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Topics - dhalagirl

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Movies and TV / The New Season of Torchwood
« on: May 02, 2011, 12:22:54 AM »
Has anybody heard anything about the new season?  I've watched the teaser trailer. I've heard that they're filming in the US.  I know that John and Eve are back (Squee!) and that Bill Pullman and Mekhi Phifer (double squee!!) are joining the team, but other than that I know nada.

Writing Group / Dan's NaShoStoMo
« on: April 02, 2011, 07:02:18 AM »
I don't think anyone has started a thread for this yet so I'm going to.  If this is a duplicate of a recent thread, I'm sorry. If the original is old, I'm not sorry. There's no way I'm taking the time to search through a couple dozen pages just to necro a thread.  But I digress...

This is for those who are taking part in Dan's National Short Story Month challenge.  The rules are thus:

1) Start by reading this post from Eric James Stone. It’s got some valuable advice that I know will be specifically handy for me, and probably for you.
2) I’m setting the minimum at 200 words, though most of my stories will likely be longer; it’s possible to have shorter story, but I specifically want to stop myself from writing “There once was a man, he lived and he died” kind of stories. 200 words is short while still being long enough to force me to take it seriously.
3) Each story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We’re trying to learn how to write short stories, not random 200-word space-fillers.
4) As long as you end up with 30 stories, one per day, it doesn’t matter which day they were actually written on–so if you get in the zone and do more than one at a time, you can afford to slack off. This will be handy for me, as some of my tour days involve 14 hours of driving, plus I plan to take Sundays off.
5) If you post about your quest on Twitter or Facebook, use the hashtag #NaShoStoMo. Which totally sounds like the name of Quasimodo’s brother.

Here's my first piece.

#1: April Fools

Viktor laughed maniacally as electricity coursed through his creation’s circuits making the robotic leviathan’s limbs twitch.  Sparks danced across its massive ten-foot frame.  The seven-foot giant’s body was augmented with crude but effective implants to increase his speed and strength to twenty times of that of a body builder.

A rocket launcher served as the creature’s left arm.  Its right arm was a marvelously complex mechanism his minions had constructed.  At the center of the mechanism was a wicked diamond sharpened foot long blade.  Surrounding it was a deadly array of lasers, flamethrowers, a fully automatic machine gun and even a pneumatic blowgun with poison darts.

It was the most hideous thing he had ever built, but that too was by design.  No respectable mad scientist created death machines that looked like fluffy kittens.  The welding on the implants was sloppy.  The stitches criss crossing its arms and chest gaped and the flesh swelled from infection. 

His newest death machine was sure to make the masses quake with terror.  Its smell alone should be enough to make people run.  All it needed was a few more seconds hooked up to the generator to charge its batteries.  Then his reign of terror would commence.

Viktor drummed his fingers against each other as he listened to the computer count down.

Thirty seconds to completion…



The overhead lights started to flicker ominously and the generator whined. 

Insufficient power.  Charging terminated.

“No!  No!  You can’t do this to me!”  Viktor pulled large two fists full of hair out by the root.  “Marco!  Kenny!  Get over here now!”

His midget minions shuffled to his side.  “You bellowed master?”

“Both of you get on the bikes now!”  They dutifully ran over to a pair of child sized stationary bikes.   A thick cable connected each one to the generator.  Without being told they both climbed on and began peddling at a quick pace.  The flickering and whining ceased immediately.  He turned back to the death machine and awaited its ascention.

Power restored.  Charging commencing.  Completion in ten…




A sharp pop behind him made the color drain from his face.  He spun around.  The sharp reprimand he was about to give died on his lips.  One Kenny’s legs lie on the floor with the pant leg still on it.  It appeared to have popped out at the hip and made Kenny look like a broken action figure.  There was no blood, just a clean round hip joint.  In fact, Kenny didn’t appear to have even noticed that he was missing a leg.  He was peddling just as fast as he was before.



“What the…” But before he could get another word out Kenny’s other leg popped off and fell to the floor.  Viktor’s jaw dropped.  He almost fainted when Kenny’s arms fell off in like manner.

Insufficient power.  Charging terminated.

“No!”  Without Kenny to help pedal the generator couldn’t cope any longer and shuddered weakly before cutting out.  “I was so close!”

Marco had stopped peddling and his eyes were wide with fear. Viktor stared at Kenny who still sat on the bike.  “You ruined everything!  You worthless, incompetent, stupid…” Viktor pulled a small revolver out of his lab coat pocket and fired two rounds into Kenny’s chest.   But no blood oozed from the wounds.  In fact nothing oozed from the wounds.  There was only a few electrical sparks and a tiny wisp of smoke.

Instead of cowering in fear like he expected, Marco did the most disturbing thing possible.  He laughed.  “Pay up Kenny!  I told you he’d shoot it!”

“I can’t believe the break-a-way pants worked!”  Kenny exclaimed as he walked out from behind the generator.

“What is the meaning of this?”  Viktor bellowed.  The minions looked at each other, then at Viktor, then back at each other.  “Well?”

Marco crept forward, casting dirty looks at Kenny all the while.  He beckoned to Viktor with his hand.  Viktor rolled his eyes as he begrudgingly obliged.  Marco leaned in and whispered two words.

“April fools.”

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