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August Writing Challenge

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Postby NickyDude » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:54 pm

Here's the August edition of the Writing Challenge. As always, please remember to read the rules before taking part. All entries to be in by 1st September.

Location: Office
Contains: Desks, chairs, computers, cabinets, papers, phone, Newton's Cradle, notepad, framed picture of a lemon.




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Postby NickyDude » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:31 pm

No one even attempting this then. :(
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Postby brain in jar » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:28 am

You had very good word that no-one usually returns to the office at night, and that it would be safe to return with some floppy disks and a camera, but now the bipedal pace of a human, or "other", is unmistakable.

Megaclassified Office

At the back is the CyberSarge's desk, complete with his well known foul vocabulary and artistic skills carved into the sides. Behind that is an exorbitant office chair and on top some decidedly unremarkable papers and documents along with a telephone. On either side of the room, long, sturdy tables are lined up with computers underneath and monitors on top of them. At either side of the door there are some filing cabinets. Although most of the drawers on them appear padlocked, the sole one which is open has a notepad and and a mangled Newton's Cradle hurriedly crammed inside it. Above the door is an 8x12 glossy reproduction of a still life painting of a lemon, titled "Daunting".

You can hear someone coming.


Edit: Yahoo, five entrants! :p Why isn't that mentioned in the rules, NickyDude?




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Thanks, Bondo!

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Postby revgiblet » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:16 am

The office has the stink of musty citrus - a scent you attribute to the framed "Scratch 'n Sniff" picture of a lemon on the eastern wall. The office is outfitted appropriately, with one desk beneath the picture and another against the window. In an unsurprising twist, each desk has a chair, computer and phone allocated to it. Two cabinets sit alongside the first desk, with a pile of yellow, ragged papers spread out on top of them. You notice that the second desk has a notepad on it, a ragged strip of paper near the binding letting you know that the top sheet has recently been torn off.

In the middle of the room there is a cradle, from which Baby Newton peers at you. He regards you with quiet interest, though his red-rimmed eyes suggest that he's been here alone for a while. This is always the unhappy consequence of "Bring Your Children To Work" day.

What now?
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Postby Sprite » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:13 pm

This is probably the most important office in the whole company; your 'pride and joy', ever since you were promoted above those cubicle-dwelling peons six months ago. Aside from the standard desks and chairs, the cabinet full of paperwork and the telephone, you have added 'PERSONAL TOUCHES' as befitting your rank!

These are: a wooden frame containing a photo of your 'loved one' (or, in fact, the lemon picture that came with the frame), and a Newton's cradle.

Your notepad - another little 'personalisation' - is on the desk with your computer (TWO MONITORS. That's right, TWO).

You are Henry Porter, and you stand astride the world like a colossus.


I picture him as the kind of man who over-uses finger quotes. I kind of already hate him.




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Postby Cain » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:01 pm

You slowly make your way into the office. It is like a battlefield strewn across the room. The cubicles, a crowded mass where legions of drones suffer, while a single officer sits alone, well away from the rabble, giving orders as he sees fit.

Your own cubicle is much the same as any other. A simple, steel desk pressed against the faux-wall holding the weight of a computer (made sometime in the early 90's), a telephone (which you will use, no doubt, to interrupt someone's meal), and a stack of papers completely covered with phone numbers.

The supervisor's desk is directly behind you. It is much larger than yours, and made of a fine oak. Large cabinets dominate the wall behind him, each one with a seemingly endless supply of new numbers to call. All day long he seems to just sit and scribble on his notebook, occasionally relaxing from his 'hard day' at work by watching the Newton's cradle that rests on his desk swing repetitively back and forth, increasing further the feel of monotony. With a sigh, you prepare for work.



A picture of a lemon is staring at you. The same picture that adorns every cubicle in the office; one of management's better attempts at raising morale.
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Postby Stormchild » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:06 pm

Cubicle Farm (In Johnson's Cubicle)

Like the countless others surrounding you, this cubicle is a small three-sided enclosure designed to limit the ingenuity of the mindless corporate drones who work here. There is a synthplast desk occupying one wall, a pair of filing cabinets another while the third contains only a framed photograph of a lemon, hanging at a slight angle. A computer hums quietly to itself on the desk, accompanied only by the constant clacking of the newtons cradle acting as paperweight for a stack of corporate memos and other papers. Tucked in beside the computer is a phone, unusual in that its cable has been cut and the handset is missing.

It is clear that Johnson left in a hurry, as the overturned chair and discarded notebook on the floor would be more than enough for one of the corporate task masters to file for termination if they spotted it.
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Postby NickyDude » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:27 pm

Phew! The minimum number of entries for the challenge to take place is 5, I thought I was going to have to abandon it!
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Postby Sprite » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:42 pm

Never fear, Nappyduke, the challenge lives! :cool:
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Postby quantumsheep » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:34 am

NickyDude wrote:Bursting through the heavy doors, you stumble and fall as the floor disappears from under your feet.

Hitting the ground hard a second later, you curse, looking around frantically, trying to find your bearings.

Darkness envelops the office. You catch your breath, carefully standing up, and peer into the room with eagerly searching eyes.

Staring hungrily into the darkness, you can't make out a single piece of furniture. The room appears to be completely empty.

Then you hear a phone ringing somewhere in the room.

Startled, you move your head around, quickly trying to ascertain where the sound is emanating from. The left? The right? In front of you?

You suddenly realise it's coming from somewhere above you...

Your head is guided upwards, as your eyes adjust to the darkness. Slowly. This isn't right...

There are desks on the ceiling. You can see them begin to take shape as your eyes become used to the dark. You realise the ceiling is covered in them, fixed upside down, hanging from their legs.

You now see the ringing phone is one of many. Holding on, impossibly, to the sufrace of the desk it's attached to, it abruptly stops its shrill noise.

Suddenly the room is bathed in a harsh fluorescent glare from lights entombed in the flooring.

You let out a small shriek, and try to shield your eyes somewhat from the surprisingly unwelcome influx of light.

Looking up to avoid the sudden glare, you can clearly see the rest of the office furniture on the ceiling, a macarbre looking flower arrangement of paper, plastic and metal.

You see computer towers, snuggled under the desks, revolving chairs perched slightly in front of them. You catch sight of a Newton's Cradle, the balls sticking straight up towards the ceiling as though being paraded on tiny stilts. There are metal filing cabinets dotted around, some with their drawers open, the papers inside miraculously defying gravity, as if glued in place, unwilling to float gently to the floor.

In the centre of the floor, or rather the ceiling, you see a modern chrome framed picture of a lemon. It looks surprisingly normal in this impossible room.

Sitting in front of the picture is an unremarkable looking notepad. You move towards the objects, nervously glancing upwards from time to time, sure that the materials above you will come crashing down onto your head.

What now?

Bit long? :oh-no:




Edited By quantumsheep on 1219887676
Completed projects
1: "The Seance" (ODD competition entry)
2. "Main Course" (ODD competition entry)

Currently working on:
1: The Lighthouse (a horror story collaboration with Dan Blazquez)
2: An(n)achronism
3: Velocity
4: About 100 other ideas :O
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Postby Lumin » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:11 am

Sprite wrote:I picture him as the kind of man who over-uses finger quotes. I kind of already hate him.

That one's going to win, "calling" it now. :quotes:

Anyway, here's my attempt, for what it's worth:

This is your office. Here and only here the world is neat and orderly, running right on time and at your command. It's more than just your place of work; it is your sanctuary, your castle, and you are the lord of all you survey.

Right now that includes your desk, loyal servant that it is, patiently bearing up your wise old computer and the stacks of paper waiting to be either faxed off or filed away in the tall cabinet that stands at attention just to your left, so that you only need swivel your throne to reach it. On one end of the desk is the Newton's cradle Sarah gave you years ago, the steel balls ready to swing like acrobats at the slightest touch, and on the other end is a sleek, no nonsense phone waiting to relay your every message.

Directly before you is a purple notebook, in which the day's to do list is broken into half hour segments and listed in columns as neat as any marching army, and hanging on the wall by the door is a framed photo of you and Sarah, laughing and standing next to your first car, a red convertible. A pity it turned out to be a lemon; in the end you spent more money trying to fix it then you paid for it in the first place. Still, you keep the photo around for nostalgia's sake. Sarah always used to call it 'the Chariot' and joke that it was your real highschool sweetheart, back when the two of you still talked.

To the north stands the stern and impassive door, faithfully guarding your kingdom's border.




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Postby NickyDude » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:47 am

Sprite wrote:Never fear, Nappyduke, the challenge lives! :cool:

Thanks Spit.
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Postby Sprite » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:01 pm

quantumsheep wrote:Bursting through the heavy doors, you stumble and fall as the floor disappears from under your feet.

Oooh, narrative alert... do we still penalise for that?

(Not a kinky sexual thing, don't worry. Not often anyway. Depends what mood NippleDube's in.)
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Postby NickyDude » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:14 pm

quantumsheep, could you please amend your entry as it's more of a story than just a room description. nice story though. :)

Thanks for the heads-up Sperty.
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Postby quantumsheep » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:41 pm

Will do - no problem. Before Monday I take it?

To be fair, I did PM someone about the rules, but got no reply :(

Cheers all for setting me straight ;)


EDIT - Ok, count me out of this one- I just don't have time to edit all that again!

I'll give the next one a go ;)




Edited By quantumsheep on 1220232311
Completed projects
1: "The Seance" (ODD competition entry)
2. "Main Course" (ODD competition entry)

Currently working on:
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2: An(n)achronism
3: Velocity
4: About 100 other ideas :O
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