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Persy and Naft's Excellent Critique Adventure
We miss you, Persy.

Come back.

Quickies with Naft
Episode 4! Deamon and I talk about characters and fighting. And the weather.

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Portraits and Stains
The year was 1998, and his hands were shaking.

“Really?” he whispered, his brown eyes meeting her blue ones, matching tears shining in their eyes, bright and full of hope, wanting, love. In her hand, a little white stick, blurry and stretched due to the moisture that beaded on his lashes.

“Shit, Layla, really?” he repeated, exaltation exploding out of his lungs in a hiss of breath as he rushed towards her, her bubbling laughter bursting into the air between them. Their apartment was small, cramped - she preferred the term cozy and shot him a look whenever he described it as such - and the sound of their mutual joy echoed throughout the space they shared, the blue walls adorned with portraits of aunts and uncles, pets, childhood memories.

All at once he could picture them replaced with first steps, first haircuts, first words, first birthdays. Hospital visits, sonograms. Happy tears like this moment, the moment so scary and large and absolutely breath stealing.

“You’re - wow, are we okay with this?” she asked, the stick clattering to the floor as she boosted herself up his hips, cupped his face with her hands, the bristle on his cheeks pricking against her palms.

He rubbed his face against her skin, kissed her - loud, messily - and laughed into her lips.

“We definitely are,” he said, his grin splitting his face as she let out a wet bark of laughter, wiped at one of her eyes.

The moment stretched between them.

----

He woke up wet, uncomfortable. His pajama pants were soaked in blood at the knee, spots of red on powder blue. He shifted, turned to roll over, and he felt the bed shake lightly, a sound whimpering out from his right.

He rolled over, and she was curled inwards, responding to his touch with a flinch, a quiet sob. His hand, when he lifted it to his face in the dark, came out smeared dark.

The covers were thrown off, then. He shifted to his knees, one knee sinking in more dark, more wet, and somehow he knew before he even crawled to her, knew what he was going to find in the crook of her arm, knew that the joy that had stretched to this place, filled this place, was cut into ribbons.

He shifted around her, and there was a red smear on her arm, her gown, the bed. Her eyes were wet, her crying quiet, shivery, her gaze locked on a point past him, far past him, into another plane - possibly where her child had gone before she’d even had a chance to meet it.

“Layla?” he whispered, almost in reverence, almost as you did in church when you were afraid of interrupting something sacred that you didn’t understand. She didn’t respond to his call, and he pushed a piece of her hair back, leaned into her view. Her eyes tracked him, but they were lifeless as they met his own, dead as they searched his face.

“Layla?” he said again, because he was useless. Because he didn’t know what to do. Because there was nothing to be done.

Their child continued to soak the sheets underneath her as they held the gaze for far too long, too shocked, disbelieving to breathe.

---

She didn’t want to tell their family about it - the silent thing that sat between them, loomed between every conversation. They communicated in hushed tones or panicked screaming, their relationship relegated to either a one or a ten on a scale of emotions. She didn’t want to tell anyone about it because it had barely even existed before her body failed on her. She didn’t want to let anyone know because maybe she could never have a child again, so why did it matter. She didn’t want to donate the crib she’d bought, carefully chosen after three hours of deliberation with him, reading reviews online, chatting to store owners, his hand splayed carefully over her slightly rounded stomach.

She didn’t want.

He didn’t know what to do.

In the face of this, in the face of the grief that was a yardstick between them, an insurmountable peak that had risen in their relationship, he shied away, closed up. He felt like he should’ve spoken to her more, tried to get through to this cloud that followed her around.

She spent an hour sometimes, staring at that crib, her hands on her pelvis. He spent just as long watching her from the hallway, his fingers curled.

One night, he woke up to her on her knees on the bed, her fist curled on her naked stomach, blue and black and purple bruises forming on the skin there. He’d pinned her hands on either side of her body as she screamed and shook, telling him to just let her do this, let her go through with it, it’s what she needed. She kicked and scratched and bit at him and all he could do was take it, keep her hands at her sides, the tears flowing hot and fast.

She took sleeping pills sometimes, when she needed relief from the dreams that haunted her. They came in little orange bottles with a pharmacy stamped on the lid. He took sleeping pills sometimes, too, when he feared dreams might descend upon him. His pills came in brown glass bottles filled with liquid, stamped with a logo on them.

They yelled or whispered, and didn’t talk for two weeks.

---

“It’s in heaven?” she asked one day, seated next to him on the couch, the first words she’d spoken at a normal volume in weeks. She’d gone to a professional - he’d gone with her - and they’d cried together on a couch that was uncomfortable, cried and let their emotions mingle and quiver on the gross green carpet of an office that was sound proof. The man with glasses on his nose and a quiet cough got wet-eyed, too, as he picked up a pencil and dropped it over and over.

I don’t know what I can do to help you, he’d said, to both her and the man with the glasses.

You can’t, she’d replied, nobody can.

“I don’t know,” he said to her, not meeting her gaze. Her bare feet slid closer to him, and he placed an absent hand upon her toes, squeezing lightly.

“I don’t know,” he continued, “if I believe in a heaven. But I know that wherever it is, it can’t be…”

“I think you’d have made a great dad, George,” she said, softly.

He smiled, pulled tight at his lips, and shook his head, too watery to reply.

She put her legs in his lap, he rubbed at her feet, and they watched television in silence.

---

Cytoplasmic was the name of the thing that did this to them.

This time, as the diagnosis was in, as he stood shaking and staring at a piece of paper that called him worthless, de-manned, sterile, it was her turn to not know what to do. The piece of paper said that any seed he produced was far more likely - or absolutely going - to die inside her, shrivel and wilt under the body’s natural growing process. The blame she’d placed upon herself - mental and physical - grew in him, his eyes refusing to meet hers as he balled his hands around the sheet, crinkling it up.

He dropped it unceremoniously onto the floor of their apartment, staring at the white and black ball of their future.

She went to him, slid her hands up his back, rubbing at his shoulder blades.

“It’ll be okay, George,” she whispered.

“Will it,” he responded, tightly.

---

They didn’t really think about it anymore. Adoption was a process that was difficult and long, but two years later they had a daughter - Rhonda - who had dark skin and a wicked sense of humor. They got her at six months old, and she grew into a wonderful 13 year old full of sass and brains, beautiful and strong. She was the light of their life, and those portraits of childhood memories and aunts and uncles became first birthdays, first little league games, elementary school graduations, recitals. The apartment had changed to a little house, and they moved along in life.

They didn’t really think about it - hadn’t really thought about it - until a news ticker late one night informed them that the sixth class of kids had been abducted by terrorists.

George looked at Layla, then, and for a moment, they thought about their baby who stained the sheets of the bed, imagined her having grown and gone to that school, on that plane, to that place.

They linked hands, for a moment, remembered, loved, felt sorry for those families who were going through hell.

Felt grateful, too.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Right before MurderWeasel's kid, I'm ending here and re-opening the queue. I'll start with MW's kid on my next pass.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Astrid Tate:

Astrid is sort of a victim of questionable language choice a lot in her narrative, and that's something I'd love to touch on but can't because past!NAFT is an asshole who imposed a three sentence critique limit. Her death is fun - I have little love for accidental deaths, but the sheer 'meh' attitude of the killer and the belligerent rage from Astrid really sell it. I wasn't a fan of the thematic like, 'bleeding out' stylistic choice - could've been better executed - but all in all, a pretty solid read if nothing revolutionary.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Tina Luz:

Tina's a super complicated thing to talk about so I'll start with the verdict: I like her. Tina's whole thing is working in these artistic-y, prose-y type words into the narrative to create this ebb and flow of texture and language - this supple rippling tendrils that invade the brain and wrap it in a loving embrace, dooming it to ponder and re-consider life's infinite trials and tribulations. Brilliantly, in those last moments before she expired from our glowing world and into the void, she becomes truncated, blunt, and the mask slips - before flowing effortlessly back into the prose, the eloquence, of the narrative up to that point, revealing that it wasn't Tina who was painting her own thoughts - it was the camera all along.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Gabriel Munez:

Man, I'm legitimately sad now. It's really hard to top a story like this - the cut to home especially got me good. Great ride, good read, would love to see more Gabriel in the future.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Cameron Herrig:

Wow, it's hard to call Cameron a waste because she's a very good character, but I super enjoyed her and am really bummed to see her go. Her death is pretty conflicting - I'm not super sold on Al's reasoning for the kill but the reactions surrounding it are gold - and her final post is a gut punch. I like her, definitely one of the short but great reads.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Queue closed. Let's do this.

I search a person with a good memory
Jesus crimmus these fucking band names.

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Quickies with Naft
Episode 3 is now up! Rugga and I talk romance and sexytimes.

Battle Royale Mafia Fallout Thread
As soon as night fell I knew he was scum. Walked away from my keyboard going "okay something is wrong here."

Activity, folks. It's better to have more opinions than less. That last day was the most frustrated I've been in a long time. While Scum played a really smart game, I'm not sure they would've been half as successful if most of town was truly content to sit back and let them BE successful.

Anyways. Sort of bitter, but also really I'm awe of the strong play from Vyse. GG.

NAFT's lyric prompt event thing based off of Hamilton.
SansaSaver:

Alexander Hamilton
 
I practiced the law; I practically perfected it.
I've seen injustice in the world, and I've corrected it.
-- Non-Stop



Empress Plush:

Angelica Schuyler
 
I know my sister like I know my own mind
You will never find anyone as trusting or as kind
If I tell her that I love him she’d be silently resigned
He’d be mine
-- Satisfied

NAFT's lyric prompt event thing based off of Hamilton.
Here we go. Any and all lyrics I get wrong are wrong intentionally.

MurderWeasel:

Aaron Burr
 
In God we trust
But we'll never really know what got discussed
Click-boom - then it happened
And no one else was in the room where it happened
-- The Room Where It Happens


CrossBowPig:

George Washington
 
I know that we can win,
I know that greatness lies in you,
But remember from here on in;
History has its eyes on you.
-- History has its eyes on you


Primrosette:

King George
 
Oceans rise, empires fall
We have seen each other through it all
And when push comes to shove
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.
-- You'll Be Back


JDelgado (hi!):

Aaron Burr
 
My mother was a genius,
My father demanded respect.
When they died, they left no instructions,
Just a legacy to protect.
-- Wait For It


Yugikun:

Alexander Hamilton
 
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
Is this where it gets me, on my feet, sev’ral feet ahead of me?
I see it coming, do I run or fire my gun or let it be?
-- The World Was Wide Enough


dmboogie:

Angelica Schulyer
 
I remember that night;
I might just regret that night for the rest of my days.
-- Satisfied


KamiKaze:

Hercules Mulligan
 
See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians
We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!
-- The Battle of Yorktown


Zetsumodernista:

Aaron Burr
 
History obliterates:
In every picture it paints,
It paints me and all my mistakes.
-- The World was Wide Enough


Laurels:

Aaron Burr
 
Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room?
Soon that attitude may be your doom.
-- Non-Stop

NAFT's lyric prompt event thing based off of Hamilton.
Okay, you wait in line.

I give you a lyric based prompt from the musical Hamilton.

These are event prompts, so they refer to a thing that happens or will happen to one of your characters.

No take backs, one per customer, hit me!

Battle Royale Mafia Game Thread
EBWOP: I think they're both scum, but not sure who I find scummier^

Battle Royale Mafia Game Thread
Vyse, I'm down to clown. I'm also for lynching Decoy before Yugi at this point - I think they're both scum, but I'm not sure.

Also open to the possibility that Zetsu's hoodwinked us, though. That's me with my paranoid hat on. Right now townblock is Deamon, backslash, yourself, and I, with zetsu and Goose floating around outside of it.

Following the prim flip, boogie and Espi can join us - not that I'm counting on their support considering we haven't heard from them in a while.

VOTE: Toxie

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Privyet
Feb 20 2017, 02:41 AM
matt moradi, if you can find the time
He's still alive, but I'll make an exception for you because I like the cut of your jimmies.