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Not to totally overload this blog here, but long story short:

I’m working my ass off on this screenplay right now. I’ve been working through the pacing, the characters, the plot, the…well, I could go on, but then I’ll get on a tangent about the script, and that’s not the intention at all. The point is, after all that technical plotting and ideation bullshit, now I’ve been trying to sit down and actually write, and I’m coming up blank. I hate that.

Anyway, this is totally non-Survivor-related, but I’ll be writing a Fiction 59 every day as a warmup to writing. If the writing never comes, fine, but I want to give myself every chance to get there. Actually, I’m doing much more than just the F59, but the F59 is all I’m going to be posting here.

Anyway, all who see this are invited to participate. I’ll be posting the F59 Dump each Saturday, or at least that’s the plan for now, and any others that are sent to me via email (foreverunchanged at gmail) will also be posted. I figure this gives everyone a chance to be creative in their own way and hone their writing (or just have fun) without the stress of Survivor-related stuff like eliminations, knowing the judges, fitting into a set of rules…you know. Those things.

The only rule I’ll be following, in fact, is that each week will be a theme week. I’m doing this specifically so I can write about the same subject in as many styles as possible. The theme for the week starting today is DEATH. Whether depressing, humorous, or anything in between, death will be present in all the F59s this week.

Again, these are totally non-adjudicated and merely an exercise. If you guys get into these, perhaps I’ll add other exercises on specific days for some variety, all exclusive from the game.

Happy writing, everyone, if you plan on joining in. Happy…um, whatever, to the rest of you.
Spooks

Greetings, players! I’m here, I’m sober(ish), and I want to give you the results of the first challenge. I’ve always run Fiction 59 as one of the first challenges of the game, and this time it feels like it’s consistently strong all the way through. I did give a handful of 2s, but even those stories had potential, which hasn’t been the case in the past. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me. While the crowds I’ve had before include some writing-obsessed folks who took high marks week after week, this is the first game to entirely stocked with people who have clear, well-defined online writing styles and/or senses of humor.

This is all a long way to say: well done, folks. Um…except the one who never seemed to know the game had started yet. He didn’t do so well.

Below, you will see Citizen names, followed by their stories and their scores (B for Beau’s score, S for spookymilk’s). At the bottom, the team scores are tabulated so that you may know if you need to eliminate a player here in the first week.

Oh, and a note on word count: a few players had questions about how things would be counted, and it basically amounted to “If I can tell why you believe yourself to have 59 words, it’s fine.” In short, although it’s supposed to be exact, I definitely don’t want to be handing out zeros. Also, a few people asked about titles. They were allowed.

Enjoy. This game is going to be among the all-time greats, says the person who finds fault with everything. Away we go:

sean

William liked being a snake. Feared by many and revered by the smart
few. Never mind he was a Thamnophis sirtalis (garter snake, duh). Oh
sure, it was nice to dream about being a fearsome cobra or maybe the
dangerous coral, but everyone has their place. Right now, his place is
elsewhere. The lady with the knife looks ups-

K: Do you know that I love snakes? Well, I do. Still, despite the sudden, tragic payoff, I don’t know if this is a complete story nor if it has a big enough twist to get away with not being so. 3
B: I like the whimsical tone (in fact, it reads a lot like my entry in Survivor VI), but the (I assume intentionally) butchered sentence fragments at the beginning detract from the clever ending. 3

Geoff

“Mom, I’m bigger than you now. The next time you hit me, I’m going to hit you back.” For as long as I could remember my mom beat the shit out of me. Standing ground was a risk – would I be thrown out, would it get worse? I had to take the chance, today was the end of abuse.

K: Aw, hell. Am I looking into someone’s life here? As usual with this challenge, it doesn’t feel like a complete story. Still, it has emotional resonance. 3
B: This doesn’t feel to me like a full story, as I’m dying to know what happens to the narrator next. What I do like is that the tone of the story seems to indicate our hero is in his late teens, possibly even his twenties, juxtaposed by an obvious stunted maturity. Although there’s an issue with tense in the final sentence, I think I may find myself quoting “Today was the end of abuse” in future game logs. 3

DK

“Hold on, almost there,” she pleaded. He ground his teeth, clutched the sheet tighter. “It’s really hard, this is so big,” she moaned between quick breaths. He fought to keep control, to keep from crying out. She pressed her hand into his back even harder, then suddenly recoiled with a shout. “Jesus, that’s the biggest splinter I’ve ever seen.”

K: Har har. I knew we were headed for a joke here…it was just a matter of what double entendre was about to be used. Many Fiction 59s have played with the almost-sex theme throughout the years, but this one is done nicely. 3
B: Meh. The “sounds like something dirty but really isn’t” bit has been done a million times. I found myself hoping that the punch line would actually be about sex, which would have been pleasantly surprising. That would be a mighty big splinter, though! 2

Big Mak

Unwilling to put you through the ritual again, I turned the knife on the fish instead of your trembling arm. Diced, deprived of your blood, and flushed, it couldn’t be resurrected.

Two pain-wracked days later, the package arrived. Fear in your eyes confirmed the contents. I retrieved my knife. You bared your arm. At least this brought temporary relief.

K: Alright, which of you bastards knows me? I fear fish. Aside from that, I also have a mild fear of cults. Still, this story is only partially realized. It makes me wish I could read more, which isn’t really the object here. 3
B: I’ve read this three times and I’m still not exactly sure what’s going on there at the end, but I’m delighted all the same. The final sentence seems to kind of dangle, unfortunately, which keeps this from a perfect score. 4

Erik B.B.

Billy the Kid ran through the barnyard looking for a hiding place, well aware of what his assailant was capable. Veering into the hay-barn, Billy concealed himself and readied his weapons. The farmer rumbled into the barn—the Kid charged. Unfortunately for Billy, horns did him no good; Farmer Johnson was able to rubber band the poor goat’s jewels.

K: Fiction 59 quite often lends itself to deception; there isn’t enough time to tell a story with emotional resonance, one would think, so it’s better to go with this sort of surprise. I’m not sure this is the case, but I’m sure this one has that concept nailed. 4
B: Billy the Kid is a goat! Of course! How did I not see that coming? Simply marvelous. 5

Zack

She was startled awake by the tinny, electric buzz of her alarm clock. When she tried to turn it off, she couldn’t reach. As her bedside table was six inches from her bed she panicked and jumped out of bed. She fixated on her reflection in the mirror, and roared..?

She’d become a dinosaur. A velociraptor, to be precise.

K: Heh heh. This reminds me of a Far Side gag with dinosaurs at the table; “I’m trying to pass the potatoes!” 3
B: Cute. The sentences do not flow that well together, but the satisfaction of discovering why six inches seemed like such a long distance to the alarm clock brought a smile this way. 3

FirstTimeLongTime

It took eight bottles of Jack and four cases of Coors but Kid Rock finally finished watching every single episode of two and a half men. He was filled with jubilation as he called Alanis Morissette during the closing credits. “I won the bet, you owe me 8 bottles of J.D. and four cases of Coors, how’s that for Ironic?”

K: I think I hate you for how much I like this, but I like this. I don’t know what I usually expect from Fiction 59, but it isn’t a bet between Kid Rock and Alanis Morisette concerning Two and a Half Men. I find it hard to believe that Kid Rock can define “irony” any better than Alanis, which also makes this funny. 4
B: This is tour de force of hilarity. Jack and Coors together is funny. Requiring them to watch Charlie Sheen for god knows how many hours is funny. Making a bet on it is funny. Kid Rock calling Alanis during the credits is funny. Kid Rock making fun of Alanis’s song about irony by pointing out something that actually is ironic—and in a negative way, ultimately, against Kid Rock—is just icing on the cake. Fantastic. 5

punmanbowler

She stood by the door and looked back at him, sticking her tongue at him playfully. He smiled sheepishly. Last night was one he would never forget. He loved her warm body next to his. There was no doubt she was the one. His loneliness was gone. Now she wanted to go for a walk. I grabbed her leash.

K: I can’t believe how many Fiction 59s over the years involve a twist of “it’s an animal.” Is this good or bad? In this case, good, because the writer does it with style. 4
B: At first I was just as disappointed by this one as I was about the one with the splinter, as it seemed to use the “it’s not really about sex,” plot device. But then it hit me; it is about sex! And then it hit me…ewww! Good work. 4

GreekHouse

Sam was a strong soul, but Sam had a secret. Sometimes on Saturdays at sunset, Sam snuck to Selena the seducer’s shack. Sam swore things were strictly sexual, but sometimes Sam sensed something more significant. Sunday at sunrise, Selena still sound asleep, Sam stood. “Sleep soundly, my slumbering sweetheart”, said Sam as he stroked Selena’s skin and set sail.

K: I’m being baited, and dammit, it’s working. It’s hard enough to write a story with a word commandment (from one who knows), but to do so with alliteration is pretty sweet. 4
B: I do enjoy alliteration, but it seems to me it’s just here for alliteration’s sake. Part of me senses that there’s a joke in here, that Sam has in fact kidnapped his slumbering sweetheart. But I can’t really tell. 3

nibbish

He had heard about the “light at the end of the tunnel”, but had never imagined how peaceful it was. Everything was so radiant and warm; like the light permeated him. He never wanted this to end.

With a flash, the moth’s life ended as he flew directly into the campfire.

“Damn moths, why do they do that, anyway?”

K: I’ve seen a lot of punchlines that were similar, but this one works. Though the emotional resonance falters as a result of the hero being a moth, one has to realize that this is the intention. What I don’t like here is the change in perspective. Jarring. 3
B: Kind of an abrupt change in perspective we have here. Maybe it’s just me, but why would someone care (enough to say ‘damn’) if a moth flew into a campfire? Either way, the punch line is just a bit too obvious. 2

SBG

They travelled the freeway in silence. He looked straight ahead; she glanced out the side window, ignoring him. If it were up to him, they wouldn’t treat each other like strangers. He smiled hopefully at her. Nothing. He fixed his gaze forward again. Eventually, the bus reached his stop. He got off. She didn’t. The bus slowly pulled away.

K: Does this person know me? I am fascinated by emotional distance. Frankly, this story gets the concept of emotional distance across as much as anything. Is there a payoff? I’m not sure. That would be the only issue here, but I think it’s an intentional display of the man’s humdrum life. 4
B: I was suspecting that the two really *were* strangers. I was not suspecting they were on a bus. I also love how the ho-hum ending sort of exemplifies the pathetic nature that is this man’s life. 4

hungry joe

After I decided to leave her once and for all, I realized that I did still love her. Irrelevant, but it still made me sad. She tried to take me in a firm embrace, as if it could make me change my mind. I sorrowfully pushed her back and prepared to kill head, so that the body may die.

K: Surprisingly similar to the previous story. Women suck, don’t they? I guess I don’t feel connected to the characters, though. It feels a little…Nu Metal-style whiny and cliche, or something? 2
The awkwardness of the prose in the last sentence doesn’t fit in with the rest. And, so…he kills her? I guess nothing led me to care about either of their fates, so the ending had no impact on me. 2

Dread Pirate Will Young

That was stupid of him. Sure, he did not realize it at the time. Instead, he succumbed to the instantaneous gratification of quieting his friends and to the dogmatic belief that he was immune from Newton. Once gravity exerted its will, everyone hooted with delight. Everyone except him. After all, his legs were splayed when the metal railing arrived.

K: If there’s one thing I love, and there are several, it’s the artful retelling of a vulgar story. In this case, a racking of the balls is given the poetic treatment. Nice. 4
Very well written, but for some reason it doesn’t work for me. If we’re talking children, “dogmatic belief” and “immune from Newton” seems a bit over the top. If it’s someone intelligent enough to be able to think in those terms, one would think they wouldn’t be in this situation. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but that’s what happened. 3

New Guy

The thief paused mid-flight, struck by something the man had said before collapsing.

“You’ve done well for yourself tonight.”

He pulled the bag from his pocket, felt the weight in his hand, the shifting contents inside, the blood still wet on the outside. He tucked into a dark corner to undo the drawstring.

He had done well for himself.

K: I’m torn between loving the mystery and being angry at it as a result of knowing that I’ll never know how it continues to play out. In any case, I’m intrigued by the victim’s complimentary last words. 4
B: Very innocuous, considering the circumstances. I like the image of the victim (likely a criminal himself) collected enough to compliment his assailant as he dies. 4

CarterHayes

“Home Field Advantage”

Doc Barrett was on the hill, trying to finish the ninth as sun set on the sandy diamond. Matthews whistled Doc’s changeup high into the air over center field. “Incoming!,” Rodriguez shouted from short, but Williams didn’t hear him as he leapt, glove straining. We hit the deck. After the mortar hit, Doc bolted for center with his medbag.

K: Things I love: a) baseball and b) war movies. Well done. Normally this would bode poorly, as I have high expectations for such things. In this case, I could’ve asked specifically for all of them to be war stories, and still wouldn’t have expected one to be done with such care and poignance. 5
B: Took me a second to realize what was happening here. Funny and sad all at once. That’s hard to do. 5

rob

As the light turned green, I gunned the engine. I only had 120 feet to get to 60 before I
merged into the tightly spaced cars whizzing past. I merged left and settled in. As I took my work exit, it hit me. My commute was a microcosm of my life. Every day is different, yet nothing ever
changes.

K: I’d love to say that this story wasn’t a true story. I’d love to. Anyway, though the prose is fine, I don’t feel for any particular character here and the analogy is a stretch. 2
B: I don’t get how the two situations are analogous. Nor do I detect any irony. Oh, well. 2

UncleWalt

He googled the unemployment office for the 32nd week. He didn’t use a bookmark, because that was too permanent, or an admission. He wasn’t a factory worker. He’d gone to school. He responded “Yes” to “Did you look for work?” But he fantasized about putting his fist through his monitor in lieu of clicking the button that read “Submit.”

K: Okay. Damn. I feel the anger here, and I want to hug the subject. In 59 words the writer has gotten across loneliness, anger, and apathy. Tall order. 4
B: Okay, I was wrong. Apparently, funny and sad all at once is not so hard to do. The angst is just dripping from the screen. In a yummy way. 4

Rhubarb_Runner

“Black [Hole] Cat”
Chandrashekar’s Acura worked its way once more through the throng of protesters. “Unfounded fear of scientific experimentation has existed since the Dark Ages,” the biophysicist lamented.
Later, though, his complex machinery released the upside-down cat, its rapidly-increasing rotations spontaneously creating a gravitational singularity. Chandrashekar wasn’t comforted that there were no survivors to say, “I told you so!”

K: Every now and then comes a story that makes me wish I hadn’t given out any other perfect scores. This one has nice pacing, artful prose, memorable characters and even a twist ending. In 59 words, mind you. 5
B: Black [Hole] Cat, brought to you by someone in love with the English language and who knows how to use it. Either that, or someone is playing on my love for Star Trek. Chandrashekar’s Acura! Tee hee. 5

eschapp

Hey.
Hey, what’s up.
Give me a break.
What?
Give me a break.
Dude I have no idea what you are talking about.
Give me a break!
No!?
I want a break off of your kit kat bar.
Kelly, this is a snickers.
Oh.
What is up with you dude?
Nothing, give me some nougat.
Okay, that seems fair.

Cute. Not much more than cute, and it feels more like an anecdote than a story, but cute. 2
Funny, but we’re looking for a story, and this just feels like a dialogue sequence in a larger chapter. 2

Andrew

He woke to see his smoldering car upside-down and his partner with a hole in the back of his head.
“Where are the files?” demanded the man standing over him.
He spit a bloody tooth on the man’s shoe.
“I thought that’d be your answer.”
He closed his eyes again and waited for the whisper of a silenced .45.

K: This is another beautiful moment that I wish was part of a bigger story. Glorious writing, but where’s the rest? It would be perfect…if I wanted a beginning and not a full narrative. 4
B: Nice imagery. Nothing fancy here, but pleasant all the same. 4

——————————————-

For fun, Beau and I wrote them too:

Beau

One day, a young black man with a checkered past decided to conquer his demons. Taking two steps forward, he began his journey on the straight and narrow. Sadly, his path was frequently blocked by his white peers. But with support from his extended family, he marched on. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he found salvation. Checkmate.

K: True story: I had this pegged as a chessboard gag from the beginning. It did bother me, though, that the story seemed to suggest that black gets the first move. Reading it again, now it doesn’t feel like that was the intention. I’m psyching myself out here.

spookymilk

Though its cold, gray brick facade was uninviting, the castle’s interior was much worse. Fire traps singed my eyebrows as I sought the cargo I came for. I plunged through. Despite the treachery, I reached my ostensible goal. The look on the short fellow’s visage was grateful but apologetic. Damn it all, anyway. The princess was in another castle.

B: Heh heh. What starts off dull and pedantic instantaneously becomes awesome at the end. I love it when video game characters are anthropomorphized. Also, “short fellow’s visage” and “damn it all, anyway” are delicious.

———————————————

Well, there you go. frightwig never sent one and may or may not be alive, so he gets a -1 on this one. Oh, and a cruel aside: nib sent the one above to replace an earlier one he’d written, which both Beau and I were ready to give a 4. Damned second-guesses, eh?

VINDICTIVE VOICELESS VAGRANTS: 3.5/5/2.5/2/4.5/2/2 = 21.5
NICK PUNTO’S FURY: 3.5/-1/3/4/4/3/4 = 20.5
THE WINNER GROUP: 4/4.5/3.5/4/2.5/5/3 = 26.5

It’s a close one, but the non-submitter makes the difference. This means that Nick Punto’s Fury bring up the rear in the first challenge, probably as a cosmic punishment for making me think of Nick Punto, and have until tomorrow night (Monday) at 10pm Central to vote out a member.

Here’s how it goes: all members of a losing team must vote for a member to be eliminated, except frightwig, who automatically casts a vote for himself (this will always be true when a person does not submit). Voting results will happen in the same post that leads into Challenge Two, and will be anonymous. However, if you feel like making a smartass comment along with your elimination vote, I’ll post it. Again, it will all be anonymous, unless you make it otherwise.

Anyone who fails to vote before the voting period ends will automatically vote for himself. Ties will first be broken by performance in this challenge, and after that, if necessary, by a die roll. It’s cruel, but that’s all we’ve got to go on when we’re this early in the game. At any rate, I don’t expect it to come up.

Cheers, Survivors. You’ll dig the next challenge. It can be difficult, but players always count it among their favorites.

It occurs to me that when this game starts tomorrow and the challenges start rolling in, I’m not going to know who you are. Sooooo…this is a call for emails to foreverunchanged at gmail wherein you say who you are, so when your challenge entries come in, I’m not lost.

I already know who a few of you are, but if you have any doubt, send me an email. If you doubt your teammates are looking at this, bother them on email or the WGOM or something.

You know what? I have way more time to post a challenge today than I will tomorrow, so this is the first challenge post of the game!1!!1! Your first challenge will be Fiction 59, as we’ve talked about. The challenge is to write a complete story in exactly 59 words. It was suggested to use a word-counting site to make sure we’re all together on this, but each one I visited had word-counting problems (which would seem to undercut the whole idea of a word-counting site) so I’m just going to be counting them myself. Guidelines: a word with a dash, like “fudge-licking,” will count as one word. Be warned: MS Word counts two words with an ellipsis between them as one word, so take a good look before you send.

Enough about all that, because I don’t expect anyone in a group like this to screw up something so rudimentary (although if you do, be aware that I’ll laugh and point). More importantly still is your story. It can be funny, poignant, or whatever you want to make it; the only things that matter to me are that (a) it’s engaging and (b) it feels like a complete story. If your challenge submission is written beautifully but feels like a small part of a large story, I still might give it a big score, but I probably won’t give it a 5.

Challenge submissions are due in my inbox by Saturday, June 5th at 10pm Central. Again, if you think your teammates aren’t paying attention, try to get them moving. I may throw out a Saturday afternoon “Hurry your asses up” post, but don’t count on it, because I’ve never done such a thing before and therefore will probably forget.

Scoring is on the Netflix scale:
5 – Loved it
4 – Really Liked It
3 – Liked It
2 – Didn’t Like It
1 – Hated It (I’ve never given this score. No pressure)
0 – Submission has the wrong number of words
-1 – No submission
-5 – Plagiarism (I’ve nailed people on this before. There are always ways to cheat this and plagiarize anyway, so all I can say is: please don’t)

Beau and I will each hand out scores on this scale, and post the results on Sunday morning (or Saturday night, if scoring goes quickly) and the two teams that don’t have the lowest total score will be Immune, while the lowest-scoring team will have until Tuesday to eliminate one of their members. More on that when I make the results post, but be cautioned now that anyone on the losing team who didn’t submit a challenge will not be allowed to vote and will automatically cast a vote for himself, which obviously will probably get them eliminated.

I think I’ve covered most of what needs to be covered for the new players, which is everyone but Mak. If you have questions, throw them here, and I’ll answer them. One final note, because I love the sound of my own voice: the best-scoring stories, if SBG and the story’s writers have no problem with it, may be posted to the CoC for the non-playing Citizens to admire. That probably wouldn’t work every week, but the 59-word stories should be no problem.

Okay. I think that’s it. Enjoy the game, folks.

Cheers,
spookymilk

As I’ve mentioned, the game’s schedule will be

*challenge given on Tuesday
*due on Sunday night or Saturday morning, dependent upon my whims
*voting period starts after results are posted and goes until Tuesday
*elimination and next challenge given on Tuesday again

For the purposes of this game, the first challenge’s date will be Tuesday, June 1st. Therefore, the first due date is Sunday, June 6th. You already know that Fiction 59 is the first challenge, so now your path is clear.

As I mentioned in the CoC today (or wherever), I tend to favor stories that feel like complete stories rather than stories that feel like a small part of a large whole. There’s a subjective element here, obviously, so if you don’t like my findings, I invite you to eat me. then maybe you’ll like Beau’s. That’s why there are two of us.

Each player will be scored out of five, and non-submitters will be given a negative one. People who screw up the number of words will be given a zero. Plagiarizers, if caught (it’s happened) will be given negative five. The team with the lowest score will vote out a member, and we’ll move on.

Alright, is that everything? It appears so. Happy writing, people. It rules to have new blood in this thing.

I’ve done a challenge called Fiction 59 since the inception of this game.  Here, I chronicle my favorites (I’ll go with all the stories that I gave a rating of either four or five).  I had to sift through some ancient blogs on other sites to find these, so read them, if you would.  Deal?

SURVIVOR I

A mother rocked a dreaming baby although the boy was not her own.  The leaves rustled an unnatural song while the screen door clapped in the wind.  The sadness of the day consumed her.  Her mind all sorrow; her body frail.  She drifted off to sleep.  How could she tell this little boy his mommy is never coming home? (Catherine W)

“Fuck Bob Barker”

Yesterday as I sauntered downPark AvenueI came across the sweetest pussy I’ve seen in a long time.  Damn, was she fine.  Tight frame, amazing green eyes, and the way her backside rolled as she walked–fuckin’ hypnotic, man.

That kitten was radiating more heat than the goddamned sun.  At times like that I really miss my balls. (Rachel F)

“Anything But That”

I used to believe sitting in the bathtub long enough would turn me into a mermaid.  I spent hours in the tub, staring into the faucet, praying I was right.  I thought my mom would find me and free me into the ocean.  Instead, she found me and taught me to shave my legs.  I would’ve preferred the ocean.  (Kelly Jo)

“Colleen S is Dead”

“You don’t have to do this.” whimpered Colleen.  The only response was a small chuckle as the hands around her neck became tighter–tighter–tighter.

Colleen S was dead.

“Kelly Space Survivor–rather be a real-life survivor.” smirked a cold-blooded Danielle S as she slumped Colleen’s lifeless carcass next to her computer.  “The rest is silence, bitch.” (Ben T)

Flush.” Stand slow. The air was as tense as a Donner family reunion. Drunk. Get movin and get out. Sound advice. Headed for the front and found every object in the bar placed to impede my extrication. Paused at the door. Someone was supposed to die. Think, hunter. The guy with all the hearts! Turned around and slurred, “Pussy.” (Josh Mitchell)

SURVIVOR II

“Doritos and Breath Mints: A Love Story.”

I scooted slightly closer as he finished a small bag of Doritos and ran his tongue over his lips to clean off the cheesy residue. He put a breath mint into his mouth. “Here we go,” I thought. As his fat, wet tongue wriggled around in my mouth, I realized my first kiss was nothing like I had hoped. (Kelly Jo)

It had taken over three days, and if she had been any older she would have realized how amazing it was that a rainbow could retain itself, especially one this beautiful, for even three hours, but she was barely six and still thought rainbows were magic.  But when she found no gold, the magic faded for her as well. (Oliver T)

SURVIVOR III

When I was a kid everyone knew who the bad guys were because they dressed in black. Times have changed. According to the government, it's the color of their skin. Others have different indicators. Am I a bad guy because I'm eating in between meals? Or is it more relevant how much of him I leave in my freezer? (Josh M)

“Chaos Theory”

Armand rested under a lush canopy of leaves. A breeze tickled the hairs on his legs and he was struck by a grand, ridiculous idea. Drunk with power and possibility, careless about the ramifications of his actions, he took off. Three years later the levies of New Orleans crumbled under the force of the hurricane his wings had created.  (Rachel F)

While digging, Frank thought about waitng. Daily, he waited for the bus to take him to his insignificant job. Nightly, he waited for his phone to ring. It never did. He waited for life to get better. When he reached ten feet into the ground, Frank placed a hose in the hole, turned it on, climbed down, and waited. (Patrick K)

The ageless gravel road lay complacently by the derelict farm house in the smothering heat of the August morning. A rust bucket Buick rolled into the yard to the deafening hum of cicadas. Brett grabbed the shovel and went quickly to the shaded earthen mound he vividly feared. He would finally find out how many siblings he really had. (Cory F)

SURVIVOR V

And so, as flowers to spring, their souls blossomed into their longing. Their limbs entwined, that were once rigid in timidity, their loins, once frigid, now burned like shame. Thereafter, in the quiet, the two lay as those condemned: peaceful. Who would know then? Who would see the love burn twixt the eyes of the cowboy, and the ewe? (Colin W)

Alison knew what he wanted. She had been here before and knew the routine. She tried to do what he asked, but her heart was not in it and it showed in her watery eyes. “Come on, sweetheart. Just relax…” With a flash his camera captured the heartbreak of a third grader who had been dumped on picture day. (Rachel F)

“Get away from that filthy animal.” Sebastian’s mother yelled to him from across the lawn. He pulled the bloody knife from his prey. This thing was not his first victim, nor would it be his last. “Don’t you ever touch my fucking acorns.” He whispered to the lifeless human boy at his feet, before scampering back to his tree. (Todd K)

The bond was instant. The feeling was primal. She would love this baby more than she would love herself. She would fight to the death, protecting her. As she drove her home for the first time, she was finally content. She always wanted a baby girl. All she needed to do now was get rid of the couple’s bodies. (Patrick K)

I drove down the highway with two things on my mind. One, where does a person get a strong cup of coffee? Two, why is there a dead elephant strapped to the bed of my truck? Not knowing the answers, I lit up a Marlboro and took a drag knowing we would have to keep driving despite the circumstances. (Chris B)

It wasn’t unusual. Jack Horner, after all, was used to sticking his thumb into pies. So what if it wasn’t a pie this time? So what if it wasn’t his thumb? The town drunkard shook with joy when it happened! So why was Jack Horner standing at the foot of the gallows? He had never even heard of sodomy. (Sarah B)

Under my blanket

Quick, get down. There’s someone outside the blanket. We’ll be safe in here. No one can get us through the blanket, unless they have a knife. A knife can cut the blanket. Maybe the blanket isn’t a good idea after all. Maybe opening the door wasn’t a good idea. Why would Santa want to hurt anyone? (Patrick M)

SURVIVOR VI

I just tripped and the branch went right through my leg. The nearest ranger station was miles away. I had to pull it out with my teeth. “Fuck…” I tried to see the wound but there was too much blood. The world went gray. Pulling it out was a bad idea. Pulling it out was going to kill me. (Joe R)

On a Mexican bus ride, a lady makes her way onto the bus with a live chicken. The driver shouted “Señora loca, usted no puede venir en el autobús con un pollo!” She got off, slammed the chicken against the side of the bus and then held the dead fowl up. The driver nodded and without flinching said, “Proceda!” (Roman F)

The island appeared. He despaired. This identical spit of sand invariably materialized, regardless of bearing. On the beach, the rock lay where it always did. Every time he landed, there was one less mark on the stone, counting down his visits. Now there were no scratches. When he left this time, one way or another he would never return. (Brooks M)

Chocolate and talc. Percy could smell the sinister, flying infant overhead; the babe who shot into his toy box; the reckless cherub who seduced him into asking his Legos to prom. Percy’s golf club connected with Cupid’s cheek. Baby fat rolled down the wall like raw chicken. “Revenge,” Percy thought as he turned back to his porn, “is sweet.” (Rusty G)

Arthur was a rock.

Metaphorically? No, Arthur was a pussy. The other rocks said so. He strove to rise above the label. But it was no use.

Tuesday, a man took Arthur. Soon, he adorned a lady’s finger. For the next fifty years, Arthur would hone his sense of irony, helping one man gain what he hoped to lose. (Beau)

This was it. The docs were removing their bloody gloves while the nurse moved away the machinery, wrapping the electrical cord around the pole. Slipping out of consciousness I suddenly recalled the cruel words Sheila would mercilessly taunt me with whenever I felt lousy: “Don’t worry I’ll still dress sexy at your funeral.” And you know what? She did. (Dean C)

———————————————————————————————-

For whatever reason, I can’t find the Survivor IV archives.  Well, I sorta know why, but it’s a long boring story.  Anyway, these stories are how you rack up points, players.  Cheers.

So, as it happens, Ben is very sick today and won’t be able to get his side done…that makes two Survivors in a row where he missed Fiction 59, the poor sap. So, Kelly will be doing this one instead. Here I go again:

1: ROMAN FEESER, NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI

On a Mexican bus ride, a lady makes her way onto the bus with a live chicken. The driver shouted “Señora loca, usted no puede venir en el autobús con un pollo!” She got off, slammed the chicken against the side of the bus and then held the dead fowl up. The driver nodded and without flinching said, “Proceda!”

RESULT: It’s nice that I speak rudimentary Spanish and therefore didn’t have to look any of this up. It’s even nicer that this was funny as hell. 5 points

2: CHAD HAMBLIN, TACITURN TEKTITES

If there is something wrong with my advances,
God strike me down before I take some chances.
There’s something sticking, shirking fleeting fancy:
‘cause this sexy genius flirting antsy panties.
There ain’t no question about my intention,
and your attention ain’t at all in question.
I wanna split you up like long division,
and introduce you to my euphemism.

RESULT: I like the poem/song fine enough, but we weren’t writing a poem/song. Not to be weenus, but I was looking for a prose-based narrative here. 2 points

3: BROOKS MAKI, TACITURN TEKTITES

The island appeared. He despaired. This identical spit of sand invariably materialized, regardless of bearing. On the beach, the rock lay where it always did. Every time he landed, there was one less mark on the stone, counting down his visits. Now there were no scratches. When he left this time, one way or another he would never return.

RESULT: For a second here I thought this was going to be LOST-related, but it was instead an intriguing story on its own. 4 points

4: RUSTY GREENE, NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI

Chocolate and talc. Percy could smell the sinister, flying infant overhead; the babe who shot into his toy box; the reckless cherub who seduced him into asking his Legos to prom. Percy’s golf club connected with Cupid’s cheek. Baby fat rolled down the wall like raw chicken. “Revenge,” Percy thought as he turned back to his porn, “is sweet.”

RESULT: What a disgustingly funny ending…and here I was already giggling like a schoolgirl over asking one’s Legos to prom. 5 points

5: BEAU, TACITURN TEKTITES

Arthur was a rock.

Metaphorically? No, Arthur was a pussy. The other rocks said so. He strove to rise above the label. But it was no use.

Tuesday, a man took Arthur. Soon, he adorned a lady’s finger. For the next fifty years, Arthur would hone his sense of irony, helping one man gain what he hoped to lose.

RESULT: I like that “pussy” is not explicitly said in the final paragraph…much cleverer that way. I got close to a 5 on this one, just like the one on the beach. 4 points

6: DEAN CARLSON, NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI

This was it. The docs were removing their bloody gloves while the nurse moved away the machinery, wrapping the electrical cord around the pole. Slipping out of consciousness I suddenly recalled the cruel words Sheila would mercilessly taunt me with whenever I felt lousy: “Don’t worry I’ll still dress sexy at your funeral.” And you know what? She did.

RESULT: I was going to guess this darkly funny entry belonged to John Youker, but then I remembered John’s not playing this one. Where are you, John? Damn that Sheila, anyway. I hope she gets what’s coming to her later in the game or something. 4 points

7: JASON HARBER, TACITURN TEKTITES

Jason was lonely. His life was an empty basket, thus he turned to cyberspace for love. He found a site, created a profile, and got a response. Rhonda. Rhonda looked very short. She had no legs. She enjoyed climbing mountains, with her arms. She was the perfect height and could not run away. No love, but a true story.

RESULT: This one came with a photo attached…it’s what you’d expect. Cute enough stuff here. 3 points

8 ANDY RUSTLEUND, NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI

They called him “Farve”, because Gulfport ain’t France. They called him “DB”, but he was born to throw. They called him “Falcon”, but he dreamed of Bays of Green. They called him “finished”, he said, “not yet”. They called him “too old“, but he found his Purple Heart. We call him the “Silver Fox”, and he is our champion.

RESULT: Oh, boy. I’m a huge fan of the Vikings and have even learned not to hate Brett Favre (he made it pretty damned easy on me for most of the year), but this is like a Bill Plaschke love letter to Favre. I dunno about this, even though I do really like the first line. 2 points

———————————————————————————-

NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI: 5/5/4/2 = 16
TACITURN TEKTITES: 4/2/4/3 = 13

Fairly close, but the TACITURN TEKTITES have until TUESDAY AT 2PM CENTRAL to make their vote to eliminate someone. Tiebreaker is performance in this challenge, followed by judge’s choice, if necessary. Don’t make us do that…we hate that. Oops, never mentioned in the first post that non-voters will automatically vote for themselves. So vote, people. Additionally, anything funny/smart-alecky you say in your vote will be posted when I post the voting results, but your votes will always be anonymous.

Cheers, Survivors. Good round.

Well, here we go, friends. Over on Ben’s side, all eight people submitted a story here in week one. Over here, we weren’t nearly as lucky. Let’s see just how unlucky you were, yes?

Here they are.

1: COLIN WOOLSTON, PUSSY PERUSERS

I knew the man in blue was a threat, but not why. The resonant throb of pain in my head eclipsed all avenues of thought not including escape from the cacophonous invasion. The man approached with a poacher’s grin of quarry trapped, above his heart a glaring yellow square of plastic stating “Hello! How can I assist you today?”

RESULT: Hey, mister, you’re talking about me! Nice smart-alecky twist at the end. There really are people who fear having us contact them at the store, by the way. Strange, reclusive people. 4 points

2: SARAH BIZEK, PUSSY PERUSERS

She was terrified. Her pulse and breath quickened as she heard the monster coming for her. She’d heard stories of it’s snake-like stealth and other-wordly size; that it had torn people to shreds. Now it was her turn. Finally. But when the villain was revealed, confusion replaced her utter terror. She sighed. “Seriously, Kelly, TODD’S is bigger than that!”

RESULT: This one has to be by Sarah, right? Okay, you bunch of jerks, these aren’t ALL going to be about me, are they? By the way, mine is totally bigger than Todd’s. If anyone should know, it’s…um…never mind. 5 points, ya bastard.

3: JOE RICE, PUSSY PERUSERS

I just tripped and the branch went right through my leg. The nearest ranger station was miles away. I had to pull it out with my teeth. “Fuck…” I tried to see the wound but there was too much blood. The world went gray. Pulling it out was a bad idea. Pulling it out was going to kill me.

RESULT: Wow, this writer is entirely too good at making me feel this pain. This is one of those where I might hate myself later for only giving it a 4 because the writing is so awesome, but I’m giving it a 4 because it doesn’t feel like a complete story. 4 is still killer. Don’t hate me, third contestant to be scored. 4 points

4: LEIF BIERLY, PUSSY PERUSERS

“Gotta work, it’s gotta work, it will work. There is no try,” he muttered.

He stared at it.

“Size matters not, he said. This will work.”

Grimacing, he tries to clear his mind.

“Focus….”

An image of a snow monster.

An image of a ship.

“Fuck.”

The giant, rampaging elephant was now on him, trampling him to his death.

RESULT: I swear this isn’t the first time Yoda has showed up in this game. At any rate, Star Wars makes plenty of appearances. I have to say around word 40 I thought this was simply a retelling of the movie, and the ending was very surprising and funny. 4 points

5: KATIE HAMBLIN, OBI-AMA CANOLES

Up here, this felt like suicide. Death seemed imminent, but the green meadows below prophesied an oddly pastoral end.
This all started as an exercise in “letting go,” but now I was gripping the open plane door with uptight, white-knuckled panic.
It was time.
A prying, a pushing, and then…falling! Fuck!
Certain death!
Until, even before the parachute—freedom!

RESULT: I love how the hero of the story said “Fuck” in the last three of these. Nice to get the vulgarity ball rolling early. Anyway…I loved this. It’s a fairly innocuous action, but it’s written beautifully and tensely. I’m not trying to be overly generous here – I swear I normally give more threes than anything – but these were all too good. 5 points

Except…wait. This has 60 words in it, even accounting for “white-knuckled” as one word. Oh, that hurts me. This story deserves way more than the zero I have to give it. I seriously almost went up and eliminated a word myself rather than dock it. Damn.

————————————————————————————

Well, although I am going through my usual pangs of distress – “Did I give this one the right score?” – it doesn’t really matter, given all the non-submitters…all three of which were on the Obi-Ama Canoles.

PUSSY PERUSERS: 4/5/4/4 = 17
OBI-AMA CANOLES: 0/-1/-1/-1 = -3

So, the Perusers survive rather handily here, while Katie is the only one on her team who even gets to make an elimination vote. Normally the votes are anonymous, but her team has kinda blown that for her. Katie, you have until TUESDAY AT 2PM CENTRAL to send me the vote of which teammate you’re eliminating, at which point we’ll eliminate both he/she and whoever gets voted out from Ben’s half. Then, off to the second challenge.

Cheers, everyone.

Well hello, everyone! It’s Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, which must mean it’s time for the beginning of Survivor VI. We found a secret page where we can be filthy, we have all your teams named, and all (well, but two) of you have joined the page. Are you teammates with Kelly Jo Ernst or Andy Baker? If so, maybe your bothering them in addition to mine will get them over here.

Anyway, longtime players already know where this is going, since we always do the same challenge first: it’s called Fiction 59 and it’s a good starter because there are a lot of you, and this one doesn’t take long to judge. Besides, we hate to make you do a long challenge when the odds are that some shank will fail to do it and the results will be a foregone conclusion anyway.

So the deal is that you write an entire story in exactly 59 words. We don’t care if it’s funny, dramatic or scary…just try to make it good. Also, don’t be the weiner who accidentally writes a story longer or shorter than 59 words. Your team will laugh and mock as they kick you to the curb after your loss.

The scoring is on the Netflix scale, plus some mega-failure scores added:

5 points = loved it
4 points = really liked it
3 points = liked it
2 points = didn’t like it
1 point = hated it
0 points = submission has the wrong number of words
-1 points = no submission
-3 points = plagiarism (yes, we check for this, and yes, it’s happened)

So, pretty simple. Your team will face one other team, and the two losing teams will have two days to vote someone out of the game. Oh, and another thing: if you fail to submit or if you plagiarize, and your team loses, you will not get to vote but will instead automatically cast a vote for yourself.

Highest team point total wins. In the future, when there are uneven numbers of players, it’s score per person.

Tiebreaker, if necessary: each judge will pick their overall favorite, and the team that player is on will win immunity. Any questions on format, or whatever, can go here.

Oh, I should probably tell you who you’re facing.

OBI-AMA CANOLES vs. PUSSY PERUSERS (Kelly judges)
TACITURN TEKTITES vs. NUZZLING NANCY’S PELOSI (Ben judges)

Send your story to Kelly by Saturday at 1:30pm Central. In the future I may change it to late Friday, if that scheduling doesn’t work well. At that point, the stories will by made anonymous to the judges courtesy of my wife, we’ll each judge and then put them up. Good game, everyone. Now let’s keep it professional out there, okay? Okay.

Cheers,
Kelly

Kelly here…this is the Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans vs. Donkey Pantaloons thread. Eight of the eleven entries on my side were turned in, so this is probably a foregone conclusion, but let’s see these anyway, yeah? Comments/scoring are after each entry and final tally is at the bottom.

1 (Ryan Fossum, Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans)

The man woke up. The man got showered. The man ate toast. The man felt empowered. The man went to work, like that for 43 years. One day that man, got called to the boss. The boss said he’d been laid off. That man went home and to his chagrin put a shotgun to the bottom of his chin.

I did a Fiction 59 for the hell of it before I ever made it a challenge here, and this is pretty similar to that one. It certainly has an ending…moreso than most in this challenge. It’s a little whimsically-worded, which makes it all the darker. 4 points

2 (Patrick Kozicky, Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans)

The bond was instant. The feeling was primal. She would love this baby more than she would love herself. She would fight to the death, protecting her. As she drove her home for the first time, she was finally content. She always wanted a baby girl. All she needed to do now was get rid of the couple’s bodies.

And immediately one of the entries out-darks the first. Holy crap. This is haunting because it’s written so sweetly right up to the twist ending. To all those in Survivor history who have complained nothing can get done in 59 words, look at this, dammit. 5 points

3 (Chris Bell, Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans)

I drove down the highway with two things on my mind. One, where does a person get a strong cup of coffee? Two, why is there a dead elephant strapped to the bed of my truck? Not knowing the answers, I lit up a Marlboro and took a drag knowing we would have to keep driving despite the circumstances.

For the record, I don’t give just every entry a four or a five. But damn, these are pretty great. I can’t say it’s a story with an ending so I’ll withhold a 5, but I’m intrigued by it all the same and more than any other story, I feel like I’m there with the writer because of the aggressive imagery. 4 points

4 (Sarah Bizek, Donkey Pantaloons)

It wasn’t unusual. Jack Horner, after all, was used to sticking his thumb into pies. So what if it wasn’t a pie this time? So what if it wasn’t his thumb? The town drunkard shook with joy when it happened! So why was Jack Horner standing at the foot of the gallows? He had never even heard of sodomy.

Boy oh boy, this is going to be tough this year. What tickles me most about the writing here is the naïve excitement with which the narration relates Jack’s feelings on the situation. Gold. 5 points

5 (Patrick McIntyre, Donkey Pantaloons)

Under my blanket

Quick, get down. There’s someone outside the blanket. We’ll be safe in here. No one can get us through the blanket, unless they have a knife. A knife can cut the blanket. Maybe the blanket isn’t a good idea after all. Maybe opening the door wasn’t a good idea. Why would Santa want to hurt anyone?

And we have my first genuine LOL moment. I’m always amused by narration that’s the running inner monologue of the characters, particularly when the character isn’t very bright. I remember one Survivor where not one of the Fiction 59s was as good as any of the five I’ve read so far. Jeez, people. 4 points

6 (Stacey Eades, Donkey Pantaloons)

Donkey Juan was his name. Unlike his namesake Don Juan, he sucked with the ladies. What was an ass to do? The only thing one can do…. buy a new pair of pantaloons. That is just what he did and now he is the sexiest ass in town. All the ladies want a ride now! Nice work Donkey Juan.

While I do appreciate how my throwaway “Donkey Pantaloons” thing has become a running gag, this is more of a 59-word punchline than a story. That’s not to say I don’t like it (the word “pantaloons” always makes me giggle like a schoolgirl) but I can’t go super high on what’s mostly an inside joke. 3 points

7 (John Youker, Donkey Pantaloons)

It had been some time since Clovis Fox had danced. The music no longer moved him. Rap, country, metal, polka; nothing moved him. Then one day in the woods, he heard a strange sound. He ran to the river bank and he saw: a bagpiper. Something inside him was stirred. Clovis began to step dance: all was right again.

Cute. When I saw that Youks wrote this, I was surprised…usually he writes ones about animals killing things. It doesn’t have as much of a kick as some of the other entries, but our ending is a funny turn. 3 points

8 (Andy Baker, Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans)

Double-Double or Animal Style. Todd couldn’t decide. The models and douchebags at the Hollywood In-N-Out Burger glared impatiently at the back of his shaggy head.
“Animal Style. Dude, I’m so flippin’ hungry,” Todd slurred. He suddenly realized that he had spent his last four dollars on the Wolverine comic. Todd thought: “Shit. I’m sucking dick for cash again tonight.”

Aaaaaaand we have our first gay Todd entry. It never takes long, even when he’s not playing. This is a curse as well as a blessing…I’ve read a LOT of gay Todd stuff over the years, so it takes a lot to get to me with it. The Wolverine comic business is pretty great, though. 3 points

There were three non-entries:

Donkey Pantaloons: Scotte Hoerle
Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans: Josh Mitchell and Rachel Dwyer

Huh…I don’t remember Rachel ever missing a challenge before, but here we are. Scores:

Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans 4/5/3/4/-1/-1 = 14 divided by six people = 2.33
Donkey Pantaloons 3/4/5/3/-1 = 14 divided by five people = 2.80

Those non-entries will kill a fool, I tells ya. So the Donkey Pantaloons are victorious in their first time out while the Lake Tahoe Dancing Kenyans have until Sunday at 11am Central to vote out one of their members. Both Josh and Rachel, by virtue of not sending entries, will automatically cast votes for themselves. All other team members should send a message to me with their elimination vote (which will be anonymous, but any comments you make will be posted, because they’re usually funny). On Sunday eliminations will be announced immediately before the next challenge. And finally, anyone who fails to vote will also vote for themselves. Ties will be broken by score in this challenge. If a tie still results, a random member of the team who defeated them will be asked to break the tie.

Alright. See you Sunday.

Alright, so this is actually Kelly again. Ben talked to me and long story short has no way to get this thing done until late tomorrow, which is way too little time to give to the voters. So I’ll do it. And it doesn’t really matter which of us was scoring it anyway, because non-entries made this one really obvious as to which team will win. Away we go…

1 (Andy Rustleund, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

They went with Fartzilla.
Brenden Majowski kept his eyes fixed on the letter as the hastily opened security envelope floated softly to earth. He read it again. How the name was never taken would always be a mystery to him. But for now, it was enough. The International Flatulence Association of Regulatory Taxonomy had ruled. For justice. For Brenden.

Fun Fact: I can’t say that word that starts with F. I just can’t do it, though I swear all the time. I had a good chuckle at the IFART acronym here and admired the fact that the story was so unabashedly scatalogical. 4 points

2 (Colin Woolston, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

And so, as flowers to spring, their souls blossomed into their longing. Their limbs entwined, that were once rigid in timidity, their loins, once frigid, now burned like shame. Thereafter, in the quiet, the two lay as those condemned: peaceful. Who would know then? Who would see the love burn twixt the eyes of the cowboy, and the ewe?

I don’t know if there’s anything more satisfying to me than a gorgeously-written piece that ultimately describes a fiendishly funny and disgusting event. The mood here is cast so perfectly that the payoff is as sweet as they get. Maybe my favorite Fiction 59 ever. 5 points

3 (Sam Fronek, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

Her car pulls up. He’s on a snowbank, against a tree, strumming a guitar.
He asks for a cigarette. She offers a beer.
They walk, stopping at her stoop. Sitting, smoking, strumming.
Up walks Suzette, singing songs from ‘Hair.’ She lost her brother in March. Her friend bums a smoke and laughs at her.
Crazy bums on my street.

I like the low-key feeling of this one and the simple prose, although it actually might feel a bit more like poetry. Not really a story so much as an anecdote, but still, it’s soothing. 3 points

4 (Kelly Jo Ernst, The James Earl Jones Fan Club)

I used to lick my balls a lot. Eating peanut butter seems a good replacement for this addiction though. I had some for breakfast and lunch, and didn’t lick my balls all day! I was so excited that I ran in circles then plopped down and promptly began licking my balls. It seems being a dog has many shortcomings.

The great thing about this one is Kelly’s resistance against using different euphemisms for ball-licking. It’s just way, way funnier that it’s the same simple wording every time. There’s an art to writing the inner monologues of dogs—excitable, simple, and quick—that’s captured here nicely. 4 points

5 (Rachel Flynn, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

Alison knew what he wanted. She had been here before and knew the routine. She tried to do what he asked, but her heart was not in it and it showed in her watery eyes. “Come on, sweetheart. Just relax…” With a flash his camera captured the heartbreak of a third grader who had been dumped on picture day.

There have been a lot of straightforward Fiction 59s in Survivors past, but here’s yet another nice twist at the end. I also like the break from the norm here: while most sound innocent and then hit you with a dark, sexual ending, this is the opposite. Kind of an unexpected change. 4 points

6 (Katie Driscoll, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

Helen gets on the mic and begins; “All emergency information is on the pamphlet…” I’m stuck holding my props in the Exit row. The kid I’ve decided as the annoying one is staring at me while picking his nose. Great. I lift my seat belt prop above my head. Sigh…here we go.

Another anecdote instead of a story, but I like how it unfolds; the reader picks up what’s going on slowly rather than being hit over the head with it. 3 points

7 (Todd Karner, The James Earl Jones Fan Club)

“Get away from that filthy animal.” Sebastian’s mother yelled to him from across the lawn. He pulled the bloody knife from his prey. This thing was not his first victim, nor would it be his last. “Don’t you ever touch my fucking acorns.” He whispered to the lifeless human boy at his feet, before scampering back to his tree.

Okay, okay…so even among a sea of twists, this one was pretty brilliant. Using my assumption that the main character would be a human against me was a nice little move indeed. And maybe this is a broken record, but I like the fact that the word “squirrel” is never said here. If it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. I love that shit. But I can’t believe I have to give this score to Todd. 5 points

8 (Jason Harber, Do I have to read anything Todd writes?)

A dog walks in the middle of the road. The air around him smells of confidence and Purina. He sees a fine bitch on the bottom of the hill. He lifts his Retreiver head and bolts toward the target like a missile. Adrenaline gives him blinding speed, a Ford Focus gives him stillness and a trip to doggy heaven.

It’s a little thing, but using the alliterative “Ford Focus” as the car is a nice little comic move. Additionally, the quick turn in the final sentence was nicely written and darkly funny. 4 points

No entry: Jennie Bindner, Rusty Greene, Chad Hamblin (all James Earl Jones Fan Club)

I tell ya what, gang: there are a bunch of kick-ass writers in this group, so once the non-players are gone, this could be pretty awesome. Well, not that it’s not awesome now, but then it’ll actually be competitive.

Do I have to read anything Todd writes 4/5/3/4/3/4 = 23 divided by six players = 3.83
James Earl Jones Fan Club 4/5/-1/-1/-1 = 6 divided by five players = 1.20

Not a close call, exactly. Only Todd and Kelly Jo are able to vote here, as the other three guys are all self-casting votes. These two have until Sunday at 11am Central to cast their votes, at which time one member will go away and the next challenge will begin. As always (and this never happens), if everyone on both sides has voted before then, the next post will go up early. Ties will be broken by performance in this challenge, and any further ties will be broken by a random member of the winning team.

Alright, veterans and noobs…now you know how the game is played. This looks like a Superbad (meaning good) group of people…I look forward to the rest of the game.

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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