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Author Topic: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!  (Read 1009 times)

Bad City Blue

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Ello ello ello

Yes, I've managed to snag a pair of tickets to the 2018 Lawgiver (the 4th) con to the winner of this comp!

The con is in Bristol on Sat 26th May, and I can testify that as cons go it's small but perfectly formed. Guests include Alan Grant, Mick McMahon, Simon Bisley, John Higgins, Henry Flint and more. Sketcches, panels, cosplay, original artwork sales - it's a fun day for the Dredd fan.

Full details are at their facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1417073338554565/

If the winner can't go (or know someone who can) we will slip down the pecking order until someone can!

Anyway...

We're gonna go a little darker this time round, and I want a Dredd (or Dreddworld) story that's a little darker than normal - a Penny Dreddful. 500 Words Or Less

You can use the Dark Judges if you want, but originality is preferred!

So dip your pens in fresh blood and get scribbling. Entries close at the end of February

Bad City Blue
« Last Edit: 16 January, 2018, 01:16:19 pm by Bad City Blue »

Bad City Blue

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #1 on: 16 January, 2018, 01:38:51 pm »
I killed a Judge today. Oh boy...

Society tells us that killing is wrong, as does our natural pack animal instinct. We choose the strong to lead us, to show us the way, to chastise those who choose wrong over right, but what if society's idea of wrong is something that just feels right?

Killing is easy. Seriously, it's a piece of munce. Maybe I lack that bit of empathy that makes extinguishing another's flame so daunting, but as far as I'm concerned that makes me stronger, better than those who can only be held back by petty things such as fear and guilt.

It's the first time I've killed a Judge, but it was only a logical step after all the other people I've done in. I don't get those who studiously count their kills, like it matters. I kill, and I move on, that's all. The numbers are out there but I've never been bothered enough to look them up. If somebody reads this one day I'm sure the figures will be calculated and shrieked over by social commentators, but believe me their total will never be close to the reality.

In all honesty, my main reason for doing it is because it seemed like a pinnacle for any mass murderer, the ultimate crime, to murder one whose very job is to stop you murdering. Delicious in so many ways.

One thing I didn't want to do is give the victim a rare disease or anything like that. It may have been okay for sneaks like PJ Maybe, but I like to be more, well, personal. After all, that's where the true enjoyment is, when you see the light go out of their eyes. The begging is nice as well, but you can't always arrange that.

These days it's not too hard to find a section of the city that PSU don't cover, and it was very easy to get Judge Hadrell to meet me there. She's been on the streets 20 years now, but I had a way to make her trust me and come to the meet alone. I suppose you may be expecting details of some elaborate plan, or a grisly fight to the death, but the professional killer doesn't do things that way. When we both arrived she asked me why I had insisted she meet me and I simply shot her with an unregistered, untraceable Moley 92 handgun. Through the badge and into the heart, all she had time to do was register total surprise on her face before she bought it. It was quite sublime.

So that's it – I killed a Judge. Even though she was one of many it was still pretty special, and I'm very sure I'll do another one soon. Until then, there's always plenty of normal citizens who are all asking for it.

I expect I'll kill a few later today – after all, I'm due at the sector house for the night shift, and there's always plenty of action for a man who spent 15 years in the academy being trained to kill...
« Last Edit: 16 January, 2018, 01:43:01 pm by Bad City Blue »

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #2 on: 23 January, 2018, 05:37:35 pm »
The High Life

She slipped through the gate and out onto the parapet. The cold wind snatched at her thin jacket. “Should have worn a warmer coat” she thought, and then snorted “Yeah, right. Wouldn’t want to freeze to death.”

The wind was really quite strong and she had to lean into the building to avoid being blown off. She had imagined walking straight to the edge and into oblivion, but now she was up here it was harder than she had thought. The wind wanted to pull her over but she ....

“He’s not worth it, you know.”

She clutched at the metal barriers behind her and turned towards the voice. A Judge, a Grud-damned Judge leaning against the gate.

“He’s really not worth all this.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I saw you on the hall-cam. You pushed a letter under the door of 1517c, home to Goobie Withers and her son Doobie. You left him your note and then you headed up here, cracking two digital locks on the way. Which is impressive, this one is a Sekure-5000 and they don’t crack easy. You’re good.”

“I’m not good at anything, I ... I mess everything up, and I’m not doing this just because of some boy.”

“Great, because I looked up young Doobie’s record and he is quite the catch. At least if petty crime, thuggery and misspelling his own name on graffiti is your thing.”

“Don’t come out here. I’ll jump.”

“And I’ll have a drokk-load of forms to fill in, and I hate paperwork.”

“So you’re just here to make fun of me.”

“No, Penny, I’m not. I’m here to tell you that you’re making a mistake. I’m here to tell you that you’re talented, that broken hearts heal, that there are people who love you, but they don’t know how to tell you that. I’m up here to tell you that you’re stronger than this, much stronger than you think you are. I’m here to ask you to give yourself a second chance ...

...please.”

The wind pulled the tears from her eyes and turned them into snowflakes which danced in the dark air.

“... I ... I don’t think I’ve heard a Judge say please before.”

“Don’t spread it around, I’ve got a reputation to maintain. Are you cold?”

“Y-yes ... I think ... I think I’d like to go back inside.”

“Good because I’m freezing my butt off.”

“Am I under arrest?”

“More paperwork? No thanks.”

She headed down the stairwell to the hallway where a group of people rushed towards her with blankets, jackets, and warm drinks. Soon she was sitting in a medi-centre and shivering, while a paramedic fussed over her and checked her vitals.

“Where’s the Judge? I want ... I need to tell her something.”

“Which Judge, sweetie?”

“The block Judge who talked me down. Judge Govenka.”

“Govenka? No, dear. You’re mistaken. Judge Govenka is dead. She fell from the roof last week.”

Bad City Blue

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #3 on: 16 February, 2018, 09:47:13 am »
We could do with a few more entries, Earthlets!

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #4 on: 16 February, 2018, 05:31:31 pm »
With Furious Wrath ~ a non-entry
(an edited excerpt from "Lest ye be Judged," a w.i.p. Novella)

The second what was in that room came into view, Cub froze in horror beyond all imagination.  In that one little room countless abominations were in progress, the scene so savage that Satan himself could not have envisioned such atrocities. It was all he could do to not shriek, vomit and soil himself as he began shaking in terror and unfathomable revulsion.

He screamed in his mind for his eyes to shut and his legs to run yet nothing worked. That’s when Rokka-Kae grabbed him by his belt yanking him back past the edge of the wall as though she had pulled him back from staring over the cliff into Hell.  Like a demon herself intent on corrupting his innocent ignorance into something as evil as she, Rokka-Kae began to whisper.

“Kill em Cub, kill them all!  Do it, you have to do it.  Save them, kill them all and save them.  Do it, kill em Cub, kill them now, do it now!”

The image of the inhuman brutalities within that room burned itself into his mind, yet when he looked up to Rokka-Kae on the verge of insanity, he found himself perhaps even more stunned.  He had expected this monster Rokka-Kae would be would be glaring at him excited in unrestrained bloodlust.  Instead he found her on the verge of bawling. Her mouth contorted and brow raised in terror just as horrified as he, and the tone of her words suddenly became just as obvious as her eyes pleading with him to save ‘her.’

“Cub, Cub, save them, save them now, kill them all, do it, kill them now!” Kae continued to plead.

“I… I just, I just can’t I, what, I can’t, I don’t…” Cubs fractured and helpless response.

Rokka-Kae stared at him but a second having pled for help then realized that it wouldn’t come.  She looked down in frustration and her jacket creaked as muscles strained and clenched her teeth driving out her own anguish then looked up in rage, her whisper growled out in fury.

“If anyone comes down the hall kill them or we both die. Stay down till I’m in and stay here!”

It was then that Rokka-Kae moved with purpose and wrath as without hesitation she raised up and charged in. The deep-hum of her gun’s magnets energizing foreboding, yet along with the threatening hum and bark of Rokka-Kae’s Lukdai Enforcers also came a response.  The sound of shotguns, pistols and automatic weapons firing as she moved from room to room.  Screams and moaning, shouts and groans gurgled out in pleading or hateful final response.

For another ten minutes the massacre continued with gun and blade as Rokka-Kae swept every room on every floor.  No one was spared.  There were no questions to be asked or negotiations to be made.  There was only one possible outcome as Reaper-379 brought in her harvest.  The black void of oblivion called death.

K2

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #5 on: 16 February, 2018, 08:23:56 pm »
Blood Hounds.

“Good evening, viewers, and welcome to Mega City One's fifteenth annual competitive bleeding tournament.” Redcor Pussle, SanguisVision's senior anchorhume, smiles at the camera. “I'm joined this year by retired bleeder Spurt Splatterspat, six-time winner of this very tournament, Olympic Bleeding Gold Medallist and holder of the Big Meg Bleeder of the Year Award two times running. Howdy, Spurt.”

Spurt nods. “Hey.”

The shadow of a frown flits across Redcor's face, but he's a professional and picks up the slack without pause. “Okay then. Looking down into the arena, I see the first six competitors are almost ready for the initial speed-bleeding round. As the marshals check the catheters, do you have any predictions, Spurt?”

Spurt shrugs. “Neh.”

“Okay then. The marshals are happy and the referee raises his flag. The crowd falls quiet with anticipation, just a few shouts of encouragement for individual bleeders punctuating the expectant silence.” Redcor wipes the sweat from his brow with an outsize gingham hankie. “The referee drops his flag and they're off! The pumps whine into life, sucking blood from the competitors at a phenomenal rate! Half a pint pumped out already! Three quarters! Those bottles are filling quickly this year due to the use of brand new Beater and Palp MKIX Exsanguinators. I've never seen pumps drawing blood so quickly, Spurt, have you?”

Spurt frowns. “Yuh.”

“Got to interrupt you there, Spurt,” Redcor holds up a hand. “Pumplestiltskin Parsons has fainted already, the first competitor to drop out at just over one and a quarter pints and he'll be very disappointed with that, Spurt. Oh, and it looks like Peter “the Platelet” Platelet is passing out as well... Yes, yes – Platelet's out too! Artie Ree is struggling and Phil Fluid, the bookie's favourite for this opening round, is looking uncomfortable! This is incredible, Spurt, just incredible!”

Spurt sighs. “Hnh.”

“It's down to the last two now, with each one already having nearly three pints of blood speed-pumped out of them – but, what's this? There are spectators on the stage! It looks like... Oh no! Viewers, this is terrible! Someone call the judges! I think... I think it's...”

Spurt gasps. “Vmprs!”

* * *


Judge Dredd surveys the devastated arena, his Lawgiver clicking quietly as it cools in his fist. “Anderson?” he says, wiping bloodstains from his uniform.

Psi Judge Anderson closes her eyes for a moment and inclines her head. “Feels clear,” she says and then, opening her eyes, calls over to Devlin Waugh. “Clear?”

Devlin Waugh, Vatican envoy and vampire, is having trouble resisting the urge to lick blood off the walls, floor and furniture. “Seems so,” he says. “Every year this happens, you'd think these people would have learned by now. Still,” Waugh grins, “maybe next year, eh? We just have to be positive.”

Dredd ignores Waugh and re-holsters his gun.

Anderson laughs. “You're wasting your time, Devlin,” she says as Dredd marches away, his boots squelching through the sticky blood. “Your humour's in entirely the wrong vein.”


Heath C Ackley

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #6 on: 17 February, 2018, 12:50:28 am »
EYE OF THE STORM

The howling increased behind him. His boots hammered the dry desert floor. Sergio Wan stumbled. Pain exploded in his knee but the instinct for survival drove him on. The faulty respirator clung to his sweat soaked features.

Sergio had always been a runner. He had fled the Big Meg for the Cursed Earth five years ago. A bad debt to the wrong people had forced him out. Faking his own demise, Sergio took to a life amongst the ruins and mutants.

The mutie witch had been right after all. She had told him and Benni that the dead would rise again and that those already committed to dust would return as bitter storms of pain and rage. They had just laughed and sipped their vokka juice.

Voices whistled from the turbulence. They sang songs of suffering, past sins and remorse. The billowing mass seemed to suck the oxygen from the cold night atmosphere. The weak glow of oil lanterns came like a heavenly intervention. Sergio sobbed with relief. Benni had an underground shelter with steel doors, a shuggy table and a faded print of Ju C Bea.

'You left us.'

The voice was so close he almost felt the dead lips on the flesh of his neck. His legs buckled and he tumbled to the ground. There would be no more running. The safety of Benni's place was beyond him. Sergio screamed and raised his hands. The force of the whirlwind lifted him up off his feet. Dirt and ash struck like hail. The rags were torn from his wasted body. The maelstrom snatched the respirator away. Sergio  screwed his eyes shut as the voices became a strident chorus around him. And then -

Hush.

Whatever held Sergio released him. Opening his eyes, he found himself in a clearing in the turbulence, in the eye of the storm. The long deceased prowled the outside of the circle. A familiar face emerged from the shifting forms. Recognition pierced his heart like a spear. Sergio slowly shook his head. The face extended on a tendril of vapour. It hovered closer until he felt dust on his lips.

She kissed him. Dust seeped into his mouth and hissed into his thoughts. Flashes of a past he never knew - of what he had left behind - filled his mind. Sergio saw tears and muzzle flashes. The stench of decay clogged his nostrils. He witnessed in horror bodies thrown from a transport. Sergio watched as those he loved rotted in the heat of the wasteland.

'You left us to them.'

Sergio opened his mouth to speak but his words were drowned in a torrent of dirt. He choked on dust and ash. The cloud invaded his ears and nostrils, prising open his eyelids to consume the tears hiding there. The storm hollowed Sergio. The restless souls burrowed and scoured, reducing his insides to desiccated waste.

With another voice accompanying the choir, the howling cloud drifted on.
"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."

K2

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #7 on: 18 February, 2018, 04:53:31 pm »
Just to give the thread a bump and hopefully encourage others, here's a subsequent 'edited' scene to fit "500-words or less," to that posted above. I also hope I'm not messing up the theme and intent of the thread.  Just for the record, the one who Rokka-Kae calls "Cub" is a young prosecutor by the name of Eustace Fargo in 2029, 'forced' by the then Attorney General of the U.S. to spend some time in the wilder zones before cutting him loose on the legal system.

With Furious Wrath ~ a non-entry II
(an edited excerpt from "Lest ye be Judged," a w.i.p. Novella)

Even now with them quiet and unmoving, Rokka-Kae having granted them “mercy,” Cub still saw them as he had alive and suffering and that image ripped at his mind, shredded and hardened his heart.  It was then that Rokka-Kae violently grabbed his hair turning his head to look just a couple feet before him.  There lay her jacket and Cub could see in his mind what had happened there just minutes before.  With that Rokka-Kae yanked away her armored leather shroud and growled at him not in rage yet in pain.

“Look at him… look!  Do you see him?  Do you see him clearly?  Keep looking, don’t you dare look away and burn his face into you mind, he’s your first.  Your first, remember him… keep looking!  Long before I was sold to your people I had killed hundreds.  I bore those faces for so many years, and then they all seemed to vanish once I was forced to serve your government.  Since then I’ve killed thousands for you people, and not one face can I remember.”

Rokka-Kae that moment choked up and stumbled over her words, yet with a growl she forced herself to continue.

“You… oh God… You asked; ‘how can I know that they can’t be saved?’  Because I know… I know!  I was saved, saved by a Triad who couldn’t fix what had been broken. So I was cast right back into it when they realized I was ruined, a lost cause, spoilt goods.  You can’t save them once it’s too late, never after only before… Look at him!  He’s yours!

“Over nine long years here I’ve saved thousands, ‘thousands!’ before they suffered. Brought here by those that should protect them the most, all for credits or dope, or gawd knows what other worthless thing that they desire.  And not one of their faces can I remember.  Not one!”

Rokka-Kae then began openly sobbing as she spoke. Her pain obviously not due to her life, current situation or even what she herself had endured yet something deeper that she carried with her.

“Look at him, he’s your first face.  I carry thousands with me, yet not one of them did I save…  only every single one that I lost.

“This one we share Cub, your first.  Remember him?  Do you remember him!  I said to you, I begged you, oh God I begged you… ‘Cub, grab him and hold him,’ do you remember, yesterday at the gate, and you… you lost him… oh God I lost him, oh God… God!… Okay, okay… it doesn’t matter now.  Anyway… anyway, you remember him, he’s your face too.”

Cub stared at the small face consciously realizing that he would remember it for the rest of his life, and now on top of everything else, he hated Rokka-Kae for that most of all.


K2

JamesC

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #8 on: 20 February, 2018, 10:07:49 am »
Okay, first time entry - go easy on me!
Not sure it's dark enough.

Last Moments-

Begin Message:
*cough, cough* Uh…this is Cadet Judge Sophia Higgins. Judge Evans is dead. I’m…aaargh… pinned. Can’t get a signal to control. I’m in the Undercity, I….wait… hold on, I can hear someone.
Someone’s coming. May be help.
Message Ends.
_____________________
Begin Message:
Okay – this is Cadet Higgins. Gotta be quick. Troggs have found us. They’ve taken Evans. I think…I think they’re cooking him. Hard to see – visor’s covered in blood…muck. I can see the campfire.
My right arm is broken – above the elbow I think. Left arm pinned under Lawmaster – trying to free it. Can feel something – maybe reach…uh  – could be something useful.
All weapons lost – troggs have them.
Can’t feel legs.
Message Ends.
----------------------------------
Begin Message:
Higgins. Situation deteriorating. Can see a little better now. Helmet is gone – troggs have it. Legs useless. The…the rats are in the wounds. No saving them. No saving me. Still trying to free left arm.
Only thing working is this damn bike computer…I hope…I hope you’re still working you piece of…
Message Ends.
---------------------------------
Begin Message:
Higgins. Control – hope you get this. This could be my final message – please log. At 2300 hours, while on final assessment, Judge Evans and I initiated a high speed chase in pursuit of suspected organ-leggers through sector 20. Suspects driving a pink Foord Funster, heading toward the docks. Recommend further investigation. I think…I think someone pulled a blazooka. The road just opened up- no time to react. Must have been an existing weakness I guess. Don’t know how long I was out.
Left arm almost free. Got a little surprise cooked up. They’re…they’re still eating Evans. They’ve made some kind of – trophy I guess – they seem to like the eagle. Guess I know how they feel. Was...uh...kinda hopin’ to make full eagle myself. 
Message Ends.
----------------------------------
Message Begins:
Ey, oo doggers, in uh num uh muggu cuddu un uh chuge yu wud fuulun du rupuud un uggudunt und cunnubuluzzun uh muggu cuddu Judge. Ammug unuuh thugs. Uh suddunce us deb!!! Ptooo.
Fizz-KABOOOffzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Message Ends.

“That’s all we could salvage, Dredd.”
“Supposition?”
“Evans was killed outright. Troggs found them – made a meal of Evans while saving Higgins for later. Looks like Higgins managed to open the bike’s ammo cache and pull her arm free. Remains suggest the arm was badly damaged. I think she…well…I think the poor kid spat an incendiary round into the campfire. That’s why this place looks like a charnel pit. She wasn’t getting out alive – guess she decided to take them with her.”
“Hmmph. Okay Smith, write it up. When you submit your report recommend that Higgins is recognised as a pass. I want her listed as a full-eagle Judge.”
“Sir, that’s highly irregular...I”
“Just do it. If anyone has any questions, send ‘em my way."

"Control this is Dredd. Get a repair squad to sector 20 city bottom – we’re done.
Heading dockside – see if PSU have anything on a pink Foord Funster – suspected organ legging operation. Dredd out.”
« Last Edit: 20 February, 2018, 10:10:51 am by JamesC »

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #9 on: 20 February, 2018, 11:52:03 am »
James- Yeah, that's dark enough. Great first time.

Loving this run of the comp.

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #10 on: 25 February, 2018, 08:05:28 pm »
Can I substitute this for my earlier duff story in the voting?

The Promethean

I am in a new city, the first of the megas. It has a frenetic rhythm, like the heart stitched inside me. I try to get my bearings near where I came ashore, overhead a vehicle probes with its searchlight. I always shun bright lights so I duck into an alley. It is filled with improvised workshops made from plas-steel slabs, shipping containers, and plastic sheeting, stitched together like a badly repaired puppet.

Bright light spills from the nearest, punctuated by orange flashes of some welding tool. I move closer and watch an old man wearing goggles and a thick apron as he bends over his bench. The rain sticks my hair to my scalp and soaks my clothes.

“Come in, stranger. Don’t stand out there, you’ll catch your death.”

I step inside and nod at the man. He gestures to a small hob where a pan simmers.

“Hot soup if you want it. Cold night.”

He pushes up his goggles and I notice that his eyes are artificial.

“Thank you. I do not feel the cold.”

I look towards the items on his desk.

“You like them? My friend down the street 3D prints foam-metal, then I finish, assemble and paint them. We’re all creators down here in Makers’ alley.”

“You are a creator?” I smile to myself.

He sticks out a hand ”Cushing. What do they call you, friend?”

“Frank. It was my ... father’s name.”

“That’s quite a handshake you’ve got, Frank. You’re sure about the soup? You feel cold.”

Two men push through the sheeting. The large one carries a baton with a glowing blue tip. He eyes me while the other fingers the buckles on Cushing’s bench.

“Nice work, Mr C.”

“What you want, Lee?”

“Rent’s due. Who’s this? Looks like death warmed up.”

“Just a friend of mine. And I paid already.”

Yeah, been an increase. You pay extra. To me.”

“Sounds like you’re skimming, Lee. I’ll speak to Mr Whale myself.”

“Eye-Gore, reason with Mr Cushing for me.”

The large man moves but I am faster. Stronger too. He presses the baton against my chest and sparks fly but I just smile. It is over in moments, the two men are gone, running into the night. One of the many things my father “gifted” me was a capacity for violence.

“Thank you, Frank. Electricity another thing you don’t feel?”

“I have ... history. Not many things harm me.”

He looks at me closely now, noting my scarred wrists, staring at the way my yellow skin clings to the skull.

“Glory be, you’re him, aren’t you? The creature who can’t be killed. What are you doing here in the Meg?”

“I walk the Earth, my travels brought me to this new world.

“And a poor introduction to it too. What will you do now?”

“I like the idea of ... creators. I will stay a while ... if that is ok ... friend?”

“Perfect. Let’s meet the others. You’re going to fit right in, Frank.”

JamesC

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #11 on: 26 February, 2018, 02:05:20 pm »
Hey, EC - I really enjoyed that one.

Bad City Blue

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #12 on: 27 February, 2018, 01:08:39 pm »
nice late entry

Bad City Blue

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Re: Jan/FEB SHORT STORY COMP - "Penny Dreddful" - WIN LawgIVer Tickets!!!
« Reply #13 on: 01 March, 2018, 01:33:23 pm »
voting thread is NOW UP