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Colour Contagion · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
If At First You Don't Succeed...
"Oh thank god you called! Where are you? We're on in ten, and you know how these guys are about punctuality!"

"Listen, I don't think I'ma make it. I—"

"You what?! You've gotta, you're the one who knows how this all works!"

"Yeah, well, y'know how they are about respect 'n'all? Think me late-by-five cubed and you'll start to get an idea o'why."

"And how do you think they'll take me canceling literally last-second 'cause I don't know squat about the technical side! What could possibly be so big it's worse than that?"

"Okay, so y'know how my side job 'til this takes off is house-painting, right?"

"How could I possibly forget?"

"You're never gonna let that go, are you?"

"I spent hours on that hat! Hours! To see it desecrated like that was— okay, rushing, rant later, continue."

"Right, and y'know how I had to replace my washer after some unspecified wastrel broke it?"

"And you're never going to let that go, are you? Touché."

"Indeed. Well, after I got it yesterday I tossed in my ratty old tie-dye work duds as a test, and it seemed fine. But when I pulled out my suit today... well, y'know how stains can run in the wash, right?"

"So what, some paint stained your suit cross-loads? That's bad, but not nearly as bad as a no-show."

"No, it's way worse. You'll have to see to believe."

"So show me, 'cause I can't imagine how. You can be here in eight, right?"

"I can sprint it in four if I get lucky on the crossings, so maybe if I dress super-fast, but it's still a terrible idea."

"Okay, remember how we agreed I'm going to take lead this project? I'm cashing in."

"Ugh.... Fine, but I told you so."

"Oh, don't be so fatalistic. It can't be that bad."

"So, as the leader on this current venture, I suppose it would be meet for me to cop to my mistakes."


"So in retrospect, I'm willing to admit that it may, in fact, have actually been that bad."


"So therefore I should take from this a valuable lesson about listening to your opinion and respecting your judgment on these matters."


"Look, I'm trying to apologize and I bought you drinks, could you stop glaring at me? Please?"


"Like, three drinks. Big ones. Could you at least turn it down to 'somewhat annoyed' instead of 'baleful wrath of a vengeful deity'?"

"Fine. In a minute. Right now my mortified anger is all that's keeping me from collapsing into a singularity of humiliated despair."

"I suppose that's better than nothing. Uh, I mean the—"

"You mean than the nothing we've left after that, pardon my French, désastre complet of a demo?"

"Wait, you speak French? Since when?"

"No. I mean, did you see the looks they gave me? That whole half-hour was a charade 'cause they made up their minds the instant I walked in."

"Hey, that guy in the back seemed like he was—"

"And everyone on the street! Did you see the stares?"

"You are pretty eye-catching right now."

"'Eye-catching'? Yeah, that's totally equivalent to 'wearing the most hideously tacky suit ever to disgrace existence because you forced me to leave the house in it!'"

"Hey there, be fair! For a hideously tacky tie-dye two-piece, it's surprisingly fashionable."


"Or is that a three-piece? I don't remember and it's hard to tell now."


"And I'm pretty sure your minute's up. You're supposed to be on bargaining."

"...I think I'ma just skip to depression instead. What'm I supposed t'do? I can't show to a job interview like this, and there's no way I can afford replacing all my clothes after spending so much on the washer."

"Wait. All your clothes are tie-dye now?"

"Yes! Looking into my closet is like rainbows are exploding out of my eyes in the worst way possible."

"So, you have a washer that can magically turn anything tie-dye... I just might have an idea for how to salvage this."

"Oh, thank you ever-so-much for taking these horrible shirts off my hands! Why, I could not even pay my customers to leave with them, so for somebody to take them for free, why it fills me with happiness! How-ever can I hope to express my gratitude?"

"Think nothing of it, my good man, we're just doing our part. If you should ever happen across any more unsalable clothing, just let us know."
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#1 ·
Talking heads galore. Sorry, but I struggle to follow what happened here. If your story is too long, cut out scenes, not descriptions! The phone call might not have been necessary at all, or it at least didn't have to be that long. And by the way, did our colourful protagonist lose their accent as the story went on?

Also, is the end of the title supposed to be ...Tye Dye again?

...I can get behind that.
#2 ·
This story is rather sparse when it comes to details. We never know what kind of business those guys are going for at first, what are their names, and whatnot. As Miller put it, talking heads. Also, the house-painting guy has some kind of accent at first, which he mysteriously loses in the second act.

Also, paint or not, the dude doesn't seem very wise to begin with, throwing a suit in the washer like that. I'm not sure how about him, but all suits I ever owned were dry-cleaning only.
#3 ·
Alternate Title: Where Did You Learn Your Trade You Stupid Fucking Cunt, You Idiot?

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack.

And you may find yourself in another part of the world.

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself...

Well, how did I get here?

Most of what can be said about this entry has already been said, although I want to point one more thing out.

When you throw away prose altogether, author, you leave yourself vulnerable to being criticized for your dialogue more than usual, because if I can't judge the prose because there's no prose to judge, then you've left me with no other choice.

The thing about this whole exchange, and this story is just one big exchange, is that at first I could tell the two characters apart. If not by their personalities necessarily, although one does seem more dim-witted, then at least by their accents and mannerisms. It's important to differentiate two characters talking, especially if we're not even getting their names.

After a time, the more dim-witted fellow loses what made his dialogue distinctive, and I'm assuming this is from a lack of polish. Given a little more time, the dialogue would be more consistent.

That still leaves the talking heads problem, mind you, and me only being able to be mildly amused with this entry from a distance. I'm assuming it's a comedy, but I only almost got a chuckle out of it.
#4 ·
Bottom slate for no narration.

I am honestly starting to wish some of these script stories would just be scripts. Like, they mostly follow the correct beats, but maybe it's just because I'm trying to close read for Writeoff but having to keep making sure I'm confident on who is speaking is annoying.

The main problem here, as I see it, is that the payoff isn't really that strong. I was expecting something truly disastrous as opposed to a goofy suit. This is partly affected by the fact that my takeaway from their dialogue is that they are an indie band or something (comedians? stage actor? etc), so the suit having such a negative impact... doesn't really feel that intense to me and certainly not worth the build-up or climax we get. This miiiight work in a visual medium like on TV or something where they can really upsell the visual inanity, but here... I end up just imagining a tye-dye suit and going "Okay?"

Additionally, like a lot of other stories this round, the story kinda focuses on the wrong character as our perspective character... really doesn't do anything, they are just in the space of the actual conflict. It is a bit weird to say this about what is essentially a script, but the positioning of it really makes it seem like non-tye dye is hte "protagonist" and things are roughly observed from her position when tye dye is the one doing things, making decisions, etc, etc, etc.

Thanks for writing!