Vote in the Iron Writer Tournament!

Watch from front row seats as gladiator-writers from all across the galaxy fight in a vicious, unbelievable battle to the death! If you’ve ever given half a shit about Kyle B. Stiff, then let your voice be heard – by shrieking like a madman alongside thousands of other fans of no-holds-barred slug-fests! Hell, you don’t even have to vote for Kyle B. Stiff. Just vote for whoever destroyed the competition with the most insane series of body-destroying literary combos!

Just go HERE to check out the stories!

Want to see what happened in the previous episode of Kyle B. Stiff’s battle for supremacy in the Iron Writer competition? Then click HERE.

"UNBELIEVABLE CARNAGE! UNENDING SPECTACLES! UNENDURABLE BOUTS OF BRUTALITY!!!"

“UNBELIEVABLE CARNAGE! UNENDING SPECTACLES! UNENDURABLE BOUTS OF BRUTALITY!!!”

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The Iron Writer TOURNAMENT Begins!

By Kyle B. Stiff

One of Kyle B. Stiff’s personal aides rushed into his meditation sanctuary. His nerves were frazzled due to a fubar state of mind and sleepless nights tossing and turning and worrying like a little punk over the upcoming Iron Writer Tournament, and only his master, the awe-inspiring gladiator Kyle B. Stiff, could put his silly-ass mind at ease.

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The aide found Kyle B. Stiff deep in meditation in a very chill room decorated with a few tasteful pieces dedicated to violent destruction – the sort of thing that a master gladiator would contemplate before a battle. One piece was a framed photograph of a nuclear explosion, the mushrooming result of a few physicist-warriors pooling their intellectual resources in order to ruin thousands of civilian lives. Another piece showed the amazing Battle at Kruger, when a few buffalo got their shit together and fought against a gang of lions with a powerful hunger for baby buffalo. Still another piece was a historical representation of Conan slaying Thulsa Doom with the shards of his father’s sword. None of these pieces did anything to set the poor aide at ease.

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“Master!” said the aide. “Don’t you know that the Iron Writer Tournament, a brutal, bone-crushing event that pits past Iron Writer winners against one another, begins this Thursday?!”

Kyle B. Stiff slowly turned to his aide. He looked serene as balls. “I know it,” he said.

“Then how can you just sit there?! Th-th-this is suh-suh-serious!!!”

“My dear little fug-nuggler.” Kyle B. Stiff stood and radiated an aura that could be considered overpowering to anyone who hadn’t roamed the stars for endless millennia seeking competitors to ruthlessly grind to a pulp. “I can’t have you tweaking out as you sharpen my weapons, prepare my armor, and keep my industrial-strength toilet in working order. You’re only nervous about this amazing competition because you’re afraid that we’ll lose. You have to remember that setting foot in the arena means death. If you go into battle praying to survive, then death will smell your fear and come to claim you. Chasing after victory means chasing after a ghost.”

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Kyle B. Stiff laid a hand on the aide’s shoulder, and the poor little wretch felt the weight of the mitten that had crushed countless worlds in its grip.

“Anyone who competes has already won something,” said Kyle B. Stiff. “We’ve put our dick and balls on the line, and that’s more than many will ever do. Maybe that is enough.”

The aide hummed and hawed for a bit, then said, “Well… to be honest… I wouldn’t mind seeing a whirlwind of destruction. All the competitors are winners from past events, you know… I mean, there’s going to be quite a bit of blood-letting, don’t you think?”

“Like a dance in an abattoir, old friend,” said Kyle B. Stiff. “Now go and duct-tape a battle-axe to a .50 cal sniper rifle for me, will you? Because this one’s going to be a real doozie.

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Curious about the Iron Writer competition? Check it out HERE.

Want to see the last installment of Kyle B. Stiff’s epic battle in the Iron Writer arena? HERE it is!

(UPDATE! The newest installment in Kyle B. Stiff’s battle is now available. Check it out HERE.)

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If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

Your Reward for My Victory

The ninth challenge in the Iron Writer contest ended in victory. I returned from the arena, carefully cleaned my weapons and returned them to their shelf, then strode off to the showers in dead silence. My servants congratulated one another as they took my armor, but when they looked at my face to see if it was flushed with victory, they saw only the blank serenity of one accustomed to crushing his opponents and who is already focused on the next battle.

If you want to check out the stories, they’re right HERE.

My official entry was the second story I wrote for the contest; I’ll post the first in this very blog post that you now hold in your hands. It has the same necessary set pieces: A loom, a sunken ship, a rollercoaster, and a pregnant camel. My first attempt was too long and shortening it would have been like wrestling a buttered goblin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look.

Note that this superhero-themed story contains a bomb in a backpack, which was included unconsciously and may be so painfully pertinent in terms of current events that many readers might have considered it to be in poor taste. Oh well!

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KISS OF THE MAN-SPIDER: FANTASTIC FIRST ISSUE! FEATURING… THE DEADLY CAMEL!

By Kyle B. Stiff 

After Art proved to Rachel beyond a shadow of a doubt that Commander America could beat the Man-Spider in a one-on-one battle, she finally relented and agreed to introduce him to the old man that she was convinced was the real-life Padre Porter, the web-slinging crime-fighter also known as the Man-Spider. Despite his father’s insistence that the Man-Spider had saved his life years ago, Art was sure that an elaborate joke was being played on him.

“Alright,” Art said, “let’s go see this old fart you’re crushing on. But I have to be back by seven, or dad’ll be pissed.”

“I’m not ‘crushing’ on him,” Rachel said, still sulking. “In fact, he’s pretty gross.”

A hike through the neighborhood brought them to a dilapidated house tucked between overgrown foliage. Rachel entered without knocking. Art entered and was assaulted by the stench of post-game locker room and cigarette butts. He could hear wood knocking against wood and the sound of multiple conspiracy theory radio shows playing one on top of another.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw an old man with thin limbs working an old-fashioned loom. He had wisps of long white hair, a shirt that doubled as a napkin, and his eyes were covered in shadow. It was difficult to see, but it looked as if the old man was pulling string from his pocket. Art wanted to turn and leave, but he was enchanted by the pale, shining tapestry strung across the loom.

“Padre Porter?” Art said, feeling a little foolish. “Did you, uh, retire from fighting crime to pick up weaving?”

“I never retired,” the old man said immediately. “My old costume no longer fits, but I still weave the fates of men. I still spin justice, boy.”

Art realized that the old man spoke around a thick wad of saliva that collected at the corners of his mouth and around his tongue. He was further repulsed to see that the string stuck to his fingers as if his hands were coated in jelly or syrup.

“I guess I thought you were just a comic book character.”

“The greater part of reality you see only as a shadow. Did you know that Aleister Crowley, grand magister of the new age, was the inspiration for Professor Javier, leader of the Ex-Men, in your comic books? He taught us how to become more than human. He gave us our true names and turned us into supermen. But I can see that you, Camel, have brought me a gift in your backpack.”

Art was about to argue that not only was he not wearing a backpack, he also had nothing to do with the b-list super-villain whose lame power was the ability to go without water for weeks at a time. But when he reached behind himself he realized that he was, in fact, wearing a heavy backpack.

“Surprised?” said Padre Porter. “It’s a bomb, no doubt. You’re a victim of mind control sent by the Revengers to kill me. But mind control is such a fickle thing, isn’t it? Anyone can say the correct keywords to activate programming. For example: Rollercoaster.”

Art was struck by intense nausea. He felt as if he was teetering over the edge of a precipice and would fall at any moment. He crashed to his knees.

“Why have you come?” said Padre.

Art heard himself speaking. “Pregnant Camel comes across the wasteland to give birth to an explosion. We’ll kill you… just like we killed your syphilitic master.”

Art felt hands pull his backpack away. He could not resist. He saw men and women standing over him. Their faces were dead, their eyes were black and empty, and they carried automatic rifles and handguns.

Padre paused and leaned over his loom. His eyes were also black and dead. “I can’t do the work on my own anymore. My children are my hands and eyes now. Their thoughts are my thoughts.”

“Freedom fighters?” Art forced out the words. “They look like terrorists!”

“They’re the good guys. And you will be, too, once you reveal the location of your handler’s headquarters.”

Art clamped his mouth shut, but then heard himself say, “The museum, the sunken ship display. It’s the entrance to Titan IC. We call it Titan-99.”

“Rachel… Arachne, go and lead the others. Go and kill this man’s father, Commander America, just as I should have done so long ago.”

The superheroes filed out of the door silently. Still frozen in place, Art listened as Padre, the Man-Spider, explained that his fate would be rewoven as a bringer of justice. The old man returned to his loom and the shining tapestry and Art was horrified to see that he was pulling fresh string not from his pocket but from a grotesque opening on his lower belly.

THE END.

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If you’re interested in Kyle B. Stiff’s battles in the Iron Writer competition, you can view the previous chapter HERE.

Or check out the next chapter HERE.

*     *     *

 Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

The Iron Writer: Challenge 9: Time to Vote!

The ninth round of Iron Writer stories are up! Not only can you see Kyle B. Stiff’s deadly battle against three other writers, you can even vote for your favorite story! That’s right, it’s not the fighters in the arena who make the outcome, as our moves and attacks are deemed by fate… instead, it’s the cheers of the crowd that determine victory or defeat!

Just go HERE and check out the contestants. All four stories are about five hundred words – that’s a mere single page of text – and each is hamstrung from the get-go by having to include four random set pieces. This challenge’s set pieces are a pregnant camel, a loom, a rollercoaster, and a sunken ship. Only a master could weave these four unrelated things into one cohesive narrative… and it’s up to you, the readers, to choose who will wear the crown and who will be buried in a shallow ditch where the arena’s toilets are dumped out biannually.

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If you’re interested in Kyle B. Stiff’s battles in the Iron Writer competition, you can view the previous chapter HERE.

Or check out the next chapter HERE.