The results are in! The ballots are counted! The boxes are ticked! The voting is over! The... something... is...
Anyway, it has come at last! In just a moment, you will be checking results and reading delicious fiction and basking in praise and complaining of bias and doing all sorts of fun things! So let us get on with it!
We had six stories entered into this competition, written by...
And the stories were judged by four amazing people, who are best known as...
That's right; only three judges are named above. This is because the fourth judge wished to remain anonymous. All I can tell you is that she's a female and her username does not start with the letter 6. For the rest of this post she will be referred to as 'Bill', which tells you a lot about my sense of humour.
So all of the stories received marks out of 200 (fifty from each judge) and were judged on five categories:
- Character and plot – How believable are the characters? How well is the story structured?
- Quality of writing – How easy is it to read?
- Oddness – How well does your story match the atmosphere of Oddworld?
- Use of the ‘ONE HOUR’ theme – How well do you incorporate the theme into your story?
- Reader’s enjoyment – How much pleasure did the judges get from reading it?
Anyway, that's about all you need to know. Let's get on with the results!
In sixth place...
'Tentacles... and a Heart' by ODDWORLDisTHEbest
He scored 107 out of 200.
In fifth place...
'Heart Racing' by Slig44
He scored 115 out of 200.
In fourth place...
'Last Hour of Slavery' by Slig# 5719
He scored 126 out of 200.
In third place...
'Clakker Life in an Hour' by Scrabtrapman
He scored 128 out of 200.
In second place...
'Fido's Hour' by Anty
He scored an incredible 154 out of 200!
But ahead by a mere 5 points and taking First Place
'Good Luck' by Oddey!!!
With a rocktacular 159 out of 200!
Congratulations, Oddey, on winning FC's fanfiction competition two years running! You are clearly the man to beat!
And a huge congratulation to all of the entrants, and massive thanks to the judges, without whom these competitions would be somewhat impossible.
Below will be all of the stories by all of the entrants. Each judge wrote a comment for each story to tell what they thought and so did I! All entries and all comments, along with a closer look at the scores, are to be found below.
In this tale, we could start many places. We could start right where the action is and just explain what happened before that, we could start at what the characters of the tale think of as the beginning, or we could start a bit before the beginning and explain a thing or two before moving onward and actually getting to the more interesting parts. With all due respect, I think we should begin a bit before the beginning, because that will give you the ground knowledge you might want to have before you listen to the rest of it, so that is what we will do. Why can’t you have a say in this? Because I am telling the story, not you.
As you may have known, Mudokons once possessed a mass of awesome technology, like wells that worked as transportation, birds that teleport you places and bells that you could control. What you probably also knew was that they were a spiritual bunch and that there beliefs were very true. After all, Abe did turn into a sort of god a couple of times. What you probably did not know was that the spiritually gifted could sometimes use it to help others, and even let them do the same. You could call this magic, but that’s been given such a bad name, what with Slurgs being pulled out of hats and the like, so we’ll call it something else, like… Spiritual happenings. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say “Spiritual happenings,” every time we want to talk about spiritual happenings and what sort of a name we want to give spiritual happenings, so lets abbreviate that to “SH”. Of course that could be confused with “Shush” but we will have to count on us to know what we’re talking about.
Now, because Mudokons are a forgetful lot, as they’ve proved by forgetting all that technology (Although it is disputed that it is due to their enslavement), some of them decided to write it down in big books and just let them lie around where they could look into them if they wanted to find something. Most of the books containing anything useful have been lost, but a handful are still around and easy enough to find. Which is exactly what some natives in Monsaic Lines found while patrolling the outskirts with their slingshots. I think you can guess what was in it. Yes, you guessed right. It was “SH”. And that’s where our story really begins.
Sorry to interrupt, but I am afraid there are no chapters in this story, but there is a prologue, which you have already heard, and an epilogue, and a middle bit. Unfortunately, I am at a loss as to what the middle bit is formally called, so I have dubbed it a “Centrilouge” in hopes that you would see what I mean. But now the story will really, really begin.
“You know, there’s a lot of neat stuff in here!” said Jaff for about the seventh time, still looking through the book. He couldn’t read, but there was a bunch of illustrations to help for just that.
“Yeah, we know, we know Jaff,” Said Ipli and Orgo for about the sixth time. Ipli and Orgo had a lot in common, although they were born and hatched at the exact same time. They were both felt they were mature, they were both more brains than brawn, they were around the age where you give up on most dreams you have in exchange for whatever you can get. Jaff was a bit of a dreamer and a bit more childish; a bit like Abe, who had recently become a sort of hero for many Mudokons.
“I think we could use this stuff to do some good,” said Jaff, now seemingly over the shock of how much was actually in the book.
“Like what? Said Ipli before Orgo could say the exact same thing.
“Being like Abe maybe,” said Jaff, his eyes now glazing over into a wonderful little dreamland with him standing atop a pile of Sligs, book of power in hand. At this, both Orgo and Ipli rolled their eyes in the way that an irritating older fellow might do when a child told him something that simply could not be in the old fellow’s world. And much like the irritating older fellow would have done, Orgo and Ipli began a long lecture on why that wouldn’t work, supplementing one another, crafting a completely sound argument, that fortunately had no effect on Jaff whatsoever, who was still in a daydream about him destroying gluttonous corporations.
Natives like Jaff, Orgo and Ipli didn’t really live anywhere in particular. They didn’t have a dwelling, because there was no need for one. The ground in Monsaic Lines is usually soft, and feels almost like a soft grassy mattress, which is great news for delicate feet. Food isn’t so much an issue when you live in a forest-like environment and you are generally a herbivore. So Jaff, Orgo and Ipli just took rests wherever they wanted. And as it was, it was a rather nice patch of grass, considering how industries were gradually destroying the landscape near Monsaic Lines. Orgo, Ipli and Jaff didn’t know it, but those lumber cutters didn’t have that long a way to go before they would reach the places they patrolled. Although the slingshots natives handle can potentially be lethal, they aren’t exactly equipped to handle much more than the occasional Slig.
Jaff poured over the book for a while, observing each and every “SH” very carefully. Orgo and Ipli didn’t bother to stop him. They had wasted enough breath on him already. Or at least, for now. This continued for about three minutes before Jaff was seemingly certain had found what he was looking for, for he closed the book and picked it up.
“That’s what we’ll use this book for! We’ll shut down, blow up or bankrupt whatever Glukkons or Sligs or whatever is close by!” said Jaff almost ecstatically. Orgo and Ipli sighed as they usually would and began to prepare a long argument as to why it would not work, and this time Jaff was actually listening. As Orgo and Ipli drew a breath in their long case, Jaff decided to butt in.
“There is something in here that make everything you do go completely the way you want it for an hour. I can’t read whatever it says next to it, but the picture is easy enough to see,” Said Jaff triumphantly.
“Well, you still need to find someone who wants to read this up for you,” retorted Orgo in a sort of calm in-your-face manner.
Fortunately for Jaff, he did actually find some way to read it up. Close to the center of Monsaic Lines, lives the Almighty Raisin. Sometimes his help is a bit lacking, due to his obvious sleeping disorder, but usually he can get the more important bits across. So that was exactly what Jaff had in mind. The Raisin had of course told them half of it, when he fell asleep. But that was all the information Jaff needed. Apparently there was a touchstone somewhere that would give him complete knowledge over this language that he could not read nor recite. Where exactly was a bit unclear, and unfortunately for Jaff, he had no real idea where to find it, or where to start a search. Monsaic Lines is a big place, and there are only so many Mudokons who would bother to help Jaff to find it. Orgo and Ipli were still right behind Jaff, but only because they were waiting for an opportunity to talk Jaff out of his childish ideas.
“If I was a touchstone, where would I be? I’d have to be a tricky-to-find schmuck and hard to get to,” Jaff thought aloud. Orgo and Ipli were not particularly helpful at this time, but Jaff still thought of something. He started climbing his way up into whatever was above. Jaff figured that something hard to get to would be on high ground or possibly in a tree. It turns out his suspicions were correct. But it wasn’t just hard to find. It was hard to get to. It was on an isolated little bit of rock hanging from several precariously placed vines. If that wasn’t hard enough, it was also quite a fair distance from anything that you could jump off of. Add to that the fact that there were swinging pendulums of a sort, but more spiky. So all in all, if there was a touchstone, which there had to be, it was probably this one. Orgo and Ipli stood wide-eyed.
“This is suicide,” they said softly, but in unison. Jaff wasn’t really paying attention though, he was more focused on time his jump. Which he did, and took off running at the little bit of rock hanging dangerously far from the ground. Ipli and Orgo ran at Jaff screaming,
“Stop, stop, stop! You’ll break your neck! Your legs! You’ll be spiked by the spiky thingy! Stop!”
Just as Ipli and Orgo almost reached him, Jaff found himself at the ledge and he leaped. Straight past the swinging spiked ball, avoiding painful impalement, and not avoiding landing on the hanging rock, forcing the rock to move ever so slightly. This was designed to be a one use touchstone, but due to the fact that it had been made many years back, the vines had strengthened quite a fair bit, preventing the rock from falling when even a small amount of weight was added. Jaff reached out for the touchstone and as soon as he had laid the first finger on it, his mind was flooded with images and knowledge as to everything he needed to know about the language written in the book.
Now all Jaff had to do was jump back, with Ipli and Orgo still shouting. Again, Jaff managed it beautifully and gracefully, for a Mudokon anyhow. This didn’t stop Orgo and Ipli from giving him yet another lecture as to the dangers of leaping between two instances with objects like swinging pendulums or spiky balls between them as well. Jaff shrugged them off yet again, leaving Orgo and Ipli exasperated and a bit angry.
Since Jaff could now read exactly how this “SH” worked, he decided to exactly that and then read the instructions for how to start it. Apparently, it made the next hour go completely to whatever plans you had in mind, which many would agree would be useful. The instructions said that all you had to do to make an hour go according to plan was to sacrifice another hour of your life to go completely wrong, and say a couple of initiation words. To Jaff this did not sound like much, but to Orgo and Ipli… Well, I think you can imagine what a pair of this sort would say about something like “SH”.
“Jaff, this is just a bunch of hooby-baloogy. There’s no way just saying a couple fancy words will make you have one great hour,” scolded Orgo.
“And even if it did work, imagine what could happen to ya in that one hour you have to give up!” supplemented Ipli. As you can imagine, Jaff ignored them once again, but decided he would not be able to do this with them around.
“You’re right. This is not going to work at all” Jaff replied. Jaff was not usually a good liar, but sometimes when the occasion really calls for it, people can be very good at it.
“Good to see that you’ve got some sense in ya after all.” said Ipli after a brief silence.
They continued their walk back to their usual patrol route, until Ipli and Orgo, who usually decided these sorts of things, said they would take another break here. Which is exactly what happened. Jaff waited for the perfect moment, which is more or less what he got when Orgo and Ipli decided to take a nap. Sneaking off silently, Jaff read the little word aloud which allows for the “SH” to begin. The word is far too difficult for someone without a Mudokon’s mouth and vocal chords to pronounce, and has not been mentioned to prevent serious damage to your vocal chords and tongue. As he uttered the last syllable, Jaff didn’t feel anything or see anything, but didn’t really give it a second thought. So, Jaff set off in a direction, that just so happened to lead him directly to a large building after a few minutes. Even more amazing was the fact that half of the factory staff was outside chopping down trees one at a time, and as if to prove the “SH” had worked; there was even a small entrance in sight.
Needless to say, Jaff managed to infiltrate the facility like a ghost. Guards passed him by without a glance in his direction, no matter how exposed Jaff felt. Everything seemed to be going exactly the way he wanted them to. He even found a self destruct button. But deciding that it would hardly be nice to leave any Mudokons trapped here, he made a quick sweep around the facility. The “SH” was still in effect, so he found every off-duty Mudokon in one place, and even managed to lead them to the exit. Guards, ledges, bits of machinery and everything potentially lethal missed them all by a long shot, and it felt like a walk in the park to Jaff and the other Mudokons.
Once he was certain he had led every Mudokon out, he headed for the button. Pressing it after a few moments of consideration, he bolted out towards the exit, thinking the button would emit a lot of noise. What Jaff didn’t know was that the wiring to the alarm was broken and so nobody was alerted to the factories imminent destruction. Unfortunately, this somehow meant the delay for the self-destruction was decreased, meaning that Jaff would be very hard pressed to get out. Luckily due to the “SH” that was still in effect, he just made it. The working Mudokons looked up in surprise and their supervisors fled, thinking it was going to engulf them in flames. Free of Sligs, the Mudokons simply returned to work. This may not seem very bright, but they weren’t sure what else to do. Until Jaff came over and explained they should come with him, where they gladly followed. Leading them to the heart of the Monsaic Lines, he would have presented them to the raisin, were he not asleep. Instead, he handed them over to the shaman, who doubled up as a tour guide for newly freed Mudokons. Ever since Abe had begun his exploits, someone had to teach the city-folk how things worked when you were free.
Needless to say Ipli and Orgo had gone looking for Jaff when they awoke, and followed his trail, which was still relatively fresh. Emerging from the forest, they found themselves surrounded by Sligs. Not only were Orgo and Ipli surprised, but the Sligs were too. Abe was still a wanted fugitive, and after a moment, the Sligs decided that these two must be two “Abes”. This sounds preposterous, but Sligs weren’t born with much in the brains department. Only what they needed. Which wasn’t much.
Jaff just so happened to think of Ipli and Orgo at that moment, and hoping the “SH” was still in effect, he set off in the direction he thought they would be. In reality, the “SH” had about twelve minutes left. Fortunately for him, he found Ipli and Orgo within two. They were being dragged off by a bunch of Sligs, which Jaff figured that even with the “SH”, he might have some trouble with. So he decided to follow them until the Sligs either fell asleep or were distracted long enough for him to slip in and free his friends. Due to the “SH” this was possible in 8 minutes, which left Jaff with two minutes to get away. This is exactly what he managed to do. Unfortunately, the “SH” wore off and was replaced by the one hour of bad luck, which had coincidently decided to come along directly after the hour of good luck. So while Orgo and Ipli managed to get away, Jaff somehow stumbled and lost his footing in a way that gave him to time to cry out, so Ipli and Orgo ran off without knowing Jaff was left behind. That is how Jaff ended up being taken into custody and ended up in a situation not unlike Abe once was in after blowing up the board of Rupture Farms.
Of course, Orgo and Ipli noticed Jaff was gone, and feared the worst. Backtracking proved fruitless as Jaff was long gone. Having never faced a situation like this, Ipli and Orgo fretted about what to do. Jaff was their friend but they had no idea where he was. However, Ipli and Orgo wouldn’t give up just because of that. Ipli happened to be so fortunate so as to spot the book containing the list of “SH”.
They went back to the touchstone, read the inscription each and set out to save their friend. Luckily for them, when this particular “SH” is used with two people, the two hours of good luck, somehow cancel out the two hours of bad luck. As another interesting quirk, the “SH” lasted for only one hour put together instead of two as some might expect. How this worked, nobody really knows, but at least it did.
Through use of the “SH”, and about 45 minutes worth of walking, they found their way to the place where Jaff was now being held until an official trial could be arranged (not that Jaff would have had a chance and it was mostly to gather an audience to witness his sentencing.) Again, the “SH” led them true to Jaff’s holding cell, and managed to break out the now bewildered Jaff as well, all within 12 minutes, leaving them with only 3 minutes of “SH”. Racing out of the factory, knowing time was scarce and the sooner they were out the better, they passed by the power core, a barracks and the employee lounge. No sooner had they gotten to the exit, than they saw a whole battalion of Sligs escorting what appeared to be a very important Glukkon. Jaff, Ipli and Orgo were lucky enough to spot them before they spotted them and ducked for cover. Unfortunately the Sligs were headed right for them, and Ipli and Orgo were sure their “SH” time was up, along with their luck. Orgo and Ipli tried their hardest to conceal themselves in a small shadowed niche in the wall. But Jaff could see it would not be enough. Thinking hard about what he should do, he was struck with brilliance. He knew what he would do.
“I have to do this. I’m sorry. When the Sligs pass you… Run,” said Jaff as he took off catching the attention of the Sligs who all pursued him, before Ipli and Orgo could tell Jaff not to do whatever he had in mind. Fearing for their friend, they waited until a PA system announced some very disturbing news.
“Caution. Power core unstable. Evacuate immediately,” it blared.
Deciding maybe it would be a good idea to heed Jaff’s words, they ran for the exit. Ten meters away from the entrance, they facility seemed to groan in pain, just before it started smoking with fires popping up. Just ten seconds later, it became an explosion, the impact of which sent Orgo and Ipli face-down to the ground. They were mostly unharmed, but it left them very depressed about Jaff. Getting up slowly and walking with their heads hung towards the Raisin’s lair, they knew Jaff was gone forever. Even so, they set out to the facility again to be sure. Pointless it may have been, it was an unspoken agreement that they should at least try. Lifting pieces of rubble, they combed the ruins. They found nothing. Not a bit of loincloth or anything capable of being buried.
In times of loss, some put themselves out of misery. Others respond in different ways. Orgo and Ipli’s happened to be with rage. Hurling bits of debris and yelling at the top of their lungs, cursing the Sligs who caught their friend. As Orgo lifted an exceptionally large piece of metal in the air, he spotted a bit of movement just in front of him. Dropping the metal and pushing the ruins aside, he found what he would never have believed he would see again. It was Jaff. He didn’t have a single scratch on him. He looked to be in perfect health, aside from the fact that he was not moving in the slightest. Orgo and Ipli, who had rushed over as well, fell to their knees simultaneously. Feeling grief surge through them, they cried. Few people have heard an adult Mudokon cry. They may whine and complain, but crying is reserved for the smaller and the very grief-stricken. The sound is not describable. But that very sound could be heard right now in the once proud building, which was now a smoking pile of rubble. Unknown to them though, Jaff’s finger twitched. And then Jaff opened his eyes. He was alive.
Orgo and Ipli didn’t believe their eyes and even managed to refrain from scolding Jaff, in their curious lust to know how Jaff had survived.
“The plan was I would die to save you. Only half of it worked. That hour of bad luck must still have been there,” said Jaff, although he could hardly believe his own eyes. He had not expected to live and a few seconds ago he thought he had been dead. Apparently not.
Here we cannot end many places. We can only end at the end. The end being now. So, this is what happened after where we just left off.
Some might say Jaff was a very lucky fellow for obvious reasons. Some might not say quite the same for less obvious reasons. Things went back to being normal for them for a while, but when Jaff was revered as a new hero by the Raisin, worthy of standing alongside Abe, with Ipli and Orgo right next to Alf, then things changed. Jaff became the second most wanted Mudokon. Or at least, he would have been, had it not been for the fact that Abe and Jaff were presumed to be the same person, which ended up spreading panic among Glukkons, due to the speed of “Abe” shutting down businesses. Abe and Jaff actually met on several occasions, some of which were planned, others coincidences. That’s not to say Orgo and Ipli did not get their share of the limelight as well. Inspired by Alf’s Rehab and Tea, Orgo and Ipli opened a place of their own passion. Thinking cautiously. It has yet to catch on as much as Alf’s Rehab and Tea, but it has its fair share of regulars.
All in all, they lived happily ever after. Sort of anyway.
Originally Posted by AlexFili
The witty prologue helps to break the ice and serves as an interesting introduction to a really good story. The descriptions are very vivid and the characterisations are great. The story gets a little complex near the end but is an entertaining piece of fiction. The one hour theme is referenced a few times, but is mainly absent. The idea of giving the audience a new acronym for something is particularly interesting and doesn’t seem out of place within the Oddworld universe.
Originally Posted by Dripik
Started a bit slow, then managed to speed up a bit. The story wasn't bad, although very "stream of consciousness"-ish at certain parts, especially in the intro and the epilogue. The SH concept was interesting, although a bit unpolished (why would two Mudokons using SH cancel out the bad luck effect, and such). Also a bit more work on grammar would've been welcome.
Originally Posted by Bill
actually without describing that you’ll use “SH” instead of “magic” or „spiritual happenings“ you would have used that word only a few times, which means that you also could have called it spiritual happenings in the first place, without writing a whole paragraph only about it. However the description and the part before the story begins was nicely written and not too long so it’s ok.
The idea for this story & the use of the One Hour theme is quite interesting and unique, only in the end and at some other points in the story it is predictable what’s going to happen because of the good luck & bad luck thingy. And sometimes all the action is summed up which doesn't allow the suspense to properly build up. But I really enjoyed reading this one.
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
I really liked this one. I was slightly confused by being accosted by the author at the beginning, and though I'm not entirely sure it was necessary, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Very Tristram Shandy, I thought. But I'm getting ahead of myself*. The Mudokons were the blundering, incompetent and irritable ones of the Abe games, which was a nice change of pace from the 'Spiritual & Downtrodden' angle that most writers go for. The writing itself was well constructed, with only a couple of errors, and flowed nicely. The 'One Hour' theme was used really imaginatively, and as soon as I read the explanation of the 'Hour of Power' I knew that exciting stuff was going to happen. The twist at the end was nicely done too. It was Odd in all senses of the word.
Overall, I enjoyed reading it. It's rare to see a comedy in one of these contests and even more so one that pushes the boat out as much as this one.
*I'm here all week folks.
Originally Posted by Splat
Characterisation seemed poor and the use of the hour was riddled with discontinuity; ignoring the huge amount of things that Jaff managed to accomplish in his good hour, his hour of bad luck started before his friends' hour of good luck, and yet ended after theirs... The theme of magic didn't seem very Odd and made the heroes rather overpowered. I didn't enjoy this much.
A dozen Mudokons sat obediently round a tall figure. Shrouded in dark woodland; “Return here in strictly one hour!
” the authoritative voice called out before stepping down from the large mossy, rock he had once ordered from. The small group had been travelling for days and days to the point where their legs were beginning to give way.
“An hour?!” a dissatisfied Mudokon whispered bitterly to his comrades. “We go all this way to get one stinking hour!?”. Cursing under his lips, Fido scrawled his face in utter rage. “Come on Fitch!” he snarled as he got up and walked further into the forest.
Fido was a lot larger (and a lot fatter) than other Mudokons. Typically known for his dislike of most Mudokon leaders, he would be the one to rebel, fight or create disturbances within the group. Only a few days ago he managed to cause a brawl between his fellow Mudokons during a fishing trip. Punches and slaps were exchanged over Fido’s reluctance to accept that a fish he caught had fallen second in size to a fish that the tall, noble Mudokon leader had caught.
Fido also didn’t like to forget things easily. As he stormed through the tall trees of the forest mumbling under his breath, he felt the harsh and rather anxious whisper of another Mudokon; “Dude, where you going!?”. A voice that was typically a lot higher than most other Mudokons, it became immediately clear to Fido who was calling him.
“Come on Fitch, let’s get out of here!” Fido called back to him. What became humorous was the vast contrast in the pitches of their voices. Fido would groan his low, deep mumbles whilst Fitch would squeak nervously. “Y-y-ya heard what the big guy s-saids. We gots to be back in an hour!”.
Despite Fitch’s wariness and opposition to Fido’s actions, he continued to hop after hot-headed Fido who stormed deeper and deeper into the gloomy green forest. “I’m not listening to that guy anymore!” Fido snapped at Fitch. “W-w-ell, just, just waits a minute!” he squeaked back.
Fitch would try his hardest to stop Fido, their conversation going round and round in circles, but little did they know that Fido’s loud and disruptive voice would later begin to attract all sorts of unwanted attention...
Back at the rock, few Mudokons remained in the company of the leader. As Fido stormed into the Forest with Fitch on his tail, others had decided to part off and explore. As they would warmly eat, talk and joke with one another, the last of the bread would be feasted upon -this probably would have annoyed Fido even more given his large appetite and gaping greed- also were the last drops of their own homemade brew, gulped as they exchanged laughter, song and gossip.
“The guys a nut! He’ll never learn! He even got poor little Fitch running after him again!”. Fitch had quickly adapted to the role of trying (and failing) to put Fido in good opinion of the clan. He would always try to encourage Fido to see an alternative, and usually correct way of thinking, but ‘Fatso’ Fido was increasingly ignorant of anyone else’s opinion. It did seem like Fido was loyal to Fitch, but one could argue that this was another one of his self-centred, manipulative ways, using the poor Mudokon into getting himself out of trouble when he needed to most.
Although Fitch’s desperado attempts to make Fido a better Mudokon proved useless, Fitch was generally well liked within the group, elders seeing Fitch as one of the youngest in the clan. Noticing his innocence, the wiser Mudokons often suggested that he left Fido alone. Fitch’s efforts to help the careless Mudokon would seem noble, but they could only end badly...
“Come on Fido! W-we’re gonna get lost!” he whimpered.
“Meh, these woods can’t go on forever! There’s gotta be a river nearby!”
“I don’t likes the look of this!” Fitch cried as the woods began to seem darker. The continued pacing into the dark realms of the woodland until it became as black as the night sky.
Fido was so oblivious to the darkening atmosphere of the woods that he was still huffing and puffing over only having an hour’s rest. Though ironically, Fido was only tiring himself out more.
Branches and leaves would snap under the pressure of Fido’s angry paws. Stomping louder and louder, Fitch began to feel slightly intimidated, unsure of how to approach Fido. “C-c-come on Fido...” he stammered. “Look at how dark it’s getting, w-we’re gonna be done for!”
Fido paused, frowning towards Fitch. “Hm...” he paused, although deep down he had in fact realised that the two Mudokons had gone too far into the woods. “Come on, let’s turn back dude!” Fitch yelled, desperate to break through and convince Fido.
“Hm... all right...”
Fitch collapsed into the soft leaves surrounding him. In a sigh of relief, he smiled “Come on Fido let’s turn back!”
Suddenly, he heard a large yell which echoed throughout the trunks of the woods. “Help!”.
Fitch quickly sprang to his feet, unsure of what was happening.
“Where are ya!?” he yelled, in disbelief to Fido’s sudden disappearance.
“Up here! Help!” a deep voice relayed at him. “Quick! Get me outta this!”
Fido had been caught in a thick, sticky web. “Get me down!” he helplessly cried as his limbs struggled like a small prey. Fitch was shocked as to how high Fido was. Almost tickling the branches of the treetops, Fido dangled several feet above Fitch. “How’d ya get up there?!” Fitch shrieked.
“I don’t know, just get me down!”. Fitch began to panic. He scratched his head hopelessly as he pondered what to do. “Ah!” he exclaimed as if reaching a cunning plan. He scrambled the muddy floors of the forest before scavenging through the blankets of leaves. In an act of triumph Fitch clenched a rock. Showing difficulty, he tossed it towards the web hoping it would dismantle it, but instead it hit Fido right on the head! “What’re you doing?!” Fido yelled, becoming increasingly angry. Fitch was beginning to show true Mudokon clumsiness. “Sorry!” he gulped.
In an act of haste, Fitch hopped up, grabbing the cold, wooden shell of a nearby Tree trunk. Within moments, he found himself clambering to the top of a tree. He became level with Fido. “Come on! Do somethin’!”.
As the fat Mudokon grew increasingly impatient, Fitch balanced himself carefully on a branch, stepping carefully across to him as if on a tightrope. In a sudden leap of faith, Fitch jumped towards Fido. “You idiot!”
Fitch had managed to entangle himself in the sticky web. “You moron!” Fido yelled at Fitch. “Now we’re both stuck here!”. What didn’t help was that the two were near to cuddling in the cramped space of the web.
The situation became heated and Fido became ferociously angry. Tension was high.
“Now it’s gonna get both
“What’s gonna get us?!”
A Paramite emerged from the leaves of a taller branch, leering down at the two Mudokons. Fitch and Fido began to stammer, watching it tap its finger-like appendages together cheekily, as if tantalised over its new prey. Fitch couldn't help but let out a small cry as it moved closer towards the web, its limbs sharply moving in a murderous fashion. “We’re dead meat!” Fido yelled.
The Paramite moved closer and closer, nearing its final stab on the prey it had caught. But suddenly, the Paramite stopped. All three seemed curious as to the creaking sound they heard. It felt as though they were moving. Snap!
In a flash, the web came tumbling to the ground. Fitch yelped as he hit the floor from what was a very long fall. “Y-y-you okay, Fido?” he stuttered, clenching his arms in pain.
“I’m fine!” he chuckled as he began wiping an awful goo from his paws on the leaves nearby. “W-what’s tha-“ Fitch began to question. “Eugh!”. Fido chuckled as he looked down on the rest of the Paramite corpse that lay beneath him. If Fido had been a pound lighter, the web might have sustained all of their combined weight. “Squish!” Fido laughed as he kicked the last of the Paramite guts off his legs. Fitch was beginning to see the humorous side to what had happened as he removed parts of the web off of himself, but then he noticed something very, very more frightening.
“F-f-f-fido” he whispered.
“Th-there’s m-m-ore of them!”
Within a second, Fido’s flabby body and Fitch’s scrawny frame were sprinting back the way they came. Three larger Paramites were hissing as they hopped after the two Mudokons. As Fitch squealed, Fido gasped for air. Now Fido's weight was not coming in handy at all!
The two ran as fast as their worn out limbs could carry them. Hopping over puddles, ducking under thick branches, narrowly missing booby traps; Fido and Fitch were desperate to avoid being savaged.
The tall trees loomed down. Fido and Fitch were losing breath and the Paramites didn’t look like giving up, seeking revenge after losing a member of their herd to Fido's bulk. The hissing continued, getting louder and fiercer, until Fido and Fitch met the edge of a very fortunately placed hill.
Their bodies went tumbling like ragdolls as they slipped from the top of the hill. Beaten and bruised, they bounced off of rocks and tree trunks before tumbling into a ditch. “Ew!” Fitch groaned as he wiped a thick, black sludge from his face. “Come on, we lost ems, let’s get outta here!” Fido yelled as he thumped Fitch in the back. Their bodies battered and their faces now covered in (many variants of) faeces, Fido and Fitch had never wanted to return home more than now. “Eugh, we stink!”
The two Mudokons wormed their way into the forest. Just as a sense of calmness was returning, Fitch grabbed Fido urgently pulling him to the ground. “Shh!”. Fitch pointed over to where he heard the sound of distant talking. They both stealthily crawled into the direction of the talking, eager to discover who or what was also in the forest; “Look!”. It was soon clear as to who and what was in the forest. Two other Mudokons.
“Woah! Dude! This is one huge trip!” a wired voice slurred.
“Yeah man, what are they, like Mudmen!?” another voice groaned as the two pairs of Mudokons met. “Woah man!”
Fitch and Fido soon realised who they were dealing with. “You two! What are you doing out here?!” Fitch vigilantly yelped. “Only the finest herb!” Frank cockily replied.
“Yeah, we thought we’d go out and smokes whatever’s in the woods, given we only got less than halfs an hour left, we best be quick! You guys wanna bong out too?”
Frank and Fred were also part of the Mudokon clan. Most other Mudokons looked down on them as outsiders, but they enjoyed doing their own thing most of the time. This usually involved them growing, lighting and inhaling some of the finest Mudokon plants. This was their specialty and they made a living off of it, though years of testing and experimenting with plant had meddled with their Mudokon heads. Most Mudokons are clumsy enough, but Frank and Fred were beyond stupid. “Come on Fitch, light it up and take a puff!” Fred chuckled.
Fitch twitched nervously; a deep sense of unease grew on his face. “I dunno” he said with great uncertainty. “That stuff messes with your head!”
The two laughed at Fitch. “Whatever man!”
“We’ve gotta go! There are Paramites on our tail!” Fitch yelled, eager to draw some seriousness to the conversation.
“Paramites?!” Frank questioned. “Cool!” he droaned.
“You guys must be on a huge trip to be seeing Paramites!” laughed Fred.
Fitch sighed deeply, growing partly frustrated. “We’ve got to get out of here before they return!”. Fitch’s efforts proved useless. The poor Mudokon had always been the one in the middle. The one nobody would listen to. “It’s as if I’m not even here...” Fitch thought to himself.
“Dude!” Fred yelled. “They were right! Look!”
Within seconds, three Paramites had cornered the four Mudokons.
Fred and Frank stumbled, trying to keep their balance. There was an awkward pause.
“What do we do man?” Frank groaned. “Hey! What’re ya doin’!?”
To Fitch’s shock, Fido grabbed Frank and hurled him in front of the vicious predators.
In a sickening scream, Frank’s limbs flung into the air as his guts burst onto the nearby tree trunks.
“Come on Fitch! Let’s get outta here!” Fido yelled. Fred watched helplessly, as his eyes began to well. “Y-you killed my buddy...”. Blood splattered over his distraught face as he stood still, struggling to accept what Fido had done. “You killed Frank!” he yelled, turning towards Fido and Fitch. But to his shock, they were already a stonesthrow away, desperately running from the creatures. Fred clenched his paw in anger as he witnessed the two sprint away. In moments, he too was shot down by the Paramites as their long claws penetrated his (already damaged) brain.
Fido clenched tight to Fitch’s arm, “Come on! Me and you are gonna get outta here!” he yelled, picking up a surprising pace for his overweight frame. As they heard the sounds of their fellow Mudokon counterparts get decimated like a Scrab in a meat grinder, they ran as fast as they could through the twists and turns of the woods. The forest was beginning to grow lighter again. “It’s not too far from here!” Fido yelled, referencing the rock and reminding them both that hope was in store.
Back at the rock, most of the Mudokons had regrouped. Of course, Frank and Fred were otherwise in a better place (if you think a Paramite stomach is a better place!) and Fitch and Fido were engaged in a hot chase. The leader had begun to perform a headcount as other Mudokons packed their gears.
Meanwhile, Fitch and Fido were losing speed. Their bodies could not bear the final extents of the chase. Knees were aching, paws were sore and heads were tired. The Paramites continued to hop after their pray, eager to finish their meal.
“Not far now!” Fido yelled as he began to show signs of heroism. He elegantly dashed over the soil with his paw firmly clenching Fitch’s. Fitch was only just able to keep up with the pace of Fido, but the tightening grip Fido had on his paw made him feel safer. The hissing of the Paramites grew louder. “Not long now!” Fido yelled, his voice sounding stronger and most powerful than ever. Fitch began to lose his footing. “Don’t let go!” Fido cried, determined to keep hold of Fitch. “Don’t let go!” he yelled again, as Fitch began to get his footing back and continue running. “It’s okay! I’m-I’m back on my feet!”
“Not anymore!” Fido chuckled, as Fitch’s body tumbled away from the grip of Fido’s paw. Violently, his skeleton quickly skidded across the ground before crashing into a large tree. Like a small mouse, he yelped as his ribcage cracked at the jittering halt. He clenched his upper body in pain, realising something was broken. Fitch began to slowly open his eyelids. Splat. A Paramite thrashed into his face.
“An hour is up!” the voice of the leader cried. By this time, Fido had escaped the Paramites, who were much more interested in finishing off the remains of Fitch than chasing Fido. He stopped to get his breath back before making an important announcement to the rest of the clan.
“We were attacked by Paramites... I manage to kill one, and wrestled another to the ground but the others managed to get poor little Fitch... I kept hold of one, but then the others got Frank and th-th-then F-F-Fred...” Fido sniffed, mimicking a crying sound. “Don’t worry about it Fido, you did good tryna save ‘em.” Eagerly, the group left the forests as fellow Mudokons patted Fido on the back with condolences.
Upon returning home, Fido was made an icon for his heroic hour. His daring efforts in wrestling hand to hand with a Paramite were recognised far and wide, and the stories would then be told to all younger generations of Mudokons. Since his return, he was consequently rewarded with luxuries, supplies of the most delicious food and a cosy hut to rest his head; “What can I says? I woulda gave my life for those guys!”.
Originally Posted by AlexFili
I liked the fact that the theme was mentioned during the first few sentences of the story. The writing quality of the story is good, but a few of the plot seemed out of place. I felt the character deaths were a bit over the top, but then again, it is Oddworld. The ending seems to sneak up on you and before you know it the story finishes.
Originally Posted by Dripik
An enjoyable piece of writing. Very nice way of twisting the plot and making Fido a less and less agreeable character (what a schmuck...). The setting is described in an effective manner, it was easy to visualize everything. The plot wasn't rushed, the story forms a proper whole, I didn't feel like anything was missing from it. Good job!
Originally Posted by Bill
You write very well, and the characters were really interesting and odd(even among other Mudokons the two were odd!
)! How you used the One Hour theme was a brilliant idea, it kind of shows the other side of the coin. Great job!
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
Splats, blood, guts, drugs, flying limbs, monsters, faeces, sticky goo, an abused sidekick... This story sure had it all! I'm going to choose to believe you were taking this seriously, in which case it started promisingly, with a nice little Laurel-&-Hardy duo bumbling through the woods. A nice touch of alien B-movie with the Paramite web scene, all painting a very entertaining image. Then... Splat. I chuckled. Splats are crude, but timelessly funny. Then... Splat. No chuckle. Then another one. Then the loyal companion, the best character in my opinion, got carelessly hurled into a tree. By now I was tiring of it. What was 'Fido Beuller's Hour Off' had become 'Paramites 4: The Wacky Edition'. From a technical point of view, the writing was flawless, the speech impediments characterful but understandable. The ending was funny enough. But this could have been so much more.
Alternatively, this could have been a very clever joke, in which case well done you.
Originally Posted by Splat
Wow, he was not a nice piece of work! Plot, characterisation and use of theme were ok; I guess it's quite Odd for a villain to triumph like that. Just to lecture a little, there are four kind of endings for stories, 'positive', positive ironic', 'negative ironic' and 'negative'. Positive is 'happily ever after', everything ends hunky dorey. Positive Ironic is where ultimately good wins but there are sacrifices, costs, things are not altogether happy for everyone. Negative Ironic means the villains win, bad things happen, and yet there is hope for a the future; not all is lost. And Negative is just totally where bad wins, good loses. The 'Ironic' endings are generally the most satisfying for a reader and the best to aim for. This story really had a fully negative ending, which is kind of sad.
Clakker Life in an Hour
What have I become
Back then boy, things where different.
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt – J.C.
“Come sit little ‘un, this’ll be when it all comes, I want to tell my story ‘afore it’s too late, you don’t mind do you Peck?”
“No not at all sir,” Peck sobbed and clutched his grandpa’s wing tightly with his own.
Grandpa looked down at the boy from his death bed and sank into the pillows a little; he appeared to be getting comfortable and his eyes closed for a second,
“I have an hour Peck, so listen careful like and remember my story ‘afore I go and get put into ma coffin yaw here?”
Peck nodded again and listened intently.
“Alright then, I believe it went something like this, now listen good Peck, it’ll be real interesting”
Tennyson, a small town built up on the fringe of inhabitance stood ancient up on the Martin Hill, we was a reclusive little place, built up too far from the nearby towns like Mobile, so little trade came in and out, the one thing we did have was unmatched opple pie, yeh, that was our major export, we have a mile of grove afore the edge of the village and in the plaza, the opple trees grew up everywhere, like we couldn’t get rid of them. We where lucky in that a small splinter of the river ran through centre and under the old stone bridge, the one that led to the market and the mill oh, and the old school house.
There must’ve only been about eighty of us where I’ll start, yer, it was before the uprisin’ so I must’ve been, now lem me see, about six, no five, yer five.
So I had an older brother, Lucas, he was a clever chap, learned after he left here, but he did come back but I’ll go through that later. Now, it was always hot down in Tennyson and folk would stay in their houses in the summer midday, we would get up, play around ‘n get all messy like but by midday we’d be swelterin’ so we’d go an soak in the brook shallows outta town ‘n watch the tug buts go along or the steam boats navigating low tide bringin’ precious materials up for the opples. Usually from mobile not too far away but sometimes from Dexter or Molasses Ridge where mudokons where our equivalents.
Now, this particular day, we was watching ‘em come but one odd boat came riding up, yeh it was real speedy, powered by some belching mechanism I never seen afore that day.
Me and Lucas looked at each other ‘n smiled.
“New people p’raps?” I asked him.
“Yeh but looky, they got shooters, gosh, autos, n crossbows n’ look, that un’ the one all geared up with the rickety jaw, he got summing I ne’r seen before,” spoke Lucas.
We stared at each other again then we ducked into the dry grass that was behind us.
I peaked through but Lucas pulled me away, I contemplated on who they where but I couldn’t work it out so we crept back before running towards the old mill.
Up there on the hill we could see the group coming up towards the town, Tennyson, was under attack. Up there was old farmer Johnson and he saw em too, he rang his old telegraph contraption like there was no tomorrow and soon, six ‘o the strongest clakkerz workin’ on them farms assembled in the mill armed with pitchforks, knives, brazen boxer gloves and crossbows if they where available.
Me and my brother where told to stay upstairs but after a heated debate and a smack upside the head, where allowed to grab our air rifles and report back to the top of the mill where it was safe for us to snipe. Course back then, we where a valuable asset and we knew how to look after ourselves. Clakkerz weren’t greedy, money grubbers like them ones you here about up at Mongo, no, we where proud and tactical, as was what we had to be in years to come.
So these terrible guys come up and yell,
“We want your grain clakkerz, we want your grain or Jawz here will burn your whole town down.”
Johnson stepped up to the window, “Now Gutsy, don’t be silly, you could raid the old warehouse up sakes for a while, it’s dormant and there’s still some valuable stuff up them parts, fish as far as you can see, and gabbits apparently still thar, so good pickings.”
“Nah, we want your stuff, see where like you, hard working folk but we wanna do it different work like to you see here?”
Brutus stood up, a burly clakker, “see that’s a damn shame Gutsy, coz then I have to do this,” as he spoke he launched a knife in a curving motion down at the pack, one outlaw couldn’t get outta the way in time and was cleft across the face until the ridge of the blade stuck down in his chin, he slumped into a heap and blood gushed across the grass, staining the ground ‘n dirt like a rose bed.
Me ‘n my brother hid our faces in Johnson’s chest shocked but he pulled us back,
“Sons, I’ll bet you in ten years you’ll have to do that yourselves with what’s happening to our gentle economy and the way people get treated here compared to the up North type, the city folk ‘n all!”
Wit that, a fierce fire fight began, we was firing from the window but our hearts weren’t in it little Peck, you see we where scared, and then that Jawz fella, he set the place a fire and we had to scarper, we was running back yell in, everyone, man the guns damn it, shield your feathers and hide your chillum! But I turned and fell, the guys ahead where still fighting but I brought my feather down on the trigger and squeezed catching a raider in the eye he fell back squalling’ like a new born sleg but soon he went quiet, I must’ve killed him, no peck don’t look so admirable, I was petrified, I realised I didn’t want to fight, but we took em all with one casualty, Mr Johnson, yep gutted there by Gutsy, straight through the belly he took that knife, poor old fella was hittin’ on 20 like you never thought.
That was my first taste of blood, but it sure as hell is right in this dirt wasn’t my last, err, sorry Peck, excuse me.
That summer was long and odious, my friend Wren didn’t show up that season, she sent me letters saying I was the only one for her and that she would write me as soon as she could but she was enjoying time in the city up in Texo. I didn’t mind because she never usually saw her daddy but every letter tasted bitter when I read it to myself.
I started school again at the end of the season, time with friends at least but it meant an end to everlasting freedom that I enjoyed and indulged in for the last 90 suns.
We entered that rickety school room and sat down at our tables. I was in second year and we had a new teacher, just moved in from Texo actually, a scholar of Tobago Citadel Study. She wasn’t accustomed to our rowdy natures and I spent a lot of time in the classroom locker room, face up against the wall, perplexing over what it was I had done.
Once particular incident occurred one morning when Jeremy Gayle came in, he only really came a few days a year coz he was the by product of an accidental unprotected squawk and he had to work most days to put food on the table for no-good son of a gun mother and his alcoholic land working father who spent the nights firing at sleg and the day working his brow off to pay for more booze and his wives extensive larder.
“Who are you son?” Asked Ms. Tabatha
“What’s it too ya miss? I only here to learn, dontcha have me on yar register?”
Ms. Tabatha shuffled in her chair and looked down her narrow beak at the scruffy, feather worn child.
“Sit down and be quiet boy, maybe it’d do you good to stay more than the days you do, so I have been told!”
The mutual distaste in Jem’s face quickly grew to one of sheer anger.
“Now you listen up and you listen good, hell I been in the second grade for four years, I been in the year before that for 600 suns, I do what I want and you like it, aren’t no whore bitch gone tell me what I to do with myself!” When he was suitably assured that Ms. Tabatha was crying, he left smiling.
Three summer later, Wren was back, she looked bigger before both in height and in girth, she still looked mighty fine to me though, she said she was staying and that she wanted me as much as she did afore she left! We spent a lot of time together now that my brother was getting tired of me hanging around him. We decided to plan something that we where thinking of doing before she left.
To get Verdun Gridley.
An old, insane mudokon slave labourer that lived in a rickety shack for the remainder of his days rocking on his chair and focusing his dead eye down the barrel of his repeater every time someone came within forty feet of him.
We felt sorry for him; we had nothing against green or blue people no matter what everyone else thought of em.
We wanted him to come out from his shack, since we never actually saw him, everyone else did, and hence the tales of his dead eye and his gun but no one ever saw him.
We placed some mole jerky on his door stop that we found one day outside the general store. We waited and waited but, when we fell asleep, he must’ve popped out and took ‘em coz when we woke up after a few minutes, the packet was gone.
Well, we did see some other mudokons, rat faced and lit stitched, a few off em, they had weird quirky accents but well obviously you can’t have slaves around these parts no more but back then it was all right. People kept em I shacks and they cleaned, worked and ate but me and my pappy where good to our mudokon, he worked but he got paid and he leaved in a clean residence.
I left school at oh, fourteen at the outbreak of war, you see some societies didn’t agree with each other and to assure that we would be safe in our homes and the mudokons would be all right, we had to leave home, all us boys an go fight for freedom. You never saw anything like it Peck, no more working on farm, no more crisp mornings, no more brook bathing. We war these itchy shirts and funny hats, each of us had guns and we got marched north and east for hundred miles. We where winning good for a while until the battle of Green Beak Creek. Me and my brother where stationed in 7th division, working as infantry men, by now, this is year after war began, we had been promoted both of us, once each, and we got medals, not more valour or honour but for surviving. That’s right, survivin’ we had to hide in pits, march through cannons and swim through creaks while getting blasted by machine guns, but you never walked alone, ever.
Well, we where ready in Fort Equator, on a small hill, but the place was ruins, that’s all, folks there talked funny and spat a lot, our division was tiny as well. We had twenty men, and I commanded and my brother commanded and we where good team us all.
But these clakkerz up north where ferocious feather pickers. And we where all scared, we saw em coming up the hill towards us and we blasted our cannons at em but when one line fell, another jogged up to take ‘er place. There was 7,000 coming to us with blazing rifles. 7000 against 20. God we wanted to surrender but we didn’t, we took many of em, at least one hundred but every man died. My brother was sliced through the heart with a bayonet in a fight with three regular privates. I sat there and played dead while I watched my brother leaning on his gun like a crutch, he call out to me like this, brother, you’ll never walk alone. I’ll be there, then he fell dead. And when that horde crawled over our position and carried on like this place weren’t important, I cradled his body and cried.
Granddad stopped the narrative and cried, salty tears from tired eyes.
I am so horrified by that war Peck, I never afore discussed it, but I came home to find Wren after I got three months leave. She had stayed in Tennyson but Tennyson was gone, burnt to ashes and dust. Charred skeletons and dead feathers strewn around, the old port was obliterated and cannon balls dotted the landscape, old Verdun was dead grasping’ his shotgun and, the old mill, partially rebuilt, was rubble again, there was someone in thar, cooped up with a flintlock pistol, it was Wren d’u’see, which is good because it means she got shot instead of taken away, we heard tales of violation and scary stuff we people should never do.
After that I deserted and moved to a safe place, which is here, Texo. And you are lucky to no how we fought and loved and lost all that we loved. I had to become a banker, and live in a jacket and a tie. I had to change mah accent and most of all. No one cared cause all I new was burnt like that windmill all that time ago.
Now go on, Peck, go get your mammy, I need to talk to her, before my hours up and the vulture with the hood comes take me away down the Mongo and up to Ma’ Spa so’s I can rest for ever.
Long years had passed, war came so fast
Bravely they marched away
Cannon roared loud, and in the mad crowd
Wounded and dying lay
Up goes a shout, a horse dashes out
Out from the ranks so blue
Gallops away to where Joe lay
Then came a voice he knew
Did you think I would leave you dying
When there's room on my horse for two
Climb up here Joe, we'll soon be flying
I can go just as fast with two
Did you say Joe I'm all a-tremble
Perhaps it's the battle's noise
But I think it's that I remember
When we were two little boys
Do you think I would leave you dying
There's room on my horse for two
Climb up here Joe, we'll soon by flying
Back to the ranks so blue
Can you feel Joe I'm all a tremble
Perhaps it's the battle's noise
But I think it's that I remember
When we were two little boys – R.H
Originally Posted by AlexFili
The poetry is well written and acts like bookmarks for the beginning and end of the story. The story itself is perhaps not as action orientated as some, but I think the tale stands out a little more because of that. While the one hour theme wasn’t the entire basis for the story, it does play an important part in the story, particularly regarding the narrator.
Originally Posted by Dripik
Story was alright, although the style in which the Clakkers spoke in was a bit hard to read - I realise that this only served to reflect their accent, but still... The framed structure of the storytelling inside the story was well used, and the poems are a neat addition, although it would've been neat to see the original poets mentioned, supposing it is not you who wrote them (I have no idea, that's why I'm saying)
Google could have told you the answer to that, Dripik. But this is good advice; if you're using someone else's work as part of your story, make sure you give them the full credit they deserve, not just their initials in a footnote.
Originally Posted by Bill
The idiea was nice, but the actual plot lacked a little bit of suspense. Sometimes it was a little hard to read. But the poems were nice, even though there are no horses in Oddworld, they still reminded me of the old games. I also liked the names of the characters & places and the accent, they all made it feel very clakker like & odd.
unfortunately the one hour theme was only used in the story which forms the framework, and did not have a real connection to the actual narration.
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
You clearly thought out the plot before writing it, which I admire since I often try to wing it (No pun intended). Maybe it was supposed to be the 'skimming' nature of trying to condense your life into an hour, but some characters seemed a little one-dimensional and unnecessary. Jeremy Gayle springs to mind, though I quite liked the Mudokon hermit, he added a bit of Oddworld flavour and atmosphere. The Kentucky (?) accent was a nice touch, though sometimes it would have been better to leave it as normal so it was easier to understand*. The themes of loss and alienation all felt very Oddworldian, so kudos on that. Technically, the writing left a little to be desired, since grammar and punctuation was inconsistent, and some words seemed to just be in the wrong place. The 'One Hour' theme wasn't used that much, since making a story cover a character's entire life, but justifying it by the fact that it takes an hour to tell kind of seems like cheating. The references to the American Civil War were a little too blatant for my tastes; I prefer the distorted, kaleidoscopic versions you see in traditional Oddworld, but that's probably just me. Oh, and quotes from Earth songs kind of break the Oddworld illusion, but I'll forgive that because I just loved your Clakker interpretation of Death at the end, where the Western idea of the skeleton with the scythe meets the Eastern idea of spirits floating down the Ganges.
Overall, a lot of heart, but not quite enough brain food for me.
*And make your characters less reminiscent of Foghorn Leghorn.
Originally Posted by Splatticus Finch
The stumbling block of this for me was that you could just have easily substituted feathers for skin and made it a story about humans. Otherwise is was well-written and enjoyable to read, though I did get the feeling at times that I was reading faithfully reproduced sections of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', which utterly killed this for me and simply left me wondering what else you'd plagiarised.
Last Hour of Slavery
The clock struck Eleven in the old slave quarters of the "Slurg 'N' Meat" processing plant. The clock's bell sounded a loud single note that repeated four times after the first which alerted the muds that it was their time to work.
One of these workers was Frayt, Frayt was a just a simple everyday Mudokon, nothing special about him at all. His life began in Slurg 'N' Meat and ever since he had been cleaning and operating levers. Sometimes a Slig would hit him which would add a little flavor to Frayt's rather bland day, however this wasn't a flavor he particularly liked. Frayt was sent to clean near the plant's entrance and it just so happened that this day was a very special day. Today the Mudokons had planned to escape!
"Just one more hour then I'm out of this place!" Frayt thought to himself, he could barely contain his excitement. Frayt's friend Prag was also with him and he seemed just as ordinary as Frayt himself. "Keep smiling like that and they'll find us out" Prag said, Prag was a lot calmer and a little older then Frayt although neither of them ever kept track of their age.
"I can't help it" Frayt replied "I just can't believe we're going to-
it took the two Muds several minutes to reach their work area. "Only one Slig guard" Frayt thought to himself "this is gonna be easy"
"Hey, Frayt" Prag called after the Slig wandered off "whatcha gonna do after 'this'"
"I'm gonna join one of them villages, no Glukkons or Sligs there. What about you?"
"Hmm... Joining a village is good but I'm worried the Gluks will just find us again. I've heard rumors of a great Mudokon who escaped from a meat processing plant, something farms, I always forget the name. He's forming a group against the Gluks, I want to help with that." the two Mudokons then went back to work or at least pretended too.
forty minutes remain...
the two Mudokons continued working until Frayt's curiosity got the better of him "So what's your part of the plan?"
"I'm not part of it"
"Come on, I saw you sneaking off every few days!" Frayt exclaimed "They wouldn't let me help out."
"That's because you'd shout out the plan to anything that moves" Prag replied rather bluntly.
"That's not true, I didn't tell anyone about you sneaking off"
Prag was silent for a moment "I open the main gate" he admitted "now can we stop talking about this? If just one Slig hears about this then the Gluks might just decide to start selling limited edition Mudokon pops!"
Frayt shivered and nodded "that's scary." Frayt then fell forward when the Slig struck his head from behind
"Stop talkin you damn Muds!" the Slig hissed threateningly and stood over them for a little while.
Twenty five minutes remain...
"Odd I thought that Slig would never leave." Frayt said "So, what's the whole plan then?"
Prag sighed and reluctantly began knowing that Frayt wouldn't stop asking until he told him anyway. "I don't know all of it, but the gist of it is that there's going to be a big diversion at midnight. The diversion should cause the alarms to sound and that alerts all the Mudokons to begin escaping. The Sligs should be busy dealing with the diversion."
"What's the diversion?"
Prag crept closer and spoke in a barely audible whisper "they're gonna blow up storeroom B"
"Shh, some guys stole some grenades and lots of fuel. I heard it wasn't too hard since Sligs aren't too smart and no-one would suspect a Mudokon carrying stuff around anyway. It took a long time to get the stuff in place so this may be the only chance we get."
Ten minutes re-
the Alarm suddenly sounded the sound overwhelming almost everything else "What's going on!?" Frayt yelled
"they must have blown it up early lets go before the Slig gets back!" the two Mudokons ran towards the main gate and reached it's console "I just need to get this open so we and the others can get out" Prag explained, he typed on the console furiously. Frayt spun around, the sound of Slig pants and Mudokons running could be heard followed by gunshots "There are Sligs coming! Hurry!"
A message appeared on the console "Insert Pass-code:
Frayt read the message and began to panic "No! Were done for! They're gonna catch us! They'll shoot us!"
"calm down!" Prag shouted "I know what I'm doing" he pulled a tattered piece of paper out of his loincloth and typed in the numbers written on it. After he entered the numbers the main gate began to open "lets get out of here!"
The two Mudokons ran, followed by masses of Mudokons behind them and a large group ahead of them who either came out of another gate or climbed the wall. Frayt took in the air as he ran, the air was polluted from the plant's fumes but the air seemed sweeter, more pleasant then usual. The smoke from the plant covered the moon leaving it as a white blur in the sky. Although there was very little light Frayt could make out a forest off into the distance, the plant itself was surrounded by a barren wasteland.
Frayt looked back at the plant as he ran, in the direction of Storeroom B. There was no smoke, no fire, nothing that gave signs of an explosion of any kind the diversion had failed. Then he saw them, the figures of Sligs appearing on the walls of the plant, Frayt yelled to warn the others but it was too late the Sligs began firing upon the escapees.
Frayt continued to run, it wasn't much farther until he reached the forest "we're almost there Prag!" he yelled "Prag!?" he looked around but his friend was nowhere to be found, Prag was one of the many unlucky Mudokons that day. "I have to keep going" Frayt said to himself "it's not much farther"
Suddenly everything slowed, it was as if time had ground almost to a halt. A sharp burning pain emerged through Frayt's back to his chest but it quickly stopped. He put his hand to his chest where the pain had just been and lifted up his hand to look at it, it was covered in blood his eyes widened slightly and he fell. He hit the floor and his eyes slowly closed, although he never made it to the forest, he never reached that village he imagined, he was happy because he experienced freedom.
At that moment in the old slave quarters of "Slurg 'N' Meat" the clock struck midnight. The clock's bell sounded a loud single note that repeated four times after the first, some might say it sounded rather fitting to the chaos outside but there was no-one there to hear it.
Originally Posted by AlexFili
This story sticks quite close to the Oddworld theme. The main characters talk humorously between each other which adds more personality to the major characters. The story reads like a script for the first half of the story, but then the descriptions grow in number by the end of the story. The one hour theme is quite important here, being constantly reminded to the audience. (I particularly liked when the narrator was cut-off mid sentence!) The ending seems to show what would have happened if someone like Abe had failed.
Originally Posted by Dripik
Perhaps a tad clichéd factory escape story, but still a good attempt. You managed to keep up the tension up to reaching the point of the escape, but the Mudokons don't meet a lot of security trouble while waiting for their chance - that could have been a good way to increase tension.
Originally Posted by Bill
The plot was a little predictable, but the characters made up for it again. The writing was ok and it was easy to read.
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
I was careful not to be biased towards this one because it reminded me of my fanfic 'Escapee #247' that I entered last year. I don't know if this was inspired by mine or not, but if it was I'm flattered. I quite liked the hostile relationship between Prag and Frayt, and with a short story it's usually a good idea to keep the focus on one or two characters. Grammar was again a little lacking; I try not to be pedantic about these things but it does break the illusion somewhat. Oddness was fine; you'd played it safe by going for a well-defined area of Oddworld culture. Use of the 'One Hour' theme was obvious and to the point.
Overall, the story seemed possible but not overly believable, but the accelerating tension and pace kept me reading until the very end.
Originally Posted by Splat
A fairly decent little tragedy, nicely faithful to the vibes of Oddworld, though it could have used some more work on characterisation and punctuation.
His heart was racing as the patrol passed by him. He had hoped that they didn't see him. He peeked round the corner to see if they were gone, and then raced over to the elevator and pulled himself up. If your wondering what's going on? An old, feathery mudokon known as Knupples has been wanted DEAD for treason. For, you see, he had found out of the Glukkon bringing their business onto the sacred lands of Scrabania, and now he was out to shut it down. He had pulled himself up to the second floor, 'two floors to go' he thought to himself. He ran up the hallway and pulled a two levers. Just then he heard echoes coming towards him. In a rush of panic, he looked for a place to hide and found an air vent above him. He reached up above him, but it was too high. He looked for something to help him up. The echoes grew louder and louder. Miraculously, he found the janitor's office. Desperately, he swung the door open and grabbed a bucket. he balanced himself on he small bucket and climbed up. 'Whew!' he thought as the patrol passed under the vent. he jumped down and ran back to the elevator, where another Elevator had appeared beside the other elevator. He heard the patrol coming back so he Gathered himself inside the elevator and pulled himself to the third floor. With no one around, he sat down for a breather. He had done too much running around. With a burn in his side, he jogged up the flight of stairs in front of him. 'Fourth floor' he gasped. He was so close. he ran up the hallway then, with a shocked look, Ducked behind a barrel. A security guard was posted outside the door. 'This isn't good, I'm running out of time'. Thinking about his options he had come up with an idea. He rolled the barrel on it's side and with a mighty heave, he rolled it straight into he guard. Unconscious and covered in scrab jelly, he lay on the ground totalled by the Impact. Laughing to himself, he opened the door and ran in. To his left and empty desk, and to his right the power module for the whole Factory. tired and more relaxed, he walked over to the switch and punched a few buttons. Everything went dark. And Knupples finally t=knew it was over. Until Suddenly the light's came back on and a siren yelled: 'WARNING, POWER MODULE BREACHED! BACKUP SYSTEM IN FUNCTION!! INITIATING LOCKDOWN. SELF DESTRUCT IN ONE HOUR!!!'
As though he were hit by lightning, Knupples jolted back up and wnt for the door, but it was locked. In panic, he ran around looking for an exit. 'FIFTY MINUTES REMAINING'. Knupples could hear scream's from behind the locked door. Knupples thought to himself. 'There must be an escape'. "FORTY MINUTES REMAINING". Time was passing quicker than he would have hoped. Then he remembered the air vent's. He looked up above for a hole in the ceiling. YES! there was a small duct above the office. With Adrenaline rushing through him, he quickly hoisted himself up and climbed through the vents. 'HALF HOUR REMAINING'. He got to the third floor and looked for the elevator going down, but it was gone! 'TWENTY MINUTES REMAINING!' He realised that someone must've taken it down and out of here. He looked for a switch that would call the Elevator, no luck. 'TEN MINUTES REMAIN!' Knupples Heart was pounding. Would he die in this Nuthouse factory. Then he remembered that underground mine cart's come form Undeground delivering goods. The station was on his level exactly two hall ways away!!! 'FIVE MINUTES REMAINING, DETONATOR'S ONLINE' He raced to the station and checked how many carts were left. there was one! he hoped in and hoped it would make it out. 'FIVE.....FOUR.....THREE.....TWO.....ONE'
Originally Posted by AlexFili
This story starts in the middle of the action and has an Oddworld feel to it. The main character is not unlikeable and the plot is reasonably interesting. The story shows promise and seems to almost rekindle memories of the early Oddworld games. The one hour theme only appears near the end, but plays a part in the closing section of the story.
Originally Posted by Dripik
Right into the action and left ambiguous at the end. I understand that the word limit is a bit restrictive when one's writing a story, but this is perhaps too simplified and rushed. Time also seems to pass unnaturally fast in this particular factory.
Originally Posted by Bill
This one reminded me a lot of the actual game. I liked the open ending. But please make paragraphs next time.
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
This was a strange one. The detonation idea was an obvious one, but carried off with enough flair to offset that. Grammatical errors lie throughout, but at least they were consistent so didn't hamper readability too much. I'm not sure if it normally takes someone ten minutes to crawl into a vent, but I'll take your word for it. We don't really know much of what led Knupples to this position; perhaps you left it out to focus on the action and keep a fast pace, but I'd like to know a bit about the character I'm supposed to be concerned for. The empty ending was an interesting idea, though it does seem to imply that Knupples died, and without explanation that's a bit unsatisfying.
Overall, fast paced, but it left me behind to dwell on absent details.
Originally Posted by Splat
Short... mildly intense. Your grammar needs a little work and you perhaps need to work on building intensity and the passage of time (would it really take 20 minutes to think of looking for ceiling vents?), but it was ok for what it was.
Tentacles… and a Heart
The slig paced up and down, the long, dark, corridor of the abandoned zulag. But he didn’t abandon his patrol, he couldn’t, if he did he’d get shot, there was a lot of things he wished he could do and not get shot, this included not beating the poor beings scrubbing the floors, his only company, and he had to smack them and whack them.
He wasn’t like any other slig, he was lonely, and kind, he managed to befriend some of the mudokons, until the security orbs turned his way and he began to beat them he had no choice, he hated it, each hit, he mumbled, ‘sorry’, ‘sorry’, ‘so sorry’. but he continued, and each time he failed to hold back a tear, and it trailed down the side of his face and crept out of his mask, and dropped to the floor.
He was a fan of Abe, he wanted to meet him, if he could manage to gesture soon enough that he was friendly so Abe would know and not sneak up on him and rip his throat out. Abe could save him, brake him free of this prison, and his mudokon friends, that was all he wanted, freedom. He knew Abe would eventually turn up to save the mudokons, but he just didn’t know when.
One night, when he was sitting talking to a mudokon, trying to calm him down and get him to sleep (he was in the sleeping quarters), he heard a sound, no doubt it was an alarm. “the self destruct system Abe must be here!” he yelled with joy, “come on pal, get up, its time to go, time to be free”, he said with a smile, “f-ff-free?”, the mudokon stuttered, he could barely talk. “Yes, come on, awake your friends, we’re leaving” whispered the slig.
After the four mudokons and slig had gathered their things (which wasn’t much), they headed out, looking for their saviour. The slig looked up, it was the destruct system, 1 hour, 1 hour to find Abe and escape, 1 Hour to save their lives. “come on buddies!” shouted the slig. The orbs turned and witnessed this, and now there were two sets of alarms, and then there were Big Bros chasing them down the corridor. “QUICK! RUN!” screamed the slig, and all of a sudden, the five were sprinting away.
In about five minutes they managed to lose the big bros, and find Abe. “Abe! I….”, the slig didn’t get to finish his sentence, because Abe had began to chant. “Help! Help! No….ABE….PLEASE!”, the slig screamed, and Abe heard what he said, and stopped chanting, but it was too late, the slig was running….. And reached a ledge….. And tried to stop….. And failed….. And fell four hundred floors….. And as Abe leant over the edge, and cried for the unknown saviour, slig pants were heard in the distance….. And big bros turned the corner….. Their visors lighting the darkness, and they fired, the mudokons screamed, and it was their last scream. Even when they fell back with bullet holes in their heads, their mouths lay open, and died thanking the slig, and in hate of Abe. Who also dropped into the pit with bullet holes in his head, and landed on the lifeless body of the slig.
Originally Posted by AlexFili
The idea of a sympathetic Slig has been played around with before, but I think this story does it justice. I felt that the story didn’t really need quite so many different parts to it. I also felt that the one hour theme was a bit too artificial and not crucial enough to the story. The premise of the story itself was good. The ending was perhaps a little too grim, not leaving much up to the audience.
Originally Posted by Dripik
I didn't really feel that the 'one hour' theme had much role in this story. Or at least, it wasn't emphasised much. The characters were pretty much just fillers without any real identity, which is not too lucky, even in the case of such short stories.
Originally Posted by Bill
The story was easy to read. That ending made me laugh, It was funny and really odd. Unfortunately the plot somehow has no real “depth” in it. And you didn’t use the One Hour theme so well. Next time make sure to not separate it into so many little parts.
Originally Posted by MeechMunchie
Yikes. It takes a lot of balls to kill Abe, I'll give you that. Our Slig protagonist doesn't get much background as to why he's not aggressive, but somehow this suits his freakish, outcasted nature. I won't enquire as to why the factory had 400 floors, or why there were only 4 Mudokons in the Zulag. Grammar and punctuation was average. Tragedy is a driving force of Oddworld, so your story fitted that just fine. I don't think the paragraphs needed titles, but I'm still glad that they were separated, because they were almost like stanzas of a poem. The writing style certainly had a poetic quality to it, and the very end felt more like the fade-to-black ending of a short art film than any story I'd ever read. Just make it longer next time, eh?
Overall, There are a lot of things in this story that I could complain about, but it just had a sort of appeal I can't quite put my finger on.
Originally Posted by Splat
Nice slig is kind of a cliche and, without justification, isn't very Odd. The 'One Hour' theme seemed more of an obstacle the story had to overcome than a theme for it to fit with. However, I liked the snappiness of it, the short 'parts'. Killing the main character of a story is rarely a good way of ending a fanfiction, but I liked how you showed the darker side of Abe, that he slaughters sligs as easily as he saves mudokons.
And that... is... a... wrap!