Monday, January 16, 2006

Summary of OO3

For those that are new to this blog, it contains the archive of the 2005 summer contest hosted by Modern Acropolis, Online Onslaught Three.

Online Onslaught gathers talent from all across the US into one writing contest -- meant to encourage creativity and expression in all the writers. To participate next summer, email me at If you would like to read the prompts and posts from this contest, continue reading below.

Additionally, check out OO2 from summer 2004. (Note, the original Onslaught is no longer on the internet)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Players' Identities

In Removal Order:

Week Removed/Ranking (if applicable)/Alias/Real Name/Blog Address(es)

1/Arty Ant/Tim Kamermayer/Journey for Something More
1/Rowdy Racoon/Kristen/none
1/Mysterious Monkey/Ian Samuel/Burning Light of Reason
2/Daring Dragonfly/Alan Tauber/Xanga & Storm of Thoughts
2/Giddy Giraffee/Kiyomi Bolick/Xanga
2/Daunting Dolphin/Caity Ross/Livejournal & Square Pancake
2/Benign Butterfly/Anna Grey/none
2/Sassy Snake/Kyle Cheesewright/none
2/Original Owl/Mel Gibbard/From the Inside
2/Brainy Badger/Undisclosed
2/Earnest Elephant/Vivienne Creamer/Xanga & Musings
3/6/Wordy Woodpecker/Abram Rose/none
3/5/Ferocious Fox/Undisclosed
3/4/Precious Panda/Thomas McCloskey/Xanga
3/3/Creative Cardinal/Jenny McBride/Basil the Killer Sheep & Ivory Angel & Livejournal
3/2/Tenancious Tiger/Matt Harms/none
3/1/Flippant Flamingo/Andrea Parish/Live Journal & If Walls Could Cook

Monday, July 25, 2005

Final Results

The rankings of the top six players:

6) Wordy Woodpecker*
5) Ferocious Fox*
4) Precious Panda
3) Creative Cardinal*
2) Tenancious Tiger

And the winner after three weeks of stiff competition, Flippant Flamingo!

All players denoted with a * recieved signficant penalties for missing a prompt.

Note all ex-players: Contact me within three days (Wed at noon) via email with your blog address if you'd like it included (I know some of yours) when I reveal the identies of the players or if you'd like to remain annonymous.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Flippant Flamingo # 9

The air is thick with sex
Heat, sweat, light and music pulsing
Filling every nook and cranny. The room
Dancing frantically, bodies adorned with wings
Feel the subtle, heightened effects of the drug

Known as Buddah's embrace, an illegal drug
That enhances emotions, sensations, and sex.
Ecstasy give each dancer's mind wings
That beat with each beat pulsing
Sound waves that molds the cherry smoke.
In this huge, dark, hot room

No one person is given enough room
To naturally move, claustrophobia unfelt by the drug
Affected mass. Almond smoke
Hovers on the ceiling like an angel of sex
That shoots arrows, spilling the pulsing
White blood out of the dancers wings.

Angels of black circle their dark wings
Around each painted raver in the room,
Their barely perceptable heartbeats adding to the pulsing
Rythem that the small, chalky, white drug
Has encouraged.
Out of their minds with heat and sex
Dancers forget their cravings for methonal smoke;

Although the ritual nicotine smoke
Will give them temperoary wings
To survive the day with no thought of sex
And of that undecorated, rented room
In which they created a new type of drug,
One that gives their hearts a new pulsing

And pounding.
They lie pulsing,
Surrounded by their clouds of salty smoke
Creating the only sensation free of the drug.
They will relearn to fly with out those wings
Created by the enviornment of the room
That was full of musk and sex.

The wearing of wings takes a delicate drug,
A mind insane with sex and rabid with pulsing
In a room full of smoke and ecstasy.

Tenacious Tiger #9

I grew up in a musical family. My Aunt was my music tutor from the time that I was in second grade, so I grew up using songs as a way to pack things away into the duffle bag of my memory. Some people take pictures to remember different phases of their life, but I've always used music. To this day, all it takes is a few notes of a certain song to make feelings and ideas flood to the forefront of my brain, making me remember the exact slice of time as if I was there living it again.

I Do It For You -- Bryan Adams:
Look into my heart, you will find
There's nothin' there to hide
Take my as I am, take my life
I would give it all, I would sacrifice

I was wearing a charcoal grey suit, unfitted, that was purchased in a hurry. The putrid scent of dozens of different flowers was overwhelming as you sat in the pews. Maybe it was the perfume of all the women there, as well. I kept my head down and listened to a pastor speak about the accomplishments of my father, and how he now will look after my sister and I from above. The clip-on tie I was wearing was pushing against the already gigantic lump in my throat. Before they played the song, some people spoke about how they remembered my father and what he meant to them. But I just sat there, wondering what I would do next in life, sizing up the legacy I had to live up to.

Sidewinder -- Lee Morgan

A simple piano lick opens with a nice kicked-back drum beat. It's calm and relaxing, just the two little sounds toying with one another. The rest of the band just sits back and waits while Kyle and D-Rock do their thing. Then WHAM, the crowd gets a nice wake-up call in an instant as 15 trombones, saxes, and trumpets drop the fattest, rowdiest, loudest note they can. (The goal of that note, as the band members would explain, was to create such a shocking and startling sound that it would make all the babies in the crowd cry.) Then, back to business as usual, a driving beat replaces the old one as David and I trade fours with one another. I'd make a statement, he'd try to top it, then I'd show him who's boss, all using my sax and his trumpet. We toyed with one another for a minute or two, then the rest of the band joined in until David and I reached our featured solos. But as the song winded its way to the end, I realized that I would when it was done, I would never pick up my sax again. Ten years of practicing, playing, and sweating came to a grand censura of a finale. I ended my playing career with the best performance I had ever managed to put together, and I was pleased to walk away on top of the world.

These are but a few examples of how songs open my memory banks. Maybe it was my musical upbringing, or maybe I'm just a freak, but for me, music makes anything possible. It lets me speak to my father, it lets me communicate with friends from the past. It just lets me be me.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Creative Cardinal #9

When I first saw him, tiny pale fist curled in on himself, his pink lips quivered. Tired, he would cry. I put my hand (not so big yet) on his head. It was like touching down feathers. My fingers felt so warm. I was only two and so I didn't really understand what this creature was, this rumpled ball of flesh and fat that sobbed constantly and drooled over everything, but I loved him anyway. I patted his head and whispered, "Bae. Bae."

My responsibility. I wanted to protect him. I wanted to keep him safe forever.

He had a yellow blanket when he was little. Yellow was his favorite color because it was "the happiest" or so he told me. "Celebration" was his favorite song. There was this Denny's commericial that always came on during Ninja Turtles and he'd always get up. His yellow, footed pajamas flew fluff everywhere and he jumped from couch to couch, singing at the top of his shrilly, silly lungs: "Celebrate good times! Come on!" I, who was too mature for some things, rolled my eyes. Then we pretended that the brown carpet was hot lava.

My responsibility. I will wrap him up in winnie-the-pooh sheet and put him in a laundry basket. He always wanted to play with my dolls. I didn't want him to because it wasn't right for boys to play with Barbies. Mommy just told me that it was because he wanted to play with his big sister, he wanted to be included in everything she did. He loved me so much.

He told me very solumnly one day after rocking it on the swingset that he was going to marry me someday. I took his hand and kissed it and told him that it was against the law, but he promised we'd find a way anyway. Silly boys. We played dress-up. I pushed him on the swingset, my slender arms trembling as I tried to rocket him to the sky. My brother. My one and only little brother.

Not always. Do you remember when our sibling came along? We didn't want him following us so we shoved him in a closet and told him not to come out. He didn't even cry, much. whenever we'd exclude him, he'd promptly roll over and take a nap. Sometimes we didn't even notice. Especially not the time we got Monopoly money all over my parent's bedroom, smeared across the carpet in jagged, paper rainbows.

Baseball bats with walnuts. The shells got everywhere. I remember his wailing in the other room. We both got spanked at once. Not always, though. Usually I was the first. When they hauled us in for shots, I always got it first and was told not to cry. I had to be brave and take it so that my younger brother would know that it was okay. For him, I bit my lip. For him, I refused to cry a tear. Not until I was alone, anyway. It was my responsibility.

Alone. Maybe...maybe...maybe... He wanted to be with me always. And we were together, most of the time. We made num-chucks out of soda-straws and marshmallow men out of toothpicks. But there were days when I wearied of him hanging on to me, when I slammed the door in his face and leaned my back up against it so that I could play alone. The cars drove over the play mats the way I wanted them to, the blocks could be built in towers that he never knocked down, and I wouldn't have to explain the awkward story lines pumping through the tiny figures that danced at my command. He didn't understand rape but I did, even then. And the toy women would be hurt and trembling only to be rescued by a knight in shining armor who turned out to be not a knight at all, merely another villain trying to make girls do thing they didn't want to do. Things they couldn't quite remember afterwards. Maybe if I hadn't shut him out, maybe if I hadn't hid that part of myself maybe he'd trust me more today. Maybe he would have trusted me more before. Maybe things wouldn't have gotten this out of hand.

He doesn't like the color yellow anymore. What do you do when the boy who was everything to you, the boy who was your responsibility, loses the joy inside his eyes? What are you supposed to do when he comes to you with the blood running down his arm, telling you that he cut himself with eyes cold and never moving. He held the razor that cut along his own skin, crying that he didn't deserve to live.

Bae. Bae. They tell you he's not your problem. They tell you he's beyond your control. They tell you that you have to live your own life and let him live his, but how can you possibly do that when you were the one who held him up in the swimming pool, who gave him rides on your back when you were both learning how to swim? We called it the water taxi. I'd spin him so fast he'd inhale water bubbles and mommy would scold me but we'd do it again.

How do you go on when the one thing that mattered to you more than anything else in the world suddenly changes into something that you never thought it could be. And your friends are still laughing and your teddy bear still smiles but you look up into a Godless sky screaming inside because the pain is so much. You were responsible for him and you FAILED.

All I can think of on days like this, are yellow footed pajamas and words to a Denny's commercial: So bring your good times, and your laughter too... We gonna celebrate your party with you....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Precious Panda # 9

I walk these streets….

Reverend Carnat had presided over some interesting weddings before, but this certainly was a first. The bride was screaming—singing, actually—and knocking over the flower displays in the church. Oddly enough, right when she shoved the groom to the ground, all reverend Carnat could think about was stage diving.

Mathew Carmichael and Sandy Almaeda were the all-American couple. After meeting in a freshman seminar class at Kansas State, they dated for the next five years before they finally appeared ready to settle down. When Michael, who by then was the head softball coach at a local high school, proposed to Sandy, a software designer, everyone thought they were happy.

Sandy, however, was far from happy. She knew that Mathew had cheated on her repeatedly, including several affairs with his students. While his sense of humor was somewhat entertaining when they were 18, his fart jokes stopped being funny a long time ago. Sandy felt like she was dating a real-life Peter Griffin, an alcoholic moron who treated her like the fungus living between his rolls of skin. For some reason, though, she couldn’t bring herself to end it. Childhood asthma and years of psychological abuse from Michael left her physically and emotionally weak, so when he proposed, she didn’t have the strength or self-esteem to fight him off.

A newspaper headline days after the wedding read, “iPod bride goes wild.” If they only knew the half of it.

As Sandy came down the isle, reverend Carnat noticed that something wasn’t quite right. She was bobbing back and forth with a swagger and confidence that he hadn’t seen in her before. When Sandy’s father lifted her veil and stepped back, he saw that her eyes were bloodshot and she was wearing small headphones connected to an iPod, which she held in her hand. It blended right in with her dress. Sandy turned to the reverend and said “it’s all the same…only the names have chaaaaaanged…every day, it seems like we’re wasting awaaaaay.”

Reverend Carnat thought it would be best to ignore her and proceed with the ceremony. Mathew still hadn’t noticed that she was a little tipsy, which wasn’t uncommon in the weddings the reverend had presided over—most brides and grooms needed something to get them down the aisle. Still, Sandy kept bobbing back and forth while Mathew was saying his vows and it was a growing distraction for the audience.

Some were giggling, others whispered to each other, but everyone was startled when she suddenly shouted at him, “SOMETIMES I SLEEP, SOMETIMES IT’S NOT FOR DAYS…AND THE PEOPLE I MEET ALWAYS GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS………….SOMETIMES YOU TELL THE DAY…BY THE BOTTLE THAT YOU DRINK, AND TIMES WHEN YOU’RE ALL ALONE ALL YOU DO IS THINK…but we both know that last part isn’t true, though, right Matt? Right? Am I right? Right? When you’re all alone, all you do is watch stupid fucking nascar…Well………I’VE SEEN A MILLION FACES AND I’VE ROCKED THEM ALL.”

There was silence in the church. No one really knew what to do when Sandy threw off her veil and shoved her fiancé to the ground shouting “I PLAY FOR KEEPS, ‘CAUSE I MIGHT NOT MAKE IT BACK!” Sandy was building momentum, and when she punctuated knocking the flowers over with “CAUSE I’M WAAAANTED…DEAD OR ALIVE!” even reverend Carnat was smiling a little.

Sandy took off her ring and threw it at Mathew, whom she left lying there at the altar as she walked back down the aisle alone, a big, happy smile on her face. She pushed the church doors open and marched down the steps in the sun. Getting into the waiting limousine, she said to herself, “I been everywhere…still I’m standing tall.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

TKO Question #9

TKO Question #9

Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll
And drift away

Write about a scene that involves music. You choose the song.

[I am aware this is not political but I think you all are better on fiction/personal questions and this is the last TKO]

Post between noon tommorow and noon Saturday.

Wordy Woodpecker #8

The beach, no matter how much superficial change it endures over the years, always seems to retain its beauty. Its shape is constantly distorted by waves and humans, yet no matter how bad the initial distortion is, it always seems to return to normalcy. In fact, the beaches that have been around the longest always seem to be the most beautiful, despite enduring abuse for a so much longer time. This resistance to all nature and man throws at it should remind us how to deal with all of our own individual problems.

An individual raindrop does little to harm to the shape of the beach, but alas, the little raindrop rarely comes alone. After a shower of raindrops, the beach is a mere shadow of its former image. Each drop leaves a tiny individual mark that allows further drops to have more of an impact, and all that is left is a battered surface filled with tiny craters where the final drops fell. And yet, one day later and one can’t tell of any damage to the beach’s surface at all. Similarly, we all face our own “rainstorms” at times, where small problems all seem to come at once. We can easily face each problem if they happen one at a time, but it is so much harder when they come all at once. But like the beach, we must be able to move on. Instead of letting each individual problem compound into something larger, we must be able to clear our mind and deal with each problem separately from each other. Alas, if only it was as easy as the beach after a rain storm.

Waves routinely crash into the shore, but every so often, a wave that is large enough will pound the beach hard enough to change its shape for a while. But while the shape may have changed, it manages to still be a great sight to behold. And each individual wave that crashes onto the beach leaves just a little sentiment that adds to the beach’s long time value. Similar, we all have “waves” crash into us, incidents so poignant that they still influence our current actions. But, much like a huge wave does not destroy the beach, we must not let powerful events destroy us either. Instead, again like the beach, we must be able to take each problem and get something out of it. Trying something new often results in a feeling of failure when one doesn’t perform as expected, but is always beneficial. The pain is temporary, but what is learned stays with you for a lifetime.

Tenacious Tiger #8

"Now Jonathan, we need to talk about all of those girls at school." I loved how blunt my grandfather could be at times.

"When I was your age, guys couldn't wrap it up when they wanted to sex girls." Holy crap, my grandfather is telling me about when he was having sex like a hundred years ago. I'm not even sure that I knew what a condom was when I was 13 years old, but in retrospect, I'm sure that's what he was alluding to when he said 'wrap it up.'

"You need to find a good girl, Jonathan. Not one of those hoodlums. You need to girl to take ca--." Before he could finish, I was greeted with a finger snap to get my attention and a finger pressed over the lips to get me to shut up. The bobber on my grandfather's fishing line was dancing up and down, just barely breaking the surface of the murky water. Some little fish was toying with the fishing master. Then suddenly, the bobber--well--"bobbed" underwater, my grandfather yanked back on the rod with the force of one thousand horny 13 year olds waiting to ravage the condomless masses at the school sock-hop. Bass #1 was tossed into the bucket. A new minnow got hooked through the gut and with a high pitched whiz, the fishing line was cast another 50 yards away from the old mint-colored family boat, putting the tiny red and white bobber at the edge of visibility. Man, my grandfather could fish with the best of them.

"Now, what I was saying, you don't need one of those crazy girls that sleeps around. You need a good one, Jon. Like your mother." Ohhhhh yeah grandpa, great way to get me to bow down at the altar of penile responsibility. Tell me I need to date my mother.

"It's a new world out there, you have more to worry about than just the birds and the bees. Now you have to worry about people breaking your eggs and stealing your honey." I'm still not sure what that means.

"When I met your grandmother, we were married within 6 months, and had your father within the first year." At the time, I didn't know that meant that my grandparents boned before they were married.

"But you can't do that anymore, Jon. You need to test drive the snow tires, make sure they can handle it all: highways, icy ponds, snow drifts. You know." I didn't know, but I just kept nodding my head, partially frustrated at the fact that the fishing skill apparently didn't trickle down 2 generations into my tiny frame. I still just sat there, fiddling with my fishing rod, waiting for the next metaphorical tidbit from my grandfather.

"So the first time you bring a girl to family Christmas, I'm going to have to really sit down and talk with her, okay?" That was our big test: family Christmas. When you brought the girl or boy with you to family Christmas, you were serious. You can't just share the Sanst ham dinner with anyone, can you? There are nuclear facilities that aren't even guarded as closely as our family Christmas.

"Got it, grandpa. Thanks. What's the best spinner bait to use in 10 feet of semi-visible water?" Change of subject, naturally.

And this is how I learned about the world. Be it my grandfather, my grandmother, or my father, life's lessons were best learned over a trolling motor and the greasy smell of large mouth bass.

Oh, and when I did take Linds to our first family Christmas, my grandpa pulled me off to the side and said "Good catch, Jon. Good catch." I suppose the fishing metaphors will never end.