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Colour Contagion · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Cutting Edge Customer Service
Silver sighed as she leaned on the counter, resting her chin in her palm and quite pointedly ignoring the tip of a battered and chipped sword being waved about quite close to her face. “Look, I already told you: I don’t want your stupid magic sword. First of all, it looks like you’ve spent all day hitting rocks with the damn thing. Second, I already have like, a thousand used magical swords for sale.”

“But they aren’t this sword, counter wench!” the loin cloth wearing oaf on the opposite side of the counter bellowed, waving it about like it were something made to be waved about harmlessly instead of something that would, if not seriously maim one of her other patrons, definitely give them a nice case of lockjaw. “This is a precious historical relic! A storied weapon whose history goes back hundreds of years. The blade Alexandros the Fine, King of Carnacus, Duke of Epitain, Marquis of Silfar—”

Given that his spield would probably take a while and be interminably boring, Silver stopped listening. It was always the same. This magic sword is the whosit of the whatsit from the whenit that killed the whateverit, repeat ad nauseum until she realized that praying to be spared from this suffering was pointless because the gods had clearly chosen to condemn her to the deepest, darkest hell imaginable.

Like, did adventurers just not understand what a store was?

She was going to have to write to the guilds. Again. They had to add economic literacy to their tests unless they wanted the entire system to collapse when the merchants pulled out of it. Better to let the Blighted Lands consume everything then ever see another dripping sack of dragon testicles dropped on her counter.

“— Slayer of the Demi Lich, Beater of the Silver Falcon, Hunter of the Twelved Horned Horror—”

She sighed. The previous record for longest weapon chronicle she had dutifully endured had been a meager two minutes, thirty-nine seconds. This one was already coming up on the five minute mark, with no end in sight.

Customers – the sort of people who actually wanted to give her money so that they could take things out of her store – were piling up behind him. Many of them looked about ready to throw in the towel. The new cherry-flavored healing potions were not worth waiting for this blowhard to finish.

“Okay!” she conceded, throwing her hands up. “Fine. You win. I will buy the stupid sword of whoever the whatever if you just shut up, okay?”

He beamed. “That is more like it!” He slammed the thing down on her counter hard enough to chip the wood.

Testing the weapon’s feel in her hands, she took a deep breath and mentally lined up the facts, including her current stock, the relative rarity of fourth kingdom artifacts, and how much she hated the man in front of her. “I can give you five gold in credit.”

He stared at her. “Excuse me?”

“Five gold,” she said, hand tightening around the weapon’s hilt as she sensed where this was going. “In credit. For all the reasons stated prior.”

“That is outrageous, counter wench!” he thundered, slamming his hands on the counter hard enough to crack the wood. “Credit? Who wants credit? I need actual gold! And five is barely enough for a pack of healing potions! This is a fourth kingdom relic! Why, if I put a notice up on the board at the guild saying I was selling this I could get at least three hundred gold. Easily.” He snorted as he rose back to his full height. “You are a ripoff! I wish to speak with your manager!”



The magistrate would later rule in Silver’s favor, declaring that she was not responsible for the man’s resurrection fees, as his decapitation was very clearly a case of self-inflicted harm.
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#1 · 1
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I'm sorry to say that this was a little underwhelming to me. The premise is the joke, here, and while it's amusing, it is a pretty well-discussed subject. I mean, I've never played any Elder Scrolls games, but I'm still familiar with the concept just from osmosis alone. A bigger issue, IMO, is that I had trouble finding the actual story funny. A lot of the punchlines felt telegraphed, and since written humor relies pretty heavily on the element of the unexpected, I was never really struck by any of the jokes.

I mean, the prose is great, and I really like how Silver's wry snark bleeds into the third-person narration. But the point of this piece was to make me laugh, and I'm afraid I didn't.

My opinion on humor in the Writeoffs historically has often wildly differed from the consensus, however, so please just take this as one personal reaction.
#2 · 1
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I found myself smiling while reading this story, but never actually laughing, unfortunately. It's almost there, but I do agree with Bach that it feels a little one note. As an intro to a larger scene, I think it's a great setup (minus the ending paragraph) but since we only have 750 words to tell a whole story, this does feel like it falls a little short.

But still. If you had been allowed to keep going, I would have been interested. So good job! And thanks for taking the time to submit.

P. S. Was the sword sharp or not?
#3 ·
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Alternate Title: Every Western RPG Ever

I have some mixed feelings about this entry.

As a comedy I don't think it quite pulls through. There are a few chuckle-worthy lines, and the premise is one that anyone who's played something like Skyrim or The Witcher will be happy to see riffed on, but it lacks teeth. The riffing is very gentle, for both better and worse; it never really shows its hand, which is nice, but it also fails to say anything refreshing or biting about something that has already been ragged on by many.

Silver is a very archetypal retail clerk, the kind of person we either all know or have been ourselves at some point. This makes her relatable, even though her personality is limited to the situation at hand.

The swordsman himself is also quite charming, if only because of how meat-headed he is. It's a shame he doesn't act more like how an actual player in a Western RPG would act (that is to say, callous and amoral to a solipsistic degree). Of course he wants to buy health potions with the money he'd get from the sword, because that's what anyone with common sense would do in this type of game.

Then again, this is supposed to be like if a Western RPG player interacted with a merchant who was an actual person and not an NPC. There's something about gamer morality in there, but as I've said there's pretty much no bite to it.

Despite the somewhat gruesome imagery of the ending (not exactly funny, but it makes sense), this is probably the gentlest comedy I've encountered this round, in that there's this weird lack of malice to it. It's like if Yahtzee Crowshaw's Mogworld wasn't nearly as spiteful towards gamers and game creators.

Can't say I dislike it, but as a comedy I can't really recommend it.
#4 ·
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Your Story's Theme Song: Matt Elliott - Prepare For Disappointment

(Just wanna clarify that I'm not disappointed in this story by any margin. I just found this song to be a hilarious fit alongside this story)

Okay, I'll get straight to it: I didn't laugh either, though I was smiling ear to ear because I did enjoy this entry quite a bit, particularly when it comes to the disgruntled voice of the narration and the dynamic between Silver and our insipid swordsman.

Regarding the humor, I'm with everyone else above in that I think the humor can be a bit more acerbic and unforgiving, as all good humor should be. It was at the edge at some points in the story and all it needed was a little push. I think with how well-built the premise and the dynamic between the characters itself, it shouldn't hurt to give something more biting for us to guffaw at, even if it may be in bad taste for some people.

I do commend you for getting close though, especially with a plot that's simple and straightforward. As much as I like the other comedies this round, their premise on their own makes it a hard pill for me to swallow personally, so I'm glad this entry exists.

Thanks for writing! Also, grats on making finals!
#5 ·
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Okay, I'll get straight to it: I didn't laugh either, though I was smiling ear to ear because I did enjoy this entry quite a bit, particularly when it comes to the disgruntled voice of the narration and the dynamic between Silver and our insipid swordsman.


As a comedy I don't think it quite pulls through. There are a few chuckle-worthy lines, and the premise is one that anyone who's played something like Skyrim or The Witcher will be happy to see riffed on, but it lacks teeth.


I found myself smiling while reading this story, but never actually laughing, unfortunately.


I must agree with my distinguished colleagues. As a fan of western RPGs, I certainly enjoyed this story, but it was more amusing than funny. I never quite laughed, and at the end, I didn't have a strong impression of it beyond the sort of humor one finds on a gaming reddit board.