sound like my accountant. Whatever it is, I can afford it.”

“I won’t lie to you: wine of this quality comes at a high price.” Mr. Stone touches the bottle. “If that’s a concern—”

“I said I can afford it.” Jack picks up the glass, then shoots Amy a dark look. “Smell it.”

Amy lifts the glass with a shaky hand. It smells like fresh earth on a misty morning, piled next to a waiting grave. She sets it down with a start. “I feel faint.”

“It can have that effect on people.” Mr. Stone looks to Jack. “But what do you think?”

Jack’s eyes take on a distant sheen as he swirls the drink. “It smells like passion…like success.”

“And you can have both; all you need is a taste.”

Amy clenches her hands. “Jack, wait—”

Jack’s dead stare sucks the light out of the room. “No one tells me what to do.”

He drinks.

A smile plays across his lips. He leans forward as if about to fall, but instead hangs in a state of cold suspension.

“It can have that effect on people, too,” says Mr. Stone.

Amy’s teeth clack together. “What have you done to him?”

“What I do for everyone: I gave him what he wanted. You could have that too. You could relax.”

“I don’t want to relax!”

“Are you sure? It would be so easy: one sip and all your troubles would disappear.”

“Like his?” She gestures at Jack. “He’s dead!”

“Don’t be gauche. He’s not dead. As soon as I leave, he’ll be the same as before. Really, this was just a formality; he paid the cost for that drink a long time ago.”

Inside Amy, there once lived a pious little girl who believed in gods and demons and prayers and sins. The adult in her will not let her say the cost of that wine aloud, but the ghost of that little girl knows what it was—and that girl wants to run.

“You need to leave.” She stands. “Now.”

“Are you sure? You could be so happy here, if you’d only let me help.”

“I can make my own happiness.”

“Maybe you can—but not with him.”

Mr. Stone gets up from the table; he leaves the bottle behind. As he disappears up the stairs, he whistles to himself, stifling the air with song.

Jack stirs with a shudder. “Good wine…”

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself,” she murmurs.

“I did, but I confess, I could use a quick nap. Will you stay with me?”

Amy gazes at the shaded stairwell. There’s no trace of Mr. Stone, yet his whistle endures, bouncing around the closed casket of the cellar.

Jul 30, 2019

Boogie Woogie
900 words


“What’s up?”

“...what do you think she meant by ‘Boogie Woogie?’”


“Yeah. I seriously want to know what she meant.”

“No, I mean, seriously? right now? You think this is an appropriate time and place?”

“Are you going to try to tell me you’ve got something better to do?”

“...I don’t know what she meant by ‘Boogie Woogie’. Honestly, I thought about it earlier today and it didn’t make sense and I was happy to leave it at that.”

“How could a plate of nachos be ‘Boogie Woogie’?”

“I know, it’s dumb.”

“Maybe that’s the point. Maybe she meant they were nonsense.”

“What is nonsensical about nachos? They were pretty standard--chips, cheese, salsa, meat--”

“--that’s it! It was a weird meat ...mutton! It was mutton.”

“What is mutton?”

“I think it’s lamb. Young lamb. Where they don’t leave the tiny houses they are raised in.”

“That’s veal. I think mutton’s just a weird part of the pig.”

“I’ll tell you what it is: a highly atypical nacho topping. A Boogie Woogie topping, if you will.”

“I won’t, that sounds stupid. Also, she certainly had no problem eating her fair share (and some) for how weird they were.”

“Listen to it. ‘Boogie Woogie’. It’s inherently dumb. Playful, but dumb. A member of a long line or rhyming pairs that mean nothing. Hippy dippy, fuzzy wuzzy, laffy taffy, pish posh.”

“That last one doesn’t rhyme.”

“Oh, hm. Maybe it’s something deeper in the pairs. It could just be the aliteration. Like they have to be more satisfying to say than to write or read. A sort of offensive power in the repetition of the second word that somehow turns back to debase the first. Maybe it’s actually beautiful...”

“My feet are getting numb.”

“Okay, it doesn’t mean nonsense. She loved (more than half) of the nachos. Maybe it means good, then?”

“Why wouldn’t she just say they were good? Or delicious or tasty or yummy--”

“--who would say ‘yummy’ on a date? Are you insane?”

“Who would say ‘Boogie Woogie’ on a date? The pins and needles in my legs are getting cold.”

“Don’t think about it, they’re coming. Maybe she was trying to sound cool? Maybe she is cool? She sounded cool to me.”

“Does that make me uncool for questioning it? My legs feel cold. No, wait. Wet. They feel wet. Is it blood? Is part of the pipe cutting into me?”

“Whoah, imagine they hoist you out and it’s just blood all the way down your legs? Pretty badass. Pretty cool. Or should I say--”

“--don’t. Also, I think it could be piss, too. I can’t tell.”

“Okay, if it’s piss, that’s tremendously not Boogie Woogie.”

“Please don’t.”

“Don’t worry. Besides, if it was piss, it would be warm.”

“If it was blood, wouldn’t it be warm, too?”

“Oh yeah.”

“’s a dance, by the way. It’s the Boogie Woogie. Everyone knows it’s a dance.”

“Uh, duh. But she clearly didn’t mean it as a dance.”

“I know, I know. I’m just saying words. Maybe, I thought we could work backwards from the etymology or something.”

“Entomology and fair. Sorry. Maybe the meaning isn’t important?”

“How so?”

“Maybe it’s her usage that’s more telling. What if it was something deeply personal? Remember when mom would always call you ‘sportsfan’, despite your quite obvious lack of any meaningful connection to athletics?”

“Are you calling me fat?”

“Are you in a place right now to disagree? Anyways, remember specifically when mom called you sportsfan to Mr. Lehman during parent-teacher interviews?”

“I could never forget. A sacred line in the sand of my soul crossed forever. Further trampled each time Mr. Lehman would call me sportsfan at school.”

“It’s brutal.”

“Maybe it’s for the best if the medics just don’t come.”

“Chin up--Mr. Lehman isn’t here. What if you just caught her in a similar moment of weakness? Her defences down, owing to the great time she is having, of course, she lets a ‘Boogie Woogie’ slip. Did you see how she reacted after she said it?”

“No, I was confused and I had to pee.”

“Sounds like that’s not a problem this time.”


“Okay, okay, sorry. I’m just saying that maybe it’s a good sign. A great sign. The words in themselves don’t mean much, but who we’ll say them around might.”

“The pain is coming back. Also, that’s stupid.”

“You call charcuteries ‘meatboards’, even when ordering them directly off of a menu where you could just read the word. That’s stupid.”

“I think I can feel my pelvis slowly collapsing inward..”

“Calm down, just breathe.”

“I can’t, my pelvis--”

“You don’t breathe through your pelvis.”

“What if you breathe really deep? You don’t know.”

“...have you considered asking her?”

“If you breathe through your pelvis?”

“Hah. Just text her and say you had a great time and what is a Boogie Woogie.”

“Never. I couldn’t. Even if I wanted to, I tossed my phone out up there. The operator said it would get better reception.”

“Do you hear that?”

“They’re coming!”

“Hello? Hello?”

“Hello! I’m down in here.”

“ god, you’re in there good. I’ll call the firetruck. Where’s your friend? Don’t tell me he’s under--”

“--no one’s here, officer.”

“Oh. I just could hear you talking all the way from the path.”

“Just me.”

“That’s weird.”

“I know, officer. You could say it’s

nut fucked around with this message at 03:12 on Feb 21, 2021

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

Wiped Out
Word Count: 654
Its 1999, you and your best friend are about to go try to mack on chicks at the skatepark

“Do you think the world is going to end?” Cory sat in the lot of the skatepark inspecting the wheels on his board.

“I think Mr. Fesenmyer said the sun would explode in like a trillion years, so yeah.” Dave leaned against his battered Civic and looked smug.

“Not like that. I mean like tomorrow.”

“Don’t tell me you believe in that Y2K garbage. I will smack you with this board.” Dave placed his skateboard against Cory’s cheek.

Cory noted the gritty texture on his unshaven face and then knocked it away. “I’m serious. It’s not just Y2K, it’s…everything. Have you been paying any attention since we graduated?”

“Why would I pay attention to anything except our sweet freedom?” Dave took a deep breath and exhaled with a loud “aahhh.”

“Because the world’s pretty hosed, dude. There’re bombings and earthquakes and mass immigrations and—”

“Yeah, elsewhere.”

“Columbine.” Cory stood, dropped his board and gave it a few test rolls all while his eyes stayed locked on Dave.

Dave sighed. “We’re not even in school anymore. And besides, none of that means the world is going to end when it turns midnight. Look, it’s another sunny day in Austin.”

“But what if it does? Don’t you want to feel something? What if this is our last chance to really live?”

“Then we’re wasting our time sitting out here.” Dave grabbed Cory’s arm. “Let’s go grind some rails… and some chicks.”


“What the gently caress!? You totally snaked me,” Cory said after his roll came to a stop at the bottom of the halfpipe.

“Out of the way. How can I do all of my rad tricks before the world ends if you’re mobbing it?” Dave laughed over his shoulder as he rolled away.

Cory chased after. The air pushed his shoulder-length hair back, tickling his ears and making him smile despite his wipe out.

“You still don’t get it,” Cory said, gripping Dave’s arm to stop him. “I’m trying to enjoy my last ride.”

“Are you? Looks more like you’re in slow-mo.” He glanced over Cory’s shoulder at the group of skater girls leaning against the rails. “I’ve got a lot of tricks to do too. I’ll catch you later.”

Dave glided over to the women. Cory turned his back and headed to the start of the line again.


“Dude, I need your help.”


“You have to come get me.”

Cory glanced at the clock on his computer: 10:46 pm. “Where are you?”

“The police station on Eighth Street.”

“What’d you do?”

“You know that Sid Vicious movie we watched?”

Cory almost dropped the phone. “You killed someone?”

“No, no. Dude, no. It’s just, you got to me. What if the world ends tomorrow? So I found some girls and a party and I guess I got carried away.”

“Well, I’m pretty busy. Someone put the new Rage album up on Napster and it’s pretty sweet. It’s probably too slow for you anyway.”

“Come on. Pleeeease?”

Cory grinned. “You got your board?”


“You sure about this? I probably shouldn’t get arrested again tonight.”

“You’re just making excuses cause you’re too drunk to stay upright.”

“Pssh, I could outskate you back in my jail cell.”

In just a few steps, they were over the fence and into the skatepark.

“I can’t even see the rails in this light.” Dave’s shadowy figure inched toward the edge of the bowl.

“Guess that means you’re going to have to feel things a little more,” Cory said as he dropped in and cruised along the curves. He returned to where Dave still stood and hopped off his board. “If you’re still scared, that should help.”

Dave turned to where Cory pointed to see red bursts of light in the sky.

“Must be midnight fireworks,” said Cory.

“Or the explosions…”

They listened for a moment, exchanged glances and dropped into the bowl as a soundwave passed overhead.

Feb 20, 2011

~carrier has arrived~
Oven Wrangler
i dug myself out of a "war criminals that never faced consequences" Wikipedia pit to edit this and give it to you

Mess (831 Words)

"So,” an easy going voice drawled, from the primordial chaos.  “It didn't go as planned?"

"Not quite," spoke a reedy, thin voice from a man seated in a quilted plush chair.

A blistering assault on the senses drowned out everything, save the shattered remains of a dressing room where Ilas regarded the collapse of existence.  A drawn-thin wraith of a man, eyes hollowed by years of failures, Ilas tampered with the lines between the mundane and the divine.  This was his fate.

“You really did make a mess of things, pal.  What, you thought you could just violate a few laws of reality and everything would be fine?”  The voice manifested as two eyes, with scintillating irises of indeterminate hue, and a mouth, wide and leering, without lips. Ilas regarded this as normal at this point, after all, it was hardly the wildest thing that had happened.

“Well, yes.”  The inventor coughed for a moment, as motes of the dressing room drifted off into nothingness.  “According to Wellenstrom’s Theory of Conservation of…”

“But Wellenstrom was wrong.”  The mouth grinned a wide and leering grin, teeth winking in and out of existence.  “Turns out meddling with the conservation of metaphysical forces as it relates to mechanical processes on a sub-divine level is a big no-no.  And so here we are.”

Indeed, there they were, amidst what was presumably the end of all things, a whole collaged mess that Ilas couldn’t look at for very long.  It hurt the head more than all the absinthe and the opium and… Oh.  That was it.  Opium.  This was just an opium dream.

“Here we are, yes indeed.  You seem to be quite intimately aware of my work.  Have we met?” A relieved look came to Ilas’ face as he slipped into the comforting knowledge that this was a hallucination.

The face spun wildly in place, its teeth then spiraled outwards into a thousand splintering fractals before reforming before his eyes.  “Met is kind of a funny word to use in a place without time, friend.  Before what you did?  Nope.  As a result of what you did?  Or will do?  Probably.”  The grin stabilized into a jovial face that reminded Ilas of home.  “Never seen this design though, fantastic work.  Craftsmanship like this comes only once in a few millennia, you know.”

The beacon sat on a pedestal floating off near the corner of the dressing room.  Copper interlaced with bronze, silver, and gold alike, glinting with entropic potential and delight, crafted by a hand obsessed as much by the occult sciences as by the mundane.  Ilas stared at it dumbfoundedly, as if the knowledge of it appeared in his head from sweet oblivion.  “Well, yes, there were common running themes throughout a variety of source materials that related to…”  The face cut him off with raucous laughter, eyes bubbling something that dripped off into the void.

“Mmhm, yes, and you certainly solved them all out perfectly.  Drew the power of the heavens down to Earth to bring about a new age of prosperity.”  Ilas’ eyes lit with recognition, the hurried campaigns, the meetings to raise funds, how much time and effort he had put into his search.  “Been looking for an awful long time, haven’t you, Ilas, my boy?  20 long years of searching for the golden key to the proverbial kingdom.  Regular things didn’t quite work.  But that never stopped you, ha!”

Ilas stepped up from the chair, motes bubbling from it as it, too, began to slip into chaos, voice sounding a tad stronger  "Well, yes.  The common themes between divine traditions culminated in a common pattern.  The natural world couldn't account for the math, so I looked at other means."

"Other means, other means, he says!  Oh yes, no consequences at all for setting up an unrestricted divine conduit into the mundane world.  You hit the proverbial reset, bud."  The face sneered at him, the lips beginning to bubble too.  "A thousand divine symbols, woven into each gear and sprocket, an immaculate conception!"

The cracked and split corner of the dressing room, too, began to fragment and twist, wood shredding and warping itself into tangential angles that winked away into the rest.  Ilas hadn't noticed, however, eyes locked on the beacon.  "So what happens now, if you know everything that's happening?"

"Well, that's simple, my boy.  I finally get out of this horrific mess of an existence."  The eyes sizzled and burned away, the edges of the lips splintering away into nothing.  Some force, unbidden, pushed the beacon towards Ilas as he caught it in his hands.  His eyes locked with it, mesmerized, the writings upon it spinning in harmonious circles.  "As for what you'll do about it, old chum, you've got the power,"

The words burned in his mind, a thousand symbols for the divine sinking themselves into his brain.  Once again he was lost in the madness, seeing the scope of all unfolded before him.

"You figure it out."

May 31, 2011

The happiest waffligator
This prompt broke me.

Fruits Outside Heaven (899 words)
Kadal was the lord of the Island, the biggest, the strongest, the loudest beast. And yet this creature eluded him for almost the length of the Island. This creature, two-legged like the macaques but without the hair, flew like the cockatoos at the speed of the deer. The fruits of the Island flew to her like the green pigeons. Kadal finally managed to push her down on the coarse brown sands with his massive hands.

Kadal opened his mouth, ready to eat this creature. “You made me run all day, you mons-”

“I’m not a fruit!” the creature screamed. The fruits that flew to her had landed on the ground next to her, spreading like outstretched fingers around her.

“I eat everything,” Kadal said.

“I’m here just for the fruits, oh Lord Dragon! Mercy!”

“Why were you running away?”

“You have so many fruits here, and I can’t resist,” the creature said.

“Fruits, fruits, fruits! Is that all you can say?”

“That is all that’s on my mind, yes! But how can one be otherwise, when this place had the fruits better than that of Heaven itself?”

There was the sound of a thunderbolt.

“Silence, profaner of names,” said a voice from the sky. Kadal looked up and saw another two-legged flying creature, except this time smaller, and with actual wings. On top of its head is a yellow circle.


“Apologies for this shameful heaven-blind ingrate, Kadal, King of the Komodos. I am Fruitiel, an angel responsible for this depraved glutton, Dorothy.”

“Fruitiel, have you tried the fruits of these islands? It’s fantastic!”

“Silence, you who have forsaken your talents. The Lord had deemed you worthy of Grace, and yet here you are, damning your-”

“What are you two talking about? Who are you?”

“Kadal, the angel’s just angry I ran off from heaven when I spotted the fruits of these islands.”

“I am not given the ability of animosity, Dorothy, my mission remain your speedy return.”

“Fruitiel, you don’t get it! Heaven’s full of juicy apples and plump grapes, but that place had not the grapes of these islands.”

“You dare to denigrate His wo-”

“The grapes here have hair, Fruitiel! Red like apples, but hairy! You can’t eat the hair, granted, but the flesh inside? My first bite and I tasted Life itself.”

“You dare equate mere particles with His most magnificent miracle? The Gates itself will close on your neck and forever there will you be, stuck forever looking at Heave-”

Kadal roared, the energy bubbling beneath the Island entering his body. “Listen to me!” Fruitiel ceased speaking.

“Thanks for the help, lizard! And thanks for all the fruits, too.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, fruit lover.”

“Her behaviour was unacceptable, indeed.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about either, fruit angel.”

“My domain is not of seed structures.”

“Both of you get off my Island!”

“Okay! I’ve got all the fruits of this Island already!”

“You are truly incomprehensible, Martyr of Caesarea Mazaca. All anyone could want is in There, and yet you descend to this archipelago for...what? Culinary tourism?”

Dorothy picked one of the fruits around her. “Look at this grape! Its covered in tree bark, and when you open it there is an eye staring out at you from the inside! Give it a taste.” Dorothy threw the inside of the fruit straight at Fruitiel’s mouth. “When this melts in your mouth it’ll melt your frown.”

“Our Father who are in Heaven, what is this?” He rolled the fruit flesh in his mouth, his baby cheeks bulging. “Soft honey gel, luscious is a neatly packaged addiction.”

“This is even better! It’s a grape covered with snakeskin, but inside are soft white bones of quite striking pleasure. But you need to peel it fir-”

“I have skinned more snakes than you have hair, Dorothy!” Fruitiel touched the fruit and in an instant, the rough skin turned into splatters on the ground. “Dei crisp and grape sweet, a gustatory tongue succumbs to this saccharine luxury...only His light is greater...”

“Listen to me!”

A fruit flew to Dorothy’s left hand, much bigger than the previous two, green and covered in tiny protrusions. “Break it apart, and there’ll be some yellow stuff roughly about the size of the snakeskin fruit, they’re solid ambrosia.”

Fruitiel had only touched the fruit when it split into pieces and sun-yellow tongue-shaped flesh fell like rain. One went into his mouth. His eyes started rolling in place so fast his pupil become a line. His wings flapped so fast it looked like there were thousands. Kadal could see something building up in Fruitiel's throat, and his angelic mouth opened.

“This tastes bad,” Fruitiel said. Before Dorothy’s smile could turn into a frown, there was a bang. She exploded into bright white pieces. Kadal stared at the place where she was. “Understandable, certainly: an imperfect world will have imperfect delights. Fare the well, Kadal.” Fruitiel too exploded into bright white pieces, but this time with a smooth pop.

Now Kadal was alone on the beach, all the fruits of the archipelago that will one day be called Nusantara laying in front of him. He looked at one, a fruit with ridges going down its side. Kadal bit into it, its juices flowing down his massive jaw.

“Oof, drat, this is fantastic.”

Feb 25, 2014
so we keep on burning

flerp fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Jul 5, 2021

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Word maximum : 800

Azza Bamboo fucked around with this message at 07:02 on Feb 21, 2021

Oct 9, 2012
Blinding Lights

“I hate when music videos have parts where the music cuts out or does some weird poo poo. What’s the point? You watch it for the music, not the video. I guess some people do, but they’re the weird ones, not me. The MUSIC is the art, not the video. I mean, there’s art in the video, but it’s not the main draw is it? I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Why not use a streaming service? Like Spotify or Apple Music or something?”

“You sound like some of my friends. They always give me poo poo for playing my music through YouTube. But, I mean, who has the money for that? Twelve bucks a month? I guess I could have two or three less coffees a month. But I loving love coffee, man. I don’t really feel it, but I love the ritual of it. Being a coffee guy. What kinda guy was I before I drank coffee? People see me in the office now, and they think, there he is, Joe’s going to get a coffee. Before? Maybe I was going to the toilet. Maybe I was going to talk to Fiona at the other end of the room. I try not to talk to her too much, just in case people get the wrong idea, but I’m a happily married man! It’s just nice to talk to someone who gets you, you know?”

“Do you feel like I get you?”

“Well I bloody well hope so. I’m paying for you to get me, right? Do you think you do?”

“I think so, yes. But I’m not really getting why you needed to talk to me today. It’s not really about music videos, is it?”

“If I wanted to bitch about music videos, I’d talk to my wife. I just had the same kinda feeling again, you know. That I need to get away. The one you’re good at getting me out of. Music videos are kinda related. It’s all this distraction. Who really cares about music videos, you know? No one. They’re marketing. Everything is marketing. Everyone is trying to sell you something, something you don’t need. You were just trying to sell me on a streaming service, like, what the gently caress man?”

“Are you asking me if I’m getting kickbacks from these companies”?

“HAH! What? Are you listening to me? I don’t think you do get me. Is that what you think I think?”

“Well, it’s what I thought you wanted me to ask.”

“What is this man? Are just here to give you what you think I want?”

“We all have our off days.”

“All you seem to have are off days! All I seem to have are off days. Maybe no one is ever on, I guess. Must be nice to get paid so well on your off days, thought. I wish I could get paid more for my off days. And my days off.”

“Are you unsatisfied with your salary?”

“Who isn’t! I bet you wouldn’t mind just a little extra pocket change so you could go to more cocaine parties or whatever the gently caress you do. I haven’t done cocaine in a long, long time.”

“Joe, I don’t take drugs.”

“I bet that’s what you tell everyone. But I can see it in your eyes. You’re a fiend, man! I know one when I see one. My company is full of them. All the bosses!! They’re not even fun people. They must be going to the most unfun cocaine parties in the world. They must snort it all up, and then talk about sales figures and how their families are. God! I should be there! I’d liven things up. I’d be the centre of attention. I’d take my clothes off and dance in my underwear. And in the morning, I’d still have a job, because I’m the boss and I can do whatever it is that I would like to do!”

“So you want to be the boss now? Last time you were here you were talking about how there shouldn’t be any bosses.”

“Yeah, if I was the boss I could make that happen! After the party. Hahaha. What a party it would be."

"You know you can go to parties without being a boss?"

"It's not about the parties, man! It's about the…. Uhhhh…. Well…. What was it about again? I think that's what I was about to get to, right? I guess that's just it, man. There's no point. Why do I even come here? I'm out man."

"Okay Joe. See you next week?"

"Yeah you fucken wish, man."

Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

MAN vs MACHINE: Elite Champion Ultra Belt Match, only on Pay-Per-View
793 words

“Well folks, it’s another great evening here at the Suplexodome. I’m Tom One, your genetically-engineered commentator for tonight.”

“And I’m Tom Two, your OTHER genetically-engineered commentator.”

“I gotta say, Two, you’re looking good this evening.”

“Right back atcha, One.”

“So Two, tell me, what is the buzz around the stadium tonight?”

“Well One, as you can probably tell, there’s a lot of excitement for the big match tonight. We’ve got long-time folk hero Captain Cowboy squaring up against newcomer and nine-foot nightmare The Rawbott.”

“The Rawbott has made quite the impression over the last several months, hasn’t he, Two?”

“You’re right there, One. The towering metal terror has been chewing through his opponents like his meat grinder attachment chewed through our unwary brother Seven a few nights ago.”

“Rest in peace, Tom Seven, you will be missed.”

“Very sad, One, just a tragedy.”

“And as for his opponent, I thought that Captain Cowboy had gone into retirement. What can you tell me about that, Two?”

“Captain Cowboy coming out of retirement has been speculated on by fans for years now - ever since he retired, in fact. The circumstances of his last title match were very mysterious, and his longtime nemesis and archrival the Russian Stun Gun remains missing to this day. The wrestling world has spent years trying to find out what happened that night, and it looks like now we finally might get our chance.”

“Right you are, Two. Oh, I think I see The Rawbott! Excuse me! Excuse me, Mr. The Rawbott, do you have anything to say to your opponent tonight, or the fans at home?”

“The Rawbott has defeated all of the pathetic human wrestlers in this league, but has found no opponent truly worthy as an adversary. The Rawbott is pleased to hear that Captain Coward has finally responded to the rocket-powered gauntlet that it launched into his ‘Dude Ranch.’”

“Fascinating! Tell me, what would you say you’re most looking forward to in the ring tonight?”

“The Rawbott was not programmed for enjoyment, pleasure, or desire. The Rawbott has been programmed to follow only one rule: DESTROY HUMANITY. Once The Rawbott has defeated Captain Coward, nothing will stand in the way of its mission.”

“Great stuff, great stuff. Thank you for your time, Mr. The. Now, Two, it sounds like you’re there with Captain Cowboy?”

“That’s right, One. Captain, how are you feeling, having finally come out of retirement after all these years?”

“Well, now, I ain’t the type to ramble on too much, and I ain’t got too much room for sentiment. But I know that when there’s a rabid dog loose, there won’t be no peace until he’s been put down. Now, I know these boys who gone up against this tin man over here, and I don’t mean no disrespect, but that’s what they are: boys, try’na fill their pappy’s shoes. They gave it their best shot, and now it’s time for the adults to step in and settle things.”

“So would you say that you’re feeling confident in your victory this evening, Captain?”

“Son, there ain’t no confidence to be had until the thing’s won. I ain’t sayin’ I’m gonna win, ‘cause that’s how Ol’ Scratch gets you: pride is a deadly sin, at least accordin’ to the Bible, the first and only book I ever read. But I know my craft, and I know that there ain’t no way that a machine can match a man’s work in the ring.”

“There you have it, One. Sounds like it’s going to be a very interesting night in the ring!”


“Well I have to say, One, I’ve seen a lot of things in the five years since my creation in a vat underneath the colosseum we’re standing in, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like what we saw tonight.”

“I know what you mean, Two, it’s been one crazy turn after another. Who would have thought that The Rawbott was the creation of Captain Cowboy’s illegitimate son, built as a plea for attention from the father he never knew?”

“Exactly, One. And I don’t think that I’ve ever been more surprised than when it turned out that Captain Cowboy was actually a living spaceship, filled with tiny extraterrestrials that controlled his every move.”

“And when it turned out that Captain Cowboy’s illegitimate son had been a dog in disguise the whole time? I just about fell out of my seat.”

“Well it’s a good thing you didn’t; you know that commentators who fall prone are subject to reclamation by the meat threshers.”

“Don’t I know it! Well, that’s all we’ve got for tonight, folks! Until next time, we’re Toms One and Two, and this is Wrestlevania.”

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Une Conversation Avec Mon Père
790 words


Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 04:37 on Jan 6, 2022

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
Absent Friends

738 words

The knock on the door came at quarter past two the night after they buried Simple Reg. A little later than I had expected. I was up, watching old tv on stream and slowly working through a bag of pretzels and a two liter bottle of orange soda. I walked over to the door, looked at his shark grin in the peephole's fisheye perspective. I undid the latch, let him in.

Aces came at me with a tight, back-slapping hug. "Quinn," he said. "It's been, what, five years?"

I disengaged, stepped aside as he came in, and closed the door. "Something like that," I said.

"Too long."

"Listen, I don't-" I said.

"Don't worry about it," he said. "Not tonight." He lifted the bag in his hand a few inches. "Heard you were keeping straight, so I brought my own. You don't mind, do you?"

I shook my head, and we walked to the kitchen and sat down. He pulled out a six-pack of Mexican beer. I went to the drawer, found the church key and handed it to him. "I didn't see you," I said. "Were you with Reg's people, or-"

"Nah," he said. "Got to stay low these days. I'll come 'round in a few days, pay my respects alone. Tell me, was Lars there?"

"No. Best I know he's still up north."

"I miss Lars," he said.

"Liar," I said. He smiled, a warmer smile. "Nobody but his mom misses that one. Now, Lars' sister, she I miss. Wonder what she's up to."

"You don't know?" I shook my head. "Oh, Quinn. You've got to hear this." He popped open a fresh bottle, took a long pull, and started. "First off, right out of school she married Fineas Boan. You remember him, right? Tall, wore his letter jacket even in the summer."

"I remember him, yeah," I said. I shivered a bit, remembering the impression of cleats. "Bet that didn't last."

"You'd have won that one," said Aces. "They moved up the road to Lafayette and set up house, and not three months later they're having a proper fight in the kitchen, both of them grabbing up knives and she winds up putting hers right into his heart."

"Jesus," I said. I killed off the two-liter and stood up to fill a glass with water.

"Clearly self defense, only the police don't want to see it that way, on account of one of them being chums with Fineas' dad. So they put her on trial twice, the first time the jury is hung, the second time she gets off clean-" He put down the bottle and turned to me. "You sure you haven't heard all this? It was all over the news."

"That would be in oh-four?" I asked. He nodded. "Yeah, I didn't come up for air much that year."

"Right, right. Anyway, she got off free, but there wasn't much good will left, you know. So she packed up and moved all the way to Boston. She wound up marrying a doctor there. A lady doctor."

"Well," I said, "Good on her." I raised my glass of water.

"We should all do so well," said Aces.

We sat in silence for a while, for a bottle and a glass.

"loving Reg," said Aces. "Couldn't he have just..." He shook his head about, blinking something back.

"I don't think that was it," I said. "I think he made his peace with it a long time ago. He had other things haunting him besides, you know-"

"Have you made your peace?" He asked me, dead serious, the shark back but not the smile.

"The past's dead," I said.

"Is it?" The question hung in the air like a stale fart.

"One more," he said, opening his fourth bottle. "You sure you can't-" I waved him off.

I raised my water glass. "To Simple Reg," I said.

"To Simple Reg," said Aces. "And to making peace."

Aces used my bathroom, pissing loudly for what seemed like an hour, then came out to go. "You're still all right, Quinn. I'll see with Vince about cutting some of what you owe, okay?" He walked to his car and started it, driving slowly down the street.

I should have poured the bottles out in the sink, but I didn't want to open one right then, so I put them in the refrigerator instead. All the way in the back.

Jul 26, 2012

Mumbai on the Beacon [08/15/17]
Word Count: 773
Hellrule: oh no youve been cursed by a wild wes anderson. write the quirkiest bullshit you can think of.

[The following was transcribed from a radio broadcast, originally aired 08/15/17]

DJ: You’re listening to Cafe Acoustica, on WTBU, Boston University student radio. For those of you just joining us, we are here with local folk duo Mumbai on the Beacon.

Lauren: Well, “folk” is a bit of an understatement.

August: Eastern neo-folk fusion would be more accurate. Our music blends the passion of Shah Rukh Khan’s Bollywood with the soul of James Taylor. If we have a musical mission, it’s to speak the language of the sitar through the dialect of the ukulele.

DJ: Those of you who have been with us will recognize the voices Mr. August Martin and Ms. Lauren Moon. You may have seen them perform at one of our local venues. Possibly even on campus, since you’re both still students?

August: For now at least. [laughs]

Lauren: We actually met in Eastern Cinema 309, with Prof. Barnes. We started talking and found we shared a deep love not only for East Indian culture, but of music as well.

August: The class itself was awful. I dropped it when I realized we were barely touching on Anurag Kashyap post-Satya. But that’s really par for course here.

Lauren: [clears throat] Our first date was at The Boreal, the coffee shop on Reunion Street.

August: It happened to be Open Mic Night. And we happened to have our ukes, so we gave it a shot.

Lauren: You may have talked me into it. But that was the moment that everything clicked.

DJ: Out of curiosity, have either of you actually visited Mumbai?

Lauren: Unfortunately no. But the university does offer an amazing study abroad program that we’ve both--

August: I hate to interrupt, but this reminds me. I have an announcement to make.

Lauren: An announcement?

[sound of guitar case opening, papers rustling]

August: I know we talked about a study abroad program through the college. But judging from the disappointing curriculums this school usually offers, I figured we’d write our own.

Lauren: These are plane tickets.

August: They are. Air India. One week from today. I know it’s sudden, I found some great prices.

Lauren: When would we get back?


August: [nervous laughter] We have talked about moving in together, haven’t we? Why not go all the way? If we’re going to build a life together, then let’s build it from the ground up.

DJ: Textline’s open, listeners. Text “Yes” or “No” to 02412 for a chance to win free tickets to Mumbai on the Beacon this Saturday at Tawny Fish. It may be their last show in the states for a while.

Lauren: W-w-we’ll talk about this off the air. So put me down as a maybe. [nervous laughter]

August: You don’t want to leave the listeners in suspense are you?

Lauren: I don’t think the listeners really want to hear us figure out how we’re going to pay for the stay. Or where we’re going to stay in the first place.

August: We have our music. Let’s trust it. After all, if we planned every move, we wouldn’t be on the air in the first place. Mumbai on the Beacon was a leap of faith. But we took it. And we never looked back.

Lauren: We played a couple songs we both knew at open mic night. And if we embarrassed ourselves on stage, we probably wouldn’t starve.


August: I thought you wanted this. I thought we wanted this.

Lauren: I’m sorry. I appreciate the gesture. It really is sweet. But if we do this, I just want to do it right. If we can’t get into the work study program, maybe we can talk about spring break. Or even just wait until after graduation.

August: After graduation? You’d rather hear about India from a pompous blowhard like Barnes? If you want some condescending boomer to give you the Sa Prathama Cliff Notes, fine. But I’m not throwing away my real education.

Lauren: You’re not?


DJ: We have to cut to commercial.

Lauren: I guess listeners get their answer.

August: Wait! Lauren!

[sound of door opening, closing]

August: I’m sorry.

DJ: When we come back, we’ll announce changes to the community billboard.

Aug 24, 2010

Matter and antimatter
886 words

Do you know, Tanya, that when matter and antimatter come close they start orbiting one another, almost as a dance, inching closer and closer until, finally, just as they’re about to touch, they annihilate each other and release a tremendous amount of energy in the process.

Marcus, what the gently caress does that have to do with what we’re arguing about?

Couldn’t think of a better metaphor for our relationship.

Let me guess, we’re at the annihilation stage? Is that what you’re trying to say?

I wasn’t trying to say anything, really, or I wasn’t until the words came out of my mouth. I’m tired, Tanya. I’m tired. I’m tired of always being in a fight with you. I’m tired of dreading having to come back home knowing we’ll end up fighting. I’m done.

You’re done? You… You’re breaking up with me? Uh... Who is she, uh Marcus? Who’s the oval office? Don’t lie to me you slimy gently caress, I know for a fact it’s not dread that’s making you come back home so late.

How’d you know?

A woman knows.

Really? A woman knows? Female intuition, that’s what’s done me in?

Yeah, that’s right, a woman knows. I know. Wanna know how I know? You don’t make love to me anymore. It took me a while to figure it out, but when it did everything made sense. Oh, we have sex, that’s not what I’m talking about, but not like we used to. It’s like a punishment to you now. Your weekly penitence.

Tanya, I –

Who is she Marcus?

Someone from work. A lab technician. You’ve never met her. Actually, she was there at the Christmas party, though you were too distracted guzzling alcohol by the bottle to notice much of anything going on around you.

You were already seeing her back then, then?

No. That’s when I first met her. After I called a cab to drive you home. I went back to the party. She was at the bar by herself.

Let me get this straight. After you threw your girlfriend, drunk, into the back of some strangers’ car, you saw a bimbo all by her lonely self at the bar and decided that that day would be the day you were finally going to gently caress another woman?

We didn’t gently caress. Not back then anyway. We talked. That’s all we did, we talked through the night. When I got home you were still asleep, next to a pile of your own vomit and reeking of alcohol.

Is that how you’ve rationalized the fact that you’re cheating on me, Marcus? Because at a sleazy corporate Christmas party I made good use of the open bar?

gently caress, Tanya. You have no idea how it feels to be with you. I look at you and still see that college girl drunk on her newfound freedom, that girl who thought letting the hair in her armpits grow is how you stick it to the man. God, I loved you then Tanya, I truly did. I just loved your energy, that wildness. Now? I look at you and see someone who’s stuck. Someone who thinks she’s still in college living with her friends on a clandestine feminist sorority. You haven’t changed one bit. Tell me, when was the last time you held down a job for more than three months? I can’t even tell if you’re still looking for a job or if you just tell me you’re sending out job applications to shut me up. You watch television and smoke pot, that’s all you do. Every day. You don’t even paint anymore. So, yes, I cheated on you. And yes, I’m breaking up with you. It’s over.

What are you talking about? You were the one who told me to take time off after what happened… You know how much that exhibition meant to me. Today’s the day you decide to lay all your cards out, uh. Figures. Why did I expect any different? Today of all days...

What are you talking about?

You were just biding your time, weren’t you? You never wanted me to continue working on my art. Not after you abandoned yours. When you look at me, it’s not stasis you see. That’s what you tell yourself so you don't have to peer deeper. No, Marcus, you look at me and you see proof of your own cowardice. You see that I never gave up, never. Not like you did.

I loving hate you, Tanya. I truly do… Art? You think that’s what this is all about? You think I’m breaking up with you because I am jealous of you sitting around all day doing nothing? Look around you Tanya. You think I want to go back to living in drafty old houses with barely enough money to make rent? We’re not twenty anymore. All of this, all of this exists because I, not you, went and made something of myself. This couch, that kitchen, the bed you so enjoy sleeping in, all of this, all of it, exists because I, not you, bust myself off at work. It took me loving another woman to realize how much of a child you still are.

Marcus… listen, I -

Pack up your things and get out. I want you out of my life.

I’m pregnant.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Word limit: 700

Edit: Now 600

Azza Bamboo fucked around with this message at 14:02 on Feb 21, 2021

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Sheer Force of Will 322 words

“Any change?”

Bob checked the fridge. “Nope. Still empty.”

“Hmm,” said Petunia. “I really thought I could will it full.”

“Will it.”

“Yeah. Like. Through sheer force of will, cause it to fill up with treats.”

“Because this is something you’ve done before?”

“Yeah, totally.”

“Uh huh.”

“Like, last summer, it was really hot, and then I wanted it to rain, and then it rained.”

“Right. I wonder if you can see maybe a slight difference between those two things?”

“Yeah, the rain thing worked, and the fridge thing hasn’t yet.”

“OK, sure, that’s one thing I guess.”

“What’re you two talking about?” asked Tahlia, having just entered the room.

“Petunia’s trying to restock the fridge through sheer force of will,” said Bob.

“Ah, like last year when she made it rain.”

“Exactly!” said Petunia.

“What?” Bob shook his head. “You don’t honestly believe she made it rain.”

Tahlia shrugged. “Can’t think of any other explanation.”

“Well, the fridge hasn’t worked.”

“Not yet, no,” said Petunia.

“She probably just needs to concentrate harder,” said Tahlia. “And your negativity can’t be helping.”

Bob shook his head. “You know what, I’ve got better things to do with my time.”

They waited until he’d left.

“Check it again,” said Petunia.

Tahlia opened the fridge. “Still no food, but now there’s a portal to another dimension.”

Petunia peered over her shoulder. “Hmm. Mind must’ve wondered. You know what, we can work with that.”


When Bob returned, the fridge was still empty and there was an interdimensional invasion in the kitchen. Just, like, a whole bunch of interdimensional beings tracking interdimensional mud or slime or whatever through the house, sitting on the sofa with interdimensional snacks which they were spilling everywhere, and worst of all, watching the season finale of The Bachelor when he was still only up to episode five.

“Hell with this,” he said to himself, “I’m getting new housemates.”

May 3, 2003

Who wants to live


College Slice
~580 words

“The gently caress you think you’re doing here, campesina?”

“I have a name.”

Gustav’s eyes were pale. He spat a yellow wad onto a pile of blackened rock. It glistened in the light from the electric torch. “I’m sure you do. You know what I have? A dozen soldiers. Outside. Ready to come when I yell. But we don’t have to do it like that.”

She kept the old pistol trained at his head. “You won’t live long enough to call them.”

He sighed, gave her a toothy grin. “Neither will you, campesina.”

“That’s not my name.”

“The gently caress I care? I have hundreds like you. And they’re stronger. Younger.”

“Where are they, Gustav? How will they help you now?”

“Your time’s over. Your ticket is punched, esclava.” His lips wrapped the last word like an oily snake.

The sharp edges of the gem cut into her palm. She squeezed it tighter. She thought of her daughter, of their new life.

He took a step forward. “Come on. Put down the pistol. Let’s get out of here.” His voice softened, the edges of his eyes crinkled. “We can walk away. Give it to me.”

“It’s mine. I found it.” She hated the way the pitch of her voice wavered.

“True, campesina. You did find it. And Oscar told me all about it. The biggest emerald from this mine in many years. But you work for me. What you find, is mine. The contract. So. Hand it over.” He took another step, his face a rictus. “Please. Let’s go home.”

She swallowed. She had signed the contract. It had nothing to say about the starvation, the beatings, the black dust that forever choked your lungs. Drunken men who came into your room late at night. It was about the mine. Always the mine above everything else. She was desperate, so yes, she’d signed.

And now, in this cavern, the contract ended. She remembered Ernesto, his voice thick with booze, telling her about emeralds. Of their powerful magic. The gift of vision. Foresight. She’d said that sounded like hocus-pocus mierda, but now as the sharp edges of the emerald cut into her palm, she felt pain, and something else. So she squeezed it again and her mind shifted


shifted forward and she sees him lunge at her, pulling a knife from behind his back, and she feels cold metal plunge into her neck, his tobacco breath wash over her as he grabs at the emerald, and then she's inside his head, and sees he is alone, there are no soldiers, how could this old campesina be any match for him how dare she take what is rightfully his and then she shifts


shifts back and the emerald is back in your palm and you still hold the pistol at him. Now you sees the tension in his legs, muscles coiled, his hand inching behind his back.

“Don’t,” you say, a whisper into the darkness.

“I won’t hurt you campesina, I promise.” His eyes are hard as he readies to strike.

“That’s not my name,” you say.

“I don’t care, he says, and leaps, pulling the knife out and slashing--

But you’re gone.

You’ve twisted away and his momentum carries him onto the sharp corner of the mining cart, the bones of his face crunching wetly, and he collapses to the cavern floor.

You tell him your name. You spit it at him as you pull the trigger, but the sound is lost in the detonation.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Word Limit: 500

Apr 30, 2006

hellrule: show me that you lived here ten years. consider the mic dropped. now its time for you to PICK IT UP PICK IT UP PICK IT UP

497 words

Dom has his fourth Gansett in one hand and an American Spirit in the other as he sulks on the back porch of the triple-decker. He can’t get the image of that kid – Dom bets he’s like 17, so what the gently caress is he doing here – licking Milo’s nose in the kitchen, so he’s down here, smoking, trying to come up with the perfect retort.

A downstairs window opens. “Excuse me,” someone says, and Dom’s vision blurs and adjusts to a woman with graying hair. “Maybe it’s time to wrap things up.”

“I don’t live here,” Dom says. Older women think he’s going to piss on their flowers, use a swear word, or kiss a boy in front of them. The ground thrums with the dumb ten-song playlist Milo put on upstairs. Why did Milo drag him all the way out to Jamaica Plain for this?

“Yes, but I do,” she says, “and I have to work tomorrow. I can tell you’re a good kid, so please, tell them it’s time to go home.”

“Yeah, it’s probably that time,” Dom says, taking a drag from his cigarette. It’s not that he doesn’t feel for her, it just really seems like not his problem.

“I’ve lived here for thirty years–”

“--and you’ve never heard such a ruckus in your life. Got it,” Dom says. He doesn’t expect the anger, the irritation. Clearly he needs to drink more.

“Excuse me. Look at me,” she says, and it cuts. He wonders if she’s a teacher. “I’ve lived here for thirty years, and I think I deserve to sleep through the night.”

“Well, maybe you should call the cops, then.”

“The cops,” she says, and shakes her head. “You really don’t see us, do you? The people who lived here before the colleges ran out of room.”

He wants to tell her that he’s a few years out of college, actually, but the thought makes him feel impossibly old. “Look, what’s stopping you from knocking on the door and being all, ‘shut the gently caress up, I’m an old lady and you’re ruining my life?’ What, you just wait for some drunk kid to show up and make you feel bad?”

“Thirty years ago,” she says, “we knew how to take care of each other.” And she shuts the window.

Definitely a teacher.

He stubs his cigarette out on the porch wood, crunches his beer can, and marches up the stairs, stumbling a little and grasping the railing. He swings open the door and yells into the din: “Do you know how rude you are?”

“What?” yells a girl he’s never seen before. Milo and the high schooler are nowhere to be seen.

There’s just enough time to catch the last Orange Line train before he has to pay out of his rear end for an Uber, so he turns around and marches back down the stairs.

“I’m sorry,” he yells at the downstairs door, but there’s no response. “I tried.”

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

said I'm never lackin'
always pistol packin'
with them automatics
we gon' send 'em to Heaven
hellrule: oooooooooooo baby, have i got some sweetness for you. one of your people fuckin crushed it at the gig last night. its the next morning and theyre unable to speak because they blew out their voice last night. or something. who knows. one of your people is for sure, mute though.

Hero of the Horde
500 Words
Klilb was honored to dine with the chieftain, but he hadn’t expected to be doing lines of worm ginger all night. Between that and the troll wine, he had nearly eaten his last grub. Such was the life of an up and coming rock star, stone diviner to the beastkin and ogre-blooded alike. A human-legged goat child knelt beside Klilb, bleating harsh Goblish at the intoxicated goblin. Klilb opened one grime-encrusted eyelid, and lazily shooed the child away with the flick of his wrist.

The child continued bleating. Klilb pouted and moved to curse the child for disturbing his sleep, but a pitiful whistle escaped the goblin’s hoarse throat. The child stopped bleating and raised an eyebrow. Klilb tried again, no luck. The goat’s Goblish eventually registered as “Broodmother, broodmother waiting,” and a sinking feeling welled up in Klilb’s gut. He scrambled to get his charms and clothes together. He hadn’t had an incident since he performed battle-rites for the Ixylgrag orcs, and he promised Hanka there wouldn’t be any others, but here he was devastated, as if by a witch’s curse.

The tent flap flew open just as Klilb affixed his garb. ‘Mudqueen,’ he tried to say affectionately. A tiny screech escaped his mouth. “Look at ye, a sodden fool. Back to the skins and salts after ye promised to walk the straight and narrow. A full moon gone by, and here I am, wondering where me broodmate runoff, to find ye a bloodshot mess,” Hanka said.

Klilb’s brow furrowed and the corners of his eyes turned downward. His amiable grin turned pleading as he tried, futilely, to explain himself. Raspy gasps and whistles were all he could manage to produce. Hanka shook her head left to right and pointed a bulbous finger at Klilb, “I don’t want to hear it. Not this time. You said things would be different. That this was just your job, not you.

Klilb waved to sacks of gems, grains, and cured meats. He gestured to fine daggers and swords more than twice his size. Things he had earned. He wanted to be proud about what he had to offer but found that he could not. He knew that none of this mattered to Hanka. She wanted him. Not the forest celebrity he pretended to be.

“Urk has agreed to help me with our brood, you can live the life you want to live,” Hanka said, the pain in her voice barely masked. She turned and pushed out of the tent, Klilb followed after. He grabbed her by the wrist. She pulled free from his grip and pushed him firmly in the chest sending him onto his butt. Nearby beastkin pretended not to look.

“Don’t you dare grab me! I’m tired of pulling you out of tents, huts and ravines. I won’t do it anymore. Goodbye, Klilb.”

Klilb watched Hanka walk away. He started after her but stopped soon after. Even if he had his voice, there wouldn’t be anything more he could say.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Word Limit: 400

Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

curlingiron posted:

MAN vs MACHINE: Elite Champion Ultra Belt Match, only on Pay-Per-View
793 words

Hi I forgot to include my flash rules so here they are:

toxxrule: your people are professional wrestlers with unique gimmicks. i wanna see some gossip girl for meatheads poo poo. write the world's greatest promo

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

Word limit: 300

Nov 8, 2009

Snow Woman
297 words

It happened one sweltering night. Mike had just come from his son’s bedroom to find Crystal in the kitchen.

“Jack-Jack’s down for the night.” Mike came up from behind and gave his wife a squeeze. “You trying to decide what to have for dinner? I vote ice cream.”

“Not a bad idea. Too hot for me!”

Mike nuzzled his neck into Crystal’s shoulder. “And here I thought you were one hot mama.”

“Oh my God, do you hear yourself? Why did I marry someone so cheesy?” But Mike could hear the smile in her voice as she took a pint from the fridge.

“I don’t know why, but I’m glad you did. I’ve never seen anyone as beautiful as you outside of a dream.”

“‘Outside of a dream?’ I gotta hear about this girl!” Crystal’s tone was still light, teasing. “Is she prettier than me?”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry. This was before we met, back when I was a park ranger. Me and my partner – old guy, name of Mert – were stuck in a cabin during a snowstorm, had to bunk down together. That night, I dreamt of the most beautiful woman. Her lips were as blue as the winter sky; icicles clung to her snow-white hair. She drifted into the cabin, carried on the wind. She leaned over and breathed on Mert, and he got pale and still.”

“Then what happened?” Crystal breathed.

“Then she turned to me, came in close – and stopped. ‘I’ll spare you,’ she said, ‘for you are young and handsome. But you must tell nobody, or you’ll pay.’ Then she vanished. Mert was dead the next morning. Creepy, right?”

“Yeah. Creepy.”

The next day Crystal was gone. Her side of the bed dripped with melting frost.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Sea birds
300 words

I slam the door shut, scamper up the stairs, fling my bag on the couch. “I saw cool birds today! They had black heads and curvy wings like bowie knives. Why are you lying on the floor?”

Tony is stretched out on his back on the floor, eyes closed. He raises his hand and tilts it back and forth as though it is a raft on a gentle swell. “Stoned. Very stoned. Why were the birds. Where.”

“Down by the waterfront, they were perched on rocks. Kind of stinky. Did you send the application?” The last is said lightly as I sit down, sitting down lightly too, easing myself into the brown chair by the TV.

Tony’s silent for a bit. Outside a car revs a couple of times and vrroooms down the street. We listen to it, and to the silence that comes after. Then we both speak at the same time:

“I think it’s—”
“The trouble is—”

I’m perched on the edge of my chair. “You go,” I say.

Tony’s chest rises and falls as he sighs. “I hate it. I sit down to write and I’m like woo I’m amazing go me and it’s just…”

The clouds are heavy in the darkening sky outside and I watch them drift by as the silence after his words lengthens. I consider and reject a number of responses.

“Things are getting tight,” I say at last. “You promised.” These words are all true and we sit in the growing evening gloom, together, considering them.
Finally he pats the carpet a couple of times, tentatively, like he wasn’t sure it was going to be there, and pushes himself up.

“I’ll do it tonight,” he says, and smiles at me.

We both know it’s a lie but I smile back.

Casual Encountess
Dec 14, 2005

"You can see how they go from being so sweet to tearing your face off,
just like that,
and it's amazing to have that range."

Thunderdome Exclusive

pool is closed

Casual Encountess
Dec 14, 2005

"You can see how they go from being so sweet to tearing your face off,
just like that,
and it's amazing to have that range."

Thunderdome Exclusive

this is the way

Simply Simon
- Dschingis Khan- Moskau - “Hospitality” 892 words
Points off for taking 6 paragraphs to get to a conversation. Worldbuilding is fine, but I was hoping you’d start off. Once you get to it, it’s fine and flows fine, but also, what is even happening in this story? It’ls a little incoherent. You did make a crazy little fever dream story out of it, but it just needs to pull together a little more.

Brotherly- Who See- Igranka - “Haunted Theater” 887 words
i too have seen westworld. im going to pretend I know what i’m talking about but something that was pointed out to me in my writing was how direct I need to write conversations. take out all the “maybe” “i guess” and show that indecsion in other, more direct ways. idk to me it just comes off clumsy in an otherwise pretty good story.

Nae- Vanessa Paradis- Joe Le Taxi- “The Traveling Sommellier” 898 words
drat. Another story I realy wanted to like more than I did. Dialogue flows like a waterfall but the ending’s kind of strange. i wanted there to be a little more unsettling stuff in the leadup to kind of
smooth it out more

nut- “claudja barry- boogie woogie- “boogie woogie” 900 words DISQUALIFIED
ok this is the first one across my desk that nailed it in an interesting and fun way but then you hosed up and edited your entry and that ending is bad so this is sadly, a DQ. this had so much gosh darn potential and would’ve won if you hadn’t hosed up.

a friendly penguin- crazytown- butterfly- “wiped out” word cout 654 DISHONORABLE MENTION
i know i said tell don’t show but the descriptive actions here feel off. its a little too “hello fellow kids” this is all sizzle no steak. lingo is on point but the story feels like it took a backseat to buzzword bingo.

sperglord firecock- stromae- tous le meme- “mess’ 831 words
ok maybe its because ive been reading some total genre trash this month but this story hit nicely and i’m here for it. the interplay between conversation and action is great here and this is kind of the spirit of what I was looking for here. spooky scary galaxy brain!

toanoradian- francky vincent- tu veux mon zizi “fruits outside heaven” 899 words WINNER
FRUITS FRUITS FRUITS. yeah fuckin this feels tropical and fresh i’m loving here for it. I think structurally you need some more window dressing here, but this is the first time i laughed on purpose while judging.

flerp- beastie boys- intergalactic- “so we keep on burning” 708 words
Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from thunderdome mods: "poster bad. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.

BB2K- The Weeknd- Blinding Lights- “Blinding Lights” - 770 words LOSER
points off for chatlog format. if you’re gonna teleplay, teleplay. this is a filler scene in the american psycho hulu tv show, that again, could be cool, but you shouldve just full rear end done it play style.

curling iron- Shinsuke Nakamura theme- “MAN vs MACHINE: Elite Champion Ultra Belt Match, only on Pay-Per-View - 793 words HONORABLE MENTION
ok this is a judge pandering topic. the cool thing about this story is you started off the week with zero wrestling knowledge, and now you’re here. for knowing nothing you nail the swagger, and I enjoyed imagining these promos in my head.

Youruichi- Ladyhawke- Magic- Une Conversation Avec Mon Pere- 790 words WINNER
this is like a fine mahogany display cabinet. great detailing. this hits the whole my dinner with andre thing and I enjoyed the poo poo out of it. fruits was intense, but this was passionate and I thought the stronger writing of the two.

thranguy- blackout krew- put a donk on it- absent friends” 738 words
see this is another one I enjoyed for being a simple exchange between two people that was uncomplicated.its not particularly amazing but I think this is a strong no mention!

caligulakangaroo- dhoom 2- dhoom machale- “Mumbai on the Beacon [08/15/17]” 773 words
boston pandering++. gimmick game strong, but the story itself is iffy. i wanted more teleplay stuff, i think this with polish could’ve been a winner.

simbyotic- paula abdul- opposites attract- “matter and antimatter” 886 words DISQUALIFIED
DQ CITY BABY. my time is precious, babe and had you submitted on time this wouldve been cool, but sadly, you out! womp womp

chairchucker- a tribe called quest- scenario- “sheer force of will” - 322 words
this feels very reality bites until it doesnt. hate that ending tho.

hawklad- focus- hocus pocus- “marianna” 580 words DISHONORABLE MENTION
i like this standoff. simple, to the point. needs some refining of concept but you do some great scenery chewing for 580 words. more than one of us described it as boring. I don’t think its awful, I just wish had a little more clarity.

sparksbloom- big d and the kids table- noise complaint- “masshole” 497 words HONORABLE MENTION
oh yes pander city and im loving here for it. i like stories that i can imagine and this is exactly the kind of poo poo that would happen to me. story is meh/10 but you crushed the hellruleI was going to be shittiest about, so this is easly HM material.

idle amalgam- winger- headed for a heartbreak- “Hero of the horde” 500 words
yet another one I really wanted to like. the gimmick starts off promising and then kind of suffers in mediocrity, much like Winger. So if nothing else you hit the theme of the music video!

pththya-lyi- rick james- cold blooded- “snow woman” 297 words
drat. short. sweet. thank you for not making me read 600 more words. i mean that this was actually pretty well contained.

sebmojo- seal- kiss from a rose- sea birds- 300 words HONORABLE MENTION
ok you applied seal’s meter with great effect to this. i enjoyed this more than i really should’ve but for a bullshit nonsense story the gimmick was well played.

failures: mercedes, flesnolk, freudian, steeltoedsneakers

i have spoken

Casual Encountess fucked around with this message at 03:01 on Feb 23, 2021

Jul 30, 2019

Oh sorry I didn’t know about editing. The edit was just to add the boogie woogie video as the source for my story, I didn’t touch the story at all

appropriate edit: a sad but lol fate

nut fucked around with this message at 04:05 on Feb 23, 2021

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

My crits this week take the following format:

Story Name by User (x/5)
The rating I’ll put next to your title is based on what I can remember of your story, after having spent some time away from it.

1’s are the most memorably good.
3’s are stories I couldn’t remember, for better or worse.
5’s are stories that scarred me for life.
2’s and 4’s bridge the gaps.

The point of adding this rating is on the off chance people want to be pointed to some good (or bad or middling) dialogue.

What Was This Story About?
Here I write a summary of your story in my own words. I may get your story completely wrong. If I do, it’s up to you to decide whether I’m just being a bonehead, or whether there’s something in the story that was unclear.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed
Here I pick out any parts of the story that were worth noting, good or bad. This will usually be a quote of a specific line or phrase that I wanted to mention.

Dialogue Week
Here I talk about how your dialogue was this week, then I rank your dialogue from 0 to 10. I need to emphasise that I’m ranking your dialogue here. Some people wrote fantastic stories this week that would have scored higher if I weren’t focusing on the prompt.

If you just had a nice conversation, with no obvious issues, but no impressive features either, you get a 5. Anything lower than 5 indicates dialogues that have more problems than things worth praising, anything higher did something good.


Hospitality by Simply Simon (3)

What Was This Story About?
This is a whimsical tale of an Eastern European military figure whose drinking is intruded by tiny people. Their conversation takes place after the man has trapped the tiny people under his salad bowl. The people are searching for a foe of theirs who, it turns out, was squashed by the man in the story’s opening.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


....light reflected off an empty bottle, stabbing daggers into his eyes

The daggers were barely noticeable in this sentence. It's enough that, when the "same daggers" were referenced later, I found myself asking, "what daggers?" and having to look back.


shut his eyes with the force of a grocery store owner closing shop.

This metaphor did help me to imagine the strength of his closing eyelids. This metaphor stands out among many of the images you have used, though. There were many military images in this piece (grenades, stop torturing me, casings, to dutifully drink) that helped to nail down this man as a soldier of some kind. The military stuff comes in strong; this shop-front part feels isolated. If he's a store owner, or has something to do with shops, then I think the fact could have been repeated elsewhere. If he's not something to do with a store, then it seems out of place to choose this (with no other relevance) when you're routinely making repeated character statements with your imagery elsewhere.

There’s nothing wrong with the metaphor itself, just that it sticks out as being unattached when your other imagery is tied in.


He saw five tiny figures stumble around on his coffee table. A red, a blue, a yellow, green and pink one - like humans in rainbow fabric, but five centimeters tall at most. They seemed disoriented.

This had the intended effect. Right at the moment I might have otherwise got bored of this filthy drunk man staggering about; something very curious happens. Good stuff.


There was a bowl next to the five that had once housed a salad… ...trapping all of the intruders in a barely-translucent prison.

This paragraph conjured a strong image and was a good job.


This time, the pink one interrupted Green.

There's a lot of little dudes jostling about. While their speech gives some character, it's far too small of a story to have all of these tiny people exist for anything other than whimsy. Reading their interplay, I feel on a knife edge between "the little guys are really fun" and "there could be fewer of these, saving some words for some other dialogue."

Dialogue Week
This piece takes a while to get the dialogue started. When it does get started, the piece uses dialogue to achieve a number of different things: explaining who the tiny people are, characterising the man, adding affirmation to the fact that the green person was drunk, and ultimately confirming that the black foe was under the bottle. It was let down by a few typos and phrasings that needed me to look for a second time. This story feels like a middling 5/10 based on this week’s focus.


Haunted Theater by brotherly (3)

What Was This Story About?
This is a mysterious story about a person who talks an ancient robot out of their sculpted landscape and into some unknown fate.

I have it in my head that there's some allegorical meaning, or bigger theme, behind this piece. But, at face value, it's someone who goes around convincing robots to get out of their own worlds.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


“But pretty. What’s your name?”
I stumbled on reading this line. I think there's some changes to the formatting here that could have better put the "But Pretty" as a response to the previous statement, and then have the "What's your name?" as a new subject. The first time I read it, my brain broke and saw "Well, pretty, what's your name?" in some flirtatious way.


“The lake never seems to move.”

“I went in once. The water felt warm. It shouldn’t be, though.”
It might seem weird to say this of a very slow-paced mood piece, but I don't think these two lines add anything. Other lines, though slow, feed into that meandering conversation which encourages Richard to leave. I don't think removing these two lines would subtract anything from that.


“You don’t have to be alone out here.” He didn’t say anything, so I tried again. “I was thinking, maybe you could come back with me.”

This felt fast. The way it’s written here, Walt just bounds in after a second or two with no response. It seemed to me like this would have been more effective if you had done something to put more of a pause between the first piece of speech and the second.

Dialogue Week
There's a lot of dialogue in this piece. I'm writing these crits as and when the stories come in (only time will tell if the following is true): It seems, right now, that you're going to be ahead of the game in terms of how much dialogue you use. Credit for really going for it!

I'm a big fan of this kind of slow-paced vignette (a "mood piece", or whatever you want to call it) and the dialogue sells the eerie tranquility of this piece. It's also used effectively to show us the emotional state of Richard in the final stages of his decision making.

You use the dialogue to show us Walt navigating the things he should and should not say. It's repeated enough that, whenever Richard says something that Walt ignores, I get the point that he's having to steer away from that topic, even in the instances where you don't say as much. In other words, I think your dialogue is effective in teaching us how to read your story.

While it's an aside to the intentions of the prompt, there's a second dialogue taking place in the story: Walt talks to the reader, e.g. when he says "the trick to getting them out..." The voice you use in this private dialogue with us differs from his voice in the dialogue with Richard: I've come to assume that Walt is, in some way, putting on a facade. It's not incredibly clear why Walt puts on this facade; whether he doesn't want to offend the robots, or whether he's just doing a job (and this persona gets the job done). Perhaps you intended to leave that as a mystery. But, if you didn't intend that to be a mystery, then it could be something to think about.

At this point, the story feels like a 7/10 based on this week's focus.


The Traveling Sommelier by Nae (3)

What Was This Story About?
Amy Winehouse and Jack White are visited by a travelling wine seller. The sommelier offers Jack a chance at renewing his fame: He sells Jack a bottle of Martin Scorsese's favourite wine, which Jack hopes will win him a meeting with ‘Marty’. Amy is unnerved throughout the tasting, and soon discovers that Jack has sold his soul to the devil (who has assumed the form of a wine seller).

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


—and watching your movies—


Mr. Stone was in Vanity Fair.


Of course not. We just had a disagreement. I just need to get some face time with him again—get him to see how much I care about the craft.
These three lines seem to be stilted somewhat. I think the exposition within them makes them read unnaturally. I go into this more in the Dialogue Week section.



I like this, it's a quick and efficient way to tell us that they're on first name terms. It’s a whole mini story in a single word, even if you didn’t know who Jack White and Martin Scorsese are.


reminds Amy of the inside of a coffin.

The story contains a lot of allusions to Amy's death. This piece requires us to guess who all three of the speakers are, and this recurring theme works well to give us that information for Amy. There is one thing that never became clear in the story, though, which is whether this is before or after her death. Being reminded of the inside of a coffin, having strong recall of the smell of a grave site, and remembering the devil seems post-death; like many things in this story, it's something the reader has to guess at. A lot of these things felt like hard work, and were unclear. If this story was intended to be a puzzle, then you did a great job, but if you wanted it to be clear then it could be something to think about : I had a hard time reading this.

Dialogue Week
There is a great deal of dialogue in this piece, and it's always good to see someone commit to the exact point of this week's challenge.

The dialogue is mainly used to hint at who the people are, and succeeds in characterizing the three people in this conversation as well as drawing us toward identifying them. I think that, often, you're very efficient in this game of character and identity.

I do think that, in places, the dialogue feels rigid in its phrasing. It's difficult to write exposition in dialogue without sounding like improv actors, who start their performance by unnaturally announcing, "I'm waiting for a bus!" At times I felt that you were headed in that direction.

It's interesting to see that many of the lines of dialogue here are doing more than one thing. It's easy to write a conversation where people say things, it's tricky to write words that are saying more than one thing at a time, and that's to your credit.

For having a dialogue that says more than one thing in each line, albeit one that suffers in its phrasing from time to time, I think this is a solid 6/10 based on this week’s focus.


Boogie Woogie by nut (1)

What Was This Story About?
A person ponders about a recent date while stuck inside of a pipe. They wonder what someone could have meant by “Boogie Woogie.” Their thoughts take them through interesting places like the nature of mutton and their childhood traumas. Eventually someone arrives to rescue them.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed

You edited your post, and won a DQ.


“Oh, hm. Maybe it’s something deeper in the pairs. It could just be the aliteration. Like they have to be more satisfying to say than to write or read. A sort of offensive power in the repetition of the second word that somehow turns back to debase the first. Maybe it’s actually beautiful...”

“My feet are getting numb.”
I loved the contrast here.


“--no one’s here, officer.”
This is great. Four words redefine the whole story, and tell us who the new character in the dialogue is.


“I know, officer. You could say it’s
This was fun.

Dialogue Week
Making the entire piece nothing but dialogue has impressed me. An inner dialogue is a dialogue no less, and the dialogue here has to do everything in the story: You've managed to tell the person's thoughts, emotional state, past traumas, some part of their physical description, and their current situation through nothing but sheer dialogue.

The voice used in the dialogue seemed strange at first, but after the reveal (this is someone losing their mind while stuck in a pipe) it's spot-on.

The only criticism is that, at times, it seemed to wear. We linger on the boogie woogie question for a long time, then meander through childhood traumas, and the main reason to keep reading is to resolve the questions about this situation.

This was a brave piece that was fun to read. It feels like an 8/10 based on this week’s focus.


Wiped Out by a friendly penguin (3)

What Was This Story About?

In a piece that’s sprinkled with nostalgia, Cory and Dave skate on new year’s eve 1999. Cory shares his beliefs that the world might end soon.

Dave goes out and parties hard, getting himself arrested. After Cory picks Dave up at the station, they skate together while fireworks explode overhead.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


“Don’t tell me you believe in that Y2K garbage. I will smack you with this board.”
Sometimes you get the teenage voice really well, and I'm immersed.


“Out of the way. How can I do all of my rad tricks before the world ends if you’re mobbing it?”
Other times I think you lay the skater-dude voice on too thick, and it just yanks me right out of the story. It might not be that the skater voice is too thick, however, but that the tone of the piece hops back and forth between two tones: the sincere thoughts, and the more comic/stereotypical cool skater dude stuff.


So I found some girls and a party and I guess I got carried away.
On first reading this, it sounded like sex crimes. It's only afterward that I remembered the boat party scene from Sid and Nancy.


Word Count: 654
I'm impressed by how much you fit into this small story. Another writer might have padded this out, but I like that you stopped when it was done.

Dialogue Week

Almost every line of text contains speech, which is good commitment to the purpose of this week. The dialogue does suffer slightly from the changing of its tone, but it's otherwise effective at showing the characters' mentality, moving the story forward, and even has very nice cues that tell us what action is taking place without having to explicitly describe it.

This was a sweet ride that maybe had a few bails, and gets a 6.5/10 based on this week's focus.


Mess by Sperglord Firecock (5)

What Was This Story About?
An inventor has meddled in some occult forces, causing an unnamed being to manifest, which talks to him about the situation they're in. The room is slowly consumed by chaos as they talk.

Their conversation suggests some enormous cosmic event has been set in motion, while the main character finds some solace in passing it off as an opium dream.

The being exits the chaos he came from, leaving the inventor to figure out what's happening.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


an easy going voice drawled


a reedy, thin voice

There were a lot of stories this week which were able to give their characters their voice without having to say what that voice was.


This was just an opium dream.
While this does introduce the relief Ilas feels at believing this event to be a hallucination, it’s a dead end in the story. It doesn’t go anywhere or connect to anything; It’s just a sidenote: oh, by the way, Ilas thinks this is a hallucination. When a big theme like this comes in to throw doubt on the story’s happenings, or potentially show that the character is being ignorant of reality, the reader wills it to go somewhere. The fact it didn’t go somewhere was disappointing.

Dialogue Week

There's a lot of dialogue in this entry, which shows good commitment to the prompt. Your dialogue competently gives your characters a voice (you can hear the jerk magical being and the somewhat snivelling inventor). It also carries some exposition.

It’s to the detriment of this dialogue that it doesn’t have much movement, and repeats itself. The broad strokes dynamic of this conversation is:

A: You built the thing; good job! You’re now in a world of poo poo.
B: I built the thing; now what?

Repeat a few times over until...
A: I’m out of here, you figure this out.

(With exposition added here and there). The repetition combined with inefficient use of words causes the dialogue to use many words to move very little.

While you competently write a straight conversation in the voice of your characters, you don’t do anything more than that. There are stories this week where characters don’t say what they mean, or where individual words in their dialogue tell a whole story about that character’s relationships. There are stories this week where a conversation explores some theme or allegory without sounding unnatural. There are stories this week where dialogue does literally everything from setting the scene to describing the character’s physique. You held a conversation in your character’s voices, but that’s all you did, and there’s some issues with it (repetition, inefficiency) that drag it below midway. It’s a 4.5/10 based on this week’s focus.


Fruits Outside Heaven by toanoradian (2)

What Was This Story About?
This was an incredibly absurd tale about a desert island, its komodo king, and two angels.

The komodo king captures an angel and discovers she's here to sample the island's fruit. The angel's superior arrives to chastise her and bring her home. They bicker for a while, before the komodo dragon sends both angels away. Before they leave, the superior angel tries the strange fruit and says it tastes bad.

The komodo king eats one of the fruits, much to his enjoyment.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


when this place had the fruits better than that of Heaven itself?”
This particular phrase caused me to stumble. There's nothing technically incorrect with it, but the constant barrage of unnecessary words in here makes it stop and start when I say it aloud. "the fruits" "than that of heaven itself" —it's very jerky. I get that you're looking to evoke a biblical air in the phrasing you choose, which means that streamlining this particular quote would come at the expense of that; nonetheless, reading this was difficult.


King of the Komodos
This comes in stark contrast to the above point. You have a strong sense of what rolls off the tongue. It's good, except when you don't do it.

There's no quote for this one: Quite often, your unattributed dialogue confused me. Who is saying what? While all the information to know this is technically there, it takes a reread.



Your commitment to absurdity, and your ability to hold up the tone of this piece, is notable. It's good work.


I am Fruitiel, an angel responsible for this depraved glutton, Dorothy.

While it's technically in fitting with a comic and absurd tone, I don't want to give you a pass for sounding very stiff here. Sometimes these expository pieces sound like improv actors, who start their performance by unnaturally announcing, "I'm waiting for a bus!" It’s rather unnatural.

Dialogue Week

There's a lot of dialogue in your entry this week, and it's good to see people throwing themselves at this week. This piece uses that dialogue to achieve a number of different things: Characterizing the three speaking roles, telling a bit about who they are, and moving the story ahead. Your dialogue is often played straight and doesn't achieve much more than being a conversation. In other stories this week we have people trying to do something challenging or unusual with their dialogue: double meanings, physical descriptions, even pieces of dialogue that wildly change our conceptions of the speaker. Also, there is that issue of the stiff dialogue, but also a very good characterisation and a conversation that actually goes somewhere. For writing a piece that competently holds a conversation, with some issues and some good points, this feels like a solid 6/10 based on this week's focus.


So We Keep On Burning by flerp (2)

What Was This Story About?
This slow-burning mood piece captures a person (who's in financial and relationship troubles) enjoying their last moments in a hammock that will soon be taken from them. The person has an existential dialogue with the sun itself. After discussing the end of the world, the person and the sun decide that they don't want the world to end.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


It’s late summer when the sun speaks to me.
It's a strong opening, I like it. It gives us something to picture, it introduces the absurd part of this dialogue, and that's all before we get to my favourite part: The sun speaks to the protagonist (not the other way around), which fits in neatly with this character's passivity. It's one of the stronger openings so far (I'm reading and critting these stories one at a time).


The hammock’s his too, which he’ll take in a bit, but for now, at least I get to enjoy the humid August air on something at least a little soft.
This sentence goes on for a while. I think the repetition of "at least" is detrimental to this sentence. I understand that you're working to capture the voice of the main character: having these sentences be perfectly clear of all error would subtract from that voice, but it's a balancing act which toppled at the readability side rhere.


but that’s only if you decide things don’t matter.
Existential and post nihilist thinking is interesting, but does it make a good story? I'm conflicted about that one. The man is saying things I've thought about and agree with; I want to like this. But, as a story, "man thinks about things I agree with" is a bit of a sermon. There's enough good imagery and personal journey in there to make it a story in my eyes, but this particular line had an issue: It dragged me out of the story (and back to church).

Dialogue Week
Like most people this week, you did the needy thing of having a lot of dialogue in your piece. Good job! The dialogue is competent at getting across the viewpoints of the characters and giving them a voice I can hear in my head. The speech captures snapshots of the main character's thinking and moves the plot along as his thinking moves along. You held a conversation in the characters' own voices in a way that advances the plot, which is good. But that's all the dialogue really does. For a competently written conversation between man and sun, it's a 6/10 based on this week’s focus.


Blinding Lights by BB2K (4)

What Was This Story About?
An unhinged person unfulfilled in their work becomes indignant and somewhat abusive in their therapy session. The dialogue goes through the person's many ramblings, including their dissatisfaction with corporate interests, leadership figures, and an implied sense of powerlessness at the world.

The man then leaves the session.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


“I hate when music videos have parts where the music cuts out or does some weird poo poo. What’s the point? You watch it for the music, not the video. I guess some people do, but they’re the weird ones, not me. The MUSIC is the art, not the video. I mean, there’s art in the video, but it’s not the main draw is it? I don’t know what to do about it.”

Your opening line is your chance to set the tone, draw people in, picture the scene, or say something about what's to come. This tells us we're about to hear someone ranting. We do hear someone ranting; we hear a lot of that someone’s ranting. I don't like this guy. I'm not supposed to like this guy, but I don't even like not liking this guy. He's just awful throughout; his therapist is just there, drawing the awful out, and that's the story.


Everything is marketing. Everyone is trying to sell you something, something you don’t need. You were just trying to sell me on a streaming service, like, what the gently caress man?”

“Are you asking me if I’m getting kickbacks from these companies”?

The man opens up about a wife, a feeling of needing to get away, and this has obviously been a theme in previous therapy sessions. It's fairly solid exposition. The response, though, is one of a number of unnatural and stilted lines in this dialogue: After all those things the man says, the therapist chooses to go on the defensive about a potential accusation of corruption (not the wife, not the feeling of wanting to get away). It seems that this therapist has been written as incompetent purely to piss the man off, just so he can erupt into his rants (and I don't like his rants).


“All you seem to have are off days! All I seem to have are off days. Maybe no one is ever on, I guess...

This line of dialogue was a flash of sincerity from the man. I liked it. I was hoping, once I read this piece of speech, that maybe the pathos could start to flow. It might not be realistic to expect that of this man, but a realistic conversation and a well written dialogue are two different beasts. I don't like the turn the story actually took at this point, which is to have this guy become increasingly abusive toward the therapist from here onwards. This line of dialogue is a flash of what could have been: a change in the man's mental state, some progress, and some pathos. I’m not asking for him to suddenly be cured: I am disappointed, as this looked like it was going somewhere and then it immediately went backwards.

Dialogue Week
You have a lot of dialogue in this entry, and it's good to see people throwing themselves into this challenge. The long rants, as much as I disliked them, do carry the character's voice. I can practically hear this slightly unhinged (and caffeine wired) figure speaking in my mind. Some of the things you say ("my wife" "same kinda feeling") are very short and effective expositions. You tell this guy's life story in one conversation. There are issues in how stilted this dialogue is at times, though. For having a fairly straight conversation, albeit one with inconsistent quality, you get a middling 5/10 based on this week's focus.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018

MAN vs MACHINE: Elite Champion Ultra Belt Match, only on Pay-Per-View by curlingiron (2)
What Was This Story About?
This piece is a wild story about a futuristic wrestling match where a robot with a meat grinder attachment (who is determined to destroy all humanity) faces off against a returning cowboy-themed wrestler. We return after the match for a very swift overview of the bizarre events that took place.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


“Well folks, it’s another great evening here at the Suplexodome. I’m Tom One, your genetically-engineered commentator for tonight.”

In a week that's seen a few disappointing openings, this is great. We're thrown straight into a wrestling arena, setting a slightly comic tone with "Suplexodome", and frontloading the science fiction elements that are to come. All of that is done in a few words without breaking the voice this announcer has.


The Rawbott has defeated all of the pathetic human wrestlers


Well, now, I ain’t the type to ramble on too much,

In these two quotes we have some strong voice work. You've allowed me to hear these people speaking, and the dialogue reads very naturally. It's good work.


since my creation in a vat underneath the colosseum we’re standing in

As the story draws toward the end, that amazing voice work (and your ability to exposit without breaking the voice), begin to falter. The above line in particular felt forced in. I've said this a few times in my crits this week, but a forced-in exposition within a piece of dialogue starts to approach the uncanny heights of an improv drama performance: you know, where the weirdo in the black jumpsuit opens with "I'm waiting for a bus!" i.e. really stilted, unnatural and weird. You did much better than this at the start.

Dialogue Week

This piece makes the brave decision to be 100% dialogue, and gets points for that commitment to this week's prompt. It uses the device of sports announcers to provide an internally consistent way to describe action from within that dialogue. The dialogue here has a very strong sense of character voice, often has natural sounding expositions within it (although that tapers off toward the end), and continually moves the story forward (which not everybody achieved this week). For writing a bold piece that uses its dialogue for everything including the conversation, the scenery and the action (but one that stumbles toward the end) it's a 7/10 based on this week's focus.


Une Conversation Avec Mon Père by Yoruichi (1)
What Was This Story About?

This brilliantly agonising tale shows a woman helping her aging father to move house. It explores feelings of resentment, grief, anger and loss as it slowly reveals that the man has a memory disorder.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed

If anyone here knew me well, I'd accuse works like this of being pandering: Slow-paced mood pieces are very much my jam. As it is, I'm not very well known here, so I guess you got lucky.


“How’s your brother?”

Too loving lazy to help move his father, I thought, as I plopped into a lumpen armchair next to Dad.

“He’s good,”
Many of the stories this week had okay, if not disappointing, openings. This one is not that. It sets up the situation, including a phrase that will soon become ritual in the dialogue, and introduces us to one of the best things you do in this piece: You have the character not directly say what they're thinking. The contrast between their words and feelings adds to the (much intended) agony of reading this piece.


he had said, holding, that time, a commemorative plate emblazoned with the coq gaulois.
This part, with all of its commas, was jerky to read. Whether or not it’s technically correct (I’m no grammarian) it required a reread before I could absorb it.


...things I should remember from growing up... ...I must remember to water that before I leave... ... I’d packed most of them and I didn’t know where anything was... ...Remember when... ... I remembered how dreadfully embarrassed I’d been when...
This is good. I'm sure it's deliberate and you don't need to be told it's good, but if someone happens to be reading your crits for good ideas, look at the choices that were made here.


The cognac burned, all the way down.

This is beautiful. Not only does it conjure the feeling of swallowing the cognac, but it invokes the burning feeling of wanting to cry while not able to.

Dialogue Week

This piece is slightly more sparing than others in its use of dialogue, but to useful effect:This piece uses dialogue to have the outward conversation with her father, while having a second “dialogue” with herself (and the reader) in her mind. The contrast between the two helps show the agony she's feeling at her father's memory disorder.

The dialogue itself also contains the ritual "how's your brother?" that comes to show us her father's memory disorder.

This is a very beautiful piece that uses its dialogue to great effect. It’s conservative in its use of dialogue and the dialogue seems outshined by some of the other devices used. When I whittle this piece down to the weeks’ prompt, this piece’s dialogue gets an 8/10. If the prompt were “write a good story,” it’d be a 9, but this was dialogue week.


Absent Friends by Thranguy (3)

What Was This Story About?
Simple Reg is dead. Quinn is trying to leave crime behind, and Aces is working for a loan shark called Vince. Aces and Quinn chat about old times and fate of mutual friends. Aces repeatedly refuses drinks from Quinn. It's revealed that Aces owes Vince money, and implies that Quinn was trying to poison Aces. Aces keeps a hold of one of the poisoned bottles.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


The knock on the door came at quarter past two the night after they buried Simple Reg. A little later than I had expected. I was up, watching old tv on stream and slowly working through a bag of pretzels and a two liter bottle of orange soda. I walked over to the door, looked at his shark grin in the peephole's fisheye perspective. I undid the latch, let him in.

While this does establish a certain gritty atmosphere, and draws us in to the question of "who's Simple Reg?" I think the wording itself is very plain, and a lot of the words here don't serve anything other than to show us the man is watching TV with some pretzels. Other stories this week found efficient ways to give their scenes and descriptions additional meanings: This was a man eating pretzels in front of his TV. I get that it's supposed to make him look like a slob or slightly average, but it's not that strong of an image.


The question hung in the air like a stale fart.

The whole story up until this point had a very gritty and serious tone. Then there's a fart. While it's an imagined fart of a simile, it was about as welcome over this judge's computer desk as said stale fart. Why did you fart on your story? Maybe it's supposed to show some kind of casualness, or add to the slob nature of Quinn, but it just came out unexpectedly, like a wet fart.


I disengaged

This was a neat way to say he's a (former?) cop and feeling threatened without saying he's a cop and feeling threatened.

Dialogue Week

This piece uses dialogue for the conversation between the two characters, which contains some of their story together, and the various implications of that story. It does this fairly competently, if in a straight up and plain way. That's all you put the dialogue to, though. Other stories this week braved more risky ways to use dialogue, and by contrast the straight up conversations in this story seem safe. For a competently written conversation held between two guys, you get a middling 5.5/10 given this week's focus.


Mumbai on the Beacon [08/15/17] by CaligulaKangaroo (1)
What Was This Story About?
This piece is written in the form of a transcript of a university's radio show.

Lauren and August are two musicians and university students with a love of Indian culture. After getting their ukuleles together at an open mic night, they formed a band, and are now promoting their sitar-themed ukulele songs on a university radio show. One of them announces, live on air, plans for the both of them to fly away to India (which would cause them to miss their studies). Lauren is clearly uncomfortable with this, and the radio show host turns it into a phone-in question. Despite the pressure from August and the radio DJ, Lauren ultimately storms out to pursue her studies.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


DJ: You’re listening to Cafe Acoustica, on WTBU, Boston University student radio. For those of you just joining us, we are here with local folk duo Mumbai on the Beacon.

This opening works in your transcript for the same reason this kind of thing works on the radio. All the information you need is right there. You've picked up the voice that a DJ would use. It's a good opening, and speaks to the choice you made in having your story in this format to begin with.


it’s to speak the language of the sitar through the dialect of the ukulele.

You've not only been effective in setting the scene, and in characterising the individuals, but I think you've achieved the quirkiness you were challenged to make.


DJ: Out of curiosity, have either of you actually visited Mumbai?

Lauren: Unfortunately no. But the university does offer an amazing study abroad program that we’ve both--

August: I hate to interrupt, but this reminds me. I have an announcement to make.

The problem with having written so competently: Even the slightest issue becomes very noticeable among the rest of the work. The above section seemed unnatural. It seems like something that had to happen just to arrive at the whole calamity of the holiday phone-in. You've bought a lot of investment from the audience with your good words up until this point, and this is the point in the story where you're now asking us to suspend our disbelief. I think it works out in the end, but this certainly stands out as a weaker part of this story. It’s softened by the work you put in beforehand to show August as being impulsive and dissatisfied with her studies.

Dialogue Week

You've chosen a format which has this piece as 100% dialogue. It's a very efficient piece that has us effortlessly imagining the studio, the open mic night, the stuffy classroom and these characters without having the faculty of a narrative voice that would explicitly describe any of these things. That has impressed me. Every line of dialogue moves the plot forward, creating a scene that actually moves (not everyone did this). It's efficient, it achieves a lot of impressive things, and there's not much to complain about. This gets an impressed 8.5/10 based on this week's focus.


Matter and antimatter by Simbyotic (2)

What Was This Story About?
In the midst of their argument, a scientist tries to break up with his partner. The partner senses that he's being unfaithful. The man confesses that he's in a relationship with a lab technician, and this causes the discussion to erupt into a passionate airing of grievances.

Tanya's dissatisfied with their sex, which she takes as evidence of his unfaithfulness. She's unemployed and living in Marcus' home, which he dislikes. Tanya is an unsuccessful artist who was heartbroken after an exhibition went poorly, and feels that Marcus is sabotaging her artistic efforts. Marcus is working in some kind of laboratory, and resents Tanya living in the accommodations he provides. It all becomes weaponry for their ugly battle until they both drop their bombs:

Marcus tells Tanya he's evicting her.

Tanya tells Marcus she's pregnant.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed

886 words is too many words.

You format this dialogue in a way I haven't seen before. The ability to clearly communicate who is speaking, without having some attribution, is something you've pulled off. It shows you've voiced and given context to the situation, enough that this doesn't need labelling.


You’re done? You… You’re breaking up with me? Uh... Who is she, uh Marcus? Who’s the oval office? Don’t lie to me you slimy gently caress, I know for a fact it’s not dread that’s making you come back home so late.

The voicing here is very strong. It carries on this strong throughout the story. I can hear the rise and fall in their voices, even imagine the waving arms and the scowls on their faces, without being told. The only thing that it suffers from is a slight lack of readability. It's a difficult balancing act to get your characters voiced convincingly and also readable, and in the above dialogue it's starting to wobble on the readability side.


Today of all days...

Whatever this was referring to was completely missed by me. The anniversary of the exhibition? I'm not sure. The unresolved nature of it is a distraction.

Dialogue Week

This piece is 100% dialogue, and that's a feat that remains impressive, even after the other three. The dialogue walks us through the troubled story of their relationship in a single argument; it becomes a story within a story, and that's something which not many people did with their dialogue this week. It's very well voiced and reads convincingly. It meets the prompt very well. For some way to improve it, I think tying off the loose ends and seeing if there's slightly more efficient as well as readable phrasing can be used. This story rises to the high ranks with an 8.5/10 given this week's focus.


Sheer Force of Will by Chairchucker (4)
What Was This Story About?
Petunia tries to fill the fridge using her mind. Bob is skeptical about her claims to be able to do this, and her claims to change the weather. Tahlia backs Petunia up, and Bob takes his leave of the discussion. In the end, a portal to another dimension opens and fills the house with all manner of interdimensional creatures.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


an interdimensional invasion in the kitchen. Just, like, a whole bunch of interdimensional beings tracking interdimensional mud or slime or whatever through the house, sitting on the sofa with interdimensional snacks which they were spilling everywhere, and worst of all, watching the season finale of The Bachelor when he was still only up to episode five.

There's so much going in in these two sentences. The repetition of "interdimensional" is effective at hammering home the otherworldly nature of this invasion, but it lacks any description or mood or anything to hang a picture of this scene from. It's good in that it's rhythmic and has some effect in that sense, but it's also vague. For example, what does interdimensional mud (or slime or whatever) look like? What emotion is interdimensional mud supposed to conjure?

I like how this interdimensional stuff is immediately contrasted with the more earthly concern of the season finale of The Bachelor.

The last thing is the voice you use in these sentences. You haven't done enough to show that Bob would think or speak in these casual terms, and that has it sounding like the 'Just, like, a whole bunch' and the mud or slime or whatever is the omniscient narrator's voice instead of his. While I think it was intended to add to Bob's casual disdain for the scene in front of him, it came out sounding like you're going 'just writing this story, or whatever, I guess.'


“Still no food, but now there’s a portal to another dimension.”

Handling exposition inside of dialogue is something that's stilted a lot of speech this week, and this line in particular comes off as unnatural. Given the 'Nope. Still empty.' earlier, I know you're capable of less stilted action within dialogue.

Dialogue Week

You hold a somewhat mundane conversation between three characters, giving some voice and personality to those characters through their dialogue, and showing some of the action taking place through the dialogue itself. At no point does this dialogue go above and beyond. In a week where others have experimented with the limits of what dialogue can do, being this safe might not pay off. For its okay conversation, that doesn't go above and beyond, and inconsistently gets exposition natural and unnatural: This piece gets a slightly below middle score of 4.5/10 based on this week's focus.


Marianna by Hawklad (4)
What Was This Story About?
A much abused miner is in an armed standoff with their gangmaster, as they have stolen an emerald from the mines. The emerald possesses a magic which gives a premonition of the gangmaster's upcoming attack, and then draws the reader into the body of the miner, where they avoid this attack and kill the man.
A Few Individual Points I Noticed


...It had nothing to say about the starvation, the beatings, the black dust that forever choked your lungs. Drunken men who came into your room late at night...

...emeralds. Of their powerful magic. The gift of vision. Foresight...

The explicit cruelty and the magic of this piece all come very abruptly. There are other stories this week that explore someone's torment, and some which spend their entire word count easing someone in to magical happenings. Your piece doesn't set up these expectations at the beginning, sounding like a gangster piece, and it's all very jarring when we're hit with these three rocks: she's regularly abused; there's magic; you're the character now.


“I’m sure you do. You know what I have? A dozen soldiers. Outside. Ready to come when I yell. But we don’t have to do it like that.”
Your dialogue, and most of the prose itself, seems to only do one thing at a time. This line, for example, tells us about the possibility of the main character being surrounded. There's nothing wrong with conveying a single meaning clearly. But, as a thought for how to improve; some people are able to put a single sentence to multiple uses and meanings, or to tell an entire story in a single word. Your use of "esclava" shows that you are capable of the kind of efficiency I'm talking about, you just don't do it quite as often as you might be able to.

Dialogue Week

There's a fair amount of dialogue in this piece, which takes us through the threats and pleas of the standoff. It's a straightforward conversation with no obvious issues save for being straightforward. While the story attempts quite a brave thing in changing its tense and person, the dialogue doesn't attempt anything brave as dialogue. For simply having a conversation with no major issues or particularly standout features, you get a middle 5/10 based on this week's focus.


Masshole by sparksbloom (3)
What Was This Story About?
A man at a party in an apartment block is smoking outdoors on the back porch. An elderly woman in another apartment sticks her head out of the window to address her noise complaints to him. She gives up after their conversation. The man yells into the party before heading home.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed
It was only on my second read that I could picture the space.


Definitely a teacher.
I'm not sure what the significance is in having Dom judge the elderly woman as a teacher. I think it's meant to speak of a general dismissiveness: whatever it is, it didn't land for me.


He can’t get the image of that kid – Dom bets he’s like 17, so what the gently caress is he doing here – licking Milo’s nose in the kitchen, so he’s down here, smoking, trying to come up with the perfect retort.

What this sounds like, in my head, is that he wants to find the perfect way to jeer at Milo for getting with a highschooler. When the actual retort is 'do you know how rude you are?' I'm not sure what's going on. Has he come to accept that it's rude for a loud party to be going on? Did they have a separate offscreen argument (before the story) which warrants that kind of response? It's not awfully clear. The only hint at what might be happening, and I have to strain to see it, is the suggestion that he's getting old. You mention that he's some years out of college, and maybe there's this theme of him transitioning from being one of the younger partygoers and toward the stance of the old woman? It's not clear.

If this is just him saying "you're rude" because of the noise complaint, and if it’s unrelated to Milo and the highschooler, it threw me off when you noted immediately afterward that Milo and the highschooler are gone. That juxtaposition reads like it implies that Dom shouting "you're rude" and Milo are connected, especially when the story begins with Dom saying he wants to find a response to Milo and the highschooler.

Dialogue Week

This piece uses dialogue to give personality to its characters and talk us through the complaints being made. There's no obvious issues with the dialogue itself, but the dialogue doesn't attempt anything particularly interesting or standout. For writing a conversation that doesn't really get anything wrong, nor does anything great, you get a middling 5/10 based on this week's focus.


Hero of the Horde by Idle Amalgam (3)

What Was This Story About?

A goblin shaman wakes up after a night partying with beastkin; this is something he had promised his partner he'd not do. After being woken by a goatlike child, Hanka arrives in his tent, and the goblin shaman realises he can't talk. His mudqueen airs her grievances, and the shaman isn't able to answer back. Hanka goes to be with Urk instead.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


His amiable grin turned pleading


Klilb waved to sacks of gems

Your hellrule challenged you to have a silent character, and you've owned that by having them enter the dialogue despite having no voice.


Klilb was honored to dine with the chieftain, but he hadn’t expected to be doing lines of worm ginger all night. Between that and the troll wine, he had nearly eaten his last grub. Such was the life of an up and coming rock star, stone diviner to the beastkin and ogre-blooded alike

On the first reading, it was hard to picture any of this, or to follow it. The words here have a great rhythm and sound to them, and they carry a fantasy goblin voice to them, but it comes at the expense of comprehension. I think there was a clever idea in putting the phrase "rock star" in this description: it playing on the readers' image of a rock star while also trying to hold to the primitive aesthetic you've got going on. Smart as the idea was, it was a confusing addition in an already difficult-to-comprehend opening. I found myself momentarily thinking rock music somehow existed within this fantasy goblin world.

Dialogue Week

It was great to see you hold dialogue with a voiceless character by having them communicate with actions and gestures. The dialogue was fairly competent, had no obvious issues, and it moved the plot forward. For holding a competent conversation with a voiceless character, this piece gets a 6/10 based on this week's focus.


Snow Woman by Pththya-lyi (3)
What Was This Story About?

Mike and Crystal discuss having ice cream for dinner. They talk about a beautiful woman Mike saw in a dream. The woman froze his friend in the dream, said she'd spare Mike, but warned of consequences if he ever told anyone.

Crystal melted overnight.

A Few Individual Points I Noticed


“Not a bad idea. Too hot for me!”

This took some time to understand. While someone in real life would probably say this about the weather, it doesn't come across as easily in this reading. Also, talking about heat in the context of food always has the potential for ambiguity.


Crystal... cream...

It's only a few words in a very short story, but it's good to see someone expressing theme in their word choice. Some stories this week were notably devoid of any flavour, and that makes these words here stand out. Good job.

Dialogue Week

You hold a brief conversation between two characters that moves the story along, gives the characters a personality in their voice, and doesn't have any obvious issues. Your story doesn't do anything particularly brave with that dialogue, but it is written competently and with a strong voice. Stories that have a conversation and don't do anything more with the dialogue than that get a 5/10 this week. Yours gets a 5.5/10 for being efficient, believable, and having good voice.


Sea birds by sebmojo (2)
What Was This Story About?
A child and their guardian (who's out of work) talk about their day. The kid's excited about some birds he saw. The man is stoned and hasn't sent a job application. The man gives his promises that he'll find work, and the kid doubts that.
A Few Individual Points I Noticed


Why are you lying on the floor


Stoned. Very stoned.

While these are very efficient ways of moving the story along, they felt slightly unnatural as moments of speech. It wasn't a hugely bad or story ruining issue, but it stood out enough from the rest of this piece to mention it.


I consider and reject a number of responses.
There are only a handful of entries this week that really nail word choices and themes like this. This is good.


I saw cool birds... ... Kind of stinky...
It's great to be shown that this is a child and not told. It's some strong voice work on dialogue week.


We both know it’s a lie but I smile back.
There's only a handful of stories this week that make use of nonverbal dialogue, and only a handful of stories this week that brave having someone not say what they're thinking (but say something else). This closing line stands out for doing both in ten words.

Dialogue Week

This story has very strong character voice, and moves its plot along using its dialogue. The dialogue is effective in showing us the characters' emotions, and brings some standout uses of dialogue such as that fantastic closing line. For writing strongly voiced dialogue, that's only hurt by a few unnatural phrases, and which pulled off a few outstanding use cases, you get a 6.5/10 based on this week's focus.

Feb 20, 2011

~carrier has arrived~
Oven Wrangler
thanks a ton for the critique, time to work on it

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

said I'm never lackin'
always pistol packin'
with them automatics
we gon' send 'em to Heaven
Thanks for the crits!

Aug 2, 2002




ok sure

Week 446 talking talking talking crits

I’m not gonna read any of the flash rules or pay attention to the changing word count poo poo because i’m not head judge and i don’t wanna


Simply Simon

“why when he morning light” “His headache got worse every second” sdt “He - had - forgotten - to - get - another - argh!” ??? “The blue one wanted to say something” head jumping ““We are the Mighty M-” COPYRIGHT DODGE. “Green, however, failed to see the humor in the situation.” sdt

He smushed the black one in february tsk tsk. The dialog in this one is just kind of utilitarian and doesn’t do much except for describe the plot / actions / motivations and what not. Not a ton of deep characterization coming in here. I don’t really “get” this power rangers fanfic?


Haunted Theater

Good setup. ““Where I come from” he doesn’t want to say where he comes from and changes the subject, but then brings it up. That’s not very consistent.

This is a good setup with not really a lot of answers. Like jj abrams directed this story. I think maybe you had them in your head but they’re not clear to me. Like you said he’s a bot? But i don’t really understand what is going on or where he is, or what he had done “before.” without knowing any of that, or who this dude is, the ending doesn’t really do anything to me. All this confusion doesn’t feel anything like love to me.


The Traveling Sommelier

“reminds Amy of the inside of a coffin.” is this a memory she has?

“ You could stand to relax a little.” He rubs her shoulders. “ uh poo poo’s gettin creepy in here

I feel like to understand this story i need to have information i do not have. It does a decent job at setting a creepy, otherworldly tone, but i’m not sure what is going on and who these characters are. I’m assuming some sort of legend/monster or something that i’m not familiar with. Without that knowledge, this story is meh and i get no answers to what the creepyness is or why she felt weird.


Boogie Woogie

Man, cut out all this starting chaff and get to the good stuff.

“How could a plate of nachos be ‘Boogie Woogie’?” lol

“What is mutton?” a common trap of dialog-heavy stories is to have one character just ask questions. This is pretty boring to read, turns out. Try to avoid it.

“My feet are getting numb.” ???

“She loved (more than half)” how are these parentheticals being handled in this speech? I’m a little confused. Are they muttering it under their breath?

““Entomology and fair.” ???

This story didn’t have to be 100% dialog u know. It gets a little boring after just reading back and forth forever. The cuteness wears off.

““Calm down, just breathe.”

“I can’t, my pelvis--”

“You don’t breathe through your pelvis.” lol

The reveal is ok but this story would be a billion times better with some actual exposition and description and what not. Would feel a bit more natural. Anyway this was decent and i laughed a few times and some of this dialog would fit very well into a story with a bit more boogie woogie on its bones.

nut hosed around with this message at 6:12 PM on Feb 20, 2021 uh oh. We don’t do that around here.

A little buzzed i almost just signed this crit with my work signature


a friendly penguin


Wiped Out

“how can I do all of my rad tricks” i’m not 100% sure where this story lies on the spectrum of “serious” to “a mockery of the late 90s”

“Someone put the new Rage album up on Napster “ he’d have time to go to the police station and get back and only be like half done downloading the album :P

Lands a little too much on the “mockery” side of things, tho i don’t think it was supposed to. Feels a bit forced. All their dialog is kinda just about doing tricks and appreciating life and trying to do chicks, not really much behind it other than what’s on the surface. A real “this is what i’m doing and thinking” conversation.


Sperglord Firecock

Well that sure is a username


I uh, don’t really know what is happening here. Seems like 2 dudes concerned more with sounding real smart and patting themselves on the back about it rather than like, having anything interesting to say.


Fruits Outside Heaven

“. I am Fruitiel, an angel responsible “ WHAT IS HAPPENING

You’re doing the nut thing and not including any exposition, but i like the beginning where you described some things. Describe some more things.

“Thanks for the help, lizard! “ judge pandering.

Well, you attempted something, so you got that going for you. I think that maybe you just kinda wrote this without knowing where it was going, and just kinda followed along for the ride. Oh well, at least i wasn’t bored reading it.


so we keep on burning

“Hey,” it asks, what’s with people starting their stories with “hey” this week? Fluff…...booo

I get the feeling you are v cold right now.

This has some good lines in it but in the end is just kinda a whimsical vignette. The characterization is p dece on the guy, but pretty lacking on the sun. why is the sun talking to him and what not? Anyway thanks for including some description between the words.

Oops i almost signed it again.



Is this a star wars thing?

Blinding Lights

You have 4 repetitions of “WORDS” / “QUESTION?” over and over god i hate that

Oh boy you did the thing with no description too just words from a void. A faceless void who i don’t know and just is talking at me and trying to impress me with I AM VERY DEEP


Rational question

“ two or three less coffees” fewer

This dude is talking to a therapist or something? Who knows

I loving hate joe what a waste of space i hop e he dies.




MAN vs MACHINE: Elite Champion Ultra Belt Match, only on Pay-Per-View

Nooooo u also did the thing

“Well One, as you can probably tell, there’s a lot of excitement for the big match tonight. “ WE HAVE TO TELL THE READER WHAT IS HAPPENING BECAUSE THERE ARE NO OTHER WORDS

Rawbott more like rawbutt

The parts with the cowboy talkin poo poo were good and that should have been more of your story, with some, you know, actual good words instead of two robots telling me the rest of the story. Like literally if you took their dialog and just made it exposition it wouldn’t really change the story because they don’t have any personality or reason for talking, they’re just relaying information. Big floppy dudddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd


Une Conversation Avec Mon Père

Oh gently caress, french!

“It would look good in your house.”

“My flat, you mean,”

See people this is what writing dialog is. A fuckin sword fight with words where you don’t just say “BUT DAD, I’M TOO POOR TO OWN A HOUSE BECAUSE OF YOUR STUPID BOOMER POLICIES” you just imply it.


“The little poo poo is just too lazy to come help his old man.” lol excellent

I don’t think hennessy is cognac I WAS WRONG OK

Thank u finally a story this week. I see why your stupid horse face keeps winning this year.


Oh boy, maybe we can make it two in a row

Absent Friends


"Jesus," I said. “ the only thing is i’m having a bit of trouble keeping these two dudes straight. They’re p much the same voice. Also with the back and forth i think maybe you got off? Oh wait nm you just mixed your actions with dialog of Aces, which is a big no no man. Got me all confuzzled

n't know?" I shook my head. "Oh, Quinn. You've got to hear this."

“moved all the way to Boston.” mistake. Also i’m not sure where this story is taking place.

This got some good dialog but needs a bit more detail and boogie woogie on its bones to really land and knock yoriuchiui down from hir throne that she’s on right now. It’s relying on a few too many cliches to prop itself up right now. I don’t know much about these two’s past, and i’d like to know more. I appreciate what’s here, but mourn what isnt


Mumbai on the Beacon


“the language of the sitar through the dialect of the ukulele.” thanks i hate it.

These two characters are insufferable and i hate them i hope they break up.

This story gimmick (radio transcription) is pretty bleh and i’d liek this better as a regular story with like, descriptions and poo poo. It’s literally all telling this way.



Matter and antimatter

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh only dialog AND question response question response pleassssssssssse stop

“next to a pile of your own vomit” that’s saving some for later :)

I’m pregnant.


I hate these people.


Sheer Force of Will

““Yeah. Like. Through sheer force of will, cause it to fill up with treats.”” oh poo poo i’m gonna try that

““Ah, like last year when she made it rain.”” lol.

“Mind must’ve wondered.” wandered?

Haha well, i was actually quite enjoying this until the portal thing. But it’s still fun but it was better before. Thank you for including some words of not dialog at least.



So like, two dudes or ladies or whatever are just pointing guns at each other and then they stab each other instead? I just can’t right now sorry




Peak boston of the night i hope

I don’t really know who is doing what in this story. Are they just chillin in a triple decker or something? Is a college kid banging some high schooler? Wtf is happing


Idle Amalgam
Hero of the Horde

Like warcraft

“ Klilb affixed his garb.” this made me barf

“ Back to the skins and salts” everybody is drunk this weekend

Holy gently caress i didn’t care about this at ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL


Snow Woman

What. is he banging a snow ghost?


Sea birds

Short and sweet but ultimately more of the former than the latter. shame.


Overall for the week: TOO MUCH TALKIN, NOT ENOUGH SHOWIN. Two people talking in a vacuum is pretty loving boring. That’s why movies got pictures and poo poo instead of just a black screen. It’s not really a story without some you know, story poo poo. It’s just a podcast. Great guys, you loving reinvented the podcast. Quick, somebody pitch this to a silicon valley VC

Anyway there were like 2 good stories that were mostly dialog BUT NOT ONLY DIALOG and had some good poo poo in them, the rest of you just took a fat dump on my computer monitor and ruined my sunday evening fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you

Also i just wanna say i hate boston still and i hope it falls into the sea

Nov 8, 2009

Thanks for judging fast and judging good, all!

E: Interprompt Write ad copy for a fictional product. 100 words

Pththya-lyi fucked around with this message at 04:30 on Feb 23, 2021

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


Pththya-lyi posted:

E: Interprompt Write ad copy for a fictional product. 100 words


And you're the one making it happen.

If you don't do something now, who knows how big it'll get?

Calburn eats calories, and is proven at boosting weight loss. Shrink your stomach; get Calburn.

Feb 20, 2011

~carrier has arrived~
Oven Wrangler

Pththya-lyi posted:

Thanks for judging fast and judging good, all!

E: Interprompt Write ad copy for a fictional product. 100 words

When you think of an entrepreneur, do you think the wondrous heights of success?

Business conducted, precisely, men in suits briskly running to and fro, but never missing a beat, thanks to Richarsson's Droolmop.

Richarsson's Droolmop, overcoming salivary overhydration one Terry cloth at a time.

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

said I'm never lackin'
always pistol packin'
with them automatics
we gon' send 'em to Heaven

Pththya-lyi posted:

Thanks for judging fast and judging good, all!

E: Interprompt Write ad copy for a fictional product. 100 words

Do you suffer from crippling self-doubt? Are you often paralyzed by lack of faith in your ability?

No more, friend. Get your limited edition, universally recognized, self-worth today.

When that naysaying inner voice comes around, tell it shut the gently caress up!

This power can be yours today for 3 easy payments of 9.99, no cash on delivery.

But wait... there's more!

If you order now, we'll throw in self-validation!

Do you look towards your peers for affirmation of your existence? No more, affirm yourself!

It can all be yours for 3 easy payments of 9.99.

Call 555-555-5555. Begin anew today!

May 31, 2011

The happiest waffligator

So much talking last week. I'm sick of your human words. And of your human worlds.

For Thunderdome CDXLVII, pick a country from the map, then write a story set in that country. State your country when you sign up. Ask for more rules, you'll get it.

Word limit: 1500 words
Sign up deadline: Saturday 0700, GMT+7
Submission deadline: Monday 1500, GMT+7


New Earthers:
(bold are :toxx:)
	Victim			Music
1	Nae			A Tiger Can Change His Stripes
2	Noah			Oceans with No End
3	sebmojo			You don’t have to be, but it helps
4	Thranguy		Phase Changes
5	Baneling Butts		The Killers
6	Simbyotic		FAILURE
7	brotherly		Hemp Bonds
8	Azza Bamboo		Vacancy – Assistant Production Operative
九	Sperglord Firecock	Bat Mission
11	Casual Encountess	FAILURE
12	Idle Amalgam		The End of the Dream Overdue
13	flerp			the thin line between now and later
XIV	crabrock		Forever Young
15	ibntumart		FAILURE
16	steeltoedsneakers	New Dialect
17 	a friendly penguin	Spy Walks into a Bar
18	Antivehicular 		A Day for Black Salt
19	QuoProQuid		Confessions of a Lion President: I Was a Teenage Content Creator

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 15:42 on Mar 2, 2021

Sep 3, 2020


I'm in with Undersea New York Rat Network


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Before someone asks, yes you can pick the same country/city as someone else, and if you can't decide I'll assign one for you.

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