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The FPL Season of Fiction


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#1 treacherous

treacherous

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

The Premise

Take X number of people. Let's say 8. Have them play out a "season" of fiction competition. Each week, everyone faces off against a different person. Each pair has to write a short story about a character already in the gallery. Whoever is running the tourney will determine who gets paired up and who each pair has to write about. Then people vote on whose short story is best. Do this for 7 weeks so that everyone has matched up once. Then do a playoff until we get a winner who is crowned That Person Who Writes Fiction Really Good And Stuff.


Week 1 Challenge

- Create a horror story using any characters in the current database.

Writing Deadline

Feb 10th to February 20th

The Rules

Everybody will get a Friday until a Sunday to write each challenge. For this week, I'll give an extra day since I started this late. To vote just PM one name from each challenge group that you believe won for that week. Your vote should have four names altogether. If you don't make the deadline to write, then you forfeit that round. If you don't make the deadline to vote, then you forfeit your vote. I hope you guys are invested, because this will go on until late May. Each person will do about 7 challenges each until we're finished, then I'll total up the votes. If I have a clear winner by the end, I'll declare it. If not, then I'll have a face off with the winners who tied. So, without further ado Let the Season of Fiction begin.

The Challengers

Landon
Sir Exal

#2 Landon

Landon

    The Main Character

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

I don’t know, man. I always had a soft spot for cacti. Not for any sort of cop-out“hedgehog dilemma” reasoning or anything like that. I’m not a touchy-feely sort of guy, so I don’t mind my love coming in a touch-free form. So that whole “wants to be loved but can’t because he has big-ass spikes all over his body” shtick isn’t why I like cacti.

I dig cacti because they’re the cats of plant life. You water then now and then and that’s it. No messy maintenance. No weeding or trimming or whatever. Feed it and leave it the hell alone. It’s a fucking immobile, green cat-- an amputee Martial Garfield. Cacti are cool.

So it was kinda awesome when, one day last week, I found a cactus just sitting there on my porch. There was a little red ribbon wrapped around it’s base and a note attached to it. The note read: “Me quiere mucho y muchos abrazos muy bellas.”

I got the “mucho” part and the “bellas” part, but the rest of it when right over my gringo head. But how can you go wrong with lots and lots of beauty? And it was a fucking cactus! So I picked the thing up and brought it inside.

End of the story, right? I got me a free cactus. That would be a pretty awesome story if that were the case. But this is a horror story, so it can’t end that awesomely.

Fast forward to that night. I’m doing that sleeping thing after a hard day of avoiding getting killed by shit. I don’t know, man. It was, like, Space Sharks or Sewer Swine. The details aren’t important. What’s important is that around three in the morning I wake up to some freaky shuffling in my hallway.

I tried to ignore it, but it keeps on. At first I thought it was one of my cats, so I was ready to kick the damn thing into the stratosphere for waking me up at such an ungodly time of the night. I swung open my bedroom door as violently as possible, thinking it’d scare the damn cat away so as to spare it a grisly fate. But instead of seeing the tail of one of my cats darting around the corner into the den, all I see is that cactus. Plenty of scenarios ran through my head. I wouldn’t put it past one of y’all breaking into my place at night to fuck with me like this, so I started to call out for y’all to show yourselves. I do that for a good minute or two, making an ass of myself in front of my herd of house cats. It also took that long for me to realize that there was a trail of dirt leading from where I originally set down the cactus up to its current resting point in my hallway.

So I thought I had a walking cactus. Or maybe a possessed cactus. That’s kinda awesome. Might make it a little more high maintenance than I previously wanted, but whatever. I thought maybe I could regift him to one of y’all later and freak y’all out one night. So with that in mind, I placed the cactus back where I originally out it and went back to sleep giggling to myself thinking about, like, Kiran jumping out of bed as a cactus perched over her head or some shit.

Just as I was about to fall back to sleep, that shuffling started again. I got up and marched back into my den. The cactus had only made it a couple of feet before I arrived. I gave the thing a stern “don’t you do that again” look. Yeah. I don’t know. I was half asleep, man. It seemed like a good idea at the time, as if the thing would understand that or something. Anyway, this time I placed it on my backyard porch and locked the back door. I figured, hey, cacti don’t have fucking fingers, so it’s not like it’ll open the door and keep on with that obnoxious shuffling.

I fell back to sleep, but that didn’t last very long. I heard a crashing sound around four in the morning. I almost fell right back to sleep after hearing it, but as soon as I realized what it might be, I bolted out of bed. As expected, I found one of my windows broken, and the damn cactus was sitting on the window sill.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I yelled at the plant. Again, beats me why I thought the damn thing would understand what I was saying, but I also didn’t expect the thing to reply to me.

“Sólo quiero un buen abrazo.”

At least I thought it responded to me. At the time, I figured it was one of those waking dream things. Wouldn’t be the first time my mind’s played tricks like that on me.

So I yelled at it again. “What in the hell did you just say to me?! Can’t my hallucinations at least speak English?!”

No answer. And I swear, I think I saw the cactus shirk back a little when I yelled at it that time. Now that I look back on it, I probably hurt its feelings or some shit. And that was probably what led to the next string of events.

I threw the cactus over the fence. I stapled a large blanket over the hole in my window so my cats wouldn’t run out while I tried to get some more sleep. By around five in the morning, I was back to sleep.

And I slept. And slept. When I finally woke up, I had one of those “Did I just oversleep? I really feel like I overslept” moments where your internal clock is totally off. That was when I realized that I couldn’t move. My arms were pinned down, large cactus needles protruding from the palms of my hands. I looked down and saw my ankles bound by strands of roses, their thorns digging into my ankles. Foliage had grown in my room, as if months had passed. The floor of my room has been covered in sand.

I frantically looked about to see who was responsible for this. And then I saw it. The cactus. It was standing in my doorway. It’s pot was gone, and in place of it were little rooty legs. Those legs grew and stretched out, so that the cactus’ body loomed over my own prone form. Several new cactus arms sprouted out from all angles of its body, and in each arm was the decaying corpse of one of my cats. Then, the spines across its “face” seemed to curl into a devious smile.

“Me voy a abrazar a am y se abrazan y abrazarte ... a la muerte.”

...

...

...

“And then what happened?” Kiran asked.

“What?” Landon said, looking somewhat puzzled. “Oh. Right. Yeah. I got better.”

“What the hell does that even mean?” Kiran asked again. “‘Got better?’ What?”

“I totally escaped,” Landon replied as he petted the cat that was sitting in his lap. “And my cats weren’t really dead. They were just stunned.”

“That’s just...” Kiran said, exasperated. “That’s...”

“Wait. Landon. Wait,” Josh said, waving his hands dismissively. “Nevermind the lying bullshit. The Spanish you used has to be the worst Spanish I’ve ever heard. I don’t even know Spanish and I know that’s not even remotely right.”

“Hey, so maybe the cactus in my story had a learning disability,” Landon said in his defense. “He was a minority, after all. Maybe he got left behind? Those damn racist school teachers!”

“The only racist person here i....” As Kiran went to put down her friend for being a racist prick, she felt a pressence appear behind her and Josh.

“Yo sólo quería un abrazo ...” The cactus-shaped figured said, smiling sadly.

Josh and Kiran didn’t share in that smile. No. They were kinda screaming right at that moment. Scardy Cats.

#3 Sir Exal

Sir Exal

    Still Here, somehow.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:19 PM

It looked like a simple brown cloak. Well, it was a simple brown cloak. That was the problem. One of the three young-appearing women lifted the hood, as if to confirm that there wasn't somebody somehow still hiding in the folds somewhere.

“Well,” rasped Ophelia Bleedout, “I guess he's dead.”

The demons of Ophelia's House, of Hell's Gate, nodded as solemnly as they could manage. It had, apparently, started a week ago, when one of their number, Reina In'Sane, had not returned to the house in the Pit after her day of killing on the surface world. The remaining six members at that time had thought she must have been simply further enjoying her task of destroying the human race, but then she did not return the next day, or the next, and it finally occurred to the group that Reina may not be coming back at all. But no matter. She was one of the founders of their damned group, but none of Hell's Gate particularly liked her, not even Ophelia, her co-founder. Euffy, for one, said Reina had been a bit of a downer. And afterlife had gone on as normal. If she had finally decided to leave Hell's Gate, good riddance. If she was dead, well, good riddance to that too.

Then Jin La'Muerte, Embodiment of Death and Darkness, had vanished. Mona, always the most rational of the group, did some quick research and found that a corpse matching Jin's description had been found, right near one of the creature's favorite hunting spots. This was unsettling, to say the least, but not unforeseeable. Several of the group had thought that La'Muerte was nowhere near as invincible as he had purported himself to be. He had simply finally fought something tougher than he was.

And now, a pile of burlap and leather that was all that remained of Horen Ali'Gandel laid before the three remaining members of Hell's Gate.

“So what'cha suppose happened to him?” asked Euffy Fellani, though she said it while inspecting her meat cleaver for chips.

“Who knows?” replied Ophilia. “Something got him good. Think we should bury him? What's left?”

The third woman, Hinori Mona, the Embodiment of Jealousy, scoffed. “Why? I felt no particular fondness for the creature. More important is the question of what we shall do to protect ourselves from whoever is killing our fellows.”

Ophilia looked at Mona. “You honestly think someone's out to get us?”

Mona shrugged. “Three of us gone in eight days. It cannot be a coincidence.”

“We don't know Reina's even dead!” returned Ophilia, but it sounded hollow even to her ears.

Euffy raised a blood-red eyebrow. “Look. There is no way I'm going to be taken down by whoever killed these idiots. I've lived for seven thousand years, and I'm not about to stop now. Plenty of people have tried to destroy me before. Plenty will.”

Ophilia just looked up at the coming dawn. “We gotta get back to the house, guys.”

-/-

Ophilia's Slaughter House, an expansive manor, existed simultaneously in the Pit of Hell and the California coastline. On approach, it looked like any normal old-fashioned abandoned house, but its lines would blur as one got close, and if you were within five feet, you could hear the howls of the tortured souls inside. The manor's décor matched its appearance, with old-fashioned junk collecting dust; as most of the members of Hell's Gate had existed for centuries, there was very little want of modern accoutrements. Ophelia's room, the master bedroom, had her own design. Fleshy, Boschian nightmares soaked in blood extended from the walls, while her bed was gaudy and frilly. Truly, it was the only place Ophelia really felt at home.

Ophelia entered her room, locked the door behind her with an absurdly large key, and caught her breath. What if...what if someone was trying to kill them? Ophelia had died once already, in the horrible event that truly spawned Ophelia Bleedout as she was known. She did not want to die again. She was already in Hell, she was a damned Demon Lord! And what happened...what happened when demons died? Ophelia shivered, despite the infernal temperatures.

She told herself to calm down. She had no reason to be scared, just like Euffy said. They were strong, they were invincible, they were fucking Hell's Gate. She thought about her best moments, her favorite kills. She remembered demons ripping out spines on her command, the thrill of seeing blood spilled across floors, screams of beautiful terror as her victims realized just what was to happen to them. To her surprise, however, she found little comfort in her memories. They had filled her with such pleasure, before...why weren't they making her feel better?

-/-

Every night, the howling of a thousand minor demons rushing into the Slaughter House through every opening they could find created a symphony of wails, a noise that thrilled the denizens of Ophelia's house to no end and incited their bloodlust. But the evening after they found Horen, Ophilia woke up in silence.

She rushed to the front door and gazed out on the blasted landscape of Hell, joining Mona, already there. There was not a soul, demon, mortal, or otherwise, as far as they could see, for tens of miles, if Hell could be measured in such things. “Where did they go?” Ophilia asked of the swordswoman.

“I do not know,” said Mona, “But I do know that something is very wrong.” She paused. “We should cancel our nightly hunt until we know what is happening. The living plague will still be there when we return.”

Ophelia nodded. She looked behind her. “Hey, where's Euffy?”

-/-

Mona and Ophilia found what remained of Euffy Fellani, Tabitha's Daughter, down one of the umpteen hallways of the manor. Her tiny body was collapsed against a wall, eyes and mouth gaping open but with nothing but darkness inside, her skin like the vacated shell of a cicada.

Ophelia felt an emotion she had not felt in millenia, so long that she had to concentrate for a moment before she realized it was fear. “Wh-what happened to her? She was barely even there, she was untouchable! What in Hell could have done this to her!?”

Mona shook her head. “I cannot say. But we must assume it will come for us as well.” Mona reeled back and punched Euffy in the head, collapsing the demonically constructed skull. “It is time for us to hunt, Ophelia, to kill it before it kills us. Whether what is after us is mortal or demon, we shall find it and destroy it.”

Hinori nodded, her will steeling. Whatever-it-was was in Ophelia's Slaughter House, on her turf now. And she was The Greater Demon Lord Ophelia Bleedout. Nothing could stop her. This might even be fun.

The two immortals wandered the silent, abandoned halls of the manor for hours, destroying anything that moved. This was true hunting, Ophelia realized, not the slaughter of those useless humans. She reveled in it.

Then Ophelia saw it, out of the corner of her eye. The trailing corner of a black cloak retreating into a room. She pulled on Mona's sleeve and pointed. Mona nodded, and both Demon Lord and Embodiment of Jealousy moved to the wall just outside the room. Mona held up three fingers. Two. One.

The pair jumped out, finding the room nearly empty except for the short form enveloped completely in the cloak. “There!” shouted Mona, and she leaped, a primal scream of victory emerging from her throat as her blade sank through the cloaked figure's chest.

Whatever wore the cloak barely noticed.

It grabbed Mona by the shoulders, sword still through it, and another scream came forth from Hinori Mona, one not of victory but of terror and pain as light blazed from the other's hands. Hinori Mona's form seemed to be peeled away from existence itself, flaking like dead skin and turning to dust in the air. Her scream did not stop until there was nothing left of her but her artificial arm. The creature in the cloak looked up at Ophelia.

Ophelia ran.

Diabolic heart filled with nothing but terror, Ophelia tore though the Slaughter House like she was aflame, blood flowing like tears from her clamped-shut eyes, knowing that the cloaked thing was chasing her, was behind her, and knowing if she stopped running it would have her...

Ophelia should have known the hallways of her Slaughter House like a part of herself, should have run from the house and into the California night...but she somehow, due to panic, forgetfulness or something else entirely, abruptly found herself at a dead end. She turned around, and sure enough, out of the darkness came the cloak, sans sword. It paused before her.

Ophilia giggled, a mad giggle that quickly transformed into an insane cackle. She knew who was behind the cloak. “You're Death,” she said, through her laughs, “We...we pissed you off so much...you had to come and do it yourself...” She descended back into giggles. “Fine. I'm—I'm not scared. Death holds no surprises.”

“Huh? I'm not Death,” came a curiously high-pitched voice, and then the figure drew back its hood. It was a teenage girl, with beautiful brown hair and bright eyes. “I mean, I know Death,” she continued, “We're kinda-sorta-common law married by now, or something. But I'm not him. My name's Erin.”

Ophelia was confused, another feeling long forgotten. “But...then...”

“I mean, yeah, you kinda annoy him, but all undead do that. Hell's Door, or whatever? You guys are just silly, with all your rationalization and such. But if there's some way I can help make my Thaddy's day a little easier, I will.”

“But...why not send Death? Who are you?”

“Y'said it yourself; Death couldn't do anything to any of you. Been there, done that, right?” Erin had a friendly smile on her face.

“Who...who are you?” Ophelia began getting the feeling that she should be scared once more, more scared than ever before.

“I told you, I'm Erin. And you people, with all your emo hate and stuff? What else could be your inverse but Love?”

“No!” Ophelia screamed, angry and scared and everything all at once. “I know love! I loved Lemi! I loved my sister!”

“Oh...” laughed Erin, tilting her head to one side. “You really think that. Tell the truth to yourself for once, Ophelia. If you had loved her, really loved her, my kind of Love... Would you have ever started killing?”

Ophelia was silent. Erin rolled up one of her sleeves. “Now,” she said casually, “Let's get this over with. I'm taking Thad to see The Vow tonight.”

As the warm golden glow touched her, as she felt herself being unmade, Ophelia Bleedout finally began to scream.




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