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Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

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

My Shark Waifuu posted:

Prompt: A man dies and gets sent to Bird Hell on accident (or was it an accident??)
I'm going to claim this one.

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flerp
Feb 25, 2014
in

bigfoot is at your door. he's angry. he's asking where his boyfriend the loch ness monster is. problem: you're dating the loch ness monster

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

flerp posted:

in

bigfoot is at your door. he's angry. he's asking where his boyfriend the loch ness monster is. problem: you're dating the loch ness monster
oh no! mothman is looking for love, but the evil doctors from LAMP want to capture him and study his beautiful wings. How will he beat them? Maybe with his legendarily powerful kicks, who knows though

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009

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

:siren:thunderdome winner:siren:

flerp posted:


bigfoot is at your door. he's angry. he's asking where his boyfriend the loch ness monster is. problem: you're dating the loch ness monster

Claiming this one!

Sonny
Dec 16, 2021

in

you're a human who's been hibernating for a few hundred years and you wake up and go outside and the world has been overtaken by ants, and they're using your body as a building material

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind

In, please.

A camping trip goes awry when a family is taken hostage by super-intelligent mosquitoes.

Captain_Indigo
Jul 29, 2007

"That’s cheating! You know the rules: once you sacrifice something here, you don’t get it back!"

Pththya-lyi posted:

The President (or Prime Minister, or whoever leads the country) made anime real

This is my prompt. It was made for me.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

Sonny posted:

in

you're a human who's been hibernating for a few hundred years and you wake up and go outside and the world has been overtaken by ants, and they're using your body as a building material
okay so you know tigers, right? they're tigers, but they're punk rockers and also they know karate or kung fu or something, I just want them to do at least one flip

ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

In, please.

A camping trip goes awry when a family is taken hostage by super-intelligent mosquitoes.
a gang of skateboarding criminal witches are here to steal your girl and also your wallet

My Shark Waifuu
Dec 9, 2012



Chernobyl Princess posted:

Prompt: Hotel California but it's a Waffle House in Wilmington, Delaware.

I'm gonna take this one

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2022




rohan posted:

in

Anime body pillows are possessed by the ghosts of Pinkerton agents

Gimme

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

a gang of skateboarding criminal witches are here to steal your girl and also your wallet

oh hell yes, I hope I can do this one justice

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind

p.s. I hear people mention a discord or IRC channel? if it's accepting new folks, if someone could PM me the details I'd appreciate it

ChickenOfTomorrow fucked around with this message at 23:55 on Dec 16, 2021

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔
in

Yoruichi posted:

In

Write a story set in a picturesque German village about a chemist who is working hard to try and win a Nobel prize and a talking horse who somehow saves the day, such that the chemist realises his long-standing hatred of horses was bad and wrong and the talking horse becomes his best friend.
I see what you did there. Unless Muffin gives me something phenomenal I guess I'll write about this.


My prompt: so, videogame design is literally the most important thing in the world, right? The newest open world being game being kinda boring and rote has caused multiple international crises. Can our hero change the world with the power of Sports?

Tosk
Feb 22, 2013

I am sorry. I have no vices for you to exploit.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

okay so what if there was a magic system built around playing air guitar, like the more lifelike you played air guitar the more powerful your spells were, and different songs were different spells, like that (WE DON'T TALK ABOUT AIR DRUMMING, THAT'S FORBIDDEN, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT)

in for this prompt

Hellprompt: a man who has an extreme phobia of any and all cartoon mascots abruptly wakes up in the cereal aisle of his local supermarket between walls of trix and cap'n crunch (or similar, go nuts!!)

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

Simply Simon posted:

in

I see what you did there. Unless Muffin gives me something phenomenal I guess I'll write about this.


My prompt: so, videogame design is literally the most important thing in the world, right? The newest open world being game being kinda boring and rote has caused multiple international crises. Can our hero change the world with the power of Sports?
satan and his army of motorbike demons have come to end the world but unfortunately for them, somebody is SUPER into classical music

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔
Yeah I think I'm gonna take both prompts at once lol

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

Simply Simon posted:

Yeah I think I'm gonna take both prompts at once lol
this is not part of the prompt but you've piqued my curiosity, I will allow it

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 21:11 on Dec 16, 2021

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010
Yo so I just realised that a deadline I thought was in Feb is actually Jan 1st and I'm hauling rear end on that, I WILL be judging this week but

1) it might be a bit slow
2) I'd appreciate a fully complement of judges so we can smash this thing out proper
3) while you are absolutely fully allowed to submit 10 seconds before the deadline and submitting early will get you nothing, if you feel the urge to submit earlier it makes judging a lot more smooth and easy since we can spread that poo poo out a bit

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Dec 16, 2021

Burning_Conch
Dec 15, 2021
In

Prompt option: A marachi band of mice have to play a gig on the cat side of town and it's a rager.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

Burning_Conch posted:

In

Prompt option: A marachi band of mice have to play a gig on the cat side of town and it's a rager.
what if emotion were extremely infectious and also you needed to stop a nuclear reactor from melting down

Propaganda Machine
Jan 2, 2005

Truthiness!
I'm in, hit me with your worst.

My prompt is: La Cucaracha is a scene-stealing gig. Are they scurrying away from pesticide, or are they leaning into a family of musical adventure?

Propaganda Machine
Jan 2, 2005

Truthiness!
I claimed something that was already claimed. Claiming something now.

Propaganda Machine fucked around with this message at 00:11 on Dec 18, 2021

Propaganda Machine
Jan 2, 2005

Truthiness!

Tosk posted:

in for this prompt

Hellprompt: a man who has an extreme phobia of any and all cartoon mascots abruptly wakes up in the cereal aisle of his local supermarket between walls of trix and cap'n crunch (or similar, go nuts!!)

Sorry for the bad post, gonna do this.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010
:siren: SIGNUPS ARE CLOSED :siren:

get writin

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010
I think everybody who requested a prompt has got one (a few folks just went straight into the hellprompt drawer so I only gave one there if explicitly asked), if you're missing a prompt let me know.

Sonny
Dec 16, 2021

okay so you know tigers, right? they're tigers, but they're punk rockers and also they know karate or kung fu or something, I just want them to do at least one flip

Tiger Flip
1331 words

There was this tall girl that I knew in Grade 9. Her name was Bigsy. She was 3 metres tall, had bright red hair, and was built like a tank. She used to dress in black leather, and had a big, shiny silver chain that ran from her belt to her left ear. She was like a bulldozer, always pushing people around. "You're a tiger," she said to me one day. "I'm going to make you a tiger. You're tiger material. You're smart. You're good-looking. You're tough. We're going to change you, kiddo."

She drove all the way from the Valley to my place, picked me up and drove me to her house near Laurel Canyon.

She lived in a beat-up place with about 10 other tigers -- guys, mostly, but a couple of girls too. The house was in the middle of a block. The front windows were all painted black. There were a couple of motorcycles on the front lawn, and a VW Bug that had been turned into a low-rider. We walked right in, Bigsy just pushed open the screen door and stepped inside. We were greeted by two buff-looking tigers. One of them was Bigsy's partner, Stripes. He had on a black leather jacket and heavy-duty boots and black jeans, and he had a tattoo of a tiger on his arm. He was about 2 metres tall, with a shaven head and a mean expression.

Bigsy led me into a dark room. There were posters on the walls of jungle scenes and tigers tearing out the throats of deer and elk. There were four guys sitting in red nylon beanbag chairs, watching a TV with a cable hook-up. They were wearing black leather jackets and boots. One of them looked at Bigsy and Stripes.

"Hey, Stripes, Bigsy, we got the new game, Tiger Claw. You want to play it?"

Stripes said he didn't feel like it.

"It sucks," said Bigsy. "I'll just give him his test right now."

She dragged me over to a mattress in the corner of the room and flopped on her belly.

"Take off your glasses and drop 'em there."

She pointed to a spot by her head. I took off my glasses and dropped them.

She said, "You don't need glasses anymore. Look in my eyes. No, don't look at my eyes, look through them. Close your eyes. No, you don't need to close your eyes."

She said it in a singsong voice and I closed my eyes.

"Now, pretend you're a tiger. A big, bad tiger with fangs and claws and big sharp nails. You have claws on your feet. Now jump on the mattress and tear it to pieces and eat the stuffing."

I didn't feel like tearing the mattress to pieces. I didn't feel like eating the stuffing.

"All right, now you're a big, bad tiger in the jungle and you have something to eat. Push your fangs through your lips.

"Atta boy. Now you're really hungry. Dig in."

I didn't feel like digging in, but I could feel my teeth growing longer and sharper, and I could feel my lips pull back. I could feel my nose wrinkling and my eyes adjusting to the dark, and I could see the yellowed stains on the nylon carpet and the little holes in the stuffing.

"You want that stuffing, don't you?"

"Yeah."

"It's the best stuffing in the world, and you've got to have it. Now grab it and pull it out."

I felt my claws digging into the carpet and the stuffing through the carpet, and I began to pull.

"That's it, tiger. Eat it up."

I pulled harder and harder.

"That's it. Rip it to pieces. Go for the green stuffing. Eat up."

I could feel the stuffing ripping, and I pulled and pulled. Bigsy began to grunt. She was running her hands over my back and my back was getting ridges, like a tiger's back. I was ripping the stuffing and my head was going lower.

"Eat it. Stuffing is the best stuff there is. Tear off some of the stuffing and eat it."

I felt the stuffing tearing and I put my teeth inside the hole and chewed a little. It was the best stuffing in the world.

"All right, tiger. We're going to take over the world. We're going to be so rich we'll be able to buy anything in the world. That's how rich we're going to be. But first we have to kill Muffy Kalibantukian. He's a millionaire who lives in Beverly Hills. He's got a big house there. We have to kill him and take his money.

"I don't know if I want to kill him. I like Muffy. He was really nice to me once. He showed me his kung fu video game."

"He's got a lot of money. We'll kill him and take his money. He doesn't need it anymore. I'm his housekeeper, and I know he hides his money in his house. We're going to run his house while he's away, and while we're there we'll look around, and we'll find the money, and we'll clean him out."

I wanted the money. I wanted to buy everything in the world.

"OK. I'm ready," I said. "Let's do it."

"Straight for his heart, tiger. There's a kung fu video game there. You have to punch the monitor to get it. Go for the video game first. It's the most valuable."

We walked into Muffy's bedroom. He had a big king-sized bed with a TV on the wall and a kung fu game with a coin slot. Muffy was lying there on his back, snoring, with his mouth open. He was wearing pajamas and had a big stomach and little fat legs. He was really old. He was all wrinkly, and his eyes were sunken in. He looked like a lizard or a frog. I wanted to catch him and put him in a zoo.

Me and Bigsy and Stripes walked over to the bed. We were standing on the bed. We were real close to Muffy.

"OK. You're a tiger. You're strong. You're fast. You're smart. Now you're going to do it. You're going to kill Muffy and you're going to get the kung fu video game."

I jumped up and bit on Muffy's nose and then I started to rip his belly apart with my claws. I felt Muffy's blood on my paws, and I kept on ripping. I got his guts and his bladder and his stomach and his heart and then I pulled out his lungs. There was blood all over me. I jumped off the bed and landed on the floor. I had a piece of Muffy's heart in my mouth. I wanted to eat it, but it was gross.

Bigsy looked at me and started to laugh. She was laughing so hard she fell down on my head.

"What's so funny?" I said, running my hands over my body and feeling the blood, feeling the big muscles and the big claws on my hands. My hands and feet were really big, like a tiger's hands, and they had long claws on them. I was a tiger. I was a tiger and I had killed Muffy and I was going to be rich. I had killed one of the richest men in the world, and now I was going to buy everything in the world.

"Oh, tiger, you're so cute. Muffy didn't have any money. He didn't even have a video game. He was lying to you. You're a tiger, and you're so cute. You're such a good tiger."

Bigsy laughed at me and rubbed my head with her hand.

I scratched her face with my claws but she didn't care. She just kept rubbing my head and laughing.

Bigsy looked at Stripes.

"We'll have to give her something to eat," she said. "This one's a killer, Stripes."

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009

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

:siren:thunderdome winner:siren:

Prompt: bigfoot is at your door. he's angry. he's asking where his boyfriend the loch ness monster is. problem: you're dating the loch ness monster

Breaking Hearts At Camp Kippakriptid
1321 words

The sunsets here are incredible, Ness said, lounging next to me on the hill. He wasnt looking at the sun though. He was looking at me. I stroked his long, graceful neck with one taloned hand. He was deceptively cool to the touch, though I shouldnt be surprised by that. Hes a cold-water creature after all.

Youre incredible, I said back, cleverly. He grinned at me, and I felt like I could drown in those beautiful eyes. I leaned in to kiss him. My first boyfriend, my first kiss Id been coming to camp for years in the hopes of this

A trumpet blared through the camps loudspeaker just before our lips touched, making both of us jump, breaking the moment. He ducked his head, suddenly shy. I guess we should head back.

I stretched, wings fanning the warm evening air, feigning nonchalance. Yeah, I guess so.

We held hands until we reached the cabin area. If anyone knew we were dating the camp counselors would start to monitor our behavior and get really embarrassing about it. And also my family would completely freak out.

Ness smiled and waved before heading to his cabin. Chesapeake. I watched him go before heading to Chicxulub cabin, where Maeve was trying to braid Zips snakes without getting bitten. Zip looked at me, her red eyes glinting behind her dark glasses. So did you do it? She asked immediately.

Well, hi to you too, I said, climbing the ladder up to my bunk. I flopped down onto the bed. No. We almost did, but then they called for lights out.

Maeve shook her head. You should have just stayed out. The counselors never actually do bed checks. They havent even noticed that you and Ness have been going out for the past two weeks.

I sighed, loud and dramatic. Hes a rule follower. Scared of the attention. And Im just destined to die a lonely virgin.

Zip shrugged. There are worse things to be, she said. Sorry, she added as one of her snakes got loose and sank its fangs into one of Maeves ink-black fingers.

Its okay, the whole Morrigan line is immune to snake venom. Maeve said, shaking her hand. Her blood hissed as it hit the floor, eating through the boards like acid. She gripped the errant serpent between two fingers and twisted it back into place. But for real, Amena, if hes such a goody-two-shoes, youve got to start taking the reins. Dont wait for him.

I know, I said. But its hard. The moment just seems perfect and Im afraid to gently caress it up by being clumsy. Hes older than me, you know? More experienced.

Zips reply was likely to be as caustic as Maeves blood, but Id never find out what it was, since she was cut off by a furious pounding on our cabin door.

Ness! A foghorn deep voice roared. Ness, you soggy coward! I know youre in there!

Everyone froze. Zip adjusted her glasses. This is a girls cabin, jackass! She called back. Go the gently caress away!

The voice growled. We could hear him stomping around the cabin to the window, peering inside. His low, sloping brow was lined with anger, tiny, beetle-black eyes glaring furiously into our cabin. I recognized him as Bruce, one of the boys from the cabin neighboring Nesss. Where the gently caress is he? Bruce demanded, banging one huge, hairy fist against the glass.

I hopped out of my bunk and strode over to the door. Zip hissed a warning at me. Bruce was nearly eight feet tall and muscled like well like the Sasquatch that he is. And Im a harpy. Sharp claws, but light, brittle bones. I hissed at her to back me up. The nurse can de-petrify him if hes got to!

Sure, but then weve got the ugliest lawn ornament until sunrise!

Undeterred by my roommates griping, I threw open the door and stared up at Bruce. Why are you looking for my boyfriend? I demanded.

Im not, he snarled. Im looking for my boyfriend. He stood me up. Again. He stamped forward me, massive hands balled into fists. He was with you, wasnt he?

I stood my ground, sneering, the ruff of feathers around my neck and shoulders flared as he approached. What the gently caress are you talking about? I spat. Ness and I have been dating for two weeks.

Two Bruce stopped, looming over me. His brutish face, once lined with anger now just seemed hurt. But he asked me out last summer. Hes been saying he wrote me letters all year about tears formed in his eyes.

What. The actual. gently caress.

It felt like someone had pulled all the air out of my lungs. It felt the way the unflighted described free-fall. It felt like the rug, no, the entire planet had been pulled out from under my feet.

Since last summer, huh?

Bruce nodded, collapsing against the wall of the cabin which shook the entire building. Yeah. He wanted to keep it quiet, you know? He doesnt want the attention.

I flinched. Thats exactly what he said to me.

We were quiet for a few moments. The door opened again and Zip stepped out, her long braid of snakes swinging behind her. She regarded us pensively. So hes cheating on you, she said.

Bruce hid his face in his hands. I felt like doing the same, frankly. Apparently hes cheating on both of us, I said.

Maeve joined us, a fourth shadow on the porch. Seems to me like its only a problem if you make it one, yeah? Triads are great.

Bruce and I looked at one another, then immediately looked away. No offense, he rumbled. Im just not into girls.

And Im not a loving moron, I snapped. Im not getting into a triad or whatever with someone who lied to my face. He told me he was single.

You need revenge, Zip said gleefully.

Bruce growled. Yeah. We do.

Were you supposed to meet him tonight? I asked, clicking my claws together. At Chesapeake?

He shook his head. He was supposed to meet me at Tunguska. Hes not in his cabin, though. I checked there first.

I looked at my roommates. Do you think his roomies would let you in?

Probably. Theyd probably help, honestly. He told me they dont like him much. I just assumed they were, you know. Homophobic. Not cheating-jackass-phobic.

Zips snakes hissed again. If they knew they had a duty to warn you, she said. We should punish them too. We could do it to all of them.

Maeve laughed. Oh my god, Zip, are you getting off on this?

I shook my head, ignoring their banter. No. I want this to be targeted. I want him to know exactly who it was.

With the help of my kindred spirits of vengeance, and also Bruce, we hatched a plan.

The next morning the camp woke up to see all of Nesss clothing hanging from the very top branches of the trees, and his swim trunks flying from the top of the flagpole. The word CHEATER was written across them in my favorite crimson nail polish. Ness had to beg the counselors, a too-small camp towel wrapped around his waist, to get his clothes down. It took nearly all morning.

He found me later, sitting back up on the hill where wed watched the sunset the night before. One of his eyes was black. I smirked. He must have tried talking to Bruce first. What the gently caress, Amena?

I just laughed at him. You stupid bitch. Im glad I never kissed you. I spread my wings. gently caress off to your nasty lake, Im done with you. I flew back to my cabin, feeling victorious and free.

I didnt kiss a boy that summer, but I still managed to break a heart.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind

Prompt: a gang of skateboarding criminal witches are here to steal your girl and also your wallet

Awakenings
1106 words

Whitney's ears were burning. She perched on the bench across the hallway from the teacher's lounge, waiting for them to be done talking about her. Twirling one of her shoelaces around her index finger over and over again, she screwed her eyes shut and tried not to imagine it.

Tried not to imagine the voluptuous Miss Butler, stirring spoonful after spoonful of sugar into her black coffee. Sloshing it out of her mug as she talks with her hands, making wild gestures to highlight how emphatically she feels that Whitney will never get any better and that it's a waste of her and Miss Huilung's time to teach her.

Tried not to imagine Miss Huilung, sipping from a glass of water over-loaded with ice, nodding. Coolly adding that even if Whitney can improve, she shouldn't board here another year. Smoothing the front of her cardigan as she dispassionately explains that it's obvious Whitney is a lesbian, and it wouldn't be safe for her to do that here.

Whitney blushed hot, the flush growing across her face, the slow moving heat of shame flowing down the front of her neck and collarbone to her chest. Then the fear. A cold slice down her spine, spreading over her back to reach between her ribs.

The shame and anxiety met at her 15-year-old heart and burned so much she pulled her knees to her chest to smother it.

***

"Whitney, let's chat in the classroom," Miss Butler said, taking her by the elbow to guide her. The ball of flame that used to be Whitney's heart jumped into her throat and her pulse hammered in her skull.

"We're worried about you, Whitney. We can tell you're not happy right now, and you seem to be wound very tightly."

Whitney stared at the fake wood-grain of the table in front of her, fists shoved into the pockets of her blazer. Miss Butler was close enough to smell her resinous perfume and it was too powerful to breathe. Miss Huilung's hair was too shiny, her eyes too clear, for Whitney to look up. She knew she was going to die if she acknowledged either of them.

"Has anyone ever mentioned to you that you might have anxiety?" Miss Huilung continued. "Some people who have anxiety, their brain keeps spinning, imagining scary things. Like that everyone is talking behind your back, or that you're not good enough, or that you're in danger. Do you ever feel like that?"

Whitney clutched the sheet of A4 paper in her left pocket, clenched her jaw, and shook her head so hard that her curls whipped against her glasses.

"No, Miss. I'm fine, Miss. Can I go to my dorm now?"

***

Alone in the dorm Whitney sat on the floor by her bed and smoothed out the crumpled photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy over her lap. A low-fidelity black and white photograph of a skateboarder in a backwards baseball cap took up half the page, with faded type-written text below it.

"Real magic spell," she read out loud. "No Fear. Simply inscribe the following words of power on a candle, then light the candle and repeat the spell five times."

She scratched words on the candle with her fingernail and set up a candle holder on her bedside table. Squinting at the paper on her lap, she struck a match and began to whisper as she touched it to the wick and set the burning taper in the holder.

The oil-anointed candle smoked more than it should; by the time Whitney had chanted the spell three times the fire alarm was ringing. She stayed criss-cross applesauce, floating as she whispered the fourth and fifth repetitions, and had just finished when Miss Huilung took her by the elbow and pulled her up and away.

Whitney smiled wide and drifted after Miss Huilung, down the stairs and serenely out into the quadrangle. Miss Butler was talking, her voice oozing out like oil spreading over the surface of the waters in which Whitney bobbed. She giggled, flapping a hand like a drowning swimmer. "I'm fine, Miss. Stay smooth."

"Whitney, this is important," Miss Butler said, snapping her fingers and sending Whitney into the breakers of sobriety. "I've hit pause on your magical Ativan so we can talk about how your life's just changed, and how you can make it the best life."

Miss Huilung interrupted and continued as Whitney's feet met the floor. "You have powers, Whitney. We've been talking about you, and I want you to stay safe. Miss Butler felt that you would never awaken your power and that it was a boring waste of our time hanging around-" she stopped, sent an icy glare at Miss Butler, and grabbed her leg and began to rub it where Miss Butler had kicked her.

"I may have been skeptical, yes, but I see I needn't have been, you're a very powerful young woman who knows what she wants. While Miss Huilung was fearful that even if you could manifest, it wouldn't be safe for you to do that here. Because you've kept it secret for so long, you know. She didn't think you could control it. Thought you couldn't handle the power to have whatever makes you happy."

Miss Huilung elbowed Miss Butler out of the way and slid in front of Whitney. "No, I meant you would need me to teach you how to control it. So you can be a good witch, Whitney."

Miss Butler pulled Miss Huilung back by the hair. "But you seem to be in control now, so let's talk about going after your joy and being a bad babe. Because you have to deci-" she broke off as Miss Huilung punched her in the face.

"To choose, Whitney," Miss Huilung hissed, rubbing her knuckles for a moment before Miss Butler got her in a headlock. "Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"

Something burst inside Whitney, watching Miss Butler and Miss Huilung wrestle over her. She tilted her head back and laughed at the sky, clutching the half-burned candle in her left pocket.

***
"And that's how you found out you were a witch? Wow," the blonde breathed, leaning towards Whitney and touching the edge of her cloak. "My awakening wasn't nearly so fun."

"Well, maybe not your first."

Whitney palmed the coin purse from the blonde girl's date as she grabbed her baseball cap off the bar top. She tossed her skateboard down with one hand and, with the other, took the blonde by the elbow. "You could have a second."

Sailor Viy
Aug 4, 2013

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

Prompt: A man dies and gets sent to Bird Hell on accident (or was it an accident??)

Wings Against Stone
2000 words

(snip)

Sailor Viy fucked around with this message at 23:50 on Jan 2, 2022

Weltlich
Feb 13, 2006

ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO WRITE A STORY IN THE THUNDERDOME?

Grimey Drawer
Prompt: animals all talk, all the time, it's just the most filthy rancid swearing, awful stuff

Well Rooted
1973 Words

A fox, maybe? I asked. It was late afternoon, and the fenceposts were casting long shadows across the north pasture. Christ, Reggiethis is the third one this week.

Reggie sniffed at the half-eaten carcass of a laying hen. Yeh, nah. Not a bloody fox I reckon. Fukkin coyote killed this chook, mate.

How can you tell?

Well, mostly because we found the bloody body, yeh? Foxll steal the stink out of shite and not break the turd. Reggie pawed at the corpse, turning it over in the grass and sending up a small cloud of copper-colored flies. But whoever took her for tucker ate her out by the arsehole then left her lyin there. An I dont think she liked it as much as your Danny does, from the looks

Ahht! Bad dog! I stomped my foot and Reggie shuffled back a step before giving me a baleful look. I told you Danny was off limits.

Strewth. Dont get your knickers up your arse. He sat down heavily and lifted his back leg to scratch behind an ear. But listen, what about this poor oval office? Cuts into the bloody profit margins, yeh?

My mind started doing the mathfive for the chicken, a hundred for the feed, three hundred dollars of eggs wed never get. How the hell does anyone make money farming, Reg? Weve tried cattle, beans, cornnow eggs. If we keep losing cash, Dannys going to be stuck living in Burlington forever.

Ya need to keep your fukkin chickens kickin then, mate. Sounds like you need bloody guard dog or whatevs.

I stared at him in disbelief. Isnt this your job?

Im a bloody cattle dog, dickheadand we sold off all the bloody bovines last year. What the gently caress would I know about protectin chooks? He snapped irritably at a blackfly buzzing around his snout. Sides, you got that bludger rooster. Lookin after hens should be his fukkin job. But that cocks not worth a fair suck of a prick.

Reggie wasnt wrong; our rooster was a bitter disappointment. Instead of keeping the flock together and alert for predators, he was happy to strut around mounting hens and screaming like a Tourettes patient.

At least he keeps the eggs fertilized, I muttered.

I begin to question your ethics, mateemployin a psychopathic rapist and all.

I dont employ him. Hes livestock.

Oh, no wuckas then, let the record stand corrected. Youharbour a psychopathic rapist. Reggie stood up and stretched before taking a leisurely piss against a fencepost.

I rolled my eyes as I put on my gloves and took the stricken hen by the back feet. It would be best to toss the carcass in the compost binchickens are prone to cannibalism if given an opportunity. I turned to start walking back to the barnyard when the forest beyond the fence came alive with the manic cackles and screams of a coyote pack.

Hey shitass! one screamed, Make sure to send out another fresh bird tomorrow. Or just send your loving dog and well eat him instead!

The rest of the pack howled in laughter. It was impossible to tell how many there werejust shrill, giggling voices echoing through the woods.

Oi! Reggie barked back. Show some respect, you wanker!

The forest went silent. After a few seconds, a lone voice shouted, What?

I said dont talk to me that way, fuckwit! Its disrespectful to your dad.

The gently caress you talking about, dog?

Reggies lips peeled back in a savage grin. Im sayin the odds are good given how often I root your mum!

The forest exploded in high-pitched screams of laughter and threats to kill Reggie in very specific ways. It was time for us to go; I whistled to Reg to follow, but he had to have the last word.

Thas right! She was choc a block with my knot last night while you were scrounging berries out of bearshit!

Dude, thats sort of messed up, I teased as he trotted up beside me, leaving the cacophony of coyote rage behind us. I didnt think you were into that sort of kinky stuff.

Ha! Get stuffed, buddy! Reggie bounced along in front of me, stopping to inspect a few spots of deer droppings as he went. I mean, youre not even in the same bloody class as Dannynot in a taxonomic sense. At least the fukkin coyotes are in my genus. Youre obviously some sort of bloody mollusk or something. But Dannystrewth. Shes some sort of deadset degenerate and I know that because shes dating a wanker like you.

Watch it, I warned. Herding breeds are smart, but impulse control is not their strong suit. We plodded along in amicable silence for the half-mile back to the homestead as the sky faded to dusk and the first stars dotted the sky.

---

Well gently caress me dead, look whos here. Reggie took off sprinting toward a jasper green Subaru trundling down the driveway. It pulled to a stop and the drivers door opened. GDay, Danielle! You look lovely this evening!

Hi, Reginald! Danny beamed as she reached back in to grab a small paper sack on the dashboard. Have you been a good boy?

Bloody oath! You know drat well that Im the best boy there is.

She reached down to scratch behind one of his pointed ears, and he groaned in satisfaction and leaned into her fingers. Well in that case Ive got a treat for a very good boy.

Siiick. Youre my favorite person, Danny.

A moment later, she produced a dried salmon skin from the bag and handed it to Reggie. He took it gently, then trotted past me as I walked out of the barnyard. Suddenly he stopped and whined for my attention.

Hey mate, listen. He put down the salmon skin. I like Danny a lot, right? So if you two are going to root, just use a condom. Id hate for her snatch to rot off because she caught whatev

Ahht! Bad dog!

He picked up the treat, mumbling, Not what Danny says. Then he slunk off to somewhere behind the chicken house. Inside the rooster was screaming shitpussy over and over and over again.

Shaking my head, I walked on toward Danny who met me with a quick peck on the lips. How was work? She looked great in a skirt and cardiganway better than I did in my gross coveralls.

It was work, she shrugged. Put in time, get paid. You know how it goes.

Hmm, I wish. Lost another hen last night.

Another one? She sighed and gave me a sad frown. How many more seasons are you going to give it?

All I could do was shake my head. I dunno. Id rather not talk about it now. Let me go clean up and we can

A scream of rage and pain split the air. Then another.

I was moving before I knew it; Danny was right behind me. I vaulted the short fence around the hen house, but she stopped to open the gate. By the time we got around to the back side, the night air was silent again. Two heaps of fur lay a few feet from one another, unmoving. Dark puddles spread across the bare soil around them.

Oh god I rushed to the closest body and saw that it was a coyote. Its eyes were open and glassy in the moonlight, lifeless. My heart leapt into my throat as I went to the other body, rolling it aside to see if my buddy was still alive. Reggie?! Are you ok?!

Nah yeah, mate, wheezed a voice from under the chicken house. Why ya askin that dead oval office, though?

Reggie dragged himself out slowly. His right leg was cocked at an awkward angle and only blood-matted fur remained where his left ear had been. I dropped down and cradled him in my arms. He yelped as I touched his side, and his breathing seemed labored.

What happened? I asked, trying to figure out how badly he was hurt in the dim light.

I was wrong, he mumbled, at the edge of consciousness. Danny came running back with a blanket from her car and we gently wrapped him up as he muttered on, Those dickheads werent any sons of mine. I reckon they come to eat my arse, but m not into that. No judgment, Danny.

We need to get him to the vet, she said. The only place open now is the emergency clinic in Burlington.

Do you know how to get there? I asked. Cell reception was awful on the farm.

Its just a couple miles from my condo, but its at least an hour from here. She opened the back door of her Outback so I could slide into the rear seat, still cradling Reggie.

---

I spent most of the trip to the vet in haze. Even once we got there, Danny had to answer most of the vet techs questions.

His name is Reggie, I heard her say. Australian Cattle Dog, or Blue Heeler, if that makes a difference.

In the exam room, she gently pried him out of my arms and laid him down on the table. Soon the vet came in and we were sent back to the waiting area.

We sat.

You both work so hard. Danny held my hand as I stared at a poster of feline acupressure points on the wall. I know you both work so hard, but maybe its time to think about selling the farm and moving in with me.

I sat in silence for a few moments, then one of those shuddering sighsnot quite a sob, more than a breathrolled out of me. Were so close Danny. We almost made it work this season. If we could have just done a couple things differently then wed make enough for you to move out of the city, and we could all be together.

I know, she said and gave my hand a squeeze. Just remember that I love you no matter where we are.

I nodded, and the post-adrenaline crash washed over me.

---

Four hours later, Danny prodded me awake as the vet came out to talk with us.

Well, the good news is that hes had all his shots, so thats not a concern. Besides the dislocated leg, he has a cracked rib, so hes going to be pretty sore for the next few weeks. Weve stitched him up as best we can, but hell have some permanent disfigurement. He got lucky this time, but try to keep him away from coyotes from now on, ok?

Reggie looked punch drunk as the tech led him out of the recovery room on a leash, hobbling along on his cast and wearing a cone around his head. I asked him how he felt and he said something about feeling crook from having one tinny too many.

Come on, lets head to my place for the night. Danny fished her keys out of her purse. Hey, Reggies never been to my place before, has he?

No, I guess not, I said as I slowly led him out into the dark parking lot. A real night of firsts for him.

It was a short drive to Dannys condo and he was still sleeping off the anesthetic when I picked him up to carry him inside. I laid him down on the couch, head propped on a throw pillow and scratched the fur around the bandage where his left ear had been. He stretched and snuggled into the pillow when Danny came back to tuck a blanket around him.

Strewth, I could get fukkin used to this, he murmured.

I looked at Danny. I guess I could too.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021
honk honk welcome to clownworld motherfucker, it's a whole planet whose culture and economy are built around clowns, and a deadly serious alien invasion is happening

From The Memoirs of a Grey Alien Diplomat
1249 words

Wouldnt you prefer to hold these discussions somewhere more private? I said, as the floodlighting poured over the floor of the large tent that had welcomed me from my saucer. I was surrounded by crowds of the planets natives Jovians who applauded from rows of bleachers surrounding the dirt arena where we stood. I came to realise that Jovians are true masters of psychological warfare. Each one was dressed in a patchwork of garish colours, and dazzling patterns in shimmering silk. Each Jovian had fearsome and exaggerated expressions painted in red on their white faces. I gulped as smiles, frowns and furrowed brows shot down from behind the burning floodlights.

Mr. Gonzo showed me to our table in the center of the arena, where several pies had been laid out as refreshments for the dignitaries. His hair was vibrant orange, forming three spongy conelike plumes emanating from his Jovian skull which is significantly smaller than that of our species, and that explains a lot. The man swayed and bounced as though his every joint was motivated only by springs. With each step he took toward his seat, there was a slow honk in two parts coming from the point where his overly-long shoes bent about his toes. That sound was an ingenious instrument of torture:

Arf-huhn
Arf-huhn

Discussions? he shrugged, What we talking about? he said from behind his wide smile, before starting again with laughter. Uehehehehehe!

I have been authorised to negotiate a ceasefire, I said.

Ceasefire?! he said, pawing his face with disbelief. What?! is there a war on?! he asked, looking to his entourage, who were dotted around the arena. Most of them began whistling, looking away, while sheepishly hiding all manner of propellant based weapons behind their backs. One pushed a large bomb which was conspicuously painted with the word BOMB underneath the cloth of the table where we were sitting. The crowd burst out in laughter, as did Mr. Gonzo, Uehehehehehe!

Perhaps you are not aware of the scale of the crisis, I said. Just last week, our armies secured the city of Ding-Bonga-Longa. On my way here I saw at least fifty thousand of their refugees evacuating from a single car your people are desperate, Mr. Gonzo.

Well, I think were all having a good time here, he yelled out to the audience, dont all of you?

In unison, the brainwashed masses of the Jovian crowds droned, yes!

So, why dont we show our dignified guest to the stage, he said.

They marched me to a lectern, where I foolishly thought I could lay out our simple demands.

In exchange for an end to the bloodshed, I began, as the lectern microphone turned away from my face in a wormlike manner, punctuated by a slide whistle, and the laughter of the audience. I had to seize the wriggling thing in my fist, to keep it at my mouth. In exchange for that, I said, we would ask for unbounded access to your iron, lead and tin.

At that moment, the microphone jetted a stream of water at my face, and again came Mr Gonzos, uehehehehehe!

Oh, you want tins do you? he said, with his entourage surrounding the pristine dinner table. Well, he said, youll find perfectly good tins at the end of these pies!

With clumps of cream and pastry dropping from my chin, and the crowd erupting with zealous fervor, I stood tall. I began to leave. The floodlighting turned dark. With a loud click, a spotlight shone on a Jovian who stood between myself and the gap in the wooden fencing that marked the edge of the arena. This man was clearly a refugee. His clothes were tattered, and he held a bindle of his lifes possessions over his shoulder. His expression of utter dejection drooped either side of his chin. In Jovian fashion, he had painted his sorrow on his face as a single tear beneath his eye. Even the oversized flower on his polka dot suit hanged its head pathetically.

Please, mister, he said, on his knees, with his hands together, begging, I dont want to go back to war. I must commend this nameless man for his bravery, speaking out in public before his evidently ruthless representatives. This single act of desperation turned the tide of the audience, who sounded as one, awwwww.

I wiped the mess from my face with a rope made of several tied handkerchiefs, handed to me by one of Gonzos entourage. Storming back toward the lectern, the crowd gave their applause. Then came the rhythmic pulsing of a tuba in the arena.

Dum-dum
Dum-dum
Dum-dum
Dum

Everybody give it up for the alien Mr. Galongalorg! said Gonzo, as the crowd began to clap in time with the beat. Two of his entourage fumbled into the arena with a an oversized chalkboard. Gonzo took his cane and directed the crowds to sing from its lyrics.

If youre feeling like Mr. Happy,
Or if youre feeling like Mr. Frown:
Its always good to laugh, no matter what you have:
Thats why we love Gonzo the clown!

You give it a try, Galongalorg! he said.

So I found myself thinking of the plight of Mr. Frown, hoping this cultural exchange could be the bond I needed to make a diplomatic breakthrough. Even I, with my frontal lobes the size of his entire head, couldnt help but fall prey to this potent propaganda. What a revelation that song was. In the act of singing, they are conditioned to face the horrors of war with a combination of denial and well joviality.

And I love all of you folks here, too! he ended, uehehehehehe!

Now, Mr. Gonzo, I said, planting the paperwork where the pies once were on the central table, I must insist you sign this treaty. Only, look at Mr. Frown over there!

Again the crowd awwed, and the sympathetic lighting crew saw fit to place a spotlight on him as he wept into the chain of tissues.

Of course, said Mr. Gonzo, But where-oh-where is my pen? Now Ive seen filibusters before, but nothing quite like a spotlight shining on a vertical column twenty foot in the air with an oversized fountain pen perched atop it. He began feeding his long shoes through the rungs of a ladder with that insufferable arf-huhn arf-huhn sound.

The man clearly had no understanding of geometry: Failing to prop his ladder against the sturdy column, he instead climbed the ladder by employing his animalistic balance to keep it upright with no support. This was clearly a challenging endeavour, and one that spurred me to demonstrate my superior intellect. I struck the column with my fist, causing the pen to hurtle down toward the table. It fell point-down toward the bulge in the tablecloth the bomb. Instinctively I sought to protect my lifes work: my carefully drafted armistice. I dived onto the table. The next thing I remember, I was high in the air, with a face full of soot, and a contract in my clutches. The pen was weightless with me, hovering by my side, and the gloved hands of Mr. Gonzo reached out for us both.

In Jovian there is a musical expression, a brassy ta daa that is used to indicate a satisfactory resolution to the situation at hand. Hearing this, while suspended above the arena floor with my collar in the clutches of Mr. Gonzo, I knew I had made great progress in these negotiations.

Azza Bamboo fucked around with this message at 21:22 on Dec 19, 2021

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔
Horse Out of Hell
1999/2000 Words

Walpurgisnacht was upon the year 2066, a date Hell High Command had deemed close enough. At 6:66 PM on the dot, the demon army roared through the Gate on the Brocken. Millions of souls were harvested in the first minutes as the bonewheels of the flying Nightmare Bikes ground their bodies into paste, their riders swinging spike-studded chains through those fleeing the death-drifts. Whoever survived the initial charge choked on the caustic exhaust.

The bulk of the invasion force had already spread apocalypse across most of Germany, but some demons still trickled through the Gate like the final drops of an oil spill.
Shifting his bulk on Pale the Horses strained saddle, his rider Ryder beheld the blood-soaked streets beneath them. Hm. Barely any souls left for us.

Wonder if thats because we Slothies arrived way after Greeds boys, Pale thought.

Ryder snorted fatly. Dats fine. Less work.

Millenia of twisting my Nightmare body into a lowrider so you could recline while reaping. My spine breaks with every ride we take. And now you wont even use me?

Ah bless, deres one. Ryder twisted Pales handlebar rudely. His engine revved and his muzzle foamed. They shot towards a concrete nightmare of a building. At least some action!

Behind a third-story window, an old human, stooped and grey, cowered behind a push-cart with a metal cylinder on it. Ryder performed a mid-air stoppie, trying to look menacing before a fatal swoop to crush the feeble body.

Trying to smell that delicious fear, huh?

The human suddenly jerked upright. His arm shot up, brandishing a hammer.

Wait, thats not fear!

The hammer slammed down and broke the pressure regulator off the metal cylinder - a gas bottle! Two hundred atmospheres of pressurized argon found a single, sudden outlet. With the force of a rocket-propelled torpedo, the bottle blasted Ryder into demon debris and knocked his Nightmare bike into a death spiral towards the ground.
Pale barely had time to savor the exquisite pain of having his soul wrenched apart before blackness darker than hells tar pits swallowed him.

♪♪♪

Youre absolutely not overreacting, meine Liebe. The situation is, lets say, dire.



Mhm, you should stay in the basement. They found me really easily once I moved upstairs.



Nein! Everythings fine! Im back in the bunker, and got a possible opportunity with me.

After identifying the voice as speaking German, Pale realized that he was probably still on earth, thank all the Powers Infernal. He slowly regained vision through the haze of a severe skull- and soulache.

The elderly man who had shot the gas cylinder at him was talking on an ancient landline phone with his back to Pale.

No, my priorities are obviously on getting us both to safety. But I cant exactly take the bus home right now. Either this thing blows over soon -



No! Not even Im that optimistic.

The man sighed a very long sigh.

Karla, I managed to capture one of those skeleton horsebikes. Ill use it to figure out how to quickly kill these things, and thats my chance to reach you.

His next answer came through gritted teeth after a longer pause.

I saw what they did to my students and colleagues. Id drown them all in chemical waste right now, and if I had to hold them down bare-handed, Id do it too.

Some of the desperate focus in the mans voice spilled over to Pale, and he began to assess his situation. Should he just engulf his captor in hellfire from his nostrils?

He wiggled his handlebars slowly, felt his front legwheel turn slightly - and found resistance. A chain clinked. Not a smart move, to kill while restrained.

Klara, my future Rosswurst stirs. Ill call you again before I leave. Keep checking if the internet goes online again, though I doubt it. Stay safe, I love you, tschau!

He turned around to face Pale. On the humans lab coat, a nameplate identified him as a Dr. Simon.

These chains are meant to keep gas cylinders from falling over. Youve seen what happens if one does and the valves break off. Dont even try it.

Pale let loose a disdainful snort, saturated with hydrogen sulfide as flammable as it was noxious. Who did this mortal think he -

A blast of ice-cold carbon dioxide engulfed Pales skull as Dr. Simon sprayed a fire extinguisher right into his face.

Heeey! Pale yelled with a voice that was supposed to sound like an avalanche rapidly approaching, but came out like sleety rain harmlessly hitting a windshield.

Dont try that poo poo again, I know the location of four more extinguishers by heart.

Big safety guy, huh?

I know the rules. Dr. Simon put on a nitrile glove, grabbed a beaker off a nearby bench, and splashed the contents onto Pale. And how to break them.

Pales bones started to smoke as the acid burned away the outermost layers. He snorted again, but only blew bubbles. Before he could say anything else, the powdery contents of a vial were tossed into the acid pooling underneath Pales ribcage. A conflagration rattled his body and blew steam through his exhausts. He felt like some of his soul left with it, but knew the problem lay somewhere else.

Do you think this is going anywhere? Pale tried to put a tinge of exhausted panting into his voice, because thats what he felt like, existence of lungs or no.

Im a retired chemist still doing research at this university, trying to prove that a reaction I found over forty years ago is massively useful. Nobel prize stuff - if it ever worked. How often do you think Ive gotten that question?

While talking, Dr. Simon had walked to a whiteboard, crossed out acid and explosions and returned. The next items on the list were poison injection, liquid nitrogen freeze, heavy metal poisoning and a few less savory ones.

The hole in Pales soul really started to throb. Jesus, forgive me, Christ. An actual mad scientist.

Oh, Im mad as hell. Dr. Simon approached with a syringe. Do you know what I think will get me into hell? A project with a biologist. We killed hundreds of mice, and in the end, my project didnt work. But maybe this is redemption right here. After so many innocent squeakers, who do I have here but a guilty! loving! horse!

He held a sneer, then shook his head and threw the syringe away as he realized that Pale did not have any veins.

Ive always hated horses, not just because of the allergy. Todays really my lucky day.

Dr. Simon dragged a canister closer, above which supercooled air churned.

Pale realized that this was actually going to get somewhere.

Hey buddy, maybe we started off on the wrong foot here -

Put a hoof in it. Dr. Simon opened a valve, and started to pump pressure into the canister. With his free hand, he withdrew a phone from his lab coat pocket. Hope you dont mind me setting the mood with something cheerful. Glad I got my favorites downloaded.

Within the first riffs, Pale had recognized the song. No way! Bat Out of Hell?

His captor stopped pumping. You listen to Meat Loaf in hell?

That fat gently caress has to perform for Big D every Sunday! They rip out his throat and make fun of him for not being able to sing anymore.

But thats not much of a performance?

You think they let us enjoy awesome classics in hell?

The tension of a liquid nitrogen nozzle hovering before a long bony face held for eternal moments. Suddenly released - into an uncontrollable fit of mirth, as Dr. Simon bent over into wheezing laughter.

After he had calmed down, he put down the nozzle. Alright, now youve made it weird. I cant experiment on someone while he wise-cracks. Also, this is the wrong approach. I cant carry a dewar with me.

He picked up the hammer from before. Blunt force trauma obviously works. Did you know that the most humane way to kill a rat is to snap its neck?

Listen, Simon. This is really not how I wanted this night to go.

That makes two of us.

You want to save your ladylove - wife?

A solemn nod.

And I want to have some fun, anything that doesnt involve being chained up in a torture basement, okay? I had my fill of that in hell.

So what, you want to offer me a devil deal?

I need a rider, Simon. They ripped my soul apart to make sure of that. You killed mine, that makes you more than qualified.

Im sure you have a bunch of rules for that. Simon approached Pale while slapping the hammerhead slowly into his palm. And both catches - for me - and loopholes - for you.

No rules! Just a pact, totally informal. You get to ride me wherever, and I dont have a say in that.

A blatant lie, of course.

Im not gonna trust a sentient devil horse.

Simon lifted the hammer as Meat Loaf kept playing. ♪Then I'm down in the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun♪

Do you think I wanted to be this twisted abomination? The hammer fell the first time, bouncing off. Simon adjusted his aim. ♪Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike♪

I hate those devil fucks! Use me to give them heaven - not only for your wife, but for humanity! The next hammer blow cracked bone. ♪And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell♪

Pales skull rang, his world was pain, but most of all, the void clawed at his soul. One more hit, one more line, and it would be -

Simon stopped the music.

The first lesson of being a researcher is recognizing when your hypothesis is wrong. He grabbed Pale by the spine. Youre right. Id never make it. This might be a terrible idea, but its the only hope I got. And I am a stubborn optimist.

He shook Pale a few times. Whats your name, then?

When Pale told him, Simon laughed again, perhaps louder than before.

Alright, Simon managed through his tears. You convinced me, your rider was a witless rear end in a top hat. Ryder on a Pale horse, I cant believe this poo poo.

He forced himself to calm down. So, a blood pact obviously wont work. What else?

Any ritual you can think of! Just nothing religious, because, you know.

Simon thought for only a second. Oh, I got something. Stay put.

Before Pale could protest, Simon had left the basement bunker.

The seconds dragged into minutes as hell dragged on Pales frayed soul, but Simon did not return. Out there, Pale knew, the demons were roaming

Pale was barely conscious by the time the door burst open, and Simon stumbled in, bathed in blood, carrying two bottles. He dropped the gory hammer.

Never get between a Bavarian and his beer, he panted.

He opened the bottles. Only two left in the undergrads fridge. Ill take the alcohol-free one.

Pale snorted. Thats not beer!

I dont drink and drive. Simon put the normal beer bottle into Pales muzzle. They clinked the bottoms together.

A ritual of making new friends. Prost, my steed!

Pale had no choice but to neck the golden liquid. Simon hesitated for a second, shrugged, and emptied the bottle almost faster than the horse.

With the beer, something else entered Pale. He felt a hole in desperate need of filling close up, and hell loosened its deathgrip.

Simon stood up straighter than he had for decades.

Gut, gut.

Are you gonna unchain me now?

Priorities. Simon went to the landline and started dialing.

♪♪♪

♪Oh, baby you're the only thing in this whole world
That's pure and good and right♪


Simon and Pale tore through the night sky to rescue Klara.

You could go way faster, you know, Pale advised Simon.

I did not remain accident-free my entire life by speeding, the old Doktor grunted.


__________

Prompt: Write a story set in a picturesque German village about a chemist who is working hard to try and win a Nobel prize and a talking horse who somehow saves the day, such that the chemist realises his long-standing hatred of horses was bad and wrong and the talking horse becomes his best friend AND satan and his army of motorbike demons have come to end the world but unfortunately for them, somebody is SUPER into classical music

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

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


The Nixon Cheese
1622 words

Broussards Famous Cheese Museum just didnt rake in visitors like it used to.

Hamilton Broussard opened a desk drawer and removed a small wedge wrapped in brown paper. He turned the wedge over in his hand. It was hermetically-wrapped Comt Brionais, the real stuff: aged forty years in the belly of an Alpine French monastery, blessed no less than once a week, and carrying a stench that could clear a city block. But it was even more than that:

It was Hamiltons thinking cheese.

He couldnt understand how the exhibits had failed to draw the crowds they so richly deserved, though he conceded that hed been viewing them through rosy tinted glasses. Perhaps he could rotate out the collection of camembert labels, whimsical though they were.

He began to review the exhibits again, gently palming the Comt, when a sharp knock at the door caught his attention. He hastily placed the cheese back in the drawer.

Yes? Miss Hurdell, is that you?

The visitor knocked again.

Come in!

A short, slouchy man strolled into the office. He was wearing a bulky brown overcoat; totally unsuitable for the balmy weather. Hamiltons voice was hesitant.

May I help you? Were closed for tours, but if youll come back-

The man cut him off.

No, not a tour. Youre Hamilton Broussard, the curator? Im Reeves. I have some material that may interest you. It could be an exhibit, a goddamn great one.

Hamilton raised his eyebrows and offered the man a chair.

I dont recall making any appointments. Did you check in with Miss Hurdell? She-

Reeves smiled and interrupted him again.

Oh, Miss Hurdell was quite taken by my offer. She told me to come straight to your office.

Hamilton didnt care for Reeves smile. There was something aggressive about it, something curdled and mocking, something that told him that he ought to check on Miss Hurdell. But the promise of a new exhibit drew him in.

Well, Mr. Reeves, its a little abrupt. But please, show me what you have.

Reeves withdrew an envelope from his coat.

Youre familiar with former President Nixons luncheon of choice? Cottage cheese, drizzled with ketchup?

Hamilton nodded, utterly hooked by the classic cheese-lore. His mind swam with the possibilities; perhaps Reeves prize could even lead to a collaboration with the Catsup Society.

Of course, Mr. Reeves. Do you have some associated memorabilia? The museum would be quite interested in its acquisition!

Reeves gave him that smile again, and withdrew a single photograph from the envelope. He placed it on the table.

Hamilton leaned in, then shrank back in revulsion.

From the print, Nixon shot him an inviting leer. The former president lounged naked on a velvet chaise, with cottage cheese smeared across his chest and trailing to a heap over his groin.

Hamilton sputtered a response.

Is this some kind of joke? The cheesethe indignity! And for you to bring thispornography, its simplyget out! Out!

Reeves took his time getting to his feet. He seemed almost viciously placid as he gestured to the walls, at the peeling cheddar-wheel wallpaper and the cracked baseboards.

The museum business isnt doing so well, is it? Maybe its aged just a little too long.

Hamilton came within an inch of laying his hands on Reeves, but stayed himself. His tone was conclusive, his conviction indisputable.

I know men of your kind, Mr. Reeves. You have no respect for the cheese.

Reeves shrugged, picked up the photograph, and walked out of the office. Hamilton grimaced; not just at Reeves, but with the sinking feeling that the presidential smut-peddler may have been right.

Three uneasy months passed. Museum admissions hadnt recovered; in fact, entries had never been worse. Hed even had to let faithful Ms. Hurdell go, only able to offer her a severance of aged blue and some superior emmentaler; shed accepted it graciously. And then, last week, burglars had broken the back lock. Theyd had a good look around, knocked some items off the shelves, and apparently left without taking anything at all.

And then there was Reeves. He was clearly growing more desperate to cut a deal: there were phone calls from unlisted numbers, letters without return postmarks, and scribbled notes slipped under the front door.

Hamilton frowned as he finished dusting the parmesan wheels, then headed back to his office. He pushed open the door, then cried out in terror.

Reeves laid across his desk in an infuriating mimicry of Nixons carnal mien, though with his overcoat blessedly intact. The filthy man winked at Hamilton.

Oh hey, Hammy! Real sorry about busting in. But you know, its better to ask forgiveness than parmesan.

Hamilton briefly raised his eyebrows, then darted across the office and tried to lay a hand on his desk phone. Reeves anticipated the move and twisted to clamp a grubby hand across the receiver.

Aw, no. Whatever happened to hospitality?

Reeves ripped the handset away from the receiver. He rolled off the desk and landed himself neatly on a desk chair.

He was fast, Hamilton thought. He glanced back to the door, wondering if he could close the distance before his malevolent solicitor could stop him. In the moment it had taken him to make the assessment, Reeves had leapt from the chair to plant himself firmly in the doorway, with an arm on each side of the threshold. He glowered at Hamilton.

Now, be reasonable. Take a seat.

Hamilton gulped; it was more a command than an invitation. He eased into his desk chair as Reeves continued.

It took a lot of doing to get this photo, you know that? And even more doing to get out here, to bring it to the one person I thought would be in a spot to appreciate it. And what do you do? You spit in my face. You treat me like a bum and throw me out.

He glared at Hamilton, any pretense of affability dropping away entirely.

Im broke, Hammy. Ruined. And its all your fault.

Hamilton didnt need any confirmation, but there it was anyway: the man was completely unhinged.

Reeves expression shifted into a sour grin.

But Im a forgiving kind of guy. See, Im willing to let bygones be bygones. So whaddya say, do we have a deal?

Hamilton furrowed his brow, then relaxed and shrugged.

What do I say about what? You have your undoubtedly priceless photograph, but as you were so, ah, astute to point out, my museum is failing. I have nothing of value to offer you.

Reeves moved from the doorway and wagged his finger.

See, Hammy, I already thought about that. So Ive got a little proposal for you. I give you the photo and

Hamilton gulped; he had a foul feeling about what was coming next. Reeves smiled wider.

We become partners. Fifty-fifty in the cheese museum business, all equitable-like.

Reeves spread his arms wide, as if beholding a marquee.

Ive got plans, Hammy. We get rid of some of the dusty old junk, throw the camembert labels in the incinerator. Then we get some crowd-pleasers in here. Ive got a line on some great action, Dwight Eisenhower and a wheel of Wisconsin white. Itll make your curd jump outta your whey, if you know what I mean.

Hamilton was aghast. Reeves chuckled, then reached into his enormous coat and withdrew a large manila envelope.

Look, Ive already got the papers drawn up. Thats just the kind of responsible guy I am. And Ill even give you another look at the photo, just to see if youve changed your mind.

Reeves laid the papers on the table, then set the photograph on top of them. He wiped his finger on his coat, then traced a lazy circle around Nixons cheese-slathered physique. Reeves leaned in close, his voice dropping to a growl.

And Im not leaving until you make it worth my while.

Hamilton was in a tumult. He could stall for time, but time to do what? He wished he was holding the Comt, his thinking cheese. It would have helped him figure out what to do.

Yes, the cheese. There was always the cheese.

Hamilton flashed a weak smile and put up his hands.

Well, Mr. Reeves, I do believe that you have me beat. But to seal the partnership in traditional fromager fashion

Hamilton reached into his desk drawer and withdrew the wedge of Comt.

...we must split a cheese.

Before Reeves could react, Hamilton grabbed a corner of the brown paper and pulled.

The stench was immediate, a casein assault on the senses. Hamilton caught notes of mildew, of subterranean mushrooms, of vegetative rot, and of the ancient dirt between monastery flagstones. The raucous aroma brought a tear to his eye.

Reeves vomited.

Hamilton seized his chance. He snatched up the photo and bolted from behind the desk, shimmying around the infirm Reeves before throwing himself out the office door. He ran and didnt stop until he was out of the museum and down the block.

He looked over his shoulder, then caught his breath; Reeves was nowhere to be seen.

Hamilton regarded the Comt and took a delicate nibble from one corner, letting the melange of flavors dance on his tongue. He glanced at the photo and frowned, briefly regarding the salvation it could bring to Broussards Famous Cheese Museum.

Hamilton grabbed the corner of the photograph and tore it in half, then in half again, and again, and again, until all identification of Nixons curdled shame had been obliterated. He scattered the pile of rancid confetti, letting the wind carry it into the street.

The museum might fail, he thought, but that was fine: the dignity of the cheese had been preserved.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

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


Apologies, my prompt is 'Hot Nixon Cottage Cheese Pics'

Tosk
Feb 22, 2013

I am sorry. I have no vices for you to exploit.

prompt: okay so what if there was a magic system built around playing air guitar, like the more lifelike you played air guitar the more powerful your spells were, and different songs were different spells, like that
(WE DON'T TALK ABOUT AIR DRUMMING, THAT'S FORBIDDEN, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT)


~*~

While My (Air) Guitar Gently Weeps
1776 words

It was a sweltering summer night in the middle of June.

I pulled into an empty spot on the second level subterranean parking lot of what used to be a shopping mall in a major city on the West Coast, going quickly through my usual ritual: flex my fingers, run through my favorite incantations on a physical, a ten minute exercise I credited with saving my life many times over. When I finished, I checked myself in the rear view mirror, wiped away the thin film of sweat from my forehead, paused a moment to look at my pupils, dilated from the instant release ADHD pills I swallowed an hour ago because losing focus that night was not an option. Satisfied I looked as good as I was going to, I stepped out into the empty parking lot. A shaft of light poured in from a hole straight through to the surface; in the middle of the circle it cast there was a black Escalade with tinted windows, sitting on 24 inch rims that gleamed in the moonlight. A man stood smoking a cigarette beside it, tall and solidly built, early forties, African American, everything about him extremely professional from his haircut to the tailoring of his purple suit. I knew this man would be here. He had been the ferryman for as long as anyone in the underground air guitar wizard circuit could remember. Urban legend said that if you knew his name, you could call on his services, and also that the list of his patrons was extremely brief. I did not know his name.

The man did not smile back. He took one last drag off his cigarette and crushed it under his heel, pointed with one thumb over his shoulder. "Hop in the back, door's open." I nodded and moved to get in, but the man grabbed me by the shoulder as I passed. "Ah, I forgot, I'll be needing your sim card." He let me pass after I complied, sliding my one means of communication with the outside world into a ziploc baggie that produced seamlessly from a pocket somewhere on his suit. I tried the passenger door and it didn't budge, but the back door opened as if I'd tried it instead and I took a seat. I watched the ferryman through one tinted window as he tapped into the Riff and strummed a few invisible chords and could tell at a glance that he was a master of the art. I recognized his choice of spellsong - some variation on Cream's Crossroads, fine-tuned to our destination. It raised the hair on the back of my neck. The series of gestures continued for a solid thirty seconds before I noticed it - the end of the parking lot shimmering like a mirage as it faded to reveal a sharp turn sloping further underground.

I buckled up as my driver slipped into his seat and got us moving towards their destination. As we turned the corner and started going down, at first I expected that there had been an illusion hiding their secret hideout a floor below or something, but the Escalade continued its slow descent for many long minutes of uncomfortable silence. I felt my heart start to accelerate as I realized, probably much later than I should have, that I had no idea where the gently caress I was going.

"So, uh, seem like it's gonna be a rowdy one or what?" I eventually said in an attempt to assuage my nerves via meaningless small talk. The answer was a glare through the rear view mirror and the distinct insinuation that chitchat was in strict violation of the atmosphere we were cultivating. Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight swallowed the silence.

Tonight was the culmination of a long op. Six months ago the wealthy CEO of a major country music label approached me via DNM to solicit my 'services.' A year prior, a kid he'd signed went into air guitar psychosis during an experiment to incorporate a high grade hallucination spell into the ending track on his debut EP. When I received the job offer, I could still remember news coverage of the incident: a real mess, multiple dead, and many lawsuits left to fall on the music label when the Bluegrass Devil disappeared into the underground circuit, making a name for himself on backwater forums and imageboards as quite a gladiator. The CEO was a practicing Catholic and, as rich old white men with power are occasionally wont to do, he'd decided the only way to absolve himself of guilt was to pay someone else to clean up after himself. Duels were the oldest and most lawless art form of air guitar wizardry, and it was well known that death was a matter of course once you had accepted a challenge, but they'd long since been outlawed. There were no rules in a duel between air guitar wizards. It took leveraging some serious credentials to break into the underground deathmatch circuit nowadays.

Enter: me. A man with credentials, and a life long since gone very far awry.

When the Escalade slowed to a halt we were not underground at all, but in the middle of a field beside a playground. The air was much colder and smelled vaguely of the sea, and clouds covered the moon. Wherever we were was farther than a stone's throw from a shopping mall on the West Coast. Drones streaming the event for a virtual audience hovered far overhead - as they should, because it took approximately two seconds for me to identify that some serious air guitar spellcraft had been shredded on the Riff here very recently.

My opponent was waiting for me. We'd gone through the official channels to set up our bout. I'd seen a couple low res, grainy pictures of him over the Internet, but real life was different. He looked barely of drinking age and strung out on god knows what, deep circles under his eyes, blue overalls splattered with what I had to imagine was the blood of past enemies, in keeping with the outrageously exaggerated savagery of the evening. Judging by his disheveled appearance, scraggly beard and long, dirty hair, the last year of living off the grid had not done wonders for the boy's condition, nor dispelled the psychosis that had gotten him into this mess. I wondered if - well, if this wasn't all a little hosed up, if whatever glitch in reality that made it so men could kill each other by playing air guitar hadn't broken something fundamental to human nature.

I also noticed that I was utterly terrified. Adrenaline flooded my body and my heart was pounding so hard on the stimulants that I could barely hear the world around me, so I was half-surprised as a man in a white suit stepped out into the circle of light under a streetlamp and brandished a microphone. But there was excitement beneath the fear, and a part of my brain wondered at what kind of man I'd become to land in my current predicament.

"Ladies and gentlemen in the audience," the host began in an accent vaguely suggestive of Eastern Europe. "Tonight we bring you a fresh display of air guitar wizardly carnage. To one side, we have a man we're all more than familiar with, and I assure you, there will be no sympathy for this devil." He paused for dramatic effect and smiled at a drone with utter self-satisfaction. "A gladiator who has become a mainstay in our lovely little coliseum, with an outstanding record! Of! Twelve victories, zero defeats, and zero opponents left alive, I give you the Bluegrass Devil! And in the other corner, we have -- a newcomer! If he survives the next few minutes, we'll have to ask what our champion calls himself! But until then, we might as well not get attached."

I didn't care that he essentially wrote me off as dead. I barely heard him over the rush of my own blood. The announcer took a step outside the circle, one fist raised, and brought it down at the count of three. Instantly, my fingers strummed the empty air with a life of their own, breaking into my opening gambit: Led Zeppelin's classic Black Dog. The first offensive hex I ever mastered. The rush of casting a proper spell exhilarated me from my fingertips projected the apparition of a three-headed dog's slavering jaws, snapping shut over my opponent's wards.

The Bluegrass Devil was a skilled air guitarist, to be sure, but a great deal of his power resided in his unconventional technique. He strummed as if he played a banjo, not a guitar, and with such pure rhythm and blues from his old Appalachian school of sorcery that he could easily catch the unprepared off guard. A note of pure soul leapt out over the space between us and scattered over my protective wards, filling the air with the smell of burnt hair where it penetrated my shields. Minutes had already passed. I kept looking for openings to try for a counterspell but none presented themselves. Each second that passed renewed my opinion that my opponent was young, talented and utterly demented. When at last his strumming paused and the weight of his hex lifted from my wards, I brought to bear the full weight of my childhood prodigy status at Guitar Hero, breaking immediately into the fastest possible rendition of Through the Fire and Flames. Fully amped out, I drew heavily upon the Riff, battering my opponent's wards with the specter of pure power metal, but I was unable to break them.

He was gearing up for one last push. I could even recognize the spell - a fearsome bluegrass cover of Great Balls of Fire that featured on the boy's EP before the air guitar psychosis addled his mind. I could feel it pushing back against the heat of my own spell.

I needed something that hit hard and fast. The answer came to me in the most natural way, like the epiphany of a chess brilliancy must feel as natural as breathing when it finally occurs to the grandmaster at a pivotal juncture. It was perfect.

I released my spell, but did not release the Riff itself. My hands left the guitar as I grasped invisible sticks in each of them. My mind returned to Phil Collins' legendary descending 10-note tom-tom drum break in the Escalade, and I broke the one taboo - the forbidden art of air drumming. I'd been waiting for that moment for all my life, oh Lord--

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


what if pigeons were REALLY big, like catastrophically big, so big that just looking at one makes you confront your own human fragility, and it caused the apocalypse, and also everybody was super into hockey


Buzzer Beater
1600 words


Archive

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 04:16 on Jan 6, 2022

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

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

Prompt: "A story where Leonardo Da Vinci finds himself in the Pacific Islands during WW2"

Leonardo (or How I Learned To Start Worrying and Hate The Time Travel)
1294 words

Removed.

QuoProQuid fucked around with this message at 11:16 on Aug 23, 2022

My Shark Waifuu
Dec 9, 2012



Prisoners
1958 words
Hotel California but it's a Waffle House in Wilmington, Delaware.

Late at night, the only reality was what the headlights illuminated. The continuous white line on my right, the flash of lane lines on my left. Occasionally a car appeared, proof that I wasnt the only person in the world, but their red tail lights faded as quickly as theyd appeared. I was left alone. Me, the truck, and the road.

After drifting into the rumble strips one too many times, I knew I had to stop for the night. A green sign declared W, 5 miles. After years on the road, names meant little to me. Id leave a place after a few scant hours spent asleep, and I wouldnt return.

I pulled off at the exit. The shimmering light of a Waffle House drew me in, like a moth to an exposed lightbulb. I knew what to expect with a Waffle House. With any chain, really. These bastions of plastic seating and mediocre food were one of the few consistencies in my line of work. Id order steak and eggs tonight and waffles tomorrow morning; I could taste the food already. I hopped out of the truck into the muggy night air and put my hand on my concealed pistol. I thought about leaving it in the cab but a nagging whisper in my mind convinced me otherwise. Decent people rarely ate at chain restaurants at 3 a.m.

I entered the Waffle House, blinking first in the too-bright fluorescent lights, then in surprise. The waitress stood behind a podium, perfectly still, a small smile on her face. She reminded me of the Mona Lisa. Hello, welcome to the Waffle House. Table for one?

What a question. Uh, yeah, I grunted, the first words Id spoken since I ordered lunch a lifetime ago. The waitresss tag named her Irma. Irma showed me to a table in the middle of the diner, then left to get a menu. After a day in the truck, I took my time sitting down, looking around as I removed my coat. The Waffle House was not empty. Two other men sat with their coffees, a middle-aged white man in a booth and an old black man at another table. I knew fellow truckers when I saw them but where were their trucks? The parking lot was empty.

As I settled into the chair, I noticed the room hummed with muffled conversations, as if the place was full for Sunday brunch. I looked at the others again, but they werent speaking. Maybe Irma was playing ambient sounds to keep her company, but I couldnt see any speakers either.

Irma appeared with a menu and an empty mug. I tried to tell her I didnt need any coffee, Id be going to bed soon, but she poured me a cup anyway. You need it, she said, then floated over to refill the other mens mugs. I watched her, sipping the coffee for lack of anything better to do. She was of indeterminate age, anywhere from a rough forty to a well-preserved seventy. Her face seemed strangely blank; it lacked the stress lines worn by all others with no choice but to work the graveyard shift. The other men murmured their thanks and Irma took up position behind the counter, brewing another carafe of coffee. If there was a cook in the back, I couldnt hear him.

I took a perfunctory look at the menu, then waited. The coffee was unusually good for a Waffle House, or maybe it just tasted that way due to the late hour. The other men seemed to be waiting too, but not for Irma. Their attention was pointed vaguely in the direction of the door, as if they expected more guests to arrive. For a long time, nothing happened. The only sound was the buzz of invisible conversations. Hey man, I finally said to the man at the other table. What are you doing here at this time of night?

We were waiting for you, he said flatly, as if this required no explanation.

And now were waiting for him, the other man said from the booth behind me. I swiveled in my chair to look at him, but he had nothing more to say.

Are you ready? Irma said from next to my table, making me jump. I tried to ignore the others; they talked like simpletons, like people in a dream.

Yes, steak and eggs with country hashbrowns please. My usual order.

Country hashbrowns! Hear that, Keith? The man at the other table gave me a thumbs-up, vacant smile on his face. I nodded back, uncertain.

Irma dinged the bell in the kitchen window, then made another round of coffee refills. As she finished with the man in the booths mug, he grabbed her hand and kissed it. She laughed, a single brassy note. Oh Marcus, you charmer. He grinned but did nothing more.

Irma reappeared with my food too quickly. I stared; it looked nothing like any Waffle House meal Id had before. The well-seared T-bone steak was several inches thicker than the usual flabby gray meat. The eggs were folded into a delicate French omelet. Even the humble hashbrowns were elevated, pressed into a neat cylinder with a divot on top to contain the sausage gravy. Irma placed what looked like pink lemonade next to the plate. Enjoy, she said. I tried the drink; it was champagne.

I was confused but hungry, so I tucked into the best Waffle House meal of my life. Keith and Marcus watched me knowingly; no wonder they were hanging around if the food was this good. The invisible conversations surrounded me like a cocoon.

The instant I finished, Irma whisked my plate away. Thanks, I said, then stood up and pulled out my wallet. Can I pay at the counter?

No, said Irma, but didnt elaborate further. She refilled our coffees. Not knowing what to do, I sat back down.

As I drank the coffee, Marcus got up and walked over to the jukebox. Music popped into existence, far too loud for the emptiness. It was a twanging guitar solo, without words or a beginning. Marcus seemed to know it as he started swaying to the mid-tempo beat, beckoning Irma to join him. Id never seen anyone dance to the Waffle House jukebox, but then Keith stood up and started dancing too. A second guitar joined the first. As the music built, their dancing intensified. I couldnt take my eyes off of them, but I resisted the urge to join them. Irma must have seen my discomfort for she came over and took my hands, standing me up. I know you want to dance, she said with her mysterious smile.

I did. I let the music seep into me, down to my core, and take control. I danced for the first time in years. Self-consciousness faded away; I wasnt watching the others and they werent watching me. We were on parallel journeys. My dancing summoned, from some long-dead corner of my being, all the joy that had been missing from my life for the past ten years. The emotion pressurized in me until I cried from the force of it. Drowning in joy, I forgot the long days in the truck, the lonely apartment at the end of the road. All that was real was here.

The ring of the door bell shocked us all back to the present. The music cut off abruptly, and the background conversational hum ceased too. All three of us froze. Irma was waiting behind the podium, as she was when I arrived. The same smile too. Hello, welcome to the Waffle House. Table for one?

The new arrival was not one of us. He was stick-thin, clothes hanging off him like on a laundry line, eyes never resting on one thing. He twitched a knife from somewhere in his clothes. I want your cash, he said. His voice is the opposite of the music, screeching and dissonant. My pistol appeared in my hand and I looked at it in surprise. Id never had to draw it before, but the mans knife was awfully close to Irma.

Put the knife down, I said. My pistol leveled with the man. My voice and hands were steady.

He and Irma ignored me. You know I cant do that, Irma said placidly.

The man lunged and the pistol fired. I didnt remember pulling the trigger, but the sound of it filled the entire diner, reverberating around the empty space. Instantly, panic set in: had I just killed a man? But no. His clothes and skin were shredded, yet he wasnt bleeding. He looked down at the damage, then at us. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Keith and Marcus mirroring me with their own smoking pistols held, two-handed, at arms length. Not this time, the man said. Before we can think of what to do next, he disappeared.

The spell was broken. We rushed over to Irma; shes unaffected. Not this time, she said, shaking her head. Maybe we need another.

Even though the man was alive, my panic had not abated. The background buzz of conversation had returned, but now had the tone of a crowd whod witnessed something unexpected. Another to do what? I said shrilly. Kill that guy? No way, Im out of here.

You cant, Irma said, but I did anyway. I left the Waffle House, the humid summer air trying to suffocate me. The man was, thankfully, nowhere to be seen. I yanked open the cab door and swung into the seat, only to find myself back sitting back at the same table in the Waffle House. Irma refilled my coffee mug as if nothing had happened.

Adrenaline took over and I ran back outside, like an animal trying to escape a trap. Keith and Marcus watched me solemnly as I reappeared in the Waffle House again and again. Fully panicked, I gave up on the truck and tried running down the street. My feet carried me back to the door of the Waffle House. I knew then that I couldnt get away. Angry, I banged through the door and strode up to Irma.

Whats going on? Why cant I leave? I demanded.

You can go, but you must leave part of yourself behind, she said. Pity appeared in her eyes, but disappeared in the next blink. Like them.

I didnt like the sound of that, but I was desperate to escape. What part?

The part that we need. All you have to do is walk through the door.

Id just gone through the door multiple times, but this time it was different. The air was more tepid, the night more gray. Still, I was able to climb into the cab and collapse into a dark, dreamless sleep.

The next day, I was on autopilot: I had breakfast at McDonalds and drove the rest of my route, ending the day in my own bare apartment. But that night, I dreamed I was back at the Waffle House. The taste of Irmas coffee brought me to life. Keith and Marcus were there too, and we waited for the next man to arrive. He did and we danced. At the end of the night, the twitchy man came in and we shot him again, and again he didnt die. Then I woke up. Every night, the dream repeated, and nothing ever changed.

Once, my route took me through the same area as the Waffle House again. I drove up and down the highway, trying to find the exit. But the scenery was unfamiliar and I couldnt remember the name of the town. It was as if it never existed.

Burning_Conch
Dec 15, 2021
what if emotion were extremely infectious and also you needed to stop a nuclear reactor from melting down
+
A marachi band of mice have to play a gig on the cat side of town and it's a rager.

Nuclear Blues
1280 words

I think this is the place, says Jorge. His fur tingles with electricity and he grasps his guitar strap tightly in his paws. You sure this is safe, Gabrielle?

A gigs a gig, replies Ramon from under his sun bleached cowboy hat. He spits congealed tobacco juice to the ground and stuffs a pinch from his pocket into the corner of his mouth.

I was asking Gabby, hombre.

Nuclear power is safe. Hasnt been an accident in years, responds Gabrielle.

I mean the cats.

Theyre white collar cats, its a work thing for them. Well be fine. Besides, mice work here too.

As janitors maybe, quips Ramon.

The cat at the security office motions for them to move up to his booth. He stares, unblinking, from a stool, a flickering fluorescent light spills from the sliding window above the booth spills into the night. Gabrielles rhinestone duster glitters like a galaxy of swirling colours in the white haze as they approach. The guard absentmindedly swipes at the light dancing on the walls then plays it off by licking his paw and straightening his comb over.

Papers, The guard asks in a hiss. Jorge pulls the documents from his suit jacket, and unfolds it three, no, four times and slides it through the glass. Ramon grunts.

Cant you see that were the band? He says as he shifts his giant bass guitar strap from one shoulder to the other.

Doesnt matter what I see, Says the cat gruffly. He squints at the papers in his hands. HR signed off on this, makes sense.

Ramon looks like hes about to say something, but Gabrielle gives him a tilted look that forces him to reconsider. He spits on the ground and makes a show of grabbing another pinch. A good musician is nothing if not dramatic. The cat slides the heavily unfolded documents back.

Follow the balloons. Party is in the lobby.

See you there? Asks Gabrielle. The guard waves her off.

The balloons lead to a double glass door. The smell of cigarettes greets them there, but the hostess was a breath of fresh air. Shes a ragdoll cat with fur like creme brulee.

Oh, you must be Ratondito, she purrs. Jorge lights up like a headlight and the eye contact between them is unmistakable. They both smile, awkwardly. He fidgets with his guitar strap again.

Stage is at the back, theyre ready for you.

They start heading over but Jorge stops himself.

Didnt get your name, He says.

Zoe, she says, Better hurry up, youre late.

Fashionably. He replies as he straightens his tie and turns to his friends, already halfway across the place.

The party was at a dull hum when they entered, but it died out pretty quickly as they made their way across the lobby to the assembled stage.

You think they knew were mice when they booked us? Jorge asks as he catches up.

They will when were done playing, says Ramon, Lets show these cats what mice are made of.

For once Ramon, were in agreement, Gabrielle says with a mischievous wink, Boys, give me Diablo Rojo, uptempo.

Gabby Jorge replies with worry.

Trust me Jorge.

He shakes his head but relents. Well never get paid if we wreck the place.

She pulls out her French horn.

Uno.

The boys nod and flip their guitars around their shoulders.

Dos.

Gabby swings around to the mic, her rhinestones glimmering in the light.

Tres!

Ramon starts slapping his bass, each strike blasting out a note with concussive force. Jorge strums his five string rhythm guitar and the melody dances around the room like fire. The cats tails started moving. Ramon takes the lead, slapping a beat that shoots out notes like a machine gun. The fancy glasses at each table start bouncing along. Cats start stomping their feet in tune to the beat. The glasses shatter. Gabrielle sways her hips, and Jorge comes in hot. His expert fingerwork dances across the frets. The cats are on their feet, dancing with each other. Gabrielle yells, Rapido! and Jorge plays faster. She yells again. His eyes narrow, sweat beads on his brow as his fingers work like lightning, spraying sparks as he goes.

The crowd is frantic, tables overturn. One of the cats turns on the intercom, it sends the jam throughout the whole plant at the speed of light. Cats drop their pens. A mouse drops his mop. Gabrielle comes in on her horn, laying on the brass like a church organ. She improvises notes to Diablo Rojo playfully, but hard and fast. The walls vibrate like theyre dancing along. The lights glow bright. Brighter. Blinding. And then they burst, one after another. Somewhere, control rods dancing like the LEDs on a sound gauge. The emergency lights all flash, as if in rhythm. Every living thing bounces and sways as the stark white lights flash off Gabby, leaving a reddish hue across the lobby.

A klaxon blares, Danger, danger, meltdown imminent. Evacuate, Evacuate.

The band stops, but the chaos unfolds unfailingly. Cats slip on spilled wine and dance on the floor, their circadian rhythms all in tune.

What the hell is happening? yells Ramon above the ruckus.

This place is gonna go, and take the whole town with it! replies Gabrielle.

The engineers are too busy doing the fandango, we gotta do something, says Jorge, Let me try a song.

He steps to the mic and strums an open fret slowly, once, twice. He sees Zoe in the crowd, dancing in a maniac Jota style.

He shouts Hola! into the mic. All the cats turn to look. The intercom listens raptly.

He plays some tearful notes on his guitar, careful to pluck the strings in a way that gives them a sad tremble. The room seemed to shrink and grow darker.

Cuando un amigo se va queda, un espacio vaco que no lo puede llenar la llegada de otro amigo, he croons. The words speak of a lost friend that he longs for but may never replace.

I never thought Id hear him play this song again, whispers Ramon into Gabbys ear as she wipes away a tear. The cats have stopped dancing, but the walls still reverberate to the tune of Diablo Rojo. Gabby steps up to the mic beside Jorge.

Cuando un amigo se va galopando su destino empieza el alma a vibrar porque se llena de fro, They sing together. Many cats do not understand the words, but they feel the truth about how cold destiny may be in their bones. The plant is silent, enthralled. The security guard from outside enters the lobby, tears streaming down his face. Ramon steps up and joins his friends.

‎Cuando un amigo se va se queda un rbol cado que ya no vuelve a brotar porque el viento lo ha vencido, he wails into the mic, to the crowd, and into the intercom. What becomes of the fallen tree that never sprouts again?

Somewhere, tears emerge from an incandescent uranium core, sizzle, and evaporate in small puffs of steam. The tears give way to a river as the core sobs in its tiny, sealed prison. The control rods stabilise. The emergency lights dim. The klaxon falls speechless. Zoe cries into her hands. Jorge tucks his guitar behind his back and smoothes his hair.

Thank you all for coming, and sorry about the mess. I hope you all have someone you care about, hold them tightly, and never let go.

He jumps from the stage to the floor and walks through the crowd.

Where are you going? Shouts Gabrielle.

Jorge turns his head and replies, I owe someone a drink.

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The man called M
Dec 25, 2009

THUNDERDOME ULTRALOSER
2022



it turns out aliens exist and they've been trying to communicate to us via crossword puzzles/milk cartons/math rock and they are getting increasingly frustrated that we're not getting it and are now resorting to increasingly desperate measures to get our attention

They are made of stupid
428 Words


Hey, Phil?

Yeah, Gene?

I think the people of this planet are made of stupid.

Oh, really, you think?!

*Months earlier*

Does this look like a good planet to land on, Phil?

Yeah, Gene. Just make sure theres some intelligent life on this planet

Alright. How should we make contact?

Dont want to scare them How about we tell them about our AAA Tower!

Okay, smart guy. How do we do that?

Use our camera to zoom in and there! Lets use whatever that person is reading!

Perfect!

*Hours Later*

Why didnt that work?!

Let me check Apparently, theres a AAA Tow-er in this planet!

So, they think its a play on words?!

Apparently!

Well, crap.

Plus, the book that we scanned, is a freaking puzzle book!

Son of a okay, how about we show a picture of one of our kind.

You sure? These folks look like us!

Trust me, what could possibly go wrong?

*Moments Later*

Everything went wrong!

Where did you put the picture?

On that one box with the white substance! I didnt know he looked like a missing child from some place called Oregon!

Well, at least the child was found!

Yeah, but thats beside the point! We have still not yet made contact!

Okay, how about a cultural exchange! Theyll hear some music, and wonder what it is, then we come out and share the joys of the planet!

You sure? Its kind of fast

Relax, everything is going according to plan!

*Moments Later*

None of this is going to plan!!

Why, what happened?

Apparently, some pricks on this planet claimed it as their own, and they play it much better!

What the crap?!

Plus, the have a name for it! Math Rock!

Its got nothing to do with math!

I know, right??

Fine, Ill personally put a message on this wall, if they dont know we want to contact them by then, they are officially made of stupid!

Is it in a language they understand?

I sure as gently caress hope so!

*Present Time*

Hey, Phil?"

Yeah, Gene?

I think the people of this planet are made of stupid.

Oh, really, you think?!

What happened to your message?

They painted it over!

Why would they do that?

Maybe they thought it was vandalism, I dont know!

Whatever, just leave a giant statue of a middle finger, then lets just freaking go.

Man, I thought for sure there was intelligent life on this planet!

Nope! They are made of stupid!

Little did they know was that they were made of stupid all along

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