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Well, friends and people I haven’t met, we’ve arrived. It seems like just yesterday I was but a sapling, green in youth, starting my first Survivor game and running into all sorts of issues from scoring problems to non-players to people taking the game much, much too seriously (Rachel, primarily; she won, so it’s tough to fault her). Well, nearly five years later we still have all of those things, but we kinda know how to deal with them.

Anyway, I’m Kelly/Spookymilk, and I created the game and will make most of the posts. For the second time my friend Beau will be co-judging, and I will mock him ruthlessly in some of my posts for no other reason than to amuse myself.

Now, normally the game will run with a challenge on Tuesday that will be due on Sunday afternoon, and the losing team will be asked to eliminate a player by anonymous vote. On Tuesday, I will post which player has been voted out and I’ll post the next challenge.

For this game, though, I decided to run the first three weeks with no eliminations, so nobody’s one-and-done. One challenge will be given each of the first three Tuesdays, and scores will go up on Sundays. At the end of the three weeks, only the highest-scoring team overall will win Immunity, with the other two teams voting to eliminate one player each. The only exception to this is if only one team has people who don’t submit anything. If this happens, then at the end of the three weeks, that team will eliminate two players.

Simple enough? No? Well, you’ll get it as we go along. In the meantime, I open with the same challenge I always open with, and the only challenge that’s been in all seven games: Fiction 59.

For this one, you’ll be writing a complete story in exactly 59 words. It can be funny or sad, or whatever. All I ask is that the story feels like an entire story, not part of a much longer one.

Why 59? I don’t know, but this is the way a friend of mine pitched it to me once upon a time, so I ran with it. Entries that don’t have exactly 59 words will get a score of 0, but please understand that I’ve had to relax that over the years; some use online word counters, which are iffy, and there seems to be considerable controversy over how to count a hyphenated word. In any event, if I can tell how you arrived at 59, you’re fine.

From there, those of you who did not fail math will be given a score of 1-5, with 5 being the best. People who fail to send an entry will score negative one point, and at the end of the first three weeks, if his or her team loses, the person will automatically cast a vote to eliminate him or herself.

Just to be clear, at the end of the three weeks, each score from each person each week will be averaged, and the two teams that don’t score highest will eliminate one member each.

There is this one thing, which I added last time: to protect the people who are actually attempting to play, it’s actually the lowest-scoring teams with a non-submitter that will have to vote a member out. So, if only one team doesn’t have any non-submitters, they win automatically. Last year it didn’t come up too often, but many years, it would have.

Any questions about the challenge or the game can go here. I do plan on putting a “Rules” tab up there…perhaps today, if I ever get over this fever and hacking cough.

Oh: these are due Sunday at 5pm Central. Send them to my email, foreverunchanged@gmail.com (it’s always listed on the Judges tab if you forget or lose it) and make “Challenge One” the subject. My wife then makes them anonymous for me so I don’t know whose I’m reading when I read them.

Cheers, Survivors. I look forward to this eclectic group of people.

Well, here we go.

Vote One: DK.

Vote Two: DK.

Vote Three: CarterHayes.

Vote Four: CarterHayes. “I hope I’m not about to end up as the new Rob Cesternino after this.”

So, that’s a tie.

From there, we go to previous head-to-head.

Two draws: Challenges 12 and 13
CarterHayes: Challenges 1, 3, 6, 11, 14, 16, 18
DK: Challenges 5, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17, 19

7-7.

Shit. What’s wrong with you people?

From there, I have options. For instance, I could go with non-submissions. Carter had one, DK had none. Favors DK. I could do overall score; Carter’s is 36, DK’s is 33. Favors Carter.

That’s all well and good, but I never set up anything before. I came up with plenty of ways to deal with it, many of which weren’t fair to either of them, and a few which weren’t really fair to rob and/or nibbish.

Sooooo…I hereby announce Challenge 19a.

Only CH and DK are asked to do this one, though if the other two want to do it as a show of solidarity, more power to ’em, I guess. It’s simply another Fiction 59, just like the first challenge of this game, in which we asked for a complete story in exactly 59 words. To be clear, they must be new submissions.

We’re going to do a speed round here: these are due tomorrow night, Saturday, at 10pm Central. Due date changed to Wednesday night the 27th at 10pm Central. Just like the World Series, I never would have suspected this game to last until November, but here we are! (And for the record, unlike at the end of other games, I find myself oddly ready for Survivor VIII)

We’ll each score each of them on a scale of 1-100, just so ties are unlikely. In the extremely unlikely event of another tie, the favor will go to the one that I scored higher, because dammit, it’s my game, right?

This game is giving me ulcers, Survivors. I can only imagine the wringer it’s putting y’all through.

Cheers.

(Oh, about Survivor: the challenge will go out this Saturday and be due the next Saturday to return to our previously scheduled schedule. A few posted this preference, and another agreed on email, saying a break might be nice so he didn’t have to think about the game for a few days.)

Right on time!

Anyway, I do have a series of excuses, but whatever. It’s no biggie. The next theme is BIG BUSINESS, and I expect to post a week from today, but obviously, it could be longer.

8/17: bhiggum

It was a short flight, about a quarter mile, that lasted just under a minute.
The wings were adequate, but the lack of a tail forced a rough landing in the N.C. sand, causing significant damage.
“Flightless, my ass!” crowed Wilbur, strutting around the shattered wreckage strapped to the spent rocket.
Orville morosely replied, “Gonna need a new penguin.”

8/24: nibbish

I asked God to be able to fly. Being the benevolent deity that he is, he told me that my wish had been granted.
As I joyfully jumped off the skyscraper to test my new ability, I noticed something in the almighty’s hand.
Airline tickets? How was I to know that Jehovah had such a sick sense of humor?

9/16: spookymilk

I white-knuckle the hand rests. I’m married. I have kids. The turbulence intensifies. My wife’s always angry. My son has special needs and I’m no help. The wind screams outside. We’re going down. I’m on the verge of divorce, it seems. My daughter is sixteen and pregnant.

We pull out of the turbulence.

I’m alive. I’m glad. I am.

Small Survivor note: Two days ago, GreekHouse sent me an email saying he wouldn’t be able to send his submission, which was already done at the time, until “late Saturday” since he was in Florida with no internet access. So, he might be a little later than the usual due time, but I’ve allowed it. As a result, so long as you get yours in before he does, no problem. You probably shouldn’t bank on him being late, though. (Edit: His entry showed up shortly after I wrote that, so forget I said anything)

For the first time, I didn’t do one of these, because I was sitting trying to think about one for so long it was actually hindering my writing process rather than helping it. So, although it looks like a fruitless week, I wrote twenty pages of my screenplay, which is really the ultimate goal anyway.

To bail me, out, two dirtbags did write breast-themed stories (and one wrote three!). Your next theme is FLIGHT.

Beau

Taking in a crimson sunset over Snake River Canyon, Chris gazed up at her mother, sensing a renewed bond between them.

“Something on your mind?” her mother asked.

“Do you think boys will like me?” Chris replied wistfully, looking down at her developing body.

“Maybe not the boys, hun,” her mother winked. “But you’ll drive the men simply mad.”

freealonzo

I finally get Stacy in the backseat. Some French kissing and then I make a smooth move to her breasts and get my hands under her shirt. After fumbling around with the back strap I start to worry over my clumsiness. Then Stacy whispers those six words that are music to my ears: “The clasp is in the front.”

“Eyes up” I tell myself as the babysitter climbs into the car. She’s wearing some skimpy little top, leaving nothing to the imagination. Doesn’t she know what a rack like that does to a middle age guy like me? “How’s your night Mr. Smith,” she asks sweetly. “Breast, er best ever, how’s yours?” Awkward silence all the way home.

I used to tell Susan “anything bigger than a mouthful is wasteful.” She would laugh but we both kinda wished her breasts were larger. Things got mundane in the relationship and bedroom leading me to end things. Calling her up to break the news she interrupted right away. “I’ve got news for you too. I decided to get implants….”

Well, even a one-week extension couldn’t save this theme. I wrote one yesterday before spitting out eight very satisfying pages of my new screenplay (though I couldn’t manage anything more than a story that explained how little I wanted to write a story on this theme). Also, though the regulars were nowhere to be found, bhiggum checked in with his first-ever Fiction 59. Well, I assume. I guess it’s possible he’s got tons of them laying around for some reason.

Anyway, the only way to cleanse the palate of this boring theme is to go in the opposite direction, so your theme for next week is BREASTS.

bhiggum
8/5
Edward LeBlanc asked his momma, “How do I find out what my roots are?” She said, in her deep southern drawl, “Education.”
Fine, Ed thought. He left the bayou, going to LSU and getting a BA in History, then a PhD at Tulane. His antecedents still eluded him.
Edward LeBlanc never realized his momma had said “Ed, you Cajun.”

spookymilk
8/5
Ten days ago or so, I asked for 59-word stories that dealt with the theme of education. I think my thought process was something like, “I know this sounds boring, but let’s see what people do with it.” Predictably, the entries have been sparse. Hell, I wrote a meta-story and I hate meta-stories. Oh well. Learning experience.

Nothing to post this week, as there wasn’t a single submission from me nor anyone else. Perhaps the “education” theme bored people? Anyway, I’ll extend that theme to this weekend, and hopefully I’ll have more inspiration once the in-laws leave tomorrow.

As for Survivor, there’s one more vote out there. Both the elimination and challenge posts are ready to go once it’s in.

Just one from me this week…first I was obsessing over the movie shoot, and then there was the movie shoot. But enough excuses. Next week’s theme is EDUCATION.

Spookymilk

7/24
In the darkness, Jack the Ripper lurks. He’s been watching Annette Haybenstance for months. She’s next. Jack rubs his finger against the knife, savoring the moment. Miss Haybenstance is about to pass by. Jack steps forth from the alley, and trips over a man coming from the other direction. Annette Haybenstance walks on. Whoops. Should have looked both ways.

nibbish (note: this was almost nib’s entry in Challenge One)

Though he fancied himself a charming man, Colin could not hit it off with the ladies.

Was it his cheesy haircut or bad fashion sense? Or was it because his mouth was perpetually stained with human blood that was clearly not his own?

“Yeah… it’s got to be the haircut.” he thought. “I should really talk to my barber.”

freealonzo

7/23
Delmon’s on second, Hardy on first. No outs. Gardy wants me to get this bunt down. When I do I’m gonna run my hardest, make it to first (perhaps sliding?) so that we can load the bases for D-Span. The crowd is buzzing, but it’s a nervous buzz, I can tell. Don’t worry guys… here it comes…. Crap!!! Pop-up.

7/23
enior executives from Hasbro and 20th Century Fox were sitting at the table breathlessly awaiting the announcement. It had been years but Lucas had finally written the promised Star Wars prequel and was about to unveil the film’s new marketable character. “Start printing money boys,” Lucas gleefully proclaimed as the long-eared character appeared on the screen. “Introducing Jar-Jar Binks!”

7/23
Sarah you broke my heart. We were in ninth grade. You had a huge rack and a lot more eager than I was. I chickened out. Thing is, a couple of years later when I was ready, you wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence. I even foolishly stopped by your house once, but it looked like someone else was over.

Rhubarb_Runner

7/22
The special two-person 10-K challenge had gone neck-and-neck for the entire race, which was unusual for Karl, the gold medalist from the past two Olympics. Still, he was pleased as he leaned into the tape at the finish line.

Karl visibly winced, though, as Geoffrey, the boy from Make-A-Wish, stumbled across the line a close second.

I had this exchange on Facebook with a player today:

Player: hey, I had a Warning Label question
can the warning label be for something non-physical? for instance, for a piece of software, or the like?

Milk: Yes, definitely. Any product you’d buy

Player: that still doesn’t leave me in the clear. what about something you wouldn’t buy? (trying to think of an example without giving it away)
Like a sign on a road that you should not take?

Milk: Yeah, that works for me.

——-

Figured that might as well be here in case anyone else had a similar question. On to the dump; I only got one done mostly as a result of being so full of writing meetings that I didn’t want to think of F59s, and I only got one sent to me. In other words, we’re taking a very small dump this week.

Spookymilk

7/12
Herbie lunged forward, another white pellet in his sights. He was tiring a bit, but if he was going to be well-fed, he’d have to work relentlessly until feeding time was over. Herbie and James made a play at the same moment, and Herbie got one last pellet. He’d won. In the end, Herbie was the hungriest, hungriest hippo.

freealonzo

7/15
This is the best part of town, you’d think I’d feel safe, but I’m down to my last $15 sitting at this railroad sweating bullets. All I need is to get past these last few streets and I’m safe. I can get paid and move on. O.k. here goes. Four!?! Damn it! Boardwalk with hotels. That’s it, I’m broke.

——————

The theme for this week, which started yesterday (whoops) is FAILURE. Have fun.

Each day, unless I sluff off or find myself busy, I write a complete story in 59 words to warm up for my screenwriting and to get possible future ideas. This week’s theme was “Freedom,” and as such, all stories are on that theme. Anyone who happens upon this blog is invited to play along and send stories to foreverunchanged at gmail.

Saturday is a day off (for me; it doesn’t have to be for you, of course) so I post on Fridays. The theme for July 11th-17th will be GAMES. Take this to mean whatever you want it to mean. They’re intentionally vague to allow each person multiple ways to attack the theme.

spookymilk

7/7
Okay. Crunch time. This is as unstuck as this leg’s going to get, and I’m just an inch away. Can’t use the free leg to pull the other ones…made that mistake before. Too sticky. Shit, she’s coming. Oh, she’s eating the fly. I’ve got a few more moments. Success! Two legs free. Too bad I’m a fucking centipede.

7/8
She’d been burdened by him for too long. His partying had done him in. How often does a man need to go out with his friends? Who was that girl he was talking to? Well, it hardly mattered now. She wasn’t going to go through this again. She dragged him to the basement and threw him on the pile.

7/9
Briggs savored the smell of the asphalt. That brought him back. He glanced at himself again, still not used to seeing anything that wasn’t an orange jumpsuit. A six-year-old child stepped out of the van nearby and held up a sign. “Welcome home, Daddy.” Briggs broke down and cried for the first time since Aaron was born.

FirstTimeLongTime

7/6
Carl Pavano laughed as he looked into the mirror, trimming his unkempt beard. “Whoops” he said as he shaved his side burns. “Oh no!” he gasped as his goatee hairs began to circle the bathroom sink. A maniacal giggle burst from his mouth while cleaning his jaw line as he said “nothing beats the feeling of wearing a mustache”

Freealonzo

7/8
Looking at the script, Mel Gibson knew — just knew — he had a hit. Maybe even an Academy Award. Violence? Check. Sex? It’s in there. Historical inaccuracies? It’s chock full of ‘em. But how does he end it? How does one wrap up the whole movie in as few words as possible, one even? Then it hit him…

Big Mak

7/7
Peter was fuming. “I’m on the wrong train, I’m going to be late, and it’s the author’s fault. Being on time wouldn’t make a good plot point? I’m tired of being trapped in this story. I’ve got to get out. Maybe if I…”

[Where did he go?]

[Well…]

[um…’The End,’ I guess.]

7/8
Just calling to let you know that I’ll be at work until late today. You won’t believe it, but a tree fell on the office. The emergency crews are arriving now. Soon they’ll find me, and it will take hours to free my legs. Another day, trapped at my desk, under this mountain of (soon-to-be) paper, unable to leave.

For my first week of doing Fiction 59s to warm up before doing real writing, my topic was death. My plan is to write an F59 on every day besides Saturday, and post on Friday. Well, I forgot to post on Friday, and I spent so long cleaning during the late part of the week that I only did them from Sunday to Wednesday. Still, not a total loss, and writing them has actually helped get me in shape to do the real writing.

I like these, but I’m basically doing them without polish; as soon as I get them to 59 words, they’re done. Still, I’m glad at how a few of them came out. Big Mak wrote four as well, and GreekHouse has one too.

The topic for the current week is FREEDOM, and of course, that started yesterday. As I said before, anyone who wants to get in on this can send them to foreverunchanged at gmail.

———————————————————————

SPOOKYMILK
6/27
Loyola was manhandling Portland early, as expected. The big man was all over the glass. Out to Kimble. Kimble put it up and the big man slammed it down; they’d done this many times before. Portland took the ball lethargically, down 12, but the game was about to come to a screeching halt. Hank Gathers had dunked his last.

6/28
The pain in my chest wouldn’t go away. They said it was normal. They said in these situations, you have to forget the regret or the regret will eat you alive. I just wanted it all to stop. It didn’t, of course. We pulled up to the corner, our guns cocked, and I opened fire on the rival dealer.

6/29
The streamers had fallen, and the HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign was fading with age. In the corner, a few G.I. Joe guys, some Hardy Boys books and a baseball signed by Kent Hrbek were still sitting unwrapped. Derek had fallen the night of his tenth birthday, and a generation later, his mother was still unable to clean out his room.

6/30
I thought it was going to be much easier than this. They say you have to be persistent, but man, who knew it would call upon the deepest, darkest regions of the soul to procure the new Nintendo 3DS for this holiday season? My son’s going to be thrilled! But first things first: I should bury the previous owner.

BIG MAK
6/27
My affliction started in my teen years. How did you find this place? At first, people around me got very sick. I’ve taken precautions to make locating me difficult. Eventually, I realized that everyone I touched died soon afterward. My seclusion isn’t paranoia, it’s to protect society from me. I’m betting you’re now regretting that handshake as you arrived.

6/29
The splendor of the mighty one baked the New Mexico desert. A Harvard-educated physicist – knowing that space and time are interrelated constructs describing a single continuum – saw through to a different time and a different place, a thousand rising suns over the city where the chain reaction initiated here would terminate. He saw. He knew. He became Death itself.

7/1
The discrete hints dropped by the Ponce de Leon Foundation regarding an imminent breakthrough had drawn the investors here. Gathered behind the divider, all were excited to catch their first glimpse of immortality. The curtain dropped to reveal corpses in starched white coats, still organized for their triumphant reveal, radiating outward from the vial of slowly evaporating blue liquid.

7/2
Welcome, fresh cadavers, to the King’s College Faculty Graveyard. You’ve been placed in the science section, which means you’ll have to deal with the physicists. Every time some crackpot comes up with a new theory, the whole department has to make a show of rolling over and making a terrible racket. You don’t have firmly held convictions, do you?

GREEKHOUSE
7/4
The zombies gazed upon AFL-CIO headquarters and prepared to strike. It seemed like an eternity since their mission had started, but 28 days later the undead minions still saw no end. General Ghast slumped, walked in a circle and dragged his feet. “What happens next?” cried Corporal Corpse. “I’m not exactly sure”, gasped Ghast, “Eat the picket line crossers?”

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

XXII: Dan “The Even More Professional” Kautz

XXIII: Melissa “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” David

XXIV: Stacy “Fucking” Snell

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
V: Jake “Littlefinger” Elliott

FALL, CAESAR
2014: Brooks “The Creator” Maki
2015: Matt “The Artist” Novak
2016: Matt “Waited Them Out” Novak
2017: Annette “I Would’ve Voted for You” Barron

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
2018: #17 Carrie “Solid Gold” Bard
2019: #16 Jake “The Jabroni” Elliott

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
VIII: Annette “Oh, Right, That’s Who Won” Barron

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)

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