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Author Topic: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES  (Read 569 times)

Bad City Blue

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PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« on: 01 March, 2018, 01:32:59 pm »
Ho Ho Ho and a piss in the snow to you, earth scum

What a nice bunch of stories this month, dedicated to the darker side of the Dreddworld.

The winning entry (or down the line if they can't make it) will get a couple of tickets to the womderful LawgIVer mini fest in Bristol this May. Woop de do - take it from me it's gonna be great, with Ian Gibson, Simion Bisley and many more making an appearence.

SO, as usual please vote for your top three and we'll see what happens.

Seeya soon

BCB

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAD CITY BLUE

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...

--------------------------------------------------------------------

EAMONN CLARKE

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.”

------------------------------------------------------------------

K2

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.

---------------------------------------------------------

THE LEGENDARY SHARK

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

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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

JAMES C

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.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------



K2

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #1 on: 01 March, 2018, 02:41:29 pm »
Just for the record both of mine are "non-entries."  It would be too long of a swim for me to get there, and though mine has Prosecutor Fargo in it, it relates to a time before anything in the Dredd series so doesn't apply.  Thanks for the kind thought though!

K2

Bad City Blue

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #2 on: 01 March, 2018, 02:45:00 pm »
Ah, right.

Though the "non entry" thing might be ironic or something.

K2

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #3 on: 01 March, 2018, 03:19:02 pm »
1. Heath C. Ackley : Eye of the Storm.  I really enjoyed the image that it all conjured up. Seeming to describe just a few seconds of enduring the harsh environment as he faced the storm of memories in his own mind.  Quickly both those thoughts and the storm around him merging into one.  Well done!

2. Bad City Blue : I Killed a Judge Today, Oh Boy. Though "Penny Dreadful" is not a term used in the U.S., after looking it up I found it to mean the same as our "Pulp Fiction" or "Dime Novels."  Of all the entries I found this one to be closest to the cheesy, dark and overly dramatic vein that they are supposed to be in. Those adjectives are not intended to denigrate the style, yet to say that it exemplifies the style which frankly being as fun to read as they are, has made such publications so successful.  Another job well done!

3. James C. : Last Moments. A very good example of taking a single person's monologue, and instead of simply being a long telling of a tale, breaks it up in such a way that it condenses a lot of action/time, description of the environment/situation and chain of events that the reader infers all of that getting the whole story in a short piece.  Well done, I could see such being used in the series!

Eamonn Clarke : The Promethean, and The Legendary Shark : Blood Hounds; More great work by each of you!  On par with the three I chose above, the only reason I have yours as an honorable mention is that we can pick only three, and though simply different, the styles I chose (in that the quality of the content was equal) simply struck me harder.  Well done to both of you as well!

K2
« Last Edit: 01 March, 2018, 03:21:52 pm by K2 »

Dan Banks

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #4 on: 01 March, 2018, 03:34:53 pm »
Really great entries this time, well done all!

1. JAMES C - Last Moments - Delicious!
2. HEATH C ACKLEY - EYE OF THE STORM - Creepy!
3. THE LEGENDARY SHARK - Blood Hounds - Punny!

K2

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #5 on: 02 March, 2018, 12:27:04 am »
Though the "non entry" thing might be ironic or something.

I never thought about that, it's a good idea!

K2

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #6 on: 02 March, 2018, 08:19:46 pm »
1. James C
2. Bad City Blue
3. Legendary Shark


Good work, guys

Timothy

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #7 on: 05 March, 2018, 02:42:53 pm »
1. I killed a Judge today, O boy.
2. The Promethean
3. Eye of the storm.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #8 on: 05 March, 2018, 05:40:23 pm »
1. The Promethean.
2. Eye of the Storm.
3. I Killed a Judge Today, Oh Boy!


Echidna

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #9 on: 05 March, 2018, 06:24:30 pm »
1st BAD CITY BLUE: I killed a Judge today. Oh boy...
2nd JAMES C: Last Moments
3rd HEATH C ACKLEY: Eye of the Storm

Well done everyone :)

K2

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #10 on: 08 March, 2018, 02:35:10 pm »
I'm excited to see how the voting turns out.  Thanks Bad City Blue for hosting this contest.  Good stuff everyone!

K2

Heath C Ackley

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #11 on: 08 March, 2018, 08:30:31 pm »
1) Eamonn Clarke
2) James C
3) BCB
"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."

Bad City Blue

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #12 on: 11 March, 2018, 10:13:54 am »
last chance for votes, will wrap this up Tuesday morning

Bad City Blue

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Re: PENNY DREDDFUL Short Story VOTING THREAD WITH PRIZES
« Reply #13 on: 13 March, 2018, 11:04:35 am »
Results are in...

see the new thread