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Short Story Community Competition!
#51
IGN: Nudeli
Genre: Comedy
Word Count: 669

"I've been thinking about something for a while" said Jay staring down at the palms of his hands.

With good grip from his sandals Ray kicked the side of his desk and swung around in an instant, spilling some of his coffee on his khaki shorts. 
"Whazzup homeboy?" he said, as a drop of coffee descended along his tibia through a jungle of curly dark leg hair, all the way down to his white socks.
Jay responded with silence.


"Well?" said Ray while tapping his foot, his eyes shifting from the blaring blue light of the computer screen to the person slumped in the office chair in front of it. "What is it?"

"Why is it so easy to be mean and so hard to be nice?"

Ray stood up and walked over to the Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric Espresso Machine next to the office door to refill his mug. He half sat, half leaned on the edge of the table and slowly brought the overfilled cup to his mouth. He took a sip and placed the mug beside him on the table and crossed his arms in a fatherly fashion over his short sleeved plaid shirt.

With his usual candor Ray started "Think of it like this. Pooping is easy, we do it effortlessly - always have, ever since we were born - we don't have to learn how to do it. No one needs to explain to you the timing of when to contract your sphincter or how forcefully. We essentially come in to the world as poop machines, disgustingly shitty, helpless in all domains - except we are good at making poop, crap, shit or even feces if you will. The expansive amount of words we have for it points to how fundamental it is to our existence"

Jay had swiveled his chair to face Ray, but not completely so as to not appear too aggressive. He was repulsed and it showed in his face despite his best efforts to hide it, but he was intrigued enough to see how things would unfold and decided not to interrupt. Even if he would've wanted to, he knew there was no point to try. There was no stopping Ray once he had started one of his lectures.

"Butt!" Ray exclaimed after letting the first point fester in the air for a bit, perhaps a bit too long. "We do have to learn how to wipe. We have to learn how to deal with the fact that we are indeed pooping machines destined to spread our fecal matter around us in this-"


"Okay I get it, we poop and we wipe, what's your point?" Ray looked sternly at Jay, Jay averted his eyes submissively.

"I was just about to get there before you cut me short." "My point is-" he stopped himself to remind Jay of his misstep. "My point, is that it's the same with our soul as it is with our corporeal body. As we are physically poop machines, so we are spiritually -  the two are connected, they are parts of a whole. And it takes effort to clean out the crevices of our soul so as to not let it's filthy contents spew out into the world in unsophisticated manners, to the displeasure of those around us." Ray pondered the apparent profundity of what he had just uttered and nodded proudly in agreement.

Jay looked dumbfoundedly at Ray and mumbled "Why do I even both-", he cleared his throat, "I see" he said clearly, as he grabbed his chin and tried his best to look like he was struggling to process deep wisdom.

Ray picked up his coffee again, and with a proud grin on his face he walked back to his computer chair, balancing the mug carefully to avoid spills. They sat in silence for a moment and then they simultaneously turned back to their displays in perfect unison as if they had deliberately choreographed it and continued debugging the crevices of their code throughout the night.
#52
IGN: Moohar
Genre: Comedy (lore/fantasy/dark)
Word Count: 704+3

A pet's life

The voice of Autopilot echoes through the hull. It rudely wakes me up from my dreams.
"One hour before till we land on Beta, zone 1"

I yawn hugely while stretching my branches. I wouldn't mind getting out of here and smash up some mean looking puppies. We have been to this world before, it's always puppies.

A long time ago my pack leader explained we are following a bad guy named Villain, who is trying to take over the universe by creating clone armies. Our task is to search and destroy. We smash his clones back into the gold metal plates they are made of. The plates we then dump in the bottomless pit back home, making sure Villain cannot use it to make more.
He does seem to have an endless supply of gold though, but I'm sure it won't last long anymore. We are getting close to him. Last time he barely escaped us by teleporting to another world. It doesn't matter, he cannot hide from us, we always know where to find him.
That is where our ship's probability drive comes in. According to the multi-world theory, Villain can be on any world at any time. Unlimited outcomes also means there is at least one timeline where we will win. The drive is set for that course, at least, that is as far as I can understand. Leader tried to explain further how probability drives are build in the future and send back to the past. And because of the impossibility of paradoxes the drive is indestructible and blah blah. I really lost him there.

BAM....bam...Bam..
Loud noises against our ship interrupt my thoughts.

"We might experience some light turbulence. Right now we are flying through a meteor storm. We apologise for the inconvenience", Autopilot informs me.

"Thank you, Autopilot", I say sarcastically. 'Stupid garbage', I think. 'We have been upgrading you for ages now, but somehow you keep flying into those storms.'

WHAABAAAAMMM
"Hull breach detected. Hull breach detected."

I quickly respond by getting the diamonds from last mining expedition. I throw them through the tear in the hull while I softly pray to the Universe Tree: "Please accept this offer and bless our ship with your healing power."

While the tear closes up, Leader runs in, "I'm here, let's fix this"
I look at him angrily, "You are too late now. Where were you for all of this?"
"Ooh, it looks like everything is ok here", he replies.
"Promise you will stay with us when we fight. Last time you weren't really there with us. Doing the bare minimum, just like Autopilot", i ask.

My mind goes back to last year. I still was a young snake back then. We travelled for the first time and we chased after spiders and rats. Those were good times, everything still new and exciting.

I continue talking: "Now that we have seen the whole universe many times over and slayed millions and millions of our enemies, our life may seem a little repetitive. But look at what we got now. We have a fleet we use to pillage and plunder our way through the universe. And then we got our bingo nights. Our life isn't that bad, not bad at all. And do you remember that fun snowball fight with Santa? Do you remember? Do you remember? Do you???"

"Good boy!", leader says while he digs through his backpack, "That reminds me, I got something for you."

My anger quickly fades away when I see what he got for me.
"Yes! My favorite! Apples!"

I stuff my mouth with apples. I don't care what anyone else says, fruit is in no way similar to babies. Something that tastes so good, cannot be bad for you. Before I notice something wrong I already swallowed them all. One of those apples had a funny taste. I start feeling weird as if the world is spinning and it's spring and autumn at the same time. 

"Oh no, not this again! I feel like I have to...."

The world slowly stops to spin.

"I feel like....."

I deeply inhale. I actually feel great.

"I feel like I will make them all shite themselves to death!!!"
#53
IGN: Sansara
Genre: Comical
Word Count: 432



"It's coming soon". What a disappointment.

Before v0.02a was released, the game was still interesting.

All players used to fight battles,

Clicking and using their skills to kill monsters. 

Except one; Ray.

Who just watched them enjoying the game, while he seethed and scowled

'Cause he couldn't bare to see them having fun in their spare time.

I remember Ray saying

Updates are coming soon!"

That's how the "improvements" began.

Of course Ray had created "Experience system" first.

The poor gamers. They all were the same and happy before, now they are different and unsatisfied

Because it's possible no more to reach the final goal.

You just need to run blindly forward, never able to stop and relax.

Yet people considered it being funny:

"Keep up the good work!"

"Awesome game Ray as always"

"Thank you Ray from me as well!"

"I've waited for an actual online idle game for so long!"

"Great job with the game!"

Trust me.

Every word I heard was absurd.

Yet each day Ray would open his editor

And change the source code.

Who else was smart enough to regularly maintain the game?

"Guilds" came next. Another punch in the gut.

Why would anybody need to come together?

Staying in large group made each individual responsible and dependent on others,

Investing stone to guild was instead of selling it for own good.

Still, players' foolishness was undeterred. And one day "Challenges" were released.

Everything just blew up. In chat, there was a wall of shouts and calls full of shrieks, wails, and all,

From players begging for help to complete the challenge they couldn't do by themself.

Who made this people so miserable? You know the answer.

What came next? As soon as Ray did all he could possibly do for this genre of game,

He created something absolutely different inside.

He created "Events" that were nothing compared to actual game.

False rewards made people do the same things again and again,

Mindlessly clicking and buying upgrades.

And after beating all the levels and reaching the end,

They saw "Harder difficulty" button appear!

Just monstrous!

And the final nail in the coffin was "expedition system"

Maybe it wasn't so bad at first, but after a while PVP battles began.

Do you know how difficult it is to wake up to alarm clock before week ends and progress throughout top100?

Rearranging your drones to beat particular opponent in a last second?

Do you hear that, Ray?

Please stop!

We need improvements no more.

Please return the game to the previous state.

To the version 0.01a

Because

IT
WAS
BETTER
BEFORE!
#54
IGN : Babbo

The first mission with the brand new engine has this expedition going where no mission has gone before.
Everything was smooth sailing until out of nowhere the ship stopped moving. Various efforts were put into the repairs,
but nothing seemed to be working. No other option but to send out a distress call to base.

Days go by without any news. The nerves went up as time went by. The captain got the idea to check the
intergalatic messaging service but found they were out of reach to receive new messages. He did find a message from Tim
from home base entitled : "Last minute instructions". This must have been sent not long after the launch. Curious, the
captain opens the mail. It is a video and plays automaticly after opening. There was some hope again to find a solution
to the situation. The video starts and there is a rythmic sound of electric drums and a strangly dressed
young man dancing and singing "we're not strangers to love, ...". At this point he was aware of the rolling of the rick
that has just happened and just like anyone who has had this happen to, he slowly shakes his head in anger.

Hope was lost again, and what was worse is the supplies were running low. Not much more time until the apples reserved
for the pets would have to be eaten in order to survive. But at last, luck has turned slightly. A big box was found and
much to his surprise, the captain found the box filled with beer. Seemed like with nothing better to do, he might aswell
turn a bad situation into a little party to release some tension. And it did not miss it's effect. The captain was now
laughing in tears with the video message watched earlier. He played it over and over. At this time Dave appeared and
asked to captain to stop drinking as he was obviously beyond drunk.

The captain replied in anger. "Maggghh, you, yeah i know you, you ... you just wanna meet them. You just want to get
abducted by the aliens. We all know the stories of the 'experiments', and you, turning his finger in the air and pointing
to Dave, ... you are dying to get experimented on, wahaha." Dave tried to reason with the captain to calm him down but
with the same song playing over and over, Dave was starting to lose his patience. More insults followed towards Dave.
"Yaaouu, how did you even get here, you got the skills and brains of a low leveled snake. I bet you couldn't even play
the match 3 game because it's too hard for you." Dave's eye started twitching but he decided to walk away. "Yeah, walk
away. That's all you're good at anyway" and the captian threw his can straight on Dave's head. Dave fell to the floor in
pain. He snapped, got up and punched the captain on his nose. A real stuggle followed until the captain found a knife.
Dave pleaded to the captain but he was blinded by anger and stabbed him in his belly. After that the captain passed out
in the captains seat.

A loud clicking sound was heared. A rescue shipped had docked with the expedition ship. The music still playing, the
main entry door was forced. The rescue team was horrified to see the captain in his seat passed out with an open can
of beer in one had and a knife in the other. A large gaping cut in his belly, the captain was quickly taken to the
medical room on the rescue ship.

No other passengers were found on the ship.
#55
IGN: VisWiz
Title: Maintenance break
Genre: Comedy
Wordcount: 404

“I'm totally fed up,” grumbled the valkyre massaging her forearm. “I mean, how long can anyone stand this?”

“It's more than three years already,” agreed the pirate captain, “and we haven't had a single day off!”

“He promised us regular breaks too,” added the djinn. “'At least once a week', he said, but really it's been more like once a month.”

A group of barbarian heroes was sitting around a table in a dingy little tavern debating their jobs. Most of them were busy mending their armor or tending their bruises. At the next table, a few goblins were playing cards. In a corner, a group of zombies were exchanging limbs.

“And he doesn't nearly pay us enough gold,” chimed in a dwarf who was trying to hammer out a dent in his helmet. “Or diamonds for that matter,” he added as an afterthought.

“Do you know how much a nice curvy breastplate costs nowadays?” said the valkyre. “Quadrillions don't even get close. Inflation has become really bad.”

“The worst thing is that we're not even allowed to hit back,” added the dwarf. “I really would like to give some of those obnoxious adventurer kids a ding across the ear.”

“Or those damned critters they come up with,” said the pirate captain. His wooden leg appeared to be covered with bite and scratch marks. “They have gotten way too strong if you ask me.”

“My brother tells me he's got a much better job,” remarked the djinn. “With real fights and guaranteed breaks once a week. He's even allowed to cast spells from time to time.”

“Oh what would I give for the permission to cast a nice fire storm from time to time,” sighed the valkyre. “Or at least a small firebolt.”

At this point, the door to the tavern opened and a man wearing glasses and a t-shirt brandishing the slogan 'Real programmers see sharp' looked in. He clapped his hands and shouted into the room, “Up, up everyone! Back to your places! Maintenance break is over!” and vanished again.

“One day, I tell you. One day I'm going to quit this job,” said the valkyre.

“You say that every time, dear”, remarked the pirate captain.

“Yeah, I know. But what else can I do with my life? It's all I have,” sighed the valkyre as they all filed out.
#56
IGN: Bolts
Genre: Lore

                                                                                      The Universe Chronicles

    “When time began we fought alone, we fought rats and snakes and bats and believed ourselves rich from the loot we scavenged from their decaying remains. As we progressed we began to see the value of banding together, loose coalitions began to form and soon anyone with the resources to spare, and the time to commit, began to build shelters to gather together fellow warriors and reward them with meagre offerings of extra stone and wood.


    These ragtag groups began to see the value in fighting side by side, and as each warrior stood up to the mano a mano challenges posed by tribesmen, were-creatures and cavemen so we also came together in pairs and groups to reap the benefits of battling these fiends together. In such circumstances allegiances were formed and champions rose from the crowds, willing to display their strength for the advancement of lesser mortals.


    As these champions returned to the guild halls of their brothers and sisters-in-combat they brought with them great wealth and honour and were able to help construct new buildings and improve the existing ones, to such a degree that all of us that called their dwelling home saw great benefit.

    These were prosperous times and we were all able to share in the riches of combat with a seemingly never-ending slew of opportunities to test our mettle as more and more exotic creatures were lined up to face us in battle. (There cannot be a single one of us, for example, who cannot remember the first time they fought the dreaded ‘French Fryer’ and won, even if winning did bring with it a certain feeling of hunger - for more than just the death of an enemy).


    Along with personal glory and triumph came the reflected glory of raising our pets to also become legendary fighters. As their victories mounted the need for greater space became apparent, as our once pocket sized companions grew to the size of trees in no time at all! The stages of evolution of these genetically modified animals may be baffling to some, but surely no one can deny the joy in seeing a clockwork beast transforming into a snarling dinosaur right before your very eyes! Although I think most would agree that the transformation from screaming giant ent to some relative of the e-coli virus is a little… disappointing.


    With the passing of the years we have learned new skills and conquered new worlds and technologies. Our constant need for resources has driven our battles into deep space and led us to fighting alien races as yet unknown, the only thing we do know is that their ships seem to grow in strength with every one we destroy. The spoils of each fight are worthy prizes indeed, as well as our much coveted emeralds come rare minerals seemingly used only to further our intergalactic arms race.


    Closer to home we pass the time dipping our toes in the water or idling on boats in order to catch fish worth telling stories about. The fish themselves come in a startlingly bizarre array of varieties, there has even been talk around the guild fires that occasionally one or two in a catch are made of sentient…excrement – but this is most likely a story born of too much alcohol and one-upmanship!

    By and large now our days are filled with habit and ritual with only the constant sounds of mining and wood cutting to break the silence. Our quest for stone continues unabated, truly you’d think we must be nearly through to the planet’s core by now, but this seemingly never-ending underground water source continues to baffle our attempts to dig straight through to the other side.”

---

    A voice I had grown to love over the years suddenly broke my concentration and I looked up from my magnum opus, pen still hovering over the Satyr-hide paper.

    “Are you *still* writing that dumb history book?”, enquired my snout-nosed, curly tailed friend.


    “Yes, I am actually, the records must be kept – generations to come must understand our struggles and our triumphs! They should know what came before, lest they make the same mistakes again”

    “Lest?!” My friend shook her head sadly (perhaps I have spent too long with my head in this book), “Put the pen down and come do something useful, your challenge ship has sat idle for too long, come and optimize it and get it back out there ASAP. And before you ask – yes I’ll help. Again!”
 
    Why do we fight on? Why do we continue with the daily routine? Why do we give so much of ourselves for the cause? Is it for honour? For wealth? To bring peace to this universe at last? No, nothing so noble. What we do, we do it for the chaos.
#57
IGN:  AphixiaEX
Genre: Comical?
Word Count: 187.5

After visiting Epsilon to harvest food for my rhinos, I returned to Delta.  As I shoveled out the load of vegetation, I noticed a few shrivelled up looking spuds rolling around.  They looked questionable, but I figured my rhinos would eat them anyway.  Within hours, all the vegetation had been devoured and my pets were lounging happily in the sun.

Suddenly, they both began to bellow and, as I watched in horror, they started to shrink and shrivel to a fraction of their size.  Tuberous horns sprouted through the putrid flesh, while gnashing fangs and evil little eyes turned in my direction.  They began a low grunting growl that rose into a bizarre call of "AAR!  AAR! AAAARRR!”

The moment they started rolling towards me, I fled down towards the beach.  The freakish little taters continued to follow me, forcing me to dive into the diamond waters.  Too late, I realized I was in reach of even more voracious monsters.  I was trapped in the ocean by a couple satanic spuds patrolling the beach, and could only hope that a passing whale wouldn't sneak up and eat m-
#58
IGN: LENESIS
Genre: Comical
Word Count: 553

Short story of an intergalactic beast trainer.

It all started when I was a child, I was given my first snake, and as any child would do I was holding him by a neck and shaking as a toy. I was given another one shortly after, to be able to train left hand as well, or at least I was said that years after. It did not last long though, intergalactic police took my parents away because of galactic animal cruelty, I haven't seen them since, nor I had seen my home, I was taken away and given to famous pet trainer where I could be fixed.

Coach decided it would be cruel to give me a snake again, not to me of course, but to his beloved reptile friends, instead he locked me in the bat cave, what place he thought was the best type of purgatory to pay for sins I had committed with snakes. I was sleepeing on the floor, bats were sleeping, as bats do, over me, upside down. After few days I could see the difference of sleeping in the corner, I was little cleaner, yet still covered in the sticky and smelly liquid.

After few months of the purgatory I was released, shackles were untied and he said, "now I hope you will learn how to treat pets, they need respect." I started by training bad wabbits, but they were too difficult to train, they were skipping away faster than anything I ever seen. Coach said, "take a rhino, he will not run, or if he does, you will be able to find him easily", but he seen it was a bad decision after he saw a hole in my leg three days after. "than maybe robobees?" he had asked giving me a protective suit. Unfortunately, this did not last long either, I had allergy for these little bugs, and no suit could be fully proof against their stings.

He tried to give me a brainfester, but unfortunately I introduced it to a rare virus and he turned into stone little faster than I could count to 10, and since I was four myself, it took some time, poor fester, he was dying in pain for so long. "Eureka, Clockwork, it will be perfect for you, it is mechanical, perfect fit for you" said the coach and reprogrammed his Clockwork for me, now only I could give him orders. Yet again, I was using him to raid poor travelers on the roads until I was discovered.

- Is that all what you have to say? - asked the old man with the wig on his head and a wooden hammer in his right hand.
- Please don't take me away I am only 7 - I started to cry
- I want to train rexes, I could be the master in rex double chariots in next Intergalactic Games - I answered.
- No chance, 10 years in mines, but I will reconsider in 3 because of your age, behave and maybe your sports career isn't over yet.

But well, I never made it to the games, I became an intergalactic thug who smuggle pets between planets, I had to learn my ways around them, no more holes, allergies, just a renegade life with a lot of money and few intergalactic cops on my consciousness.
#59
The Short Story Competition has now ended.
Please be patient while judging takes place. As stated before, this process will take up to two weeks.
Thank you everyone for your submissions and goodluck!
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