DDOlympics Super Combined.
Debate Rounds (3)
Voting period will last a week. If you're not one of the 3 people to be official tournament Judges, and you vote, your vote is a VB.
There is a new story every round.
In Larz last round, he may FF, or signal he is not posting a story, to make it even.
Normal DDO rules apply.
No FFs outside of Larz's Last Round FF.
FROM THE RULES ON THE VOTING SYSTEM.
"However, the official tournament scoring methods is as follows: For each round, a judge can assign a maximum of 10 points to a debater. There will be three judges per round, making a possible total of 30 points per round. The highest point-getters win. In the event of a tie, I will vote to break the tie."
As agreed with Larz, the theme we are doing is storytelling inspired, loosely or not, on SONGS.
Sorry if this is garbled, I'm on a IPhone.
Again there is no acceptance.
Even as a little child, Stan marveled at the stories from the east, from the tales of the thousand and one nights to the more modern cultural fusion of traditions. Teaching English at an academy in Tehran was a job offer of a lifetime for Stan. This was the day he was looking forward to - the day he would first walk into his class room, looking at the smiling faces of his young students, and introduce himself. He had no doubts he would become the most popular teacher in the school.
This was his one shot, his one opportunity to make a difference. Everything he ever wanted was within his grasp - and all he had to do was capture the moment, and not let it slip.
Stan's weak arms hung heavily as his sweaty palms shook the hand of Mr al Farouk, the school principal. Mr al Farouk was a somewhat elderly and kindly gentleman, wearing a western-style suit and a warm smile. Once they had exchanged pleasantries, al Farouk began to walk him to his room, his pacing somewhat faster than what Stan would have liked. Nonetheless, for the sake of making a good impression, Stan rapidly followed along.
"Anything else I should know before I start?" asked Stan, almost gasping for breath.
"Two things" said Al Farouk gently, not slowing down for a moment as they passed through seemingly endless corridors "The first being that we expect the highest standards of behavior from our students - and of course, our teachers as well."
"I shouldn't have any problems there" giggled Stan "Back in England I was known for my discipline."
"Careful" al Farouk replied, stopping in his tracks "There's vomit on your sweater already."
Stan followed al Farouk's eyes to a small yellow patch on his sweatshirt. "Oh no, that's my breakfast!" he said "My mom sent me some spaghetti."
Mr al Farouk rolled his eyes. "You're sounding like Shady Slim."
"Who?" asked Stan.
"Shady Slim" said Mr al Farouk "This is the other thing you need to know. His mission is to annoy everyone in Tehran. God willing you will miss him, but that is why many here distrust westerners. Shady slim is from America."
"A single annoying person? Why not drop a bomb or something?"
"You're sounding more confident. Calm and ready - just like you're ready to drop a bomb yourself! No doubt you'll learn more about Shady Slim over the next few days. I promise it will make sense then."
The door of Stan's class opened with a satisfying creak, the interior was exactly like Stan's imagination, but from the moment he set his eyes on his students, he knew something was off. Every single one of them was wearing makeup to appear like a young American male. Every single one of them looked identical.
Mr al Farouk did not look impressed. "This is not a funny prank to pull on a new teacher, Shady Slim! You're not even enrolled in this class!" he bellowed with an uncharacteristic sternness that betrayed many years of annoyance at the hands of Shady Slim. "Would the real Shady Slim please stand up?"
No student moved.
"I repeat" said Mr al Farouk "Would the real Shady Slim please stand up? We're going to have a problem here..."
"I'm Shady Slim"
Suddenly, Mr al Farouk was silenced by the simple standing of one man in the back of the class. Hushed voices whispered from all directions. "Slim Shady" whispered Stan to himself.
"Yes I'm the real Slim, all the other Shady Slim's are just imitating. What? Never seen a white person before?" asked Slim as the jaws of everybody watching him fell to the floor.
"He didn't just say what I think he did, did he?" Stan asked Mr al Farouk.
"He has a couple of screws in his head loose" whispered the principal back.
"Yeah, but he's so cute though" added a female student, wiping make-up off her face.
"That's enough!" said Mr al Farouk strictly "We do not talk about intercourse in the classroom".
"Why not?" interrupted Shady Slim "She has the Discovery Channel, doesn't she? We're nothing but animals ... and some of us are..."
"I said ENOUGH!"
Stan could well understand what al Faroukmeant when he said Shady Slim was annoying. He was. It took fourty-five minutes for al Farouq to be able to drag Slim out of Stan's class, after which time Stan's class became loud and annoying, like the hero they so idolized. He tried opening his mouth and saying the words he had rehearsed so many times in his head that morning, but the words simply would not come out. Before he knew it the clock ran out and the time before school was out was over.
It was a long time before Stan snapped back to reality from standing zombie-like at the front of his class.
"Why do the kids love Slim so much?" asked Stan before he headed home.
"The kids are feeling rebellious" answered Mr al Farouk with a smile "Just like their parents did when they listened to Elvis, or your generation did when they listened to techno. Now, nobody listens to techno. He's just the latest king of controversy."
"Why is he still at school?"
"He never graduated. Next semester he'll be thirty-five."
"Then why do you just stand there! Can't you do something?"
Mr al Farouk smiled a little more. "I'm afraid he'll have to be carried inside the cemetery and buried alive."
Stan walked home disappointed in himself. He had turned up to class looking like a joke, only his class was itself an even bigger joke. Idols certainly existed back in London but none quite like Slim, who would go out of their way to prank random students and teachers quite like that, apparently with some degree of regularity all over Tehran. And it was not just schools where Slim operated either - upon closer inspection, most of the derelict shops and homes bore evidence of Slim's former presence. No doubt that even if he didn't destroy them himself, they would have fled.
Why didn't any of the books Stan had read about the east mention this? Living here was a horror. What's more, Stan still wondered why Slim acted the way he did. In any event, there was only one thing for Stan to do - to go home. This time Stan walked quickly on purpose, hoping to avoid Slim at all costs. Thankfully, Stan did avoid Slim, and got on the phone to his agent who sent him to Tehran from London as soon as possible.
"Daniel? I need to get out of here! Now!"
"Calm down Stan - I know sometimes things may not always make sense to you right now, but hey, what did I always tell you? You've got to stiffen up that upper lip."
"No it's not that, it's..."
"I know you miss your mom, and I know you miss your dad..."
"Would you just..."
"We're all we got in this world, when it spins, when it swirls, when it whirls, when it twirls..."
"LISTEN TO ME!"
After screaming into the receiver, Stan huffed for a few seconds. There was silence. And then, out of Stan's living room strolled none other than Shady Slim, holding his own cellphone. In a perfect imitation of Stan's agent's accent, he immediately demonstrated the truth that should have been obvious all along, as Stan's sight and ear pressed against the telephone's speaker provided absolute proof of what was going on.
"I'm Shady Slim"
The following morning Stan tried to get out of bed but he just couldn't. Turns out every call made in Tehran actually goes directly to Shady Slim. What's more, I took a closer look at all the books I had about any part of Iran, and sure enough, in every case, one "Shady Slim" was listed as a publisher. It was unbelievable to Stan that he hadn't noticed that before. He tried to make myself some tea but he couldn't drink it. It just sat on his table, cooling eternally. All Stan could wonder was why he got out of bed at all. The day was rainy, obscuring the grey dust that seemed to make up 99% of Tehran's all-grey morning. If there was harmony to the chaos, that harmony was terror - the terror of Slim and the fear of what he and his mob of rebellious teens might try next.
He was late to work. Never mind, he thought to himself. He had to get answers, so Stan called up his agent from London again. It was time for Slim to answer to him.
But Slim didn't pick up the phone. His answerphone announced proudly that he didn't call or write his fans.
But this was a clue that saved Stan's sanity. Slim didn't annoy his fans - they followed him, and he left them alone. Suddenly he understood why an old man in a suit such as al Farouk would be so annoyed by Slim but all the young people would not be. It had nothing to do with being rebellious, but in a startling flash of realization, Stan realized this was all because of the inability of such people to navigate the iTunes music store.
"I hope this works..." muttered Slim to himself as he booted up his computer. If it didn't, Slim would be sure to know, and annoy him like never before. But Stan was out of options. This was his one chance and opportunity - for freedom. Throwing caution to the wind I spent $1.99 on Slim's new album.
30 minutes later...
There was never a moment Stan was more thankful for than this one, when he arrived back home safely at Heathrow Airport. There was a warm tingly feeling in his spine, as though he had just cheated the fates out of his very destiny. Stan was so happy, he hugged a random sponge he found sitting around.
"Hi!" said the sponge "I'm Spongebob, the western alter ego of Shady Slim."
Will meets up with his friend and they relax and hang around.
"Hey man, what are you doing later?"
"Nah man. Might shoot some hoops."
"Alright man, take it easy."
Will walks out to sidewalk and makes a left.
Will was walking when he heard loud footsteps. Will turns, to see a group of men.
"What do they want?" Will thought.
As he turns to confront them, they speak.
"What are you doing in our turf?"
Will stammers and tries to get away. He tries to speak.
"Hey man, I mean no harm."
"Yeah, but we do."
A large gang member grabs Will by the shirt and throws him against a wall.
While they are looking away, Will runs away.
Will stops to act normal when he in near his own house. As he reaches for the doorknob, his mom opens the door.
"Will! What has happened?"
"But you're all roughed up."
Will tries to avoid the issue, but Ma sees through him.
"Honey...were you attacked?"
Ma doesn't let Will respond and walks to a phone.
Will is sitting in a chair nursing his scabs. His mom his on the phone, but he can't make of the conversation.
"What? You will? Oh thank you!"
Ma hangs up and walks to Will.
"Pack your bags. You are moving in with your uncle!"
Will is on the side of the road with his stuff, and hails a taxi. Will gets in and says
After a long taxi ride, Will wonders about what his new home will bring.
But when he arrives and tips the taxi, he realizes that he is the prince of Belair.
I went to bed that night with my eyelids heavy. It has been a long day - school, soccer, homework - my whole life was wearing me out. There was no doubt about it. It was time for bed. I closed my eyes and let myself drift off into a peaceful rest.
Only - I couldn't.
Something was stopping me. There was a disturbance, even though my mom had turned off the light and left the room. Something wasn't right. I had to open my eyes and see for myself what was going on.
Nothing. My room seemed normal. Messy, but normal. Like it always did. Was I anxious? Or was it something else?
Then I noticed my old record player still had its little "on" light shining. I must have forgotten to turn it off. Of course, I couldn't afford a CD player, or even a cassette player. All I had was a record player. And then I saw another light. My old TV. My old computer. All with little lights in many colors, signalling out to me that they were there. It was like they were alive. Speaking to me. Faintly flickering lights in the night like stars in the sky.
Most people would choose to simply turn off the power and go to sleep, but not me. I wanted to contemplate this fact. To appreciate it.
Deep down, I don't think I believed my eyes as ten million of these fireflies lit up my world. The multicolored rays of photons streamed through the open air, leaving soft teardrop-like reflections everywhere around my room. I felt rude, but that didn't bother me. Moving quietly (not wishing to alert my mother to this moment of zen I was having) I stood up and looked around, immersing myself in the multitude of soft lights shining around me.
The lights seemed to hug me a thousand times as the flickering lightning bug beams enveloped my body. I began to explore around the room, darting through and playing in the fantastic bursts of color. Neat dances like the foxtrot were well over my head at that age, but that didn't mean I didn't know how to dance. And dance I did!
Under my bed I had set up a small hideout. Putting up an old rotating disco ball by a thread from a hook in the roof, I sent all the shimmering colors to boundlessly refract around my personal city. Down under the mattress I danced the night away.
I hated myself sometimes. I wished I could simply be taken away to a world of dreams, but I could not escape the mesmerizing display put on by the adorable little lights. If I had stared at the stars it would have been no different.
Hours seemed to pass and I had reached an impasse. It was no longer merely time for sleep - it came to the point where sleep was no longer an option.
I wanted to stay up - I was too busy being tired for anything else. I cracked the door open a little to let more light flood in and fuel my insomnia. I even tried counting sheep to occupy myself, although somehow that made things worse. There was a moment that I realized the inevitable had come, and I had to succumb.
I said my goodbyes to the ten million fireflies in the room as I flicked the power switch for the last time that night. I didn't like goodbyes, but by that point mist seemed to already be clouding my vision, making the fireflies already too pointless. There would always be another night to come and enjoy with them.
That's when my dreams burst at the seams, and I woke up to a brilliant morning. Only then did I realize how futile it had been to dream of wishing to be awake when I was asleep.
Not everything is the same as it seemed when I fell asleep, but many of my fireflies that I kept as a child I still have today. They sit up in a jar on my shelf. If I can't get to sleep, or my dreams are too bizarre, I simply take them out, plug them up, and find instant happiness, as I found in the fort under my bed all those years ago.
There are those who would believe there is no longer any use for old technology - that we should dump it away, forget about it, and lose it forever. I will not accept that. Sometimes, things don't change so much as we like to think. My belief is that really, the Earth turns slowly. In this day and age it may be an impossible belief, and even I have trouble accepting it, but I know it is true, and my fireflies are the living proof.
I smiled that morning as I looked at the old equipment strewn around my room. In fact, I was looking forward to the next night more than ever.
NightofTheLivingCats forfeited this round.
I apologize to the judges in advance for the poor quality of my writing. Like my opponent I had a very busy time. I look forward to your constructive critiques and while this is far from the best of my writing, I hope that I've at least not wasted too much of your time.
As per the rules, I don't post a story this round.
Thanks to my opponent for a fun challenge and good luck!
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