Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The 500-word challenge results are starting to POUR in! (with update 8/3 and 8/5)

The gauntlet was thrown, and the challenge to write a 500-word story based on the picture above was met by these people (more, perhaps to come, but I couldn't wait to post them):

Rennratt - the story of "O"s
Rick Leonard - a tale of woe
Mr. Schprock - geometry, yo!

UPDATE - Kingfisher tries to steal the show.

UPDATE to the UPDATE - Any blog in a storm's got a new one, doncha know

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: The great and mighty KOM has felt the creative wind blow.

Ya'll, it's so TOTALLY worth your time to go read each one. There are some very inventive people out there. 500 words don't take long to read.

If you're writing one, and want to send in you contributions, feel free - there's room for as many who are so inclined to submit their shizz.

And now, mine (plus audio linky goodness if ya wanna hear me speak it):

Eamon woke with a start from a deep dreamy sleep, in which he’d been snogging merrily with Andwyn, his former Chi'il mate. The violent lurching of his bed that had caused his awakening was not, sadly, caused by the quality of the dream, but rather by a whole-pod shift of about 3 degrees.

“Dammit to Flass!” thought Eamon. “Not again!” The Superloop Maintenance Team had adjusted the gyros last week, and they’d said it was going to be fine for a Jarh or two. Apparently their calculations had been a bit off, and now, with this further adjustment, Eamon’s team would have to go re-shift the coil drives.

“Dammit, dammit, dammit!” was all Eamon thought as he punched the confabucon that called up his team of Coil Jockeys. A good bunch, they were, and dependable, but as lazy as the turn is long, and they took a fair bit of rousing to get them ready to go. Eamon typed his message into the ‘con, “Laddies and lassies, time to wakey wakey! This is your commander! Get your stone-dead arses out of bed and turn out! We’ve got a coil maneuver to complete!”

The sleepy-headed crew of seven (a full quarter of the people left in existence) gathered in the pod-lock, readying their gear and drinking coffee. Once Eamon gave a quick briefing of what he thought the situation demanded, the lock doors shut, their suits were sealed, and they were whisked out of the bay by vacuum action.

Coil maneuvers usually took several choiks to complete, but today there was nothing to find to fix. With nothing to do, they decided to extend their float time with a pleasure cruise to escape the clutter and tight quarters inside.

Eamon led his team to a part of the Superloop unfamiliar to them. Supposedly, all Superloops were symmetrical in all planes, but with only 28 people on board there was no-one who’d ever been all the way around one, and Eamon wanted to be the first. He'd do anything to stay outside.

A choik later, once he’d gained the far side, he stopped all thrusters, halted his team, and began to weep. What he saw was like a punch to the gut, a violent and puzzling offense. Eamon could hear the epithets from his team through the suit coms as they got full view.

It was hard enough to see 6 more Superloops, with identical drones, Captowers, and polyports, because they had believed they were the only one left, but to actually see "God," in his white robes, placing his mighty hands on these beautiful worlds, was too much to bear.

Their Loopboard utter loneliness had been a lie, their Loop wasn’t special or precious, and God, they saw, could do whatever he wanted. They had never been in control, and never would be.

Eamon, dazzled and perturbed, opened his visor, uncapped the pressure equalizer, and let his head explode.


(This goes to a slightly earlier version, but you'll get the drift... )

this is an audio post - click to play


mr. schprock said...

What a revelation! God looks like my high school principal!

Awesome story, Tiff.

(Boy, Eamon took it pretty hard, didn't he?)

tiff said...

Eamon had issues, Mr S. :>

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh the stories. That good, all of them.

Rick said...

Wow! It's gonna take a few minutes to get my head around the Coil, er, Loop, uh, hang on, where's that equalizer...?

Kingfisher said...

Nice use of Star Trek technobabble.

Mine's up now.

Great minds think alike, eh? We picked the same genre.

tiff said...

WN - you could have played along too, but CHOSE to get SICK and WIMP OUT>

Rick - the big O is the Loop, the coil is the power supply, and the gyros stabilize the O. See? Easy!

KF - I'm going to go there right now, and add a link to my post. Great minds thinking alike? A frightening thought.

rennratt said...

Ha! I see that both you and KF have a little Farscape in ye.

Star Trek, my butt.

Loved it!

tiff said...

renn - Farscape it, if the Loop was ALIVE....

rennratt said...

...and kept alive by an alien/slave version of an octopus...

...with yummy males running around in leather...


Man, I miss that show.

I suppose I will have to settle for Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1.

MW said...

I'll go in a different direction from everyone else here: You have a really good speaking voice. You have what I think of as a late-night-radio DJ voice. I really enjoyed listening, although I should have read along as I listened. That way, I could have seen the spelling of the unusual words you were speaking. ;-)

Shari said...

I've got a great idea! But I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll have it up by tomorrow night.....

tiff said...

renn - stop it! Now I've got D'Argo on the brain. :>

mw - thanks for the compliment. If you'd read along you would have noticed where the changes were and where I messed up, so maybe it's better you didn't.

shari - send me the link when you're done and I'll put it with the rest. You know, if you want to, no pressure or anything. Much.

Anonymous said...

Cool Story!!!

Mine's up!

KOM said...

It's a small world. I blame TGIUTK and Kingfisher for leading me astray. Still, I've added my own two cents.

Dirty, miserable cents.

VPKR said...

Based on what I've read here, you might like this non-fiction piece, written in a similar style: Area 9/11.

MW said...

As I have written over at your "Creek Days" entry, I apologize for having been gone so long.

Yes, your story is very well written. There was a time in my life when I wrote very similar things, esoterically speaking. Now I've lost the feel for such subject matter (both writing it and reading it). What the heck has happened to me? Should I laugh? Or should I cry?

I never included much science-related material in my own stories. Instead, they are more fantasy oriented, but not "sword-and-sorcery" fantasy (I am addicted to the idea of time travel). My fantasy touches more on actual reality, only from a slightly "enhanced" perspective (hence, my pretentiously named blog). And, no, I don't mean that in the sense of "drug enhanced."

Let me try again: My fantasy is more along the lines of what many, including myself, consider to be one of the masterworks of fantasy/reality literature, Little, Big by John Crowley. As with your creek entry, it mostly focuses on the "magic" that is (or may be) hidden in plain site all around us. It goes a bit further than that, but not much. I read that novel in the mid 1980s, and it has had more of an influence on my writing than anything else ever has or ever will. I encourage you to read a few of the reviews at the link above. They're not all positive, but the vast majority are. Some of the critics may have a point, but not enough to sway me. This novel just isn't for everyone. Even the most positive reviews give fair warning: This novel is not to be read lightly. It is as slow as and "dull" as a several-hundred-page poem. It may take several tries before you can finally get into it (as was the case with a number of readers). But don't let that deter you. It is worth reading just a page or two a day (as I did) merely to savor Crowley's almost supernatural ability to phrase sentences absolutely perfectly. He can put into words those thoughts and feelings that most of us have in our most introspective moments but which are usually impossible to put into words. In all honesty, there were times that I was barely able to follow the story; nor did it excite me all that much half the time. I just read because Crowley's writing style is so hypnotic.

I shall recommend another novel to you (completely different from this one) at another time.

tiff said...

vpkr, MW - I think I'm getting into a whole new thing here! This is beyond cool. Thanks for the recommends.