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SMACKDOWN

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It was a rickety rumple of a creature, teetering to and fro, the grass between its toes in a hat with a feather and a handsome suit coat. There were not too many more tales to tell of its adventures, except for one that should, for obvious reasons, remain until the last, until one has…

Back in the days when the wharf was busy and bustling with activity, fishermen going to and fro, preparing their nets, ladies selling their finest hand-crafted eel knives in the marketplace, and the one, Mr. McChumbly, you could always depend on to provide the music heard throughout the day, set to the rhythm of these links.…

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As wide as four kegs strapped to the back of a molasses swamp hippopotamus, he trudged atop the thin film of earth wrinkling it between twelve toes at the end of a joint on a single leg. By size and agility, he was no match, but we knew his weakness–the excess intake of sun-scorched coffee…

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The metal shavers strolled to and fro, peeling layers, shaving sheets and shifting the metal shells of the outer planets. Their arms, battered and scarred from eons of metals shavings flying against them made their skin more armor-like, unable to be penetrated by the sharp shackles of these links. Gao Zhimin – Delightfully dramatic and…

When you’re running you don’t expect the guttural sound of an ogre. You definitely don’t expect it to stop you in your tracks. I had been running through that park for years, hearing rumors of a horrible, skin-shedding shriek, but I dismissed it until I saw it, heard it, standing there, holding these links. João…

When the missile batteries fired, most were prepared, but some were left scurrying into their houses in a panic. We were ready though – forks in hand, napkins around the neck, and bottles of hot, steaming syrup for everyone. All at once they started falling – pancakes – fluffy as the center of these puffy,…

When the hood was pulled back, the amount of tentacles spilling forth was overwhelming to the eyes–And with each holding a maraca, the sound matched the sight. You ask yourself what to do in a situation like this. That is until you realize you’re the one with the maraca tentacle face, trying to use the…

Long ago, the wrinkled hands of the oarsmen would take the otter tails by the tips and fling them repeatedly towards the front of the boat. A lone traveler watching the rising mound of otters amidst their tails, playing quite gleefully, asked why they were thrown to the front. They replied as if asked before,…

The old soul trundled topsy-turvy toward a hole in the air. The time bender should have seen that bear cub and butterfly when he first came through the portal. Now it may be his last time through. You see, a mama bear doesn’t think much of time travelers interrupting a family picnic. If only he…

Sounds of the throngs bent the vapid air. Grey fur and red hues mixed among family upon the large beasts taking them to an unknown land. A horn would sound – you wait for the count. One, you continue moving. Two, you stop and dismount. Three, you attack to the right. Four, you deploy the…

The mirror’s depth was infinite, reflecting from the edge of the motored hand. A splinter? No. There were more in the gears, beneath the skin and oils, beneath the circuits. It looked as close as it could, prying, picking, to pluck out all these links. Rudy Siswanto – I simply love Rudy’s style and the…

The isolated stare of the bulging eyes shifted around the bottle glass. Tiny though it was, the suit it wore weighed more. Jets on each appendage, fueled by a small nuclear core, explained the hum, the crack, and the flash as it launched to pursue these links. Jordan Grimmer – Floating ruins, crashed ships, and…

The books lined the walls and hallway, some stacked, some shelved, volumes and volumes of pages oiled with time and fingers. We were not supposed to find it there, the vibrating velvet orange volume of verses. Saying it glowed, would be an understatement. Looking at it too long would start you shaking. It wasn’t the…

Grass grew long between the entrails of the building’s walls torn by the blasts and jumpjets from a millennia past. Many went there for the quiet. Others to salvage any metal remains of the defenders. We hadn’t seen any since, but once in a while the ground would quake and you’d try to convince yourself a machine would reveal…

The box flaps were open, but only slightly. The air was silent, but you could see them vibrate. Normally, you don’t look into something with vibrating box flaps. This was one of those times. We would only find out later after regaining consciousness, that millions of tiny toes exploded from the box. Toes, of these…

Once you’re running full-bore with fists extended, there’s no decision left. You may think of stopping, you may even glance from the corner of your eye–this way, that way. But, no. You ARE going to penetrate that wall of orange Jello. You’ll do it, or face the wrath of these links. Tan Zhi Hui -…

They came from his arms. Cannons more like. With such a snow falling, it wasn’t hard to see the mass firing yule logs repeatedly with a yell that deepened and shook the earth as he shot. One after another they hit the edifice. Soon, the wall would crack and we would feast, feast upon these links.…

We barreled down the street, jumpjets and engines spinning pushing dust through the alleyways and sewer grates. There was too little time to escape, adjust footing and fold another clip into the arm canon, but somehow we did it, and in one single action, fired upon the beast with these links. Tolazzi Swann – Concept…

The wraggle bunch of mufflins peeled back the fur from their eyes, peering squint-eyed and tippy toe to see just what strange concoction was in the wooden bucket. The rays had hardly burst over the horizon when they heard a squelch that turned their eye slits wide. For out of the bucket, rose the tentacles…

Down in the alley, there were always more than enough shin nibbles to go around. You never knew if you were going to walk out scarred for life, or with new rat friends singing a quintet on your forearm. Though half of them had eyes and legs missing, they certainly knew where to find the roots…

No one quite knew his age or the powers residing within the metal stump at the end of his arm. The children would say it glows just before a rain and the mouse antler swarms. Others claimed it controlled time through dust particles sifted through our nostrils, and others still, said it had the ultimate…

The chest, arms and legs all opened. Thought it took but two to control, the others were there to be transported from one farm to the next. Sickles and blades in hand, they streamed out, steam bleeding, mixing with the mist, ready to harvest the rooty riggle vooters rising from these links. Jakub Rozalski -…

The lights flooded the blades of grass, shadows of the hills falling sharp. We ran up and down, roller coasting ourselves through the mist and beams, jumping sometimes, rolling, missing the lasers shooting from their eyes just barely by grappling and swinging on the stringy back hairs of these links. Brian Sum – Ahh, what…

The dawn splintered through the trees, atop their burrows, and one by one they emerged. Covered in willow roots wrapping them through the centuries, but none the worse for wear, save a patch of fur missing here or there. So we watch from afar, and for days it went on, more emerging, more unwrapping, more…

Ropes from trees where bottles hung, split beams of distant lights lit by the robot hoards. Unconscious they moved, on a single wheel and five arms, low, high, in between broken brick and bones, always hunting, hunting for these links. Mathieu Latour-Duhaime – Lots of lovely complex lines in all sorts of rich environments from…

His face was bone, chiseled and knobby as a bald cypress root. The rain ran between the creases, with the eerie appearance it was pouring forth from his face itself, down onto the trench coat and pistols, all caught and painted in the flashes of light from these links. The Dualyst – The artwork for…

Crackling, layers of grass snapped beneath our toes–All the way to the shore we thought we would never reach. The edge of the sky was behind us, seeming to keep up with the swarm of small, fur-laden creatures–a mat of them spreading across the valley, with the awe-amplifying, juice box convenience of these links. Wojciech…

Loosening the sap strings, he let fly the shard bow sprites. The spores of a million mosslings struck light and made way. Leaping through the branches, he pursued the fury, the roar or the fire spreading throughout the land, from the beast’s chiseled scales, and eyes metal, molten with these links. Gliulian – Far off…

The boatswain sounding his whistle called the ship to arms, and found us a tailwind with the call. It was gaining on us, visible one moment, gone the next. It wasn’t the fire, the rapacious devouring holler or the balls of moss it threw that bothered, but the constant popping of its boiling skin that…

Crooked fence posts propped up its torso and surly demeanor, clanking a grin as spindles and pumps whirred beneath the translucent neck skin. A movement would send tremors, with keg like mechanisms hitting the ground and spreading light from the cracks of these links. Ivan Smirnov – Super playful, colorful scenes full of all sorts…

Around the castle it crept, a small, yet indecipherable gurgle of bones shifting. It was tall, lanky and faceless, yet with a whistle like a canary heard after a jolt of these links. Slava Triptih – HE has a way with ink. Beautiful black cloud spray portraits and even more ink illustrations and artwork. Little…

Sitting betwixt the legs of the elderberry roots, its eyes peered out. Not one, or two, or three, but eight at least, moving separately, then together, watching. Low to the ground, it moved, feelers out, stuffing mushrooms and cantaloupes into its pouches, preparing a spice to make from these links. Su Jian – Mesmerizing environments…

Jumped off the ledge, the hammer fell, the blast rang out and the monstrosity of a caterpillar was no more. Usually smaller, but this one had been feasting. We hadn’t determined what the supplement may have been quite yet, but there were hints and a small trail leading back to these links. Alexis Rives -…

The trees towered, a grove of five just in front of us, a path around, and a trail of its fur, scales and laughter all along. We drew our bows, activated the trackers and readied ourselves to fire at these links. Cinta Vidal – In love with the architecturally surreal, perspective twisting, structure and nature…

The blades buckled beneath the yarn. Paws were not meant to be that dexterous, but his training in the textile arts had surpassed even that of the nomadic mural weavers of old. Together with his swordsman-like bladework, he would weave a scene like never before, a scene threaded with these links. Oh Ji Hoon -…

Somehow, we were able to chop our way through the tendrils. As they grew back, a vocalizing noise of business lingo, land management deals and making strawberry metropolitans echoed around us–apparently an affect of consuming the entire downtown business district, too many printer cartridges and these links. Kevin Peterson – A contrast of innocence against…

The Crumbling Cliffs. That’s where the creature lived, but nary a soul had seen it. Oblong-shaped and bent, with a single leg and, what looked like, a meat slicer off each side of a small container of fizz which strangely enough and quite magically allowed it to dispense endless amounts of these meaty links. Sleepypang Li -…

Captured in the rain and looking toward the hill, we ran. The rumble of the swarm oscillated with the falling water to the point we couldn’t hear our own footsteps. It might as well have been the silence of white noise, and suddenly… it was. For out of the hill rose a beast with a…

He was a kind old soul, trudging to and fro. Where there wasn’t a path, he would spend days making one with his wooden spoon, large feet and a whistle you had only to hear once to remember forever. With the grass and branches he did something strange though. Bundled them up and set ablaze…

We wrapped a few of them in toasted cheese curdles and a donut. “Don’t worry, you’ll realize the potential after you taste it.” That’s what she kept saying, but we were not convinced. Food just shouldn’t look like that, and the way they exploded if you handled them too rough? Well, it only made it…

We would pop a few over the fence, just to hear the reaction. It was usually a grumble of sorts, a low guttural sound of pre-digested enzymes breaking down the fats. We had yet to see it, until one day, when we bound ten together around a ball of butter. Lowering it slowly, we saw…

We had already eaten our fill when they wheeled out the largest bucket we had ever seen–it’s why they had removed the wall and fitted that senile, old robot lady with two railgun arms. The smell was yeasty, but soon forgotten after they handed us our bibs, and a fork for each hand. They told…

The muscles tightened before we could even jump. It was high, but shorter than the last fall. It’s the last 20 feet that gets you. Hitting the thrust reversers at just the right moment, so you don’t finish the descent with a splintered femur, or disturb the beast by charring the landing pad, that is…

Flipping along the line, high above the glassy churn, the wisps hit the wind before finding their way onto our arms. Being this high was never a problem. It’s when we neared the surface that the fear sunk in. They looked like glass, cut like glass, but their sound was much more like these links.…