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A CdL story came up organically in conversation today – specifically, a season VII(?) piece from David Larson about Schrodinger’s Cat – and I realized how much I need to drop a writing season in here before getting the next Big Brother game ready.

I’m open to both types of writing Survivor – Turbo or regular. Let me know.

I love new blood, as you know, but will roll with the usual gang of idiots if that’s what we’ve got. As always, if you know someone who likes either writing, scheming or both, let them know.

Would cap the season around 24 people, if I get it. I’ll be looking for two other judges (or just one, if everyone is leaning toward playing over judging); let me know if you’re into it, and I’ll see what’s what. Deference will be given to past judges that have been quick to get the judging done, or to potential judges that have never nonsubbed in a game.

Season XXI, playing out on Facebook, is down to four and will be wrapped in a week to ten days. This will start within the couple of weeks after that.

For now, this will be the only place I put out the call for players. I’ll cast a wider net if need be.

It’s probably dumb to put out my first call on a Saturday night, but whatever. We like to keep things inefficient around here.

Also, nibbish will soon be helping me revive Cutthroat Junction, with monthly(?) games happening here. More on that soon, I hope. If you have particular favorite challenges – either from Cutthroat Junction or the big games – that you love to play, say so. Fall, Caesar will happen sometime this calendar year, but the rest is wide open. Cheers, gang.

A poem I wrote for a Survivor game I’m playing. I had to write a “macabre” poem in 30 minutes or less.

———————————————————————–

The mosquito burrowed deep in me, replacing blood with bile;
I woke up, irritated, and it flew off with a smile.
The itch came quickly, though I tried to sleep, my arm did ache;
Sleeping pills and rum took flight, I couldn’t stay awake.

When morning came, my itch was worse. I hacked, I coughed, I spat.
Dehydration sapped my strength and kept me where I sat.
Mr. Griggs – my kindly mailman – knocked upon my door;
I fought to make it over, and I fell upon the floor.

“Stephen!” Griggs called out to me, “You need to see a nurse!”
“It’s terrible,” I said, “I more than likely need a hearse.”
He brought his hand down to my head to ease and calm my fright;
I saw blood pumping through his veins and dared to take a bite.

Griggs called out. I muffled him and drank my sanguine treat.
I snapped his neck and tore him up, while sure to save the meat.
The blood gave me the strength to face the day and get outside;
I showered, shaved, put on my tie, and waited for my ride.

“Hop in!” yelled Peggy Sue to me, “I think we’re running late!”
“Kept you waiting – sorry – must have been something I ate.”
I pulled in to work ten minutes later, driving Peggy’s car,
I’d made the whole trip safely, but Peggy hadn’t gotten far.

I wiped the blood from off my lips and calmly stepped on in.
Mosquito thirst consumed me; I felt happy in this skin.
From receptionist to CEO I slayed, I drank, I fed;
At ten o’clock I punched the time card (everyone was dead).

My aimless wandering took me to a sad and empty park.
I sat out by the river with my kind until the dark.
Mosquitoes wouldn’t bother me; they smiled at me instead.
I let the calm surround me, soothing music in my head.

I woke up face to face with yet more company – a man.
I said, “Hello, I’m Stephen,” and he said “Good day. I’m Stan.”
I sniffed him. This was danger. He was not the usual kind.
I looked into his eyes. He looked right past me – he was blind.

I shot up to my feet and ran – he caught me – dropped me flat.
The last words that I heard were “Yes, mosquito, I’m a bat.”
And as he drank my blood, I figured hey, this isn’t wrong.
The average male mosquito simply doesn’t live that long.

Why would I put this up on a Sunday? I don’t know, but here we are. I scheduled out Gods and Mortals, and I’m pretty sure the final challenge will start on May 2nd. While that’s the only challenge in the season with an undefined endpoint, the fact is that although we have nine teams left, this is going to go very, very quickly.

That means writing Survivor, wooooooooooooooooooo
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Well, that was quick. In twenty-four hours we rustled up twenty players. A few of you were actually signed up by others (or by proxy, based on you saying “I’ll play the next one when it comes”). If you’re out, that’s fine – just let me know.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

The Challenges

For every challenge, the maximum story length is 59 words. This should make judging somewhat quick, but with the large number of you, gathering stories will still take a while. You can help speed the plow by avoiding Microsoft Word. When I get Word files, I always have to fix them thanks to some sort of Word/gmail inconsistency. If you want to write in Word, fine, but copy it into the email body or something before sending.

Google Docs play along swimmingly.

There will be ten challenges, and six of you will reach the playoffs. Seeds three through six will go in the Wild Card round, with the top two finishers joining the top two seeds in the semifinals. The top two performers in the semifinals will match up for the final. There will be two challenges per week unless a judge needs a slight rescheduling, which will probably happen at least once or twice.

The theme for the season will be professions. As regulars know, you can go abstract and still fall within the rules.

You’ll be sending challenge entries to playwiththeprose@gmail.com. At least ten of you will screw this up and send it directly to me, if past seasons are any indication.

The Judges

It’s me, Melissa and Will. My apologies and all, but she promised me…well, it’s not important.

The Judging

The judges will give out ten medals for each challenge: Three golds, three silvers and three bronzes (worth five, three and one points). Your total points determine your place in the standings, though golds will act as a tiebreaker when we reach the playoffs.

The Nonsubs

Don’t nonsub. If you do, you’ll get one “grace” nonsub since I get that people have lives. Any subsequent nonsubs will be worth negative two points for the challenge. Come playoff time, nonsubs will also trump anything else for tiebreakers.

I’ve long shown lenience, but with the large number of you, that’s not really going to be the case this year; if your story is more than five minutes after the deadline, you’re a nonsub. If you’re desperate to know if I got your story, ask me via my actual email (foreverunchanged@gmail.com).

The Disqualifications

If you go even a single word over 59, you will be disqualified and earn no points. Let me be honest here: I’m not going to count words unless I can’t believe your story has 59 or fewer words. However, if someone else counts them and brings my attention to it, I’ll disqualify it after the fact and award it zero points (without adding medals elsewhere). If Will or Melissa wants to head up the counting, that’s better yet, but I’m not doing it. I did that crap for 11 seasons of Survivor, and that’s enough.

Also, if you send in a few lame words at the last minute to try to avoid a nonsub and they don’t fit the prompt, you will be DQ’d and count as a nonsub as well.

THE FIRST CHALLENGE

The theme is Gravedigger.

You have until Sunday at 8pm Central. And…go.

The next day – a special Thursday – all of the Survivors – both the Tools and the Synergists – gathered on a single beach to express their thanks that they had not been eliminated. As they stood there a brief flash of green lit up the sky. It was gone in a second, and, wafting down from where it had been, was a single sheet of paper. It landed at the feet of Sir Assheton Pownall.

“Attention, all who are gathered hereupon,” said Assheton. “We have received a communique.”
“Hey everyone! We got a letter! Love ya!” rocked Glitter.
“Mysterious!” said Norway.
“That’s pretty frightening” said A Really Scary Mummy.
“Maybe it’s a recipe!” said Pie and Humberto at exactly the same time.
“Maybe it’s a word problem, gang!” roared Mathasauraus!
“I’ll investigate what it is!” said Gidget.
“I’d suggest a comprehensive analysis of the matter it presents on, but what do I know, I’m only working on my third Ph.D.” opined Gloria.
“Won’t that involve cuttin’ it up? Pew pew pew!” said Cutty.
“Well then, we should make a copy!” suggested Mitosis.
“One of you plebes can handle that menial task,” said Gaspar Fopsworth von Belsig.
“Them’s fighting words!” said Emile.
“Peace, my friends. There are some blank pages in my book of scripture we can use.” The thought, from Jesus H. Buddha, was somehow placed in the head of all those gathered.
“GUYS, THESE PAGES HAVE HOLES ALL POKED UP IN ‘EM!” shouted Donald.
“Uhh… oops. Dern it.” said Eddie.
“Don’t be troubled, my friends! Copying is out of the question, but we can still figure it out with the power of focus. If we focus on reading the words, we, too, can learn what this document is all about!” encouraged Mitch.

And with that, the Survivors took a close look at what was written on the page:
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Tons of fun, after the jump.
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Alright, fair Survivor All-Stars. The cryptograms have been written, the calls have been placed, the Facebook statuses have been updated and the cribbage games have been planned. Or, at least, if they haven’t, they will be by midnight (note: these may or may not be real aspects of the Hidden Immunity Idols).

Of course, so few people have done the Scattergories challenge that you’ll probably just survive the first few eliminations as a result of non-submissions, but hey, they’re still fun to find, right? (Hurry up, bastards (okay, that was a little strong, considering they aren’t due for four days))

If you find an Idol and attempt to claim it, be prepared to answer the question of why you think it’s the idol for your team. Some of you may not be asked. Others definitely will. Oooh, this is fun already!

Alright, Survivors. I have a 59-word story to write as well as a preview for the final week of my fantasy football league. Does this have anything to do with your immunity idols? I’M NOT TELLING!!!

As you were, Survivors.

Will Young did a Machine of Death story, and managed to submit his before anyone else (an easy thing to do when you’re not competing against the likes of the rest of you, I guess). His story, FAILED TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, is after the jump.

If you can’t get enough of this concept, like me, mine from last year is here: https://spookymilk.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/my-machine-of-death-submission-hesitation/

The entries (Matt, Shawn, Brooks and Tom Morgan) from Survivor VIII are here:
https://spookymilk.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/challenge-twenty-results/

The entire first published MoD book is here:
http://machineofdeath.net/pdf/MachineofDeath_FINAL_SPREADS.pdf

Enjoy.
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It’s autobiographical, so feel free to skip it if you must. The new Werewolf day is below.

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Ryan “AdobeRy” Sorrell – Survivor VIII player and Werewolf regular – sends this holiday cheer to those who visit the site.

Just wanted to wish ya’ll a Merry Christmas (or whatever suits you) and wish you happiness and good fortune in the coming year. Thanks to Spooky for having this site and its fun games. Thanks to all the WW mods. Thanks to all the participants in both werewolf and Survivor. You all provide me with free entertainment, lots of good short stories and some incredible ones, lots of laughs and a place to have fun and be creative. It has been fun hanging out here this past year. Thanks!

I will leave you with a classic poem to continue the holiday cheer…

Twas the night before Christmas, on the floor in this house
Spooky started to stir, he was really quite soused;
The stockings still clung to his legs like a bear
That he’d run in, buck naked, ‘cross the yard on a dare;
His children were wide eyed, awake in their beds,
The vision of daddy still stuck in their heads;
The milkmaid’s energy had all but been tapped
Re-taping the gifts that Spooky’d unwrapped;
When out of the kitchen there arose such a clinking,
She got up, fists clenched and thought, “now what’s he drinking!”;
Then Spooky “flew” by in a Plinko like dance,
Straight to the toilet…oops! Tripped over some pants;
So close, almost made it, three feet more to go
But instead on the bathmat dear Spooky did blow;
The loss hit him hard, even brought on a tear
The sight of more wasted Cheaptoy brewed beer;
A sound got him moving to the window right quick
“It couldn’t be could it? It must be a trick”;
But hitched to a sleigh, were some friends from his games
Eight reindeermen, topless, Santa called them by name;
“Now, Nibbish! now, Higgum! now, Meat and DG!
On Greekhouse, on, Colin, on, DK, Ms. Ashley!
Now listen dear Spooky, can’t you hear your wife call?”
Then he blinked and was facing a windowless wall;
Slurry and stumbling, she led him to bed
She aimed for the pillow, he “chose” floor instead;
She threw him a blanket, then turned out the light
And exclaimed to no one, “just a typical night.”

Thank you, Ryan.

Is it “thank you” I’m looking for?

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Your competition, and also you

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR

I: Rachel “The Double-Dealer” Flynn

II: Ryan “The Snake” Fossum

III: Patrick “The Gentleman” Kozicky

IV: Brienne “The Submitter” Maner

V: Rusty “The Porn Star” Greene

VI: Brooks “The Unlikely Hero” Maki

VII: William “The Soulful” Schuth

VIII: Brooks “The Survivor” Maki

IX: Zack “The Ice Cream Man” Sauvageau

X: Pete “The Vacuum Cleaner” Bruzek

Turbo: Brooks “The 1956-1979 Montreal Canadiens” Maki

XI: Matt “The Cold-Hearted Motherf*&^er” Novak

All-Stars (XII): Andy “The Quiet Man” Rustleund

XIII: Sarah “Clarence’s Hope” Bizek

XIV: Dan “The Professional” Kautz

XV: Christina “Assault And” Pepper

XVI: Matt “The First-Time Player” Novak

XVII: Stacy “Saintly Patience” Snell

XVIII: Brian “Checkmate” David

XIX: Annette “Eammon for the Top” Barron

XX: Daniel “Neville “Smash “Hardware” Hardwood” Longbottom” Caouette

XXI: Pete “The Comeback Kid” Bruzek

GODS AND MORTALS
I: Dragging Rivet’s Name Through the Mud One Last Time: Matt Novak (Ultragrandpa) and Michael Rivet (Friph Flipher-Fiph)
II: Bahambo Number 5: Pete “Triple Crown” Bruzek and Michelle “Single Tiara…So Far” Pratt

BIG BROTHER
I: Brooks “Oh, for the Love of God” Maki
II: Michael “#DDB” Rivet
III: Pete “Fortune’s Fool” Bruzek
IV: Erin “All Seven and We’ll Watch Them Fall” Leslie

FALL, CAESAR
2014: Brooks “The Creator” Maki
2015: Matt “The Artist” Novak
2016: Matt “Waited Them Out” Novak

CUTTHROAT JUNCTION CHAMPION
Kelly “Yes, He’s a Player Too” Wells

Link to the Cutthroat Junction site. Over there, we do once-a-month strategic mega-games while the champion defends his title in a one-on-one. Head over to see how it works.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE
2013: #21 Greg “The Gallant Glutton of Greatness” Johnson
2014: #29 Jonathon “Big Papa” Pope
2015: #8 Christina “Am I in This?” Pepper
2016: #22 Annette “No Backs Stabbed” Barron
2017: #30 Bernice “The Vulture” Nicaise

PLAY WITH THE PROSE
(Writing, non-elimination)
I: Sarah “Centipede Face” Johnson
II: Sarah “The Johnson Eliminator” Wreisner
III: Colin “Lonely Old Moon” Woolston
IV: Melissa “Not Sidebar Material” Diamond
V: Sama “No Family Reunions” Smith
VI: Sarah “Tumor Face” Wreisner
VII: John “Cult Following” Wreisner
VIII: Joshua “Peed the Bed” Longman

WEREWOLF (most recent)

Werewolf Stats Spreadsheet

PUZZLE CHALLENGE
I (Pure): Matthew “The Obsessor” Gilman
I (Power): Kelly “The Novak-Destroyer” Wells

DIPLOMACY
I: Matt “Exploiter of Worlds” Novak (France)

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR XXII

It’s a writing season. There are players signed up. There needs to be more.