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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Whoa what are the odds

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


the odds are in my favour because your bad at stories

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

the odds are in my favour because your bad at stories

Spoken like a true auteur*

* auteur means idiot

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I believe it was the great Noam Chomsky who said – in a debate with Michel Foucault at the Oxford Union – nuh UH

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


MUFFIN MAULS MOJO IN MAGNIFICENT MATCH-UP

Somebody fucked around with this message at 07:11 on Feb 5, 2021

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Sign-ups are technically closed, but because of events beyond any of our ken there is one extra horse in the thread. The next person to sign-up gets toanoradian's horse, and the horse that person posts will go to whoever signs up after them. Time will reverse, rivers will flow uphill, etc.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




:gizz: Sebmojo vs. Muffin 'who wrote the best Spaceman Jim' brawl judgement :gizz:

Oh dear, your stories seem to have gotten tangled up somehow, here let me help you. Good thing neither of you individually went over the word count or you would have been disqualified!!


sebmojo posted:

JIM SPACEMAN in an excerpt from ESCAPE FROM THE TERROR MINES OF ZORGO, book 2 in the SPIDERS OF REBIRTH, OF MARS cycle
1028 words

James Speceman cried fat tears at these words, zero gravity globules of iridescent liquidity that took flight in the wafterous zephyrs from the air vents. 

“It’s okay,” said Moijo, charmingly and also reassuringly.  His undulating pectoral musculature was thick and firm.  “We simply need to press this button, the one right here.”  With a calm insouciance that belied his devil-may-care swashbuckling pizazz, he extended one finger and depressed it on the button labelled ‘aunch’, the ‘L’ having been worn off because of so many launches.  

Moffin squealed in horror at the sudden thunder and sprawled on the floor, sobbing stupidly. 

Moffin was quivering even harder now, like literally spasming on the floor and the motion had broken the seal on the tubes of ceiling paste he kept in his pockets!  It started to ooze out and smeared all over his thick glasses.

Meanwhile, Spaceman jim

Moijo laughed, richly.  “I have a simple solution to all these problems, with the Zeptoids and their ray instructor.  We simpley penetrate their fortress and destroy the heart of their control centre.  Our plasmatic thrustron will suffice to 
accomplish the task.  

Just then the Zeptons attacked! They had destructor rays that cut through the fragile hull of the spaceship (the SS Munificeptionarialacitylation) like a knife through damp goo.  One hundred holes instantly appeared in the super hard hull metal as if by magic.

“Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” squealed Moffin in a high pitched, girly, but sort of also masculine, but the bad kind of masculine, voice!  “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh”  He was terrified by all the holes.

“Spaceman Jimb, yelled Mojo in a tone of cool icy command.  “Hit the fixer switch there!  We don’t have much time for the cold vacuum of space is about steal our precious oxygen, the necessity for humans such as we!”

 Mojo laughed like the hero of the story.  These fools had no idea what game they were even playing, they were idiots.  He clicked his fingers and spacmen jim’s eyes widened!  The click of the fingers was a post hypbotic command, and space man jim realised suddenlty that he was a zeptorg too, and peeled off his human suit.  With a convulsive shudder of disgust at having to wear the dumb/stupid human appearance for so long, Jim and Mojo raised they galactic disruptoids and blasted Moffin in one hundred thousand pieces of glittering space dust, each one smaller than an atom!

he typed with dumb fingers that weren’t very good at typing so he actually inserted a DOESN’T before the WINS and so he got it[/b] wrong and lost and also all the bits that  mojo exploded into where actually nanotechnology and reformed into a galactic mega Titan and when muffin saw that he got so mad and ready to punch that he sweleled up like pumpkin and exploded.  And the spaceship (which was actually a time machine you missed all the hints) went back and made it so he’d never been born and didn’t exist and so nothing he’d ever done had ever HAPPENED.

So as far as I can tell this is a story in which Spaceman Jim and his friends Moffin and Moijo go on a spaceship ride. Spaceman Jim is crying, so Moijo launches the spaceship, but this causes Moffin to have a fit and get goo on his glasses. Then they're attacked by Zeptoids. But then it transpires that Moijo and Spaceman Jim are both zeptorgs, and they remove their disguises and murder their erstwhile shipmate, Moffin. In the epilogue, we learn that Moffin may have eventually gotten his revenge, as their spaceship was actually a time machine, but he destroys himself in the process.

Post-modern and surrealist, this story really pushes the boundaries of the science fiction genre. Spaceman Jim is somewhat overshadowed by the Moijo character, but Moffin really shone as the protagonist, overcoming as he does his initial fear and eventual vapourisation to sacrifice himself to destroy the Mojo the evil galactic mega titan.

6/10

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

JIM SPACEMAN in an excerpt from ESCAPE FROM THE TERROR MINES OF ZORGO, book 2 in the SPIDERS OF REBIRTH, OF MARS cycle
1028 words

Spaceman Jim was in trouble. Space trouble. Specifically that his spaceship was not in space when it should have been in space.

“Thank god you’re here Mister Moffin!” he said “my spaceship has a hole in it and only your very big and hard penis can fill it!”

“This will not be a problem as I have a very big and hard penis,” said Mister Moffin, sexly. “But I am afraid that, because he cannot be left alone, Mojjo the Chimp must join us on this journey. He is not an actual chimpanzee, we call him that because he sucks.”

Except actually it’s cool, because when men cry a single tear you know they’re sensitive. It was like that but more. It was so masculine that Mojijo said “whoa that’s very masculine, crying so much, I am jj-j-ealous,” he said badly.

The space ship went up into space which meant the trouble was gone, the trouble being that the space ship was not in space, but now they had a new problem: that they were in space. There was no more air and so they started to die but Mojji was dying faster because he was worse at being alive.

It was smart because it stopped space from coming inside.

“You are the most selfless man in the universe, Moffin,” said Captain Jimonthy Spaceman, “they will speak of this for generations, unlike The Chimp’s poo poo plan which I have already forgotten.”

“Thank you Jim Space man,” said Moffin, who had cleverly smeared his glasses his ceiling paste to focus on his task free of distraction.””I say we simpley penetrate their fortress and destroy the heart of their control centre. Our plasmatic thrustron will suffice to accomplish the task.”

Mojo poo poo himself with rage and some poo went in his eye.

And then his piggish eyes flashed like a rocket. “Because you see, I was the bad guy all along, and I am not a man, I am a literal chimp and I was in league with the Zeptons all along!” he said, unzipping his human-suit and revealing an awful slimy space-chimp whose face was a literal butt. Tattooed across his cheeks were the words I M T H E B A D D I E. It opened and did a big sloppy poo that went all down his fur and made no difference because he was already covered in poo poo.

Okay so like then moffin goes like WHOOOSH and then all his atoms come back together and he’s STRONGER like DOCTOR MANHATTAN and he goes “haha I don’t need to breathe but ur on a spaceship with holes in it you big idiot dumbass gently caress you” and then Mojo and Jim both explode into a thousand thousand teenier tinier bits, smaller than even the little bits that go woosh around an atom and they’re super dead and they can’t come back and if they come back i get to punch you MUFFIN WINS

In this story Spaceman Jim needs his spaceship to be in space, so his friend Moffin assists him by putting his penis in a hole in the spaceship. They are accompanied by Mojjo the Chimp, who is not really a chimpanzee. In space, Jim, Moffin and Moijo start to run out of oxygen, but Moffin solves the problem, presumably with his penis again, as this appears to be his go-to.

Then they turn their attention to attacking their unnamed enemy's fortress, at which point Moijo reveals that he is actually both a chimpanzee and a zepton. This is the key turnaround moment for our protagonist. Moijo was initially painted as a sensitive character, for example, expressing his desire to cry openly. His emotions get the better of him when Moffin threatens to attack his home fortress, resulting in a rage-poo going in his eye. In the end, Moijo summons the strength of will to rise up against Moffin, but the story ends in tragedy, as Moffin reveals he has super-strength and obliterates both Moijo and Spaceman Jim.

Given that Moijo is such an engaging and sympathetic character, it was a bold choice to end the story with the villian, Moffin, victorious. However, ultimately I think it was successful, and shows the contribution that tragedy can make to the science fiction oeuvre.

6/10


This is a difficult brawl to judge, as both stories took such different approaches to the prompt. While both strove to be "a Spaceman Jim story that is better than the other one's Spaceman Jim story," neither really succeeded, as the stories are actually about Moffin and Moijo respectively, with Jim Spaceman playing but a minor role. My final judgement is that you are both disqualified, the brawl is a draw, and sebmojo wins and also SurreptitiousMuffin wins, and that Spaceman Jim was the real winner on the day.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


SUPER SEBMOJO SLAYS SAD SICKLY SURREPTITIOUSMUFFIN

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Undead Empowerment
891 words

An out-of-work necromancer is a total drag. Nobody wants to be around me, and I can’t blame them. Most days, I sit with my summoning circles, reading my tomes, brewing my potions, all for nothing. The phone never rings. My inbox is empty. I’m running out of savings, but it’s okay, I’m manifesting Good Will, I’m doing my Mindful Minutes, and I’m putting out Positive Energy, so I’m sure I’ll find a job soon.

I tune into Andy Ornery on the TV one morning after I can’t take it anymore. He stands in front of a crowd of worshippers with their fists raised toward the ceiling—real high ceiling, bathed in dark—and they chant his Words of Power and Vibes, and I chant along from my armchair feeling the Spirit of the Eternal wash over me like cool running water, and after that I feel about as Blessed as Blessed can be. I drink some tea, do my Ablutions, repeat my Mantras—you’re beautiful, you’re smart, your thinning hair doesn’t matter, your collection of vintage erotic playing cards will pay off one day, the world is yours to plunder and love—before hitting the street with my resume.

I do it old school. I figure, a necromancer’s a dime a dozen, and everyone’s got a laptop these days. The Necro Guild’s overflowing with hot young bulls digging up bones and creating zombie hordes like it’s no big deal. But very few of those young bulls have a Winning Attitude and Flexible Thinking, so I feel like my prospects are fantastic. I put on slacks, I comb my hair, and I think, today’s your day, Power Through, Power On.

It does not go well. Here’s the problem with being an old necromancer: people think you’re creepy as hell.

My prospects are truly slim, until late that evening, after I give myself a pep-talk in the Macy’s bathroom, Enhancing Self Esteem, Affirming my Human Rights, Growing Spiritually and Mentally, I sidle up to the security booth hidden in the Employees Only section, and give the woman with short brown hair and deep wrinkles around her eyes a big, go-getter smile.

“What do you want?” she asks, not looking away from the bank of black and white monitors.

“I thought I might inquire about a job.”

“Not hiring.”

“My name’s Bertram and I thought—“

“Find a manager if you want to leave your resume.”

“I was hoping there might be something for me in security. I’m a Fully Licensed Necromancer in Good Standing with the Guild.”

She swiveled slightly, squinting. “You don’t look like a Necro.”

“We don’t all have black hair and wear skulls.” Although, I did have some human remains lining my shelves back home, but I thought I’d save that fun tidbit for the interview.

She chewed gum slowly. “Why do you want to work security?”

“I thought my skills might be particularly suited.”

She made another grunt then gestured at the TV monitors, pointing to a particular man in a large black coat, a very suspicious black coat. I stepped closer, leaning in, frowning.

“That guy’s shoplifting,” she said.

“How do you know?”

“Watched him shove sunglasses into his pocket. You go catch him, and you got a job.”

I don’t need to be told twice. I’m Winning today, Exuding my One with the Universe Outlook. I head into the store proper and find my mark hovering near the Menswear.

He’s a big guy. Not muscular, but hefty. Straight hair, thin lips, with a mean, soulful stare. I feel for the guy. Stealing’s not something anyone really wants to do. Maybe he got forced into it. Maybe he didn’t plant enough Good Seeds with Positive Acts of Intention, and now here he is, Rock Bottom.

Well, it’s a rough world, and I really need a job.

Catching him won’t be hard. The earth is littered with the dead. Bones, fragments of bones, even the smallest organic material, it’s absolutely everywhere. And where there’s death, a necromancer’s got options.

I raise a horde. It’s not easy—the long-gone animals don’t want to return. The skeletons tear themselves from deep beneath the ground, digging with bone claws until they rip great holes in the tiles.

My minions, my beauties.

“What the gently caress?” Mr. Thief yells.

People scatter, screaming. I can’t blame them. My bone beasts are hideous things. Scores of them snap and snarl as they surround Mr. Thief. He throws up his hands in abject terror.

That’s when things go wrong.

The beasts, they’ve been dead too long, and they forgot how to act. So they go a little nuts. They start ripping apart the clothes and displays and ceiling tiles, absolutely destroying the place. It’s a wild frenzy. I try and force my Will upon them, my creatures of the night, but hell, I’m out of practice.

They rampage hard. Mr. Thief manages to get away, Thank the Almighty. No reason to get torn limb-from-limb just for stealing some sunglasses. But it’s all I can do to keep the beasts for murdering everyone else.

By the time they crawl back into their graves, the place is demolished, truly trashed beyond belief, and Security Lady is far from happy.

It’s okay though. I’ve got Positive Vibes, I’m Manifesting Openly. I’ll find something else after the insurance claim goes through.

Idle Amalgam
Mar 7, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


Curio Shop

Your characters are products on a shelf in a shop
Your story is a palindrome
100 Words


The door opens, and silently we come alive.
If only for a moment, old becomes new again.
The faded remnants of yesterday brighten.
All of us secondhand, but in good condition.
We want to be useful.
Perfect in package or salvageable,
We want to be needed.
Obscure or obsolete, it does not matter anymore.
We want to be needed.
Perfect in package or salvageable,
We want to be useful.
All of us secondhand, but in good condition.
The faded remnants of yesterday brighten.
If only for a moment, old becomes new again.
The door opens, and silently we come alive.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

📡scanning🛰️ for good game 🎮design🦔🦔🦔


Minotaur
900/900 words

The criminals sent into his labyrinth were all dead. He took a sip from his celebratory cup of tea, the bergamot aroma rewarding him for a job well done.

Using the monitors surrounding him, he tallied all their broken bodies for cleanup. The first victim, made into paste by two wall segments that turned out to be crushers, would take the longest to clean up. He made a note. These two had suffocated in a dead end when an airlock had closed behind them. He had sped up the process a bit by also releasing carbon monoxide. Some of the watchers had voted for hydrogen sulfide instead, but he had vetoed that. First of all, the foul-smelling gas was crass, undignified. Secondly, he wanted to spare the cleaning crews some vomit, at least.

Bisected by invisible wires, burned to ashes in a room that had turned out to be an furnace, impaled on the bottom of a trapdoor - all accounted for? He smiled as he took another sip, remembering how he’d led the last victim through a series of ever-narrowing corridors, until finally he could not avoid the portions that would break away under him. The public had loved this part - this criminal must have been particularly deserving of his spot in the labyrinth.

The man watching the monitors had always made it a point to not look up the reasons for his victims’ punishment. Stole food? Rape? Attempted containment breach? Not his business to know. They all deserved their place in the labyrinth, and not knowing how much exactly made him a better executioner. Twenty years - or was it closer to thirty by now? - and not a single mistake, lapse in judgment, and he still had new ideas on how to deftly reconfigure his labyrinth. To give the deserving victim this tantalizing illusion of hope, so they’d put on a show to entertain and educate the public.

To close today’s workday, he filed the paperwork, a relaxing task perfectly suited to calm him after the excitement of the main event.

He put down the cup with a frown.

How many victims in the furnace? Was this really enough to account for four bodies?

The cleaners had already entered.

He rapidly scanned through all the cameras. Turned the microphones to maximum. Until, finally, the faintest sound of panicked sobs tickled his eardrums. He emptied an ice-cold cup and grimaced, but a smile of relief prevailed. There! A mother and daughter, huddled together, the former desperately trying to calm the latter, hiding in a corner where he had to really strain to angle the cameras to catch a glimpse.

He had caught this potential embarrassment a few minutes before the cleaners would have found them. He raised an empty cup to his lips out of reflex while wondering how to best remove his problem. Through his irritation, the words of the mother’s plea reached him.

“You have to be quiet. The Guardian of the labyrinth will be angry if you make noise. He’ll let us go if you behave.”

Quaint. He wondered how these myths arose. He was just a guy doing his job, and yet people kept getting spiritual about the labyrinth. Was that something imminent death did to a mind? But then again, even the watchers had started to almost pray to him, begging him to smite the sinners inside him, enact rightful vengeance on the ones who had betrayed community, as if what he did wasn’t just a job. Of course, he’d gotten good at in in the decades since he first sat in front of the monitors and speakers and buttons, and if he were more spiritual himself, he’d say he had become one with the -

The cup shattered on the floor.

Unwanted memories forced themselves into his mind. Mistakes that had happened. Victims that had been allowed to escape. A job not done well anymore. Dissatisfied bosses.

Who had taken his body apart, sewed it into the fabric of the labyrinth. There were no buttons, speakers, monitors: they were his hands, ears, eyes. These two who had triggered his revelation hid in his guts, squirming like parasites.

He tried to pour himself another cup to calm down, but there was no cup, no tea. While he desperately tried to re-summon the image of the control room of his mind, he spotted the cleaners nearing the two criminals who were supposed to be dead. His job was on the line, and he was his job.

A sliding door opened behind the two, they tumbled through, and vanished in a back room just before they were spotted. In there, three cups of tea were waiting.

He had to reward them with something, after all. They had reminded him of something important: for him, there was more value in a job well done than for most.

“The Guardian has invited us,” the mother whispered. They sat down and drank with him. Some of the liquid in his cup vanished as he imagined himself drinking it.

This calmed him enough to make him realize something: the recognition of his situation had happened before. And he’d always came to the same conclusion: his job was paramount. For community, for unity, for himself. So with this cup, he’d make himself forget until the revelation would happen again, hopefully none too soon.

The other cups, of course, contained poison.











Your story takes place in a labyrinth - the labyrinth is sentient

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


Worth a Punt

889 words.




“Where are your new Vans?” Kassidy’s mother asked, hoping to demonstrate the folly of keeping an untidy room; she was hoping Kassidy would start turning the room upside down in a panic, then she could say, “see...” — and all would be revealed to Kassidy, and Kassidy would tidy her room forevermore!

There was no panic: Kassidy remained slouched on her bed (fully clothed, and on top of the covers), and she was poking her phone.

“They’re under my blue hoodie, by the computer desk,” Kassidy said, “same place I keep my pencil case.”

Her mother glanced down; she could see the butt of the pencil case, which was shaped like an octopus, poking out from under the sweater.

“Good: Don’t lose them,” her mother said. Kassidy had nothing to add, except for a stare and a flat mouthed smile. Her mother left, closing the door behind her.

The new shoes were precious to Kassidy: She’d keep them clean and safe forever, or so she thought. She then stepped into an older pair, which were more like slippers now (she had trodden their heel collars flat against their insoles).

A simple plait and a baseball cap tidied her hair enough for today: A summer day, where she’d be out doing “whatever” with her friends. She had barely left the back door, and stood astride her BMX, when her mother stuck out her head.

“Why aren’t you wearing your new shoes?”

Kassidy stopped dead, she could hardly say “Well, mum, a part of the old quarry collapsed last week; it’s made a sicknasty dirt ramp that I’m totally going to ride down, and I don’t want to scuff the shoes if I fall off.”

“Because I’m wearing these ones,” and a shrug, would have to do.

~~~

Lynn lived in a concrete tower block, where dogs barked from the hallway every time the intercom rang. Skinny Lynn emerged at the door. Overly long Billabong T shirts, and jeans that had frayed at the knees (whether naturally or not), were uniform among their group. These loose clothes looked like banners hanging from Lynn’s flagpolish figure.

“I can’t come with you,” said Lynn “I don’t have a bike any more.”

Kassidy had no questions, only answers.

“Give you a backie, if you want?”

Lynn writhed, rubbing her forearms, gritting her teeth.

“I don’t like them: They make me feel like I’m going to fall.”

“No worries,” Kassidy said, dismounting the bike, “let’s walk.”

~~~

Daphne charged across the quarry like a bull, arms open for an incoming hug.

“Kass! Aiieeeeeeeeeeeeee!” she screamed, warbling with every step of her running.

She pounced, then clung onto Kassidy with all four limbs, like a facehugger. Kassidy had the strength in her legs to stay upright. Daphne whispered in Kassidy’s ear; it sounded like the whisper of some shadowy figure in a horror movie.

“I want to have your babies.”

“Hello to you, too, Daphne.”

After climbing halfway up a bouldered wall of the quarry, with Kassidy's BMX hanging off her shoulder by a stunt peg, Lynn had protested that the climb was too dangerous. Daphne took that as an excuse to ask Lynn about every boulder she encountered. She looked at Lynn with bulging maniacal eyes and a wide smile, squatting on each boulder like some kind of imp.

"Is this one dangerous?"

"Is this one?"

"That's not the point," Lynn said, with a trembling lip.

Lynn was freezing up: If anything was dangerous here it was getting stuck.

"We'll go back down, and we'll take the long way," Kassidy said.

The long way was a sinuous shelf cut into the quarry face; it doubled back on itself many times, and was a mile long. Daphne bounded her way up the rock face, avoiding this journey.

"Yes," Daphne hissed, "I'll wait for precious child."

It looked much larger at the top, steeper too. The ramp itself was gravel and dirt with a central groove where others had ridden before. Daphne kicked a rock down it, then watched how far it tumbled; by the time it had reached the bottom, it could only be seen by the dust it was kicking up on the quarry floor.

“This is going to be...” Daphne paused, trying to find the word (rolling her eyes and smiling all the while) “...delicious.”

“I don’t think you should,” said Lynn, writhing again.

“Not gonna lie, that looks lethal,” said Kassidy, “Let’s go down a level or two and start in the middle?” (The dirt ramp intersected the sinuous road many times, meaning Kassidy didn’t have to start from the top).

Daphne mounted Kassidy’s bike. Before Kassidy could comprehend, Daphne was wheeling away, but not after having said, “I no longer want to have your babies.”

She hurtled down the ramp, sticking her legs out, brakes squealing. When she got to the bottom, she didn’t stop, but zoomed toward the estates.

“Is she stealing your bike?” Lynn asked. Kassidy had no time for questions. She kicked out her leg, sending her slipper-like shoe flying. She had hoped it’d somehow travel the great distance and land precisely in the spokes of her bike. It landed several yards in front of Daphne, kicking up dust as it tumbled. Daphne dismounted the bike. She chased after the shoe, like a dog playing fetch.

“I don’t know,” Kassidy shrugged.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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






Putting the Fun in Contract
900 Gloriously glorious words specifically written for momma Yoruichi (which are also bad)


A papery, white skinned devil in all her malevolent glory, reclined in the absolute darkness of the Void wearing her favorite snuggie. She placed a bowl of unpopped popcorn on her lap, and tossed a few kernels into her mouth. Those teeth cracking corn nuggets were no match for her vorpal sharp teeth and she gnashed through their flimsy defenses. She moaned in contentment and relaxed as a newly freed devil.

A twinkling at the edges of her periphery caught her attention. Dread writhed in her guts like a pit of vipers as she read her name flickering in the Void. It reminded her of the cheap neon “open” sign used in the shop she briefly worked at.

Kana
.

Some idiot mortal was summoning her. “loving, why?!” she shouted, slapping her bowl of popcorn kernels away. The Void consumed it like some eldritch roomba. She stood there, in the black, and crossed her arms in a stubborn manner. She shook her head. “Not doing it,” she hissed through clenched teeth. “I just got back.”

Her name sparkled in response in a most annoying manner.

Kana frowned and turned away. Yet her name kept itself in her line of sight and it moved ever closer. She clicked her tongue. “gently caress you. I’m going to relax harder than any mortal ever achieved, even if it kills me. You’re not going to ruin this for me.”

Mimicking those mortals as best as she could, Kana went for a stroll in the hellscape of the Void and moved her arms in a farcical way. She waved at a drawn and quartered human with their entrails hanging out; being tortured for all of eternity for downloading ThirdEyeBlind_Blue_Album.mp3.exe on his family’s computer and blaming the subsequent corruption of said computer on his younger sister. He screamed in agony. “He seems nice,” she said to herself.

Her floating name got closer still, apparently not appreciative of being ignored.

She tried having tea with a succubus acquaintance of hers, but her name took up so much vision real estate that she accidentally knocked the cup over and almost got what looked like jizz on her.

She even attempted to take a power nap, but her loving name seared itself into her retinas with their brightness. She raged and flailed her way out of her blankets like a rabid octopus, screaming at the top of her lungs.

With an annoyed slash of her hand, an inky hole tore itself open in the space in front of her. travelling through, she shouted, “What in the micropenisy gently caress do you want?”

Kana’s violent entrance stunned the only robed man in the room. He knelt in front of the chalk circle she found herself trapped in. His eyes were wide with a mix of terror and confusion. She caught a glimpse of her reflection in a dusty mirror behind him and saw her disheveled state. She still wore her sleeping cattle skull mask on her face, wrinkled jammies and her jet black hair was a rat’s nest that made her look like she was electrocuted. She reached forward to grab the human, and was irritated by his competence when a barrier blocked her hand.

The man bowed, his forehead touching the ground, and started in on his obviously rehearsed greeting. “H-hello oh great demon-”

“I’m a devil, not a demon. Don’t let my beauty care regime throw you,” Kana interrupted. She lifted the cattle skull up to have it rest on top of her head and then put her fists on her hips, assuming a power stance. “And stop with the grovelling. Just tell me why I’m here so we can get on with our lives.”

The man stuttered, his mouth hanging open in astonishment. “Yes, I uh-” he nervously paused, trying to remember why he summoned her, “Honorable Devil, I wish for a boon of power. I want to be the most powerful man at my place of work.”

Kana tilted her head. She was never that familiar with how hierarchies at jobs actually worked. She was always at the top, partly because of her power. She was positive she could grant him the boon and nodded. “Finish the contract and I will do what must be done.”

The man grinned as he cut his palm with a knife and placed his hand on the chalk circle. The barrier turned blood red and disappeared with a flash and sounds of clattering glass.

Kana grasped the man by the shoulder. Immediately, they were at his manager’s house, standing in front of a very surprised boss. Kana punched her fist through his chest, his heart flying across the room.

The summoner stuttered, his face nearly as white as Kana’s skin. “W-wait that’s not-”

They teleported forty-seven more times, Kana quickly, and messily dispatching all the mortals who stood in her summoner’s way.

She nodded in appreciation of her work.

The man slumped to his knees, obviously in awe of her handiwork, she thought.

“What have you done?” The man said hoarsely.

“I did as you asked. Now as to follow human customs, you shall inherit the company. Congratulations young master.”

The man was speechless.

Kana nodded with a too wide smile. “That was actually a lot of fun. My last contract was an absolute drag compared to this. Let’s do this again sometime!”

The man sobbed quietly.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006



lyric: I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone
I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn

Closing In
998 words

1.

Nadia is borrowing a field identification guide from the school library, and she now knows all thirty-seven species of wildflower that grow in the neighborhood’s woods. Woodlily. Milk thistle. Silverbell. She can identify half of them by scent.

She rattles off the list to Mom, as they cut through the brush to gather blueberries, but she only gets five flowers out before Mom says "Please, Nadia, no one wants to hear your lists." She never lets Nadia talk about the forest.

2.

On Nadia's eleventh birthday, she spends the day in the woods with a sketchbook and a set of nice pencils Dad mailed her. She likes to imagine that she is a forest ghost, and when no one is looking at her, she changes shape, from gazelle to cardinal. And she feels the reality of it as she trammels over roots and rocks, draws the shrubs in her little pocket notebook.

And when the sun sets and she returns home with leaves and twigs in her hair, Mom is smoking a cigarette on the back porch. And she stares at Nadia, in this certain way she knows Nadia hates, and she says "You spent the whole day by yourself."

Nadia squirms and looks away. She knows Mom is crying, and she knows she’s supposed to say something to make her feel better, and thinks, maybe, she’s supposed to apologize. What’s the normal thing to do?

She says “it’s okay,” but she wonders what a forest ghost would do.

3.

She asks the animals what she needs to do for Mom to understand that she’s OK. And of course they don’t answer. But they listen. The chipmunks stop and tilt their tiny heads. The robins stop singing. The mosquitoes suck her blood.

Somewhere in the distance, she hears voices and sees the blur of motion. It’s some of the loud boys at school who swear all the time, shooting at each other with their pellet rifles. The forest ghost inside her writhes with animal rage, and Nadia and takes a deep breath and howls in the boys’ direction. If she ever met a coyote, she’d expect it would sound like her.

She runs back home, leaping over the dead leaves, but she listens for footsteps before slipping into the back door.

4.

Down the street they’ve been chopping trees to make room for a CVS.

5.

At school lunch, Nadia sits with a group of girls that barely look at her. Mom has made her a salami sandwich, and it’s that weird kind of salami that has these black specks in it. She crumbles the sandwich into a ball, pockets it, and eats her pudding.

The girls are looking at her and giggling, and her head turns to static electricity while her body turns to stone.

6.

On the Internet, she finds a spell that will transform her into a Northern cardinal. She knows, even as she’s copying the instructions onto an index card, that it can’t possibly work, but she feels like she has to try, or she’ll lose something that’s slipping away from her.

The animals won’t stay around to listen to her anymore, not since the trees started coming down. They scurry under logs and burrow underground. She wants to see where they go when they’re afraid of humans. She wants to belong there.

She sneaks out of the house, which she’s never done before but it’s not hard to wait until Mom goes to bed and slip out the back door, with her index card and a couple of candles from the bathroom.

7.

It’s different moving through the woods at night: the sounds and smells are different, too. But even in the low light, she knows the location of every exposed boulder, the blossoming flowers she needs to avoid. She feels like the forest is an extension of her, and, as she puts both of her hands on the tree, she wants to belong to the forest.

8.

How long does she spend there? She’s not sure. Time works differently at night in the forest. She lights the candles and reads the incantations and even sprinkles some of the thyme she stole from the cupboard at the base of the tree, and for a moment she almost feels the talons break free from her fingers.

She reads the language in the spell again, but it’s not working, or maybe she’s just not good enough at magic. With the light from the candles, she sees the silhouettes of the logging machines in the distance, sitting powerless beside the wound of an empty plot.

She feels stupid, because of course she’s not a ghost, not a witch, and she’s not going to turn into a cardinal. She just wants to believe that she is so much it hurts.

9.

The back porch light is on when she comes home, and the moment she rattles the doorknob, Mom is sitting right inside in a bathrobe, chewing her nicotine gum.

She gets up in a hurry and approaches Nadia, arms outstretched.

“No hugs. Please.” Mom looks like she’s going to go for one anyway, so Nadia yells, louder than she’s supposed to. “I don’t want you to hug me.”

Mom raises both of her hands and settles back in her chair. “I called the police,” she says. “When I heard the door shut. I thought,” she says, and her voice catches, “I thought someone had…”

“Well, they didn’t,” Nadia says.

“Are you mad at me?” Mom says. But she’s not talking fast and loud. She sounds quiet. She sounds sleepy.

“I want to be a bird,” Nadia says, quietly.

"So do I," Mom says, and Nadia thinks maybe she'll say more, but she doesn't. Nadia wonders if she gets the same static inside her head that she does. They sit in the hallways for a while, saying nothing, until the cop cars show up and Mom goes outside to make the officers go away.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!






Flash: There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out of the dark


The Opposite of Fire

795 words

Professor Madison taught science and applied math for a year at Robelard. He never wore matching socks. One red and the other white, one white and the other black, one green and the other plaid in clan tartan, it changed day to day. That wasn't the strangest thing about him, either: that would be the three-eyed rose quartz skull that sat on his desk, or maybe the antique velocipede he commuted between the classrooms and the faculty residences on, or the seven-pointed star tattooed on his left outer thigh. The socks, though, that was the thing the students all knew about, the thing they'd tell you first about him. He saved my life three times that year.
I was teaching Calculus and Trigonometry, my third year on the faculty. It fell to me to show him the campus, after his first day.
"The buildings are all connected by these tunnels," I said. "A convenience on a rainy day like this. In the deep winter-"
The lights flickered and died. The amber emergency lights turned on briefly, then faded. I fumbled in my bag for my phone, activated the flashlight.
There were three of them, human-shaped, hunched, formed of fuzz-edged darkness. They had red eyes and black fangs that glinted wetly.
"Boggart," said Madison. "Pwca. Shadow-reave." He held his umbrella like a rapier, and it seemed to have a scalpel-sharp tip in the unsteady light. One of the things lunged at me, teeth bared and bearing toward my arm. Madison thrusted and connected, and the thing dissolved into foul air, like rot and syrup. He swung right and took the second thing apart with a diagonal slash. The third turned to run. I followed it with the beam and he launched the umbrella like a javelin, striking through it. The emergency lights came back on while the stench-clouds lingered.
"Penelope, I would ask that you not speak of this," he said. "I don't know who can be trusted."
He and I grew closer over the next few months. No other monsters attacked us, not then. We were friends, to start with. Then, well, there was the day I found out my ex had gotten married to his new girlfriend. One year after the breakup, to the day. Madison was there. He warned me at the start, told me his contract was just for the year and that he would not ask to stay. I heard him. I understood. I rode him until dawn anyway, and many times after.
The monsters came back, came with the first snows of winter. As the winds and hail blew outside, as inch after inch accumulated outside, putting the campus under seige. The tunnels were not safe, but they were the only way to get from place to place. We both had our favorite students. We turned them into a little army, taught them to fight the shadows, to protect each other on each passage. There were casualties. No deaths, but Chloe wound up in the infirmary with a broken arm, and when Frostjacks tried to storm the comp sci lab and shattered the great glass windows another five were laid up with fevers and glass cuts. Madison and I were visiting them there when the true threat revealed itself. Dean of students Sylvia Gannon. Madison named her true form: Icebird. Anphoenix. Chillstrix. Working a mass sacrifice to break her cycle of rebirth and live forever in endless winter. We fought them, beating the cold off with a massive bonfire. She had armies of shadow-boggarts and Frostjacks and white-winged bats. When they broke the line and came close, Madison slid his umbrella across the icy ground to me, and I picked it up and fought. It felt natural in my hand. He charged at then, unarmed, or so it seemed until he reached into his own chest and pulled forth a flaming sword.
That was two. Our flings, our times together were welcome but not lifesaving. We barely saw each other that spring. Covering up that kind of event involves a lot of busy work, mostly paperwork and convincing people that silence benefits them, too. We had a little time together working through the forms, making certain that the Michigan office was fully convinced of the identity of each dispatched supernatural entity and that none of them represented a soverignty that had diplomatic standing in this world. That was nice, restful, but over too soon. And then he was gone.
He left me that umbrella. And that was three, years later, when the Labyrinth breached into the Robelard tunnels and the Thing At The Center took hostages, including my fiancee Edward Li, and I had to fight my way in and out again, the weapon and the memory served me well.

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)




That's Why I Didn't Give Up on Music
891 words

At the park, Andrea set her cello down, testing the strings. She examined her bow, noting every little feature of it down to the grain of wood. She was hyper-fixating to distract herself of her heart's aches, and her wallet's woes. The one silver lining about unemployment was that she could practice in the park.

She tried not to think of Amy. She had been a partner, someone Andrea hoped to make music with. It didn't matter if Amy came from a different world, shredding face-melting guitar solos in front of a rowdy audience. They promised to play together, electric guitar and acoustic cello, in the upcoming Muse Fest. And Amy, ever-chasing more lucrative musical highs, left her to join some big-shot band that needed a new guitarist. It would have stung less if she actually cheated on her, honestly.

Suppressing a sigh, Andrea tuned her cello, even if she had tuned it before heading off to the park. It had lasted her through music school, and with care it would last a decade longer. Drawing strength from her old friend, she began to warm up. Finger exercises, scales, and a beginner's piece. Her left hand trembled slightly, which got more prominent as she fought it.

Andrea slouched on the park bench. She wallowed in her despair, until she heard the grass rustle and saw a little girl staring at her cello, her mouth agape.

"You have a giant violin," she said.

"It's a cello," Andrea said. A common misconception, but she knew better than to tell off a child.

"Why big?"

"Big is for deeper sounds," Andrea said. She played a low note to demonstrate.

"Wow."

Seeing her young audience transfixed, Andrea played the C major scale, simple and pleasing to anyone's ears.

The child smiled. "I feel it in my tummy," she said.

"Mika!" a woman's voice called. An adult strode towards the child and grabbed her hand. "Don't go running off by yourself, please. Mommy's worried about you."

"But I wanted to see the lady play the big violin," Mika said.

"Cello," Andrea said, without a hint of chastisement in her voice.

"Cello," Mika said. "Mom, the woman taught me a new word! It means big violin."

Andrea snorted a laugh. Big violin, then. "Would you like to hear a song?"

"Can I, mom?"

"I don't see why not," Mika's mother said. "But just one."

Putting a flourish to her grip on the bow, Andrea played the prelude to one of Bach's cello suites. She had known the piece since she was ten, and it comforted her more than any friend or lover could. It wasn't perfect, but her hands obeyed her for the most part. When she finished, Mika burst out clapping.

The child's applause spoke louder than her pained heart. Andrea stood up and bowed.

"Thank you!" Mika said, and dashed away as children did, their attention already elsewhere.

"Mika..." the mother sighed. She turned to Andrea and smiled. "Thank you for playing for my daughter. Are you okay?"

Perhaps her fingers still trembled after all. If it were a friend she would have started crying already. "I'm working on it," Andrea said.

"Then I'll do my best to keep my daughter away," the mother said. "Good day to you."

As the woman left, Andrea wiped the sweat off her hands. She wasn't going to let anything stop her from practicing today. Not random kids, not unemployment, not Amy.

Speaking of Amy, the scent of her familiar perfume reached Andrea's nose. She ducked just in time as Amy tried to prank her from behind.

"Whoo, you've gotten better," Amy said. She was wearing black despite the humid day, without a drop of sweat on her. Andrea wondered how she could do it. She changed her lipstick, though.

"Why are you here?" Andrea snapped. She wrapped her arms around her cello, as if it could protect her.

"Can't I go where I please? I just heard your sloppy playing from a mile away and decided to drop by. You're rusty, girl."

"And whose fault was that?" Andrea said. Whose fault was it indeed? The woman who dragged her around to late-night gigs, who got them a slot at Muse Fest, powered by big dreams and nothing else? Or the woman who agreed meekly to all of it?

"There you go, blaming others again. Classic Andrea. I really dodged a bullet with you." Her cold dismissal dropkicked Andrea's heart, and she flinched as if physically struck.

But she wasn't backing down this time.

"You're not worth it," Andrea said. The last vestiges of the Amy in her heart faded away as she confronted the real Amy, standing in front of her.

"What?"

"You're right, I've lost my touch. But I played for a live audience today. It sucked, yes, and I'm far from where I should be, but I managed to make someone happy with my music. You're not going to take that away from me."

Amy shrugged. "Whatever, loser. See you at Muse Fest." She turned and walked away, waving her off with a dismissive hand. Andrea stared at her back until she finally disappeared from view.

Andrea slapped her face lightly. Muse Fest was just two weeks away. Putting everything else away from her mind, she hunkered down, and started playing notes, one after the other.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011



Hellrule: Everyone has eyes made of literal fire

Preventing Burnout
892 words


To the outsider, it would look like Minyak Panas, the tall freak who was Intense Blaze, shrunk his own flames as he entered the hospital and then dragged a woman by her arms into a lift reserved exclusively for Blazes. A lift technician would then notice he stopped the lift midway by using Blaze-exclusive button. Red flags, a journalist would say. Because Intense Blaze’s costume was a red bodysuit with a Red flag as a cloak.

On the inside of the lift, however, Panas slumped down to the floor. The woman he dragged was Spark Cinders. Her flames were bright red, but there was a purple circle around it.

“You taught me no Grand Embers when in a hospital lobby!” Panas said.

“Mine’s weaker than yours. What’s up?” Cinders asked.

“I don’t know what to do with him,” Panas said.

“Snuff him out,” Cinders said.

“In the hospital?”

“He’s in the special Blaze Wing. Everything happening there will be official Blaze business.”

“Still...in the hospital?”

“You’re not worried about the place. He has Grand Ember, he’s Blue, why should he live?”

“He...he could have important information. Base locations, numbers, stuff like that.”

“He could be sending important Red information back.”

Panas hesitated. “You’re not usually this direct, Cinders.”

Panas activated the runes on his palm and several small pieces of coal appeared. Purely by touch, he picked the two best ones and put one on each of his furnaces. He inhaled, letting the memory of the crack of bones of victims from Blue attacks enter his ears. Energy ran through from his brain down to his stovetic nerves and oil appeared within the cavities, merging with the small spark to become purple flames.

Panas could see Cinders’ face now. Her usual smile wasn’t there, replaced by a grimace. Cinders touched the scar on her left cheek, going up diagonally across her face up to the bottom of her right furnace. “He didn’t harm any of the border guards.”

“Because he was so wounded he can barely speak,” Cinders said. “And before you say anything, of course the Blues would be so cruel to their own spies.”

Panas was silent.

Cinders sighed. “You’re not going to listen to me, so anything further is pointless.” She pressed a button and the lift moved again.

“Why did you forgive me back then?” Panas asked.

“Your special oil was useful in defeating the Wicked,” Cinders said. The lift stopped and the door opened, straight to a hospital room. There was a single bed in it on the other side, some machines next to it and a desk chair close to the lift. “And not everybody would just jump into wax giants’ necks to defeat them.”

“I’m smart and stupid, huh,” Panas said. As he exited the lift, he turned around and asked, “Did you give me a chance because I was a Red?”

The door closed as Cinders remained silent. Panas turned around, facing the room. The patient slept silently, the upper half of his face covered with a black box that kept his furnaces dry and measure vitals. Panas walked up to one side of the bed and touched his skin. It was cold.

“I don’t know what to do with you, Lenga Benter,” Panas said. “Do you know why this room is Blaze-exclusive? Because the Grand Embers can create such unique wounds, only special doctors can treat it.” Panas walked to the desk chair and sat down. “That’s why Cinders still hadn’t recovered from your Grand Embers.” He spun around on the chair, and then stood up. “I wanted to do the same to you.”

Panas pressed Benter’s chest. Usually you can feel the hearth working, burning the oil that’s circulating through the body, but Benter’s chest felt different. It was cold to the touch, but after a few seconds Panas could feel a stream of energy going through him, like small worms, climbing from his chest to his arm, up to his shoulders and down to Benter’s hearth, before shooting up to his furnaces. He could see purple glow under the black box. “Our Grand Embers are connected, huh?”

Panas inhaled, and two memories appeared. One was the rumble of a house collapsing after a fire, and the other was a rustling of an old picture. “How long have you known I was your brother, Benter?”

Panas liked to pull away, but the worms now felt like wicks, coated all the way through with his own oil. The wick’s tougher than his arms. “Had I known sooner, would anything change?”

Panas tried to turn off his flames in vain. The wicks felt even stiffer now, like a rod. “It’s the Grand Embers, isn’t it? These purple flames kept us apart.”

“Well, I’m not having it,” Panas said, his words flowing smooth. “I don’t want to kill my brother, but I just can’t trust a Blue Grand Embers user.”

Panas felt his arms stiffening, like a candle. “I’m good with oil, you’re good with paraffin. But the Grand Embers we have is burning the bridges between us.”

Panas closed his eyes. “So let’s start from the start again, brother. Let’s both be...in the dark. Together.”

Panas turned off his Grand Embers. His body felt like it was gouged and about forty kilograms lighter.

“Ah, cold hospital floor. I missed you.”

Panas fainted.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


curlingiron posted:

Here is Puddle, she is a special lady.




harder better faster deeper
735 words

Like a flower, you’ll first find me after a spring rain. The little pitter patter of raindrops on the hoods of cars turns to little rivulets that run down the radiator and tires and onto the asphalt. Water trickles in when I’m no bigger than a single misplaced rock, but soon my roots take hold and I grow. It can take years, but I’ll eventually sprout into a respectable hole, filled to the brim with murky water. Not big enough to cause any trouble, at first, the kind that can barely be noticed as I’m driven over and the little splash barely reaches out from under the wheel, but all the while I dig deeper into the earth, biding my time. The underlayer of gravel and rocks melt away.

On the dry days I don’t seem that deep: a few inches is all. Not enough to cause any alarm. Yeah sure every now and then somebody will swerve, but most don’t. “Somebody should fix that,” they’ll mutter after hitting me for the second day in a row, but they won’t call me in. And so every time it rains I fill up, I run over, and I seep toward the bedrock.

And then I bloom.

On the surface I still look unassuming, but below I’m a slurry of sand and water that reaches down to the ancient aquifers. An overworked parent only needs to turn their back for a second to unload their minivan for me to catch the eye of a curious kid. “Go ahead, jump in me,” I croon in that silent song only children hear, and they waddle toward me with a mischievous glint in their eye.

But I don’t wanna talk about drowned toddlers. Truth is, grabbing a hold of their little ankles and dragging them down into the depths is nothing like it can be... like it used to be. I could spend days straight plucking those little tots from willow-lined cul-de-sacs and never even get close to the impact of swallowing up a single hapless school bus. I have a brother in Singapore that got a whole market. Stalls, sandals, some goats and even a few tourists amongst the locals. They still feed him the occasional drone or camera on a string, trying in vain to see how deep he goes. It’s hard to live up to that kind of competition.

And what kind of offering to the eldritch gods are the miniscule bones of a half-formed human compared to even a single femur of a stegosaurus? We used to feast on the richness of the Earth, swallowing up whole herds of giant lizards, inky blackness reaching out of our confines and catching unaware passersby.

Then they ruined everything. Paved over us, diverted runoff to the oceans instead of letting it permeate the ground. They even have special crews that will come and fill us up at the slightest inconvenience. I should feel lucky to even get a kid these days, so many of my brothers are starving. But it’s hard to celebrate mediocrity; there’s no joy in being the only wilted rose in a vase of dead weeds.

Though the little monkeys are our enemy, we’re also kin in a way. Like them, I look up at the stars and dream. Out there are puddles that swallow entire planets. What gifts the gods would bestow upon me if I could unlock those secrets. I’d swallow this entire planet without hesitation if I could. Then I’d keep going. I’d get that moon of theirs too, and then their precious sun until I’d gobbled up all the light and warmth they’d ever known. Their little wheelbarrows and shovels and cement wouldn’t feel so comforting then, would they?

The air has a certain freshness to it after it rains. They’ll venture outside after being trapped inside for days, adorned in slick plastic and bright boots. Go for little walks to the corner store or just around in circles only to end up back where they started. Sometimes they stop on the sidewalk and take a deep breath and smile. They don’t even see me beginning beneath a fallen leaf, but I’m already at work. It’s not drawing any helicopter news crews or being sung about in the ancient tongue, but gotta start somewhere. Until I’m ready to consume galaxies, this street will have to do.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Submissions are closed.

Your esteemed panel of judges...


...and this guy...


...will now deliberate.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Yoruichi posted:

there is one extra horse in the thread.

Loose horse in the thunderdome alert. I repeat, loose horse in the 'dome.

Casual Encountess
Dec 14, 2005

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


Thunderdome Exclusive



lol i’m going to be honest i was hammered and cooking for the super bowl last night and i missed the deadline, but i’m still gonna post my dumbass story. sorry i’ll do better next time.



trash panda (963 words)

I’ve made plenty of poor decisions in my life. Purchasing this antique store that I’m currently living in was surprisingly not in the top 10, maybe not even in the top 25 worst decisions i’ve made but some days it certainly feels like it. The shop itself was gorgeous, inside and out. Set back on a sidestreet off the main drag in town, the windows were full of tchotchkes and furniture, hard oak dressers flanked by dusty trombones, a worrying amount of gothic horse and fairy figurines silhouetted against a gigantic leopard tapestry. I was particularly proud of this absolutely breathtaking cherry credenza I had rescued out of a luxury condo’s dumpster. I tried hard to make sure my windows were stocked with exactly the right balance of quality and chintzy, and it had been a mark of pride for me that since opening the store a year ago nothing ever stayed in that window for more than a month.

####

I spent more time than not in dumpsters. Living in a big city means that every day on the on the pavement, there’s ever more treasures and treats if you knew where to look. Before the store, I used to be a bike messenger, endlessly crisscrossing the city, learning every single curb cut and traffic light timing, and it is with that encyclopedic knowledge that I began to pull my head out of the clouds, and focus my gaze downwards, to the cobblestones around me.

Sharing the secrets of the city was always enjoyable for me, and I distinctly remember the look on my best friend’s face the first time I showed her one of my favorite street secrets. It was pretty late, and we had been smoking spliffs and walking back from a basement show where she performed, somehow making incredible dance music out of beatboxing into a didgeridoo and a drum machine. Maybe it was the drugs I was on. Anyways, we were zooted to the moon, high and drunk walking home, and I had begun to get pretty hungry. We happened to walk by a particular upscale restaurant a friend of a friend used to work at that originally tipped me off

I like a little razzle-dazzle in my life every now and again, so I pulled my friend into the alleyway and proceeded to swan dive into the dumpster there. It only took me a second to find what I was searching for. I popped right out and gracefully landed at my friend’s feet with two pizza boxes, absolutely packed to the brim with fresh slices of pizza, absolutely untouched because the pizza joint threw the boxes in a trash bag before throwing them out. I may be covered in old yogurt, but boy do I know how to have a good time.

####

Since getting the store I’ve done a lot more purchasing of goods, but trawling the back alleys for goods was such an easy way to refresh inventory, and the city always has more give. My stockroom was already pretty packed to the gills, but it had nothing on my apartment upstairs. My friend’s aunt who had owned the store was obviously an extreme packrat, but i’ve slowly been selling everything off. My favorite part of the apartment was easily the balcony, which was high up and gave a great view of the street theater constantly going on down below.

What I didn’t know when I moved in is that one of my old college frenemy flames, Abby, lived right across the way. It was one of those random mornings when I was smoking a spliff on the balcony and watching the people below when I saw her getting into a screaming match with this new girl she had been posting photos with on social media.I was annoyed when she started wildly falling in love with her, because I knew she inevitably would come crawling back to me at some point. Mind you, I’m full of my own Big Problems but I at least have the human decency to only be toxic to myself.

We hadn’t so much as smiled at each other in months, which was oddly reassuring. I contented myself with smoking in my crow’s nest and watching Abby slowly exit her honeymoon period with her current. After seeing it so many times and now, living right next to her I could see into her kitchen and see her angry water her plants, and try to sneak a cigarette on the balcony. She never smoked until she did, despite constantly making GBS threads on me for this filigreed silver cigarette case I’d carry. She’d call me a douchebag for having it (I was) and she would tell me to quit smoking once a day, but we’d sleep together, and she would inevitably reach for it and light up immediately after. Maybe the million movies I watched poisoned my brain but it was just so loving satisfying lying in your lovers arms, both sweaty and gross, sharing a smoke together.

I saw her sneaking one today during my morning coffee and spliff constitutional, and while she was gorgeous in the early morning light, she had such a heartbreaking look of pain on her face that I knew I was going to wuss out on ignoring her. I couldn’t help it. I’m not perfect. Abby is the blazing hot star that is center of her universe, I’m just a space ship and I knew her gravity was pulling me in yet again. So I took a shower, put on my favorite makeup and my best jealousy inducing dress and heels for maximum effect. She liked tiger lilies, and there was a really great florist around the corner from her place. I sighed, and stepped outside into the sunlight.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




:sparkles: Week 444 Judgement :sparkles:

Wow, judgement this week was an emotional journey. If you want to experience the highs, the lows, and the tortured decision-making with me, Curlingiron, and Sebmojo, you can listen to live judgement here.

First, the bad news. Casual Encountess is DQ’d for being both late and over the word count. Also DQ’d for the sin of breaching the word limit, albeit accidentally, and despite writing one of, if not the, best story of the week, is Sparksbloom.

The loss this week goes to Toanoradian, whose story was too confusing for any of the judges to fully understand.

Lily Catts earns a DM for a bland character and unsatisfying resolution.

Our picks for the top end were unanimous; what order they should go in was not. But we are all pleased to award HMs to Azza Bamboo and Simply Simon for high quality character work.

And taking the win, because they wrote my personal favourite protagonist of the week, is Mercedes. We also decided that Puddles was the best horse.

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 07:44 on Feb 9, 2021

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Crits for week 444


Undead Empowerment by brotherly

In this story we see an unemployed necromancer looking for work, using the Power of Positive Thinking and other very 90s self-help mantras. They convince someone (I found it very implausible btw that the woman watching the CCTV had the power to make hiring decisions) to give them a shot at getting a security job. They fail disastrously, raising a skeleton horde that destroys the store. They learn nothing from this experience. The end.

Who was your protagonist? I was picturing a true Gen-Xer. Growing up in the 80s their Boomer parents told them they could be / have anything they wanted, if they put their mind to it, and they believed them. Gen-Xers have confidence, they have swagger. They also have little to no self-reflection and a stubbornly blinkered enthusiasm for creating tech start-ups that cause no end of problems.

I would have liked to have been able to round out my image of your necromancer with more personal details. I know they have human remains at home but that’s obvious, because necromancer. What do they like? What are their personal quirks? What do they physically look like? A few small details would have gone a long way towards creating a fuller character.

I thought the ending of the story let it down. I think you intended for your protagonist to remain stubbornly the same despite their total gently caress up, but showing them learning from this, or at least having a moment of reflection, even if they reject change, would have been more convincing.

6/10


Curio Shop by Idle Amalgam

Good on you for rising to the challenge of your accidental double hellrules. I like this poem. It nicely evokes both the hopefulness and sadness of a curio shop. I can just imagine the sound the little bell over the door would make, and smell its warm dustiness.

Given this is a poem, not a story, and it does not strictly speaking have a protagonist, you backed yourself into a bit of an impossible corner, prompt-wise. Nevertheless, you have given your curios personality, and their desire to be needed is very relatable. The fact that there is a mixture of items that are still in their original packaging and some that are “salvageable” is a nice detail.

6/10


Minotaur by Simply Simon

Story-wise, I thought this was structured poorly - the first half is well-paced, but the fragmented flashback in the second half feels meandering, and the ending doesn’t tie back to the beginning very well.

But, character-wise, I thought you did a very good job. Our poor protagonist is the sentient labyrinth, but he has convinced himself that he is just a normal guy doing a normal job. The repression of his true situation beneath his dry bureaucrat facade is disturbing, and makes us sympathetic towards this otherwise horrifying being.

7/10


Worth a Punt by Azza Bamboo

This is interesting. It doesn’t have a clear arc, but I liked the description of these teenagers and their relationships. I particularly liked how kind Kassidy is to Lynn, despite seeming like a bit of a dirtbag in other respects. Her fearlessness in the face of a stupid bike stunt contrasts nicely with her concern about keeping her new shoes clean.

The story gets off to a wobbly start, as it initially seems like the POV character is the mother, and some of the descriptions are a bit clunky. I had trouble picturing the quarry and the dirt ramp, for example.

Overall, good job with the characters, but this needed another edit to make it a smoother read.

6.5/10


Putting the Fun in Contract by Mercedes

Lol this was great. I giggled at “eldritch roomba” and “what in the micropenisy gently caress,” and chortled at the ending.

But more importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed your demented protagonist. Kana is fabulous, I would 100% like to spend more time with this character. With a very deft hand you have created a fully fleshed out person, who is nasty (oh hi there guy being tortured) yet vulnerable (accidentally wears pyjamas to work), lazy and stubborn (gently caress you I am relaxing here) yet enthusiastic about her job (47 murders is a lot!), has friends (thank you for the jizz tea but I really must be going) but is also independent (I love you, endless void).

This story succeeds at creating a convincing and memorable protagonist because you kept her character simple (she’s a devil and does devil-y things) yet gave her unique details (I love the snuggie and skull hat) and relatable flaws (I mean, not that relatable, I don’t have a giant ego, cough, cough). We get the right amount of physical description needed to picture her (thin, pale, long unkempt black hair). We know she’s a devil and has to respond to being summoned, but also that she used to work in a shop, which is just enough of a backstory to justify her determination to relax now that she has returned to the void. The whole tone of the story also adds characterisation; even when you are not directly describing the protagonist, you are still showing us how they look at the world and keeping us inside their head.

Very nicely done, sir.

8/10


Closing In by sparksbloom

What’s a CVS?

Maybe it’s some sort of housing development, doesn’t matter.

I enjoyed this story. The protagonist is a child with a strained relationship with her (single parent) mother, and the girl likes to escape into the neighbouring forest to act out her rich fantasy life. The relationship with the mother and the teasing at school felt very real, and I liked the moment of connection between mother and daughter at the end.

This story didn’t totally grab me, I think because the protagonist is a child. This may be more of a matter of personal taste than the story itself, but I feel like, even though your protagonist is well drawn, she is a somewhat generic child and therefore not super memorable. To be honest I was more interested in the mother.

You also went ~100 words over the word limit. Tut, tut.

7.5/10


The Opposite of Fire by Thranguy

Thranguy, I feel like you just pitched me an extremely awesome movie. There is a lot going on in these 800 words. Unfortunately, I’m going to say too much, particularly in a week where the challenge was to focus on character. Madison is a bad-rear end, don’t get me wrong, but he’s just a hero in a wizard movie, and the narrator is just his equally bad-rear end girlfriend. I would love to read more about these two, which is good, but the problem is I don’t feel like there’s enough of them in this story.

6/10


That's Why I Didn't Give Up on Music by Lily Catts

Wow Amy is a real cow.

Andrea is a relatable but fairly generic character. She has been dumped. She is sad. She does a thing that gives her a confidence boost. She sees her ex for what she is. She feels better. The cello playing helps round this character out, but doesn’t make her particularly memorable.

I’m afraid your dialogue is terrible. This isn’t how people talk. I don’t have any pithy advice to give here, but ask someone better than me in the discord.



5/10


Preventing Burnout by toanoradian

A spy (?), whose real name is Minyak Panas and whose cover name is Intense Blaze (?), goes to a hospital to meet an injured compatriot, who he drags into a lift to avoid being overheard (?), before going to the room of a wounded enemy. But, the enemy is his brother, so instead of killing him he chooses to extinguish his own internal fire, and passes on out the floor.

This was a more confusing read than it should have been. There are a lot of proofing errors, and it wasn’t clear what you meant by some of your made-up terms. “Grand Embers,” for example, seems to be something you can be, like a master wizard, something you can do to someone, and/or something you have.

The story also felt muddled as to whether the focus was the relationship between Panas and Cinders, or Panas and his brother. You have three potentially strong characters here, but none of them really shone. Panas and Cinders in particular feel like generic grizzled spy types, and the brother doesn’t have much going on except a vague Darth Vader, “Panas, I am your brother,” vibe.

4.5/10


harder better faster deeper by crabrock

In which a sinkhole laments that it is not a bigger sinkhole, a sinkhole so big it could swallow entire planets, but knows it will have to settle for the occasional toddler, for now.

Good job giving personality to a puddle. But I found your character a little one-dimensional. Yes it has dreams but there’s not much going on besides being a sinkhole.

6.5/10


trash panda by Casual Encountess

DQ’d for lateness and being over the word limit.

This story starts with the protagonist successfully running an antique store, takes a detour through dumpster diving, and ends with them deciding, against their better judgement, to try and get back together with their ex. This felt like a meandering and slightly pointless journey, with these three aspects of your protagonist’s life not particularly connected. Despite stating that your protagonist feels regret about their poor decisions, they seem pretty happy throughout the story. She is proud that her window displays sell well, pleased with her dumpster diving prowess, and positive about her chances with Abby. While this is fine, it meant that your protagonist didn’t feel like she had a lot of depth.

5.5/10

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.



Yoruichi posted:

I can't belive you're making me do this, what am I your mum

Here is your horse, which is actually Chairchucker's horse



The Ducks had it Coming Though, TBH 514 words

The hunter sighted down his barrel at the flock.

“17,” said a voice from behind him.

He lowered the shotgun and turned around. “What? And also, who are you, and where did you come from?”

“Oh, sorry,” said the figure who was now before him instead of behind him, since he’d turned around. The man was very sharply dressed, and his cloak was simultaneously the blackest black, but also completely fabulous. “I’m Ivan. There are 17 ducks. I assumed you were trying to count them, since you were looking at them so intently. Thought I’d help you, since I’m so good at counting.”

“What?” said the hunter. “I wasn’t counting them, I was trying to do some sport hunting.”

“Sport?” said Ivan. “I don’t mind some sport, actually. Quite good at tiddlywinks, in fact. Not familiar with this sport though, what’s the rules?”

“Rules?” The hunter frowned. “I’m trying to shoot the ducks.”

“Right,” said Ivan. “And they shoot back? I’m trying to figure out how this works for the other team.”

“No. They get shot and I take them home and put them on my wall.”

“Whoever invented this sport is an idiot,” said Ivan. “Gotta give the other team more to do.”

“What are you doing here, anyway?” asked the hunter. “You’re not some kind of animal loving hippie, are you?”

“Hmm,” said Ivan. “Not sure what a hippie is, but as to loving animals, I suppose it depends on the animal. For example, I don’t really care for dolphins or roosters, but bats and wolves are agreeable fellows. Don’t mind ducks either, for that matter.”

“Right,” said the hunter. “Well, it strikes me that as this is a wildlife reserve and I’m not supposed to be hunting here, I’d probably better not leave any witnesses.” He pointed the shotgun at Ivan. “Any last words?”

“Hmm,” said Ivan. “Is that weapon sanctified in some way?”

“What?”

“Or loaded with stakes? Maybe garlic coated ammunition?”

“Enough questions,” said the hunter, and pulled the trigger.

At the crack of the shotgun, there was a thick plume of smoke, and a large flock of ducks rose into the air. The smoke cleared to reveal Ivan was no longer standing where he’d been. “73,” said Ivan from behind the hunter.

~

If the hunter’s body had been discovered by the wrong people, it might have caused An Incident. There might’ve been a great deal of unpleasantness regarding the death of another human at the hands of a space vampire. Fortunately, most humans obeyed the sanctity of the wildlife reserve, so when the body was discovered, it was by the ranger, who decided that actually, it was extremely good for poachers to get killed by space vampires, and there was no need to do anything about it.

Plus the ranger was secretly a space werewolf, which he hadn’t listed on his CV when applying for the job, because it didn’t seem all that relevant, and anyway, the point is space werewolves and space vampires are pretty chill with each other.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


:siren: Week 444 Judgefarts :siren:

Undead Empowerment

Wouldn’t a necromancer *not* want positive vibes…?

You know I was going to write “I kind of hate this dude,” but then it occured to me that I don’t know if your MC is a dude or not. Or what they look like. Or, uh, basically anything about them other than that they are A) a necreomancer, B) into weird new age bullshit for some reason, and C) old, I guess? That one got thrown in there halfway through, although there wasn’t really any indication of it earlier.

I think my problem with this is that it reads kind of like a joke, like “so a New Age necromancer walks into a Macy’s…” or something. It’s still in very paper cut-out land.



Curio Shop

Oh dear. I see why you did this, but it really hasn’t left you with anything approaching characters, has it? On the one hand, I’m inclined not to penalize you for it, because hellrules are hard. But on the other hand, you did ask for a hellrule, and I have seen some really great palindromic stories that still managed to be stories and have characters. Rather unfortunate.

Also, uh, where was your horse in this at all? The only connection I could possibly see is “The faded remnants of yesterday brighten,” and even that’s a bit of a stretch.



Minotaur

DISCLAIMER: Since this was written, it has been confirmed that this was NOT (intentional) fanfiction. I am preserving my comments for posterity and because I'm lazy.

I have no idea why, but your first sentence is *really* hard to place in time. I kept reading it as “The criminals {who are} sent into his labyrinth were all dead {before they were sent inside}.” That is *probably* a me-issue, not a story-issue, but still.

Uh, did you write Cube fanfiction?????

Oh no. You wrote Cube Zero fanfiction.

...okay, I think the ending spares you from a fanfiction tag (maybe), but still. Even the labyrinth attendant being surgically altered as punishment seems like a tie-in, even if you took it in a different direction. I’m actually having a really hard time judging this because I can’t really distinguish what you’ve done here from what happens in the films.

If I had to pick out some characteristics of your protagonist they would be: meticulous, smug, tea-drinker, beureaucrat, maybe insane? Again, very mixed feelings re: Cube, but that is more than two things, so good job.



Worth a Punt

Ah, now this I’m into. I can picture Kassidy perfectly, not even because you’ve described her physical appearance in detail, but because the pieces you’ve given me speak to a particular kind of person. Even the way you’ve chosen to describe things (“tidied her hair enough for today” was particularly good) reveal things about who your character is.

Okay, Daphne is a bit much. You did so well with Kassidy, but it feels like the other two are much shallower in comparison. I do like the interaction between the three, but I would have difficulty pinning more descriptors onto Lynn and Daphne beyond “scaredycat” and “monkeycheese,” respectively.



Putting the Fun in Contract

I think that you think the title is funny. It is not.

This is… a lot. The first paragraph feels … I guess “lascivious” is the best word I have for it, and I do appreciate the irony of using it to describe weirdly purple prose.

Man, this really just feels like you’re trying to be funny instead of making a character.

Yeah, I mean… I guess? This is a thing? It kinda feels like it’s failing on all levels except “getting to put “‘What in the micropenisy gently caress do you want?’” in a story.

Sorry, Merc. I still love you. ❤️



Closing In

Aw, poor Nadia. :( I will listen to your lists if you want.

I like the numbered list motif, but I’m not sure exactly how much it adds to the story; obviously there needed to be breaks there, but the decision to number them feels like an arbitrary one. ((EDIT: It just occurred to me that this is a tie-in to the lists in the first section. I feel dumb, but I also think it's not adding a lot))

I’m also a little confused on the Mom’s character. She seems kind of inconsistent, and some of the interactions between her and Nadia get muddled as to who is doing or saying what.

I really like this, but I also feel like Nadia is not as strong a character as she could be. Maybe because I’ve read so many stories about kids who don’t fit in at school and get into misunderstandings with their parent(s) and want to go disappear into the woods that I’m having trouble separating her from all of the rest. Maybe that’s an unfair judgement, but I think I would have liked to have more hints at her character beyond wanting to run away and live in the forest.

I argued hard for this to at least HM (and I'm still a little salty over it), but alas. Really excellent story, though, and you should send it places.



The Opposite of Fire


Oh please god, don’t let this be a gross teacher story. Please.

Also paragraph breaks, I beg of you.

Okay, so *not* a gross teacher story, thank you for that. This kind of reads like the Wikipedia summary of a volume of Harry Potter, though. I’m also not getting huge character vibes from either Professor Madison or Penelope. Was this part of something else? It feels like there has to be more to this. Please tell me you didn’t write fanfiction too. ((EDIT: I checked and it isn't, thank god))



That’s Why I Didn’t Give Up On Music

No, c’mon, don’t give characters names that start with the same letter, this is an easy one. :///

Ehh, this feels pretty weak. I really wish you hadn’t brought Amy into it; she feels super one-dimensional and mean for the sake of being mean. Andrea’s big catharsis doesn’t even really work because… Amy’s kind of right? If Amy was the only one doing the work of making concerts and practices happen, then it is Andrea’s own fault that she’s out of practice. Maybe you meant to convey something different here, but that’s what I got out of it.



Preventing Burnout

I already have no idea what the gently caress is happening. I definitely interpreted this as Intense Blaze dragging Cinders because she was hurt and he was taking her to the hospital, but I guess that isn’t the case? Also what the hell does “you taught me no Grand Embers when in a hospital lobby!” mean???

I’m usually one for leaving out the worldbuilding, but this is too much.

You’re doing so much work to explain what’s literally happening that you have left basically no room for character personality. This is the opposite of what this week was supposed to be. Why did you do this.

Who is talking in the second half??? Is Benter awake and talking to him? Is he talking to himself????? What the gently caress is happening????????

Okay, so this makes a little more sense in the context of your flashrule, but this is still a mess. If you need the hellrule to make even the slightest amount of sense of the story, it is not a good story. My advice is scale back hard, and focus on writing something your reader will be able to understand. I'd welcome you to come solicit pre-crits in the Discord, since I think that would help a lot more than these post-facto notes.



harder better faster deeper

Yaaaaaaaaay, Puddle! :3:

((Real missed opportunity here; title really should have been harder wetter faster deeper.))

Ah, this is really fun. I’m kind of going back and forth on whether this constitutes a “character” or not, as she (it?) seems to be driven more by an imperative than personal motivation. I’m also a little unclear on some of the rules of the puddles (specifically how one puddle differentiates itself from another, or if perspectives are consistent across form; also do they actually need to eat or is it just a ‘want’ thing), but I don’t think it’s that important in the long run. I do think you could do a run through this and streamline/fix consistency issues, since this feels like something you wrote all at once, but I like it a lot. :kimchi: Thank you for loving Puddle.



trash panda

DRAGONHOOOOOOOOOORSE!!! This was definitely made with the intention of being my horseona, so you better be nice to her. :colbert:

….okay it might just because I have a thing for punk girls in particular, but I would date MC. And by ‘date’ I mean ‘be shyly terrified around and dramatically moon over in private because I don’t know how to talk to women I’m attracted to.’

Anyway, yeah, good character, gj. There was some arguing in the judges' chamber about this, but to me you very clearly gave an idea of a character, even if that character was a kind of awful crustpunk. Was this a story? Absolutely not. But I have a really good idea of who this person is and how she thinks.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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






:stonklol:THUNDERDOME WEEK QUATRO QUATRO CINCO VALENTINE EXTRAVANGANZA :stonklol:



Ah yes, the blood throne is finally mine! It has not escaped my noticed that I won the week using a recurring character. Perhaps I should do something with th-

You are tasked to write about a couple going through Valentine's day together! Two quick, simple, easy things really before you get started. 1! I'm gonna need you domers to look through past entrees and pluck one of your favorite characters you put on the page. Bam, they are now one of the protagonists. If you haven't written a dome story before pick a protag from last week (with the author's permission of course). 2 (two)!! They have a strong emotion about the second character in your story. Like last week, when you sign up tell us an emotion. The person who signs up after you will have that emotion coming from one of two of their characters. First sign up gets the last emotion posted.

Hopefully that's clear. The throne makes you heady as the air is thin up here in victory land.

Since it's Valentines, you CAN write erotica, but keep it tasteful. That line is blurry and ill defined, so if you decide to get sexy, you'll do so at your own peril.

Word count is 1000 words.

No google docs or other funny stuff.

Deadline to sign up is Friday 2000 hours EST. 8pm you fuckers. Deadline to post is 0800 Monday morning! Why are you doing it so weird, Pappa Merc? I hear you ask. It's because Sunday night is my day 3/4 at the hospital and I won't have the energy to read your (good) poo poo so thbbbt.

If you want a flash rule, I can throw you a meme that might, or might not help.

Cupids
1. Me! (Merc)
2. Lily Catts
3. And You???

Lovers
Casual Encountess
sparksbloom -not angry, just disappointed
flerp - do I like you, or do I want to BE you??
sebmojo - jesus christ youre dumb as poo poo, i love you
brotherly - oh god please let this time be different
Yoruichi - absolutely bewildered

Mercedes fucked around with this message at 21:56 on Feb 9, 2021

Casual Encountess
Dec 14, 2005

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


Thunderdome Exclusive



in.

feels like: not angry, just disappointed

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)


I would like to judge, if you'll have me.

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish



Crits Week 444 for Simply Simon and Lily Catts

Simply Simon – Minotaur

The transitions in this are what let it down the most. The moments from routine daily duty to hmm, survivors to holy crap I’m the labyrinth are just too fast for me. But the time spent in each of these silos is not unpleasant. I can see the story wanting to linger on the emotional beats and consequences of each of these moments, but it never gets the chance. It’s powerful to hear the mother/child moment and hear his reaction to it. It’s fascinating to see his realization and what he’s going to do with that remembered information. But the word count necessitates that he come to conclusions and actions quickly. And that a lot of the information be delivered in a straightforward way.

I like the use of tea throughout as a sign of what’s going on (contentment, distraction, false sense of security). But I wanted more. I want to see the character wrestle with himself and his situation. Because if he’s not actually in a control room, where exactly is he? And what kind of autonomy does he have as a sentient maze? Because he indicates that he has access to the world outside himself (the viewers, looking to see what criminals are guilty of, etc.) I think this story would be just fine set completely within his self-maze. Just pointing out possibilities.


Lily Catts – That’s Why I Didn’t Give up on Music

This story is simple and straightforward and since it feels like there’s not much more to it other than what is on the page, all of it feels flat. I believe the character your horse is meant to represent is Amy rather than Andrea and unfortunately Amy does not get enough story time for her to appear as anything other than what Amy tells us she is: a rock ‘n roller who makes an impact and leaves a mess behind her. Everything we really know about both characters is told to us. We don’t get to experience how Andrea feels about music or how she feels about Amy or how Amy might have another side to her.

There is also a lot of dialogue in this. I don’t think it’s bad dialogue, but it doesn’t do much for the story. I really liked Amy’s line “There you go, blaming others again. Classic Andrea. I really dodged a bullet with you.” And by liked, I mean, it really hurt me too. Like that feels like the kind of dig someone would make when they really want to put someone else down and make themselves feel better. That might be a good place to start in terms of understanding each of these characters and what their relationship is/was to each other. And then the reader could see how they evolved from where they were into each other to how they got to their current state. Even though we wouldn’t get the whole thing on the page, little hints of it everywhere would do a lot to engage.

The kid enjoying the music can still be an important part, but perhaps just to frame the interaction between Amy and Andrea dealing with their disintegrated relationship.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In. Feeling: do I like you, or do I want to BE you??

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

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







in :toxx:

emotion: jesus christ youre dumb as poo poo, i love you

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







in, oh god please let this time be different

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


In, absolutely bewildered

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




In. Gimme a meme.

You say you love me but I don't believe you.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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






Yoruichi posted:

In. Gimme a meme.

You say you love me but I don't believe you.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Hell, give me one too

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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






sebmojo posted:

Hell, give me one too

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




In, meme.

Please don't ask me to do that ; you know I couldn't refuse.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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






Thranguy posted:

In, meme.

Please don't ask me to do that ; you know I couldn't refuse.

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toanoradian
May 30, 2011


In. I'd like a meme, and I'm having difficulties picking an emotion. Is "I did this all for you, baby!!!" an emotion?

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