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Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Some might be wondering what the meaning of life is or how the universe was created. However, truly bright minds are wondering why the fuck is Petros still hanging around the arena? Didn't he just get his arse whipped a teenage girl, not only once but twice? We'd seen his bloody behind being paraded around by the hands of a vicious tween for several weeks while his tar soaked head was used as a personal porta-potty. 

Well, these events all did happen. However just like an annoying earworm in the radio, Petros gathered what was left of his body and wormed his way back to the land of the living. His whole journey was kind of a black box, but some rumors are thrown around that the God of the Underworld was so disgusted by his slimy presence that he yeeted him straight out of the Tartaros. 

Luckily another hero rose out of the angry masses to Sparta kick him right into the pit. Sadly enough the CYStians couldn't manage to recruit another teenage girl, but they found the best alternative: the teenage boy. Peng, who had disguised himself as a teenage girl (pink bag, Tom Holland pillow and all) snuck into the arena and challenged Petros, the dollar store version of the Rock, to a duel to end all duels. 

Although his actions might be noble, Peng had also ulterior motives. What kind of motives, one might ask? Once he saw that slowly a secret society had formed around the CYStians who had smacked Petros around, wholesome innocent Peng was too curious not to try to join them.  

With the stakes raised as high as they are, who will win, who will lose. The three holy P's are gathered together in this special occasion, Peng, Petros and Puppies. 


The prompt is: Man's best friend is found slaughtered in the kitchen. Who's to blame? Any genre. 

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Story A

Apache Territory

It was just after sunset when Calvin Peters showed up at Art’s place. Calvin could see, but the shapes were starting to soften and the colors faded all to grey.

“Art? Art Jenkins!”

Calvin swung down off his Palomino horse and wrapped the reigns around the hitching post in front of Art’s store. He could see Art’s pinto in the barn, but decided he could put his horse up after he spent a little time with Art.

“Art Jenkins! Get your hide out here you good for nothing greenhorn! I got three prime catamount skins to show you!”

Still no answer. Calvin tried the door. Locked. It wasn’t unusual for Art to wander off on foot, but that didn’t stop Calvin from worrying. Trading with Apache on the border certainly wasn’t a trade that fostered longevity. Calvin had known Art since they were both good for nothing kids riding dusty cattle trails in Kansas, and Art had always had an unhealthy fascination with redskins.

“Art, I ain’t playin’! Either you get out here, or I’m coming through your window to kick your ass!”

Again, not a sound. Calvin’s heart slammed hard in his chest and bile rose in his throat. He kept reassuring himself that Art was probably just around on the property, but he just couldn’t shake the feeling that he should check. With a sigh, Calvin drew the Bowie knife from his left hip and slid it between the wooden shutters over the front window. He lifted the latch and pushed the window open.

As soon as he saw the scene within, Calvin knew something was terribly wrong. Chairs were broken, merchandise was thrown haphazardly across the room, the cracker barrel had been overturned, and the floor was covered in a layer of crushed crackers and broken glass. The wood stove in the corner was also still burning, untended, bathing the room in a foreboding glow. Calvin sheathed his knife and unsnapped the strap on his six-gun.

Calvin climbed up through the window and heard the crunch of glass as soon as his boots hit the floor. It looked like nearly every piece of glassware in the place was smashed, including all the kerosene lanterns on top of the counter. Moving as slowly as he could, he made his way to the door that led to the adjoining living area keeping his hand close to his holster on his thigh.

He leaned softly against the door, pushing it open a crack and revealing a glow from the small kitchen area. An intact lamp hung, lit from the wall above the sink. Calvin eased his way into the room and moved to the sink. Even before he got halfway there, he was overwhelmed by the stench of blood. Looking over the rim, he saw clumps of some kind of organ tissue and lots of blood, like someone was dressing an animal.

As he stared at the out of place gore, a soft sound wormed its way into his consciousness.

drip… drip… drip…

It was coming from his right. A morbid curiosity overpowered the intense dread in his guts, and Calvin looked.

There, hung upside down by his ankles, was Art Jenkins. His intestines dangled freely from his abdomen, his jaw was missing entirely, and his eye sockets were now left cruelly empty, but there was no mistaking Art. Blood, beginning to dry had soaked him from the waist to the peak of his hair, where droplets of blood created the regular wet rhythm on his kitchen floor.

Calvin rushed out of the room back into the store area, feeling nauseous. He set up a chair under the lamp on the ceiling, grabbed a box of matches and struck one up, lighting it. The sight of the kitchen had made him hungry for light, so he found an unbroken lamp beneath the counter and lit that too.

Flopping down in the chair, Calvin stayed motionless and silent for a moment. Then the seal broke. “Oh, God! Art, who would do this to you?” He sobbed. He couldn’t afford the luxury of crying for long, though. Soon, that question’s intensity drowned his newborn grief.

Who would do this to Art?

Calvin considered carefully. Art had no enemies. The Apache, whites, and even the occasional Mexican wanderer had only good to say about him. He was a widower, so romantic intrigue was out the window. His eyes closed in thought.

Next thing he knew, Calvin was snapping awake at a sound outside. He stood bolt upright and drew his pistol. He didn’t remember falling asleep or even feeling sleepy. Even now, he was incredibly alert and awake mere seconds after waking up.

The noise recommenced outside. A coyote was yipping somewhere very close. Instantly, Calvin’s mind was taken back to the day Art’s wife died. She was an Apache squaw. Young, pretty, and quiet, nobody could have asked for a better wife if they were willing to marry a heathen. The consumption took her within three years, sadly.

Art had been distraught when she died, and Calvin stayed to make sure he didn’t blow his brains out. While they were sitting in the store area just waiting for the sunrise, the eerie yip-yip of a coyote shattered the silence. Art’s words danced through time with the coyote’s voice.

To the Chiricahua, a coyote is a trickster. He bears wisdom and brings knowledge, but always a disease. Always a curse.

Calvin wasn’t ready to believe it then, but now, all alone in the dark with Art’s mutilated body in the next room, he felt the familiar nebulous fear of ghosts and curses. He shook his head to calm the paranoia, and was about to search for a bottle of laudanum to dull his overactive senses, when he head a sound coming from the kitchen.

It took Calvin a moment to place it, then he realized that it was the clanking rattle of the kitchen pump. He gripped his revolver tighter for reassurance. There was no doubt in Calvin’s mind that whomever was in the kitchen was the murderer.

Summoning every shred of courage in his soul, Calvin crept as silently as he could to the door to Art’s living quarters. Pushing the door open slowly, he leveled his pistol at the figure crouching in front of the stove, wood in to burn. Whoever it was was wearing rough buckskin pants and a mangy coyote skin draped over his shoulders.

Involuntarily, Calvin’s eyes stole another glance at Art’s mutilated remains. His heart jumped back up with a feverish energy at the sight of the eyeless stare of his dead friend.

“Hey!” He yelled.

The man whirled around. His face was creased and looked like old boot leather. His hair was wild and grey and full of twigs, and blood stained the front of his bare torso. By his side hung a large hunting knife also stained a damning red. Calvin’s eyes were drawn to his mouth, though. His lips were pulled back in a hideous sneer revealing a mouth both poor of tooth and black of gum.

“Who are you?” Calvin demanded.

The man’s wicked smile didn’t falter for a moment. “My name, Naiche.” His voice was hollow and breathy like the sound of a bamboo flute.

“I don’t want your name, red devil. Did you kill Art?”

“Art?” The man asked. “You mean Arthur Christopher Jenkins.”

Even through his broken English, Calvin recognized Art’s correct full name.

“How do you know Art’s name? Aren’t you Apache?”

“I belong once to Chiricahua. Then my power speak to me. Now I belong to power, not Chiricahua. That why I know you friend. Power tell me Arthur Christopher Jenkins.”

Calvin had a hard time listening to broken English at the best of times, and sitting here listening to a murderous redskin’s droning was wreaking havoc on his frayed nerves.

He pointed the pistol at the center of the man’s face. “You answer me and good, unless you want me to pull this trigger.
Why’d you kill Art?”

“My power need eyes, need face bone, need soft things inside for big curse. You not understand.”


The pistol shot rang out, deafeningly in the enclosed room, but when Calvin looked, the man was distressingly intact. Even his diseased grin was mockingly undisturbed. Calvin panicked. It felt like revealing a royal flush and still losing. He stepped forward and raised his hand to pistol whip the old redskin, but faster than lightning, he spun and kicked Calvin in the stomach.

Calvin crashed to the floor, surprised at the speed and force of the kick. His pistol flew from his hand and skittered across the floor. Calvin drew his knife. Naiche picked him up and whirled around, throwing him against the sink.

Calvin lost the knife, and felt his head slam against the pump on the sink. He tried to stand, but his feet wouldn’t cooperate and his head swam with pain. He could hear Naiche chanting in a husky singsong.

As his chant unfolded, Calvin found himself fighting sleep. Gritting his teeth against the throbbing headache and unnatural fatigue, Calvin snatched his knife up from the fire where it had fallen in the open stove. He whirled around and thrust the knife at Naiche, flinging embers and white ash across the room.

Naiche flinched and retreated to the far wall. Calvin stared in confusion at him, then looked at the knife. The end was glowing red, and a dusting of white ash covered the blade. Calvin wasn’t sure what factor caused the tables to turn, but he wasn’t going to waste an opportunity like this.

“Naiche, you get your red hide out the door before I carve it off you.”

Naiche smiled. “My power tell me go now. White devil lucky. We come back. We kill.”

“Go to hell.”

Naiche began to chant, and Calvin raised his knife again. As he watched, it was as if the pelt on Naiche back came to life. Patches seemed to grow back, and the flat, boneless head began to take shape. The rest of the skin began to crawl down Naiche’s frame, cascading like a waterfall.

Naiche lowered himself onto all fours and smiled. Calvin’s stomach turned as he listened to the cracking, stretching, and tearing sounds coming from his legs. The coyote head grew and sagged over his face. Once every inch of his body was covered in coyote pelt, his eyes moved forward with a small wet sound, filling the empty holes in the coyote face with unsettlingly human eyes.

The gangly, tailless coyote Naiche had become smiled in the exact same mocking way that he did while a man.

“White man, beware. All you tell of my secret, my power kill.”

“Git!” Calvin yelled in exasperation.

Naiche yipped and took off running at full tilt toward the still closed front door. A half comedic hope that he would break his neck on impact with the door threatened to make Calvin laugh in spite of everything. Naiche charged straight through the closed door without disturbing a hair.

Calvin ran to the door, crunching glass and other debris without concern. He flung the door open and watched Naiche disappear into the starry horizon.

Calvin walked resolutely into the shop, grabbed the bottle of laudanum and went to sit on the porch.

“Drink, sleep, then burial,” he said to his horse. “Then we move as far away from the Arizona Territory as we can get. Deal?”

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Story B

The sharp end of the corkscrew sinks in firmly, and Davis smiles. He steadies the bottle in one hand, and the other, in one flourish, pops the cork. The entire table cheers politely, and he begins pouring the ruby liquid into the ring of glasses set out.

He hands one to his mother, who smiles and thanks him quietly. Davis could see her eyes twinkle as she adjusts her wiry eyeglass frame.

He slides another to his father, who takes it in his rough hands and chuckles, “Cheers, Dave.” He passes the third to his sister, who nods, and keeps the last one for himself and raises it in a toast. “To family,” they say, and Davis marvels at the synchronicity of their voices. Settling down in his chair, he takes a sip of the wine and sighs as it warms his throat.

“So, how’s that Walt doing?” his sister Anna asks, breaking the silence. “Didn’t you two used to live together… here?”

Davis smiles naturally and says, “He’s doing great. He moved to New York a few months ago for a job at a publishing company.”

“Wow, good for him,” Anna says, sounding impressed. “Do you keep in touch?”
Davis nods and says, “Yeah, we text and call sometimes. He’s really busy, though. You know how it is in the big city.”

He sees his mother frown, and push up her glasses disapprovingly. After a moment, she chimes in and says, “That’s nice, dear. Let’s talk more about how you’ve been doing recently, no?”

Davis stiffens lightly, and looks down at the swirling wine in his glass.
His father clears his throat and says, “Well, maybe you should visit him sometime. It would be good for you to get out of this town for a while. See the world.”

Davis shrugs and says, “Maybe. I don’t know. I like it here.”

He fishes a bone out of the pot, and throws it on the ground nonchalantly. They hear a crescendo of footsteps, and a white flash springs out from another room and snatches the bone away. “New pup I got,” he grins, and the whole table laughs warmly, settling back into conversation.

The night grows darker, and the family finishes their meal. They clear the table and wash the dishes, chatting about this and that. Davis sees his father nod off with the TV on, while his sister heads upstairs for sleep, and he too retires to his desk, intending on some recreational sketches.
He hears his mother walk up.

“That was a good meal,” she says, taking a seat beside him. “You’ve learned quite a bit these years.”

Davis replies, without looking up, “Yeah, these years of making food for myself have really helped.” His hand stays moving, and traces out a quick doodle of his new dog - a round, white fluffball.

His mother says nothing about his drawing, and instead continues: “That’s good to hear, Davis. I bet that still doesn’t beat my cooking!” Davis shakes his head no with a grin, and crumples up the paper for another clean sheet. The ball joins a pile laying beside the desk.

“I’ll go defrost some of that meat for tomorrow,” he hears her say, leaving.

He continues to draw. The little dog was always so energetic and wild that it was hard to keep his eyes on it for more than a moment. “It’s missing something,” he thinks, looking at the new sketch of the puppy. Musing for a moment, he adds a playful outstretched tongue to its cute face, and smiles, satisfied.

“Davis, come here.” he hears his mother call from the kitchen, and he walks over.

“What’s the matter?” he asks, and his mother whips around in front of the fridge.

She holds up a plate of frosted meat. “What’s this?” She says coldly, “is this what you’ve fed us?”

“Hm?” he replies, “Yup, that was it. Is there something wrong?”

“Yes, there’s something wrong.” She continues, voice trembling. Taking something from the fridge, she hurls it onto the floor before Davis with a resounding thud.

He looks down, and Walt’s lifeless eyes look back up to meet him. A trickle of dried blood hangs at its lips, contorted into a grotesque grimace. The hair was matted, caked with dried blood and bits of flesh that extended down to the crushed nose, a mess of cartilage and bone. In the dim kitchen light, it seems as if it was still alive, screaming and writhing. Lifting the head up by its stump, Davis frowns.

“Ma, stop that. This is perfectly good meat that I was planning to use for Sunday!” Putting the head on the counter, he bends down to clean the stains on the ground.

“You’re a monster!” She cries, hand reaching for a knife from the rack. Her glasses shatter on the floor, but she pays it no heed.

“I disagree,” Davis replies calmly, standing up and swatting her hand from the counter. “In fact, this is what you wanted, no? You hated that boy.”

“Not like this…” she says, but quickly realizes something. Bending over the sink, she begins vomiting and retching uncontrollably.

Davis shrugs, and continues: “I don’t think so, no no. He was a ‘threat’ and a ‘menace’, you said! I had to ‘rid myself of these fools’, and so I did.”

His mother chokes with disbelief and fury, and turns to run, but he grabs her by the arm and stuffs the cleaning cloth in her mouth, muffling her fearful screams.

“Aye, please. Not so fast!” Davis pulls out a knife from the rack and holds it against her neck. “You’re not going to follow in his footsteps, are you?”

“Hey, Dave, what’s the ruck-” he hears from behind, and turns to see his father, magazine in hand. His eyes widen as he glances over the countertop, the open fridge, and the mess in the sink.

Davis pauses, and points to his mother. “She did it.”

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

I'm more upset with Davis being a faggot than with him being a cannibal murderer.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
They’re merely good friends, cel. No shenanigans.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Put votes and comments in response to this post.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

In the interest of fairness I didn't read either of them so it certainly seemed like a close match.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

So we just gonna let Ford get away with these comments? 

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Who the heck is Ford?

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

*monkey noises* 

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Personally, I think Ford provided much more analysis than he usually does while voting.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Generally you want to keep an Eurmal worshipper on the ring to increase your magic every year, and they're necessary in certain specific circumstances.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
lol I can't believe I get that reference.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago


Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:12:30 PM

Cool and evocative stories from both of you.  It is also interesting that you both did basically the same twist on the prompt.  Both entries were well written with a minimum number of SPAG errors (mainly just some odd commas).  Pacing was decent in both and the dialogue flowed well.

Story A:

The descriptions here are very nice and rich, without being over the top.  The overall layout of the environment is immediately clear, which helps with later details.  The fight is effectively told with a minimum amount of confusion.  Calvin felt very fleshed out, grounded and realistic.

On the downside there are a couple aspects that are unexplained that could have used at least a sentence or two to clarify.  The two instances of this that really jumped out at me were why Calvin fell asleep in the chair and why Naiche reacted the way he did to the ashy knife.  It seems like it would have been a reasonable explanation to have him find the laudanum and just take a sip or two.  Perhaps Naiche could have let slip something as he was about to change to at least hint at it.

Even with that though, I feel like this story is the stronger and more interesting of the two.

Story B:

The setup led me to expect some kind of murder mystery, and the shift into just a straight murder was a little disappointing.  Characterization was decent, although some additional hints at Davis' madness might have interesting to sprinkle in earlier on.

The interaction in the kitchen flows a little strangely.  I wouldn't expect the mom to be so quiet in her reaction for finding a partially flensed skull sitting on a plate in the fridge.  The normal reaction to that would be to scream or yell, then maybe accusations.  There is mention of the mom reaching for a knife, knocking glasses that were not previously mentioned off the counter, and then in the next line she is vomiting in the sink.  There is another instance of this at the end of the story where Davis pulls a knife and presses it to her throat and then two sentences later is pointing at her and trying to blame her for the head on the counter.  The dialogue and flow of this fight doesn't really seem to flow well, as it is simultaneously too fast and not-detailed enough.

There is a good kernel here, but especially compared to Story A, it needs some refining work.

My vote is for Story A

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:12:45 PM

Story A: 

Big fan of the whole native american skinwalker thing you got going on. Nice descriptions, and decent dialogue. 

"His eyes closed in thought. 
Next thing he knew, Calvin was snapping awake at a sound outside." 

The transition was very abrupt, and I had to reread to realize that there even was a transition. It would've been better with a sentence or two after "His eyes closed in thought". Something about feeling sleepy, maybe. Some SPAG errors I noticed, and the wording was a little weird in places, but nothing too bad. 

Story B: 

The story was setup nicely. A good lead-in to the climax, and establishing the characters. The dog suspiciously reminds me of a certain wholesome photo going around. 

Some of the dialogue I visibly cringed at. I don't think I've ever seen a mom say, 'That’s nice, dear.' in a serious situation. The dialogue just felt flat, and the whole story felt surreal. It was like I was watching a soap opera. 

The ending was abrupt, and while the whole murder thing was surprising (I like surprising), it didn't give me enough context. It could've been better with some foreshadowing and a longer resolution. SPAG errors can be seen throughout it. This story was clearly written last minute. 

My vote goes to Story A.


Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:12:58 PM

Story A:

It has a title, unlike Story B, at least.

The beginning made me think that Calvin was going blind or something. Also, consider just starting the story with the "Art? Art Jenkins!" line and work the setting into the details of the subsequent lines. Show, not tell, blah blah blah.

Although the description that was there was well-written, there were several moments when I couldn't picture what was happening because elements that demanded more elaboration were not described in enough sensory detail, like the front window that Calvin opened with a knife, the interior of the store, Calvin sticking his hand into the fire to retrieve a blazing hot knife, and how the coyote passed through the closed door.

Trading with Apache certainly not fostering longevity clashes with everyone Art knowing liking him.

SPAG was decent.

Chekhov's kerosene lanterns, lamps, burning wood stoves, matches, etc. were mentioned but never went off/burned the store down, or even played that significant of a role in the story really.

Best sentences: Calvin sheathed his knife and unsnapped the strap on his six-gun. The gory parts. It felt like revealing a royal flush and still losing. There was no doubt in Calvin’s mind that whomever was in the kitchen was the murderer. His voice was hollow and breathy like the sound of a bamboo flute.

Present tense might work better for this story than past.

Telling instead of showing again in "Even now, he was incredibly alert and awake mere seconds after waking up."

>“Art?” The man asked. “You mean Arthur Christopher Jenkins.”
>Even through his broken English, Calvin recognized Art’s correct full name.

Literally the line before it was non-broken English.

The ending was unsatisfying. A man discovers his best friend murdered by a supernatural power and... just leaves? One better alternate ending might be if the trickster mentioned body part(s) that he needed for power for big curse that included part(s) not earlier described as having been removed from Art, so that the trickster could kill Calvin in the end and take those final needed part(s) from Calvin (those parts of Calvin's could be foreshadowed earlier in the story of course as parts that he had) and complete the ritual.

I wish the protagonist and coyote were more developed and motivations made more clear. Their characters just felt a little flat, while Art was the most developed character but dead already.

Overall, a decent story with numerous flaws.


Story B:

The first sentence was better than that of Story A, starting with action instead of describing setting that didn't really play a big role in the story.

SPAG was decent.

Dialogue, which dominates the story, is well written.

Creative use of the prompt to mislead us into thinking that the cute puppy was going to get it.

As other reviews have mentioned, the climax, especially the mother's reaction to her son being a cannibal murderer, feels a bit undersold. The moment when the mother discovers Walt's remains is where the story has a decision to make. The way that the mother reacts feels 50/50 on whether she is suprised like she is or she/the whole family also engages in cannibal murder somehow. Since you picked uninvolved, readers would probably expect her to be more horrified at the discovery.

Ambiguous pronoun antecedent at the end with Davis and his father.

Overall, a decent story with a more polished writing style. Since it is shorter, any flaws loom larger than it would have in Story A.


They're both decent stories, though in different ways. I enjoyed both stories about equally, but Story B gave me the same amount of enjoyment with less reading and use of my time, so my vote is for Story B.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Story A. 

Both of the stories felt a little janky... yeah, I'm not gonna find a better way to explain that; my brain is too sleep-deprived. There were a few oddly worded things in each story, but I still enjoyed them- the first more than the second because B was slightly horrific. You did a good job grossing me out I guess

However, as the stories are pretty close in quality, I'm going to go with the story that makes me less uncomfortable, which is story A.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:13:45 PM

Story A:

Nicely done, and I really liked the use of the Native American skinwalker in the story.  I thought this story was pretty well written (as all of them seemed to be this round).  There is a definite atmosphere of creepiness that seems to slowly develop throughout the story.  Solid characterization.  I enjoyed reading this one.

Story B:

This started out good, and I liked the fake by putting the dog in the story. When the mom stated she was going to go thaw out some meat, I expected the dog to be a part of that.  Weirdly, I did get some Hannibal Lector vibes when reading about the toast at the beginning of the story - so nice there.  However, the discovery of the body just seemed to fall flat for me, and the story just didnt have the shock value that finding a body in the freezer should have. Also, the main character is casually unconcerned about his mom finding this one minute, and then is so you better not tell anyone the next, and that didnt really fit for me.


Both nice stories, but in the end my Vote is for Story A.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:13:49 PM
Story A was entertaining from the start. Chalk it up to the Wild West being an extremely entertaining setting, and the Apaches being the most entertaining of them all. Chalk it up to a murder mystery being that much more gripping when it's an actual man being murdered, rather than a pet. Chalk it up to me having recently watched Geronimo. Chalk it up to simply good writing. I really enjoyed the build-up.

There were some funny little moments in the narration, like Calvin sobbing, “Oh, God! Art, who would do this to you?” followed by a 'Who would do this to Art?'.

Where I started disliking the story was the reveal where the setting turned from firmly grounded in reality to a supernatural fantasy. Mysticism is a hell of a lot better when it is left in the middle on whether or not the funny indigenous rituals actually have an impact on reality or whether or not the scary skinwalkers everybody hides in their tents for are actually real. I am like the anti-celicni in that way. Grey is good.

Speaking of impact. I missed a nice impactful conclusion to the story. I didn't like how the writing went from suspense and dread to a half-comedic hope and a simple 'let's forget about it all' that felt entirely too light, having just witnessed a brutal massacre of his oldest friend AND seen that magic is actually real.


Story B

The prose itself feels a lot worse and less mature, and I like good prose. There's a lot of focus put on the minutia of Davis smiling and Davis seeing to the point it could've been better written in 1st person or 2nd person. A 'you' (or I) is a hell of a lot easier to mask into a paragraph than a Davis.

"He sees his mother frown.."
"Davis could see her eyes twinkle..."
"Davis smiles..." (x2)
"Davis marvels"

While I appreciate the author attempting to portray the subtlety and underlining just how familiar the family (heh) is, I feel it actively hampered the pace. Most families are pretty tight, after all, so that's hardly ground-breaking information you have to emphasize again and again. The limited space could've been either used for the plot I'm about to read further, or by describing more interesting stuff: whether or not the family lives in a mansion (or a poor shed) or whether there's a huge mood-creating storm raging against the windows. Whether the dad is mentally absent, scoring his students' papers, or whether the sister is extremely moody often and something special happened that she's so bubbly today.

On the other hand, now that I've actually read through the story, I enjoyed the plot more than story A's. The limited scope and surprise ending are perfectly suited for a short story. I like how Davis is sociopathic enough to be just slightly capable while not being the all-powerful meticulous serial killer that's become the trope in recent years. I also like how the story could've started from his father's POV at the end, and been just as viable.

In the end, I get why the author chose the 3rd person narration. Though I think the story could be a lot better if the narration had been more omnipresent. The benefit of a limited POV is to get attached to and through that get some insight into the mindscape of Davis, which in this story was completely absent. That's only logical, the guy is a nitwit with zero empathy. But this potential benefit comes at the expense of depth and agency of every other character in this play. While that could've been compensated for with better writing of the dialogue itself, this did not happen, resulting in every character falling short in this character-centered piece.


My vote goes to story A.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Story B. The first sentence does great setting up Davis as the murderer and instantly hooked me.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

May I applaud the person that genuinely wrote a story about killing and eating dogs? Congrats for not chickening out on the prompt. The Holy Trinity with puppies has been completed with this marvelous entry. Also, never expected to also see a heart racing western show up in here, really a great diversity in stories!

However, who is the true winner of this fight that will determine Petros' dignity?

Although Peng did everything to embody the crazed bloodlust of a teenager, he simply didn't have the balls (or had too much) to capture their unimpeding rage to butcher the stoneman. He chopped and he sliced with his sharpened nails, but his talons didn't leave a single scratch on the unmoving rock.

Years in the tartaros made him hard boiled, tough and absolutely livid. After what seemed like hours of Peng kicking and spitting on him, he grabbed the teenager, shoved a coin down his throat and flung him straight into Charon's boat. With their fates being swapped, the balance in the world has been returned. Peng will forever be remembered as the boy who got beaten to pulp by a grown man who got his arse beaten twice by a teenage girl and Petros regained his dignity as a kid puncher, emperor of the realm of child abuse.

Congrats on Petros winning the duel with Story A, I really liked the prose and vivid descriptions! Of course, Peng, I see lots of untapped potential in your story too, keep up the good work!

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

@petros @perforatedpenguin 

Collect your boon

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by Sherbet on 5/4/2023 6:48:28 AM
Thank you! Thank you! Real nail biter folks. Who knows what would have happened if Peng started just a couple of hours earlier. Oh well.

Thanks to all who left criticism as well. I learned a lot through this duel.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by Sherbet on 5/4/2023 9:12:11 AM
“You’re probably in good shape if you don’t “tomorrow” yourself to death” - Petros, 4/27/2023

I tomorrowed myself to death. Hey, free comm though! Congrats to Petros.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by Sherbet on 5/4/2023 12:24:36 AM

I've removed what used to be here now that I've gotten my comm.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

This will be my first visit when the uncommend feature rolls out.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

I'll make sure to remind you of that. Now if only the lazy devs started working on such a thing... Let's yell at them!

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Congratulations Petros! I really loved the creativity you put into yours, never expected a western haha. Also, good job to Peng! Let's hope your 'tomorrow(?)' syndrome doesn't kick in next duel. I'd love to see more work from the both of you!

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:11:33 PM

Oh and due to lots of confusion and other shenanigans, I have indeed written a short story with this prompt to later use as backup. Here it is!



Last year, because I had always behaved so brilliantly, Santa gave me the closest friend I'll ever have. Mum and Dad often teased me about our profound friendship and said that Flappy was 'just a rabbit" and that I should play with the other children in the neighborhood instead of 'shutting myself off in the yard'. They sadly didn't get the concept of my magical adventures with Flappy. In the afternoon, I wasn't just a little girl in some boring old suburb, but a badass superhero with an even more kickass rabbit sidekick. Every day we slayed evil-doers like the evil Barbie doll or the blood-crazed teddy bear with a fondness for rabbit legs. 

The fact that it was Christmas Eve didn't hamper our daily operations. No, this was the perfect chance to execute the highly anticipated Santa mission that was planned hours ago. As sneaky as the heroes from the Saturday morning cartoons I tiptoed down the stairs to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Christmas presents stacked under the tree. Mum and Dad did manage to catch me last year, but with Flappy as my wonderful distraction, I'll surely complete my mission with ease.

As I held my breath, my eyes scanned the dark living room looking for any signs of danger or possible intruders. To my relief, all that greeted me were two boxes wrapped in shiny gift paper, a lopsided Christmas tree, and utter silence. I shivered as I felt the cold air coming through the garden door that was left wide open. Carefully I picked up the largest box and gave it a light shake. I sniffed. No sound. Just as I was in the process of slowly peeling off the tape, I heard a heavy thud coming from the kitchen.

My heart almost sprung from my chest as I suppressed a gasp. Mum and Dad were still upstairs, asleep. No one should be downstairs except you. Could it be a robber or worse, a murderous teddy bear who was out to chop me into little pieces? I bit my lip while I balled my hands into fists. It was time to steel my nerves and don the hero's cape.

I left the presents behind to slowly made my way to the kitchen door, praying that the wooden floor won't creak under my increasingly hesitant steps. The thuds grew louder and heavier. A certain foul smell reminiscent of the rusted iron of Flappy's old cage flooded my nostrils. Mustering all the remaining bravery I possessed, I pushed the door slightly open.

A rabbit leg, torn open. A kitchen counter dyed red. 

My hand covered my mouth. My eyes widened.

Its tendons and muscles, exposed under the pale moonlight. A claw holding onto a bloodied knife. 

The sickening cloying smell made me want to tear up.

Flappy's eyes, bulging out of her severed head. A low hum akin to a beast's growl.

Although I wanted to run away as far as I could, the looming weight of dread kept me nailed to the floor. Flappy never moved away from my line of sight. While watching her lifeless eyes I could almost hear her accusing me of failing to save her from this gruesome fate. All I was able to do was watch as a looming figure came into view. Under the harsh shadows and the flickering light, my eyes could only take note of its gargantuan back, its deep red clothes and hat, and its heavy boots. I shook my head. It couldn't be true. However, the sight of its white beard sealed away any lingering hope I once had.

As the figure was about to turn around, the invisible strings that tied me to the floorboards broke. In tears, I fled to my room, locked the door, and fell asleep. In my dreams, Flappy's corpse, now filled with maggots and flies, clung to the hem of my skirt.

"Where were you, Eva?" She rasped. "It hurts."

I opened my mouth, but no sound came. Flappy smiled. Her rotten jaw hung onto her skull with only a few tendons as she pulled me closer.

"Find Santa and avenge me. That's what heroes do."

Despite all my previous made promises, I stayed holed up in my room till Mum and Dad had to drag me out to eat dinner the following day. After I had to sit through one of their many lectures on why I'm such a bad child for keeping the door locked and why I shouldn't be ruining the Christmas spirit by being so difficult, I sat down near the candlelit dinner table with Mum who had donned a garish pink sweater and an even pinker pair of pants. Festive occasions need equally festive clothes. At least, that was what she told me. However, to me, Mum just looked like a plastic doll whenever she tried to dress more 'festive'.

"Dad's busy doing his magic in the kitchen. He'll soon join us."

I listlessly pushed around the potato salad on my plate. Although I normally gorged down that dish as if it was the last meal I ever ate, the creamy potatoes now tasted like glue and ash. Mum sighed while filing her nails.

"Eva, we already talked about it this morning. That rab- Flappy is a bit too lively to be sitting in such a small cage all day. Last night she just grew bored, packed up her things, and ran away to who knows where."

"The garden door was wide open and there was blood everywhere and I saw its claws and everything and it was about to turn around and murder everyone."

"You just had a very bad dream." She said with a tight-lipped smile. Her painted face remained fixed on the kitchen door. "Must be because you're always daydreaming about all those crazy things instead of playing with your friends."

My jaw clenched as she told me those lies again. No matter how much I insisted that a monster called Santa broke into the house and took Flappy away, my mother remained a non-believer. I knew Mum meant well, but my eyes didn't betray me during that fated night. Never would I forget the lifeless eyes of Flappy staring down at me. The cloying smell of death lingered in the house. Only I was unfortunate enough to notice it. An overimaginative brain could never replicate those haunting sights.

"I'm not," I said after a long moment of silence.

"You are sweety."

"I'm not."

Mum laid her hand on my shoulder and tightly squeezed it. For a brief moment, I could swear that I saw a dash of a poisonous smile painted on her face, but it vanished as quickly as Dad's homemade cookies. I automatically shrunk back into the chair. A shiver ran down my spine.

All of a sudden the kitchen door burst open along with the hearty smell of meat pie. Dad, who had matched Mum's in terms of garishness, wore a sweater with a pink bear embroidered on it. Last year it had fit perfectly, but now it could barely hide his gargantuan beer belly that had been growing since he got his promotion. His jolly smile fitted right in with the men in the holiday commercials while his grin reminded me of a toothpaste salesman.

"Come on sunshine, where's that smile?" He said. "It's Christmas, no reason to look as if you'd just seen a serial killer."

After another insistent squeeze from Mum, I mustered up a thin smile. Dad's brows slightly twitched, but he didn't press on. He placed the steaming pie on the table, sliced a piece off it, and put it on my plate.

"Try it. It sure will taste familiar, but I put my spin on it." He said.

I took a bite of it. The crust was slightly too soft and the filling somehow felt slightly off.

"It's fine." I said while slowly chewing on the stringy meat. "The chicken is a bit strange."

Dad sat down and crossed his arms. The corner of his mouth curled up. Mum always glared daggers at him whenever he did that. This time it was no different. Dad pointedly turned his eyes away from her and shoved his cheerful smile up my throat.

"Oh, it isn't chicken."

I swallowed the remaining bits of pie before speaking.

"Then what is it?"

Dad leaned forward. The shadow behind him dramatically increased in size. The knife he had been holding glistened under the flickering candlelight. The two corners of his mouth remained eerily fixed as if someone had sown it on his face. As his mouth opened, I smelt the sickly sweet smell of honey.


My heart stopped beating the moment he uttered that word. All of a sudden the fog cleared up in front of my eyes. I swallowed down the rising bile, but the taste of that foul meat still lingered on my tongue. During that cursed night, there was no robber nor a monstrous Santa. Such a broad figure and those heavy boots could only belong to Dad- no, the person who was supposed to be Dad. The world in front of me began to spin. However, no matter how I tried to twist and bent this image, my eyes could only see a blood-crazed monster.

I whipped my head to the other person in the room, the other accomplice. A sense of betrayal and a sinking feeling of dread flooded my already churning stomach as she refused to look me in the eyes. However, her pointed nails digging through my skin said more than any word could do.

With trembling hands, I put my fork down. Just as I was always trained to do, I showed them the most angelic smile I could produce. With a pitch higher than I normally spoke, I shoved away the whirlpool of emotions building inside of me and sweetly looked at the monster.

"It's strange but very tasty. I like it a lot. Daddy is the best chef in the world." I said. "Can I get my present?"

The monster puffed out its chest and stroke its beard. It then sauntered off to the living room. The rolls of fat bounced with every step it took. It didn't take long for the monster to reappear again, this time with a bunch of carefully wrapped boxes in its talons. It shoved the biggest one in my hands as it bared its yellowed fangs. Wishing to be done with it as quickly as possible, I tore off the paper to at last unveil a hockey stick.

"And?" The monster growled.

"I-I like it."

Before the monster could open its mouth again, the accomplice happily chirped in. Her screeching voice made every nerve in my body itch.

"Sweety, Mum, and Dad had been thinking a lot about you. We were a bit worried that you were shutting yourself off in the backyard so much and that you weren't making friends at school. So we thought that it would be great for you to play hockey and be part of the local team."

Words that were supposed to be filled with love and care, felt hollow and empty. I brought the stick closer to my chest. Tears wouldn't even come anymore no matter how suffocating the air around me was. I failed to save Flappy last night and now I even couldn't muster up the courage to defend her name and confront her killers. Flappy, sorry that I couldn't be the hero you wanted me to be. After all, true heroes belonged in the world of pen and paper, not in the one of flesh and blood. The most I could ever be was a cowardly little girl.

I tilted my head and smiled. 

"Thank you, Mum. Thank you, Dad. thank you for everything."

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

the last "thank" isn't capitalized

But in all seriousness, this is pretty solid work. It's horrifying but not... gruesome *ahem Peng*. The fact that my stomach was spared is appreciated.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Thanks! It's inspired by a Dutch Christmas song. I made the ending more family friendly.

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

If that was family friendly, I wonder what the original ending was...

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Well here ya go.

The kid found out bout the rabbit slaughterfest, then it's heavily implied that the kid butchers the dad and is planning to make his mum eat his corpse. 

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Damn I kinda want to see that ending even more now

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

That's the kind of old-school fabling that I like!

Thunderdome 3 Petros vs Peng

one year ago

Holy, the Dutch do not mess around.