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Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN  (Read 7552 times)

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #20 on: 27 Oct 2015, 01:31 »
WHAT?!?  I could have procrastinated yesterday?!? :shocked:  Dammit, P, we gotta coordinate better next time. ;)

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #21 on: 27 Oct 2015, 02:24 »
No time for your belated shenanigans, B! There's posting afoot! :cheesy:




The skin gave way. The thin metal file, still attached to the small nail clippers by a cunning little swivel, drew blood. A thin, wet rivulet of red, trickling down the woman's arm, growing larger, flowing faster as the slender hand worked the file deeper into the skin, twisting it, gouging, digging, making the wound larger, defiling. It was a joyous thing, the defilement. This flesh was a hateful thing. Soft. Thin. It yielded easily. These invaders were weak. The bodies were a necessity, but disgusting all the same. A wind blew, making the hair on the woman's head stir. The hair was even more vile than the flesh. Dead and useless, it covered the invader's body in a thin, almost invisible coat. In some places it grew thick, dead cells pushing out of the greasy, flimsy skin. In some places it had been shaved away, likely days before. Now it was sharp, shoving up from the skin, itchy, irritating. Leaving the clippers dangling from the borrowed forearm, the woman's hand reached up, seeking the thick, reddish, looping curls that hung from the scalp. Taking a fistful of the hair, gripping tightly, the woman's knuckles turning white from exertion -- fine muscle control was still an uncertain thing -- she yanked. The hair tore loose with a ripping noise, almost like a rusty zipper. More blood trickled down, oozing from the raw scalp, coloring the graceful neck, staining the collar of the work coveralls the woman wore. The garment was stupid if durable, a form of synthetic fiber meant to mimic the strength of canvas while remaining as lightweight and comfortable as cotton. A true conqueror wore the boiled skin of the conquered. These invaders were as weird and pathetic as their ridiculous clothing. And how much pain they felt! So unnecessary! What use was pain except to serve as notification of injury. Any more was wasteful, distracting.

Another gust of hot wind blew in from the desert, dusting the woman with a light coat of sand where she sat on a cargo crate near a blood-spattered cargo truck. This place had been the scene of a good fight less than an hour before. The corners of the ruined lips pulled back tightly in a parody of a smile. Clotted blood cracked and ruptured. Fresh, wet red droplets fell from the lacerated lips. The woman sat up straight, her chest expanding as she pulled air into her body, filling the fragile, odd, twin bags inside her body, breathing deeply. The atmosphere was thin from inside the invader's body. They had come from another world. A blue speck in the sky where the wind was thicker, wetter, and oceans still crashed and surged, as yet undried by the brutal, killing sun. One day it would claim the blue world as surely as it had the red. The old gods, leering and cackling, willed it. Their thirst could not be denied. The wind would dry the seas there, wither the plants the prey animals relied on, until only bare sands and sharpened teeth remained, and the time of feasting on one another arrived. War would follow, glorious and savage, until nothing but the winds remained.

Rippling and flowing around the woman, the wind coming in from the canyon would bring more death in the nights to come. A host of unseen fighters were borne aloft by it, liberated conquerors looking to claim their share of these invaders. Blood would flow, just as the gods of old demanded, mocking and cruel, so ancient and primal that even the deathless and disembodied furies swirling in the wind could not remember their names.

Throwing her head back, the woman's throat tried to shout jubilantly, tried to make the words, tried to sound the call. But the words came out only half formed, no better than a weakling newborn might do, trying to prove it's worth, hoping to avoid being thrown in the fire, wanting to be seen as useful, desperate to mimic the adults howling under the Great Conqueror's black and red banner, back in the days when the sands still bore their footprints, in the glory days, when they were numerous and warred constantly, and strong, rugged flesh held their unyielding spirits firmly.

The stunted words she made fell away, swallowed by the wind. Unheard by the delicate shells of the woman's cartoonishly externalized ears, the conquerors around her sang, returning her pathetic attempt at a proper howl, mocking the feeble attempt she'd made. She ignored their disdain. They were freshly awakened. They didn't know. They would see. Once they were embodied within these grotesque forms, they would see. And in understanding, they would come to hate this flesh too. But there was no other choice. They were the conquerors who had defeated all the others, but could not best their own dying world. Resting inside their tombs for uncounted aeons, they waited, not knowing what else to do. More time had passed than could possibly be measured by their old calendars. No flesh existed to be eaten. No souls could be gathered. Only waiting. Uncertainty. Darkness. Nothing more.

Then these invaders had come. Frail but plentiful, they had spread their numbers across a world that did not belong to them, raising cities on old battlegrounds -- the only sacred places -- defiling them, disfiguring the sands with beds and gardens and other unimportant things. These weak yet clever creatures with their amazing technology and thin, hot blood were busy laying rail lines across the desert, linking their scattered cities, building their mockery of a nurturing, coddling civilization.

The old conquerors of this world were not a people of nimble minds. They were a people of battle. And there had been no battles for years uncounted. There had been no one to war with. The world had been dead for too long.

But now these strange invaders had come, raising children and livestock (different things, somehow, to these new people) thinking themselves masters of a world they had never earned through battle. They had opened one of the tombs, driven by a curiosity that made little sense to simple, brutal, indomitable minds. They had freed the conquerors. The first ones fell quickly, the faint flickerings of their feeble souls no match for the will of the rested, eager lords of this world. Each invader was a poor, small candle compared to the raging bonfire that erupted, unseen, from the crypt. Grave robbers, they were, not soldiers, and easily overcome. Now their abandoned bodies would be made to serve in the war that had only begun. The invaders would be driven out as the masters rode the winds, retaking this world one small town at time, discarding the bodies as needed, claiming fresh ones along the way, killing and conquering, united under a black and red banner, as in the days of old.

The woman's mutilated face smiled a clotted, rictus grin and studied her strange hands. They would need to hold a weapon if they were going to be of use. Something sharp and jagged, serrated. Metal, if possible. Splintered or pointed bone, blackened in a fire, otherwise.

The hands had five digits apiece. One too many. The hands of the true conquerors, when they'd had them, so very long ago. had sported only four fingers.

Four would do.

The woman pushed the smallest finger of her left hand into her mouth and began to chew.
« Last Edit: 27 Oct 2015, 02:29 by Ponch »
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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #22 on: 27 Oct 2015, 10:11 »
Woah!  Is it hot in here or is that just Kirk Russel's career re-igniting? 

No!  The heat is Kirk Russel breathing down my neck waiting to snap it offhandedly!!  Awesome jobs guys!



Well it's that time again!  Time to get your credit cards out and try to bribe the host (me) with John Carpenter blu-ray collectors edition box sets! :D

But seriously, great entries all around!  I'm happy everyone was able to dig deep into their souls, their backyards, their subliminal media messaging and pull out their own personal Carpenters.  I don't think we had a single non-Carpentarian entry!  This will be hard!

The entries:

WHAM - (Based on The Thing?)
Sinitrena - Noise of Silence
Baron - Escape From The Things
Ponch - (Based on They Live?)

And here are Our Categories:

Best Protagonist: Wrestlemania muscles optional.
Best Plot: Carpenter's signature is his tackling of bold and creative premises such as an alien invasion run through corporate propaganda or the turning of New York into a walled-in penal colony. 
Best Dialog: Doesn't have to be bubble gum related, or indicative of impending violence, but must be iconic and sayable by an Austrian immigant!
Best Atmosphere: Make it thick as bad 80's fake blood!
Best Writing Style: Bonus points for the best one-liners! (Bubblegum and impending violence optional)

(In the case of a tie) Most Carpentarian: Hopefully it doesn't come to this!  It's going to be tough!

Since I am a n00b contest hoster, what would be a reasonable date to have the votes in by?

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #23 on: 27 Oct 2015, 13:37 »
Ponch - (Based on They Live?)
No way, dude! My entry is based on the unappreciated (and admittedly lackluster) later-era Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars." It's a bit of a misfire of a movie in execution, but I really dig the premise of the movie. Check it out, why not? You might like it. (nod)



Quote
Since I am a n00b contest hoster, what would be a reasonable date to have the votes in by?
As soon as Ponch has established an early lead, close the voting polls suddenly and without warning. Otherwise, people might come to their senses. :=
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WHAM

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #24 on: 27 Oct 2015, 13:39 »
Is this a good time to admint I've never actually seen any single Carpenter movie? I've read reviews of The Thing and I've played the (honestly pretty bad) PS2 game based on it. I just like the concept and wrote based on that loose idea. :D
Wrongthinker and anticitizen one. Pending removal to memory hole. | WHAMGAMES proudly presents: One More Fathom!

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #25 on: 27 Oct 2015, 22:27 »
Ponch - (Based on They Live?)
No way, dude! My entry is based on the unappreciated (and admittedly lackluster) later-era Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars." It's a bit of a misfire of a movie in execution, but I really dig the premise of the movie. Check it out, why not? You might like it. (nod)


Oh right!  Yes I have actually seen Ghosts of Mars.  I probably should've read the story before 2AM, when I had all the mental faculties of a zombie!

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #26 on: 27 Oct 2015, 23:40 »
Quote
Is this a good time to admint I've never actually seen any single Carpenter movie?

Well, I only saw one, so you're in good company. :-D



Best Protagonist: Baron's Jazz and Snide - They are your typical action movie heroes: unfriendly, aggresive and all around not very nice, manly intrested in survival and sex - not likeable but fitting for the story.

Best Plot: Ponch - It's a bit difficult because I haven't seen Ghosts of Mars, so I'm not sure how much of this story comes from the movie and how much is Ponch's addition (wikipedia only offers a single sentence on the matter and I'm too lazy for any further research) but I liked the justifications / explanations for the actions of the "ghosts" and the look we get into their psychology.

Best Dialog: Baron - Let's be honest here: Ponch doesn't have any dialog at all and WHAM only has three lines of dialog and they are nothing unusual. So this category is a no-brainer.

Best Atmosphere: Ponch - Wonderful, goosbumps inducing atmosphere. Lovely.

Best Writing Style: WHAM - That one was difficult. I like all three. What makes WHAM's story stand out to me is the paragraph describing what West looks like now. It creates a clear picture in my head.
« Last Edit: 27 Oct 2015, 23:42 by Sinitrena »

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #27 on: 29 Oct 2015, 02:37 »
Best Protagonist: This is tough, but I gotta give it to Ponch for the nameless female reincarnation of one of the old conquerors.  Not a very rounded character, obviously, but she's got that old-testament wrath of the ancients thing going that really turns my crank. :)

Best Plot: I think Sinitrena easily deserves to win this category, since her piece had a discernible arc (the others were just the start of something that was obviously much broader).
 
Best Dialog: Must be WHAM by default, since he actually had dialog.  Well, at least people spoke out loud.... :)

Best Atmosphere: I think I have to go with WHAM again.  His writing has a way of drawing me into the story....  I don't know if it's like a butterfly to nectar or like a moth to a flame, but it's compelling whatever it is. :)

Best Writing Style: Going with Ponch here for some great descriptive writing.  I think my favourite line was "the delicate shells of the woman's cartoonishly externalized ears", but there was many a clever turn of phrase to choose from. :)

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #28 on: 30 Oct 2015, 02:43 »
Best Protagonist: Baron

Best Plot: Sinitrena
 
Best Dialog: WHAM

Best Atmosphere: Sinitrena

Honorary "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" Award goes to Kconan for the entry he posted but no one can see. :wink:

Best Writing Style:
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MiteWiseacreLives!

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #29 on: 30 Oct 2015, 05:38 »

Best Protagonist: Baron, Kirk Russel would be so honoured to be cast in this testosterone filled jelly doughnut!

Best Plot: Sinitrena, I want to not hear more Noise of Silence that I can see with my mouth.
 
Best Dialog: Baron, nailed the 80's action movie banter.. music to my ears

Best Atmosphere: Ponch, makes me want to book some tickets to mars! Those conquerer guys can have this hateful flesh thing of mine.

Best Writing Style: Ponch, just paints such a nice thick back story.

Best Use of Ice In The Far North: Wham, what can I say, with Hebert West on your side you could build a sweet snow fort!

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #30 on: 30 Oct 2015, 11:21 »
Best Writing Style:

Wow, burn on the rest of us for not measuring up.... ;)

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #31 on: 30 Oct 2015, 22:49 »
Best Writing Style:

Enough of these mind games, Ponch! You can't keep playing the field! Not at your age! Now choose! Me or Sinitrena? Who's it going to be?!

A free spirit like me doesn't respond well to ultimatums, Baron. I'm not the sort of cow who digs on commitment, no matter how nice your monocle or how many trophies are packed into your sig file. I'm turning my back on both of you and running away with WHAM!

Best Writing Style: WHAM

Curse your for forcing my hand, B. (wrong)
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kconan

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #32 on: 31 Oct 2015, 15:27 »
Best Protagonist: Baron for Snide/Snake

Best Plot: Sinitrena...Enjoyed the overall plot and I'm a sucker for "They Live"
 
Best Dialog: Baron

Best Atmosphere: WHAM

Best Writing Style: This was tough, as everyone gots the style...But have to go with Ponch this time for clever wordplay.

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #33 on: 02 Nov 2015, 00:58 »
Sorry never got to adding a vote-by date.  How does Nov 3 work?  I'm on Hawaii time so you all get a 12 hour est extension (results vary based on nation of origin).

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #34 on: 02 Nov 2015, 02:11 »
Wow.  We were always pretty loose on deadlines due to the theoretical possibility that someone from Hawaii might enter the competition, but I never thought it would actually happen. ;)

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #35 on: 02 Nov 2015, 03:32 »
Wow.  We were always pretty loose on deadlines due to the theoretical possibility that someone from Hawaii might enter the competition, but I never thought it would actually happen. ;)
Truly, it's a beautiful dream brought to life. Nonetheless, this competition could use a few more votes. :-\
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Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #36 on: 05 Nov 2015, 23:02 »
....this competition could use a few more votes. :-\

Oh very well.  If it'll bring closure.

Best Use of Vowels: Sinitrena
Horniest Avatar: Ponch
Best Use of Fonts: WHAM
Best Female Actor: Ponch
Best Dangling Participle: Ponch
Best Use of Non-Conventional Adverbs: WHAM
Best Unwritten Sub-Text: Sinitrena
Best Use of Dramatic Pauses: WHAM
Best Contortion of Metaphors: Ponch
Best Sentence Structure: WHAM
Best Character Names: Sinitrena
Best Novel Voting Categories: Baron

:P

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #37 on: 05 Nov 2015, 23:41 »
Horniest Avatar: Ponch

Best Dangling Participle: Ponch

My cow refuses to wear pants. Deal with it. 8-)
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MiteWiseacreLives!

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #38 on: 06 Nov 2015, 07:01 »
OK FINE!
I'll submit an additional vote!
I vote for everyone in every category who is a part of Team Party Wagon.
Spoiler: ShowHide
Who eats potato chips and drinks beer. [hide]Sorry, Ponch... your healthy.. but you don't win.
[/hide]

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - CARPENTARIAN
« Reply #39 on: 06 Nov 2015, 08:17 »
Sorry for the lateness of results everyone, even counting the antipodean time zone difference! 

Anyway, voting is all done, time to count!

Uh oh!  Looks like we have a tie! 

That means it's time for the

MOST CARPENTARIAN SMACKDOWN down down down down...

In the left corner, weighing in at 7 votes, straight outta post-apoc Cleveland Ohio -- John Cena Baron's Escape From The Things!  Haaahhhhhhhh!!! (Breath simulating stadium audience applause)

In the right corner, at a cownormous 7 votes, flown in on a U2 spyplane from neuropsychotic-infected and separately but equally apocalyptic Mars -- Ponch's Untitled Ghost Of Mars Reboot!  Haaaaahhhhhh!!!!!  (+randomly interspersed mooing)

Most Carpentarian Protagonist: BARON.  Smelly brawny men who happen to be anarcho-punk reluctant POTUS savers!  Snide is Carpentarianism distilled down to its high-fructose, 12-guage, Revolution Will Not Be Televised core!

Most Carpentarian Plot: Ponch The 'other' perspective taken in the Martian conqueror origin story was totally awesome, bro!  I had to actually read that thing again to get it.  In a weirdly backwards way, Carpenter has always been about flipping the world inside out to examine the secret fuckedness of civilization and human nature.  They Live being the most obvious, where glasses reveal the true nature of the Ayn Randian, unfettered-capitalist right.  So I feel I need to give this to Ponch for inverting the Mars zombies and telling the story of the indigenous 'Colonized'.  Even if they are creepy bloodthirsty flippin' flesheaters

Most Carpentarian Dialog: Baron.  First of all, any Austrian immigrant, bodybuilder or not, would be deported in shame back to the refugee-generating Eastern European shithole they came from, after failing to recite Ponch's horribly polysyllabic soliloquys, even if they overdubbed it in 3-word chunks. 

Second of all, “I don't like slackers who sleep in all day.”  BOOM. 

I can hear Kirk Russel growling that out, punctuated by the overloud cock of a giant, obviously spraypainted-black Wal-Mart toy shotgun.  Baron was killing the Carpentarian one-liners, complete with the perfect scene setups left and right.  Murdering them.  Dismembering them.

Most Carpentarian Atmosphere: Ponch This was a super close call, as Baron has basically written John Carpenter's 2016 come-back star vehicle for him, and should be added to the DVD box set special features.  But I'll give it to Ponch because he captured the creeping foreboding of Carpenter jewels like "The Thing" and "Halloween".  The slower, gentler, Carpenter.  What James Cameron would call, "Terror, rather than Horror".  That won't-fill-you-up (with mindless meaningless action sequences) never-lets-you-down Carpenter.  This is a bit tricky to do.  I'll forgive Ponch's glaring dearth of kickass one-liners and hardon-deflating absence of sexploitation, tumescent gunpowder-scuffed biceps, and outdated retarded hairstyles.  Just this once.  WTF bro?

Most Carpentarian Writing: Baron Because he got my Amazon wishlist of John Carpenter collectors memorabillia Because who the hell are we kidding?  Of course it's Baron.  "Out-dated women's clothing flew into the wind-shield like a floral-printed snow storm before the truck came to an abrupt stop against a brick wall in the house-wares section."  What!?!?  That could've been a screenplay penned by the man himself!  The fact that Baron is British (I think?) and captured the deeply American Americanisms of Carpentarian B-Movies down to the little nuances of speech and diction deserves some kind of award in and of itself.  Haaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

SO!!!!!



The Bronze Snake Pliskin goes to WHAM.  I have to say, this one is the only story that ACTUALLY scared me.  The final description of the room with doctor along with the suspenseful build up were like the literary equivalent of watching THE THING.  I remember being 11 and reading Goosebumps (only other time I've ever been scared by a book), and literally wanting to run away from the book, but being compelled by some supernatural, Ouija Board-manipulating demon thing to continue to read.  I got that feeling again from this story, so yeah.  You win the SCARE THE SHIT OUT award.  Good job man!   


Silver Snake Pliskin goes to Ponch.  Great spin on a classic Carpenter tail, and a lot of history, character and setting stuffed in there.  But yeah, I was specific about them one liners bro.  Tsk tsk.  Let me demonstrate:

"I came here to kick ass, and be a fascistic enforcer of arbitrary contest rules.  And I'm all out of... foot.  I don't have a foot, a shoe.  Like, to kick your ass.  With.  So I'm going to enforce my stupid rule- NEVERMIND.  Shut up."


And the winner is: Baron for Escape From The Things.  For the most deeply Carpentarian story in terms of writing, character, action sequences, cringe-worthy 80's action tropes, grindhouse action heroes, references to countless random Carpenter movies (Snide), ghetto blasting, DIY Mad Max vehicles (snow plow / dump truck), insane premises (beat box decoys, harpy-pocalypse... harpocalypse), utterly forced romantic entanglements (quick hot sex on the clean patch of ground), and BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD!  If I was a nephew of Jerry Bruckheimer with a zealous devotion to the J.C., I'd greenlight this halfway up the elevator to the imperial suite of the Four Seasons L.A.

So, congratulations, Baron, for winning this month's Fortnightly Writing Competition!  Thank God I don't have the pressure of having to break a 12-contest-long winning streak now!  (Seriously though, great job!)
« Last Edit: 06 Nov 2015, 08:21 by SilverSpook »