This is the Nitrome Fan-Fiction Library, where you can read winning stories of the weekly Super Story Challenge!
Last Week's Winner
(The characters appear in Nitrome Must Die, which was released in November, but the story takes place a little before those events in that game. And I know the British don't celebrate Thanksgiving or something, but oh well.)
The ominous patter of footsteps was nearly drowned out by complete and utter chaos. Employees, bunched in clusters, scattered about, doing the menial tasks as they were instructed to do.
"The fruit, the fruit!" a clean shaved employee shouted, his voice urgent and shrill. “Where is the fruit we put in the cooler?"
“I thought we were to put them outside,” the employee next to him countered. Specks of chin hair finely outlined the lower part of his face. “The Nitrome boss wanted them included with today’s shipment.”
“WHAT? The boss told me that he wanted them for tonight’s feast! He threatened to cut our wages in half if we don’t have his favourite fruit on the table!” The two workers exchanged looks of horror.
“I’ll take care of the searching here,” the hairless employee said. “You head outside to see if that shipment was already sent out!” The two employees dispersed as the pitter patter of footsteps built to a crescendo, then paused.
Poised and well dressed in a navy blue work suit, the approaching figure frowned as the chin-haired worker scurried past him. With a flick of his wrist, he snapped the whip he held in his hand against the stained grey walls. There was a sudden shriek, then a hush instantly smothered the noise.
A satisfied grin crept up the supervisor’s bearded face as he spoke with a booming voice. “Preparations for the annual feast are going well, I presume?”
Crack! The second strike of the whip matched the overseer’s harsh tone. Employees within direct earshot drew back, shaking their heads in disarray. Back and forth the supervisor walked, glancing at the obedient fearful workers as he continued. “Or maybe you clowns have just been lazing around, with no food to put on the table for our great boss!”
He leaned forward, pressing his face against a worker with a toque. “Tell me, should I let the boss know that you want this week’s wages to amount to last month’s?”
“N-No sir,” the toque employee stammered. He almost seemed to be suffocating under the lack of personal space when the supervisor stood back, diverting his gaze over the crowd once more. “Well then, I think you know what you ought to be doing.” Nervously, they bobbed their heads until the whip stiffened them up.
“Get back to work, all of you!” the supervisor ordered. “Enough chatter and I better start seeing things that actually matter!”
One final crack of the whip saluted his exit.
The day was yesterday. Men, all outfitted in blue attire, sat in organised rows around a rectangular table in a cramped rectangular room. Such was the case for many meetings at Nitrome Towers.
Their boss, though taller in height, symbolised a pigment of plumpness.Back splayed up against the cold coloured walls, his buckling knees did their best not to submit to the shrine of swollen mass above. Thick fingers fumbling with his pointing stick, the hairless man clumsily pointed to a date circled in a gutsy red.
“As you know, this date marked with red signifies a special day.” All eyes politely turned to focus on the coffee stained calendar, despite this being the same old news as last year’s, and the year before that. The printed words “Thanksgiving Day” had been scrawled over with the letters FEAST in sloppy block letters. “This day we see here marks the annual FEAST. We must prepare well, for I am bringing guests.”
In spite of the boss’ strict rules about interruptions, small talk rippled throughout the meeting room, wondering who this year’s visitors would be. The Nitrome boss glared, averting their stare back to the front wall. “At 5pm sharp, these acclaimed guests will arrive. Everything must be ready: food, decorations, settings, on floor number 48!” Exhausted from his spiel, he slumped onto a nearby chair, panting. “Meeting adjourned. Now get those filthy workers of mine to gather every scrap of food lurking in these towers!”
Seated in his most comfortable manager’s chair, the Nitrome Boss let out a growl and lunged forward for the box of donuts placed before the blinking screens in the surveillance room.
“Those fools just think they can take advantage of me,” the boss mumbled, stuffing a powdered donut into his inflated face. “This feast is supposed to be all about giving. And all those lazy hooligans go and take my much needed wages for their holiday fund!” He exhaled, spinning around in his chair until an idea dawned upon his bloated head.
Leaning forward, he pressed the green button and tapped twice on the elongated microphone. A squeal let out from the feedback for a brief moment, which he allowed to pass by before speaking.
“Attention all you low life slaves. You’ve all been fine workers, steadily preparing for the feast that I hope you are well on your way to completing. As your proud boss, I’d like to express my gratitude to you by giving you something special this Thanksgiving. And as such, I will be holding back this week’s wages!” He paused, then remembered to clarify. “That’s right, one week’s pay less! So work your hardest on making the feast the most less miserable you possibly can!”
The Nitrome Boss’ chair squeaked as it swiveled like a rusty compass, needle pointing away from the microphone and towards the direction of the nearest donut supply. Eagerly, he turned back to his meal, snagging as many goods as his empty mind could handle.
A chorus of sighs was met with an ensemble of rage. Employees who had seen better days attempted to overthrow their work, but were immediately silenced by their supervisor. Some employees knew better and drew back to their tasks in fear of their punishment being worsened. Others could barely handle it and just wanted the week to be over with as quickly as possible.
“Maybe this has gone on for too long,” an employee with ruffled hair muttered, tapping away on a grimy keyboard. He, along with two other employees, manned the programming station. In preparation for the boss’ “Great Feast”, the three of them were searching up the recipes needed to create the food.
“I’ll say,” the worker behind him replied, grabbing his paddle ball shaking it back and forth. “I mean, how long does it take to load a webpage about some ‘butterball’ turkey?”
“Butterball?” The ruffled hair worker’s curiosity piqued. The employee in front of him had fallen asleep, page still stuck in the loading position.
“Yeah, as requested by the boss. Says he won’t accept plain old turkey. Butterball is the only way to go and – OH COME ON!” The employee tossed aside his paddle and began clicking furiously at the screen. “Server crash. We’ll have to call the technicians.”
“They’re still fixing the computers that broke down yesterday on the 26th floor,” the ruffled hair employee reminded him. “There won’t be enough time.” He sucked in a musky breath through gritted teeth. “The boss isn't going to like this.”
The commotion woke up the sleeping employee, who stared gloomily at his blinking, barely functioning computer. “He’s not going to like it even if we do get it on time.”
“You’re right,” the ruffled hair employee said. “And it’s been like this, every year, preparing for the feast…unless.” The programmers left their seats and congregated in the middle of the room as the ruffled hair employee whispered, “Does the Charomat still happen to work?”
“Yes,” the employee playing paddle answered. “We were going to send the recipe for the turkey in it, but now we don’t have a recipe.”
Eagerly, the ruffled hair employee cracked his knuckles and plopped back down on his computer again. “If we don’t have a recipe, we’ll just have to improvise.” He leaned forward and began his programming for the recipe, fingers dancing around the keyboard.
The other two workers exchanged stares. “The boss is really going to hate us,” the paddle employee said.
The ruffled hair employee gave him an exasperated look. “That’s the point.”
“Well yes, but what I’m getting at here is that we can take it further, you know. Why give the boss a feast when he’s gone through at least twenty before it actually starts?”
The tired employee gasped at his fellow. “A conspiracy?” He dove back to his machine, clicking out of the freezing window. “Here’s something I've been working on when the boss wasn't looking…”
Impatience bubbled from the gluttonous boss of Nitrome Towers as he pounded his fist on the long table like a giant baby throwing a tantrum.
“Faster you good-for-nothings!” he growled. “My guests are arriving in minutes!” Weary employees scurried back and forth, lining every inch of table with a platter of food. Smells from every corner of the board built to an aromatic climax.
Slumping in his chair, the Nitrome Boss attempted to stand, but had to lean on the table for support. “Where’s my butterball turkey?”
“It’s coming,” one employee answered. The boss turned to him and sneered. “Well make it come faster!” He pointed a chubby finger at the exit. “The rest of you, get out of here now!” Robotically, the workers obliged.
As the noise dimmed down, the Nitrome Boss surveyed the long table filled with exquisite dishes. It was almost a wonder the employees managed to put the meal together with the sparseness of supplies in Nitrome Towers.
“I suppose I could test the food,” the boss muttered, making sure he was out of earshot. He hobbled in his seat and leaned forward to delve into the plate before him when he stopped cold in his tracks. He could hear something give beneath him. Startled, he inched back on his seat.
“It’s nothing,” he said aloud, dismissing all worries. “Probably just my stomach.”
Just then, the floor opened, taking the table and any food on it with it. Before the gap could reach the Nitrome Boss, it closed, leaving him in an empty dining hall. There was a delay, then a loud crash rumbling through the floor below.
In disbelief, the Nitrome Boss collapsed to the floor, moaning. Suddenly, he wondered if his chest was tightening from the lack of food that was once there or the seven too many large donuts he downed minutes beforehand.
“The food…” the boss groaned. “All the food just…disappeared!”
The lift doors parted, and an employee appeared with a covered platter of food. “Your butterball turkey, sir?” He placed the platter before the boss, who seemed to be in deep grief.
The employee stirred nervously. “Also, the guests informed us that they were…unfortunately delayed. A last minute event they couldn't see coming until it was too late.” He made a mad dash for the elevator and was out of sight.
The Nitrome Boss turned over, lifting the cap off the platter. There, in front of him, lay the most mouth-watering browned butterball turkey he had ever laid eyes upon. Forgetting his anguish, he pounced on the turkey headfirst like a foolish bee trying to mate with an orchid. Burrowing through the opening, he stopped abruptly when he noticed something was off. Balls of white butter pollen grains stuck to his forehead.
“Butterballs?” he asked aloud in the empty room. “Butter…balls?” Looking down, he gazed upon the spectacle. The turkey had been hollowed out and filled with many, many balls of butter. Blood boiling, he felt his temperature rising.
With a sudden burst of energy, he thrust his hand inside the turkey and threw a sphere at the wall. The impact flattened it to a hemisphere before it tumbled to the floor. A greasy stain on the already dirty walls left a promising mark.
The Nitrome Boss stared down at his collection of butter balls, then glanced around the room. Everyone seemed to have vanished. Even the executives and supervisors were not present. His arms began to turn faster as he rapidly threw butter ball after butter ball until his anger short circuited and his legs gave way. The greasy orbs lay in a pile of heaps next to him as he stared at the ceiling, breathing heavily.
“I’ll fire those wretched fools,” he promised under his breath. He hesitated in his own thoughts. “But then, who would work for me?” He groaned in exasperation, ultimately admitting defeat.
“They won’t be so lucky next time.”
By the numbers, they crowded in, being careful not to step on the shatters of food that had crashed through the floor like a delicate chandelier.
Mixed reactions brewed from the employees. Would they get fired for this? Would the higher-ups breech their carefully but crudely constructed plan?
“Perhaps we didn’t think this through,” one employee muttered as he passed by some brightly coloured fruits strewn in a messy array. Finally, the ruffled hair programmer made his way to the highest elevated platform in the room and took a deep breath.
“Could I have your attention, please!”
His high-pitched waves sent alerting quakes throughout the room. The gathered employees had been silenced.
“I know this isn't the best setup for a feast, but we did what we could with what we had. The room has been sealed; no boss can enter. Tonight won't be his feast to dine on, it'll be ours!”
Outcries of horror erupted, for many employees still feared their boss. “We’ll be fired for sure!” one voice shot out above the tremourous murmur.
“Yeah I want out!” another chimed in.
“Everyone, come on!” the ruffled hair employee urged. “When was the last time Mr. Nitrome Boss paid you a fair wage?”
There was a moment of silence, then a hand was raised. “Exactly four years, six months and two days,” came the answer.
“And how many times have you worked in overtime this past month?”
Uneasy looks gathered among the crowd. The ruffled hair employee did not wait for a response. “Let me guess: your wages for overtime pay amount to…zero?”
“Oh! Well there was that stash of peanuts he gave us once for helping to clean the chimp’s cage!” a voice interrupted.
Eyes turned, honing in on the speaker until the timid but eager employee drew back. “Though, it was a stale, rotten package….”
The ruffled hair employee resumed. “That aside, we make up the majority of the Nitrome Boss' workforce. If we all get fired, guess what? That means more work for him!” He raised his hands, completely devoid of fear. “So let us enjoy this Thanksgiving feast! After all, it might be the only one we've left!”
A wave of nods began to spread as the workers reluctantly kneeled down to pick up a broken shard of food. One by one they relaxed, savouring the effort they had put into these feast preparations. Spurts of conversation, lightly sprinkled, joined the feeding. The food may have been broken and scattered, but it tasted more heavenly than any grub the Nitrome Boss had given them.
Pleased that his plans had finally come into action, the ruffled hair employee jumped down from the platform and was about to join in the celebration when he paused. For a brief moment, he could hear the sounds of deep sobs penetrating through the cracked ceiling above.
Here are stories/pieces of writing from previous Super Story Challenge winners!
Title: Space Bar Power!
It was a peaceful day among Onekey's tribe. They had been celebrating his trek across the ancient temple, in which he had brought them many jewels. Chief: You will be honored for many generations, Onekey. I am very proud of you.
Onekey: Many thanks chief, but where is the main course? I'm starving!
Chief: Purple One, are you back from your hunt?
Purple One: Yes sir, I got a big boar!
Green One: You're the only big bore here! Now give me that so I can prepare it for our meal.
Purple One: *grumbles and hands Green One the boar*
30 minutes later...
Onekey: I must say, Purple One, this is delectable! Won't you join us, Orange One?
Orange One: *plays instrument*
Purple One: Orange One lost his appetite years ago when he discovered music, remember?
Onekey: I just hope he doesn't starve to death... where did you get this beast anyway, Purple One?
Purple One: Well, I entered the great temple, and suddenly, I found myself falling through a trap door! Next thing I knew, I was in a room full of goods! There was too much to carry, so I only took the boar. Pretty awesume, right?
The other four tribesmen become silent, staring at Purple One in awe.
Green One: You mean you STOLE from the great temple? Are you out of your mind?!
Chief: Green One is right, Purple One. You know very well that the great temple is guarded by the gods, and stealing from them is forbidden!
Purple One: But...
Chief: Buts are for interrupting people in the middle of their sentence, Purple One. We need to return the boar to the temple for it becomes too late!
Onekey: Pardon me chief, but aren't you forgetting something?
The chief looks at the other tribesmen, with nothing but bones and table scraps.
Chief: Well, I suppose you can't fault hunger... we have only one option left: we must enter the temple and beg the gods for mercy!
Purple One: Begging is for the poor! We've got everything we need here.
Green One: Stealing is also for the poor, Purple One.
Purple One blushes, and the tribesmen walk across the jungle, arriving at the temple.
Onekey: That was quick! Normally i'd have to evade stone guardians, spikes, and bottomless pits...
Chief: I blame that on the lack of montage... but what's this?! The temple gates are locked!
Purple One: It's not my fault! They were open when I came here!
Chief: What to do... aha! Orange One, play the song of the gods!
Orange One: *plays instrument, causing the gates to open*
The tribesmen cheer, and run into the temple.
Chief: Follow me, and we shall enter the shrine!
Green One: When we get there, can we sacrifice Purple One for his misdeeds?
Purple One: Hey!
Chief: No one shall be sacrificed, Green One. At least not yet...
Suddenly, the chief trips, and falls through a trap door.
Onekey: CHIEF! We need to go after him!
The other tribesmen jump through the door after their leader, and land in a great hall.
Purple One: Wait a minute, this is where I discovered the boar!
Green One: Oh no! If the gods find us in here, they'll be sure to...
Suddenly, a rumbling noise is heard. A large cube made out of stone emerges from the distance, and hits a wall.
???: You have disturbed the great temple, puny mortals! Now taste the gods' wrath!
Onekey: *trembling* Who are you?!
???: I... am the Guardian Rock!
The Guardian Rock lunges at the tribe, moving in straight lines. The treasure room is convienently arranged in a puzzle formation.
Guardian Rock: I have you now!
Green One: That quote shouldn't exist yet!
Purple One: I guess this is the end! It was nice knowing you, fellow tribesmen!
Onekey: No it's not! We still have a chance against him!
Green One & Purple One: We do?
Onekey: Yes! We need to use the legendary power of the... SPACE BAR!
Just as the Guardian Rock is about to crush the four, the fans turn on, lifting the Guardian Rock into an array of spikes!
Guardian Rock: What's this?! How are you using such magic? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
The Guardian Rock hits the spikes, crumbling before them.
Purple One: But I thought only the mighty gods could use the space bar's powers!
Onekey: They must be in our favor! They forgive us!
The tribesmen cheer once again.
Onekey: *gasps* Wait, the chief! What happened to him?
Green One: I think I know...
Green One points at the crushed body of the chief, and the four mourn for his death.
Onekey: Chief Blue One, you will always be remembered for your bravery and kindness. May you rest in peace.
Orange One: *plays instrument sadly*
...And that's how the Grinch stole Christmas. The end!
Title: Bump Battle Royale Bumper Cars (Advertisement)
Austin: Justin! Why aren't you working on a new game!
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Did someone just say that they're bored?
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(Austin bumps Justin off of a cliff)
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