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Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome




Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


oh there's assigny things please assign me a thing

EDIT: OK two actually

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Maybe I Should Rebrand to Reduce Confusion* 531 words

I’m chilling in the yard when Tango the Spaghetti Terrier and Waffles the Cat come in, and they’re all like ‘Hey Great Tree of Right and Wrong, can you settle a dispute for us?’

Heck, sure, I think, what else am I gonna do? ‘Ask your question.’

‘Well,’ says Tango, and a slight tangent here, but Tango being made of spaghetti is really weird for a dog, right? And occasionally he goes to chase his tail, and then he catches it, and then he eats it, and the spaghetti he’s latched onto just kinda goes into his mouth and joins the mass of spaghetti, and honestly it is super messed up. That is certified Wrong, and I can say that because I’m the tree of Right and Wrong, and I know Wrong when I see it, and a dog made out of spaghetti eating his own tail? Extremely Wrong.

Waffles isn’t made of waffles, by the way. That’s just her name. I don’t know if Waffles is actually a ‘she’, I’m just going by the ‘all dogs are boys, all cats are girls’ rule. They all look the same to me. Except Tango, who’s made of spaghetti, which is all kinds of messed up.

I digress. ‘Well,’ says Tango, ‘Waffles here thinks that the nearby building is a laboratory, but it’s obviously a restaurant. So, which of us is right, and which of us is wrong?’

OK so I guess I understand how they made the mistake, but, ‘You both understand that I’m more an arbiter of morality than a fact checker, right?’

‘They’re obviously a restaurant,’ said Tango, ‘because they made me, and I’m spaghetti, and that’s food, and restaurants make food.’

‘All right,’ said Waffles, ‘but consider this; you’re a dog and also spaghetti, which is outside of the purview of a restaurant because they make meals, not life. QED.’

‘What does QED mean?’ asked Tango.

‘I dunno, it just sounds cool,’ said Waffles. ‘So, which of us is right and which is wrong, Mr Tree?’

‘Just so we’re clear,’ I said, ‘you were made in that building?’ I’d kind of wondered, because, you know, spaghetti dog, kinda weird.

‘Yes,’ they both said.

‘Like, from nothing?’

Tango shrugged. ‘From spaghetti, I guess. I’m no chef.’

‘Or scientist,’ said Waffles, ‘which is who made you, in a lab.’

‘Anyway, what’s your decision?’ asked Tango.

I sighed and rustled my leaves. ‘You’re both right, and the people in the building are wrong.’

‘I don’t really understand how that works,’ said Waffles.

‘I said I’m not a fact checker.’

‘I don’t know what that means.’

‘Hey,’ said Tango, ‘does that mean it’s a restaurant and a lab?’

‘Soon it will be neither,’ I said.

‘Trees are weird,’ said Waffles, ‘but whatevs, I can live with both of us being right.’

And the two of them wandered off. And that evening, late at night, having found out that the inhabitants of the building had been doing Wrong, my roots came up from the ground and tore the building apart, brick by brick.


*Like, I dunno, maybe Tree of Naughty and Nice? I’m just brainstorming here.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Beezus posted:

- A tree with a strong sense of right and wrong
- A dog made of spaghetti

Forgot to mention my prompt elements this is it here

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Crits I guess:

Royce at the end of the world

Couple things. Felt really weird and jarring that the principal casually drops the f bomb like it's no big deal, and basically says 'lol we're not doing anything about bullies you big nerd why not get revenge.' Also 'we can't do anything but I'll have a talk with them'. I dunno just felt really dumb, like he's totes in there getting in trouble but they're literally not able to punish bullies? Doesn't make any sense.
Oh, dialogue attributions. Let's talk about those.

When you've got some dialogue, and then some attribution, there's some weird thing that goes on where, while the dialogue can be its own full sentence, the dialogue plus attribution is also a full sentence. I'm not explaining this well, I'll use an example from your story. You've written the following:

"Hey it's the pervert!" One of them said loudly

OK so, "Hey it's the pervert!" is a sentence, but 'One of them said loudly' is not a separate sentence. Together they're still just one sentence. Someone else can probably better explain the exact terminology but the point is, you don't need a capital letter for the attribution, because it's not a new sentence, and wouldn't make any sense as a separate sentence. So the way you would write this line would be something like this:

"Hey, it's the pervert!" one of them said loudly. (I also added some extra punctuation which I thought it needed.) Oh wait, you got it right elsewhere, maybe a momentary lapse? Anyway, try to be more consistent I guess. Oh also, if you've got the attribution before the dialogue, you need a comma. So, in the following sentence:

Back in class he thought to himself, "I wish a troll or something would just rip those fuckers apart." (I added a comma before the quote.)

'A slight bit later' is a super awkward phrase. 'A little while,' perhaps? I dunno, workshop it, but that one's not working for me.

'They rounded a corner and before them was the corpse of a troll and some things Royce couldn't identify, but there was a lot of blood.'

That's an awkward as heck sentence.

'School staff were standing around, some nursing wounds from the fight with the troll but Royce managed to identify the parts of his bullies.'

OK so now he can identify them? Which parts, exactly? The faces, right? It's really weird if he's identifying other parts of them. BTW, that 'but' doesn't make sense because the connected statements aren't at odds with each other or whatever. Staff nursing wounds have nothing to do with Royce's ability to identify bully chunks.

'Back in his room Royce was fuming, this was all so unfair.'

Hmmm, not sure about the comma, I'd go semi-colon, or period and new sentence.

'“No.” Royce lied.'

So, dialogue attribution again. I'd go with a comma after the 'no'. Otherwise they're not really connected, they're just two separate statements.

“Royce, this is very important. Did anything happen?” the principal continued with a forced calmness.

OK so I changed the above sentence so you weren't starting a new sentence with the dialogue attribution. It's a bit of an awkward attribution even without that, BTW. Sometimes people are too intent on busting out their thesaurus and trying too hard to describe how people are talking. Nothing wrong with just 'said' and 'asked' tbh. I mean sure there are times when something else fits better or whatever, but most of the time those two can do your heavy lifting. Also, 'with a forced calmness' seems kinda meaningless tbh, and the subsequent sentence seems more useful to tell us his demeanour.

'Opening his eyes again to answer the accusations, Royce discovered he was outside the dorms.'

BTW you could probs afford to scatter a few more commas around, break up these longer sentences. I've taken the liberty of adding one here as an example. Say the sentence in your head, if you pause to take a breath, probs want a comma or something. (The 'or something' could be a full stop, could be a colon, could be a semi-colon, depending.)

“Is that what’s causing all the problems? I wish that chalice didn’t exist! I didn’t mean to do anything!”

Boy, Royce is dumb as hell. Not really a literary criticism I guess, but drat.

“Why were you keeping this thing in here where students are constantly coming in and out?” Royce asked, trying to deflect blame.

No no, he's got a point. Principal is dumb as hell too.

Anyway, this story was a bit of a mess. Apart from all the grammatical stuff, it felt a bit tonally muddled. A whole bunch of wacky hijinks with a dumb as hell protagonist who slapsticks his way into causing all mayhem, but ALSO you have a bunch of children dismembered, so that's a bit weird. And our psychotic little protagonist just goes, 'oh good, this is much better now that we're in some kind of void and a bunch of my fellow students got murdered.'

I'll make a separate post for my other crits, this one got a bit long.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


in, too

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


More crits I guess, this next lot won't be as long because they had fewer issues

Johan, Johan!

I didn't like this as much as my co-judges did so you can thank them for your HM and thank me for completely removing the possibility of you having to read a bunch of stories this week. The shift from 2nd person to 1st person (kinda) didn't really work for me. It's kind of weird how shocked the protagonist was at the Empress wanting to kill the dude who was supposedly trying to kill her. How could she be so cold and brutal and dangerous, meanwhile I'm totally hot for this guy who tried to poison me three times. And then the 'ending' kinda felt like a big nothing. I dunno this just annoyed me a bit ending where it did I think.

The Monument

Second person works better here imo. Overall I kinda liked this, it just felt almost devoid of characters if that makes sense. The only bit where I reeeeeaaally felt like there were characters interacting with each other was where the protagonist hugs the vicar. Speaking of which at one point you call the reverend vicar 'he' and then in the hugging bit you refer to 'they' which is not wrong, but felt kind of odd with the changed up pronoun. Also I dunno sometimes it's a bit difficult to get too invested in such a fatalistic story.

To Those Who Came After

This was really good. It was well written and it was cute and poignant and stuff I dunno I don't really have any criticisms of it, it was a really solid piece.

Don't Forget to get a To-Go Plate
I kind of enjoyed this but also I wasn't totally sure what was going on. I guess it's the actual literal afterlife which is ending for some reason? IDK. I guess we're not supposed to know, which, fine, but that's a bit annoying sometimes and this is a little bit one of those times. Zoot Suit Boner Flute was really fun. Also I don't really get the point of the lie at the end, are we supposed to know what's up with that? I'm usually in favour of not doing exposition but on this occasion, IDK it's just too obtuse for me.

This was decent I guess but also like
Are the goblins endangered and thus deserving a spot on the endangered species list, or are they a scourge that is totally ready to crush a bunch of human towns, IDGI. Hard to care about any of the characters TBH. Also, 'he's only about your age in goblin years' kinda doesn't seem like a strong argument, like they're the same age he's not younger than them, what does that sentence even mean?

The Sea Turtle and the Octopus
This feels too short. It's 824 words and it feels like 200 because the entire story is 'a turtle lays some eggs, the end.' I guess there was some epic journey to get there but all we get is 'a turtle and octopus come onto land and she lays eggs'.

Super Crypto Bros.
Write me some fiction, not an essay on crypto being bad. If you'd focussed on the missing thumb drive or something you might've had something, but no, instead you had to go and give us a twitter timeline of crypto events that I don't care about. TBH there was part of me that wanted this one to lose, because for all the (many) sins of the two other negatively mentioned stories, they at least tried to tell a new story, whereas in yours, everything from 'May 2018' onwards was kind of bland.

This was mostly fine I guess. There were a couple grammatical errors that annoyed me, like a missing period after the first sentence of the second paragraph. Also the sentence 'I like to imagine it’s different when your own.' That doesn't really make any sense to me. Missing a period at the end of 'Might even give you a medal.' Unnecessary capital letter in the 'there' of 'And There are other people still here that need me and depend on me.' Surplus quotation marks after 'They’d string me up before I got through the gates.' Also the old dude is called Slow Hand, and then Evans, for no particular reason. I'm assuming it's the same person, anyway. Bit confusing there.

Paper Hearts
I really liked this. It was cute and sweet and did a better job of most up to this point of being hopeful. Probs could've done more in the middle, but imo stuck the landing.

in front of a funky green sky, a banjo player gets some bad news
Here were my live critting thoughts:

" I love an excellent soup above almost all other dinners" wtf who loves soup
imagine having strong feelings about soup
DM for messed up soup opinions

I like the soup story.

It's very silly but in a way that panders directly to me

I want you to know that although I started off on the wrong foot with this story on account of my incredulity that someone could have strong feelings about soup to the point that it is one of their favourite meals, it was really fun and silly in a way that I personally really dig, so GJ pandering to me. Possibly the most fun of any of the stories.

The Ride-Along
This was good too. I'm a sucker for a story with POWERS, and this was well written and the characters felt real.

The Basilisk Score
Kinda muddled. Is it about hell or a heist? Kinda neither I guess. I'm more interested in seeing a heist tbh, that sounds like fun, instead we get some ruminations on hell which tbh were not very fun. Shame you stopped before the heist, oh well.

I'm gonna stop there for a bit because my next crit is likely to be long and need its own post I think.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


CRIT! Singular!

How Andy became a man

The first paragraph is a bunch of boring exposition that you would be better off without. Same with the second, for that matter. In flash fiction, you wanna be doing as little of that as possible. (In novels too for that matter, but you can get away with it a bit more when it's not such a large percentage of your entire story.) They're also not heaps well written.

"While many athletes strive for your regular sports such as Football, Basketball, and Baseball, for Coloradans, winter is their time to shine." They strive for your regular sports? Maybe they strive to excel in those sports, that would make more sense as a thing someone would strive for. No one 'strives' to just do a thing, they're gonna strive for results. Huh, is Coloradans the actual... I'm curious, gonna look it up. OK yep apparently that's correct, I learnt a thing today, cool.

"Junior and Senior High Schools everywhere go to their local lodges to complete in what many consider their season of glory." The schools go? Maybe the school students go. Maybe the schools send their students everywhere. That'd make more sense. Also it's 'compete', not 'complete'. And maybe their chance at glory, rather than their seasons of glory, that sounds a little better to me.

"For many students, sports such as Skiing, Snowboarding, and even Sledding has become somewhat of a rite of passage." Not has. Have or had. Depending on tense, which is a bit weird here, because you're telling this bit in present tense. These first two paragraphs, actually, all present tense, and then suddenly you drop into past tense. If anything you'd go in the opposite direction. Like maaaaaaybe have back story in past tense and then switch to present for the story, that cooooould work I guess? Honestly the best bet, though, is to just not bother with that back story bit. If there's details you think the readers need, maybe introduce them to it as it comes up, but that first paragraph in particular, honestly, holds nothing that you need. Just cut it.

"But for Aspen native Andy Davis, it is quite literal. Why? Because a few years back, Andy was Ann. Yes, Andy is a transgender male. So, he hopes have an opportunity to ‘become a man’." Hmmm. OK. A couple things here. First, it doesn't make sense that just because he is trans, this 'rite of passage' becomes any more literal for him. Second, he hopes TO have an opportunity.

OK so the third paragraph is honestly almost as superfluous as the first two. You don't need to tell us that Andy gets made fun of directly before you show him being made fun of. You don't need to tell us Chad is his bully if you're about to show us Chad bullying him. The opening of the story should be Chad bumping into him.

OK so those first two lines of dialogue are really not well served by having the thoughts of the people saying them. We don't need to be told that Chad knows he was technically in the way, it's not relevant. We also don't need to be told that Andy is frustrated, we can see that by him yelling at Chad.

'“Okay rear end in a top hat, first, what you just said sounded gayer than me,” some cries of “Ohh!” and “Oh poo poo!” Can be heard from those listening close by.'
OK so a couple things on this bit. First, you've slipped back into present tense with 'can be heard' and also you've incorrectly capitalised 'Can'. Dialogue attribution is a little muddled here - in general, any new dialogue, even interjections like these of 'ohh' and 'oh poo poo' should be on a new line, new paragraph etc. Lastly, you've had Andy call himself gay. Now, the way I've interpreted that is that he, Andy, a man, is sexually attracted to men. However, later on you set up a possible romance between him and his best friend, Jamie, who appears to be a woman. So at this stage what it seems like is that you have had a trans man conflate him being trans with homosexuality for *reasons?* IMO, this is less than ideal.

"Some of those close by seemed shocked." Have them gasp or something. Show us what they're doing that makes them seem shocked. "After all, rumor had it that at least one person died while riding The Kettle." Go with 'had died'. Some people will tell you that you shouldn't use past perfect, those people are wrong. You want to established that they had heard this before the events that are unfolding in the narrative, you need to go backwards one tense. Same with the later sentence, "He heard of The Kettle, but never rode it." Go with, 'he had heard'.

"Afterwards, he walks away." You've swapped to present tense again.

"Jamie was friends with Andy from even..." - 'had been friends' imo. "They have been friends all this time..." - again, 'had been'.

"Jamie says, with a tone of worry in her voice." You've swapped back to present tense again. Should be 'said'.

"...the last part of my transition" - Need a period on the end of that sentence.

" His friends laughed at the remark." Cut 'at the remark', unnecessary.

"...clearly having enough of Chad’s bullying." unnecessary. Cut.

"Andy looks at the road ahead." Present tense again. Should be 'looked'.

"Sooner still there were violent turns..." 'sooner still' doesn't mean what you seem to be trying to use it to mean. If thing a is 'soon', and thing b is 'sooner still', thing number b happens before thing a.

"But Andy was no amateur." This is kind of a weird nitpick compared to everything else, but he's literally an amateur, unless he's a professional sledder. Sleddist? Sledrider? Whatever the word is.

"As soon as the turns end..." Ended. Because you want to remain in past tense.

"...since he’s not an idiot." I guess 'he's' could technically mean 'he was' rather than 'he is', but it's more often 'he is' so it sounds like you've slipped back to present tense again, so just say 'he was' imo. Or if you wanna do contractions, go with 'he wasn't'.

"To be fair, he never saw Andy sled before, he just knew he had one." Change to 'had never seen'. Also this end bit feels awkward, because you're using sled as a verb here, but then you say 'knew he had one' as if you'd just used it as a noun in order to then refer to 'one' meaning 'a sled'. (So just say 'knew he had a sled'.)

"so while he heard of The Kettle" had heard

"...he didn’t believe that the deaths from it were real." Side note here; did a bunch of people randomly go missing and no one ever investigated? Also, he didn't believe the deaths were real, but he instantly assumes Andy is dead?

"He had left the ‘igloo’ and went back up to the top." Heck yeah you used past perfect with the 'had left'. I'd probably change 'went' to 'gone'. Also I'd have a proper line break between this and the next paragraph.

'“Well, I’ll be. I guess you’re a man after all!” Exclaimed Chad.' lower case e for exclaimed.

"Chad told everyone he could about Andy’s run on The Kettle." And apparently everyone was fine with the fact that he'd bullied someone into doing a sled ride that had killed a bunch of other people, because he was telling people that he'd successfully not died. OK fine whatever.

"The news helped assured for Andy that..." The news? He was there. Also, probs change the wording to 'helped assure Andy that.'

Final note: not one single time did you use 'said' or 'asked' as a dialogue attribution. You used 'muttered', 'yelled', 'continued', 'responded', 'yells', (should've been 'yelled') 'says', (oooh, close, if you'd gotten the tense right you would've had one) 'snarked', (WTF) 'yelled' again, 'snarked', (twice? You shouldn't even use snarked once tbh) 'cried', and two times 'exclaimed'. 'Said' and 'asked' are very unobtrusive words that should probs be used more often than not. Sure, sometimes you wanna add something to indicate someone's raising their voice or whatever, but the majority of the time, 'said' or 'asked' are a better option.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Last set of crits from last week

"Deep Rich", Excursion 385

Hmmm dunno about the quotation marks in the title tbh

The .wav communications were fun

ok so I wasn't able to tell the first time and I'm still not sure - are the statements and queries from our boy Deep Rich him just talking, or is it some kind of internet stuff? Now I think it's just him talking but the ping before makes it confusing.

Oh I guess part of my confusion here was also from some of the formatting not making it to the archive, where I read the stories with judgemode on. While an interesting idea, maybe using the 'code' ability wasn't that helpful. So he's talking to a console? And the console just repeats the stuff from your prompt, which is one way to use a prompt I guess but in the end it seems like a bit of a lazy copout and doesn't really work for me. "Deep Rich wasn't quite sure what to make of these responses." Same, Deep Rich. massive mood.

OK and then he finds a cat and I'm like, was the cat the console? Was there a console talking about a cat? I don't get it

The Dead City Marches On

Gonna be honest, most of the early words that were just describing the setting kind of bounced off of me. I kinda got that Nimothy was in a city with a bunch of creepy and dead looking stuff, and that was about all I cared about until some dialogue started, and then the 'Death Eternal' thing was kinda amusing but I still didn't care about much else. Also the discussion about a murderwitch just felt like clumsy exposition. 'As you know, fellows, here's some stuff about this creature that we'd all know about but the reader might not so here it comes in a dialogue world building dump.'

And apparently the Murderwitch makes some things that make Nimothy and Wesmond redundant, which is really the only thing in this block of text that I care about. You probs could've summarised this block of text with like one paragraph about the lads losing their jobs to these pillocks, whatever they are, and not really lost much.

OK so in this sentence: “Excuse me, I raised these myself and you can’t have them. Why are you suddenly in need of pillocks anyway? - you didn't close off the quotation marks.

'Nimothy realised that perhaps his skill at raising pillocks was unique and decided right there that it would not come cheap.' - don't love this sentence tbh. It's especially redundant since later on you have him extorting Joeliver.

Oh and this bit of dialogue -> “You do? Please, please please please you gotta tell me, our Necrokings- <- which you also didn't close off the quotation marks for, is a bit confusing because the last person who spoke was Joeliver and I was expecting the next person to talk to be Nimothy, so probs give a bit of dialogue attribution here. Or just delete the line separating them.

'and no one wants to work for what I’m paying!' lol didn't notice this before, I wonder if there might be a possible solution.

“Fine,” Joeliever knew he had no choice but to accept. - Yeah I dunno about telling us what Joeliver's thinking here. Also you changed the spelling of his name.

Ending kinda stinks too.

Final Exam

So I mostly didn't mind this, but (and I think others have pointed this out as well) the urgency of the protag's situation isn't as obvious as it should be. Like I guuuuuess the implication is whoever's coming in the door is gonna kill our hero, but who knows? Also there's a couple errors like, 'Hopefully he didn’t get dumb as try to stowaway on an evac-ship.' where I think you need an 'and' instead of 'as', and you've said riffle where I think you mean rifle in the last paragraph. Yeah so I guess it's hard to care tooo much about the final exam when it's not apparent if it's actually going to matter, and if we can't tell if they're just kinda hacking the exam with all their implants or whatever. It was fine tho I guess.


I enjoyed this. At first I thought you were gonna be a bit too serious with the idea of librarian heroes, but then you turned them into power rangers and had them murder the AI because it was being a jerk. The ending felt a bit rushed, tho.

The the Reclaimers

This is kinda pretty but also I guess I'd prefer it if there was some kind of narrative instead of some dude's musings about how 'oh well at least there is still life so it's fine that all humans are dead' (except for the protagonist I guess I dunno) anyway it's hard to care about anything going on here when it's basically just 'hey we might be all dead but look at these cool raccoons'.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

is there anything tea CAN'T do? If anybody would know it's this oldie, they're a renowned expert, but can their deep knowledge and love of tea defeat the dragon/end a war/save the world etc?

Fire and Leaves 1197 words

You were asleep when I arrived. You nap a lot, these days. At least you’re still lucid when you’re awake, though. Before she died, Granny was kind of… I dunno, she didn’t really remember anything about anything, most of the time.

“Wake up, Pop Pop!” I said.

You tried to act grumpy, but you’re just no good at it. “Morning, Gemma. Why did I ever give you a key?”

“Pfft,” I said. “You’d be bored without my regular home invasions. Also, it’s afternoon.”

I put the kettle on for you, because I know tea drinking is your love language.

“You remember how to make it?” you asked.

“Of course. No milk, and no sugar, you’re sweet enough already.”

“Exactly. If I leave behind a grand daughter who can make a decent cup of tea, I will have achieved everything an old man can hope for.”

I laughed, although sometimes I get nervous when you talk about – or hint at – death.

“I think I still need some practice,” I said, “so you’re not allowed to leave me yet.”

“I wouldn’t dare,” you said.

And then we sat and drank tea, (“Almost perfect,” you said, “but obviously you’ll still need to keep coming over for practice.”) and you asked me how work was going.

“We’ve actually been closed for a couple of weeks,” I said. “There’s been rumblings from the volcano, and it’s spooked the horses.”

“Ah,” you said, and, “The volcano, ey?” and, “Hmmmm.” And then we finished our tea, and you got up and said, “Right, time for a walk.”

“Are you sure you should be-” I started to say, which I knew almost immediately was a bad question, so I was already shutting up when you replied.

“I’m old,” you said, “not dead. My legs still work fine.”

“All right,” I said. “Where are we going?”

“To the volcano, to sort this out,” you said. “Pack the tea.” And I put the tea leaves in my backpack, but when I went to grab the teacups, you said, “don’t worry about that, just grab the kettle and put in some fresh water. And don’t worry about heating it up.”

I put some fruit and crackers in the backpack, and hung the kettle off the back of it, and off we went.


We chatted about mundane things as we walked, but apparently a long walk was an excuse to ambush me with That Question while I couldn’t really escape.

“So, when are you going to find yourself a nice man?” you asked. A lot of people seem to ask me that these days, but I guess you can have a free pass purely because of the impending mortality thing.

“Or woman,” I said, and you didn’t respond for a bit.

“Or woman?” you asked, and I shrugged.


“What about children, then?”

“Guess I can start worrying about that if it ever comes to it,” I said.

“Mmm,” you said, and there was silence for a while, then, “You know, there are potions you can take.”

“They’re expensive,” I said. “But yes, that would be an option.”

After a while, you asked, “So which of you would wear the dress?”

I laughed. “I only said maybe, and I don’t even have someone. But man, woman, or whatever, I’m definitely wearing a dress.”


I’d never been up to the volcano, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. All right, that’s not entirely true, I had a number of very clear expectations in my head. None of them involved a house. You firmly grasped the knocker and gave several raps.

“What kind of person lives this close to a volcano?” I asked.

“An old friend.”

“Seems like there’s no one coming.”

You shook your head and knocked again. “It’s been a while; they’re probably just not expecting anyone.”

And the door opened. The man who opened the door looked as old as you, but I can’t explain how I could tell, because he was made of fire. Like. Not made of fire, that’s not really… I mean you know, you’ve known him longer than I have. It’s like he was a person, but he was also fire. It was in his hair, in his veins, and when he saw you and his face lit up, it was in his eyes and his smile.

“Laurie,” he said, “I almost thought you’d forgotten me!” And I guess I knew your name was Laurie, but it was still weird to hear someone call you.

“Of course not,” you said. “Gemma, this is Ignatius, the Lord of Fire and Subduer of the Volcano. Iggy, this is my granddaughter, Gemma.”

“Pleased to meet you,” I said, “Ignatius, the Lord of-”

“Please,” he said, “call me Iggy,” and he stuck out a hand.

I looked at you. “Go on,” you said, “he won’t burn you.” I shook his hand. It was warm, and felt like fire, but like you said, it somehow didn’t burn me.


You shrugged.

“I don’t burn my friends,” he said.

“We brought the kettle,” you said. “Gemma here makes a near perfect cup of tea.”

He smiled and nodded, put some teacups out, and the two of you sat down. I looked around for a stove.

“Oh,” he said, “allow me,” and he stretched out a hand. I held the kettle out to him, and he grasped the base of it with his hand until the spout started to steam.

“So, what brings the two of you all the way up here?”

“I’m hearing the volcano’s a little restless,” you said.

“Ah yes,” he said. “It’s Amber. She’s expecting.”

“Really?” I asked. “Does the volcano do this every time you have a baby?”

He shrugged. “It’s not that often. Last time was… how long ago?”

You chuckled. “Forgetting your own son’s age?”

“Shh!” he said.

“Don’t worry,” you said, “I won’t tell. But you were just a little baby at the time,” you told me.

“Ah, that’s why I don’t remember it.”

“Hey Dad,” came a voice, followed by, “Oh!”

We turned. “Ah yes,” said Ignatius. “Sorry, I should’ve introduced you earlier. Gemma, Laurie, this is my son, Aiden. Aiden, these is my friend Laurie and his granddaughter, Gemma.”

Aiden looked like a much younger version of his father; every part of him was fire. He held up a hand in greeting. “Nice to meet you. I don’t generally get to meet dad’s friends.”

Ignatius shrugged. “It’s a long walk up, and I guess I’ve been busy raising a son. Laurie here helped deliver you, back in the day.”

“I don’t know about deliver,” you said.

“Don’t let him fool you,” said Ignatius. “His tea works wonders.”

“Well,” you said, “I’m a bit too old to keep making the trek this time. It’ll have to be Gemma.”

“What?” I asked.

You smiled. “Just keep coming up here and making tea the way I taught, until the baby’s delivered. Everything will be all right.”

Aiden smiled. “I guess I’ll get to know you better over the next few months.” And you wiggled your eyebrows at me suggestively, which I chose to ignore.

He was pretty cute, though.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Shark vs Platypus 1498 words

“You sure you want to go the match tonight?”

Peony shrugged. “Could be a good way to bond, right?”

Her mum nodded. “They can be kind of violent, though.”

“No worse than those Wizard Loop movies you like.”

“It’s different when it’s real, though.”

“How are my favourite ladies?” Claude Derringer was wearing a jersey and hat of the Laser Sharks.

“Yeah,” said Peony, “starting to question my decisions. Is the face paint necessary?”

Claude nodded. “Completely necessary. If anything, you’re going to raise questions dressed like that. Are you sure you don’t want to borrow my spare jersey?”

“I’ll risk the public humiliation of dressing like a normal person, just this once,” said Peony.

“Suit yourself. Make sure you’ve packed a meal; I can’t afford the prices at the Shark Tank.”

Peony shook her head. “Still so wild that it’s called that.” She grabbed a sustenance pack, and the two of them climbed into the back of Claude’s hovercar and keyed in their destination.

Josephine Derringer stayed home and rewatched the latest Wizard Loop film.


“All right,” said Peony, “that was honestly pretty fun.”

“Have I gone and made a fan out of you?” asked Claude.

“Oh no,” said Josephine. “Have you corrupted our daughter?”

“Have you never watched a match?” asked Peony. “It was actually really exciting. I might have to start watching it when I’m back home.”


“Great,” said Josephine, “now I’ve got two sports mad family members.” It was two weeks later, and Claude and Peony were watching the preliminary final in the family home. Tickets were a little too pricy and difficult to get one’s hands on in the playoffs.

“Oh, I don’t think I’m quite on Dad’s level.”

“You need to get yourself a jersey or something,” said Claude.

“I didn’t realise people did that even while watching the game at home.”

“Well, now you know. You can borrow one of mine if you want.”

“That’d be a tent on me. I’m fine like this.”

“A hat?”

“I’m not wearing a hat indoors, Dad.”

“You sure you’re not going to join us, Josephine?”

She sighed. “That’s fine. I’ll just watch a couple Wizard Loop episodes in the other room.”

Peony laughed. “You’d get on well with Tyrone, he is obsessed with Wizard Loop.”

“Who’s Tyrone?” asked Josephine.

“Oh,” said Peony, “have I not… well I guess it’s very new.”

“Should’ve invited him!” said Claude. “Is he a Laser Sharks fan?”

“Peony’s talking about a new guy and the first thing you want to know is if he likes your sports team?”

“Well, we already know he likes your loop show, I feel like this is just as important.”

“He doesn’t really follow the league,” said Peony, “but tell you what, if we’re watching the Grand Final next week, I’ll see if he wants to join us.”

“I’m watching if the Laser Sharks are in,” said Claude. “Otherwise, I’m mourning.”

Josephine shook her head. “If you’re not watching the match, Tyrone’s still welcome to come over and eat dinner with us. Is it serious? It must be if you’re having him meet us, right?”

“Don’t make me change my mind,” said Peony. “And don’t be like this when he’s here.”

“Can’t I be excited?”

“It’s almost time for blast-off!” said Claude. “Grab some chips and dip and let’s get to watching!”


“Oooh,” said Claude, “that was a good one.”

“I didn’t know you could do that,” said Peony.

“Well, it’s a penalty, but maybe worth it to incapacitate the other player.”

“Are they going to reattach the arm?”

“Better off genetically engineering a new one, sometimes. One that’s not so easy to remove. Anyway, maybe they’ll come back on after half time; they’ll just need to administer something to stop him twitching, and put him somewhere he doesn’t need both arms.”

“Must be nice to have a sports team’s budget,” said Peony. “If that happened to one of us, we’d just have to get a second-hand limb.”

Claude shrugged. “If either of our jobs were watched by Gajillions, maybe we could afford that too.”

“Oh geeze,” said Peony, “they’re showing the replay. I don’t need to see that from every angle including the super quantum slowdown. I’ll grab more snacks, let me know when they’re finished with the replay.”


“Woo!” yelled Claude. “We are the greatest! Laser Sharks rule! Let’s freaking go!”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Peony. “Still one match to go.”

“So, you’re bringing Tyrone along, right?”

“I’ll ask if he wants to come,” said Peony. “If he ends up not liking it, he and Mum could always watch one of their Wizard Loops or something.”

“Actually,” said Claude, “Josephine’s watching the Grand Final with us. We had a deal.”

Josephine had just entered the room. “Yeah,” she said, “I’m afraid it’s true. I told him if the Laser Sharks were ever good enough to make a Grand Final, I’d watch it with him.”

“The whole way through,” said Claude.

Josephine sighed heavily. “Come on,” said Peony, “you might end up enjoying it. The atmosphere, the pre match entertainment, the drama, the carnage…”

Josephine sighed again. “Well, I got myself into this situation, might as well try to make the most of it. But I get to sit with Tyrone so I have someone not too sports mad to chat with during the ad breaks.”

“Don’t interrogate him too hard, mum.”


“What do you think he’s like?” asked Josephine.

“Stop worrying,” said Claude. “Well, stop worrying about that. He’ll be great. I think Peony’s demonstrated her impeccable taste, recently, and while his taste in entertainment is questionable-”

“Absolutely not.”

“-as long as he makes our girl happy, that’s all that matters, right?”

“Yeah,” said Josephine. “I hope it lasts, it would be nice to have someone to watch Wizard Loops with while you two are being idiots about sports.”

“But not tonight,” said Claude. “Tonight is about the Grand Final.”

The roof landing pad chimed. “Ah, they’re here,” said Josephine.

Tyrone came down first, carrying some snacks. “Lovely to meet you both,” he said. “Peony told me snacks were appropriate for the Grand Final.”

Claude smiled. “I like you already! Knew my girl had good taste.”

Josephine smiled. “Aren’t you a handsome young man, too? You two are going to have just gorgeous children.”

“All right Mum,” said Peony, who’d just arrived, “I think you’ve terrorised him enough.”

“What?” asked Josephine. “What did I say?”

“What the hell are you wearing?” asked Claude.

Peony shrugged. “You’d been saying I should get a jersey.”

“For the right team, though!” said Claude. “Not the bloody Subsonic Platypuses!”

Peony frowned. “This is my local team, though. You didn’t think I was going to support a team from a completely different city to the one I live in, do you?”

“Take that off immediately!”

“I’m not taking my top off, Dad.”

“You can go to our room and change into one of mine.”

“Wouldn’t fit, and no, this is my team.”

Josephine tugged Tyrone gently by the arm. “Let’s leave them to it, dear, this could get unpleasant.”

The two of them went into the Viewing Room and sat down. “So,” said Josephine, “our Peony tells us that you quite like the Wizard Loop franchise.”

“Yeah,” said Tyrone. “Honestly, I was hoping to watch the new one tonight, but it’s not every day you get asked to meet someone’s parents.”

“That’s out tonight?”

“Yeah,” he said, and checked his personal time device. “Just went live 13 minutes ago.”

“How long is it?”

“Two and a half hours.”

Josephine pressed a few buttons on the viewer. “Hmm. With all the pre-match entertainment and interviews and the like, the match doesn’t start for another three hours. Shall we?”

Tyrone smiled. “Sounds great.”

The opening credits were rolling by the time Peony and Claude, still yelling, entered the room.

“Wait,” said Claude. “What’s this?”

“New Wizard Loop,” said Josephine. “Just came out.”

“But Jo, we had a deal-”

Josephine held a hand up. “The deal was for the Grand Final, not for any of the pre-match stuff. And if you guys are going to act like children, I’m revoking your pre-match privileges. Now shh, I don’t want to miss anything.”

Peony and Claude shrugged and sat down. “This doesn’t make it OK,” said Claude.

“Be mad if you want,” said Josephine, “but do it silently.”


“Thanks again for paying for the honeymoon,” said Peony, “I wasn’t sure if Dad was still mad.”

Josephine smiled. “He is a bit, but I made him pull his head in. Not missing out on seeing my future grandkids because he’s also a baby. He even picked out the baby shower gift for you!”

Peony smiled. “Glad he’s finally come to terms with it.” She opened the box offered to her and lifted out the gift inside. She unfolded the tiny shirt. “Oh, that absolute-” On the front it said Laser Sharks.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Gimme a picture please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Drivers 765 words

I’m not even sure how she got in. Someone needs to be fired for that blunder. But anyway, she did, and she dumped her kid’s body on the floor in the meeting hall, and she screamed, “You killed him, you murderers!”

So hysterical. He wasn’t even dead; you could tell from the surgical scars that he’d been chosen to be a driver. Sure, he wasn’t in the body anymore, because he’d been called to a higher purpose. No explaining that to someone when they’re getting all emotional, though. She wasn’t done screaming, though. “We need mech reform! No one else’s child needs to have their brain used to drive one of those things!” I sighed inwardly. This tired campaign again. Can’t take it seriously at all when their representative is this emotional moron.

It's not the first time someone’s been angry, but fortunately I don’t need to worry too much about these simple-minded fools. I’m safely out of harm’s reach behind plexiglass. I waited it out while security finally did their job and dragged her out, as well as removing her child’s body.

“Right,” I said. “I believe we’re now hearing from someone who’s actually got an appointment.”

An older man in a suit cleared his throat. “Good morning,” he said.

“Now, it says here you’re here to talk about the mechs. You’re not one of those ‘mech reform’ numpties, are you?”

“I’m mostly here to talk about drivers.”

“I see.”

“We’ve been examining drivers for the last fifteen years. Drivers last for, on average, three years before needing to be replaced.”

I nodded. Having to replace them that often wasn’t ideal, and many people were disappointingly reluctant to volunteer their child’s brains for the greater good. It’s why the draft was so important. “I hope this isn’t leading to a suggestion that we abandon drivers. Mechs and drivers are fundamental to the smooth running of our society.”

He continued, apparently unfazed. “While at first drivers simply expired, and needed to be replaced, in the last five years, drivers have ceased operation in increasingly more destructive ways, like carving what seem to be angry warnings or threats in whatever they’ve been working on.”

I shrugged. “I’ve heard similar reports, but their productivity over their three years of operation still outweighs what little surface damage they cause before they’re decommissioned.”

“We have two findings, and two recommendations,” he said. “The first finding is that contrary to previous expectations, the drivers are aware of what’s been done to them. The second finding is that the likely eventual outcome is increasingly more destructive reactions, culminating in possible destruction of property.” He paused, looked over his notes. “The first recommendation is to decommission the mechs and remove the drivers. The second recommendation is to modify the mechs to carry a human pilot.”

I shook my head. “Human driven mechs are nowhere near as efficient as mechs with drivers. Besides, government experts say these concerns are overblown.”

He nodded his head. “I’ve read those reports. They don’t take into account all the data, in particular the recent trend towards destructive decommission.”

I sighed. “It’s just not a practical solution. I’m open to hearing ideas, but ‘dismantle the very foundation upon which our society is built’ is not one we can use. Nonetheless, I am glad we were able to have sensible discourse; one of those ‘mech reform’ idiots was in here earlier, and she was getting emotional about her child becoming a driver.”

“Yes,” said the man, “the ethical concerns may be worth considering also, but that’s not my area of expertise.”

“Right,” I said. “Well. Thank you for the report, but at this stage, I think we have to stick with what’s working. If it ain’t broke and all that.”

“Ah,” said the man. And then I motioned for security to remove him from the meeting hall.


I’m not sure how they got in. Well, apart from mechs are state of the art machines, and it’s difficult for humans to stop them without some kind of tools, and security aren’t really equipped with those tools. Anyway, the point is, a week or so later, a group of mechs managed to get into the meeting hall. They weren’t screaming anything, of course, so in that sense it was a much more pleasant intrusion than that ‘mech reform’ idiot. Come to think of it, I bet those ‘mech reform’ people were behind this. Fortunately, I’m out of harm’s reach behind plexiglass. They’d need some kind of equipment to… oh.

drat that ‘mech reform’ crew. This is all their fault.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Zurtilik posted:

I'm so mad. I had half a tale written but I didn't give myself near enough time.

Also this is like the 5th time I've missed maybe I do need a nice exile, idk.


Finish it and post it anyway imo

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Plush me pls

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


For Gallantry in the Face of Ants 994 words

“Where did you have your picnic, in a swamp?”

Her little sister, Allie, shook her head. Little globs of mud splatted the door, the walls, and Judith. Some also fell on her picnic basket and stuffed anteater, but neither looked like they could get any muddier. “There were ants,” she replied.

“Right,” said Judith. “Mud ants, obviously.”

“No, silly, normal ants. Well, big ants.”

“Of course,” said Judith. “Come around the back, I’d better hose you off before you come inside.”

“And Antonio.”


They walked around the back of the house, and Judith grabbed the hose.

“Wait,” said Allie. “Can we use the sprinkler?”

“Sure, why not.” Judith connected the sprinkler to the hose and set it up in the middle of the tiny lawn. Allie grabbed the stuffed anteater and ran back and forth through the jets of water.

“There!” said Allie. “All clean!”

“I don’t think so,” said Judith. “You definitely need a bath.”

“And Antonio too?”

“Hmm,” said Judith. “Let me check his label.” She took the anteater and turned him this way and that. “Looks like he’s lost his label. I’m sure that’ll be fine though, it’s just hot water.”

“And bubbles!”

“Sure, why not.”

Fortunately, the back yard opened straight into the laundry, which connected to the bathroom, which allowed them to go straight to the bath without dripping or getting mud on any carpets. Judith filled the tub, and Allie lifted her hands above her head to allow Judith to pull her shirt off her.

“Hmmm, still a lot of mud on this.”

“It was the ants,” said Allie. She stepped out of her pants, and into the tub. Judith passed the anteater to her, and she pushed him underwater.

“The ants, of course,” said Judith. She squeezed some bubbles into the tub and handed Allie a washcloth. “Make sure you scrub every inch of yourself. Now, how did these ants get you all muddy?”

Allie started scrubbing her arms. “Well, I decided to picnic next to an anthill, because it was also on a good spot next to the pond, and Antonio could protect me from any ants.”

“I see,” said Judith.

“And then the ants attacked, and Antonio protected me, but there were too many of them, so we had to do asymmetrical warfare.”

“Uh,” said Judith, “what exactly do you mean when you say…”

“Oh,” said Allie, “we just learned about symmetry in school. It’s when two sides of your paper look the same when you draw a picture, except reversed. Or like how most faces look the same on both sides, except how I’ve got a spot on the left.”

“Uh huh,” said Judith.

“So, the ants attacked by having like, hundreds and hundreds of ants, but there were only two of us, me and Antonio, so we couldn’t do that.”

“No, I suppose you couldn’t.”

“So, I filled up my bowl with pond water and tried to wash the ants away, and their anthill got a bit muddy, and also me and Antonio accidentally fell into the pond a little bit, and then rolled on the ground to dry off a bit.”

“Right,” said Judith. “Hmmm, looks like we have to wash your hair.

“Mum always did it for me.”

Judith nodded. “Tilt your head back.”

Allie tilted her head all the way back and looked straight up at the ceiling, and Judith took a tiny bucket, filled it with bath water, poured it over her head, then rubbed shampoo in until it was all lathered up. “Antonio needs his hair washed, too,” said Allie.

“Good point,” said Judith. “Do you want to do it, or should I?”

“I don’t know how, that’s a mum thing too.”

“Right.” Judith squeezed shampoo onto Antonio and rubbed it in vigorously around his head. “I think we’re ready to rinse you off, now. Here, hold onto Antonio.” She passed him back to Allie, who held him out of the water. Judith poured more water over Allie’s hair and rubbed her hair vigorously to make sure it all got rinsed out. “Time to rinse Antonio,” she said. “Do you want me to do that?”

“No, I can do his.”

Judith passed her the tiny bucket, and she filled it up then poured it over Antonio’s head. Then, for good measure, she dunked him back underwater and vigorously squeezed him.

“All right,” said Judith, “I think you’re both as washed as we’re going to get you tonight.” She held up a towel, and Allie got out, clutching Antonio, and stepped into it. “I think Antonio will have to be dried separately,” she said. She took the anteater from Allie and put him into the clothes dryer. “He’ll be good as new in no time.” Then she dried off Allie, starting with her hair and working down. “I guess that’ll do. You look ready for bed.”

“I want my antelope pyjamas.”

“Sure.” Judith went and got them and helped her get dressed, buttoning up all the buttons because Allie still had trouble with that.

“I need Antonio to get to sleep.”

“He’s not going to be ready for a while.”

“But I need to cuddle him to get to sleep!”

Judith sighed. “How about if I lie down next to you, and you can cuddle up to me?”

“All right, but you have to be in pyjamas too.”

“Fine.” Judith got changed, and the two of them crawled into her bed; Allie’s was a little too small for Judith. Allie nestled into Judith, who waited patiently for her to fall asleep.



“I think Antonio should get an award for protecting me from the ants.”

“Like a medal?”

“No,” said Allie. “More like a hat. Or a cape.”

“All right, I’ll make sure he gets a hat.”

“That’s good.”

Judith had meant to get up and move Allie once she fell asleep, but it was comfortable, and she was tired.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello please pick my lines for me

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


flerp posted:

They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and then he's the new Pope.

How About Wizard in Chief? 698 words

“I’m getting a slurpee, any of you want one?”

They all said that yes thanks they’d love one, except for Victor, who said, “No thanks, but I’ll take a slushie, which is what they actually sell here.”

“Oh sorry, I’m not getting any drinks for pedantic jerks.”

Johnno did, though. He got slurpees for all, because since he was buying he could call them whatever he wanted, and they sat in the booth and tried to drink them slowly enough to not give themselves brain freeze, but quickly enough that they didn’t melt.

“Right,” said Victor. “I declare this meeting of The Council of Wizards officially open. First order of business: why are we meeting here?”

“I don’t remember that item being on the agenda,” said Grant.

“Oh, were we supposed to read that?” asked Roland. “I didn’t get around to it.”

“This was a late addition, by me, just now,” said Victor. “Seriously, I thought we had access to your stepdad’s magic tower, Johnno?”

“He’s using it,” said Johnno. “This is better anyway; you don’t get these in the tower.” He wiggled his slurpee for emphasis.

“I suppose not,” said Victor. “Anyway, next order of business. Appointing a Grand Wizard.”

“Let’s rethink that title,” said Roland.

“Why, what’s wrong with it?”

“Are you for real? Read a history book, dude.”

“Do we even need a head honcho?” asked Johnno.

“It’s important for ceremonial purposes,” said Victor.

Johnno’s orb started to pulsate. “Yeah, I’ve gotta get this. Carry on without me for a bit.” He took his orb to a separate booth and gazed deeply into it. “Hey Evelyn, what’s happening?”

“Hey Johnno,” she said. “We’re still on for tonight, right?”

“Oooooh, totally forgot. I’m at this wizard meeting. I don’t think it’ll take much longer.”

“Oh yeah,” she said. “Me and the girls have been meaning to ask; how would you feel about combining the councils?”

Johnno stroked his beard in thought. It was a clip-on beard, but you worked with what you had. “I can run it by the lads, not sure how they’ll take it.”

Evelyn raised an eyebrow. “Who are the lads, exactly?”

“Uh. Roland.”

“Uh huh.”


“Yep. Good guys, like them both.”

“And, uh, Victor.”

“Ah,” said Evelyn. “Victor. Why do you guys hang out with him, again?”

“Oh, he’s not so bad.”

“Sure,” said Evelyn. “Well, you run it by them I guess, and come by to pick me up once you’re done with the council meeting, all right?”

“All right,” said Johnno. He went back to the other booth.

“It’s about tradition!” Victor was saying.

“Maybe it’s not a very good tradition,” said Grant.

“We’re still on this, huh?” asked Johnno.

“Come on, tell them,” said Victor. “We’ve got to preserve our legacy!”

“Interesting you should bring that up,” said Johnno. “I was talking to Evelyn just now-“

“Oh, I like her,” said Grant. “She’s a keeper. How’s she doing?”

“Yeah, going well. I actually forgot I’d made plans with her tonight, so as soon as we wrap this up, I’m heading to her place.”

Victor conjured a whip and cracked it. “You’re whipped, mate.”

Johnno ignored him. “Anyway, she wanted to know how we felt about combining the councils.”

“Sure, let’s just spit in the face of tradition,” said Victor. “Besides, women aren’t biologically suited to magic. It’s their hormones, messes it all up.

“Who else is in that council?” asked Roland.

“It’s just her, Anita and Melinda.”

“We don’t need those hags in our council,” said Victor. “Seven would be too many for a council, anyway.”

“Six would work, though,” said Grant. Johnno and Roland looked at him, then at each other, then at Victor.

“Yeah,” said Johnno.

“Six would work,” said Roland


Victor nominated himself as Grand Wizard, seconded this nomination himself, and with no one to dissent, the motion was passed. With no further items on the agenda, he declared the meeting closed.


The new combined council met the following week. Anita’s mum had a really good magic tower which was highly suitable. “It’s a shame you couldn’t convince Victor to join us,” said Evelyn.

“Is it?” asked Johnno.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


in and gimme, can I request a not depressing thing please and thankyou

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Backseat Trolley Problem 1141 words

“Take this exit, it ends up quicker.”

Carrie shook her head. “I’d feel more comfortable just following the GPS. Besides, I know the servo on this route actually has a decent diner.”

“But the servo on this exit has a Maccas and a KFC.”

“Yuck,” said Carrie. “No thanks.”

Bryan sighed as they passed the exit. “There’s more traffic this way, too. We should’ve taken the exit.”

“It’s fine. We’ll get there fine. If you wanted to choose the way, you could’ve offered to drive.”


They stopped at the servo, filled up, then parked and walked inside to the diner. “Probably lost twenty minutes in traffic already,” said Bryan.

“Get over it,” said Carrie. “There’s plenty of traffic on your route, too.”

“It’s nowhere near the amount,” said Bryan. “In fact, I’m going to look it up on the traffic app.” He pulled out his phone.

Carrie shook her head in disgust. “An app? Seriously, let it go. It was an hour ago, it’s not like we’re going to head back now.”

“Fine,” said Bryan. “But the other way would’ve been quicker. I wish you would listen to me more.”


Fortunately, it wasn’t until they’d finished their meal that the robbery happened. The two robbers were in balaclavas, one green and one purple. They entered the diner from the connected servo; green balaclava carried a backpack into which they were stuffing what appeared to be packets of lollies and bundles of cash, and purple balaclava carried a gun, which they pointed at Carrie and Bryan. “We’re taking you two as insurance!” they said. “Put your hands up and come with us!”

“Great,” said Bryan. “This wouldn’t have happened if you’d just taken my directions.” The two of them put their hands up and started walking towards the door.

“Oh sure,” said Carrie, “why not make this my fault too. How could I not have foreseen that driving this direction would lead to us getting kidnapped?”

“Shut up, you two,” said the one with the green balaclava.

They shut up, and the four of them hurried outside. The balaclavas bundled them into the back of a car; Purple got in the back with them, and Green got into the front, tossed the backpack on the floor on the passenger side, and started to drive.

“You wanna turn left here,” said Purple.

“How about you focus on our additional passengers that you brilliantly decided to bring along?” said Green. “I’m going right, it’s more direct.”

“More traffic, though,” said Bryan.

“Thank you!” said Purple.

Carrie sighed. “This again?”

Green turned right. “Bet we get stuck in traffic,” said Purple. Bryan nodded.


They didn’t get stuck in traffic, because about 30 kilometres down the road, a police car popped out from behind a tree on the meridian strip and started following them, siren wailing.

“Glad we decided to go the direct route,” said Purple.

“If you try to tell me that this is my fault, so help me…” said Green.

“Well,” said Bryan, “there is an increased police presence on this stretch of road, because there’s a Police Academy just off the next exit.”

“You see?” said Purple.

“Not like either of you mentioned that before, though, did you?” asked Carrie.

“Right!” said Green. “If you’d told me there was a police academy nearby, that might have been relevant information.” Green slowed down and started to pull over. “I can’t run from the cops, I already have demerits on my license from rolling through a stop.”

“Rolling through a stop?” said Carrie. “Why are they wasting their time and resources on that nonsense instead of focusing on real crimes?”

“You two be cool,” said Purple to Bryan and Carrie. “Stay quiet and no one gets hurt.”

They pulled over, and the police car pulled over behind them. Two police officers got out and walked over to them. The first one tapped on the window, and Green rolled it down. “Is there a problem officer?” they asked.

“Do you know how fast…” the officer stopped. “Why are you wearing a balaclava?”

“Oh, forgot about that,” said Green. “It’s just so comfortable, I forget it’s there.”

“Hmmm,” said the officer, and pulled out a gun, “I think, just to be safe, I’m going to get all four of you to get out of the car and put your hands where I can see them.”

Purple may have thought about resisting, but there were two police officers, each with guns, and the odds did not look good, so they dumped their gun on the floor of the car, because no one can ever find anything down there, and they all got out and stood facing the car with their hands behind their heads. The police officers did some highly skilled police things where they described the vehicle and the four people into their radio.

“Right,” said the radio, “so the people with the balaclavas robbed a diner, and the other two left the diner without paying for their meal.”

“That’s hardly fair,” said Bryan, “we were being held at gunpoint at the time.”

“Wow, jackpot,” said the other officer. “Good thing I took your advice and went this way.”

“There,” said Purple, “see what can happen when you listen sometimes?”

“Well,” said the first officer, “it looks like I get to arrest you now. Are you planning on resisting at all?”

“No,” said Carrie.

“Maybe a little,” said Green, and Purple kicked him in the shin. “Ow,” said Green, “all right, no.”

“No take backsies,” said the officer, “looks like we’ll have to use the appropriate amount of force to stop you from resisting.”

The two police officers didn’t get to engage in any police brutality, however, because that was when the UFO showed up. It hovered above them and a big light shone down on all six of them. The police officers both fired their pistols at the UFO until they were empty, but the rounds glanced harmlessly off the UFO. Then all six of them slowly levitated towards the UFO, and into a hatch that opened at the bottom.


They found themselves in a containment module in the middle of the UFO, surrounded by some kind of see-through alien material. You know, similar to glass, but more high tech and sci-fi. “Greetings, humans,” said a large green alien. “You will have the honour of being studied by us back on our home planet. Now plotting a course for our homeworld.”

Another alien turned around. “You know, the navigation equipment does not display the optimal route. If we were to go via the Grebulon Sector…”

“Absolutely not,” said the first alien. “I’m going to let the navigation equipment perform the task for which it was designed.”

The other alien shook its head. “Would’ve saved a few lightyears, but fine.”

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Dr Cindy's box pls

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Sitting Here posted:

:siren: :siren: This is the first story in the story chain.

Sitting Here posted:

Dave reaches into Dr. Cindy's box and hands you...a diamond made from the cremated ashes of some sort of pirate (Dave is pretty sure it's some sort of pirate)

Avast; Alas 500 words

Dr Cindy picked up the receiver. “Hello?” The only answer was a face full of salty water.

“Batten the mizzens,” said Dave, “and swab the portholes.”

The lab had disappeared, and the two of them were on some kind of boat. The kind that, if you called it a boat instead of a ship, someone would probably get indignant at you and start explaining about the significance of the number of masts it had or something like that. “I don’t know what that means,” she said.

Dave shrugged. “Sounded nautical.” He held up the RealitySmasher500, and put it in a nearby barrel. “I’ll just stash this here for now. Let’s explore this boat. We can start with that part of the boat over there which is on fire.”

The two of them walked over to the burning part of the boat, taking extremely scientific notes as they went. A woman with a triangular hat on her head was standing, hands on hips, looking at the fire. “Hi there!” said Dr Cindy. “I’m Dr Cindy, and this is my assistant Dave. Tell me, is the deck fire a usual part of this boat’s operations?”

“Hmmm?” she said. “Hi, I’m Captain Stacy. No, fires are pretty bad for ship decks.”

“Ah,” said Dave. “Should we perhaps put it out?”

“Nah,” said Captain Stacy. “Not my boat. I’m just here to plunder booty.”

“Ah, likewise!” said Dr Cindy. “In a manner of speaking. Perhaps we might collaborate.”

“Sure thing,” said Captain Stacy. “The Captain’s quarters ought to have the nicest stuff, they’re just…” she looked around… “oh. On the other side of the fire.”

“Never fear!” said Dave. He climbed quickly up the rope ladder attached to the nearest mast, unwound and grabbed hold of a rope, then jumped swashbucklingly through the air. The rope came to a stop directly above the fire, where he dangled helplessly.

“Hmmm, I think I see what you were trying with that,” said Dr Cindy.

“I was meant to crash through the window to the Captain’s Quarters,” he said.

“Oh, that would’ve looked very dashing,” said Captain Stacy. “I would’ve swooned instantly. What a shame.”

A huge wave tipped the ship on end, sending barrels rolling their way, and Dave’s rope towards the Captain’s Quarters. “Grab that barrel!” said Dr Cindy. She and Captain Stacy turned and stopped the barrel as Dave let go and crashed through the windows to the Captain’s Quarters. Then the ship hit a rocky outcrop and started to sink.


“I managed to crash through the window,” said Dave, “you must’ve seen it!”

The three of them had, against all odds, found one of the ship’s lifeboats, and managed to get the barrel aboard.

“Sorry,” said Captain Stacy. “Completely missed it, what with the barrel and the sinking. The moment was gone, in any case. Shame, I definitely would’ve asked you to take me passionately. Alas.”

Dr Cindy opened the barrel. The RealitySmasher500 was intact; they just needed a gem.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello please write good words or, in lieu of that, fun words.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


hello may i have some pasta

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Nae posted:

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Gonna Leave One Hell of a Yelp Review, Though* 1208 words

“Very good, and for you ma’am?”

“Well,” said Francine, “I didn’t see it on the menu, but I’m told your chef can handle custom orders, and I’m really in the mood for ricotta stuffed shells. Is that possible?”

“All things are possible through Chris, ma’am.”


“The chef. He’s very good. I’ll let you know if there’s any issues, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

The waiter returned to the kitchen. “Janet was right,” said Francine, “this place seems very impressive.”

Mark nodded. “Extremely tasteful décor, too. I’m surprised there aren’t any other people here.”

Francine shrugged. “Well, it was rather difficult to find. They should really consider getting better signage out the front, too.”

The waiter returned and bent low to whisper to the two of them. “Excuse me sir, ma’am, will you please come with me to the kitchen? Chef Chris just wants to clarify some things about both of your meals.”

“Both?” asked Mark.

“Why are we whispering?” asked Francine. “There’s no one else here.”

“Please sir, ma’am, just come with me.” The two of them shrugged and followed him to the kitchen. He locked the door behind them. “Right this way please.” He pulled open a trapdoor and started descending some stairs.

“The kitchen is in the basement?” asked Mark.

“Seems very impractical,” said Francine.

“We do what we can with limited space.”

“So, you have to climb these stairs every time you take an order?” asked Francine.

“Oh, we have a dumb waiter,” said the waiter.

“Oh, so he does that bit?” asked Mark.

The waiter turned and looked up at them. “What?”

“It’s not important,” said Francine, and whispered to Mark, “that’s not a very kind thing to say though, is it?”

At the bottom of the stairs, the waiter opened a door, and once they’d all passed through, closed and locked it behind them. “Please just wait here a moment,” he said, and walked through another door, which he locked behind him.

“Is it weird that he keeps locking doors in a restaurant?” asked Francine.

“Maybe a little.”

“What do you think the issue is with our orders?”

Mark shrugged. “I wouldn’t have thought cheese pizza would cause any issues.”

“Maybe he wants to know what kind of cheese?”

“Ooh,” said Mark, “You think I might get a choice?”

The door the waiter had gone through unlocked and opened again, and a man with one of those white chef hats on came through.

“Ah,” said Francine, “you must be Chef Chris.”

“Is there a problem with the cheese pizza order?” asked Mark “Is it about what kind of cheese it uses?”

Chef Chris smiled. “You must be from the agency.”

“Actually, we were recommended by our friend Janet,” said Francine.

Chris shook his head. “Don’t be coy, the ricotta stuffed shells order was a dead giveaway, that’s obviously a signal.”

“Uh,” said Mark.

“A signal?” asked Francine.

“You are agents, aren’t you?” asked Chris. “It would be so embarrassing if we’d made a mistake again and had to make someone else disappear.”

“Disappear?” asked Mark.

“Ah, you caught us,” said Francine. “Yes. Yes, we are the agents you were presumably expecting, and the ricotta stuffed shells were a signal.”

“Right,” said Chris, “so you’re here to pick up a package, obviously.”

“Obviously,” said Francine.

“Are we?” asked Mark, but Francine kicked him quite hard in the shins, so he said, “Ah yes, of course we are.”

“Why did you kick him?” asked Chris.

Francine shrugged. “Gotta keep ‘em in line, right?”

“Wow, a mean streak,” said Chris. “I like a bit of that in an agent.”

“Just to be clear,” said Mark, “we are also here for dinner.”

“Oh,” said Chris, “you are?”

“Absolutely,” said Francine. “Can’t deliver packages on an empty stomach, and I am actually really looking forward to those ricotta stuffed shells.”

“So that order wasn’t a signal?”

“That was definitely a signal about us being package delivering agents,” said Francine, “but at the same time, it’s also an order for some delicious pasta.”

“And cheese pizza,” said Mark.

“Right,” said Chris. “Oh, I meant to ask, what kind of cheese on the pizza?”

“Venezuelan beaver cheese?”

“Certainly sir,” said Chris. “The waiter will be back shortly with your meals.”

“Which waiter?” asked Mark.


“Not important,” said Francine.

“Very good,” said Chris, and left them alone again.

“You know,” said Francine, “there isn’t actually a table here. I hope they’re going to let us back upstairs to our table.”

“Maybe they’ve got even better seats down here,” said Mark.

“Special seats only for agents?”

“Well, sure,” said Mark.

“Well,” said Francine, “he didn’t lock the door this time, so let’s go have a look.

They opened the door and walked through. “No table,” said Mark.

“Well, no,” said Francine, “but that bound and gagged woman seems worth investigating, surely.”

“Perhaps she’s the package.”

“Perhaps.” Francine walked over to the woman and took off her gag.

“Thank goodness,” said the woman. “Have you been sent by the agency?”

“You know what,” said Mark, “I think we’re gonna go with ‘it’s complicated’ on that one.”

“Please,” she said, “you must rescue me.”

“Perhaps after dinner,” he said.

“I am very hungry,” said Francine.

“Seriously?” asked the woman.

“Oh fine,” said Francine. She untied the woman. “If they get mad at us and refuse to serve us dinner, I’ll be very upset.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” said the waiter, “you’re about to get what’s coming to you.”

“Didn’t hear you come in,” said Mark. “You’re really very quiet, aren’t you?”

“Ah good,” said Francine. “Is there a table down here or something? We weren’t really clear on that.”

“You’re not getting dinner,” said the waiter.

“All right, now I’m confused,” said Mark, “because you said…”

The waiter shook his head. “You are clearly not the agents after all.” He pulled out two knives and advanced on them. He lunged at Francine, who flipped over him, kicking him in the head as she flew.

“What was that?” asked Mark.

“You know what,” said Francine, “there might be a couple things I need to tell you about.”

“Yeah, we’re definitely talking about this later,” said Mark, “but for now maybe we should accept that dinner isn’t happening and make ourselves scarce.”

“I’m getting that package, first,” said Francine. “Why don’t you see if you can find some keys on him?”

“Uh, sure,” said Mark. Francine left. “I’m Mark, by the way,” he said to the woman, as he knelt and rifled through the waiter’s pockets.

“Greta,” she said. “Thanks for the rescue.”

“No worries. So how come you were tied up here?”

“Long story.”

“I’ve got time.”

“No,” said Francine, “I’m afraid we don’t.”

“Oh, you’re back already?”

“Yep.” Francine passed him a box. “I got our meals to go. Did you find a key?”

He held up a keyring. “It’s probably one of these.”

It was, and they quickly left and found their car. They dropped Greta at the police station on the way home.

They ate dinner in front of TV. It was fantastic, but it was a shame to have to forgo the whole restaurant experience.

*Do people still use Yelp?

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Snippet me

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Some week 501 crits. I'm gonna look in the judge chat to recall some of the things I said. So the stuff in the [J] tags is gonna be that.

Ceighk posted:

Grey Rabbit

Pretty obvs early on that every single cop (or whatever they are) except for Sadie is a bastard. (ACESAB)

Here's the stuff from JUDGECHAT

[J]'Mike was a policeman-shaped anonymity.' I dunno what that means. Is it supposed to be anomaly?
"This whole place is a health and safety,"
So that doesn't mean anything. Dunno if that's intentional because Mike is bad at closing off his sentences, but it's awkward
"What language is that?" she asked.


OK kind of liked Grey Rabbit I guess.[/J]

So yeah I didn't mind that but some of the bits came across as either errors or awkward, and it kind of felt like not much happening until a spontaneous act of violence and then a weird ending which we don't really know where it's going and wouldn't have minded seeing more of what comes next.


[J]Oh no Varmints is a wall of text
Doesn't do paragraphs for dialogue either
Oh no
Feint text
oh no
Also uses it's incorrectly
Some bad dialogue attribution too[/J]

OK let's get into this in more depth. Highly recommend you put a clear space between paragraphs, because otherwise we've just got a solid block of text which puts me in a bad mood for judging before I've even read a single word. Additionally, you should have a new paragraph every time a new person speaks; this is not just a convention for convention's sake, it would make it much easier to follow.

Example: ‘Go on, git,’ Biff gestured at Hank. ‘Why me?’ ‘Cos I said so, that’s why.’

Kinda tough, here, to realise that this is a back and forth. Format it like so:

‘Go on, git,’ Biff gestured at Hank.

‘Why me?’

‘Cos I said so, that’s why.’

The new paragraph gives clarity, makes it obvious it's a different person speaking each line.

Oh also, channelling my inner Sebmojo here: IT'S IS ONLY EVER SHORT FOR IT IS. Otherwise, use 'its'. For example: 'The Ropony idled quietly, awaiting its master’s command.' (True for all pronouns as far as I'm aware.)

Oh I mentioned dialogue attribution, let's talk about that. ‘We have to do it, so quit your bellyaching!’ the interjection of the bigger man quieted the others. So here, it seems like it should be two separate sentences, so you should have a capital 't' for 'The interjection...'. If you were making it an actual attribution like 'he interjected', different matter. ‘Go on, git,’ Biff gestured at Hank. Again, 'gestured' doesn't seem to refer to the way Biff said the thing, so it's probs a separate sentence. ‘Whatever it was, it’s long dead.’ Replied Hank. So here you've made the opposite error. Change it to ‘Whatever it was, it’s long dead,' replied Hank. Seems like the rest of your dialogue attribution is correct so maybe it's less that you don't know these rules, than that you weren't paying enough attention?

There are other issues with the story, but making it easier to read by fixing those kind of errors would be a good start.

Wow, no bolding or anything? Gross.


[J]Project Cicada was fun. Maybe a little too neat? I dunno.[/J] OK I think what I mean by that is that the protagonists don't really do anything, much. They get saved by a colleague, and then do some software chicanery heavily reliant on the fact that their bosses were buffoons who didn't properly license the software they were using. But that kinda played into the comedic elements so I didn't mind too much tbh.

Greatbacon posted:

A Long Bumpy Road

What's with people not doing bold text or whatever for the title.


[J]A long bumpy road was kinda
I dunno, it was fine I guess?[/J]

I think it bothered me a little that you set up a bunch of stuff that ended up just not mattering. They don't get to the wedding and nothing comes of it. They come across an entire camp of children and don't really interact with them at all, except that they kind of run in the same direction.

My Shark Waifuu posted:

Jessi & Jerome in the Clay Dog Conundrum

Hooray, bold title!


[J]Jessi & Jerome was kind cute. Had too much action happening 'off screen' I think[/J]

Yeah I kinda enjoyed it, the dynamic between the two characters was cute, but they kept solving all their problems while we, the readers, were elsewhere. The texting of James has already happened. She does some instagram stalking while he's trying to poke things with wire and we hear about it afterwards. Even Jessi talking to Audra is something that we're just told about, not something we kind of participate in.


[J]So, The Con next
Starting off with a super awkward first sentence.
Some bad dialogue attribution too
The Con is kind of bad too I think
It is not as annoying to read as Varmints because it is not a wall of text, but the ending was very groan worthy[/J]

Honestly I really feel like you needed to better explain the setting, I was just as confused as your protagonists about whether this was a convention or a convent or what.

On the dialogue attribution front, here's some of the sections I had issues with, and what I would've changed.

“Weird convent,” Kieron said...
“Right on,” she replied confidently
“Greetings,” a robotic voice spoke from the other end of the line, “I would like to thank you for liberating me.” (Also the wording there is kinda awkward.)

There's a few more but hopefully you get the idea.

Also I just didn't much like the joke that led to the ending. I probs would've DMed this if it were up to me, mostly because of the bad dialogue attribution and the really muddled first act, and not liking the joke that the ending hinged on.

rohan posted:



[J]rohan writing Crocodile Dundee fanfic ey
Second person ey. Bold choice
Second person present tense.
THe crocodile dundee related one was pretty fun.[/J]

Not without its issues but overall I enjoyed it. At first I I raised an eyebrow slightly at Derek mildly fetishising Japanese culture, but then the monk serves it back with his love of Crocodile Dundee and I kinda smiled at how that came full circle. Also, did they eat the crocodile's babies? I'm not entirely clear on what happened there. Anyway, overall I enjoyed it.

Nae posted:

The Last Supper

I was a bit torn on this one because on the one hand I wasn't sure how much of a 'happy ending' it was, but on the other hand it was pretty much the best in every respect so whatcha gonna do.


[J]Hmmm The Last Supper is pretty excellent
Probs my pick for winner so far I think[/J]

Yep, past me is on the ball. "She believed in Mark, and he believed in her. That was all that mattered." Strong ending. I'll call it bittersweet, maybe?

Thranguy posted:

Hole in One


[J]Hole in One is pretty good too. My current runner up.[/J]

Yeah I liked this one more than my fellow judges I think. I agree that the ending was kind of a cheat, with the baddies just showing up because, and then getting somehow dispatched, but I also just really enjoyed the whole hard boiled golfer thing and the associated gags.

CaligulaKangaroo posted:

Jake and Cletus vs. The Utukku


[J]Jake and Cletus is also pretty great[/J]

This ended up being my second favourite. I get what my cojudge is saying about most of the stuff being done by Cletus and Jake just being a passenger, but I guess I didn't mind because it was kinda fun having an oddly endearing hillbilly with a suspicious amount of knowledge about the UN, and ancient civilisations, and conspiracies or whatever.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Albatrossy_Rodent posted:

"Looks like this Bat Mitzvah just became a Bad Mitzvah!" said Rabbi Kowarski, pumping his shotgun.

The Rabbit Said, ‘I Think I’m a Typo’ 692 words

"Looks like this Bat Mitzvah just became a Bad Mitzvah!" said Rabbi Kowarski, pumping his shotgun.

It was, all things considered, not the worst joke he’d told that day.

The one about the priest, the vicar and the rabbit was ‘up there’.

But that one didn’t have the added impact of the shotgun. He threw the shotgun in question to Naomi, whose Bat Mitzvah it was. She caught it by the handle, twirled, and shot the nearest dinosaur in the face. The blast propelled her backwards and flat on her back, and she slid under some tables.

Afterwards, it was difficult to find consensus on exactly where the dinosaurs had come from. Mrs Haversham would later suggest that it was a Baptist conspiracy. “You know they practically run the world,” she would say.

Mr Haversham would nod. “Probably part of a new world order. First step, breed killer dinosaurs.”

In the moment, they both scattered; rampaging dinosaurs were no joke, despite Rabbi Kowarski’s best efforts. Naomi, however, assumed that this was a necessary part of a Bat Mitzvah. It stood to reason that in one’s ascent to womanhood, one would have to demonstrate one’s ability to fend off dinosaurs. Or, you know, frat boys. She rolled out from under the table; Rabbi Kowarski had pulled out a pistol, and Naomi reflected that, despite her early misgivings, she was glad her parents had chosen the Orthodox Rabbi rather than the more progressive one that would’ve been her first pick. Orthodox Jews just pack more heat.

She jumped across tables to the Rabbi, and they swapped weapons. Wouldn’t be ideal for her to be hurled across the room every time she dispatched a dinosaur. The rest of the room was pandemonium; people fleeing from the dinosaurs, tables being overturned, chairs being thrown, wait staff being told that if they stopped serving and tried to flee, they needn’t bother coming in for their next shift.

Naomi and Rabbi Kowarski finished off the remaining dinosaurs, then turned to look at the door through which they had first entered the Bar Mitzvah. They looked at each other; they didn’t have to speak, they knew what had to be done. Rabbi Kowarski pumped his shotgun again, and Naomi cocked her pistol so it made a cool sound. Then the two of them strode through the doors.

On the ground were a number of broken eggshells. “Huh,” said Naomi. “Were those just babies?”

Rabbi Kowarski shrugged. “If you want to make a dinosaur, you’ve got to crack a few eggs.”

“I don’t really…”

“Yeah sorry, I’m out of prepared material. My improv was never quite as strong.”

“Right,” said Naomi. “So anyway, where did the eggs come from?”

“What came first, right?”

Naomi raised an eyebrow at him. “Is this another…?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I can’t help it, dinosaurs make me nervous, I just discovered.” He poked the egg shells his shotgun’s barrel. “Where’s Mama Dino?”

There was a growl and they both looked up. This dinosaur was huge; its head seemed to blot out the ceiling. “How did we not notice that?” asked Naomi.

“It was hiding behind those pot plants.”

The dinosaur’s head lunged towards them; they each dove to one side, then turned and unloaded their respective firearms into the large reptilian eyes. The dinosaur reared up, then toppled over with a slow crash. The two of them hurried back through the doors.

Naomi gave the pistol back to him, and he checked to make sure all the baby dinosaurs were definitely dead. “So, am I officially a woman now?” she asked.

“You’ve still got to read a section of the Torah.”

“Do I have to wait until everyone else is back?”

He pondered for a moment. “I don’t see why we should, they didn’t stick around for the bit with the dinosaurs.”

So she read the bit where Jael killed a guy with a tent peg, he spoke a blessing over her, and they decided to start on the snacks while everyone else was still elsewhere, because killing dinosaurs can really make you work up an appetite.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Nae posted:

Paraiba Tourmaline

Miss Fairy-Tale 1091 words

Hannah checked herself out in the mirror. Yeah. Yeah, that was good. Make-up looked fierce. Her hair was perfect. She was absolutely rocking the dress, and the sash in front that read, ‘Miss Bone Hollow’. There was something missing, though. She grabbed her phone and made a call.

‘What’s up, Hannah? Aren’t you supposed to be on stage soon?’

‘I just realised what my outfit was missing.’

‘Well, bit late for that now.’

‘No, you could totally get it before I have to be on. Or before evening wear, at least. I just need some jewellery.’

‘Anything in particular?’

‘I dunno, something blue or white?’

‘Blue or white gems, right.’

‘But not just any old gems. I need to stand out.’

‘Got it, expensive blue or white gems.’

‘Thanks Barney, you’re the best.’

She hung up; just in time too, as the call came out that they were on stage in two minutes.


The other contestants’ acts were lame. Miss Rainbow Meadow showed off her unicorn’s ability to count by tapping its horn. Did that even count as her talent? Surely it was the unicorn that was talented. Miss Sugarplum Wonderland baked some cookies and served them to the judges, and honestly it was ridiculous that she was permitted to take half an hour for her act. Hannah didn’t mind too much, though, because that gave Barney more time to go steal her some jewels. Finally, this nauseating parade of mediocrity reached Hannah. She stepped forward onto the stage, smiled, and curtsied. As she straightened back up, her eyes rolled back in her head, and she chanted the forbidden words of necromantic power. The stage cracked, then splintered, and up from the depths rose a skeleton.

It was a gorgeous skeleton, too. Pristine, pearly white bones, not a single break, not so much as a chipped tooth. The skeleton climbed up onto the stage and curtsied, and then Hannah and the skeleton danced the tango together. The music came from the very air itself, whistling through the hall, and through the bones of the skeleton. The two of them were perfectly in sync; as she went forward the skeleton went backwards, and the clack of the skeleton’s bones and her stilettos marked perfect time. As the last steps of their dance finished, Hannah dipped the skeleton low, kissed it on its skull, and then dropped it back into the stage from whence it had come. She straightened up, smiled at the judges, then curtsied again.


It was probably a good thing Hannah had been last to show off her talent, because the splintered stage might’ve made it difficult for anyone else to perform. As it was, an extra long break was announced before the next section, while they figured out how to repair it. Hannah called Barney again.

‘Hey Hannah. Yeah, listen, I got a bunch of something called a Paraiba tourmaline, apparently they’re really expensive. Really pretty and blue. They’re not in anything though. Just a bunch of loose tourmalines.’

‘Thanks Barney, did I mention you’re the best?’

‘It’s what I do. By the way, am I still fine to hide bodies at your place?’

‘Of course. Same place as usual.’

‘All right, I’ll swing by as soon as I can.’


The break wasn’t as long as expected; the pixies who had been hired to repair the stage came back from a short break to find that it was completely repaired. They shrugged, claimed credit and payment, and went on their way.

This year, each contestant was asked two questions: one unique to the contestant, and the other shared by all contestants. The other contestants, of course, had dull answers such as ‘world peace’ and ‘happiness for all’, although Miss Sugarplum Wonderland pledged to bake cookies for all the other contestants, and Hannah was firmly in favour of that.

Finally, it was Hannah’s turn. ‘Miss Bone Hollow,’ asked the judge, ‘what will be your first act if you win the crown as Miss Fairy-Tale?’

This was the shared question, so Hannah’s answer was prepared and rehearsed. ‘When I am crowned Miss Fairy-Tale,’ said Hannah, ‘my first act will be to raise an unholy army of the dead and use them to crush any who dare oppose my rightful rule; a reign of terror that will last a thousand years!’

‘Right,’ said the judge. ‘Interesting answer. And to our second question: if you could train any animal as a faithful familiar, what animal would you choose?’

‘A hedgehog,’ said Hannah. ‘They’re adorable!’

The other contestants all nodded. It was true, hedgehogs were extremely cute.


Barney arrived in the next intermission and dumped a handful of gems into her hands.

‘Thanks Barney,’ said Hannah.

He smiled. ‘Always a pleasure. Know how you’re going to use them?’

She nodded. ‘I know a guy.’

‘Great,’ he said. ‘I’ll sneak in back so I can watch the rest of it. What segments are still left?’

‘Just evening wear.’

‘So, you’re all gonna get up there in your pyjamas?’

Hannah shook her head. ‘You’ll see.’


All the contestants looked lovely in various kinds of formal dress. Except for Miss Sugarplum Wonderland, who had apparently interpreted the segment the same way Barney had and was wearing pink flannelette pyjamas with hearts and fairies on them, along with fuzzy purple slippers. Finally, Hannah entered. She was wearing a bone white dress, with the stunning blue Paraiba tourmalines stitched in the shape of a grinning skull. Barney had no idea how she’d gotten that done in the time between segments; the guy Hannah knew must’ve been very good. Hannah smiled to the judges, twirled and walked off the stage.


The judges took much less time than Hannah or Barney expected to announce the winner. ‘The winner is Miss Sugarplum Wonderland,’ one of them said. ‘It was close, but those cookies got her over the line.’

True to her word, Miss Sugarplum Wonderland had already baked cookies for all the other contestants.

‘How did you have time to do that already?’ asked Miss Rainbow Meadow.

She shrugged. ‘I just really love baking!’ She passed them around, and all the other contestants started wolfing them down, while the judges took the crown and placed it on her head.

‘So, you already baked cookies,’ said one of the judges. ‘What will you do next?’

She smiled. ‘I think I’ll do whatever I want, don’t you?’

The judges and other contestants dropped the enchanted cookies and said, as one, ‘Yes, mistress.’

‘Oh bollocks,’ said Barney.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


‘Til Death Do Us Join 1202 words

“What was that about?”

“Must’ve been a false alarm,” I say. It was not a false alarm. What it was, was we were going to die, and it was going to happen in the next day or so. The oxygen was shut off, and it would be for at least the rest of the weekend. I switch the warning off anyway.

I check the monitors again. Not sure what I expect to find that would matter. I guess I was still technically on the clock but at this point, what were they going to do? Dock my pay?

“Hey,” says Carrie. I turn around. “I’m just going to have a quick look myself, all right?”

No, don’t. I shrug. “Go for it.” I can’t even explain to myself why I don’t want her to. Well, not entirely true. I hate seeing worry on her face. Would it be creepy to tell her that? It’d be a bit creepy. Good thing I didn’t tell her that, just lied to her face about the fact that we were going to die, instead. Probably a good thing I was going to die, since she’d probably never talk to me again after this. I take out my phone and start playing a game to drown out the voice of my self-loathing. At least we still have power and internet.

“Hey,” says Carrie again. She’s back already. I love how efficient she is, which is a weird, even creepy thing to love about someone, and also not really important under the circumstances.


“Oxygen’s out.”


“Why didn’t you tell me?”

I shrug. “Didn’t want to worry you, since we can’t do anything about it anyway.”

She raises an eyebrow. “I think I would’ve been worried when I started choking to death.”

“Is that how it works? I thought it might be more peaceful.”

She shrugs. “I don’t know.” She sits back down. “What’re you playing?”

“You’re not mad at me?”

She shrugs. “I guess I get it. It’s dumb, trying to protect me from worry, but I guess you don’t know how I would react.”

It’s true, I didn’t know how she’d react. For example, I was certain that she’d hate me forever – or for the next few hours or however long it was until we died – for lying to her face and for being the person she had to spend her last hours with. Which is still possible, maybe she’s just hiding it very well. She was usually very level-headed about things, which is another thing I love about her, although maybe my brain is just inventing things to love about her at this point.

“What are you playing?” she asks again.

“Hmm? Oh!” I forgot about the phone. I show it to her. “It’s kind of a puzzle game. Just something to take my mind off. I can show you how it works if you want a go.”

“Sure, why not?” she says. “I know we’re technically on the clock, but I won’t tell the bosses if you don’t.”

I chuckle and show her the game. How to move the pieces into position, what to match up. “Yeah, all right,” she says. “Think I’m getting the hang of it.” She plays and I watch over her shoulder, making sure not to quite touch her shoulder, even though I really want to. It’d be inappropriate workplace behaviour or something. I mean, we were already friends before we worked together, but it’s nothing more than that, she isn’t interested in me that way. I haven’t explicitly asked her if she is, but it’s obvious she is too professional to ever date someone she worked with, anyway. Even if we’ve known each other forever.


“Oh, sorry, mind wandered.”

She chuckles. She has the cutest laugh. “Just thinking about the situation we’re in, I guess?”

“Something like that.” Yep. Just the impending death. Definitely not thinking of how much I want to hug her right now, and tell her everything’s going to be all right, even though it’s not, and even though she doesn’t look at all worried. She’s too amazing to be worried. All right, my brain is definitely finding some weird reasons to crush on her right now. “I wonder if we should call our loved ones or whatever.”

She shakes her head. “My parents died a few years ago. I’ll let the company spread the word to everyone else I know. How about you?”

This is it. I’m going to say the dumbest thing possible. I mean what’s the worst that can happen if I tell her how I feel? “The person I care about most knows already.”

She frowns, and I realise that the worst that can happen is what is definitely about to happen, which is that she doesn’t ever want to see or hear me again, which is very awkward since we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives. I mean, we can probably get about twenty metres away from each other, max. “Oh, did you call someone while I was checking?”

All right, I guess I was a bit ambiguous, which also means I’ve still got a chance to get out of this without embarrassing myself. But… I shake my head. “No,” I say. And it’s a dumb thing to say but I’m already here, so I say, “I mean you.” And because I’m just that dumb, and if I fill the air with more words she won’t be able to get a word in to say that she doesn’t care about me at all and actually she’s glad I’m dying, which would be pretty rough since we were already quite good friends before we worked together, but at the moment it makes sense that that’s what she might be thinking given what an idiot I’m being, I say, “The person I care about most is you. Which is very bad timing I know, and I’m sorry. I don’t know why I bothered you with this. You probably would’ve been better off not knowing.” And I have more things to say but she interrupts me by kissing me. “Oh,” I say. “Does this mean…” and I can’t finish the sentence and I really want her to answer the question I have not asked.

And she’s crying a bit, which I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. “Your timing sucks,” she says, which in retrospect is true, it really does.

“Sorry,” I say again, and I decide to test if the kiss was a one-time thing or if I can go for a second one. She kisses me back, and she cries, and I hold her, and I tell her everything’s going to be all right.

“No, it’s not,” she says, and we’re crying, but also smiling, and we don’t move from each other’s arms.

We do move after a bit, because if we’re going to die in each other’s arms, which is definitely what’s going to happen, we’re going to do it somewhere more comfortable, like the break room couch. She falls asleep before me, and I don’t try to wake her, because I hope that I was right, and that it’s peaceful.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


In I guess

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Like Yesterday 721

The guards were taking me to ultra-prison, which all things considered was a pretty bad position to be in. “Hey bro,” I said to the nearest guard, “what’s the charge again?”

“You’re a dangerous dissident,” he said. “We fear your innovative ideas, and the only way for us to silence your stunning thoughts is to lock you up.”

“Gosh, really?”

“LOL, nah,” said a second guard. “It was the murders.”

I didn’t remember murdering anyone, but the memory’s not what it was, these days. I mean, it’s weird, it’s like, I can’t remember what I did yesterday, but I can remember my prom like it was yesterday.

Like, a yesterday that I actually remembered.

I most vividly remember the after party. The prom itself was… it was fine I guess. My date looked real pretty, but it was awkward and we just stood and chatted or sat and ate. For the after party, we snuck… sneaked? Snuck sounds better. We snuck into the fire station. Like, not an active one. But some of the guys brought kegs and people were daring each other to slide down the fire poles, and my date turned out to be a spy.

Like, an actual spy. OK so you know that TV show where the kids are actually cops? Or, there’s some cops who pose as students. It was like that. Except she was a spy. I still can’t figure out how to the feel that my prom date was a spy. And also an adult. That’s messed up right?

But anyway, we were doing lots of shots at the party, and playing drinking games involving sliding down the fireman’s poles. One dude cracked his head open, I think maybe someone pushed him? And the next thing you know there was an occult circle and someone was using him as a human sacrifice to summon Elvis Presley.

My mum was a bit mad afterwards, but she always overreacted a bit; I mean, she was also concerned about me playing Dungeons & Dragons, or listening to rock and roll music, or performing live experiments on our pet dogs, which they survived most of the time, so we didn’t end up having to replace them too often, and you can’t stand in the way of science, right?

But anyway, we successfully summoned Elvis Presley, but then my date grabbed him and shoved him into the trunk of her car, which maybe it should’ve been a red flag to me that my date had her full license, and also an Aston Martin with bulletproof glass that she could drive by remote control, and there were a bunch of buttons that she specifically warned me against pressing when she picked me up, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

So anyway, they drove off and I never saw them again, except when she ran over the two guards who were taking me to ultra-prison.

“Hey,” I said.

“Get in,” she said.

I was torn, because on the one hand she was a spy and ditched me at the prom and stole our successfully summoned Elvis. On the other hand, I really liked that car, and she still looked really pretty. I got in.

The inside of the car reminded me of when I’d last been in the car. I mentioned the buttons she told me not to press, right? Well, I did accidentally press one of them. Both times, actually. Last time she just said, “all right, but don’t do it again, or we might have issues,” whereas this time she shook her head and said, “now you’ve done it,” which is true I guess, I definitely did it.

Anyway, the trunk opened and Elvis fell out. So I guess the current Elvis related crisis is technically my fault, and some people are mad about that, but people overreact, I mean they also got mad when I murdered my neighbours.

Oh, there you go, now I remember that happening. Just had to think through it, right? It’s like, associating certain smells with memories or whatever, or in this case associating Elvis with a busted open head and a human sacrifice. I guess I successfully summoned him this time too, although I really expected him to come through the portal near the human sacrifice. What can you do ey.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello please song me

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


May have missed the deadline slightly

Dragon Hunt 819 words

Francine and Graham had gotten out just in time.

The town was burning. “Well, I guess that’s that, Frankie.”

Francine nodded. “So, we try the next town. See if they’ll listen.”

The next town was half a day’s walk, and probably only an hour’s flight. Graham shook his head. “That hasn’t been working so well for us. I’m sick of seeing towns burn.”

She sighed. “All right. What’s the alternative?”

“We track it to its lair.”

“Dragon doesn’t really leave tracks, though, does it? It’s flying everywhere.”

“Well,” said Graham, “it leaves scorch marks.”

“Yep, noticed that.”

“Also flattened trees.”

That was true. It seemed to favour flying close to the ground, and the powerful flaps of its huge wings that kept it in the air also caused havoc on anyone or anything unfortunate enough to be underneath. She nodded. “All right. Sure, why not. Didn’t want to grow old, anyway.”

They tracked it for half a day. It was slow going; sometimes tough to distinguish this trip from any of its previous forays. Dinner was some animals that had been crushed by the downdraft. After dinner, they kept tracking through the night. They were tired, but they didn’t want to wait for the dragon to take another flight, possibly destroy another town, and crush more trees and vegetation to further frustrate their tracking efforts.

It was well after midnight when they reached the ruins. “Reckon this might be it,” said Graham.

“Is it the scorch marks?”

“And the corpses.”

“Gotta say,” she said, “this is feeling like a smarter idea every second.”

He shrugged. “Let’s scout the place out.


In the weeks after the dragon hunt, Francine spent most of her days at the newly renamed Dragon’s Head Inn. Transporting the beast’s head to the capital had been a three day endeavour, but she’d stuck with it, because experience had taught her that she’d need proof a dragon even existed, let alone that she’d killed it. She’d dumped it at the stairs of the town hall. The councillors had not initially been all that grateful, but after messengers had supported her accounts of the razing of several nearby towns, things had changed a little bit. The thanks had been purely non-monetary, however. It was only thanks to the entrepreneurial instincts of Hannah that she was compensated for her efforts at all.

Francine got free room, meals, and drink for as long as she wanted. Hannah got a giant stuffed dragon head, and a genuine dragon killing hero staying in her inn. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Hannah glanced up at the head in question and whistled. “Sure wish I could’ve been there, and seen you take it down.” She’d said this, or something like it, almost every day since she’d bought the head from Francine and had it stuffed and mounted. Francine shrugged noncommittally.

While people were making wishes, she wished that maybe one of the towns they’d stopped at had believed them that there was a dragon, so that it wouldn’t have been just the two of them hunting it. Imagine fifty capable archers, or even a single ballista. Instead, Graham had descended from above, letting gravity and his own body weight drive his spear into the dragon’s head. At the same time, Francine had fired an arrow into its eye. For a moment they’d really thought that might do the job. The dragon had flailed around in pain, sending Graham hard into a wall, while his spear remained lodged in its skull. As the dragon had flown off, severely injured and bleeding from the spear in the skull and the arrow in the eye, Francine had rushed over to him.

She wished she’d stayed with him. Maybe she couldn’t have saved him, but he didn’t deserve to die alone. He’d insisted though. She had to finish the job. So she’d followed the trail of mayhem and dragon blood for several hours. Flying with a head wound and only one working eye, it had been slower and more erratic, and she’d caught up with it and filled it with arrows until it crashed through trees to the ground.

And then, severing its head and strapping it to her back. Walking for three days carrying a reptile head that felt almost as heavy as her, still covered in its blood, and Graham’s blood, and her sweat. Dealing with the idiot councillors who initially didn’t believe it was the head of a real dragon, then when they heard the messengers’ reports of the towns laid waste by dragon fire, thanked her but asked why she couldn’t have killed it before it burnt the towns down, and somehow managed to fall short of actually paying her for services rendered.

Most of all, she wished that she and Graham had hopped a ship to shores unknown, left the dragon behind, and let all their worthless cities burn.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


hello gimme both please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Comin’ Round the Mountain 1114 words

“What’s a pretty little thing like you doing up here all by yourself?”

‘Up here’ was a mountain pass. A mountain pass in my mountain. I wasn’t the pretty little thing in question, that was a young woman who was, technically, not alone since she was leading a donkey. The speaker was a man, one of three.

“Going to meet my fiancé,” she said. “I’m sure I’ll be fine, everyone around these parts knows not to cross him.”

One of the other men chuckled. “Nice try, princess. We’ll be taking everything on the donkey, and more besides, to teach you to be quiet.”

She pulled a sturdy club from the donkey and gripped it tightly, as the three men advanced.

Strictly speaking this was none of my business. Robberies happened with some regularity in my mountain, and I ordinarily wouldn’t do anything about it. However, it’s a woman’s prerogative to occasionally change her mind and murder some would be assailants.

Rocks fell, everyone died. Well, not me of course. And not the woman or her donkey. I walked to her from the rubble.

“Stay back,” she said. The club was raised above her head.

“Some gratitude,” I said, but I stopped well short of her.

She relaxed and lowered the club. “Sorry, I thought you must’ve been – who are you, anyway?”

I chuckled and walked towards her again. “Call me Britta. This is my mountain.”

“I’m Evelyn,” she said, reaching out her hand to shake, “but friends call me Evie.”

“Nice to meet you, Evie,” I said. And I don’t know why, but instead of shaking her hand, I pulled her into a hug, and I held her. And she started quietly sobbing. “Shh,” I said. “You’re all right.”

She nodded. And then she looked up, and she kissed me.

The kiss only lasted for a moment. “Sorry,” she said. “Not sure what came over me. Just emotional, I think.”

I grinned. “No apology necessary, it was a very nice kiss.”

She blushed. “Please don’t tell my fiancé.”

I chuckled. “We don’t really travel in the same circles.”

I released her from my hug, and she looked over at the rubble. “Hmm,” she said, “guess I’m taking the long way.”

I gave the rubble a look, and it was gone. “That way seems fine to me.”

“How?” she asked.

“I told you; this is my mountain.”

She shrugged and continued on with her donkey.


“What was that about?” asked Magnus. Magnus is my husband. Nothing happens in the mountain without him seeing.

“Three on one didn’t seem fair,” I said.

“That’s not the bit I’m questioning,” he said. “Kill as many humans as you want, they barely live a hundred years anyway.”

I shrugged. “She looked like she needed a hug.”

“And you needed a kiss?”

I raised an eyebrow. “Jealous of a human?”

He chuckled. “I just know you too well. Just leave me out of it this time, all right?”

“I wouldn’t worry,” I said. “After that experience, I’m sure that’s the last we’ve seen of her.”


It was not the last we saw of her. Two weeks later, I saw leading her donkey up the same path. This time, she was calling my name. “Britta!” She must’ve looked like a crazy person to any other travellers. Looked a little odd to me, too, coming back to where she’d almost most been robbed.

“Hello Evie,” I said.

She spun around. “Where’d you come from?”

I shrugged. “Around. I told you, it’s my mountain.”

“I’m glad I found you,” she said. “I told my fiancé about what happened, and he wanted me to bring you something as a token of thanks.”

“You told him everything that happened?”

She blushed. “I told him the important bits.”

“You and I may have a different idea of what the important bits are,” I said. “But I do like gifts, so I won’t argue the point.” She pulled a box out from under her cloak and opened it. Inside were a handful of precious stones; rubies, emeralds, sapphires, other sparkly stuff. I laughed. “I’ve got a whole mountain full of these.” She dropped her head. “Sorry,” I said, “I don’t mean to be ungrateful. I’m sure a lot of thought went into this gift, but honestly, I prefer the one you gave me last time.”

“But I didn’t give you anything,” she said.

“Sure you did,” I said, and I stepped in, pulled her to me, and kissed her.

She kissed me back, but then she pulled back. “I mustn’t,” she said. “I’m betrothed.”

“Sorry,” I said, “after last time I thought you might want to.”

“It’s not about what I want. I have a responsibility.”

“I see. Well, thank your fiancé for the thought, but I don’t really need more gems.”

“Please just take them.”

I looked into her eyes. I sighed. “All right. Thank you.” I took the box of gems.

She turned to leave, then paused, and turned back and asked, “So if not gems, what kind of gift would you want?”

I shrugged. “A lady always likes to receive flowers.”

She nodded, and then left the way she’d come.


“All right,” said Magnus with a chuckle, “this time I am a bit jealous of a human.”

“You needn’t be,” I said. “She’s got a fiancé, and ideas about responsibility.”

He shook his head. “Only a hundred years or so, and they waste what little time they have.”


Responsibility or no, Evie came back and visited several times over the next month. She’d bring me flowers, and I’d kiss her, and she’d pull back, but then kiss me back, but then say she mustn’t because she was engaged, but then would be back a few days later to do it all again. Magnus always just shook his head at me afterwards. “Just leave me out of it,” he’d say.

And then for a few weeks I didn’t see her at all. “I’m sure she’s just busy,” said Magnus.

“With wedding preparations, no doubt,” I said.

Magnus shrugged. “That is possible.”

“Well,” I said, “this was only ever a brief fling.”

“Hmm,” said Magnus. “Maybe she got sick of always having to come to yours, rather than you to hers.”

I shrugged. “This is my mountain.”

“And he is her fiancé,” said Magnus. “Yet, she came.”

I raised my eyebrow. “I wouldn’t have thought you’d want me to go, anyway.”

“Well,” said Magnus, “they only live for a hundred years or so, right? I’ll still be here afterwards.”

I smiled, then reached up and kissed him. “You’re right. I’ll see you in seventy years. Give or take.”


Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



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