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The Director sat pitched forward on his worn-leather office chair, elbows on his knees. Unconsciously he tugged at his beard with the pad of his thumb and the edge of his finger; it wasn’t long enough to really pull or stroke. His leg jiggled beneath him. When his glasses slid past the bridge of his nose, his finger poked up to prop them back in place again.




Someone had seen to installing a second computer at his desk, de

The Queen's Linguist

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore F/F Giantess Macro/Micro

About 7400 words.

It's too late for Beckyday, so this story is set a few months later, as Queen Becky finds a difficult tribute tied up and waiting for her.

As much as I love other languages, they're far from my strong suit, so if any of you know the ones inside better than I do (that is to say, at all), please do offer corrections where mistakes are found! 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thanks very much to Umhuebr and Astronommy for the corrections they pointed out! I really appreciate it when people take their time to offer that kind of feedback as well, and give me the opportunity to fix mistakes I didn't catch (or didn't even know I needed to catch!) :D

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Thank you for suggesting that marine research channel, it looks lovely! Cinematic fireplace fishtanks are in high demand lately, between all the ASMR and streaming channels, and something more technologically-involved and outgoing sounds like a winner!

It'd slipped my mind that when I was stating my eagerness for the new project that it likely wouldn't find a home here, so I wish it to do well, and would be grateful to receive an update on where it can be found if you would need an extra set of eyes to examine it!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> Cousteau's Odyssey in space

Oh, man, that would be amazing. Star Trek with the tone of 2001. The sort of show you could put on in the background just for the mood, without really worrying about fistfights breaking out, and treat it like a screen saver or a digital fireplace/fishtank. Popular characters moving across the screen, going about their business in very scientific fashion, to a classical symphonic soundtrack. And absolutely decorated to the T by the 70s.

Something like this channel, but with a minimal voiceover, and more leisure suits: https://www.youtube.com/c/SchmidtOcean

One of the hardest parts about the non-kink project is figuring out where to post it! I have already posted bits of it here in the past (Merilyn and the Velvet lift, etc.), but I don't think it would make sense to post the entire story here.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Your friend is very lucky to be getting gifts like this! I am less inconsolable at the fickle character of fame knowing there is a targeted grateful audience for this little bottled lightning!

Thank you for detailing your archeological process! It was as involved as I'd imagined, but no less impressive for it. I don't think proper crediting is necessary, strictly speaking, unless you'd like to also credit every single pangram in here -- the gist of those quotes (spoken by a very special locutor) being a linguistic geek's ambrosia is made clear in the text, and the heighened importance of the Sonnet is obvious because of the space it takes, if for no other reason; the obscurity adds the right amount of mystery, and I've enjoyed trying to find any mention of that quote out there, for what it's worth.

AT this point I need to append to the previous comment my appreciation for Beca's academic language, whether it's talking back to her graceful tormenter, or gushing about her field of study, which, while is casually dismissed and interrupted by the Queen, is both very endearing in its earnestness, and authentic to what a real scholar would could build their life around.

The sliver of silver hangup was a joke, like the complusory pun-shaming that must be performed regardless of how fun the pun actually was; I'm in no position whatsoever to chide others for using sly or gawdy wording, as my own taste in literary styles has always been purple junk food with a side of self-awareness.

That the story was keeping Beca at an emotional distance, by the way of the mechanical narrative framing and just in general, is clear, and it works, I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

Your description of a retroified starship bridge gave me cravings for a series that is essentially Cousteau's Odyssey in space, with the characters spending more than half of their screen time strumming old guitars and talking about their back pain and discussing relationships or families back home, and the rest would be fussing with the equipment and ogling giant space squids, while every surface of their spaceship environment is covered in chrome and plywood and mahogany and velveteen carpeting and linoleum. But then I guess that's just Star Trek: The Original Series I'm picturing, huh.

Looking forwards to that non-kink NaNoWriMo project! But also to any more Reserverse standalones, as long as they don't step on the toes of your quixotic attempt to gentrify your literary legacy before your family is allowed to sample it!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> sorry about the modest response it's gotten so far, not to belittle my fellow commenters!

Oh, not at all. It was a gift story, so as long as the person it was intended for enjoyed it, then it has met my goal for it! Anything beyond that is gravy.

If I write another story in this setting - which is very uncertain, as I think this year's Nanowrimo attempt will be outside of kink, and I'm trying to push more into things that my family could read someday - I have a plot in mind that deals directly with the Directors' hand-off, even though it's been touched on multiple times already. There's an element to this world that I've teased at but would like to explore a bit more, and that would be a good framing device for such an explanation.

The Enterprise bridge is not so far off! Just imagine it with 70's wood paneling and linoleum flooring. ;)

The 'Sonnet Pangrammatique' came up a few pages into an archived thread on international phonetic pangrams; I was quite distraught I could not find more, and not one in Portuguese. There are a number of them in English, and arguably there's a good reason there, since English pronunciation is so dicey as to make such a thing useful. I'd been hoping to feature them more extensively and work them into the conversation more casually, but as it stands I think they fill their role well enough. I really should provide credit for them where it's due (lest anyone come to the highly erroneous conclusion that I could claim credit for their composition). Perhaps I'll put that into a footnote when I weave in corrections to the issues you pointed out elsewhere (and thank you for that!)

(Incidentally, 'sliver of silver' is quite possibly a darling that should have been killed, but it was very much intentional and doted upon in the context of this story. ;) )

Though the story was written to provide some distance from Beca and make her protests and fighting come across as annoying or just not playing along with the way things work, I'm glad some of her POV came across as empathetic. 'Snackrifices' like Beca don't usually make for good subjects for this kind of story unless it goes full horror, but in my mind they'd be more common than I let on.

The Director’s phone flashes on his desk

; it’s the main line

.

He keeps the

ringer permanently off, so

all he has to do is look to the windows or step away from his desk to keep it from distracting him.

In this case, though, if he doesn’t answer it, it will keep flashing

Beckyday

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Human F/M Giantess Macro/Micro Male Prey Female Pred Willing prey

A quickie in the same world as "The Director," just for fun. I haven't thought too much about willing prey, but it's not hard to see how likely it would be with Queen Becky.

But willingness doesn't mean it's easy or fun.

EDIT: Now about 5.5k words. I wrote this originally on a whim, and tried to keep it brief. While I captured most of the action, I think I missed a lot of the detail and emotional response that were important when I imagined it. Hopefully...
[ Continued ...

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Metaphysical exploration would be good; that's how the genre boundaries become its new dimensions!

Happy to learn new things are brewing for this setting!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thank you for the kind comments and suffering through the typos! The muse for this setting and I have been talking about it at length, more than usual since before I wrote the other story, so there are other concepts percolating around in my head surrounding it, but I don't know that they'd necessarily make for a good story. We'll see! They're more... metaphysical, maybe?

Astronommy - 1 year ago

A wonderful vignette to round out Beckyverse a little more! The setting has the firmness of premise and the nuance of its internal workings to qualify as a subgenre of its own, although the original story is fully self-sufficient. Thanks for the treat, anyway! Particularly the revivification of the old Director's endearingly harassed daily routine!

Excellent exchange between Becky and her self-styled tribute; her languid way of dominating the conversation and keeping the guy on his toes, even though ostensibly he has prepared himself for the worst, is utterly lovely, and the descriptions of the intimacy between the two is as intriguing and suspenseful as anything in the mother story.

The cramped car interior analogy had occurred to me a couple of weeks before the reading, it's very apt! With or without the walrus!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

That's less likely, since Queen Becky belongs to someone else. :)

Donotlike13 - 1 year ago

Nice to see more of this setting.
Now lets see Becky's perspective of herself and the world that serves her.

“You made it!”






He was still a bit further off than seemed comfortable to respond without shouting, so he pulled his hands from his pockets and cut across the grass to join her before saying, “It was a peculiar address, but very precise. No trouble at all, really. Even if it’s not what I expected when you said a cafe.”



The Second Date

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Vampire F/M Dialogue

What’s the point in getting a first date if you’d never get a second? 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Asymptotic is one of my favorite words. Ever since I learned it as a hangman-buster, it's been one of those landmarks in my mind that other thoughts build suburbs around.

I was just thinking of you recently. I'm glad to see you about! I hope you're doing well.

Sehnsucht - 1 year ago

Sehnsucht. Haven't read a more perfect rendering of the craving that he feels.

Is she what she claims to be? I want to believe. Isn't that the trap?

Gorgeous, utterly gorgeous writing. The following will live in my mind: "a relationship so long-term it was asymptotic."

A crystal of a story.

Sarus - 1 year ago

You vastly overestimate my imagination :P

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thank you!

I always figure your imagination of the rest is better than what I could have written.

Sarus - 1 year ago

That was so very well written!
Mysterious, subtle, sexy. I loved it :)

My only complain is that it ended too soon...
Thank you 4ofSwords for sharing this awesome piece!

    

Cons smelled like home.

That’s

what it was. The hot glue, the greasy nachos, the smell of unkempt costume-wearers - they were all just ingredients in the recipe. Like baking soda outside of cookies, none of them were really that easy to appreciate outside of the context. But the context was the one place where Claire could immerse herself in her element, could be su

Adam Smasher 29

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 29 - Loose Ends 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Totally makes sense. I appreciate it - thank you!

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

It's rather slow in the begining but it has enough nuggets of clever ideas to have me stay. That and self-aware characters.

The drama with Adam's family first, and the hot-dog incident later had me seriously hooked.

Despite these, I would say the story lacks tension. Adam's maid catching Ogress!Claire "cooking" Adam and freaking out, for example.

It would have helped put emphasis on the surreal side of the scene through the (relatively) innocent eyes of a passerby (that is, until you learn she has her own kinks, and comes back disguised as a police officer to "arrest" Claire-- Anyway.)

I mean, all your efforts to bring fantasy kicking and screaming into mundane life are kind of irrelevant if all involved parties take it for granted.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

My pleasure! What did you think, overall. Did it hold your interest to the end, or was it more a matter of commitment to finishing what was started?

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

Thank for the ride :)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Warned and ready, and a little bit intrigued, thank you!

While I leave no trace of my crimes, I've invented some shamefully disturbing scenarios of my own -- we will see if I'm as jaded and unflappable as I fancy myself being after I've read that story.

The conventional desire to make one's writing more lifelike can backfire horribly with darker themes; vore genre is basically stacks upon stacks of creative obfuscation on top of a rotten foundation, and there's no deconstructing it without eventually dropping into a dank basement full of black mold; you can set out writing a clever, crisply modernized take on the familiar lighthearted kinky sex setting, and realize at the last chapter that you've spent weeks enthusiastically coming up with convincing justifications for abuse and suicide, and the characters caught up in all that are no longer colorful, quirky tokens, but likable, relateable personalities - the kind whose fates can deeply move, and whose actions can inspire.

    

The old apartment was a shell. Walls marked by almost a decade of occupation were now bare, except for furniture scuffs and nail holes. Big rectangles in the carpet were cleaner, less worn down than the rest. Accidents that posters had hidden were revealed again. A vacuum cleaner and a bucket with cleaning supplies waited in the living room with a few of the boxes that Claire had set aside as ready to move. The lights were all out, so onl

Adam Smasher 28

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 28 - Naked 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

The mechanics of basic photosynthesis alone has been known to drive high school students operatically mad, to say the least; I understand that being forced to write biochem papers on hormones is internationally recognized as a form of torture.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

The fact that love is organic chemistry should be warning enough for those who remember how hard that course was.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Aye, all that murky ambiguity could be traced back to the time those bloody men in a cave were looking at the shadows being cast by love and guessing at what its true form could have been, whereas we people of today know for certain that love actually looks like an ever-shifting, glistening pitch-black blob.

The basic takeaway from "Adam Smasher" is everyone has their own kind of love, and the real meta-love is striving to match and adjust those personal loves to form a functioning macro-love that is both the sum of its constituent sub-loves and a transcendent by-product thereof -- the power of love -- but that is only achievable if the two enter into a proper love-a-rhythmic equation with each other. Simple!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> I think the biggest trouble with love that it's eighteen definitions all rolled into one, with the overall concept becoming incomplete if even some of them are redefined as separate phenomena.

Yes! That is something I wanted to try to capture in the conversations. There is a singular popularized, commercialized quasi-definition/category, but it takes any number of different forms. And then I wanted to wrap it all up in one new definition and tie it with a pretty bow. Which is a bit like stepping into the argument with the blind men grasping the elephant's tail, trunk, and knee, and suggesting that if they'd just step back, what an elephant is is a body wrapped in gray skin. :D

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's a case study -- an extreme case, because it's aimed-to-please fiction, after all -- but all the general and specific observations on love hold true regardless of likelihood of their application for this one exact grandiose scenario; it's certainly more honest, balanced and grounded than any of the mainstream Cinderella stories that can't explore love outside of their fantastic boundaries.

And besides, the story breaks down the idea of Disney-love as well as the settled-for-each-ever-after prosaic interpretation of it, so it is impossibly stuck between having to match two mutually exclusive concepts -- and it does that, with its wonderful crisscrossing relations of personal and social power between the mains.

This novel's convincing deconstruction of Adam's cagey conservatism notwithstanding, personally I still hold onto my similarly drab theories on love: that it's a cultural ideal that has led more people to misery than to happiness; that it's the same kind of roundabout, obfuscated romanticization of physical attraction and fleeting affections as vore is to nonconsensual intimacy; that it's contingent on material circumstances to an extent that leaves most of the poverty-stricken world only dreaming of it; that it's an excuse for emotional manipulation when not explored and communicated properly; that being able to adapt to someone else's specifics while making hard concessions of your own *while also* keeping true to your core values (kind of your story's interpretation) is a (rarely encountered in full) generally applicable skillset that doesn't correspond with the traditional spontaneous definition of love; that it's just plain hard to do right, especially when you don't know where to start.

However, that said, reading your story has definitely made me think a lot about the subject, and had made me rearrange my positions slightly, paving the way for future changes.

I think the biggest trouble with love that it's eighteen definitions all rolled into one, with the overall concept becoming incomplete if even some of them are redefined as separate phenomena.

EPIPHANOUS CLARITY TIME! Eureka! etc.

Your story is about what to do when *an opportunity for finding true love presents itself*, either over the course of a long search, or by auspicious happenstance -- believing it's possible, believing you're worth it, putting in the effort, dealing with setbacks and self-doubt -- and as such shouldn't be judged on the rarity of those opportunities (which is considerable, realistically speaking).

And, like I said, it is valuable as a beautiful and intelligent meditation on the subject, and an invitation for the reader to go on pondering it in their free time.

    

A fog clung between the patches of trees, oddly thick for this time of year, for this time of night. It wasn’t even eight yet, but night had already settled in. The big tripod lights scattered here and there around the set cut through the mist with hard edged beams. Claire didn’t have a lot of experience with movie sets, but this one was smaller than she’d imagined. Maybe a dozen big white pavilion tents made up the bulk

Adam Smasher 27

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 27 - What's Inside 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

<grin> It was definitely a Claire-version of a boombox.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

That was a gorgeous not-boombox! The desperate display of affection was never going to happen, but this brazen conquest, bowling over Adam's sense of seclusion and security, seems very organically consistent with Claire's recently reinforced sense of responsible dominancy. And it's the big debut of her costuming masterwork!

So many things are coming back around in this chapter, like the earlier hints of Claire's industry insider connections, the Demon Claire design and its purpose, Adam's Adamnapping history, Adam and Claire's undocumented, but implicitly nominal con-going experiences, and Claire's talents for acting and thinking through social scenarios. It is a totally bonkers plot she's put together, but it does feel like it couldn't have gone down any other way now that it's been set in motion.

It was a treat to be shown this lush new environment after the familiarity of Adam's golden cage mansion, and various nondescript urban settings. The colors alone! Claire Monster's raging reds against the park's greens, all turned down and tinted by the fog and the night lights.

The scaled-down trailer's reactive structural delicacy made the whole scene of Adam getting whisked away so much more hair-raisingly tense and majestic, and I loved seeing Claire get a kick out of her relative sense of power in that setting! I am almost prepared to take back my attack on the phones as drama-leeches for the excellent moment of one of them almost monke-wrenching the whole plot, too.

Faye's such a benign take on the Devil, enabling Claire's criminally-minded idea for a future (possibly mutually beneficial) consideration, and praising her demonic form -- even turning out to have been behind this career opportunity for Adam which had sent Claire's world reeling sideways! Even confident power players can get moved by someone's naked sincerity and rules-be-damned artistic ambitions, I guess, and it was really one artist woman recognizing the values and needs of another, and helping her out.

The final gesture of acceptance and appreciation from the plot's victim was perfectly sweet and uplifting, thank you for that potent little high at the end of the downpour of beautiful-in-their-own-way downers!

“Wait-- You actually cursed out Aunt Angie?”



Adam had called her almost every day, and texted if he couldn’t call. Sometimes he texted her anyway - pictures from the set that were cleared by the director, or selfies from in his ‘trailer’ (which was about the size of a fridge on its side and could be carried by a couple of grips), or at the beach, or wherever he ended up when he was out in the evening - often

Adam Smasher 26

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 26 - Packing 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It was silly thing of me to say; while both parties have had their share of pain and guilt, there isn't enough buildup of lovesick desperation on either side to warrant dashing displays of daring go -- not yet, I don't think. Cellphones: the most loathsome thieves of dramatic tension and suspense in the history of fiction.

Relatedly, I was worried Adam could tell Claire was in Santa Barbara by looking at the "Calling From" line, but thankfully the location displayed for cell phone calls is apparently linked to the area code, not the phone's physical location.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I'm not going to promise there aren't any boomboxes, but there aren't any boomboxes. ;) Not *literal* boomboxes, anyway.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

And thought there couldn't be a definite advancement from the previous point that would leave anything uncertain, and now there's a race on for who can escape the clutches of Cali the first! Unless Claire does the best dramatic thing and drives (gets Alison to drive her) to Malibu with a boombox and a glove compartment full of vintage Yes tapes.

Loved Claire's sagely pontification on the merits of adaptability, and the woes of complacent idealism! Also the intermingled snippets of her fiddling with her preparations between moving the significant talks along were wonderful!

Poetically elegant to make the two find symmetry in their wounds, and bond over that!

Collecting money was easily the worst part of taking commissions. Most of Claire’s clients were great: prompt, thankful. When she lived in California, Alison had helped her figure out payment plans so she could be strict without being strict: thirty percent up front, thirty percent after pattern and cut, and the remainder on shipment. Since moving out to

Addieville

, she’d been

more l

Adam Smasher 25

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 25 - Baby, Don't Hurt Me 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

On the other hand, I'm not as sure Alison is lucky to have Claire. But love isn't always sensible that way.

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

Disney in particular, and traditional media in general, are unbelievably shitty with matters of love.

They always sell the same stale tale of two people on equal footing, in the kind of sweetish relationships where one finish the sentence of the other and so on. It makes me sick at a visceral level and I'm not the only one.

You know the "nice guy" syndrome? They play a part in that. Since relationships are intimate and more or less taboo, the piss poor romance stories we get fed by TV constitute a de facto framework of reference. With the bleak consequences we know.

Anyway, Allison is a real treasure here. Claire is lucky to have her.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

And now I am forced to argue with your kind words, rendering my counterpoint hypocritical and moot if I do, or dying of shame if I don't. How very diabolical of you! Kudos.

And thanks! (I predictably embrace oblivion.)

Not familiar with Mr. Maltin's oeuvre (nor am I with that of any critics, with the partial exception of the late Roger Ebert), but his Guinness Records entry speaks volumes, and I see how he was an ideal target for you to satirize!

I maintain that Alison's pep talk is great here, even if it may look ungainly in the hindsight. But those are big, tough-to-compress ideas! And Claire is drowning in seas of runny makeup at this point, too! Maybe the larger chunks of her semi-monologue could be broken up into more conversationally-sounding tidbits, perhaps with Alison making Claire's points and arguing with them, but I don't know how that could be done.

It reads well, tugs at the right strings, and delivers its insightful payload deftly for punters like me, for what it's worth.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Well, I'll admit that your reviewer sounds much more hip and isn't as prone to pun-usage, so I trust her more already than my Leonard Maltin ripoff. ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Sorry to hear your post-production process has to be dipping and weaving between other everyday committals!

    

“Claire?”



    

“Adam.” She refrained from launching into demands about where he was, why he’d been gone all day, or when he was coming home. Since he couldn’t see her, she could use that fact to her advantage. She kept her voice level, unemotional. He didn’t need to know that she’d

Adam Smasher 24

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 24 - Long-distance 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

If I get too restless waiting for the next segment to come on, I may finally get on to my long-sidetracked typo-hunting endeavor, so no worries there!

And as for appraising romantic relationships, I'm afraid I can only compare fictional ones against each other, but as far as *those* go, Claire and Schwartz have gone through almost every emotion and interaction that could conceivably arise between two tentative turtledoves who are also clever people with a good handle on what they want for themselves, and also have a very unique situation to wrestle with; I couldn't dream of a reading a better presentation of romance from a modern author.

Oh, and I forgot to say what I'd intended again: Adam's concerns for Claire's perceived intention to suck dry every distinct manifestation of his personality, and discard the empty shell, are consistent with his earlier expressed fears of becoming too boring to bother with, and are also a good example of a plausible, even likely, but ultimately wrong pathway from observation to assumption that could easily do in the relationship if not gently, yet decisively debunked.

And there was also a musical side to the argument! Very finely integrated with the rest of the tightly wound conversation, and a vivid illustration to Adam's point. This conflict speaks to me, because I have a good friend who will only watch or listen to something once, while I love revisiting old favorites to an unhealthy extent, and it's very easy to dig up a rift by uncharitable interpretations of the other's comfortable mode of doing things in the terms of one's own preferences.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Hah! I suppose you did end up at a particularly acute time to get stuck without more to read. At least in this case, these are pre-planned chapter breaks, so it's not just artificial cruelty.

If these developments in their relationship come off as any combination of relatable, believable, and where you could end up on either or both sides of the argument because both sides make good points and make mistakes, then I'm pleased as punch. I struggle with that, I think - it was kind of the reason for wanting to write a low-stakes story (i.e. nobody dies in the end, though it probably wouldn't be low-stakes to either of them).

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Okay, so I'm NOT continuing along with my metaphor for how hard to process these new developments are, but, again -- well done attaining this effect! I hope all the readers to follow me will suffer at least as much upon reaching this point! It's almost meta, considering the theming of the novel.

In utter awe of the mastery on display here! The seesaw dynamic of this couple, how one can feel like a giant to the other in one chapter, and how this alignment is reversed in the next has been one of the strongest-springing fonts of delights for the story, but this breathtaking whiplash still took me by surprise.

How Claire's own habit of assuming the condescendingly controlling stance in a relationship comes back to haunt her, at least in her perception of the conversation, and how even despite holding back a tsunami of emotion she manages to keep a cool head and admit to her missteps -- sensing and fearing what's at stake here, and doing her best to salvage the unknown-status disaster -- is a living monument to human forbearance under duress. In the end, she does get overwhelmed and pained enough to give in, but never having resorted to being unfair or vicious with Adam, who, for all his justly sore vulnerabilities, had deserved some righteous scorn with his conduct.

And this succeeds terrifically as a love study, too, as it is an excellent pinpointing of the main evil for so many relationships -- the substitution of assumptions, projection and paranoia for proper communication, and Claire (as women tend to be) is on the right side of argument with advocating for just that, even if she may have grown too comfortable with Adam's passive acceptance of her reign.

The inverted gender dynamics are beautifully in play here, too, as mostly (at least in fiction) it's the guy who assumes his partner's contentment, mistaking lack of aggressive push back for happiness, and gets thrown for a loop by the inevitable defiant rebellion.

Adam seemingly plucking the exact wording from Claire's recent shower self-castigating reverie brought on the pain, alright. And her own outburst expressing her misgivings about his family must have stung hard, as well. Poor woman; poor guy.

Electric chair suspense and intensity in this chapter. Loving every volt of it!

“Adam?”


    

Claire came in the side door, Adam’s usual door. (The full door, though; it would have been quite a squeeze through his door). The home was dark inside - not black-out dark, but no-lights dark, which she hadn’t been expecting. Adam was, after all, a creature of habit, and usually his habits had him downstairs well before eleven. Then again, usually she was d

Adam Smasher 23

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 23 - The Hole 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's a common source of suffering for the TV series viewers, who hit the season wall after express-binging through what's available.

I'll try to hold onto my sanity during those gaps, don't feel pressured to accelerate your pace!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Well, you don't have to wait too long now! (Until you get to the end of the next microchapter, at which point the little blips of progress might become maddening! ;) )

Astronommy - 1 year ago

If the previous chapter was the deep swipe across the audience's emotional gut, this one is the sharp-fanged muzzle barging inside to start feasting on the exposed viscera, which is to say -- excellently done!

The promise of pleasant, fluffy and sweet reconciliation is overturned by the disappearance, gradually revealed by Claire's searching, narrowing down Adam's possible whereabouts until it's clearly the case (brilliant use of repeated paragraph starters in the middle!), and then the mounting fear for Adam collides with her sense of alienation from the non-Schwartzified parts of Addieville when she expands her search outside of her home... The harrowing confrontation with the Agony Aunt works as almost a relief, because, while it still leaves Claire in the dark, at least it reveals that Adam's stressed out disappearances are not unprecedented, and not a cause for worry to the people most concerned with his safety.

And, since I've finally caught up to the current uploading threshold, I'm on the edge of my seat and biting my knuckles with anticipation!

“Adam!”



    

Claire stood at the bottom of the staircase; she held tight to the knob on the bannister so she could lean in over the bottom few stairs and peer up into the second floor.



“Adam!”



She wasn’t usually a ‘summoner’. If

Adam Smasher 22

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Chapter 22 - Rolled Sandwich, or Sausage Taco? 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Oh, and I forgot to add that Claire's oscillation between accepting the blame and the urge to blame Adam in her last responses was produced enough tension to snap every support cable of The Golden Gate Bridge. Terrifyingly life-like!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

The appeal is there, definitely!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thanks! This and the following chapters were the hardest to write, for sure.

Personally, I can see why Adam wouldn't want to be a hot dog. But on the other hand, if there was a Claire who wanted me to be, I might just swallow that shred of pride...

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's *that* far along already? It makes sense that concentrated greatness like this cannot be sustained indefinitely, and I was the one bemoaning its announced overall length, but it has been such a wonderful ride! At least for the likes of me, the micro-chapter approach has worked wonders neutralizing the fear of long format literature!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

This one is pure excellence in its razor-sharp focus, and intensity. I read in while one a noisy, crowded evening commute, being stuck in an awkward pose, and this chapter still made me choke up a little; perhaps it will hit those who've had firsthand experience of having their passionate creative effort turn out to be a liability, but I'm sure it would move all but the coldest of hearts!

The loving descriptions of the Oscar Meyer costume -- by the narration, and by Claire herself -- winds up the spring so tightly, before it is released at the end there. And it's a proper tragedy: Claire's eager to follow up on her trollish triumph, and operating within the framework the two have been working to determine together, and Adam is defending his sense of self-worth that is owed largely to his one big splash of success in the world, outside of his loyalty to his family; their little two-actor plays may have been great for him enjoying and making peace with his size at home, but outside, he is still painfully insecure about being seen as less than a person.

Conversely, Adam not only rebukes the embodiment of countless hours of love and labor from his mate, but also throws her mind back to the idea of being an embarrassing mistress who must be concealed from the people, dragging into the pits Claire's confidence in their relationship dynamic being real and trusted to work by both of them.

And feeling it all come to a climax in the chapter is like being bitten and stung by all of Australia's venomous snakes and spiders at once, if only for a few moments.

The costume design is outstanding, though! The handles, the safety fastenings, the emergency access hatch, it's all priceless, and although one might suspect this marvel to come up again for a grand encore, but barring that it would have deserved to be in a museum of some sort!

Downstairs was even darker, since the basement only had a couple of transom windows to black out. Earlier, Claire had covered the floor and his pillows with a big canvas painter’s tarp from the garage, and strategically placed a few lava lamps (Adam had more than ‘a few’ in his garage -

why?

) half-hidden where they would cast an e

e

rie, ever-cha

Adam Smasher 21

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Chapter 21 - Adam Stroganoff 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I came across that same article! I couldn't bring myself to use that term for it, though. ;) Side-saddle (half-kneeling descriptor or not) it will have to be!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Well-written characters (or anyways-written characters in relateable situations) make for powerful empathy sinks; someday there will be justice for all the mass emotional manipulation perpetrated by the artists -- we'll have to just keep enjoying it in the meantime.

The Japanese, who have perfected the art of sitting, naturally have a term for this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiza#Yokozuwari

The less sit-savvy cultures have to content themselves with composite phasing and metaphors; "side saddle" is as accurate and evocative as it gets in English, possibly.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> Another great chapter, and, jumping ahead, the one marking the beginning of the story's descent into Hell in regards to the feelings it induces in the reader.

Far enough in that hopefully you're convinced to care about the characters so they can beat you about the head and shoulders with your own emotions! Muahahah!

> "...Shifted off her knees to sit-kneel side-saddle alongside him" is a stunning tongue-twister!

It is. I wracked my brain. I'm SURE there's a better term for that half-kneeling, half-sitting position, but I couldn't figure out what it was!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Another great chapter, and, jumping ahead, the one marking the beginning of the story's descent into Hell in regards to the feelings it induces in the reader.

It is very impressive how you keep finding ways of portraying different subtypes of the vore genre with plausible and consistent turns of the plot; between the talent pool of the two lovers, sky's the limit for what they can conceive together!

Claire's script, and the further revealed results of her preparations, are phenomenally clever, and despite the outward callous hostility of the play, Adam couldn't hope for a more flattering celebration of his tastes and his worth, and it's very heartwarming when it is revealed how much he'd enjoyed the whole thing. His own smooth transition from shock to acting must have pleased Claire a lot, too; it was also nice of him to show concern for the fate of his partner's fine cooking.

The sense of anguish in the second part came through very powerfully, as did the notes of desperation in Claire's lament in connection to her having failed at her ability to gauge her use of force and hazardous implements, and how it bode for their relationship. Claire's self-loathing taking the shape of their relationship's principal enemy was both very artfully cinematic, and true to how people tend to use images of their detractors to internally flagellate themselves.

It's good that after hashing out the crisis, the two are allowed a moment of gentle respite -- enhanced by the further refinement of their marsupial method -- before the real storm rolls in.

That line in particular: "...Shifted off her knees to sit-kneel side-saddle alongside him" is a stunning tongue-twister!

    

I’m going to be out today until 5:30 or so.


    

Back in time for dinner.


    

Okay walking home?






    

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Chapter 20 - The Troll 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's a morbid play on the anniversary celebration tradition, but it's perfectly natural for these two!

Claire's tour de force for sure -- as an artist, an actress, a social planner, a chef and an Adam wrangler. Loved reading those preliminary expository parts on Adam's routine, and how Claire's involvement of Tammy was mostly done for the sake of exercising their bond, and as an extra precaution. Her true masterstroke was leading his expectations one way by cooking legitimately splendid dishes, only to yank it the other way, yet still get to involve her fine culinary achievements in the proceedings!

The descriptions of both preparing the house for her ambush, and of her paint-intensive suit here are most intricate and detailed, and despite that they read smoothly and -- by the way of gradual adding to the overall terrifying impression from Adam's perspective -- do a swell job ramping up the tension.

She may have been going a more instantaneously and viscerally intimidating appearance by opting for such a (generally agreed to be) revolting role, but it is also telling of how Claire feels about that monster-within part of herself, at least when it hasn't been properly let out for a long time.

But, of course, the whole setup -- the monster, the placement, the language -- are all perfectly synergistic elements resulting in a superb scare, shocking and sustained.

More progress with the tiny phone smashing a large breach in Adam's wall of customs!

    

Only Claire’s head floated above the roiling surface of the jacuzzi. A hazy vapor wafted off the water around her. Gurgling water was the only real sound to reach her ears - insects and the rustle of a breeze through the trees hardly counted as noise the way late night Santa Barbara traffic did. Especially as the autumn nights turned cold, Claire had turned into something of a jacuzzi junkie. It boiled away aches from being big and

Adam Smasher 19

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Chapter 19 - The Talk 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

"A little too on-the-nose" is practically the definition of the pulpier genres of fiction; it doesn't mean there's no room for heart and logic in there, just that the events described, and the characters participating have to be a little "extra" to achieve the regimental luster, as you know better than most.

And Claire had ultimatum'd Adam early on about keeping things bottled up, so that might be a case of one kind of anxiety overcoming another.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I thought it might feel a little too on-the-nose for Adam to just come right out and say what he's worried about, but hey! Every once in a while people have sudden attacks of emotional maturity!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

What a treasure trove of relaxed dialogue on tense subjects!

Adam's justified to be anxious about that dilemma, it's one of the timeless ones -- the farther away from the instantly tangible perfect strangers situation, the closer to the danger of turning out unhappily settled, or just hurt. It's harsher for him, too: always suspicious that his size is his one appeal (one of two, if his Starbucks manager bucks counts), and now he is to trust in the sincere, deep feelings of someone who introduced herself with emphasizing her interest for his most apparent quality; not just trust in the seriousness of her intent, but also convince himself he's worth that newfound new good thing they've been developing.

Claire was trying all the way to gentle coax his worries out of Adam, and then reassure him it's okay to be out of his shell, and it must have been too much hard-won sincerity not to reciprocate some of it in the end. Lots of heavy tectonic shifting in this one!

Learning more about Adam's bodily needs and specifics is always an eagerly anticipated treat! As is getting his perspective and commentary on Claire's boudoir theatrics!

That was a very pleasantly serene bathtub scene, all the more welcome following the high-octane mingling, too!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Awww. I got a squee! That's writer currency, you know!

Ty975 - 1 year ago

Damn bruh. Making my squee on main

Adam Smasher - Placeholder Cover

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(since the default folder image keeps breaking) 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It was one of my frequent clueless statements, so you shouldn't take it to heart -- I wouldn't know a color wheel if it rolled me over!

It's not even true by volume or averages: your artwork has featured every single hue and shade over the years, but the most prominent color of your gallery would be green, anyway.

Maybe it's the slightly caustic, bittersweet effect of combining these two colors, like citrus and grape, that I remember from your visual works, or that I've grown to associate the regal purple/lavender with your *written* works for its quality of sophistication and lush detail.

(Took a tour of your art folders to ascertain my stance on this, and damn you're good! Not to mention prolific! The color, the posing, the settings, the surface textures, the *expressions* are simply great for most of those pictures, and overflowingly magnificent in a few! The real media oldie illustrations were feasts for the eyes with all the elaborate costumes, as well.)

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

It's funny you would say that bout the pallete! I was intentionally trying to pick colors that felt appropriate to Claire rather than the ones I'd pick of my own accord, but perhaps there's no escaping the fact that I'm the origin regardless.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Glad to see it here!

Sweet, simple and apt, with the color palete that is elusively, but confidently 4ofSwords. Adam's silhouette looks a bit like a wry keyhole to the heart on the thumbnail!

Claire took a couple of slow steps toward

Adam

. Her gaze

fought her with the desire

to jump to the box beside him, but she kept

her attention

trained on hi

s



face

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Chapter 18 - the Package 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's more like a whole joke exported than merely a reference, and it is acknowledged as a piece of quaintness in the story, so no one willing to sue over the obscurity of it would have a good case.

Hurrah for the early oldmanhood, when one's still spry of mind, yet wealthy in knowledge!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> And the antique cookbook reference from The Simpsons! I got that! I got that reference!

Yay! I thought that was *just* obscure enough to be cool. But then again, I'm an old man now, so it's possible everything I know about is automatically obscure!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

A formidable retaliation on Claire's part! I'm sure antagonizing the most protective member of Clan Schwartz would in no way jeopardize her relationship down the line, but then, she wouldn't be Claire is she had acted more meekly.

It's poetic how the two ex-related boomerangs coincided to snag the same emu -- the emu being the package box -- in this chapter. I wonder if Adam will ever delve into Claire's romantic past, but guys seldom do, and anyway I doubt anyone of them had been as dangerous and memorable as Charlene.

(That wasn't a proper inquiry, just registering a point of curiosity.)

Lots of thorough and particular exploration of the maternal aspect of the freshly invented way of indulging the couple's special interests. Claire's acting talents have had so many applications outside of her con life lately! There was even a glancing teaser at the prospect of having children in there, very intriguing.

The clothes-and-bandages idea for simulating the full-body ingestion is both ingenious and really obvious in retrospect, and rife with potential! And it makes for some very interesting conversations, as is usually the case with such scenarios.

Loved the added depth to Adam's psychological portrait!

And the antique cookbook reference from The Simpsons! I got that! I got that reference!

Claire wore cut-off jean shorts and flip-flops that let a lot of leg show

.

(Adam had been kind enough to

thoroughly

work sunblock to every exposed square inch before they left

the house

)

. She wore a ribbed

tank top

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Chapter 17 - The Kama Sutra 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

True - for Adam, it's less of a dildo and more of a bollard. ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

I believe the family open air cookouts are a universal language: there'd always be a huge greasy meat-cooking centerpiece and a tableful of salad bowls, sliced entrees, pastries, pies, fruit, and plenty of affordable alcohol. We can go to Mars, or to Teegarden b, but neither will be far enough to escape our shameless communal gorging instincts.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Thank you for clearing that out for me and any possible passers-by!

To be fair, though, the regular-sized strap-on *would* be worrying in Adam's case, unless the person expressing concerns has exceptional faith in Claire's prudence and restraint. If Adam had been honest with his relatives about Charlene, the family get-together would have been a session of the Spanish Inquisition instead.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Ah! That was an intentional nod to the audience, rather than between Claire and Angie. I didn't make this obvious intentionally, but Angie really DOESN'T know what Claire is into, beside that she cosplays and makes fursuits, and the contents of the box implying a domination streak.

That's enough for her. 'Freaky business'. And her little Adam needs wholesome values.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

The "We wouldn't want you to go hungry" one! It would have been perfectly innocuous in a different context, but if she'd snooped out Claire's dA account and found some vore in her Favourites folder, it might have been the same kind of a stealth insult as asking a recovering alcoholic if they're thirsty a little too pointedly.

Must have been me overthinking it, sorry!

Adam lay curled in her lap, breathing regularly while her fingers played through his hair. He’d been conked out since before the movie’s climax and now the credits were played out to the song list, but Claire deserved aftercare, too, even if it was relishing the warmth of his body against her belly. She’d brought her kit down into the basement with her, and while Adam had snickered and teased her about it beforehand (poor guy must never have had someone who took aftercare serio

Adam Smasher 16

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Chapter 16 - Family 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

If you're referring to the first paragraph, I didn't meant that there was any real contradiction, just layers of interplaying needs and goals, like you said.

It's true that inconsistencies can play into a larger pattern that is self-consistent, like an apprehensive person who'd refuse an offer they'd really like taking two times out of three, and it's true that it writing characters like that well is scratching the ceiling of the humanly possible as far as fiction-crafting is concerned; they also allow for course-correcting left turns that are easy to justify!

Ms. Carver has been firmly established as a Pandora's puzzle box, even though she's been the one eagerly picking Adam's locks for the most part.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Yes! I'm trying to better appreciate that consistency of character doesn't mean unitary motivation. She may not be the most reliable narrator even on her own motivations and habits, but even that doesn't need to be consistent for *her* to be consistent.

Or something, anyway!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

An interesting duality of Claire's: to her, nudity feels both like blank slate state incapable of conveying her true self/selves, and a radiant beacon asserting her ownership of a place, or at least a way to celebrate her sense of security in that place.

She also appears to be in a thermal sweet spot there, too, with the warm Mid-Western autumn and presumably a strict above average climate control in Adam's house, and capable of retaining heat better than most due to her stature; women are apparently more sensitive to the cold and drafts on average, and appreciate the comfort/self-expression aspect of clothing, so even alone, prowling around a la Lady Godiva is a rare luxury in outside of the summer days, and outside of the tropics.

The call with Alison is an important as chilling reminder of the costs Claire's been incurring with her decision to stay in Addieville; even if it's not yet at the burned bridges stage, there's definitely bridges shifting around the riverbank, there's something like smoke in the air. Claire's focusing on her local progress while failing to pick up on or brushing off the surly curtness at the other end of the line, does a good job of emphasizing her losing touch with her old life, I imagine if she does manage to either pry Adam away from his customized comforts, or extradite her friends, the reunion would be a good deal cooler.

This novel is cool in that any time anything Adam-touched gets brought up, the reader can count on some cunning adaptations to be mentioned alongside the usual environmental descriptions. Wonderful to see the truck get inducted into the family of Adam-friendly spaces!

Good on Claire for making the effort to soak up and appropriate the small town chic, anything to make life work for her and her significant other! Even when facing the dread prospect of a family get together, when the family is so massive, unavoidable, and influential in the ways affecting her!

    

“Adam?”



    

Claire’s head rose from the stairwell into the second level (like the Loch Ness monster breaching the still surface of the lake, she liked to imagine). She’d been upstairs a few times now, accompanied by him on each occasion. It

was

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Chapter 15 - The 'sona 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

That rings true!

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

Something my sister told me some weeks ago: "furries are so dedicated to their art because it's not only a matter of expressing themselves, it's about [i]being[/i] themselves."

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Oh, I see! It's back to pruning my comments for any possible butterfly-effectual suggestions, then!

For the record, the musical tastes thing would be better for once the two are past the point of admitting they're in for the long haul together (assuming they get there), as a sort of instance of friendly contention demonstrating their future routine as a family.

But it could be an excuse to explore some of their deeper differences earlier on, of course -- Adam being reticent to try out new bands, or not giving them a real chance of growing on him before declaring them not his thing, or the two arguing about the intent or imagery of lyrics in a particular song (a sort of an echo to Claire lecturing Jaime on the character fundamentals of Bats).

And to dig myself in deeper, there was a lovely little exchange o their first meeting in the book store, with Claire drawing from her D&D reference pool, with Adam responding by applying his knowledge of real life mythology, picked up during his movie career. With his basement lounge movie brushed away so quickly to give way to other festivities, I imagine that's not going to be utilized much, but it might come hand in hand with the music mentions as flavoring and filigree.

Such are the hazards of encouraging me, I'm afraid.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Some of my daily editing has taken hours. I haven't been beyond rewriting things completely...

Astronommy - 1 year ago

And now if the story's delicate balance is upset due to that addition, the blame will be all be on me!

I get that it was a lovely joke, but in seriousness I assume the story past the readable point is set in stone, so I'm liberal with entertaining such hypotheticals without intending to influence anything.

His foot came out of her mouth slimy and dripping. She settled him in the cradle of her thighs, and smiled at him with all the normalcy a black-eyed witch could muster while she wiped her lips with the back of her wrist. “So you’ve heard of it?”



“Does that mean you actually want to eat me? Like a cannibal?” He looked so terrified, too frightened even to flee her lap. She’d gone too far. She should have

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Chapter 14 - The Morsel 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

A wonderful exposition on where does Adam fit into Claire's tastes, emotionally and in terms of formative experiences, and the last two chapters have been a very gentle step towards each other for both of them.

Adam's been a trooper through the pleasant ordeal, has now passed his first openness test, and has again managed to scare Clair, making up for it by unveiling his appetite for punishment later.

The bedroom gymnastics scene was evenly a puzzle for the spatial processing parts of the brain and a thunderous display of raw passion. Claire's quick-witted improvising to help her level with her lover is a monument to all frustrated, on the spot instant solutions everywhere.

This chapter features a lion-and-fawn analogy in a spider-themed engagement, and it is quite something!

Onto the watery aftercare!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thank you!

patrick - 1 year ago

fantastic story

    

After dinner, all of the dishes - pots, pans,

everything

- ran in the dishwasher. Not that her apartment with Alison didn’t have one, but the lack of pre-rinsing, of setting the pots aside for a separate scrubbing, all felt like luxury to her. (“How else would you use a dishwasher?” Adam had wondered at her giddiness. It didn’t have many signs of u

Adam Smasher 13

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Chapter 13 - The Christening 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

I love jumping ahead to the finale in fully published works if the anxiety about the characters' fate gets the best of me, if I suspect reading the whole thing might be too much of an investment without a guarantee of a decent payoff, but more often than that -- to wrest control of my expectations and emotional shifts from the artist's grubby mitts.

So far, I've been content to imagine the unread chapters showing up further up ahead in the little duck row scrolling window as only accessible in a proper sequence.

The twin chapters have been the greatest of the bunch so far, I don't think that approach is a source of hazard at all!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

No worries at all - just like my typo of quoting the same text twice instead of the intended: "Still, wouldn't trust a soulless machine to be able to grind down those melted cheese bumps."

Good deal on the 'tells'. Those are all the sorts of things I was thinking it might be. There will be at least a couple more such fragmented chapters, but hopefully they won't end up disruptive. nd if you're reading a day or two behind, it's always an excuse to jump to the next chapter in a case like that! ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Oh, no! That was a typo, of course -- easily identifiable by how surreally audacious that jab was, and how it didn't have two or three paragraphs of preliminary buttering up! It was a moment of mutual discovery!

I'm sorry both for making that typo, and for disappointing with the lack of intent to deliver a more aggressive kind of feedback!

As for the tells -- I probably wouldn't have seen it coming having read just the first one, but upon reading the two chapters back-to-back, the smooth continuity and the symmetry of both leads having their pasts exposed in each part became apparent. And Claire's costumed persona felt like it hadn't been used to its fullest potential. And for all its astoundingly meaning-rich writing, this part is a little short.

But, like I'd intended to have said, the separation point is placed optimally -- right on the emphatic mark of the long awaited connection being made, a natural before-and-after divide; the scare-erotic tension had reached its peak there, as well, and a continuous chapter would have made that conversational valley appear on the path to the real climax.

Thank you for illuminating me about the hidden talents of the dishwashers! I'd only had direct experience with two of those; I operated them, but never owned one; I would still keep my hopes up about their capabilities if one falls into my lap at some point!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> This chapter and the next one feel like parts of one those larger chapters

You have discovered me! I'm curious to know what the tell was - the otherwise unlikely cliffhanger ending, rather than a completed mini-arc? Something else? (My curiosity is exponentially greater if this: 'but the break-off point could have been placed better than this!' isn't a typo. In that case, I would be very open to suggestions on how to improve.)

> but the break-off point could have been placed better than this!

I watched a youtube video on this recently! Apparently dishwashers are quite capable with such things as baked on cheese and grease - *if* you follow the proper soap-and-water protocol. I've been trying it out at home lately to mostly positive results. Then again, I'm still not a maniac - I don't trust my manager's special with the pots and pans just yet.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Ah, the timeskip into the semi-settled honeymoon!

But more importantly... The marked themed costume zipbags! That's such purely distilled perfection!

Claire's choice for the way of easing Adam into the revelation, her theatrics and presentation of her costume were entrancing to behold, thank you for the amazing textualized performance! Blackened sclera lenses are phenomenally striking, but I've heard they're also a huge pain to wear.

This chapter and the next one feel like parts of one those larger chapters, but the break-off point could have been placed better than this! Same lively pace as one of the Claire & Friends scenes, except intimate and intimidating! Adam's out-of-breath guessing maintains that feverish pace, and it would have been one of the highlights of the story even if it didn't reach so near the characters' sensual cores; this part examines Claire more, the other looks inside Adam.

A dishwasher that actually lives up to its name, and is capacious enough to comfortably fit pots and skillets sounds dreamy, alright; and it's amazing how tall sink ziggurats can get even if someone is cooking for one! Still, wouldn't trust a soulless machine to be able to grind down those melted cheese bumps.

    

When Claire’s two big hand-me-down suitcases came around on the conveyor at the airport and she hefted them onto her cart, Adam asked, “That’s all?”



    

The flight had messed with her sleep schedule, and economy class was never any fun with her legs smashed into the seat in front of her even before it le

Adam Smasher 12

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Chapter 12 - The Move 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Complacency is contagious like that!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> I've mostly given up embarrassing myself by flimsy guesswork

You are saving me from having to think of clever, suggestive response that doesn't give anything away!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

I've mostly given up embarrassing myself by flimsy guesswork, so I meant that in the sense you describe, in terms of what Claire could see as threats in that moment, or at least irregularities to be checked out and managed later on.

Again, a wonderful explanation for Claire! The metaphor works both for the old school view of the wolves as solitary noble savage beasts, and the modern one of them being family-obsessed snarly divas.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> and the unknown lady name

I'd be curious to follow up on this later.

Hopefully I'm not giving too much away to say that not every threat has a matching shoe that is dropped later; rather, it's meant to be indicative of the way Claire senses so many threats around her, the way her comfortable, safe home is a very small space metaphorically, and outside of that she is like a wolf in a room full of dogcatchers. She cultivates this appearance of confidence and control, but beneath it she is ready to snarl and fight for her freedom and what's hers.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

This chapter is brought to you by ~Amtrak~!
For a fair fare, from here to there!

(*patter-mumbled* This programme has been developed in close association with Whirlpool Corporation.)

Loving all those stitches of the rarely-featured real things and cultural tidbits running throughout the novel!

Snappy quick transition from where the story was at in the last time -- paradoxically, the transition is back to that very place (but probably away from the con life for a while) with a meaningful detour! The car scene is a little marvel, and one of the bolder early glimpses of the novel's thematic flavoring!

The stakes are rising through the roof here, with the heroine having been thrust into an aptly-disparaged state of dependency, hyper-motivated to tilt the balance back into a position of comfortable self-sufficiency, while confronting the urge to mitigate her reflexive urge to make up for things with the means available to her, as advised against by her trusted consigliere!

All in all, the story's been doing a great job reclaiming the traditional feminine arts from the cobwebs of the old, the mundane and the misogynistically dismissed, kudos!

There is also an another curious example of Mr. Schwartz's peculiar mode of interacting with the world, and both Marta and the unknown lady name both appear on the horizon of existential threats to the vivacious, but still fragile, relationship.

On the one hand, nobody was trying to grope Claire in her cosplay, or even

hoverhanding

around her hips or shoulders. Not that she had that much trouble with the shoulder

hoverhands

anyway - a perk of her height, and especially pronounced when she was wearing heeled boots. She loomed, and she glowered to punctuate that loom. Mostly the people taking pictures wit

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Chapter 11 - The Bats 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Their loss, and a gain for the reading public!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> I don't think you'd be too dangerous a modernist social engineer

Hah! I think my grad advisor was afraid I'd be dangerous to their reputation as a top-tier school if they graduated me. ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Getting good at reading the patterns of human behavior tends to go in hand with the desire to iron out the frustrating incongruities and inefficiencies, and impose those patterns back on people as reports and policy recommendations, and fiction allows to do the same harmlessly. But that's neither here nor there, as I don't think you'd be too dangerous a modernist social engineer, or that you'd have any trouble distinguishing between the real and the ideal.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

That's very kind! But I got called out by my grad advisor for preferring fiction to reality, so I suppose I ended up in the right place. ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Not fanning any regrets here, but you could have made a fantastic social scientist as someone with both the diligence for proper data gathering, a knack for pattern parsing, and a personal connection to the cultural weathercock of fringe subcultures. Don't know if that would pay well enough to support a family, though.

    

Claire didn’t remember ascending the stairs the night before or finding her way to the guest room, but she woke up in the guest bed, sweating under a pleasant catastrophe of sheets and heavy blankets. Three of those little wine bottles were scattered on the nightstand where the alarm clock should have been, and there was another on the floor near the open door. A glimpse of a power cord snagged on the corner of the nightstand sugges

Adam Smasher 10

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Chapter 10 - The Goodbye 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

<grin> No, I would never call the praise faint. I just want to be sure I'm clearly establishing a lack of responsibility for the scheme if it all comes tumbling down later. ;)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Maybe, but you were still responsible for setting up the rubber band yanking the heroine out from her newfound sweet spot, and besides the fact that it works, it works really nicely -- it's a perfect intersection pile-up of Claire's habit for getting things her way, her current monetary slouch, the intensity of the recently shared intimate evening, and Adam's oozing fatalism in the face of the mounting obstacles dragging the two apart, all resolving on a dime.

No conspicuous seams of said template ever get in the way of enjoying the story, too, so there's plenty of credit to be assigned; but I don't like being held to a low standard and praised for really basic things either, so apologies if I've been damning the story with faint praise too much!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I can't take too much credit for the pacing and scene contrasts, really - it is very much a paint-by-numbers romance template filled out. It's a credit to how well the formula works, I guess! :)

Astronommy - 1 year ago

That ending was a land-a-jumbo-jet-on-a-dime achievement in quickened heart-wringing for that desolate parting scene; while it's not directly relatable to me, seeing someone as confident and resourceful as Claire find herself squeezed into a rapidly dwindling window of opportunity was doubly heartbreaking, especially her desperate tagging Adam with responsibility at the last minute. I may be misreading a calculated display aimed at producing the kind of response shown in the next chapter, but I'm willfully credulous here.

And it's not a traditional kind of romantic tension, as so much attention had been placed on the carnal aspect of her attraction, along with the more platonic attraction of complementing personalities, but finding that rare person who could fulfill specific important fantasies that would otherwise be forever denied to her fully qualifies as the kind of happiness heroines are usually genre-sanctioned to be questing for.


That heart crumpling moment is very cleverly preceded by a very bright and blissful scene of the leads savoring their afterglow together while exploring the fluid mechanics in the shower. So many rare angles and imagery in that bathing scene!

    

Claire made it about five minutes past the opening credits of Adam’s movie before she kissed him. 



She recognized the title of the movie, and basic premise - it was some Arthur and Round Table retelling from almost ten years ago. Even after his prompting that she’d put the helmet from that movie on him upstairs, she had no idea what his role was. Those first five

Adam Smasher 09

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Chapter 09 - On the Dancefloor 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

<grin> If they're well invested.

Bitter - 1 year ago

A picture may be worth a thousand words on average, but some are worth fifty times that, eh?

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Commendable, standing in solidarity with your fellow artist trapped behind the thicket of digital briar!

Any interrupted pattern can be worrisome, so I was clearing that up just in case! You have always been extremely civil and appreciative of audience feedback, none may accuse you of that.

And I didn't mean to impugn you on repeating yourself; many of your previous works have stellar renditions of particular emotions or scenarios, and given that the novel format commonly calls for a comprehensive portrayal of life from every conceivable angle, it would be folly not to try and recreate your earlier feats when an opportunity presents itself, and anyway I was just triumphantly announcing my patter recognition hits without intending to deliver a deeper commentary on that.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

No need to apologize! As excited as I am to see your comments when they come, the are by no means expected or taken for granted. Pixiv is a notoriously difficult site to deal with, but I wanted to make sure I was pointing to the original artist.

Thank you as always for the kind words. I think I might be leaning (intentionally? Subconsciously? hard to say) into some of my 'usual language' and tropes here to bridge the gap between my typical vore stories and the one where it really is impossible for anyone to get eaten by the end without breaking the world.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Apologies for breaking my comment streak; in no was was that an indicator of a faltering interest, or getting overwhelmed by some aspect of the story -- I'll be catching up to the latest submissions shortly!

Thank you for supplying the illustration! For some reason, two of the three networks available to me had refused to load up the site and the image, but I got there in the end! A glorious perspective, to be sure, and the setup with the hair forming a security veil for the two characters reminded me of the similar scene with Becca after her confrontation with the show biz.

To pile on some more disconnected recollections, it seems like most of the scenarios invoking the euphemism of the age, "to Netflix and chill" and its many variations, is a sure sign that things are about to get dangerous in your stories; thinking of Daphne and Jeremy, as well as Daphne and Glenn (helped by the mention-in-absentia of a ceiling mirror) in particular, which is only too fair. Claire laying down her infernal contract in that little hushed exchange also reminded me of Miranda narrowing down the nature of her attraction for Owen -- the same honing of the second party's broad or shallow expressed assumptions -- although naturally the power dynamics here is much less lopsided.

The writing here, in this pivotal part of the story, is just superb, and I love the meta-effect here whereby the high-definition, slow-motion, zoomed-in perspective in the later part of the chapter mirrors how the precise language of the text requires the reader to lean forward and pay attention.

Phenomenal physiological engineering of the goings on between Claire and Adam here, it definitely lends credence to the former's heady impression of her relative giantesshood, and the setting works well for the scene, as well.

The brief intermission of self-conscious self-examination on Claire's part was a welcome and important inclusion, both presenting the heroine's usual process, and further displays of her making concessions for Adam's exceptional qualities.

The mention of incels as effigies for online juvenile toxic masculinity, although that's not a new phenomenon in itself, did more to push my perception of the time frame for the story closer towards the present day than anything else in the story so far; it'd been too entranced by the small-town US charms into imagining more of a 90s/00s era, which would have called for the term "trolls".

Love to see the two continuously match each other's expectations and tolerances even as their shared experiences get more and more intense!

The top of the staircase opened up to a landing under a dormer. It might have been another nice sitting niche once, a little tight, but the full-height window facing the east made it more like a little cathedral vault at Adam’s size. The floor was littered with throw pillows that would have been too small for anyone else, a discarded blanket, and a bunch of illustrated cutaway books that - at a glance - all seemed to be about Star Wars.



Adam Smasher 08

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Chapter 08 - The Tour (upstairs) 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Oh no, those are very legitimate arguments against! I certainly don't think there's a call for drawing something like the piece that caught Claire's eye in this chapter until the story is due for its red carpet rollout, and if none of the other sites deal with graphics, it would be disproportionately lavish to give this one such preferential treatment.

Thanks for considering it and explaining circumstances, however!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I'll think on the graphic. I haven't been too keen on the way this site engine handles covers (and the other two places I'm posting it don't really use them, either.) I'm stubborn enough to anti-market the story by not putting a cover together myself, but really I feel like there's a big difference between the sort of sketchy art I put out and the kind of graphic design a proper cover warrants.

But that's my kneejerk response, and I'll think on it.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Maybe you should have made that leap! Your descriptive abilities are more than adequate to convey the unorthodox house layout, but a visual supplementary would have added greatly to the project -- perhaps in an art book appendix accompanying a limited edition of the novel.

Seriously, though -- unless there's an art block of sixteen ton weighing your down, do you think a thumbnail picture could be added to as an eye-catcher for the uploading marathon? I realize that striking readership mother lodes on this site may not be among your current priorities, but the story is already asking the audience to take a cold shower and wear a formal dress for the reading, in terms of how it feels compared the site average for the instant gratification factor.

As a below average reader, I can attest to the efficacy of a sufficiently slyly constructed header picture in a story submission for both drawing my attention, and daring me to comb the text for the exact match to the scene or emotion displayed, or for a vague symbol to be deciphered. I loved every single one of your old thumbnails! And if you've sadly said your farewells to the artist's career (although that small visual story with cracked suspended animation tubes and a hungry hungry sci-fi sphinx made it look like some stylistic and technical refinement had happened since your previous big splashes), and are not terminally strapped for money, you could even order a thumbnail from a fellow artist. Again, it's probably too small an issue to bother with!

And well said about the rabbit holes! I also loved keeping track of various artists doing cameos in each others' songs and line-ups, following the instances of that crosspollination is a good way to smoothly and organically expand one's musical tastes.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I'm glad the horizontally split floor thing made sense! I was this close to diagraming it out because I figured I couldn't get the idea across clearly with words.

> Prog rock is nice in its wizard tower segregation of sub-fandoms; a King Crimson fan, an early Genesis fan, and a Tullhead could share an apartment, but each think themselves the only proggy around.

Ain't that the truth. I've probably heard every official Yes song at least 10 times (some of them, thousands), but I might have heard King Crimson 10 times in total, and mostly because they shared a band member. Deep rabbitholes don't encourage a lot of parallel exploration, I guess.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

More mind-rattling design innovations! The cathedral pipe organ hub just about takes the cake, the out-of-the way function-first maid's corridor is nice touch, but the horizontally split floor allows for some really wonderful imagery emphasizing Claire's Alice in the Wonderland status (I wonder if that book isn't the same kind of gateway for macro/macro enthusiasts as the Disney's Jungle Book is for the hypnosis crowd; that book, and the Gulliver's Travels, of course; and The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).

Autumn would have fainted with delight at all the precious mouse-hole tunnelways, the shelves and the overflowing miniature dressing room! It's also an interesting take on the cultural idea of a haunted house (already mentioned in-text!) riddled with secret passages and weird noises of dubious origins.

Appreciate how smoothly Claire's barely-polite disinterest in Adam's explanation for how he is the way he is, and her constant probing and pushing the envelope of the boundaries of propriety earned her his respect for not condescending to or babying him; to be fair, his own ongoing interrogation of the nature of her interest in him has been quite harsh, as well; the chemistry's brewing nicely so far, with the two oddballs doing the ever-narrowing circular dance of mutual suspicion, curiosity and thrill.

Very, very elegantly conceived are the different venues the two have grown to appreciate the Yes artistry; it has allowed for another instance of Claire getting caught a little off guard, which is always nice depth-exposer for a strong, confident character. The impulsive grab and its momentarily chilling consequences are such a exciting high note in the couple's duet of figuring out each other while listening close to their own feelings; it's also quite a fitting predatory gesture, a cat batting its paw to pin down an escaping little critter.

The name dropping of various bands and brands does the trick for making the story world pop and drawing the reader in, however, in addition to the non-concerns about those making the story dated, I can see how someone with a bright spotlight of media and critical attention on them could be be conscious of potentially provoking litigious copyright holders.

Prog rock is nice in its wizard tower segregation of sub-fandoms; a King Crimson fan, an early Genesis fan, and a Tullhead could share an apartment, but each think themselves the only proggy around. The rockers are less particular about what to bang heads to (although capable of holding powerful clannish football fan-like antipathies), and the folksters are huddled together for how relatively few bands they have to choose from. That's the way I've seen it.

Wonderful wordplay with the red flags fan-dancing!

    

The lock clunked in the door with the quarter-height insert. Claire bent at the waist, hands on her knees, but the entire door swung in under its own power to reveal Adam standing at the other end of the entryway, holding in a blue button about a foot from the ground. He’d changed into a navy t-shirt with the Acres of Books logo and heather gray sweats and socks. His neatly-brushed hair, as full as it was before, was now almost an a

Adam Smasher 07

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Chapter 07 - The Tour 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Only if you feel it necessary and not forced!

I'm so sorry you're stuck with just me representing the public interest, and responding to notes like this, instead of ten competing clever voices -- may they show up yet before the story is fully manifested here!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

It's breathtaking how seriously some people will take their hobbies! The pure selfless artistry of it is almost enough to redeem a history's worth of horrific abuses performed for dully pragmatic reasons.

Couldn't say anything about the standards of kitchen hygiene as someone who'd five-second rule virtually anything sufficiently tasty, but I imagine when you have children surprising you with new worrying symptoms every other week, many of them having something to do with nourishment and impossibly sources contaminants, anyone could develop animosity towards individual microorganisms, let alone towards pets.

Thanks for the amusing confession!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> The multi-level ledges hugging the walls are exactly my idea of a dream cat fancier's house!

Ha! And here I thought Adam's feet on the kitchen counter was a hygiene purist's nightmare. I can only imagine if those feet have touched kitty litter first.

To be totally honest though, the idea of the tiered house for a little person has been percolating since I saw something similar for just such a cat fancier on reddit years ago.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I'm sold! If memory serves, there are a couple of other 4k+ word chapters, so I'll look for a split point in those as well.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Yeses on both counts! My mircoliterature biases aside, the ground floor part needs to be there do the isolated task of tempering Adam's surprise while giving him the final opportunity to soak in enough of Claire's radiant bossiness to warm him up to the idea giving her the run of his bachelor's mansion, as opposed to a guided tour, and but it's better off being compartmentalized away from the more intimate and personable pulp of the next chapterelle.

And emotion- and pacing-wise, the decision to climb those stairs comes in naturally; Claire is quick to get bored with all the modest luxury, but then that is not what she's after, and she's been consistently firm in cutting to the chase so far in the novel; it's a bit like a special interest slingshot, with the getting bored with Hallmark-iness serving as the tensing rubber band.

    

Claire could have held the front door for Adam; it was big and heavy, easily weighing more than him. It would have been the kind thing to do. And she did want to be kind to Adam, in particular, and in detail. But even more, she wanted to watch him struggle with the door. She had all the time in the world to pause behind him, arms crossed and grinning, while he locked his feet on the linoleum and backed into the heavy wooden door - like he

Adam Smasher 06

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Chapter 06 - Love and Victorians 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

A precious scoop of 4ofSwords lore, thank you! Found a bunch of punny Adam-themed music band names and WWE fighter aliases over brief search, and I've also stumbled upon the other site where the uploading of this story is taking place! May you reap a generous harvest there!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

There may have been several such; in the Cyberpunk game of recent news, there's a character with that name. I'd like to say that my use of it didn't stem from that and comes from a series of band names from a character in another story (Adam and the Bombs, Adam Smasher, Adam Splitter, etc.) but I'd be at least partially lying.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Howdunit, as opposed to Whodunit, aye! There might be a more bittersweet and tragic resolution of the heroes amicably deciding to part ways, or be dragged apart by the outer pressures after having lived the perfect strangers blissful scenario (which nothing ever will top, anyway), "Here's looking at you, kid!"-style, or a prudent protagonist realizing the ongoing romance is extremely engaging, but too chaotic to maintain for long, or involving too much risk, so it's not that predetermined.

And teen romance at least will usually feature at least a love triangle, if not a more complex geometric figure, or simply a series of boys for the heroine to sample, compare and ultimately choose from, but you seem to have done away with any promise or ambiguity with that choice of a title. Wasn't there a comic book superhero called Atom Crusher, or similar, by the way?

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thanks! I would not call portraying social negotiations a strength of mine, so I hope it did come through with enough vibrancy not to make this the chapter where people put things aside.

And yes! The will-they/won't-they of a relationship generally seems like the main struggle of paint-by-numbers romance, and to some degree whatever is keeping them apart is almost the secondary conflict. I have to remind myself frequently that anyone being honest with themselves knows how these stories will end (just as we know the hero will survive action movies), and an ending otherwise would be problematic. It's not the suspense of the outcome that keeps people reading, but the depth of the problem and novelty of the solution.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Thoroughly lovely! The matron saints of respectable chick-lit are still squinting suspiciously at the unfolding events from their palace balconies, but the first approving nods and smiles have been sighted already, peaking in intensity at the gorgeous descriptions of the white House Black. Too bad the local audiences aren't being drawn in by the faint promise of vore theming, though.

The heated negotiations continue, and come to precipitous halt that is barreled through by the heroine after having been caught momentarily off-balance at a critical juncture!

The sizzling acid burn of a rejection-flavored missed opportunity is conveyed so, so well in here! The personality-savvy strategizing about her overnight logistics are likewise an awesome internal performance!

The love talks, besides fitting in nicely with the winding down date experience, circumspectly encompass the subject, although don't get into distilling the definition of the thing -- not yet, at least; but then, the many composing strings of love are commonly assumed to be intuitively and intimately defined by every person, and discussing fictional and commercialized stereotypes are how people zero in on what that means to them. Can't wait for the characters to revisit this discussion!

It's occurred to me that structurally, in love stories the love interest serves as the antagonist, fueling the conflict for as long as the relationship remains unconsummated; the villainy of romantic recalcitrance! Love and war, right? But other times, it's just two perfectly attracted companions, and the foe to be conquered are those crossing stars of social circumstance, or romantic rivals.

Even at a leisurely stroll,

Merci Me

wasn’t half an hour away; Claire could see it just down the street from the bench. Then again, her legs weren’t just longer than Adam’s, they were longer than

Adam

. She didn’t think he’d quite make it to her knee, if they stood back-to-calf. (How many women, within minutes of meeting him, imagine

Adam Smasher 05

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Chapter 05 - The Date 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

My congratulations on having a tech-friendly person for a living progenitor! My own father is a born (smallish) businessman, whose sheer determination has been a highly convincing case for the greater bootstrap theory throughout my life, but I'm still holding on.

As far as possible manifestations of Trump-like qualities in powerful people go, narcissism concerns me much less than charismatic demagoguery, which has been known to lead people to do terrible things, to others and to themselves. Widespread public enthusiasm for something can be a great thing, but it also indicates susceptibility to a certain type of rhetoric, and I don't trust anyone who's been designated the spokesman of that interest to avoid the temptation of abusing their position, especially if the people they're answerable to above all else are the shareholders.

That's a general rule, of course; there's plenty of irresponsibly fanned pie-in-the-sky hype going on across the political spectrum. And I don't have anything in the way of incriminating evidence besides the too-much-of-a-good-thing paranoia and class prejudice.

I am grateful for the hastened advent of all that technology, of course! In sciency-spacey games like Master of Orion and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, where scientific discoveries form a consistent sequence of liner or branching breakthroughs, there is ever a burning desire to skip ahead past the intermediary stages to the near singularity-level technology and eliminate some infrastructural issues like pollution and food shortages altogether, instead of struggling with managing them.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I'm not really a Musk apologist, either, to be honest. My father is, and so I draw a lot of the above from conversations with him. I also lean left pretty hard, and while I have a healthy appreciation for the idea of history being written by the winners, that people like Ford and Washington and Bill Gates are largely lauded while their individual histories are more complex, I'd like to think that I would have antagonized against them appropriately, too.

I think in this particular case where I fall is that Musk's vision is an admirable one, but it's appropriate to also ensure there is a constant vocal reminder of the human costs along the way, both for himself and for his admirers.

With that said, I think Donald Trump is a special breed. If you mean that Musk is a narcissist, quite possibly. I don't really know or have reason to firmly believe one way or the other. But through his efforts - whether innovative, cheerleading, brilliant, or incremental - a number of major technologies are inarguably much further along than we'd have reason to believe otherwise. In that sense, I think he's more in that category with Ford or Gates than Trump.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Thank you for the thorough rundown of all the projected boons of that cluster of dreams! I've heard of the people registering as potential volunteers for Mars missions even knowing the severe risks, and I have huge respect for them, ditto for the engineers and developers responsible for some of that beautiful new tech!

I used to be an admirer of Elon Musk's brand of techno-optimism, but as a superficial person with no time of skill for intensive research of such issues, one plausibly sounding outlook is much the same as another to me, and I've heard some unflattering breakdowns of Musk's stellar-sounding legacy, namely that the degree of innovation SpaceX/Tesla products are fairly hyped up (although even popularizing tech like that is a net good, I loved watching those reusable rockets land tail-first, like in old cartoons!), and those are currently impossible to scale down towards the mass consumer base, or scale up to allow for something like an interplanetary colonizing program, and given that the preventing factors for that are the same that are preventing governments and NGO's from focusing on those areas of development, instead of a worldwide transitioning to cell-powered cars it's unlikely we'll get more than a niche vanity toy for the wealthy, and instead of space exploration there is just renting the Earth's orbit to the large IP companies; some of the Elon's projects have been less than successful, particularly the Boring Company.

I can't say I don't find the sci-fi Space Age branding of those companies and their products alluring, and I do have a boyish romantic soft spot for the likes of Howard Hughes and the bigger-than-life dream projects like the same's Spruce Goose, my fear is that modern day industry captains tend to prove themselves Donald Trumps if you scratch past the surface sheen.

And while I'm fully on board with the necessity of making space and other planets habitable to humanity for the reasons you listed, and acknowledging that baby steps towards a distant goal like that can and should be made at the same time as tackling more pressing issues (like fighting for animal rights while the situation with the human rights is still dire in places), I still can't wrap my head around agitating for getting brave, driven people into an irradiated, glitch-and-you're-dead environment at a converted cost of thousands of dollars per pound when we haven't colonized the oceans yet; I don't think we as a species can have a snowball's chance in heck for making extraterrestrial spaces habitable if we can't do it here on Earth where the conditions are immeasurably more forgiving.

Ask me for to volunteer for a 10% survival chance mission to Venus, Europa or Titan once Mommy Terra is 90% green-powered and at ~0% critical poverty, housing shortage and white supremacy, and I'd jump into that crew module in a heartbeat!

I know, it's entirely unsurprising for someone as envious and purposeless as myself to be leaning left this hard, rejecting the big heroic call to action and trying to downplay the accomplishments of great men.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

'Wildly dangerous' isn't so far from the truth, though it's likely to be considerably less dangerous than ships crossing the Atlantic to the West (or being a native during that same period).

The main benefit of colonizing other planets is diversification. Similar to how monocultures on Earth tends to mean that catastrophes are more likely to be species-threatening, having all of our eggs in this one basket as we globalize (which I am generally for, if that matters!) means that we move toward a monoculture we increase our danger. Perhaps even more significantly, planetary-level events (massive temperature changes, asteroid impacts, etc) are that much more likely to wipe us out, as a species.

Starlink is part of a suite of technologies that are critical for interplanetary colonization. Along with the other companies Musk owns, they're pushing forward: satellite/global communications (so we wouldn't need to wire colonies together), deep rock drilling (the Boring Company, since any viable colony on a planet without a significant magnetosphere is likely to start underground to avoid all the radiation), solar power generatin/storage (Tesla is more famous for batteries, but there's some solar power wing in his big chain of companies), mass production, and of course cheaper, reusable rockets.

I'm not among them, but there are tens of thousands of people willing to take a dangerous, no-returns-planned trip to Mars just to be one of the first colonists.

Think of it kind of like Tesla itself. Trying to establish a new large automobile manufacturer, focusing on expensive, arguably low-quality vehicles that have the selling point of being some of the first real viable commuter electric cars was CRAZY. But it's working. People have an appetite for this kind of dream, which governmental agencies have largely abandoned. Whether or not they get colonists to Mars in our lifetime, people are massively excited by the possibility of it, and are willing to go for broke on the path there.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

I am definitely misinformed on the topic, and don't have the benefit of a personal stake and experience in the stargazing field (cheers for the sights you've seen and charts you've drafted!), so I'll just concede that newer versions of the satellites will be less shiny, as the people at SpaceX have promised they will be.

Don't mean to start a fight over this, but could you explain some of the benefits of the 'colonize Mars' initiative? I thought it was just a wildly dangerous and cost-inefficient PR-serving concept, outside of the pretty cool prospect of at least helping NASA plop a research geodesic down there.

    

A few feet from the door, Claire turned to catch the push-bar with her hip. (The well-practiced maneuver had the dual benefits of being both

kinda

cool and

hygienic

. The latter was more important at cons - thus the practice.) Her phone rang. Stopping to switch her shopping bag to the other arm, she went d

Adam Smasher 04

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Chapter 04 - The Call 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Hah! I wasn't even thinking about that! It will get worse later...

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Agreed on the motivation angle! The way I see it, the most consistently pervasive function of various vore tropes is to create contexts that, like the providential winds you mentioned, push characters into each others' arms, bypassing the usual cautious assessment and posturing stage and the democratic compromising process following it on the road to forming a (albeit usually short-lived) relationship, and the genre also assigns and codes the roles in this quickened (and often one-sided) bonding from the get go. Naturally, the more realistic a vore scenario gets, the harder it is to justify those artificial shortcuts to carnal catharsis.

Involving furry characters in fiction functions similarly: most people have a vague, positive image of most non-vermin animals, be they pets, farm livestock, zoo exhibits or wildlife, and while the perception of animals is often anthropomorphized and infantilized to a fault, they also are exempt from a lot of public decency standards, and are expected to be dominated by both their conditioning and instincts. The byproduct of those crisscrossing perceptions is even putting a pair of cat ears on a character to mark their animal connection endows that character with much more leeway in terms of acceptable behavior, especially where it pertains to socializing and sexuality.

So naturally, furry vore is the obvious low hanging fruit of fringe erotica, and you are owed a lot of credit for rejecting the easy way in favor of something more complicated and eerily plausible!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Yes, the story's gotten me to sample The Smiths, thank you for that! Very appropriate for a summery interstate hair-down road trip.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

I love montage scenes in writing. I usually come up with soundtracks in my head! But I'll refrain from mentioning any sources; I've already inflicted enough of my musical tastes elsewhere in the story.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

> the genre's staple [predator]...

When I've attempted to write straight fiction, I've always struggled to write characters with motivations compelling enough to DO something. Everyone ends up gusted about by the winds of fate. When I write vore, the predators have this complete disinhibition about meddling in the life (and death) of their prey - it's in their very nature.

I'm really fascinated by the idea of trying to bridge that gap; a character who is believable in their agency and the licenses they take. I think there's a real vibrancy there that ends up washing out of vore archetypes because they're so distanced from our experiences. They're like fairy tale villains - we just don't experience them in real life. But when you can really, really suspend disbelief and imagine these characters as real, the things they do and say can have a much more immediacy. That's my theory, anyway.

Four countries. Seventeen states. Twenty-four cities.



Claire’s hobby had left her rich in postcards and memories (impoverished otherwise), but as unique as every downtown civic center proclaimed itself, they tended to blend together. Narrow, crowded roads, usually swarming with pedestrians when the con was there. Trees in fenced-off planters as the major source of greenery. Confusing metro transit, ubiquitous Ubers, and wait-listed

Adam Smasher 03

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 03 - Adam 

Astronommy - 1 year ago

Sorry, didn't mean to focus so much on an insignificant detail! Come to think of it, the last memorable time someone mentioned St. Louis, it was as a shorthand for a middle-of-nowhere town. To be fair, the place does have a bit of a depressive reputation: at least one of my friends migrated to nearby Chicago recently for better job opportunities, and the Ferguson protests didn't happen because there had been too much social equality and ethical policing going on. It does have some nice parks for the summertime, some decent community events, and some interesting bits of architecture -- namely the Gateway Arch -- but then it's the bare minimum for a place to be considered an urban area and not just woods.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

My familiar with St. Louis is actually passing at best! I've spent a lot of time there in Google Maps, but beyond that less than a full day in reality. I didn't even much care for it! But for some reason it has become a convenient stand-in for stories. Possibly because the name is somewhat familiar, without being someplace obvious like Chicago or LA?

Astronommy - 1 year ago

And so HMS Darling proudly sails into the bay!

Phenomenal car drive scene, both for the conversation and for the character-refracted descriptions of the environments! I could go for an endlessly continued version of this: just a trio of interesting people driving around the country and commenting on what they see and occasionally bringing up parts of their backgrounds.

St. Louis is the city I'm most familiar in the US, and it's recently been coming up in a lot of different contexts; I guess no matter how fly-over you are, being located in the physical, as well as metaphorical center of the country means you still get mentioned a lot. It's almost sad to know the proceedings seem to be moving to the sunny Cauliflower after the dinner and the possible con wrap up, but the rural IL will have done its job as a quaint European town setting substitute by then, so it's alright.

The dashing fencing bout of wits and charms between Ms. Carver and Mr. Black is gorgeously written, with every little involuntary grin that a character gets during that exchange reflecting on the reader's mouth. I will admit to a general distaste for the em dash-interrupted lines, more so because of how bad I am at keeping locked on the flow of dialogue while reading, but it didn't bother me at all here. All the little actions and character quirks serving the high voltage communication do their job very inconspicuously, and do their job well.

So good to see the heroine meet someone capable of matching her cunning and ego with dignity, while still tempting her darkly motherly side!

    

Jamie walked into the meeting room alone, which was a welcome relief. Some of his friends brought out a side of him that Claire didn’t care for: cocky, snarky. Most of those ‘some of his friends’ were at the con, too, which was the danger of picking up boys from the scene.



    

Claire stood quickly from the lit

Adam Smasher 02

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 02 - Claire and Jamie 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

She came too early to say, *I am Vengeance!*

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

I really love Claire's rant about how she wants to be the Night and not the Heart ^^

Astronommy - 1 year ago

I see it more of an early preview of the kind of sparkly emotional intensity that would be found in the thick of the plot, and the scene change to a well-aired, expansive and remote environment after this hot and heavy engagement comes very naturally.

Whatever your second-guessing rationality may be telling you now, your creative intuition must have known exactly what it was doing with this chapter.

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thank you! I figured this for the least interesting of chapters, which was a pain since it came so near the beginning. But if it does a good job of characterizing Claire, then excellent!

Astronommy - 1 year ago

One disadvantage of always drowning creators in praise is when I stumble upon something truly great, I find myself short on appropriately rapturous language, so I'll simply say the argument in this chapterette is written frighteningly well. Ostensibly a minor fandom celebrity having a tiff with her partner, the depth and intensity of psychological -- and cultural, even! -- contentions, the tactical complexity of it here could match that of a major international conflict. Green-eyed is my usual mode of reading your works, but times like these I just have to let go of it all and drink in the excellence.

And even though I'm fully braced for future sensations of amazement, and will be happy to be proven a presumptuous fool on this, but I think I can see the inkling of how the vore theme is woven into the ostensibly realistic setting in the novel: not the relevant analogy Claire uses while delivering her coup de grace, but the earlier juxtaposition of those painfully self-acknowleded assertive particular tastes and sadistic responses to defiance or inadequacy, with the predator-prey character chemistry commonly found in vore settings. The semi-public humiliation and shredding the personal space bubble aspect seen just before and during the spectacular, Batman-catalyzed breakup is likewise a perfect pattern match for the predators' tormenting their prey.

That was a decent breakdown of Batman, too! And calling the character "Bats" is such and endearing mark of authenticity for the story, there's no way an outsider could have reproduced the hive-mind nicknaming logic of fandoms.

(This is not a sign of my full attention finally being diverted this way, just a little window of opportunity, and I'd been more than a little spurred by how excellent this chapter is.)

Cons had a particular smell. It didn’t matter if they were held in an open-plan convention center with ten thousand locals swarming through rows of booths on the polished concrete floor, or if a hundred thousand proudly self-professed nerds flew in from all over the country to mill about a warren of hotel lobbies and meeting rooms, dripping coffee on psychedelic carpeting from the 80’s. The smell was familiar, equal parts comforting nostalgia and revoltingly vulgar - maybe a bit like

Adam Smasher 01

Uploaded: 1 year ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Human F/M Non-Vore romance Vore (thematic)

Chapter 01 - Claire 

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Enjoy!

Sauvegarde - 1 year ago

"What smelled cravable in a moment of weakness invariably was sour a few minutes later"

Alright, I'm convinced. Let's see where it goes.

Astronommy - 1 year ago

A toast to all the creative work that has ever gotten slashed to make the parent project smoother!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Yes! There was some thing of a sewing circle thread, actually, but I cut it for length and relevance. I'm glad some of the feel of it remained, though!

4ofSwords - 1 year ago

Thanks! There's a convention I don't understand to avoid allusions to real touchstones - politicians, social movements, or whatever, unless it's some kind of orgy of appreciation like Ready, Player One. I don't think my stories are in real danger of being dated (or rather, suffering due to being dated), so I figure there's not much to lose! It's great to hear it works to their benefit sometimes. :)



Foursi

.”






“Yeah?” I twisted in my little shelf,

turning

away from the windshield to face her past the steering wheel.






Becca was wearing

Online, I Am Like You, Chapter 5

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Shrunken man vore play

Part 5 of 5

About 3900 of 20k words.

Overall tags for the story: Shrunken Man, Vore-Fetish Fetish (that is, it's ~about~ vore, rather than including vore), sexuality, and an attempt at quasi-realism.

There's no hiding from the real world, once we've begun posting videos. 

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thank you! It's been a privilege having your commentary. And thanks for the mention on foldering. That is corrected now.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Oh, and I did find out about Sveti Stefan when I was reading the story It's a veritable toy town, constantly lathed at by the hungry sea! And the name was conspicuously specific to have been made up, anyway, especially for someone who is unfairly familiar with the Eastern European and Slavic naming conventions.

One last thing: this chapter has been sorted into your new gallery subfolder, but not the rest? The Previous button leads to "Bureaucat" from here. I assume it's a work in progress to sort all that out, just pointing out!

Best of luck in your future pursuits! It's been a privilege reading your new material and discussing it with you!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Self-expression by proxy is a really sweet tool for characterization, yeah. Not everyone has a good enough grip on specific language of those two personality mirrors, though, so you have to clue the reader in with subjective summations like "it screamed 80's" or "it looked like a beast".

Those two paragraphs made different points -- one was about the ending being subtextually desirable for both characters due to their respective quirks while the text framed it as a conflict, and the other was about the prey-disembowering story mechanisms -- but your twisting those two together was a very welcome thought exercise, all the same! And it was me who started the mold squeezing by claiming to have found a conceptual parallel to the ominous shrinking.

Agreed that desire as the prime motivator must be retained for any hint of erotic drive and psychological accuracy to remain in the vore situation, as well as a transgressive violation of dignity, autonomy and the will to live. And the impressive thing about us humans is we can suffer all those violations, and yet derive thrill and joy out of it, at least in the moment.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

> groovy horseless carriages seems to be one of the subtler hallmarks of yours

Cars and clothing are two things I've found myself focusing on. I seem to have a hangup on elements of manufactured social presentation, the way things can both simultaneously display us and define us, like masks we use as facial molds.

Sveti Stefan is a real place! I've not been there, but I spent a few hours driving around the streets in google street view. It seemed like the perfect place for such a thing.

> It is interesting how Becca's last fateful decision and acting it out could have been considered, in all entirety of its plotting and execution, an expression of overflowing affection and a tender coup-de-grace ... About Foursi's own version of Merlin's disease

Perhaps it's like the crab- or whale-convergence, where things begin to look the same when they need to occupy the same niche, no matter where they come from. In this case the niche is a predator who is being painted with the loose boundaries of ethical norms (Not a capricious murderer, but if he's going to die anyway...) but still motivated by the desire and hunger instinct rather than pure reason, so it's an emotional, impulsive thing. Or maybe I'm just trying to squeeze your stuff into my mold. ;)

> Becca would receive an international call from her erstwhile significant other, and explode into a fury at having been robbed of that closure

Exactly! That closure has already been somewhat deflated, but I didn't want to rob her or the story of it entirely.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Oh, and recently this advert poster has been making rounds on local subway trains:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pasmi3ncat9o4r8/HeyMeesterMausi.jpg?dl=0

It'd been doing that a little before the last chapters of The Director and the first of this story got uploaded, but now I've been noticing it a lot more!

It's uplifting to see how of all the iterations of Cat Woman, Burton and Pfeiffer's kinky scandalous one has established itself the most firmly in everyone's mind!

“Welcome. Welcome. Have a seat - yes, right there. Thanks for coming to my show.” 






The host’s

brassy, ebullient

voice came to my ears muffled, but I could still hear her. I could hear Becca’s heart beating just as clearly, faster than usual. She was sweating, too, but that wasn’t surprising; th

Online, I Am Like You, Chapter 4

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Shrunken man vore play

Part 4 of 5

About 5400 of 20k words.

Overall tags for the story: Shrunken Man, Vore-Fetish Fetish (that is, it's ~about~ vore, rather than including vore), sexuality, and an attempt at quasi-realism.

There's no hiding from the real world, once we've begun posting videos. 

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Ah, so both the dictionaries and myself were woefully out of step with the modern language -- but no longer, thanks to you! And the new word definitely fills the howling void.

And thank you for the reassurance!

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

"Lathe", as it turns out, is an intentional neologism. There are far too few words in English to describe the subtleties of 'licking' and that bears correcting. So far, 'lathe' seems like a word that has born its meaning relatively well even if it's a word people haven't heard in that context before. I fully encourage its widespread use. One might, for example lathe a soft-serve ice-cream cone, or a finger covered in brownie batter.

> Apologies for how I handled my unsolicited editorial assistance, again!

There is really nothing to apologize for. It was appreciated!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Revisited this chapter, and got knocked about by how big and loud it is!

Moving the story so very far outside of its cozy comfort zone was plenty brave and admirable, but repeating that deliberate evocation of discomfort in the audience to set up both the second part of the chapter, and the end of the overall story is just peak storycrafting sneakiness! The protagonist duet get their fill of limelight in their Big Apple outing, but also a taste of the pressure and carnivorous attitudes that come with the promise of fame. More importantly, of course, Becca's supremacy has been challenged in the most irreverent way possible, prompting the downshifting detachment down the line.

The insights into the stage manipulations, the script and the engagement of the audience for the show interview were plausible and fully furnished with technical nuance. The physical odyssey of Foursi's surfing the armchairs and lapels, and his inner anguish at being separated was both heartbreaking and captivating to follow.

There was a masterful segue from the detailed exchange of the interview into the blur of Foursi's overwhelmed perspective!

Kathi, on stage and off the cuff, was a powerful presence, wielding her soft power like a velvet-cushioned sledgehammer, and a lesser woman might have buckled and traded her little helper for a shot at the big career, but Becca's composure and grip on her heart's desire remained steady throughout. The tension of her response to Kathi's bossy behavior was sending out electric shivers across the story's fabric and atmosphere since after that commercial break incident.

For the second part, the jealous and possessive reassertion of Becca's power in her little friend's world, melded and wove together a dizzying amount of conflicting emotional threads, a true exploration of sexuality as promised by the taglines! It was a magnificent paradox for Becca to be essentially demanding Foursi to acknowledge her as the only possible alternative, veering into an almost plaintive tone and drowning the tiny thing in rough pleasure, laced with mortal menace as always, and the latter holding the power to give her his assurance, at least for as long as he could still claim coherent thought or feeling. There was a properly unique power dynamic there.

"Poe's pendulum" was a lovely image and reference!

And as mentioned before, it takes some creative backbone to simply thrust a magical element under the spotlights of public scrutiny, and make it come out as unbound by the cited concerns for the science lab cages, and leave the media and the culture bemused, entertained, but ultimately apathetic to the phenomenon.

Oh, and the legal question of someone being a one-of-a-kind type of person, and being willing to identify as a different category, was a powerful concept, as well. I tread similar grounds whenever I think of uplifting animals in the future, what the human society would deem qualifying to be called human for legal purposes, and how differently said animal would view themselves.

Apologies for how I handled my unsolicited editorial assistance, again! I used a lot of bland, ass-covering language in my earlier apology message, but the truth is I did do a lot of the conversational showboating when picking out and presenting my corrections, and that wasn't appropriate or decent. I will either use Private Messages, or temporary separate comments if I get to do a similar typo hunt for you in the future, and watch my tone on commission and personal works like this story.

* * *

The last two lingering corrections for this one:

"sitting their"

"lathe of her tongue" -- intuitively, I too would have thought there were a short verb/noun cousin to lather/slather, but according to several dictionaries lathe is just a piece of machinery.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

I'm sorry about serving as the conduit for this unpleasantness! I admit that when I can't find any rough edges in a fresh story, it makes me doubt my detective abilities, and at the same time worship the artist's dedication to neatness, but it never gives me any joy to find faults in someone's paintstakingly crafted work, if only as a way of helping to refine the final product.

If it helps, the only time I've uploaded a story, it took me several consecutive inquisitional crusades against the text to cut away the most jarring of errors, and even after that I got complaints about the multitude of remaining faults. It's not the at the same level as your case, naturally, and after three cleanup runs, it must have stung to see my list unfurl.

Sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes, as wounding as it may be to one's professional pride.

And I really terrible at the whole written word thing, myself, for instance it was supposed to be a double "I'm *a* locksmith", now that I've checked, although the symmetry of that joke raises some questions.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

I'd had my fingers crossed that this would be the cleanest chapter - I went over it three times! But I think each time I go over it and tweak wording beside just to make corrections, I open the window to more errors driving in.

We set up

the

cameras to capture

exactly

what we wanted to. 






I had become something of a

n auteur

with the GoPro. For

the rest of the world,

Online, I Am Like You, Chapter 3

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Shrunken man vore play

Part 3 of 5

About 5100 of 20k words.

Overall tags for the story: Shrunken Man, Vore-Fetish Fetish (that is, it's ~about~ vore, rather than including vore), sexuality, and an attempt at quasi-realism.

The cameras are in place, the script is set, and.... ACTION! 

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

No worries at all - I really had not meant to imply a rush in any way (beside jesting). But thank you!

Thanksgiving is by far my least favorite of the holidays, and among family I'm a notorious generic-holiday grinch. It's emblematic of so many things that are negative, overshadowing what could otherwise be good, or at least a decently bland harvest festival. But I am in a family of holiday nuts, and work is closed, and there are things to enjoy about that. :)

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Oh, and by "today" I meant today going by local time, so within sixteen hours of that message -- the 25th is only just coming ot a close for the US, I've realized, and I was dispensing misleading promises while having Thursday in mind! Sorry!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Too many details dessicate the narrative, and too few leave it an amorphous blob of generaizations, yeah. This chapter is impeccably even in this regard -- bitey and mosaic-y!

Understood about the balance of my discretion and expectations about my responses! It's appearing that, barring a streak of bad luck, I'll be able to get through the rest of the story today.

However, the fact is this level of feedback engagement is not even extravagant on my part -- beside a fairly lengthy exchange with another writer here over the game they've been developing, I had not left a comment on any gallery sites for what felt like years until my accosting you in the DM's, so my experience so far has been of maddened horror at the novelty of it. But, given the pleasant people on the other end of these ramblings, there's been a lot of intoxicating elation, intellectual stimulation and nostalgic affection in there, as well.

Happy holidays! I wish the cozy, communal atmosphere of that feast-intensive celebration had had a less slightly less gruesome foundations, for the US and for the birds, but at these times, any excuse to share some warmth must be taken, even over long distance while the social distancing measures are still in effect.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

The tiny-tinkerer-slash-food-item role is a trope I will defend to my dying breath! :D

Hooray for aftercare! How often do we get to see that in vore? It was a note I wanted to include, and this chapter allowed me to develop the anticlimax a little further than usual.

Details are a tricky thing to balance. What I really want to hit is the verisimilitude - believable mannerisms, likely snags, minor discomforts that are unexpected enough, not so burdened with cliche, that maybe the reader can read a vore story on a vore site and still feel like there's a fresh perspective they want to see through. But too much exposition unloaded at the wrong time is just the worst for pacing. I'm glad this worked.

I wanted to unload the rest of the story before Thanksgiving in case my fellow USAians had free time on Turkey Day, but don't feel any rush to respond outside of whatever schedule is convenient for you. Just because I'm waiting with bated breath and might otherwise suffocate you shouldn't alter your plans!

<grin> I kid, but I am very lazily using your typo-finding as a screen before I post this to other sites. Still, definitely no reason to rush a reply or provide one that doesn't come naturally, but hopefully it demonstrates a practical application of my appreciation.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Loved the personal language and terms used by the two!

Oh, and while there's a world of difference, I was reminded of the dynamic Zach and Alexis shared in their respective works! There are more sincere, harsher threatening displays, and a more affectionate attitude underneath for Becca, definitely -- it's just the notion of Zachary/Foursi being a helpful resourceful gnome tinkerer with his life hanging in the balance.

Even after a week, it definitely wasn’t our place; it was

her

place. 






And that was fine. I would have felt strange if it had been otherwise; I was a sofa-surfer - a refugee, not a roommate. I hadn’t been invited. I had the run of pretty much everything but her bedroom, which really meant I spent most of the day

Online, I Am Like You, Chapter 2

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Shrunken man vore play

Part 2 of 5

About 3200 of 20k words.

Overall tags for the story: Shrunken Man, Vore-Fetish Fetish (that is, it's ~about~ vore, rather than including vore), sexuality, and an attempt at quasi-realism.

We begin to settle into the life of size differences - in a world where we've already fetished size differences before they exist. What would you do differently? 

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Thanks for bolstering my voyeuristic confidence for the remainder of the story! Another thing that helps is, while your suspenseful sultry scenes can get the heart racing, I'm a stranger in this subgenre, just taking in the sights and admiring the structure.

It's been stated in the comments to The Director that your work is difficult to mistake for pedestrian pornography. Maybe astronautic pornography.

Writing characters as intelligent and eloquent as you can get them is a different skill from writing everymen, yeah. It all depends on what the genre calls for, so sometime a room full of grad student charmers works out fine. Your voices for different types have been consistently distinct, though, but I'm a flatterer with a pretty shallow pool of reference.

I didn't have anything solid in mind for the static electricity, and having wiki'ed around, and it is large objects like human bodies that tend to accumulate those restless electrons and ions though friction, and they are usually discharged into doorknobs and such, so Foursi sleeping in socks should be fine. I was just imagining how that finger spark would look to a tiny person up close. In a lesser story, it could have been used as a one-off dramatic device, accidentally knocking out the tiny character, for instance. A more common manifestation of static electricity would be static cling, but I guess at five inches the protagonist would still be too weighty to end up getting stuck by his clothes to a cat or a skirt.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

> I am still hesitant to find Becca's delightful style of speaking as endearing as my tastes suggest, mindful of the character's possible origins

If it helps, I could note for the record that all chapters of this story have been pre-read and approved (and in some ways partially developed) by said origin. For example, any correctly-written German is courtesy of her; any poorly-written German is courtesy of my year of college German.

I love hearing that the tone is a match for the animal friend. I wield dialog under the impression that it is my forte (thus, I make so much of my narration something like a casual retelling, to leverage that), but characterizing through dialog is still something that I feel I have a lot to learn; it's a lot easier using the same too-clever voice for every character to set up even too-cleverer punchlines, like Jon Favreau's swingers.

I'm curious to hear more about how you'd include static charge into the story. It's not something I'd thought about at all. My inclination here would be that the hardwood floors and the squared-cubed law (here fully in effect) would make anything noticeable unlikely, but I really don't know!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

A jubilant, extravagantly pleasing return to form! These was a lot to love about the first chapter conceptually, but this one is just a cornucopia of various delights!

The collision of the two person scales here is presented and explored in tingly detail, from the hero's new (ingeniously conceived) housekeeping job, the barriers to communication, the new perspective on food, the kinder perceived experience with weight, and to the entire circus of outlandish waterfall cliff side mountaineering during the bathing scene!

The bit on clothes early on was a serious exploration of gender, especially the gender expression of a male stripped of his sense of normalcy and autonomy. The dream segment, too, was a very thoughtful read regarding the circumstances causing different dreams to come about, and how changes in environment and routine can influence that.

Turns out I'm not so bothered by the revealing glimpses of Foursi's body and soul, but I am still hesitant to find Becca's delightfull style of speaking as endearing as my tastes suggest, mindful of the character's possible origins, but I'm sure that will pass by chapter four.

Becca's handling of Foursi reminded me of a YouTube channel I follow that's owned by an airport bird control lady who houses dozens of various outlandish beasties in her modest apartment, and many videos feature smaller critters -- like little owls or a bearded dragon -- being let out of their cage to explore around, and that encouraging-controlling tone is very similar to what Becca uses with her pet-not-pet.

Speaking of Becca -- what a wonderful, deep character she's turning out to be, now that her mannerisms and voice have had the space to spread their wings, and her living routine has been exposited a little! There's a good balance of solemn, responsible boundry-setting, and playful engagement in her tone, and as mentioned above, that speech pattern is a marvel too precious to hold.

The bathing scene was so complex and full of mouse world perspectives, strange angles and tectonic action! A real showroom example of the genre's merits! And such potent contrasts of moods and modes! There's the ultimate sense of security and relaxation broken up by hungry (albeit practiced) peril, and pristine sense of calm cleanliness intruded upon by the sexual exertion and discharges. The concept of external simulation of the tiny person's descent after the faux-ingestion was so devilishly cunning, too!

The big conversation on the partners' intended future ventures into small-scale filming was a tantalizing taste of what's to come, both in discussing the fetish and the mechanics of future interactions, and I can't wait for it to unfurl further!

In parting, one more interesting thing to feature in the story all about the scale disparity would be static electricity -- the whole living in a winter sock arrangement reminded me of the prickling sensations that come with some types of fabric. I realize the story's already fully formed and idling on the buffer track, so it's just a bit of blue-skying. Also air currents, although the sofa-crushing FWOOF has mostly taken care of it!

* * *

Almost nothing to here this time, to my frustrated relief!

"plugged in to an extension cord"

"so she could trap (me) behind the cage of her teeth"

It doesn’t really matter how it happened, does it?






I hope not, because I really don’t know. I know I was in a car accident. At least, I don’t remember anything about the morning before

the accident – not at all -

but I clearly remember coming to on the corner of Windy Hill and Macland under a pile of my o

Online, I Am Like You, Chapter 1

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Shrunken man vore play

Part 1 of 5

About 3500 of 20k words.

Overall tags for the story: Shrunken Man, Vore-Fetish Fetish (that is, it's ~about~ vore, rather than including vore), sexuality, and an attempt at quasi-realism.

In this chapter, someone familiar experiences something very unfamiliar. 

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Thank you, for emphasis, for emphasis!

My understanding of the darling category seems to have become more or less comprehensive over this exchange. The walnut analogy is beautiful, but I still have doubts about whether it's that as big a problem as the ubiquity of that advice would suggest, or if it's a sort of a writers' superstition, one more ritual for beseeching the divine algorithms of fame to appear rational, predictable and controllable.

But then, I really ought to be quiet about it until I've waded those waters.

The British comedy series "Blackadder" had a character named Captain Darling, although I don't think the writers were referring to King or Faulkner.

Thank you for sharing the secrets behind your personal witness protection program! It's still very brave and sincere take on the casting choices for the story.

Oh, and four swords are easier to align on a sigil with a square frame than five!

I've had an idea for story that would follow the genre's convention long enough for the reader to lock onto the apparent tone and direction of the story, and then have the characters gradually break into a mild meta discussion of their roles, the reader expectation and the genre as a whole, in the vein of actors chatting in the dressing room, while still remaining grounded in the story's setting (like Becca's remark about whom the line "I'm starving!" fits better in the context of the characters' shared interests and current circumstance). I don't think toying with audience expectations is that big a crime, as long as the goal isn't pure shock for edginess' sake.

Also, the readers nowadays appreciate authenticity, to the point where cynically simulating a minor, relatable flaw in your public persona or your writing style may garner you better returns than slavish adherence to the Swan Of Avon's Greater Grimoire of Gwriting Guidelines.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

I'd consider a 'darling' to be anything that the writer is aware is a problem (either judging it that way themself, or through the subtle hints of writing partners, editors, adoring fans and the like), but which they just can't bring themselves to change because because of their 'vision' or because of the neat way it ties in later. Darlings are like that really cool piece of knotted walnut that you build into your boat because it just looks so cool, and then you sink. :)

Fortunately, this is a plastic rowboat in a bathtub.

In the only novel I ever finished, I named one of the supporting characters Darling, in part to be self-referential. That is meta-darling behavior, because it didn't work better than any of the rest of the novel did.

That makes number 2 a darling because I know making the opening literally unpleasant to read in order to establish the rest of the story in that context is relatively stupid and will cost me in the dubious currency of views, but it does what I want and it's my story, and at least at this point of the process I'm allowing myself to be too stubborn to reconsider massaging it for the reader's sensibilities instead of my 'vision'.

Number 1 and 3 can be separated because my initial judgment was to do exactly that, and provide aliases to protect the guilty. After all, as fictional as this FourofSwords and Becca are, they're loosely based on real people and dragging some of our habits into the open for titillation factor. I could have just as easily done it with a 'FiveofDiamonds' and a 'Bethany'. True story - my account name was originally going to be FiveofSwords, but the assonance of Four sounded better.

And the critique wasn't clumsy at all. Once again, for emphasis, it's always appreciated. :)

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Thank you for braving through a clarification so brutal to your choices for this story!

I wouldn't know anything about proper writing procedure, but I wouldn't be too harsh on indulging these "darlings" in a story not meant for the pitiless scrutiny of some editor ghoul from an era-old publishing house, and that your livelihood doesn't depend on. We all know the spectrum and its extremes: there's the self-indulgent, over-ambitious bumbling amateur and there's the human conveyor belt with their soul trapped in an oubliette of marketable cliches. Sometimes -- especially if you have a body of work that could populate a small library -- it's permissible to let loose and draw on those forbidden unprofessional impulses for inspiration, which is what I believe you have been doing, going by your explanation.

And it may be my cognitive deficiencies acting up, but I'm not seeing how "darlings" Number 1 and 3 can be separated (letting irrational spontaneity influence the creative process), and how Number 2 is a "darling", even: is the intended category the deliberate addition of off-putting material in a fictional story that, traditionally, is meant to be enjoyed? Are "darlings" just Tempting Bad Writing Practices, like writing about unfamiliar complex professions without doing the research on them, or making the antagonists belong to a social group you dislike?

For me, "darlings" in relation to someone's writing are deeply ingrained stylistic tendencies, like in your case the empowered female antagonist sizzling with sensuality and menace, the lovably ineffectual frustrated hero who nearly escapes with his dignity, the intricate descriptions of complex machinery or organizations, the lavish burlesque backdrops, the big perspective-twisting reveal midway through, the dreamlike religious tone for death and orgasms (as close as the two are placed in this community) -- that kind of thing. Some of it can be viewed as general writing tropes, but they all have a unique flavor in your works.

Another This-Just-In: I've read up on the origin and the popular perception of what "darlings" are, or at least the brackets of meaning for the term, and those brackets are pretty wide! The point is getting outside your comfort zone, but I'm still in the knee-jerk rejection stage for both the meaning and the fairness of this advice, as tough-love-helpful as it might appear. I've read the works of some pretty unadventurous and safe authors, and they were the ones getting a steady income out of their work, and my favorite visual novel artist -- favorite for how daring and dedicated they have been for two decades -- has been languishing in a spot just above the survival threshold, economically, so an aspiring artist really should question the outcome they're aiming for. Like, the path that would benefit the most from the suggestion to never stop breaking molds and taking risks starts with Step A: Inherit A Fortune. But even getting to the point of settling into a routine of safe bread-winning writing requires a lot of breaking oneself in, unfortunately.

I have literally been chipping at this message for hours, deciding in the process to excise the third of it that felt was the most stale, narcissistic and indulgent. (which, considering how much of that still remains, is highly disturbing)

And my first instinct to tell every struggling person to take it easy and count their triumphs, stemming very much from my own history of failure, and pouring balm on my owns sores as well as bringing a sense of power with the patronizingly benign tone of it, is very much a "darling" of my personality that I would be better off without in some areas. But it's something that I can't let go of on a whim and in an instant -- only drift away from it.

Hereby, the soppy digression is over.

When I mentioned the introduction was a bit dry, I was referring more to the necessary absence of the warm human sensual feedback and the inquisitive sharpness of vision that go with a proper first/third person narration, just a list of circumstances set in a row, and by your varied talents given every possible nudge up towards the edge of being interesting.

That whiff of emotional coldness between the conversing parties at the very beginning, that edge of annoyance was definitely felt, though! And the guy did feel, from the third person perspective, unwelcome in his new accommodation. And Becca's cruel jest, followed by the anachronistically presented interrogation, felt quite on point, considering the history of interaction between the two, the nature of that interaction, and the presumption of his dropping in on her completely unannounced, dragging along the preternaturality of it all.

Sorry about that clumsy critique! And thank you for a glimpse into the workshop of your creativity, especially about dreams and The Director! I don't tend to have a lot of dreams, but I remember having some really magical ones when I was younger!

Thanks for teaching me the word "noumenal", too! If I ever get into formal philosophy, I'll tell them you sent me!

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, as always. I definitely appreciate critique as well as the positive spins, but especially when it is couched so cordially.

I'm afraid this story is liable to suffer from several darlings (of the variety writers are advised to 'kill'), though with any luck we've encountered them all in the beginning and can move past them. It doesn't bear well for getting anyone interested enough in the story to proceed into chapter 2, but I'll post the full thing before deciding just how murderous with the red pen of death I need to be. Those darlings are:

1) The story is based on a dream. Always a red flag, that - dream are born of disembodied significance, and attempting to relate that significance to anyone else is always a doomed endeavor. All the gods had to do to curse Cassandra was have her dream her prophecy. That said, though it may be a writer's tragedy, this story is sort of an exercise in trying to capture that particular essence that moved me in the dream, even if it's been wrapped in a more traditional narrative package. Though it wasn't dreamborn, The Director was essentially the same thing, though that was the noumenal quality.

2) The introduction is intentionally off-putting. The goal was to establish a note of discord between the two of them - he dove headfirst into this without thinking; as much as she likes the idea of a little person to play around with, she has her own life and thoughts and plans, and those two don't marry seamlessly. There's only so much danger you can invest into the first chapter of a five part vore story, so my hope was that the rough start - before the narrator fell into his inner voice instead of his interrupted, self-justifying dialog voice - would put a whiff of antagonism between the two of them, so the introduction of the knife and foodstuffs wouldn't just fall limp.

3) The names - these are courtesy of the dream as well. I'm possibly as skeeved by the first-person insert as you might be to read and comment on it. It wasn't my original intention to go this route, but an erstwhile comment encouraged me to delve into the discomfort here.

We'll see how well the story bears so much preciousness in such a small space!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Praise our lucky stars, it's Story Time again!

I have to admit that while I applaud your courageous sincerity, reading all the familiar names did make me feel like I was the one crawling inside someone else's bra drawer. The sense of embarrassment wasn't overwhelming, though, but definitely a ringing in the air at the edge of hearing -- it will be an experience getting farther into the story! I do realize that it will more likely be an exaggerated self-caricature than an accurate self-portrait, but I'll still be cautious about the intimate ties the characters here may have to real people.

Wonderfully circumspect descriptions for the sequence of actions that took the Fours-- THE PROTAGONIST from the scene of the inciting incident accident site and into the apparent hub harbor of the story! The little details like the large viscous droplets and the difference in momentum for the miniaturized body were very much appreciated, and humbly anticipating more of the same. Lovely and thrilling food preparation scene, too!

And all the German was a very classy touch! It's not a Swords' story without a cubic centimeter of quaint-yet-austere European overtones permeating the overall bouquet!

The audacity of the method of self-delivery -- on the protagonist's part in regards to intruding upon his friend's privacy, and in terms of brazen, crazy creativity of it -- kept me amused and warm through the shivery environment of Becca's domain, and the horror of the knife scene. The whole first part of the chapter reminded me heavily of this scene from Rescuers Down Under:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBPRvOtgy9M

Blessed be all the artists who have ever been involved in thinking through those Mouse's-Eyes-View scenarios! Oh, and it also did give me that swoon of perspective adjustment regarding the potential for the current level of technology to facilitate these outlandish scenarios. I also was reminded of the eponymous Chamomile from her story maintaining her bank account. Online communication is the ultimate masquerade and equalizer.

Lastly, while I understand that the narrative voice for most of the piece is stylized as a raw conversational mode of recounting a series of events to a listener, but the first part felt a little dry as the result. I'm almost certain that was due to the way I was reading the story, though, as I was warming my mind up for the day during those first dozen paragraphs. And it's one of the primordial challenges to make the inside of a box sound exciting. I mean, there's a good deal of emoting on the narrator's part, and the recounted events are all nominally exciting for sure, and while the dialogue exchange still lasted, it wasn't noticeable. I will need to read it again with a clearer head -- if anything, the knowledge of the later events should make it a richer experience. Sorry for being a fly in your otherwise excellent wonton soup!

(A preliminary correction: I believe I've found the right kind of inner voice to read the introductory part in to make it properly engaging -- it's a sort of a Hunter S. Thompson lurching ramble, with either a rhythmic soft jazz or a Miami lounge lizard tune playing in the background)

* * *

"so something" -- this might be just a bit of verbal clutter, would go well with the style; I don't know about this one.

"budge budge"

"the even the"

"the faucet the faucet"

The next day, when I brought the Director his lunch, he pushed an overflowing manilla folder into my hands and said, “Maybe it would be easier if you moved your desk into my office.

” While I stood there adjusting to this sudden reversal, he watched me from the corner of his eye and continued. “

I’d

still l

ike to keep an eye on the schedule

The Director, part 6

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple Preys

Part 6 of 6

About 5400 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

All good things must come to an end.

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thank you!

Henlo - 2 years ago

This story should go in the vore hall of fame. Truly one for the ages.

jgzman - 2 years ago

I think you definitely won this one.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Counting the hours until then!

But also -- somehow -- take your time and take it easy!

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Thank you, for being so kind and for Queen Becky!

It's good to be enjoyed!

“I don’t

want

to work in

A

dministration!”

I gripped the railing of the hospital bed like I wanted to rip it off, which was probably true. At the moment that little rail was enough to keep me from going anywhere.






The Director, part 5

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple Preys

Part 5 of 6

About 6200 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

June might recover, but there's no going back to being a Mole Person for her.

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Thanks for this examination! Those are definitely worthy of serving as a side dish author's commentary to the main body of The Director if it were ever to be packaged and marketed! Same goes for the earlier insight about her intoxicating qualities, although I would argue that just the sheer jarring experience of being near something so human and yet so maddeningly imposing, and having been brought up among incessant reminders of her nature, should be able to produce that effect on its own.

The situation at the top of the elevator shaft was complicated for Eva by the presence of the rest of crew, and most importantly -- of an Inside Liaison, who would be considered almost a civilian in the Mole People's martial terms. I feel the ideal scenario for Eva would have been possible if Brian had sabotaged the elevator break release mechanism, instead of having activated it, so the issue would have been the issue of time instead of a hundred feet drop -- that way, Eva could have brightly stepped forward to serve herself to Queen Becky in order to give the rest a better chance of reaching the tunnels. Not seeing that option, she felt it was her supervisory duty to nudge the group past the bargaining stage and into the same dignified acceptance that worked for her, and prompting June to get on board with that.

At that point, it had been thoroughly established that with Queen Becky's otherworldly tracking abilities made it nearly pointless to hide among the rocks and trees and castles. A panicking human mind has a knack for challenging impossible odds, of course, but both Eva and June knew that while it was normal to do their best to scurry away when they're out of sight, doing that too close to Queen Becky would be disrespectful, like you mentioned, damaging the covenant that has the world's First Lady prowling just the surveyed, controlled environment of the Reserve, instead of everywhere else.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

> Now that I think about it, despite her quick embracing of defeat and possible personal longings, I'm sure Evangeline wouldn't have given up that easily if she hadn't had her age and experience vouching against all insanely risky solutions, whereas June's young blood and a streak of recent successes had left her more open to breaking the rules to get her way.

Absolutely that! Eva's response to the whole situation is sort of stated by June later, even if June didn't embody it: 'Yes, this is what happens - everyone is acting in accordance to their nature. Queen Becky's nature will be to show up and eat us, and our nature is to be eaten by her - all is well with the world. I think she had a fairly common internal struggle: there aren't many Volunteers who last into their thirties, but she sense a bit of shame in retiring out to an easier job. Being eaten by Queen Becky is really the only satisfactory solution to the problem, but seeking out an end in her mouth is also flawed. Eva was a Top Gun among Volunteers, so she *had* to go out right. Something like this was her destiny.

June had glimmers of that mentality, but hadn't built it up into a core philosophy like Eva had. She was still working under the illusion (?) that there was some other solution and didn't know any better.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

You shouldn't have gone into such detail just to make sure your vision of that part of the story is shared, partly because I'm not worth it, and because I'm afraid we were on the same page on this point all along, anyway. As she laid there in a broken heap, June was pulled in two different directions, mentally and emotionally -- her acknowledgment of her helplessness to delay her imminent demise, her awareness of the proper protocol for the occasion, reinforced by her sense of familial duty, and her suppressed sense of awestruck attraction to Queen Becky on one side, and her survival instinct and the fear of having to let go of her routine, pleasures and ambitions on the other, and even by the time she was moments away from Queen Becky's mouth, her (dramatized in recollection) inner proclamations of blissful acceptance still sounded more than a little forced and tentative, indicating the ongoing struggle.

However, that struggle was merely between the different ways June might have conducted herself in her last moments, and how would feel about it, since no option for surviving the ordeal was at the time on the table.

I was thinking of this line in particular:

"I only wished that there might have been cameras somewhere, so my Mom could have seen this. She would have wanted that. She would have been so proud."

that suggests that at the very least June was content with the overall display of her meeting her end this way, and didn't feel ashamed at having flunked her life's mission, or not having worked hard enough.

I never saw June as glowing with eager anticipation, unaffected by fear, doubt or regret at that moment. I did put too much stock in her professional loyalty, which would have fitted Eva more, and not enough in her conflicting emotions, you are right about that! Thanks for helping me bring my understanding of the scene into sharper focus!

Now that I think about it, despite her quick embracing of defeat and possible personal longings, I'm sure Evangeline wouldn't have given up that easily if she hadn't had her age and experience vouching against all insanely risky solutions, whereas June's young blood and a streak of recent successes had left her more open to breaking the rules to get her way.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

To this comment:

> ...June was feeling a lot more ready to check out than I had recalled her as being, so in her mind she'd either left enough of a legacy mark in her field of work by then, or felt that her spectacular display as a selfless leader had earned her the sufficient amount of glory to fill that arbitrary quota. Pardon for allowing my ambition to color my memory of the episode differently from how it had really gone down! If June considered her career to be worthy of a retirement at that moment...

I think that would be a fair assessment of Eva's position in her similar moment. She saw it as the logical conclusion to a successful career, and while Brian's intervention wasn't welcome, Queen Bee's arrival was expected and embraced.

June, on the other hand, while she witnessed Eva and had a strong compulsion to follow suit, had a stronger compulsion to carry up. When she gave up, it wasn't because she'd arrived at Eva's philosophical stance, but because she didn't have anything left to give. If her back hadn't been broken,, she would have followed Jules at the airlock door in a heartbeat. That's why she didn't get undressed until Becky commanded it.

But it's not just pure exhaustion so much as submission to the fact that once she was truly under Queen Becky's shadow, she was powerless; any attempt she made to struggle would be pointless and disrespectful.

There's also a thread running through the story that Queen Becky's presence - maybe chemically in the form of pheromones, but also in her voice, her gaze, things that don't require sharing a breathing space - is intoxicating, and tends to lower resistance to the idea of being swallowed alive.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

That unidimensional drive came through very clearly, and helped bridge that transition a lot! In fact, I had similar concerns at the end of Chapter 3, fully expecting some sort of cooling between June and Evangeline, the way it would have happened in a romance novel, but June proved to be a roll-with-it woman way back then, laying down the foundation for landing on her feet in the Tower later.

Also, I've gone over the elevator silo scene, and June was feeling a lot more ready to check out than I had recalled her as being, so in her mind she'd either left enough of a legacy mark in her field of work by then, or felt that her spectacular display as a selfless leader had earned her the sufficient amount of glory to fill that arbitrary quota. Pardon for allowing my ambition to color my memory of the episode differently from how it had really gone down! If June considered her career to be worthy of a retirement at that moment, that also makes her smooth shift into an administrative position more natural, as well. She would likely feel like she'd wrung every last drop of potential from her previous position, and coupled with the jolt of bigger-than-life excitement of her exploit and consequent shower of her patron goddess' favor would likewise make it easy to her to adjust her sights for a greater purpose. Oh, and Rian helped, too!

As for the tropes, I believe the fault lies squarely with me for indulging my love for making structure-based prognoses, and not paying enough respect to the hard work you've put into keeping every following element of the story develop consistently from the preceding one. Sorry about that!

And if your assessment of your character writing inspirations is true, I'd say your pool of real world experiences with people, and your ability to shuffle and transmute them, have so far served you better than most of the writers I've been familiar with who relied more heavily on tropes, references and other kinds of artificial experience -- it should be a point of pride, not something to feel embarrassed by!

It is apparently a well-known specific case of Murphy's Law when applied to tabletop group roleplaying games: the players will cling like tar to NPC extras the DM hasn't given any thought to, demanding to be told every minor detail of their lives, and either ignore or unceremoniously butcher the characters that have dozens of pages of interactions, plot significance and dialogue attached prepared for them. Managing your audience's expectations as a writer may involve similar hurdles to that, unless you wisely choose to just let the readers have their self-prepared feast of red herrings and wild geese.

Queen Becky’s Birthday might

have been a

big celebration, but there

was

fallout to consider afterward

-

and I’m not just talking about waking up at seven the next morning with a massive hangover

to get the next Sacrifice in place

The Director, part 4

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple Preys

Part 4 of 6

About 5700 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

After Queen Becky's Birthday, things change for Team Beige.

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Well, it's only five years counting from the time of the last cleanup and publishing, but the site counts the time of the original upload.

But yeah, that feeling when your stories become old enough to give life to stories of their own...

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Even within my own lifetime, I've definitely move to philosophical positions I couldn't have imagined holding when I was younger. We are marvelous adapters.

Is Autumn's Hobby that old now? Yikes! The time does fly. The common thread there is that while I didn't write that based on any of XDDX's characters, it was based around an idea I roughly worldbuilt with her. Maybe that's a theme that's more specific to her than I realized.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Yeah, it's really haunting reading the accounts of people who lived contemporarily with some of the history's great atrocities, and how they justified it to themselves to be able to still consider themselves morally sound and normal once they've loosened their ties at the end of the day. And of course, decades from now our heir generations will look back at many our present normalized habits and institutions in disgust.

The story certainly does a great job easing the reader into relating to the plucky crew charged with among other things leading people to their death, and rooting for the entire staff operating the Reserve, because it's such a big system that involves so much hard work and takes so much bonding between the workers and clever coordination on top to function - surely, it is right to cheer them along when they triumph and lament their losses? It certainly feels right after a few chapters.

I suppose it's roughly in the same genre, but that sense of religious awe reminds me of Autumn's Hobby - now a seven years old story, sans the horrifying detail of the victims' childlike naivete towards the giants' intent.

It's a sign of a true literary heavyweight to be motivated by exploration of fundamental paradoxes in one's writing to such a degree, or so I've heard. May you find many other rich conundrums to dissect, and the time to do it!

And for Brian's part, I concur that it was given as much story weight as it could reasonably bear, and June's had enough of novelty and routine distractions to excuse her for missing the troublemaker in her team's ranks. And the quickness with which the betrayal goes from start to resolution is fitting for the pace of the events unfolding in that episode. If not for the urgency of those events, and the violence of the consequences, the nature of his protest would have been an amusing subversion. It was foreshadowed, it was efficiently explained at the start, and it served its intended purpose well.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks, as always, for the typo corrections! I very much appreciate them, and they are now corrected.

And thank you as well for saying this:

> The contextual schizophrenia of evading Queen Becky like a dangerous animal and embracing the reverential supplication when cornered is presented more thoroughly here than in prior chapters, and it's truly chilling, and an honest reflection of human behavior. There is definitely a powerful metaphor in there about how we feel about death in general.

This is is the essence of the underlying concept that really made me want to write this story. I mean, I love me some Queen Becky and giantess vore action, but I'm really fascinated by the religiosity and the way we accept and institutionalize the familiar, no matter how profoundly shocking it would be if it wasn't familiar. Trying to weave the drunken tightrope between normalization and a sense of awe was my number one goal for the story. Well, number 2, after finishing a story someone might want to read.

I still feel like Brian's part in the story is a little threadbare and poorly explained, but delving into that would disrupt the flow of June's narrative - which is meant to read (loosely) like a recounting, maybe sort of like she was reviewing diary entries at a later time. I was going to be a little more strict about the narrative structure and make it strictly autobiographical, but it didn't really add anything to the story, I discovered.

Astronommy - 2 years ago

A quick comment, for a change!

The passing of time and June's thriving in her new subterranean home were conveyed with absolute verisimilitude, and it has only just dawned on the unobservant me that she's been addressing a correspondent living in the same world, likely her family, and the entire narrative style has been framed this way. Way to miss the forest behind the trees!

The entire thriller sequence, the suspense, he (devilishly clever and vicious) betrayal, the chase and all, gripped me by the scruff of my insides and never let go until the end. It's all returning to me now, why I've dread reading your stories, and that's because the characters are just too alive for their own good, and when they inevitably service their genre, it has every capacity to turn a reader to mush inside, and sympathize with the villain from King's "Misery" -- anything to overrule that final goodbye. Even the secondary and tertiary deaths are world-shattering with you.

Thank you for delivering an experience this intense, you cruel monster!

The analogies used for Queen Becky movement, and the descriptions of the inside of her mouth, particularly the feel texture of the tongue, and the mechanics of the proceedings within were all phenomenal.

June's feat, and the preceding ringing decision-making, was the best example of intelligent fictional heroism I have ever absorbed. Her consequent rise upstairs feels very natural and satisfying.

Eva's a true Southern saint.

And Queen Becky's actions are so very appropriate for how she's been characterized so far, doing her part with the heroine without ever dropping out of her characterization as a sun of unapologetic playful desire.

The contextual schizophrenia of evading Queen Becky like a dangerous animal and embracing the reverential supplication when cornered is presented more thoroughly here than in prior chapters, and it's truly chilling, and an honest reflection of human behavior. There is definitely a powerful metaphor in there about how we feel about death in general.

And no mater the permutations of alternative universes, there is always Otis Elevator Company. Accept no substitutes.

* * *

One uncapitalized "queen".

One quote mark missing around "spiderweb".

Missing for in "signed up (for) it", I think.

After our

orientation

week driving all over the Reserve, we moved

in

to H-Node. For those of you who

are

following along with a map, that’s under the

Glowworm

Canton, right by the big lake there.

The Director, part 3

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple Preys

Part 3 of 6

About 7200 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

Eva's Mole People get their first real job at the surface. Finally!

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

Astronommy - 2 years ago

And here I thought I was witnessing a precarious blitz by a freshly awakened giant, and flattering myself that I was helping it along by my cheerleading! I'm grateful that it's gotten me back into reading stories of this format, but is this what it takes? A sense of participation in a big fish artist's historical resurgence, and only on the condition of holding a conversation with said big fish all the while? Whoever is still doing time in Tartarus for their crimes of hubris and vanity can jolly well head back home, I am all that department needs to fill its sinner quota! What do you mean, "Mr. Hades is in a meeting"?! What about Persephone? Look, the urgency and importance of my claim seems to be entirely lost on you, can I speak with you manager?

No regrets, though, I will still be boring you with my crude enumerations of the things you've put into future chapters.

Thanks for clearing things up! There's certainly a lot to be proud of with that kind of industrial strength productivity thrumming along!



And hey, there's another chapter! It'll take me some time to get to it, but I'm still doing the National Peanut Gallery Pest Month challenge.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

For what it's worth, this story is already written. I finished it before starting to post; after a few false starts in the past, I make sure I always have a finished draft before I post anything. I *am* editing as I go (and introducing nearly as many typos as I remove!) and writing the second Nanowrimo story, along with a collab and a couple of active RPs, though, so I feel within my space to breath on my fingernails and polish them on my shirt. ;)

Astronommy - 2 years ago

Nice to know you have other things going on at the same time as you are writing a spectacularly complex story at a faster pace than I can read! (which isn't saying a lot, as I'm the kind to savor my paragraphs)

Urethras and capillaries both! There has to be some sort of a special physical relativity adapter field to work out those substance exchange incompatibilities, for sure.

And hey, elephants have relatively slender legs compared to their bulk -- they're even doing the dainty ungulate "walking on tiptoes" thing -- even though it's understandable how they are shanghaied into serving examples of the extreme all the time. It's true about the big pyramidal-patterned bodies being a necessity, and even without upgrading biochemistry to bizarre super-bond isotopes, a massive leg to support the scaled up body would demand a ripple of bulk-ups upstairs to move, which would loop back into needing a sturdier leg.

About the metabolism and the brain functions - the complexity of environmental and social behaviors in bees and tiny birds, and the incredible rapidity of bodily function(the wing beat rate, the ease of evading macroscopic hazards), is forever a source of religious awe for me, and therein lies a promise that standard particles can somehow be arranged into a body with a powerful enough mind after all. Sort of like the modern handheld phones are more powerful computers than the bulky cabinets from the early Twentieth century.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

It could be! People adjust to and then rationalize all sorts of behavior that might otherwise be at odds with their worldview, just because it's how things have always been.

Donotlike13 - 2 years ago

Oh okay, I know what you mean as I read Alternate History stuff all the time.

Seems like the Reserve is somewhere in Europe and partially overlapping German lands.

And the more I see of this world the more I think, if you'll forgive the word choice, the people have Stockholm syndrome. Since they can't kill Becky and nothings stopping her from theoretically eating every last person in the world all they can do is make her too comfortable in one spot to leave.

The plane touched down at an A-shaped airport on the south side of the Wall. There were just those couple of strips, but three or four planes like ours were

already

taxiing, and more were lined up in a row, a little fleet of them

ready to unload or take more passengers.

Even m

ore stood in hangers, with engine cowls up. I got the

The Director, part 2

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple Preys

Part 2 of 6

About 5700 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

June gets a tour of of the facilities, and meets some of the natives.

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Excellent! And luckily, it's all posted now!

Bossa - 2 years ago

I'm much more invested in June's party than I expected, and the whole setup of the place is really charming. I find myself comparing my own corporate workplace experiences with the Reserve--their recruitment and training and facilities. It's fun! I'm excited for the rest

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Oh, sure. Everything gets boring sometimes.

Donotlike13 - 2 years ago

So even Queen Becky can get bored with her favorite activity?

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Done for the moment. Would rather go soak in the lake or lay in the grass or snooze for awhile.

When I arrived at the Reserve, I thought I understood better than most what it was going to be like.



My oldest brother, Rian, works in the

Embassy



C

omplex

there

. He has, like, two PhDs in Media and International Relations, and

The Director, part 1

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Oral Vore Giantess f/multiple Multiple prey

Part 1 of 6

About 2700 of 32,000 words

Overall tags for the story: Giantess, Oral Vore (soft), sexuality, politics

A new Volunteer's story as she is en route to the Reserve, a country-sized natural park where the world's only giant roams.

(Queen Becky appears courtesy of  XDDX

XDDX - 2 years ago

Same thing really. The pred in anxiety isn't a character of mine but it is influenced by my preference for unwilling and terrified prey. The idea behind the character is: if you are scared or panic I'm just more likely to want to eat you. It's a silly excuse to eat people because anyone would not be totally at ease in a situation like that but that's what makes it so beautiful... And I think terrified prey best!

Donotlike13 - 2 years ago

How about Anxiety?

XDDX - 2 years ago

I'm afraid that is all Foursi. We sometimes world build together as in, one of us asks how things work and then we throw ideas an opinions around until we arrive at a consensus.

Thought about posting here or elsewhere, many times. I don't write nearly as much as foursi does though. Queen Becky and the Director are characters from an RP foursi and I held in a private chat. The world around them was developed while talking about the RP and the characters. Foursi does a lot of world building here though that I have little to do with.

Donotlike13 - 2 years ago

Okay, I just thought you might have the setting more developed on your end, ever thought about posting these ideas here or elsewhere?

XDDX - 2 years ago

Hi. Sure, I can try haha. Anxiety was mostly foursis idea and so was this story. For the most part I inspired the pred characters. I have to be careful though since I don't want to spoil things in the story!

ON THE WAY

In the back seat of the car, I couldn’t see out over the edge of the windows. Even if Maria still had that old, banged up baby seat in the back seat, the angle was just enough that I could sometimes see the tops of cars driving by, or if I was lucky and we were beside a big delivery truck, I could see the driver. I’d usually smile up at them on the off chance they’d look down, but that was rare. Anyway, now she had that little harness that I

On the Way

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/M Cooking Pre-Vore Size difference dolcett Cooking/Prep

Nothing spectacular, and technically not vore, even if it's tagged that way. It's just a scene and a relationship and a vignette of a setting I wanted to try to capture. 

XDDX - 2 years ago

Awww, you (he) sounds very adorable and tasty.. I do wonder if Maria was happy in all of this or if she would rather have kept her little special for herself. Did she go home with a "hope it was worth it" feeling? Was it worth it? Were you special :P

Galdin - 2 years ago

Interesting! Either way glad to see your writing again on this site!

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

That was the end, I'm afraid. At last for the point of view character.

Galdin - 2 years ago

This was a fun read, hope to see how it ends!

I like to walk in the middle of the day. Almost everyone else walks in the morning or the evening, so I have the big pathway that loops around the common area in the middle of the neighborhood to myself. The sidewalks around the big grassy area where kids play in the summer are wide, but the trails through the woody part get kind of narrow, and I’m the kind of guy who likes to exercise at my own pace without worrying about slowing down joggers if I don’t hear their, ‘On your le

Bureaucat

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: Micro F/M Pre-Vore Male Prey Female Pred kemonomimi

About 2600 words - a short one.

I've been going on a lot of walks lately. Maybe this is why? 

XDDX - 2 years ago

Muse! Awww... That's high praise!

ObsidianSnake - 2 years ago

I enjoyed how well this was carried by the characters alone. There was so much tension from the framing and implications -- love that!

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks!

ryanshowseason3 - 2 years ago

Crazy good tension at the end there.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks! Nice to see you around, Bright!

Viv in Sauce

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/F Macro/Micro Female Prey Human Prey Female Pred tasting

That sauce Viv was in smells so good - full of protein and biomarkers. I'm not desperate enough to lap it off of dirty concrete.

Off a food is another story. 

painpleasure - 2 years ago

OH MY GODDESS!!!

So good to see you back!!! Hope you've been well!!

Viv in a Can

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/F Pre-Vore Macro/Micro Female Prey Human Prey Female Pred

I see Viv.

She's in some kind of pretech can. It broke open when I chased a food down into the ruins.

The can is leaking something that smells good. I could lap it up, but I'm more interested in Viv. 

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks! You too.

Jacquelope - 2 years ago

CAN she escape?

Yes I suck at puns.

Also nice to see you again, 4!

Viv

Uploaded: 2 years ago

Owner: 4ofSwords

Tags: F/F Non-Vore Pre-Vore Macro/Micro Female Prey Human Prey Female Pred

This is Viv.

See Viv wake up and wonder what in the heck is going on. 

Aleph-Null - 2 years ago

That makes sense, to me it looks like your highlights are a bit different. They come off as more relaxed to me.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks! Funny story: I've actually been alive all this time!

If my style has changed, it's probably due to fewer tools handy - no drawing pad, no scanner, and I'm doing the little bit of shading in paint.net instead of photoshop. :)

Aleph-Null - 2 years ago

Glad to see you are alive.

Also, looks like you changed up your style a bit.

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Me too. And interested to see if I can keep it simple enough to pop out a quickie drawing now and again when things are slow at work. :)

4ofSwords - 2 years ago

Thanks!