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Long Story Short · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Gamer's Honor
It had been a surprise attack. It would have been game over, had they expected us here and sneaked up on us, but they hadn't. Their squad had seemed just as surprised as us.

We'd all been minding our own business, me watching for movement in the valley below, Roy and Mark exchanging equipment, and Johnny... doing something or whatever on the top floor of the lonely mountain pass lodge we'd been holed up in. And from one moment to the next, they'd just appeared.

Usually Johnny was the first to hear enemies approaching, his headset was the best by far. Usually everyone would hear engine noises from half a map away anyway, but somehow they'd managed to pull up right in front of our house without us noticing.

"Car!" shouted Mark, as they already jumped out, and both our teams stared at one another for an eternity or so before all hell broke loose.

Mark and me exchanged bullets with two of them, us from our windows, them while running for cover behind a brick wall, Roy threw a grenade too far over their heads, and Johnny... I sure didn't care at that point. I put a few bursts just into the top of their cover, but Mark took one out when he peeked his head above the wall. Only then did Johnny give us a sign of life:

"I hear a door, guys. Left door."

"On me!" Roy interrupted, but their number three emptied a magazine into him. I turned around and shot him while he was reloading, but it was too late for Roy.

"Fuck me," he took it in stride, "Johnny, the wall below. By that bush."

With dead Roy spectating him as spotter, and with his elevated position, Johnny managed to take out the second guy behind the wall, and it was over as fast as it had begun.

"Their fourth!" Mark shouted, "care for their fourth!"

Okay, not exactly over. But I didn't see anyone, heard no more shots, and neither did the others.

"Johnny, cover us. We'll check outside." Mark didn't wait for a reply before carefully moving out, and I followed quickly.

Something had felt off, I swear, but it didn't hit me until Mark went to check behind their car:

"Guys? There's someone still on the back seat."

"Shoot him!" Mark shouted, but I didn't comply.

"He's not moving. I think he's afk."

"He looks afk," confirmed Roy.

"Who cares? Shoot him."

"You can't just shoot afks, dude!"

"His fault for leaving."

"But man, imagine you had to leave to get the door. And when you come back you're dead." Johnny had left his post to join us, and soon we were standing around the car, watching the unmoving guy inside.

"Imagine you had to leave, and when you come back there's three idiots staring at you," I threw in, and Roy went with it:

"Guys, imagine you leave while driving with your squad, and you're still driving when you come back, but with a different one!"

"I'd shoot them."

"Dude, where's your honor?"

"My honorable first place, you mean?"

"You're no fun, Mark." We could play to win every round, Roy's idea sounded far more enticing.

"Guys, imagine the faces of his teammates! When they're spectating him, and you're taking him with you for a ride!"


"He'd just handicap us!"

"It'd be amazing!"

"No way. We gotta move."

"With their car, dude!"

"Forget it. We're winning this."

Well, we weren't gonna come to an agreement anytime soon. We could have sat there for hours, arguing. But we were running out of time. We did have to move. So, long story short, we shot him.
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#1 · 1
You got a chuckle out of me, though I feel it would've been funnier if they had debated for longer about what would be the right thing to do before shooting him anyways.
#2 · 2
· · >>Light_Striker
When you submit something, no matter how rushed it needs to be, there are three things you need to make sure are perfect: your title, your synopsis, and your first paragraph. Screw any of those up, and it sets an immediate bad impression regarding the quality of the work. It is unfair, of course, but that's the way it goes.

Case in point (provided you are writing for an American English speaking audience), it should be snuck up, not sneaked. If you're not doing American English, it is probably fine, but that particular one grates on most American ears. I also think calling it a surprise attack in the first sentence ends up working against you unless you do something more to call out the fact that it was actually a surprise for both of you. Surprise attack implies premeditated ambush, whereas what you are actually describing is what would more accurately be called a "clusterfuck."

Honestly, prose on the whole is functional but still a bit rough all around and would definitely benefit from an editorial pass.

So far as story structure goes, this is an entertaining little tale that will speak to gamers (kill AFKs, being at the keyboard is a skill), but I think it spends just a little too much time on the setup to move us to the eventual core of the story. Four characters was a mistake here, I think (my PUBG knowledge is weak, but I'm pretty sure squads can be smaller, yeah?) because it just EATS space to use them and you don't really have time to do anything with them.

This is most evident in the last section where, honestly, the not Mark characters kinda end up blending together because they have the similar voices and we don't really end up with anything else to differentiate them. It'd be much cleaner with just two voices.

Beyond that, I don't think your end punchline is quite strong enough. The idea is cute, but I just think the execution isn't quite there. Your form should match the nature of the joke, so wrapping up to "Long story short, we shot him" should basically be the entirety of it. None of the preceeding paragraph or anything. To that end, it'd likely be punchier to have Mark just take matters into his own hand. Or run the other way with the joke and just have the AFK pop our heroes, thus cutting their argument short.

Still, an amusing little ride even for a non PUBG player like me.

Always kill AFKs.
#3 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
Minor point: I will say, for the record, that the American elementary school English teachers I had would precisely disagree with you regarding “sneaked” versus “snuck”, and that it doesn't really grate on me. I will also agree that you are more correct than they would be as far as what seems to be current dominant usage, though. :-)
#4 ·
· · >>Monokeras
>>Light_Striker There is a reason I said most! :p
#5 · 1
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Sneak → snuck
Feak → ?

#6 ·
#7 ·
This is anticlimactic, and that's probably the point. It feels alright, structurally, but I'm not sure it reached high enough with the joke before it dropped flat at the end. The fighting was readable, but didn't really build into the 'guy in the car' bit much; you could have summarized that more, I think, and had extra room for the argument without losing much.

This fits the the prompt pretty well, though.

Humor is subjective, so ymmv, but this didn't do a lot for me.
#8 ·
Okay, that’s the last one on my slate and since I’m not a huge fan of video games, I’ll just abstain on it and let to others the honour to comment.

well that’s not really fair. I’ll rank it.
#9 · 2
I don't think you want three paragraphs of dull set-up at the beginning of an action piece. It'd be a stronger opening to start with, "Car!" and sprinkle in a tiny amount of set-up alongside the shooting / work the first three paragraphs in with the action (I don't think you need most of that information though). I don't have anything else to add that others haven't already said, so I'll just add my agreement with the above comments.
#10 ·
I get the firm feeling that this story was rushed. Between the brief spats of dialogue, the sparse descriptions and the large spaces, this feels like a story that was cranked out as fast as possible. Sadly, the final product reflects this, as neither the characters nor the action are all that understandable. First people shoot, then they shout, then they shoot some more. I get the story is meant to be fast paced, but this felt less like an aesthetic choice and more like a story without any kind of polish to it. By the end of the story, I’m left so befuddled and unsure of what’s going on that I’m not sure whether the ending is meant to be dramatic or comedic.

To be fair, there’s an interesting story idea here about video game etiquette that might work as literature. But the story’s going to need a lot of revision if it’s going to really explore that concept satisfactorily.
#11 ·
Lol, can relate to all sides. Fun little romp, though I think a bit more argument would have been good. Not necessary, though.