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AmaDome 2012: Round I, Arena I


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Initial post: Dec 9, 2012 5:42:52 AM PST
Splinker says:
Listen all! This is the truth of it.

Writing leads to drinking, and drinking leads to blogging.
And that was damn near the death of us all. Look at us now! Busted up, and everyone yelling about Indies and commas.

But we've learned, by the dust of them all... AmaDome learned. Now, when writer's get to writing, it happens here! And it finishes here!

Two writers enter; one writer leaves.

Welcome to AMADOME 2012! ARENA III

Arenas I and II are still being set up, so we're going to start with Arena III. This is the tournament AmaDome, with prizes and anything. So read carefully.

The Genre: Sci-Fi

I'll post them shortly. Get out your Tribbles and Funions and let's play!

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 5:47:06 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 9, 2012 5:56:58 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 5:49:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012 5:53:10 AM PST
Splinker says:
Shut The Gate



Before it all happened, Janie Cobham checked and double-checked that her digital recorder was primed and fully charged, straightened her skirt, put her phone on "silent" and slipped it into her bag.

She checked her watch; 1pm. After one deep breath, she knocked on the door.

There were no sounds from within the office; no keystrokes, yawning nor shifting - not even the almost subliminal thrum of electrical equipment. It had the feel of an empty place. The brass doorplate which spelled out "Dr Keith Ferello" had a sober, forbidding look. "Hello?" A man's voice, somewhat befuddled.

"Er, hi," she said. "I'm here for the interview."

"You're who?"

"Janie Cobham. From the student review?"

The door opened, and Dr Ferello's face poked out. His Wikipedia entry said he was 26, but he looked older. His haircut was ludicrous, but his face just about carried it; a centre-parting dyed blond in straggles, like tarantula legs. He was handsome, with a long, thin, stubbly jaw.

"Interview. Yes, I knew there was a reason I had to be back here for 1pm. You're... Janie, yes?"

"Yep. All day."

"Uh, you'll have to hang on a minute or two..."

The door slammed shut. When it opened again, Dr Ferello held it wide, and beckoned her inside. He was wearing a stripy dressing gown and little else, going by his bare legs and tufty chest hair.

Dr Ferello's office was curtained off, with little light other than the glow of several computer monitors. There seemed to be little fresh air either, with a distinct whiff of unwashed boy that reminded Janie of her younger brother's bedroom. Row after row of filing shelves stretched out across a fair space, lined with books, box files. The shelves seemed to form a kind of matrix, in the middle of which was a massive metal structure like a radio telescope, hanging from the ceiling. A mat of some kind, not unlike a solar panel, was pinned to the floor at the bottom of this cylinder.

"Uh, I'll get a chair here for you..." Dr Ferello flung a couple of notebooks and a faux-leather flight jacket off a seat, and turned it around for Janie. She took a seat, triggering her digital recorder.

"Whew!" He threw himself down in a chair opposite her, ruffling his haircut. "That was a hell of a day, let me tell you!"

"And it's only 1pm," she said. "What have you been doing?"

He stared at the digital recorder, and frowned. "Oh... Not a lot. Equations, you know? Complex calculations."

"Can I ask you a question?"

"That is why you're here, Miss... What is it again?"

"Cobham. Janie. Why are you naked?"

"Um... I enjoy thinking in the nude?"

"Are you asking me, or telling me?"

"Bit of both?"

"Is that what you were doing when you I knocked at the door? Thinking?" She smiled.

"I must I've gotten my times mixed up a little... It's been a really long morning." He rubbed a hand against a chin so stubbly it might have struck sparks. "So! Interview!"

Janie cleared her throat. "Let's talk about your award... How do you feel about being decorated by the Royal Academy at such a young age?"

"Award..." he looked blank. "Has it still to happen?"

"What?"

"Oh - that award! Royal Academy! Yes. I sometimes forget... I get a little confused about ceremonies and awards and suchlike. I'm usually too busy."

"Is that what you're working on at the minute?" Janie nodded towards the giant chrome cylinder. "That's quite a contraption."

"I'm hoping it's my masterpiece. Can't talk too much about it, though." He winked.

"I see. So, after you've conquered neural computer synchronisation, what's next on your agenda? Space travel?"

Ferello shrugged. "When?"

"Do you find your work a little restrictive?"

"In what way?"

"Socially. If you'll forgive me saying, this looks very much like the office of a single man."

"Uh, I guess." He scratched his chin. "You want a coffee or something?"

"No thank you. Is there-"

And that's when it happened. A gust of wind tickled loose scraps of paper and the hems of Dr Ferello's housecoat. He leapt to his feet; Janie looked around, wondering which window the gust came from.

"It should be off..." Ferello checked the control panel on the shoulder of the cylinder.

"I don't understand."

The wind rose to gale force, a ridiculous howling pitch which had no business indoors. Janie gripped the edge of the chair as light flared into life in the centre of the mat beneath the telescope. Jagged yellow spears shot out from the cylinder in perfectly straight lines, a fence without a crossbar. The beams didn't seem powerful enough to burn, but were too bright to look at directly.

"This shouldn't be happening!" Dr Ferello cried, covering his eyes.

A peal of thunder shivered the room, and Janie threw herself to the floor, her ears registering a gunshot. Abruptly, the beams of light died retracted, coalescing into a glowing yellow ball, suspended in mid-air, which began to shrink.

And then another man was in the room, stood on the mat beneath the cylinder. He was nude, middle-aged and saggy; the white hair fuzzing his body and parted in the centre of his head was still recognisably that of Dr Ferello. Except that Dr Ferello was ten yards away, jaw gaping.

The white-haired figure lurched forward, resting on the edge of the desk, gasping for breath. Then he pointed at Janie. "For god's sake," he wheezed, "whatever you do, don't kiss her!"

"You what?" stammered Dr Ferello.

The man with white hair didn't get a chance to repeat his statement. Just before the yellow ball of light vanished, an arrow - decorated with bright blue feathers - darted out from within. It punched right through the white-haired man's chest, and he yelped once before crashing face down on the floor, dead.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 5:49:36 AM PST
Splinker says:
Read 'em and VOTE!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 7:08:13 AM PST
Ermm, I think Amazon deleted one of your entries.

Find the offensive word,get rid of it and get it back up there quick sharp.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:13:49 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 9, 2012 7:16:05 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:17:11 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 9, 2012 7:19:15 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:20:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012 7:25:54 AM PST
Splinker says:
ALONE

The world was tired and thin. Winding down, it had no interest -- no patience -- for Joe Foxwood, the last man on earth; and Joe knew it. Never the most popular kid at the dance, he knew very well what being ignored felt like. Years of suffering the indifference of an uncaring father, being overlooked by co-workers at the Raskill, Neveda Post Office, and masturbating to internet porn had worn at him, like rain and wind wearing down a mountain. Although with Joe, perhaps it was more like how an ocean wore down a sand castle. It stripped him of everything except a dull craving for attention.

Now Joe was the most popular man on the planet, but nothing changed. Not really.

"I'm HERE!" As usual, nothing answered. Not even birds anymore; just a silent midday sun and a faint breeze. The last two reminders that time kept moving on. He sat down on the corner of Laguna Ave. and Main Street, in front of the Maggie Moo's Ice Cream Parlor, and wept. Nothing noticed. He'd been crying so often these days, that Joe hardly noticed himself. A faint breeze ruffled his hair, but he could find no comfort in it.

The house was full of mannequins. He'd scoured all the local shops for them. Took him two whole days, or forever; he couldn't remember. He thought they'd give the place an aura of activity. Secretly, he hoped he might go a little crazy and the mannequins would talk to him. Maybe come alive and try to kill him. He didn't care. So long as they acknowledged him. Nothing. Joe was brick house crazy, but the mannequins only stood their ground. Ignoring him.

He'd taken to sleeping on the front porch, avoiding their blank stares and cold shoulders. Sometimes he'd scream at them for hours until his throat was raw and his body covered in sweat, but they didn't care. The hot summer breeze brought no relief on these nights and poor Joe would fall asleep, exhausted and mumbling, tears leaking from his eyes.

Today, the last day, Joe spent the morning making telephone calls. Sometimes, in the beginning, he'd get lucky and get an answering machine. He left all kinds of messages. Nasty, pleading, friendly invites for dinner and drinks. He figured he must have left a thousand messages by now.

"My legacy."

But no luck today. The cell phones of the world were going the way of the dinosaurs. The way of man, he supposed. All the machines ignored Joe today.

Joe's last coherent idea - the last coherent idea ever formed - was wind chimes.

So he went shopping again. Spent the whole day scouring two towns for wind chimes. The music of the wind chimes. The music of the wind chimes. The thought repeated endlessly.

By late afternoon, Joe returned to the house with seventeen wind chimes. Ducks, moons, stars, sea shells, traditional 'chimes', and his favorite; a wind chime made of light blue glass, depicting a party. It had people dancing, little martini glasses that sparkled white and blue in the sun... it almost made him happy to just look at it.

He wept unconsciously as he approached the house. He did that so often these days, for no reason at all really. Even Joe ignored the tears.

"Truck U!" He screamed at the mannequins inside. It was a shout of defiance that they refused to acknowledge. Never mind them. Joe got busy hanging his wind chimes. It took him almost two hours and was well past dark by the time he finished. Braving the house full of cold shoulders, he quickly went to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of warm beer and ran back out to the porch. He sat on the top step, in the silent night and waited.

All night he waited, underneath a brilliant sky of cold starlight. All night. Not a single breeze. Not the faintest puff of wind. The chimes remained silent.

When the sun finally rose, it found Joe sitting on his porch, beer unopened. Weeping. No one was there to discover if he ever stopped. Not even a soft summer breeze.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:23:31 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 11, 2012 6:38:57 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:42:28 AM PST
I vote for ...Shut the Gate.

Where is the Sci or the Fi in Alone?

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 8:54:23 AM PST
Splinker says:
Voting bump.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 10:43:49 AM PST
Irish reader says:
Shut your hole, B. I thought both entries were excellent. My vote goes to 'Shut the Gate'.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 10:54:43 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 11, 2012 6:39:36 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 11:01:16 AM PST
I agree with Irish Reader except that my vote goes to ALONE.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 11:13:04 AM PST
Irish reader says:
But I asked you to shut your hole first.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 11:55:07 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 11, 2012 6:39:56 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 12:18:53 PM PST
Kelli says:
Shut the Gate

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 12:55:01 PM PST
Irish reader says:
....or your hole.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 1:23:25 PM PST
I really liked both of these - two of my favourite themes if I've understood correctly, but I have to go for ALONE the post-Apocalyptic loneliness really got to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 2:01:49 PM PST
I agree with the sentiment about Alone. Does post-apocalyptic count as Sci-Fi though? To me that is a Dystopian setting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 2:09:41 PM PST
I'd say that Dystopian stories are a sub-genre of Sci-Fi, IMHO.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 2:10:18 PM PST
Both stories were great.

ALONE

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 2:10:59 PM PST
Matthew Fish says:
I'm voting for Alone. Great stories...both of them.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 2:17:41 PM PST
Splinker says:
The controversy rages on. Vote!

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 4:50:42 PM PST
KOBA says:
I liked both so this was another tough choice.

Alone
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  76
Initial post:  Dec 9, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 16, 2012

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