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Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


gimme story


Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Albatrossy_Rodent posted:

Nativity of Christ


Codechild 801 words

“You saw the message?”

Yeah. They’d all seen the message. It was not from anyone. And it wasn’t just that someone has masked their sending location; they were readers of The Code. There was not a masking tool available that could stop them from seeing who it was from. This message did not exist anywhere except in their inbox. It was as if it had been created there. It read: Child not safe. Leave by alternate means, do not report back.

The message was from The Code itself.

They all left through the hotel’s fire escape. Alfred and Ray decided to enter the sewers and leave the city that way. “You sure you’re not coming with us?” asked Ray.

Sonya shook her head. “Not right away. Maybe I’ll catch up with you.”

Alfred shrugged, and the two men gave the code runner’s sign and climbed down the sewer ladder. Sonya tapped into the code signal nearby. One of the nearby jetboards was unsecured. It was the work of a moment to rewrite its code, make it hers. Then she sailed it back to the garage where the child had been born. Not into the garage; didn’t want to draw undue attention. She stashed the ‘board behind a dumpster. Tapped into the code signal again. That building over there – yes, there was a room that hadn’t been accessed for five cycles. No one would notice. Again, it was child’s play to convince the door’s code to accept her entry. She slipped inside, and drifted into codesleep.

She was alerted by a series of similar messages. Back and forth to each other, asking about the child. She woke from codesleep and checked her calendar. She’d been in codesleep three microcycles. Three troopers were approaching on armoured jetboards. She checked the code signal; these troopers were definitely the origin of the messages that had woken her. Messages containing words like ‘terminate’ and ‘purge’. Unfortunately, all three jetboards were secure. She slipped out of the room she’d been codesleeping in. The jetboards were far enough away that she could get over to the garage before them. She quickly crossed the road and glanced into the garage.

The child and her parents were gone, which was probably for the best. Sonya climbed up onto the roof of the garage. It wasn’t enough that they were safe on this one occasion, she decided.

The jetboards arrived and the three troopers dismounted. Two entered the garage, while one stayed outside, minding the jetboards, looking out for any suspicious people, and getting killed by Sonya. She landed on his shoulders and snapped his neck before he could make a sound.

She peered into the garage. One of the troopers appeared to be ransacking it, while from the sounds of it the other had gone into the office upstairs. Sonya sprinted silently on light feet across the garage and did a handspring off of a jetboard that was being worked on, into a flying kick into the trooper’s head. He stumbled back, then shook his head and went to draw his power spear. Sonya kicked it from his hand, then snatched it from the air and shoved it through his chest. He collapsed backwards, the point embedding into the ground.

Fortunately, Sonya saw something from the corner of her eye before the third trooper fired his power bow. The power arrow glanced off of her shoulder as she dodged to one side, under a power bench.

“You can’t stop us!” called the trooper. “Eventually we’ll find the child, and when we do, we’ll purge him.”

Sonya didn’t bother correcting the trooper. If they thought the child was a boy, all the better. She rolled under a table next to the power desk, then quickly ducked behind another jetboard. She briefly checked the code signal for something she might be able to use.

“Why do you even care?” asked the trooper.

She ignored him and explored what she’d found in the code signal.

“We will find him,” said the trooper. “We’re going to find him, and we’re going to kill him, it’s inevitable.”

“No,” said Sonya. “You won’t.”

The trooper laughed. “Why not? Because he’s the chosen one? You really believe in that?”

“Sure, there’s that,” said Sonya. She’d found the signal weakness she was after; she told the code what she needed, and the jetboard roared forward suddenly, ploughing into the trooper and pinning them against the wall. She sprung forward before he could free himself, gripped the trooper around the throat and stared into their eyes. “But also, because I personally will kill as many of you as it takes to keep them safe.” And she squeezed until the light went out in their eyes.

She felt the message arrive. Again, no sender.

Just a direction.

She followed.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Love of the Game 1069 words

This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game. The man is me, and ‘far away’ is Mafiatown. It was an expensive trip, but if you love something like I do, you’ve got to go where it’s best, and that’s Mafiatown. Specifically, the Corleone Casino in Mafiatown.

All right, love is a bit strong. I enjoy gaming, but I don’t go overboard. No matter what my folks say.

Anyway, after selling my car and taking out a third mortgage on my condo, I had enough to pay for plane tickets, hotel booking, the entrance fee, and ‘insurance’.

It’s an investment though, I mean you can’t put a price on that kind of experience. Well, I suppose technically they did put a price on that experience which was the price I paid for all those things I just listed, but you get the point I’m making, I hope.

I didn’t have enough left over for the taxi fare from the airport to the hotel, but it was only a five kilometre hike. Anyway, I managed to get there without getting mugged or whatever, and the hotel had a bath so I took a bath and turned in for the night.

The next morning, I went early to the Corleone Casino. The hotel was right next to the casino, which more than justified the cost of the hotel.

Because, look, when I’m tired after a long day, it’s worth it not to have to walk too far to get back to my hotel. Or hail a cab or whatever.

Anyway, I mingled a little bit near a table covered in hors d'oeuvres that the entry fee covered, which worked out well given that I didn’t have money left over for food, so this would be my breakfast. Said ‘hi’ to a couple of my fellow early risers but was mostly keeping on eye on when the tables would become available.

Finally the tables started to open up. I seated myself at one near the snacks.

The next few days were like a blur. I was in heaven, nothing but gaming and dining on the finest hors d’oeuvres I have ever seen, in between collapsing in my hotel room in the early hours of the morning. Apart from obviously being the greatest week of my life, it was relatively uneventful until the final day.

There were only a few players still left. I was sat next to a young lady named Gretel, and there were also some other people at the table whose names I don’t remember or care about, and then a – I hesitate to say ‘gentleman’ – named Ian.

Now the thing about playing in a mafia owned casino is, well, sure, the mafia may steal, and smuggle, and murder, and bribe officials, and fund coups, and broker arms deals, and occasionally evade taxes, but there was still a certain level of decorum that was expected. You know what I mean? Just because you were going to kill a man’s family, for example, there was no need to be uncouth.

I understood this, and I think most of the other patrons understood this, but Ian… well there were some unfortunate words spoken, which had a few eyebrows raised at the table. And then some of his play – like I get that there’s a certain degree of freedom in how you play the game, as long as it’s within the rules, but there’s still some things you just implicitly understand that you don’t do, right?

And, well, Ian did one of those things, and the mood at the table soured a bit, and it became apparent that a couple members of security had already been notified, and were now standing right behind Ian. “Excuse me, sir. Please come with us.”

Ian scoffed. “What? It’s within the rules! Show me in the rules where it says I can’t do that!”

And rather than get dragged into a debate on the minutiae of the rules, they grabbed him, one on each arm, and stood him up.

“All right, fine,” said Ian, “I can walk myself out. I see how it is.”

The two of them didn’t release their hold on his arms, however, and instead dragged him toward one of the offices. The rest of us avoided watching as he was dragged away, and instead coughed and suggested we return to the game.

It was as that game was winding up – it had not lasted long past Ian’s removal – when an older gentleman coughed from between Gretel and me. We’d been engrossed in the game and hadn’t seen him arrive. “Excuse me Sir, Ma’am,” he said. “My patron has asked that I extend to each of you an invitation to play at his private table.” He turned, and I followed where he was looking. It was the Diamond Room. Everyone wanted to play in the Diamond Room! The Diamond Room was legendary. “At the conclusion of this game, naturally,” he added.

It was fortunate that the game was almost wrapped up, because I could barely concentrate. I was hitting the big times! Obviously they were impressed by my standard of play. The game concluded, and Gretel and I were led to the Diamond Room, which the gentleman unlocked, opened, and then ushered us inside.

The Diamond Room was luxurious. Padded seats, mahogany panelling, a bunch of other stuff that sure looked expensive and was therefore extremely tasteful, hors d’oeuvres that made the previous offerings look like cheese and crackers in comparison.

To be fair, a lot of it was cheese and crackers, but it was very good cheese and crackers. It appeared Gretel and were the last to arrive, as there were only two free seats. We sat down, and were each passed a manila envelope. “Read the information in there carefully before we start,” said the man who had handed them to us. I opened mine up and scanned it thoroughly. “All right now,” he said, once it became clear that we had both finished reading. “Introduce yourself to the rest of the group.”

I glanced at the card in my hand, then cleared my throat. “Hail and well met,” I said. “I am the knight Ulric.”

“And I’m the dwarven mystic known as Jortan,” said Gretel.

“Hail and well met, Ulric and Jortan,” said the other players.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello I am in with, "Hello. We're not going to buy anything." Please have the prophet tell us what the story will be.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


a friendly penguin posted:

"They should write about digging underground, and when he digs underground he has to make a special thing that pops right out again."

The Goblin’s Jape 996 words

Horace was digging for gold, and so far, had not had much luck. He had found a few corpses, which some might have taken as some kind of omen, but Horace was certain that the charts he’d examined indicated gold nearby, so he persisted.

On day thirty-seven, he struck something hard. It was a small wooden box, which some might’ve seen as out of the ordinary. Horace, however, assumed that that was how buried gold was discovered these days. The charts hadn’t said what form the gold would be in.

Horace picked up the box and opened it.

It was empty, so he set it aside and turned to pick up his shovel again.

“Hey mate,” said a voice next to his foot.

“Hmmm?” He turned, and there stood a very small green man.

“Thanks mate, you freed me from eternal imprisonment.”

Horace looked at the box. “You were in there?”

“That’s right, mate. Been there, I reckon, about a thousand years. Give or take.”

“Why were you in a box?”

“Oh, hard to say, mate. Some people just can’t take a joke, know what I mean? I just played a harmless jape on someone.”

“What kind of jape?”

“Oh, it’s nothing really. Just some playful interpretations of some wishes. Speaking of which, for rescuing me from my wooden prison, it is my pleasure to offer you three wishes.”

“Oh, really? I thought that was a genie thing?”

“Pffft,” said the goblin. “I can do wishes too. Goblin magic is powerful. And also sneaky, and playful, but I can grant wishes, believe you me.”

“Right,” said Horace, “well I was actually looking for gold. Do you know where it’s buried around here?”

“Where it’s buried?”

“Yeah,” said Horace. “I’m trying to dig up some gold so I can be rich.”

“Uh huh,” said the goblin. “So, I don’t know if you caught it earlier, but I’m a wish granting goblin. Powerful goblin magic, and all.”

“Right,” said Horace. “But do you know where the gold is?”

“I’m not sure you’re…” the goblin paused. “Like, let’s talk this through. Why do you want to find gold?”

“Because then I’ll be rich.”

“All right. Good. Now, do you think there’s part of that goal that I, as a goblin with powerful wish granting magic, might be able to grant you?”

“Well, I was hoping you could tell me where to find gold.”

The goblin nodded. “So, can you put your desires in the form of a wish?”

“I wish I was closer to the gold!”

The goblin sighed. “You know what, it takes the fun out of my japes when you make it this easy, but very well, your wish is my command.” The goblin wiggled his fingers, and suddenly the two of them were underground. All around them was mostly dirt, except they were in a pocket of air, and next to their head was a large nugget of gold.

“Wow,” said Horace, “there’s the gold!”

“Yep,” said the goblin.

“Ah, but we’re underground with it,” said Horace.

“See?” said the goblin. “A classic jape. Good thing you still have two wishes!”

“Hmmm,” said Horace. “I just need some way of getting out of here with the gold.”

“Yep,” said the goblin. “If only there was some kind of powerful being that could help you do that.”

“Like a digger!” said Horace.

“A digger?”

“Yes,” said Horace. “A big digging machine, one of those yellow machines that they do digging with. Some kind of… you know, a big thing that digs.”

“Right,” said the goblin. “Yes, all right, I can see how that sort of thing would be one solution, yes. Bear in mind, however, that you do have two more wishes left from a magical goblin. This time, I won’t even jape you as severely as the first one.”

“Can you make a digging machine?”

“Is this really the way you want to do this? I do very good magic, you know.”

“Oh right, I have to wish it. I wish for a machine that will allow us to dig out of here.”

The goblin sighed. “It’s no fun when you’re like this. You’ve got to be at least a little bit upset or something. It’s part of the social construct of japing. Tell you what, I’ll make this one jape free, because I just don’t feel super positive about japing, what with you being the person you are.”

The goblin wiggled his fingers again, and suddenly a big machine started constructing itself around them.

“Hmmm,” said Horace once the machine had finished constructing itself. “Not exactly what I expected, but I’m sure it will do great.” He opened the machine’s window, collected the large nugget of gold and placed it in the vehicle’s cab between the two of them. Then, he twisted some dials and pulled some levers and pressed a big red button, and the machine lurched into life and burrowed through the ground, popping out right next to where he’d been digging. “Wow, this is great,” said Horace. “Way better than the shovel.”

“Yep,” said the goblin. “So, you’ve got your nugget, only been lightly japed, and still got one wish in hand. What are you gonna wish for?”

Horace shrugged. “Think I’m right, actually.”

“Hmm, you sure?”

“Yeah, pretty sure with this nugget I’m rich.”

“All right,” said the goblin. “Hmm, not sure what to do from here.”

“Wanna come back to town with me? I was gonna buy a round of drinks once I found my fortune.”

The goblin shrugged. “Sure, why not. Grab the box as well, while you’re at it. Maybe I’ll be able to do some more japes later.”

So they went back to town, and Horace bought everyone in the inn a round, and the goblin got kicked out of the inn after he japed the innkeeper into accidentally serving up a live fish, which was a much more satisfactory reaction to being japed.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


rohan posted:

I’d ask chairchucker to supply the supernatural being but I’m sure he’d just say it’s a goblin


Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Chernobyl Princess posted:

Principle 11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Leave the Edges 559 words

“This is a waste of our time.”

“Border control is important,” said Tom. “Soon we’ll be overrun by illegals and Muslims if we don’t watch out.”

Rob sighed. It was days like today he hated this job.

It was most days, to be honest.

This wasn’t why he’d joined up. Well, the reason he’d joined up was mostly just ‘he needed a job and they were hiring’. But it wasn’t the thing that helped him continue to justify to himself why he stayed joined up.

He was finding fewer and fewer of those, these days, and was mostly left with ‘I need to eat.’

“These orchards seem to be thriving.” Just making conversation. He didn’t love the silence, but when the alternative was talking to Tom…

“Of course, they’ve obviously got all the illegals working here,” said Tom.

The drive might have been pleasant, if he wasn’t sharing it with Tom. He opted for silence for the rest of the drive.

The building that was used to administer the orchards was the owner’s home. Rob knocked, and a middle-aged woman answered. “Hello? We’re not hiring at the moment.”

“Because we’re not illegals, is that it?” asked Tom.

“Sorry, what?” she asked.

Rob sighed. He showed his ID. “Apologies Ma’am. We’ve been asked to come here to follow up reports of undocumented workers. Can we please check your records?”

“Why certainly,” she said. “My husband can show them to you, they’re in our back office.”

“I’ll go,” said Tom.

She turned around and called, “Ben! There’s some nice men here to look at our records!”

Ben arrived, and he led Tom out the back.

“Your orchard looks magnificent,” Rob told her. “It was a lovely view on the drive over.”

She shrugged. “We’ve put in a lot of love and effort.”

“Harvest time was recently, wasn’t it?”

She nodded. “We had quite a good yield.”

“Right,” said Rob. “Interesting that some of the trees on the edges didn’t seem to have been harvested.”

She shrugged. “Can’t get to them all, and it’s nice to have some fruit left over for the birds, or whatever.”

“Hmm,” said Rob. He thought for a moment. “You ever read the Bible?”

“We’re Jewish.”

“Ah, my apologies.”

“So yes, we read the Bible.”

He raised an eyebrow. “All the bits of it?”

“Once or twice.”

He nodded. “I think there’s a bit in there about not harvesting all your crop so that poor people can eat what’s left over, right?”

She frowned, but said, “Leviticus. Leave the edges for the poor or the foreigner.”

“Ah,” he said. “Poor or the foreigner. My mistake.”

Whatever her response would’ve been was interrupted by Tom and Ben’s return.

“Everything checks out,” said Tom. “Everything’s accounted for.”

“Excellent,” said Rob. “Very sorry to bother you Ma’am, and it was lovely chatting with you.”

“What did you two have to talk to, anyway?” asked Tom.

“Theology, I suppose,” said Rob.

“Theology? What’s that about?”

“Well, you’re a Christian, right?”

“Of course,” said Tom, “wouldn’t be a stinking Muslim.”

Rob nodded. “You read the Bible much?”

“Oh, I don’t really need to read that to be a Christian.”

Rob grinned. “No, I guess not.”

“Whatever,” said Tom.

Rob opted for silence for the rest of the trip, and admired the full branches of the trees on the edges.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello, here are some 3 month old crits.

TD 548, the Round the Twist fanfic week

I'm gonna grab my comments from judgechat back in the day but then also reread the stories.

Staggy - Rent Free

Judgechat comments

OK I have read Rent Free
It's competently told and has a good voice but something about it just doesn't excite me that much idk

OK reread time.

Yeah OK it just wasn't that interesting. The dialogue was kind of decent I guess but it wasn't quite funny enough to overcome the sheer absence of anything really happening.

Yoruichi - I love my axe as much as I love you


OK I love my axes as much as etc etc is kinda a nothing story, it's fun but that's about it

OK time for a read over. Like a do over, but with reading.

OK first of all, there is a goblin, which is good. OK there's some accent tomfoolery that I don't know if I have the patience for.

Hmmm, feels like I should like this more than I do. I think the accents kinda took me out of it, and the fake tension with 'will the protag fulfil the contract to murder someone who, a. they're in love with and, b. is their best source of weapons, just seems a bit weak. Also I guess I wasn't able to empathise with the protag deciding 'nah I'm gonna do nothing about this crush I have on a person, my happy ever after is with this new axe'. IDK the ending just felt a bit flat to me.

Admiralty Flag - Radio Da Da


Radio Da Da was fine I guess
Nothing's overly excited me so far

Reading again.

OK so this leaned too hard into the radio gimmick, for me, and a story which is mostly a guy listening to a bunch of different songs is, imo, not that interesting a story. Felt a bit cliched as well, and didn't really care about Sammy's dad getting his second chance or whatever because we didn't spend any time with him knowing he was his dad or caring about his character.

Pham Nuwen - Ula


Hmm. Ula is the best so far, IMO, even though it lost me a bit with having the narrator describe what they're saying instead of just saying the dialogue.

OK so I read it again and it's still good, but I also found myself not caring that much about the characters. I think part of it is that a lot of what feels to me like the important plot stuff - Ula losing her skin, the main character having to look for it - takes kind of a back seat in the narrative.

Thranguy - Monkeyshines

Hmmm what did I say about it the first time, let's see!

Monkeyshines is kinda pleasant. Even though it's similar to a bunch of the others in a not much substance kinda way, I prefer it to all the others that aren't Ula.

OK time to read again!

OK yeah, it really was kind of a nothing story, not sure why last time it was my second favourite up to this point, other than it had a goblin and was light and breezy and good natured I guess, which goes a long way.

Caligula Kangaroo - The Kenning House

Previous judgechat:

Kenning House is a little frustrating because it felt like there was something there but it wasn't clear enough

OK I think I got it a bit more this time, seems like Albert's kids sold him to fairies or swapped him with a fairy child or something, IDK? Anyway, still felt like you could've brought that point out a bit more.

Bad Seafood - The Kennel

Judgechat comments:

OK Ula and the Kennel are my two picks
I'm fine with Kennel for win.

So I guess I didn't make any specific comments except for I had it in my top two, let's go for another runthrough!

Hmmm, couple of errors I don't remember noticing last time.

OK yeah, quite a lot of errors, but really well told, with the added benefit that it felt like there was something significant going on, and I cared about the characters. I started remembering part way through what it was about, but still kinda cared about what was happening.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello please give me some transportation.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


can I have a destination too please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


OK But What if God Wants the Pope to Die? Rickshaw to St Peter's Basilica, 1218 words

“There appears to be an altercation occurring over there. Should we intervene?”

Hiro looked over where Rocky was pointing and sighed. The altercation was three inquisitors giving a nun a hell of a kicking. He couldn’t afford delays, and she was technically in the employ of his enemy, but…

“Yes, but let’s make it quick.”

Rocky changed directions and jogged towards them, his heavy feet thudding louder as he got closer. One of the inquisitors turned their way. “This doesn’t concern you! Stay out of it, you don’t want this kind of trouble!”

Hiro jumped from the back of the rickshaw and ran towards them. Rocky parked it and followed. All three inquisitors had stopped kicking the nun and brandished clubs in their direction.

Rocky overtook Hiro, and his giant fist crashed into one inquisitor, sending him flying into another. The other, seeing this, turned and ran. Hiro picked up one of the fallen clubs and threw it at the retreating man; it hit him in the head, and he crumpled to the ground.

“What should we do with her?” asked Rocky. Her eyes were closed, and her face covered in bruises.

Hiro sighed again. “Put her in the back with me. I’ll patch her up as best I can.”

“So, she’s with us?”

“For now. We’ll drop her at a hotel or something.”


“Where am I?”

Hiro glanced over. “Don’t try to get up,” he said. “You’ve taken quite a kicking.”

“Huh,” she said, and fell back into unconsciousness.


It was a couple of hours before she woke up again.

“Where am I?” she asked again.

“In a rickshaw,” said Hiro. “We’ll drop you off at a hotel on our way. Didn’t seem like a good idea to just leave you there. Could’ve been more of those bastards waiting to finish you off.”

She felt her face with her hand and winced. “Yeah, that might have happened.”

“I must admit, it surprised me to see inquisitors attempting to kill a nun. Thought you were both on team Jesus.”

She shrugged. “We may have had a minor theological disagreement. So, where are you headed off to?”

“Heading towards the Vatican.”

“St Peter’s Basilica!” said Rocky.

She looked out the front of the rickshaw for the first time. “Huh,” she said. “Never met one of you before.”

“I’m Rocky! Nice to meet you!”

“Please to meet you, Rocky. I’m Maria.” She turned to Hiro. “Rocky? Not a bit on the nose to give a name like that to a golem?”

Hiro shrugged. “He named himself.”

“All right then,” said Maria. “So, what are you doing at St Peter’s Basilica, just some sightseeing?”

“Something like that,” said Hiro.

“Also assassinating the Pope,” said Rocky.

There was a period of silence, during which Hiro threw his hands up and stared at Rocky’s back.

“Were we not sharing that?” asked Rocky. “I thought she was with us.”

“Oh dear,” said Maria. “Does this mean you have to kill me?”

“I hope not,” said Hiro, “would feel a bit counter-productive after stopping those inquisitors from killing you.”

“I hope not too,” she said, and they sat in silence for a few minutes. “So, who’s paying you?” she asked.


“Well,” she said, “I suppose the Vatican has a few enemies who’d like to see a change of leadership.”

“No one’s paying me.”

“No pay? What country isn’t paying its assassins?”

“I’m doing this for myself.”

“Right, right.” Some more silence, and then, “You know, I was always a bit uncomfortable about some of the war bits in the Bible.”


“It’s like, yeah I get it, war happens, and sometimes you have to fight for your country, but the bits where God tells them to go into towns and kill women and children, I still don’t know what that was about, you know?”

Hiro shrugged. “His holiness doesn’t seem to share your doubts on this matter.”

She shook her head. “Neither do his inquisitors.”

“Was that the disagreement that led to the kicking you received?”

“Among other things,” she said. “Anyway, what’s your take on those bits of the Bible?”

He shrugged. “I never read it.”

She sighed. “I just wish I could reconcile it all, you know?”


“My superior says I just need more faith. I try to have faith, you know?”

“Really think you’ve picked the wrong person to have this discussion with. I don’t believe in your book and I’m about to assassinate your boss.”

“Well, you can try,” she said. She thought for a moment, and said, “Did inquisitors come to your town?”

“We’re not talking about this.”

“Sorry.” There was silence for a while longer, then she said, “So what I wonder is, are those parts of the Bible supposed to mean that sometimes God is fine for us to kill children? Because I really don’t feel like that’s right, but why would he tell his people to do something that’s never fine?”

“Maybe it’s made up,” said Hiro. “Maybe someone just wanted to genocide some towns, so he told everyone God told them to.”

“Part of me prefers that idea,” she said. “Is that bad, that I want bits of the Bible to be made up, because I find the alternative unpleasant?”

“You are, again, asking entirely the wrong person.”


“I don’t think it’s bad,” said Rocky.

Maria laughed. “Thanks, Rocky.” She paused. “So, do you really think you’re going to get away with your life after assassinating the Pope?”

“I’m not trying to live forever,” said Hiro. “I’m just trying to outlive the Pope.”

“I think I’ll get away with it,” said Rocky. “I’m hard to stop.”

“Speaking of stops, is that some of your mates up ahead, Maria?” asked Hiro.

“Not my mates,” she said. She sat up and peered ahead.

“Bit late to go around,” said Hiro. “Hope we don’t have to punch our way through.”

“Shouldn’t be a problem,” said Rocky.

“We don’t want to push our luck,” said Hiro. “You’re not as indestructible as you might think.”

“Never been proven wrong so far.”

“And no one’s quite managed to prove I’m mortal either,” said Maria, “although they’ve come close. But there’s quite a lot of them; maybe you should let me talk to them.”

“I’m not sure,” said Hiro, but they’d arrived at the checkpoint, and Maria was already talking.

“Good evening gentlemen, just escorting a diplomat.”

The inquisitor who leaned into the rickshaw stared at Hiro, then looked back at Maria. “Why is a diplomat coming to the holy city?”

“I think they’re talking surrender,” she said.

He grunted, then leaned back and motioned for them to pass.


“You could’ve had them stop me,” said Hiro. They had almost reached the hotel where they’d decided to drop her.

She shrugged. “Someone who knew the Bible much better than me once told me that, because God is sovereign, nothing happens without him letting it. No ruler gets to be where they are without his authority, and if they’re removed, he meant for it to happen.”

Hiro raised an eyebrow. “Do you believe that?”

They pulled up to the hotel, and she climbed out. “Not really,” she said. “But if you manage to succeed, maybe I’ll start to.”

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Word me please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


My Shark Waifuu posted:

Imparadise: to make supremely happy, transport with delight or joy

Stranger Imparadised 1486 words

The stranger entered the saloon with a jingle of spurs, tall hat tilted down in front of them so as to obscure their face in a very mysterious fashion. The saloon went quiet, as saloons do when strangers enter looking all mysterious. The stranger stomped and jingled their way over to the bar.

“I don’t want no trouble,” said the bartender.

“Um. Okay?” said the stranger.

“We’re a god-fearing town, and we don’t take well to strangers. So, if you’ll just be on your way, I think that would be for the best.”

“All right,” said the stranger, tipping her hat up and peering out from under it, “well, my name’s Hazel, so now we’re not strangers anymore, right?”

“Well,” said the bartender, “I’m not sure it’s that simple.”

“What’s your name?” asked Hazel.

“Well, I,” and the bartender blushed, “no one usually asks me my name. I’m Glen.”

“Lovely to meet you, Glen,” said Hazel. “So now that we’re friends, I’d like a mug of your finest, please, and a room at your fine establishment.”

Glen pulled her a drink and pushed some keys across the bar, and she handed him some coins. The other saloon-goers, having decided the situation was resolved to a satisfactory standard, ceased their silence and went back to chatting and carousing and gambling and all the other things you do in a saloon. A black cat climbed up onto the bar and purred at Hazel. “Hey there little buddy,” she said. “What’s your name?”

“Huh,” said Glen. “That’s weird, Purrbon doesn’t usually like new people.”

“Oh, I have an affinity for cats,” she said. “Also crows. And ravens. Most birds, come to think of it. Also, frogs, toads, rats...”

“Huh,” said Glen. “You’re a regular Davy Crockett.”

“Is he renowned for his affinity with animals?”

Glen shrugged. “I’m not sure, I don’t know many famous people names, just said one of the first that came to mind.”

“Well, Purrbon sure is a beautiful little boy,” she said, and petted his furry head.

“He doesn’t really like – huh, well I guess he does,” said Glen, because Purrbon was purring with all the satisfaction of a cat that had knocked a bunch of really expensive stuff off of a high shelf and onto the ground where it had smashed.

Hazel’s bonding session with Purrbon had to be cut short, because at that moment, the saloon doors were kicked wide open, and someone wearing a sheriff’s badge strode in.

“You know, I just replaced those hinges from the last time you did that,” said Glen. “Is it really that hard to open them normally?”

The sheriff pulled out a six shooter, fired two shots into the chandelier, and returned it to his holster, all in one swift movement.

“Your point is taken,” said Glen, and went back to cleaning classes, but also distanced himself from Hazel a bit.

The sheriff jingled and stomped over to Hazel.

“We don’t like strangers here,” he said.

“Oh, how rude of me,” she said. “I’m Hazel, so now we’re not strangers anymore.”

He frowned, then turned to one side and spat a glob of something gross and sticky onto the floor.

“You’re a lady? Ladies don’t belong in a saloon.”

“Um,” said Glen.

The sheriff waved a hand. “Them ladies don’t count, they’re working.”

“Where do I belong, then?” asked Hazel?

“Don’t care,” said the sheriff. “Not here. Not in this saloon, not in this town.”

“Well,” she said, “it’s a bit late for that, I’ve already booked a room, and it’s a bit late for me to travel to the next town over. You wouldn’t kick a lady out into the cold dark night, would you?”

He spat again. “Seems like you ain’t no lady.”

“Right,” she said, “well does that mean I’m fine to be in this saloon after all?”

“What?” The sheriff paused and appeared to ponder for a moment. “That’s it. I’ll show you what happens to people who tangle with the law around here.”

“Hmmm, I didn’t realise that’s what I was doing.”

“Outside!” he yelled. “Ten minutes! We’ll settle this like men!”

“Like men?” she said. “This is a very confusing conversation.”

“Ten minutes!” he yelled.

She sighed. “Fine.” He stomped and jingled back out of the saloon, and she continued drinking her drink and petting Purrbon. “Glen,” she said, “how is that men settle things? Is it too much to hope for that he means a pleasant discussion over whatever this-” she motioned with her glass – “excellent drink is?”

“He means a duel,” said Glen.

She sighed again. “If men are always settling things by shooting each other around her, I’m surprised there’s any left.”

Glen shrugged.

“All right,” said Hazel. “Guess I’ve got this stupid duel to do. Can you hang onto my drink for me?”

“Sure,” said Glen, and tucked it behind the bar.

Hazel stomped and jingled out of the bar. The sheriff was standing at the other end of the street. “Didn’t think you’d show!” he said.

“Oh, was that an option?” she asked. “I’d be happy to just go back inside and finish my drink if we can do things that way.”

“What?” he asked. “No, that’s not an option. We’re going to duel, and I’m going to show everyone what happens to people who upset the natural order of things.”

“Like, by clear felling forests to build big towns?”

“What? No, why would you think that?”

She shrugged. “You said something about natural order, I thought this was a nature thing. I’m totally supportive if you’re a nature lover. I love trees and animals, they’re all beautiful.”

“No,” he said, “nature has nothing to do with the natural order of things. Now, get ready to duel.”

She sighed. “So, what’s the rules, do we count to three? Does someone yell go?”

“Well first,” he said, “we need an audience so that everyone can see this is a legal and fair duel.” He raised his voice to a shout. “Everyone get out here in the streets right away to witness the law and order that I’m about to administer!”

So, everyone got out of the nearby buildings and lined the streets.

“Glen,” said the sheriff, “you start us off. Count down from three.”

“Do we go on one, or on zero, or what?” asked Hazel.

“I’ll count down to one, and then I’ll say ‘draw’,” said Glen.

“Gotcha,” said Hazel.

So, Hazel and the sheriff faced off.

“Three,” said Glen.

The sheriff drew and shot in one fluid motion, but the bullet missed Hazel to the left.

“Sorry, I must’ve misunderstood,” said Hazel. “We were waiting for Glen to count down to one and then say ‘draw’, right?”

“All right,” said the sheriff, “that’s right. Do over.”

This time, Glen counted down to two before the sheriff shot, and this time missed to the right.

Hazel frowned. “Just so we’re clear, it was definitely the full countdown, then ‘draw’, right?”

“That’s my mistake,” said the sheriff. “Third time’s the charm.”

“Right,” said Hazel, but whispered to herself, “certainly will be the charm.”

So, they lined up again, and Glen counted down to one and shouted, “Draw!” The sheriff drew and fired six bullets. All six bullets buried themselves in the dirt around Hazel’s feet.

“What?” yelled the Sheriff. “How is this possible?” Hazel started to walk towards him, and he quickly grabbed more bullets to try to put them into the gun, but as she got closer and closer, he fumbled them, and they fell into the dirt next to him. By the time she was next to him, he still had an empty six shooter. He raised a fist, but she touched him on the forehead with one finger, and he froze in place, then began to shrink and grow fur. After a couple of seconds, he had transformed fully into a cat, and she had scooped him up.

She walked over to Glen, carrying the former sheriff. “I think Purrbon could use a friend, don’t you?”

“Uh, sure,” he said. “You’re not going to turn me into a cat as well, are you?”

“Of course not,” she said. “I only did that because it seemed nicer than killing him.”

“Right,” he said. He thought for a moment. “You know, if you don’t have any need to move on, it seems like a sheriff spot just opened up.”

“Hmm, I don’t know,” she said. “It’s been my experience that all sheriffs are bastards.”

“Ah,” he said. “Well maybe not sheriff, but perhaps we could think of something.”

So, after much discussion over beers, it was agreed that she would stay as the town witch, which involved much less shooting than the sheriff had done, and she got to stay in the saloon free of charge, with a steadily growing number of cats, and excellent ale on tap.

Also, strangers were always welcomed.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello may I please have a song.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Footy on the Brain 494 words

We stop at the servo on our way back into town, and there’s no one there. Except for the owner. ‘Quiet day today?’ I ask.

He nods. ‘Do you know who won last night? Usually someone’s told me by now.’ Can’t close down the town’s only servo, so I figure he missed the game too.

‘Didn’t see it. We went camping.’

‘Ah,’ he says, ‘any occasion?’ and I’m not sure how to respond because I’m not really ‘out’, y’know?

Mallory’s just come in since she’s done filling up, and she says ‘Anniversary,’ and pays, and the owner just nods and we leave, so I guess I’m now ‘out’ to one person in this town.

We head back to my house, and mum’s car is in the drive, which is weird because she’s got work today. Maybe she’s sick?

We both walk in, and Mum and Toby are just sitting at the table with vacant stares. And next to them is a huge lizard, on his hind feet, and he’s got a jar with a couple of brains in it, and he’s got mum’s chest open and is reaching in to pull out her heart.

‘You shouldn’t be awake. Weren’t you at the game?’ asks the lizard.

‘We were camping,’ I say.

‘It was our anniversary,’ says Mallory, and honestly, not sure how I feel about coming out to a lizard.

The lizard shakes its head. ‘Submit to my will,’ it says, but instead of doing that, Mallory walks up to it and punches it in its big lizard head, and it crumples to the floor.

Fortunately, the brains are labelled, and we flip open mum’s head and put her brain back in. Somehow it just all starts working again, and before long she’s back with us.

‘You missed a good game,’ she says. ‘I think. I don’t remember anything past half time. How was the camping trip?’

Mallory and I look pointedly down at the lizard, and Toby’s brain which we haven’t put back yet, and mum says, ‘Oh’.

And since she’s distracted by the lizard, I say, ‘It was our anniversary,’ because maybe coming out to Mum while we’re saving her from a lizard invasion will make it easier.

‘Oh,’ says Mum again, then she thinks for a moment. ‘One year?’

‘Six months,’ says Mallory.

Mum frowns. ‘Does six months count as an anniversary?’

‘Exactly!’ I say.

‘Excuse me if I wanted to spend some time with my girlfriend,’ says Mallory.

‘Well, I hope you both had a lovely time,’ says Mum, and I’m just relieved that coming out seems to have gone much smoother than I’d expected.

‘Should we see about putting Toby’s brain back?’ asks Mallory.

‘In a minute,’ says Mum. ‘Sit down, I need to have a talk with you both.’

So, we put on hold the rescue of the town from organ stealing lizards so Mum can figure out how to give us ‘the talk’.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


hello flash me please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Revolutionary Prices 476 words

Earl Plinkerton glanced over as the little tinkle of the bell alerted him to someone walking through the door. “Welcome to Plinkerton’s Trinketons, can I help you with anything?”

She raised a hand briefly in greeting. “No thanks. Just having a look around.”

Earl nodded and tended to his behind the counter pre-event knick-knacks. After a few minutes, he walked over to where she was; her search appeared methodical. This didn’t look like random browsing, this looked like she wanted a specific thing, and if she wanted a thing, he wanted her to find that thing, or the nearest closest approximation, in his shop.

And then buy it, obviously.

“G’day, uh, Ma’am,” he said.

“Oh, just Leah is fine.”

“G’day Leah. I’m Earl. You seem like you’re after something in particular.”

She shrugged. “You have a bunch of pre-event paraphernalia, right?”

“Absolutely, Ma – Leah, here at Plinkerton’s Trinketons, we are the foremost purveyor of pre-event doodads, knick-knacks and gadgets.”

“I’m after something very specific,” she said.

“Great!” said Earl. “All of our items are very specific! I’m sure any one of them might suit your needs.”

“I have a photo,” she said. She pulled it out of her purse and handed it to Earl, who looked at it and raised an eyebrow. “Can you help me?”

Earl nodded and looked around the store. No one else was there. No wait, there were a couple of soldiers approaching from outside. “This way,” he said. He ushered her into the back room, pressed a hidden button, and a section of the floor slid away to reveal stairs. As she descended the stairs, he heard the tinkle of the door again; he pressed the button and closed the trapdoor behind her, then walked back behind the counter and paid some closer attention to the knick-knacks.

“You there,” said one of the soldiers, “shop assistant.”

“Owner, actually, Sir,” said Earl. “Welcome to Plinkerton’s Trinketons. Can I interest you in the finest selection of pre-event gizmos?”

“We’re looking for someone,” said the soldier. “A woman.”

“Sorry,” said Earl, “I don’t stock those. I exclusively sell pre-event objects.”

“She’s a dangerous dissident,” said the soldier. “We saw her coming this way.” He turned to the others. “Tear the place apart!”

“Do you mean a doll?” asked Earl. “We have some of those.”

“A doll?!” The soldier let out a cry of frustration and knocked over one of the shelves.

Earl shrugged. “Just trying to help.” He smiled to himself as the soldiers destroyed his store. It’s fine, it had served its purpose. They were so engrossed in smashing all the gadgets that they didn’t notice him slip out the back. It would not be until hours later that they would discover the trapdoor, or the tunnel, and by that time, the two of them would be well on their way.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Cave(wo)man Sam, enjoys foraging berries, hunting the wily sabretooth tiger, and clobbering ne'er-do-wells with their club.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


A Cave Full of Space 858 words

Cavewoman Sam stalked her prey, club in hand. It was her favourite club; the handle fit her hand just so, it swung through the air nicely, and could fell a mammoth if she was given a few hours to really go to town on it. Or so she hypothesised.

Other hunters favoured axes or spears, but Cavewoman Sam felt that axes and spears were for weak and pathetic babies.

Her prey, on this occasion, was a sabretooth tiger. Not as good eating as a mammoth, but thus far she’d had much more success beating tigers to death than she had mammoths, and you could make a wicked sick necklace out of their teeth.

The stalking of her prey was interrupted when the mysterious object appeared in the sky, and out fell a shiny man. Startled, the sabretooth tiger scampered off. Cavewoman Sam walked over to where the man was slowly struggling to his feet. “You scared my prey.”

“Ah!” said the man. “Greeting, stone age hottie, I am James Spaceman, explorer of the galactic wastes, heartthrob, hero to millions, and accidental time traveller.”

“Hi, Jam Space. I’m Sam.”

“What was that you said earlier? No need to be scared, or to pray.”

“I was hunting a sabretooth tiger. You scared it away.”

“Ah,” said James. “Never fear, we can track it with my radar!”

Cavewoman Sam looked over at the sabretooth tiger’s tracks, but shrugged and said, “Fine.”

The two of them followed James’ radar, and it seemed to be going kind of away from the direction the sabretooth tiger’s tracks had been heading, but Sam wanted to see if this shiny but weak looking man was any good as a hunter. They followed for about three hours, and then James stopped at the edge of a cliff, looked over the edge, and posed triumphantly, feet wide apart, one hand on hip, the other pointing towards his quarry. “Behold!’ he exclaimed.

“That is a mammoth,” said Sam.

“What’s the difference?”

“Mammoths are hard to kill,” she said, gesturing towards her club.

“Ah, said James. “Never fear, I have just the thing.” He unholstered his trusty ray gun and pointed it at the mammoth.

“What’s that?”

“You’ll see,” said James Spaceman, and he gave what was likely intended to be a seductive wink. Then he pulled the trigger on his ray gun, and a bolt of energy darted through the air, striking the mammoth right between the eyes. The mammoth stopped in its tracks, then slowly toppled to the ground. “Voila,” he said, “one mammoth.”

Cavewoman Sam had already started to climb down the cliff, so James Spacemen followed her down. “Hmm,” she said once they arrived at the mammoth carcass. “Will have to eat this here, too heavy to move.”

“We could cut it up,” he said.

“I don’t have an axe.”

“Ah,” he said, “well I have just the thing for that, too!” He pulled a power saw off of his utility belt, and got to work cutting up the mammoth. In only a few minutes, he’d cut the mammoth into several more manageable pieces. They picked up a few of the pieces, and he deployed a temporary stasis field over the rest. “Where to now?” he asked.

“My cave is not far,” she said.

“Ah, back to your cave, ey?” he said, and raised an eyebrow suggestively.

“That’s what I just said, yes.” She turned to leave, and he shrugged and followed her.

After a few hours, they reached her cave. She went on ahead, and he followed on behind her. He entered her cave, then backed out again, then entered again, then backed out again. She turned. “What are you doing, Spiced Jimmy?”

“Trust me,” he said, “when I tell this story later, about entering your cave multiple times, it’s going to be hilarious.”

“Is it?”

“You’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s a spaceman joke, you wouldn’t get it.”

“Oh,” she said. “I thought it might have been a sex joke.”

“Um. Well.”

“Because you see, a cave is - you know, it’s big and damp and there are things growing in it, so it’s a bit like…”

“Yes, all right, that was the joke.”

“Ah,” she said. “You think that’s a spaceman joke? You think we don’t have sex in this time?”

“Right, no, of course, I just didn’t want to…”

“Do you want to have sex in this time?”

“I… sorry?”

“All this cave talk, I thought maybe you wanted to have sex.”

“Well, all right, I mean are you sure?”

She shrugged. “You are kind of a weak and pathetic hunter, but that trick with the ray gun was very good.”

“Right,” he said. “Great. Yes. Let’s do that.”

“But dinner first. No sex on an empty stomach.”


So, the two of them had dinner, and then he entered her cave again, but the metaphorical cave, where it was a spaceman joke that you wouldn’t understand. And then they fell asleep, and when he woke up, she was nowhere to be found, and neither was his ray gun or his power saw.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


TD 569 - Powerful Goblin Mode Dome

I had two prompt ideas that I couldn't choose between so you get both and you can choose to use one or the other or both, but not neither.

Prompt number one:
Your protagonist has some kind of powers that are unique to them and that other people in that story's universe do not have. These powers will be relevant to the story you write. It could be about them struggling to keep their weird powers under control. It could be about them fighting crime with their powers. It could be about them using their powers to feed their pet buffalo. IDK, it's up to you, just don't write anything where they use their powers to be a creep or a sex pest or whatever. (Seriously don't do this.)

Prompt number two:
Goblins. Your story has a goblin in it. I will largely leave the interpretation of goblins up to the writer, but what I don't want is for your goblin to be part of a faceless screaming horde. They should be their own goblin with their own goblinesque agenda.

You can, as I've mentioned, combine these two prompts, and have a goblin in your story and also a person with powers, and your goblin can be the power wielding protagonist, or you can have someone else have the powers.

You may also request a flash rule in one of three ways.

If you ask for a 'powers flash', I will tell you something about the power your main character has.

If you ask for a 'goblinesque flash' I will give you an adjective that in some way fits your goblin.

If you ask for a 'powerful goblin flash' I will give you both flash rules, and you can choose to apply the power to the goblin, or not.

No erotica or screeds or Google docs. Fanfic permitted of any IP which is now in the public domain because does that even count as fanfic any more idk.

One final thing. I am willing to be a little flexible on the definition of goblin. If you have some other kind of fantasy critter with the general attitude or demeanour of a goblin, I will probs be fine with that. After all, what is a fairy but a winged goblin?

Word count maximum: 1500, or 1750 if you take a flash rule. EDIT A few people have offered to draw goblins. If you illustrate a goblin and put that illustration in your entry, or your character displaying their powers, you get an additional 250 words. If you just want to draw a powerful goblin, if I like them you also get 250 words and I'll put the image in this prompt.

Sign up deadline: when I go to bed on Saturday, Canberra time. (This is slightly later than the usual deadline so if you aim for the usual deadline you'll be fine, and if you are a bit later than that you might be pushing it.)
Submission deadline: when I go to bed on Monday, Canberra time. (As above, this is slightly later than the usual deadline.)

Chernobyl Princess
Rad power fan

Rohan: brain related power and inventive goblin.
fat jesus: cowardly goblin (assuming I was correct in interpreting that as a flash request)
Sebmojo: duplicitous goblin
Thranguy: artistic goblin
ActingPower: persistent goblin
flerp: fast goblin
MockingQuantum: stealthy goblin
My Shark Waifuu
kiminewt: emotion related power
Kuiperdolin: lonely goblin
Tars Tarkas

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at 04:56 on Jul 1, 2023

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


rohan posted:

in, powerful goblin flash please

Your power is BRAIN related.

Your goblin is inventive.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Fat Jesus posted:

in with the goblins

This seems like a flash request, if so your goblin is cowardly.

sebmojo posted:

Yeah goblin me

You have a duplicitous goblin

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Thranguy posted:

In, goblin me.

artistic goblin

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


ActingPower posted:

This is my first time Thunderdoming, but I can't pass up this prompt. I'm in. Give me a goblin fact. (Please.)

Your goblin is persistent.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


fast goblin

MockingQuantum posted:

in, gimme a gobliny attribute

stealthy goblin

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


kiminewt posted:

In with a powers flash. Haven't written anything since highschool and you gotta (re)start somewhere

Emotions are in some way relevant to your power.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Kuiperdolin posted:

in with goblin

lonely goblin

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Entries closed, write good words.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Subs are closed, I will try to get these read tomorrow, I hope you have all written great tales of power and/or goblins.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hello it is time for Judging

Win was Sebmojo with Vocational Independence. PROMPT

HMs go to Mr Shark Waifuu, rohan and Thranguy.

DMs go to Chili and kiminewt.

Loss goes to Mrenda.

Crits soonish.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



These will not be in order because I activated JUDGEMODE which apparently randomises them. I will also be rating goblin stories on a separate scale, largely irrelevant to their overall performance in the week, of how goblinesque I felt the goblin was.

A lot of these thoughts were written kinda as I was reading them, so if you're wondering why parts of the crits seem to be written from the perspective of someone who has not yet read the full story, and then the later sentences are written from the perspective of someone who has... that's why.

Checkpoint - Chili

Full disclosure, timeloops are probably my favourite narrative gimmick, so it is with a heavy heart that I must report that, for me, this did not work at all. First, to get it out of the way: there are a number of dialogue attribution screw ups which really hurt you near the start. Also, a bunch of stuff that I now see made sense in the context of this being a timeloop, but on a first read through just sounded like irrelevant nonsense.

For me I think the biggest problem is that I don't care about what's happening between Nick and Millie. We only just introduced her into the story, it isn't really explained very well who they are to each other (like, I thought maybe significant others but then they kiss for the first time?) so basically the only thing she does in the story is wake up and then die so Nick can be sad about her, and assure us the reader that he really did try everything, honest. (Which is where it suddenly becomes clear that his ability is timeloops and if enough had been done to invest me in the characters perhaps I would've gone back and gone ah yes this all makes sense now which I guess I am doing now to help facilitate the crits but unfortunately that doesn't matter to my overall experience when actually reading it) And then hang out with her dog in an ending that didn't really land for me either.

Market Goblin - Kuiperdolin

You keep putting spaces before colons and semi colons, that's weird. Hmmm I kinda like how you're writing this goblin. Burping with delight is fun. 'He asked many questions and then questioned their answers and then left' is an awkward sentence for a couple reasons and one of those reasons is the double 'and'. Graceless agility is a weird term, IDGI. Hmmm I mostly liked this, but the ending didn't seem to really fit the rest of it in tone. Goblin was quite goblinesque I thought.

The Best Goblin - flerp

OK really enjoying this early on. OK I know what you mean here: 'But Gobbie’s legs didn’t grow as long as Hejs, then he got outpaced, then ultimately eclipsed him.' But I think you've missed a word and it should read 'eclipsed by him', otherwise it seems like it means the opposite. Hmmm this was kinda cute, I liked it. Could be a bit more goblinesque maybe idk. Like, the goblins were just kinda cute, which I'm not overall opposed to I guess, but the fact that they were goblins didn't seem to matter too much.

The Goblin Queen - Nae

Excellent goblin art, first of all. Hmmm ok this is all dialogue and the goblin doesn't act all that goblinesque but it's still great and emotional or whatever, IDK it's really nice IMO.

I guess a little bit conflicted because I didn't really feel the goblinness and there wasn't a huge amount of story, but it made me feel things a little bit so it is still good I guess.

The Night-Shift Goblin - MockingQuantum

Feels like you broke out the thesaurus here. Not entirely mad about it though, feels like maybe it gives the narrator some kind of a voice. Hmmm gonna make a prediction here, narrator is gonna get cursed to be a goblin or something, let's see how my prediction pans out. Hmmm. Nope, no comeuppance. It's weird because the narrator is openly acknowledging his own shortcomings in a way that implies he should feel bad about it, and wonders if he'll ever improve, so at one point I thought it might have been a case of reflecting on past self and going 'oh I was so awful, not like now where I've learned my lesson on account of having been cursed or whatever.' Also I thought something might be done with the somewhat pompous voice but not really?
Somewhat goblinesque I suppose.

IDK is there like, an opposite to an unreliable narrator? Like, he's reliably recounting his own failings as if he's a separate person. Bit meta for me, including the ending.

The Goblin Supplicant - ActingPower

Oh no you had an apostrophe in a name, I guess goblins are somewhat fantasy but still…

Oh lol that ending. Didn't see that happening. It's not incredibly goblinesque but it's mostly good I suppose. Sometimes bounced off the long paragraphs a bit because there wasn't enough variation to what was going on.

Yeah I kinda mentioned it a little here, but for me the largest criticism is that it's mostly just a lot of walking. There's a trial, and our goblin hero doesn't give up and a bunch of other people do, and that's the story until the somewhat amusing twist at the end.

The Book of Sweat - Thranguy

Oh no what are you doing this is a list.

OK it was not a list, or it kinda was, idk it worked, it was pretty good, but it also felt like it removed us a bit from what was happening idk.

Chernobyl Princess liked this a bit more than me. It didn't land with me as well as it did with her, but since it was executed really well and told a compelling narrative arc - even if I felt a little detached from the arc due to the narrative style - I was totally happy with an HM for it. Quite goblinesque I think.

best bánh mì: goblin approved - Rohan

OK yeah this is kinda cute but it's maybe a bit too neat idk. Good goblin logo tho.

Yeah I guess my main problem is that it felt like the protagonist just kinda stumbled onto a genie who completely solved all of his problems, including his inability to talk to a person. I think if this other character hadn't been presented as a person who could just give you things that would solve your problems, it wouldn't feel as cheap. Still very cute and somewhat goblinesque, though. Chernobyl liked it more than me and I liked it enough to be happy with an HM.

The Day He Arrived

I got about six paragraphs in and was like 'these six paragraphs feel like the bit you cut before you get to the story.' Except worse than that, because it just didn't make any sense to me and I didn't know how to read it. The problem was largely that the story could be summarised to 'I went to the shops, saw a (possibly?) trans person, then went home.' The voice wasn't able to carry it, and was generally unpleasant. Unfortunately I don't know if I can offer a crit that would be relevant to what is written here; it feels very experimental, and to me just didn't land at all. Also, I had some serious misgivings about some of the content, but then when I ducked out of judgemode and peeked at who it was written by, was confident that there was no malice or whatever, but again, it just really didn't land for me and came off unpleasant and mean spirited.

The Goblin's Tale - Fat Jesus

Pretty cute, I didn't mind it. Sorry I don't have a great deal to add, I don't think it really did anything explicitly wrong, just didn't have that little bit extra to put it over the top. Felt pretty goblinesque.

Schemes on Schemes - My Shark Waifuu

Is this a 40K think? It seems like it might be a 40K thing. OK I liked this one. Good voice, very goblinesque. 'Scrote started walking as mystically as he could' is an extremely good line, and Scrote continually pulling new costumes out of his proverbial hat did not at any point get old for me.

Vocational Independence - Sebmojo

Very strong and goblinesque start. OK this is excellent and my favourite so far.

Many very good lines but I'll highlight these two that bookend it somewhat:

"Tony just smirked with his long yellow teeth showing because while that was true he'd just stolen Sal's wallet and now he would be unable to pay for his eggs."
""Yes," said Tony, who had just stolen the King's crown and shoved it under his coat."

Very enjoyable to read which is why you're now the winner so congrats.

You Give Love a Bad Name - kiminewt

The biggest problem I have with this story is that it doesn't give me enough info. It seemed a little bit like maybe Amy got fridged in the first sentence, and while I wouldn't have liked that very much, it turns out that what I like even less is having it be very unclear what actually happened. Did he literally blow up and kill Amy? Did he just black out? Was that even her texting him? What even happened at the end? I don't know any of these things. And to an extent I get it, I personally tend to avoid explicit exposition, but you've still got to try to give your reader some kind of idea of what's going on, because if your reader doesn't know what the story is, for all intents and purposes you don't have one. Also the ending of 'maybe he just wasn't that into her' is simultaneously unsatisfying and annoyingly confusing.

Runt Ball

Anders and James Spaceman? Whatcha playing at? OK so it's last week's prompt plus a goblin, I get it. It was all right. It was pretty goblinesque. I feel like, to an extent, I would've appreciated this more if I was already familiar with all these characters; nonetheless it was a somewhat entertaining pulpy romp.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


hmm ok in

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Firstborn Skater 1000 words

When Jacqueline was seven, she put on her grandfather’s leather jacket. The jacket spoke to her, which in retrospect was very out of character for jackets, but at the time seemed right, and also very cool, because none of her friends had a talking jacket, and they’d all be totally jealous. “Hey there young man,” said the jacket.

And while she thought she would like to be a boy, her parents had assured her that she was a beautiful young girl, although they wished she would let her hair grow and be more ladylike in general, so she said, “I’m a girl, actually.”

“Oh?” said the jacket. “My mistake. What’s your name?”

“Jacqueline,” she said. “But I prefer Jackie.”

“Hi Jackie,” said the jacket. “I’ve been waiting for someone like you to put on this jacket.”

Jackie didn’t find out why the jacket had been waiting for someone like her to put it on, because then her mother discovered her, tutted loudly and said, “Oh, that’s Granddad’s old stuff, that’s for your little brother.”


When her little brother, Tom, was eventually given Granddad’s old heirlooms, he didn’t show a great deal of interest in the jacket, and when she asked to borrow it, ‘just for a dress up party, just for fun’, he said “Sure,” and then never asked for it back.

Their mum tutted, and just said, “Well, you’ll have to give it back when he needs it.”

Jackie wasn’t really sure when and why he would need it, and was saying as much as she looked at herself in the mirror. She looked tough, she thought. “Ah,” said the jacket, “well that’s because of the prophecy, I think.”

She was a bit older, and now knew that a talking jacket was a bit more out of the ordinary than she’d thought at age seven. Still, Stacy had a magic pocketknife with a blade that glowed when there were hot guys around, and around Jackie for some reason, so maybe it wasn’t that odd. “Which prophecy is that?” she asked, and after a moment, “Are you a magic jacket, then?”

“Strictly speaking,” said the jacket, “this is a haunted jacket. I’m actually your great grandfather, Kevin. I owned the jacket before your grandfather.”


“Glad to see you’ve got it back. It looks good on you, prophecy or no prophecy. It looks right.”

Jackie looked at herself in the mirror. “It does, doesn’t it? But seriously, what prophecy?”

“Ask your mother.”

When Jackie asked her, she sighed a deep sigh, and said, “Your grandma had the gift of prophecy. She told us that our firstborn son would, wearing that super gnarly jacket, recover the Skateboard of Destiny and use it to destroy capitalism.”

“Sounds rad,” said Jackie. “Tom can’t skate, though. Doesn’t even like skating.”

“It’s his destiny.”

“Did she have any prophecies about me?”

“No,” said her mum. “One or two about our second son, but we ignored those, since your father got snipped, so we’re not having any more kids.”

“Right,” said Jackie. “Well, prophecies aside, I’m keeping the jacket for now, because it looks sick on me.”

Her mum sighed again, but nodded. “It kinda does, doesn’t it?”


In the months following, Jackie tried to teach Tom how to skate, because firstly, if he was destined by prophecy to do something involving skating, it stood to reason that he should have some level of basic competence in skating, and secondly, skating was awesome.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Tom.

“It’s just skating,” said Jackie. “You don’t need it to make sense, you just kinda feel it.”

“It should be you,” said Tom. “You actually skate.”

“Yeah well, prophecy says firstborn son.”

Tom shrugged, and repeated, “It should be you.”

“Sometimes I wish I’d been a boy,” she said.


“Maybe you should’ve been,” said Great Grandfather Kevin. He was now talking to both of them, but was silent around everyone else.

She sighed. “Never mind. Come on, I’ll show you how to do a kickflip again.”


Tom had achieved a basic level of competence at skating, which the three of them were thrilled about because, yay, prophecy and destiny, but Tom was less thrilled about because he still didn’t really love skating, and it didn’t seem like he was anywhere close to the level of skill required to destroy capitalism, and every time he tried the jacket on, it just didn’t look like him. Whereas on Jackie, it looked right.

Still, Jackie had managed to teach him how to do an ollie, which was a big step for him, and the three of them were celebrating when the empty swimming pool they were practicing in collapsed under them. Fortunately, they were both standing on their skateboards at the time, so they were able to ride the newly forming tunnel underground. Jackie smoothly kickflipped off the bottom of the landslide, but Tom bailed and skinned his knee.

“Ow,” he said.

Jackie looked around. “Hmmm, feels like an underground cavern is something you’d want to be aware of before digging a swimming pool.”

“Good point,” said Kevin. “You should write someone a sternly worded letter. Did they even have planning permission?”

Tom had pulled himself up. “So, how are we getting out of here?”

Jackie shrugged. “Let’s look around.”

Tom found nothing but rubble. Jackie also found rubble, but dug some of it up, and discovered…

“Oh my,” said Kevin.

Tom came over at the sound of his exclamation. “Huh. Well then.”

Jackie pulled out the skateboard she’d discovered. “Is it?”

“The Skateboard of Destiny,” said Kevin.

“You’ve recovered it,” said Tom.

“Well, I can’t… I’d love to,” she said, “but I’m not…” Tom raised an eyebrow. She paused. “Well, I did always want to be…”

“Yes?” said Kevin.

Jack took a deep breath. “I am,” he said. “I’m the firstborn son.”

Tom smiled. “Hell yeah you are,” said Kevin.

Jack smiled. He’d always known, deep down. “Let’s go destroy capitalism,” he said.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


In, 206

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Antivehicular posted:

The deserts of an inhabited Mars/Escape!

Extreme flash rule: none of your characters have met before the story begins.

Little Dune Moon Mars Buggy 1236 words

I was mucking around in a crater at the time. Just, you know, driving my buggy up the lips, doing tricks, that kind of thing. It’s a Martian thing, you wouldn’t understand. We have a deep connection with the craters, and we just gotta be doing sweet tricks on our pimped-out buggies all the time.

Anyway, one of the prison guard earthlings came down, which is always a bummer. I’d rather not be reminded they decided to build their prison around my crater. My crater is only in like, one corner of the yard, surely they can leave me and my buggy alone and do all their weird prison stuff in the rest of the yard, right?

The prison guard was escorting a new prisoner, which makes sense. They like to show their prisoners around, tell them to mostly keep clear of my crater because I’m a local, rather than a prisoner. The guard looked different from most. Most were those genetically modified killing machines that... they were kinda creepy, really. Maybe this one was a secretary or something? I’d heard that was an earthling thing.

I kinda read its mind a bit when it got closer, which I think earthlings mostly don’t really know we can do. We try to keep it under wraps, honestly. Seems like it was its first day on the job, which to me makes it a bit weird that it got given prisoner escort duty. But maybe those genetically engineered things don’t wanna be bothered with that.

“Uh, greetings Gary,” it said. “This is our newest prisoner, Dolores.”

Gary isn’t my name. Never give an earthling your real name is a solid life rule. I glanced over and did a quick mind read of Dolores. Innocent, which is unsurprising with the earthlings’ legal system. I should clarify. Dolores had done exactly what it was accused of, but it was totally correct to do it. Not really my problem though, they can sort out their own society. “Hello Dolores,” I said, then turned to the guard. “I haven’t seen you before. What was your name?”

“Michael,” it said.

“Great,” I said. “How long is Dolores here?”

Michael opened its mouth to answer, but then the alarm went off. “Hmm, haven’t heard that before,” I said.

“Oh no,” said Michael, then pulled a communicator out of its pocket, read a message, and reiterated, “Oh no, no, no. It’s a revolt.”

“Nothing to do with me,” said Dolores.

Michael shook its head. “Not the prisoners.” I did a mind read again. Ah. Yeah, this was bad. The other prison guards. The genetically modified ones. Who would’ve thought that would happen. If you can’t trust a group of barely sentient meatheads trained specifically to do violence, who can you trust?

“Wow, sounds like you’ve got a problem there, Michael,” I said. “Guess you will be off to solve that, now.”

“I need to use your buggy,” it said.

“I’m gonna let that slide because you’re new here, Michael,” I said. “But your jurisdiction does not extend to me or my buggy.”

“Come on,” it said, “work with me here. If the riot reaches your crater, you think they’re just going to peacefully go around?”

I sighed. It was right. “Yeah, all right, the two of you can squeeze into the back of the buggy, but I’m driving.”

“What, her?” said Michael. “She’d just slow us down.”

“It’s both of you, or neither.” So, they both got into the back of the buggy. “Where were we hoping to go?”

“I dunno,” said Michael, “just out of the prison I guess.”

“Yeah, all right,” I said. “Make sure you’re both strapped in.” I had an idea I’d always wanted to try. I drove the buggy up to the lip of the crater closest to the buildings, then slowly turned and pointed it back towards the middle of the crater.

“What are you doing?” asked Michael.

“Shh,” I said, “just trust me, all right?”

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see hovercars coming towards us. Great. Fantastic. My idea had really better pan out. I put my foot down, and the buggy started to build up speed. By the time we reached the centre, our top speed was a little faster than I had ever driven before, which was probably good, given what I was trying to do. I kept my foot to the floor as the buggy started its ascent up the other side. “Oh no,” said Michael, who it seemed had just figured out what my plan was. I ignored him. The hovercars were not far behind. They weren’t quite as fast as the buggy, but they were able to take a slightly more direct route, and didn’t find the fight against gravity quite as tough. The buggy fortunately managed to maintain its speed as it reached the opposite lip of the crater, the lip nearest the fence.

We got some serious air. The crater disappeared below us, and we soared through the air, then started to plummet towards the fence. “We’re not going to make it,” said Michael.

“Could you try to be less of a bummer?” I asked.

Fortunately, as well as being a bummer, it turned out to be wrong, and we just barely cleared the fence. Also fortunately, my buggy has excellent suspension, so we were all fine, and I once again put the pedal to the metal and left the prison in our dust. The hovercars tried to follow, but once I was in open desert, they had no chance.

Michael’s communicator started buzzing, and honestly I don’t trust earthlings in general or prison guards in particular, so I read its mind again while it checked its message. “We have to turn around,” it said, and I knew for certain that we had to not.

“Hmmm, don’t know about that, Michael,” I said. “Honestly seems like your colleagues are intent on killing us all.”

“They just want to enforce law and order,” it said.

“Well, if you’d like to head back, I can stop and let you off, but I’ve gotta say it’s not on my list of destinations.”

“Yeah, all right,” it said. “I’ll get them to pick me up.”

“Gotta say, Michael, this seems like a bad plan,” I said. “But it’s your life.”

So, I stopped, and Michael got out. “She’s gotta get out too,” it said, pointing at Dolores.

“Oh, is that what you’d like?” I asked Dolores. It shook its head. Yeah, didn’t think so.

“I can’t let her just get away,” said Michael, and pulled a gun, which, of course it did because prison guards are the worst, but also because I read its mind and knew what it was going to do.

“Well too bad,” I said, “because your jurisdiction ended when we exited the prison.”

“I’m going to count to three,” said Michael, which turned out to be a lie, because when I hit the gas and sped off it started shooting at my buggy and didn’t do any counting.

“Thanks,” said Dolores.

“It talks!”

“Not in front of one of them.”

“Reasonable. Listen, I haven’t really left my crater before, any thoughts on where we should head to?”

It shrugged. “I’m much more focussed on ‘from’ than ‘to’.”

“Fair enough,” I said, and we continued to head away from the prison and the desert.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Flash me please

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Stay Inside the Basket 1252 words

The important thing to remember about hot air ballooning, is that you are going to be stuck in that basket with these people for like, thirty minutes to an hour. You’re in demand, if the person you’re talking to seems like a grade a dingus, you should absolutely feel free to just tell them, ‘Oh sorry, looks like we’re all booked out for the next…’ and then pick a time frame that will be outside what they’re willing to wait.

This guy seemed fine on the phone but, spoilers, dingus. I usually like taking couples up, because I’m not yet old and bitter enough to resent people who have managed to find each other, and instead find it kinda cute.

I did not find his half of this equation cute.

“Wait, I thought it would just be the two of us,” he said.

This was a reaction to the news that I, the owner and pilot of the balloon they’d chartered, would be piloting said balloon. He’d taken me aside to have a quiet word. “You need a pilot,” I told him.

“Right,” he said, “well I’ve done some ballooning before, couldn’t I just take it up myself, and save myself some money on hiring a pilot?”

“No,” I said, “if I was even willing to entertain the idea of someone else piloting my balloon, I would need them to pay for the full price of the balloon itself, up front, in case of the extremely high likelihood of them crashing it into a mountain and being too dead to pay for it afterwards.”

I’d tried to make it seem ridiculous, but he was seriously thinking about it, like it was an actual option. “How much would that cost?”

I told him how much my balloon cost. Not that this was an option. He asked me to repeat myself, and I did.

“Huh,” he said, then, “but I wanted this to be a romantic getaway.”

“It will be very romantic,” I said. “The views from up there are breathtaking. I’ll do my best not to intrude unless I need to, to ensure safety procedures are adhered to.”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” he said. “I guess I was kind of hoping that we might…”

He didn’t finish the sentence, just left it hanging there, so it took me a moment. Oh, gross. And the cleaning fees would be hell. “Well, I will definitely ask that you don’t do that.”

“Fine,” he said, in a tone of voice that made it seem like he’d half hoped I’d say that it was totally fine for him to use my balloon to join the mile high club, people did that all the time, and I would even be happy to take some tasteful pictures for posterity.

That awkwardness over with, he went back to his girlfriend, and I went back to prepping the balloon. There wasn’t much to do, I mostly wanted an excuse to be done with that conversation.

Preps all done, tanks all full, mooring ropes secure but not so secure that I couldn’t immediately launch, I summoned my would-be lovebirds and went over the important safety details. Stay inside the basket, yes, I know there’s safety netting there, that’s for emergencies not for you to climb on, if you lose any items over the edge, you’ve already signed a waiver saying that’s your own fault.

And we were boarded, and away.

The dirty secret of hot air ballooning is that most of the navigation is done by computer. Sure, I can override it if needed, but I mostly just tell the app, ‘Go west’, and it goes west. Or I give it coordinates: latitude, longitude, even elevation, and away it goes.

Of course, it’s not yet sophisticated enough to know when those coordinates are inside a mountain, which is part of why I’m not particularly interested in handing someone else the controls. That and, well, it’s mine. You can’t fly my balloon.

Once we were in the air, I thought maybe everything would be fine, and for a while it was. They peered over the edge of the basket oohing and aahing at the scenery, occasionally they asked me if we could go in a certain direction so that they could have a closer look at a river or some trees or a windmill, and I was happy to oblige.

At a prearranged time, I produced a bottle of wine, showed it to him and raised an enquiring eyebrow. He nodded, and I poured each of them a glass then returned to the other side of the basket.

I’d mostly been tuning out their conversation and trying to let them have their privacy, as much as is possible when the three of us were in a small basket, but I couldn’t help but hear her exclamation.

“What are you doing?”

I glanced over, and what he was doing was getting down on one knee.

And, I get it. It’s a romantic getaway, fantastic views, exactly the kind of views that might make for a good story, if both of them were on the same page.

“I told you I wasn’t ready yet!” she said.

Oh no, dude. “But I thought,” he said, “I thought if it was special and magical, you’d see how much you mean to me!”

“If I meant that much to you, you’d listen to me when I say I’m not ready!”

I was trying super hard to make it obvious how interested I was in checking that all the ropes from the balloon to the basket were, like, super secure. Just, unbelievably well tied. But I was also kind of paying attention because this was some spicy drama, I’d not had a failed proposal in my balloon before and honestly, especially given the conversation I’d had with this dude earlier, I was thoroughly enjoying it.

“Will you just,” and he pulled the box out of his pocket and opened it up, “will you just have a look at the ring?”

“I told you,” she said, “I wanted to be involved in picking anything that I’d be wearing for the rest of my life.” And she grabbed the box from him, and cocked her arm back, and I turned, and I don’t know what I even thought I was going to say, but I didn’t get the chance because it was already out of her hand and flying through the air. It bounced off the netting at a weird angle, then tumbled from sight.

There was an uncomfortable silence. “Sir, would you like to…”

“Take us down,” he said.

I nodded. The trip down was a lot quieter and less fun. Neither of them were talking to each other, and I didn’t want to be the one to break the ice. I landed us back where we’d started, and started tying up the balloon. She waited in the car while he came over to me to settle up. I didn’t give the usual ‘I hope you enjoyed flying with us’ spiel. However, I did scribble some numbers on a piece of paper and hand it to him.

He raised an eyebrow. “Is this your number?”

I shook my head. He really was the worst. “No, it’s the coordinates.”


I shrugged. “That’s where we were when…” and I made a kind of gesture, and he nodded.

“I doubt I’ll find it, but thanks.”

I shrugged again, and he turned, got into his car, and drove off.


Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome



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