Friday, 15 June 2012

The Prediction - building on a theme

So often we hear Predictioneers telling each other that 'this has to become a much longer piece' or 'you must go away and expand upon this'. Back in December last year I posted this flash on Lily's The Feardom which evolved to a 2,000 word piece called Shipwrecked on Thrillers, Killers n Chillers. I would love to hear of any Prediction pieces (from here or Lily's site) you've expanded upon and where you've had them posted. I would highly recommend going to Thrillers, Killers n Chillers with stories under 2,000 words and there are some great pieces to read there too. Keep an eye out for when submissions open again.

And speaking of building on stories, a number of you have been taking part in the collaborative story I kicked off on here called Hunted. Have a read of the story so far and it would be great to see even more people getting involved with the writing!

And now for the results of last week's Prediction challenge. Drum roll please.......

....my winner is Anthony Cowin with Corridors of Meat. Anthony - this was visually stunning, such vivid description within so few words. But it wasn't just the scene you painted, it was the concept as a whole and that final reveal was chilling. I urge people to go and read this over and over again. Superb.

Two runners-up this week.

My first is Marietta Miles with The Ride. Marietta - I just really loved the use of language here as you captured the patter of the Ticket Master to perfection. Some wonderful turns of phrase and my favourite, as I said in my comments, was 'twin twinkles lit his eyes'. A most mischevious offering.

My second is Chris Allinotte as he shows us A Game. Chris - I just thought that the simplicity with which you told this tale gave it a overwhelmingly creepy feel. I was pulled into the intensity of our protagonist as they played their oh so innocent game and then 'plop'! Just shivering now thinking about it.

So congrats to Anthony, Marietta and Chris with their very different, yet wonderful, offerings. And thank you to everyone else who makes my judging so hard each and every week with such amazing tales.  I was especially taken this week with the concepts that people were playing with. Clearly labyrinth was one of those evocative words that gets the imagination firing!

Now I wonder what my little book of delights is going to send our way this week. A flick to a page here, a turn to the words there, wait a minute, I swear the book just moved itself!!! Whilst I try to get this devious tome under control, here are this week's words:
  • Supervise
  • Cash 
  • Mare
Gosh, those words look tough this week but sure you'll all rise to the challenge.
 
The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine.

You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 21 June to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 22 June when new words will then spill forth. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it. Please tell your friends and do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!

I look forward to seeing what riches you bring us this week.....

94 comments:

  1. Phil thank you so much for choosing my story as the winner. It's my first time over here and that' made me feel very welcome indeed. Thanks for you kind words too. Congrats to Marietta and Chris too, very well deserved too.

    I read Shipwrecked when it was published on TKnC and let a comment then. I do recommend that story and the site as a whole for anybody who hasn't been over to read or to sub.

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  2. Congratulations, Anthony! That was a great piece. And kudos to Marietta and Chris, as well.

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  3. congratulations, Anthony, Marietta and Chris!
    Sorry, I ran out of time with comments, loved the stories but paid editing had to come first.
    Phil asks what we've done with our stories. I have placed several of mine in Pill Hill's Daily Frights 2013. Try them with your stories under 500 (that is a rigid limit), as there are plenty of spaces there to be filled.
    Good words this week, let's see if I can a) get my entry in earlier and b) keep up with the comments...

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    1. Ah yes, good call with Pill Hill Press Antonia. For those interested, submissions can be entered here http://www.pillhillpress.com/daily-frights-2013.html It is a non-paying market but gets you some exposure and I would recommend submitting to them.

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  4. Congrats to last week's winners! I'm consistently impressed to see what talented writers can do in so few words.

    Here's my go at this week's challenge:

    repercussions
    "Havin' the 'mare again, are ya?" Helen squatted over the child offering little sympathy. "Well, hush you."

    Her job was to supervise the young witch, not to be sweet to her. Alexia Strand, 7 year-old sorceress and psychic, looked close to tears.

    Helen places a hand on the child's shoulder. "Your mum and da will send us the cash, sweetling. No need for cryin'."

    Alexia wiped her eyes. "I'm not scared for me," she said.

    Helen raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

    "I'm scared for you," the child said gently. "I've seen what my father will do when he finds you."

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    1. This is Dex, by the way. I'm not sure why it's showing my blog name instead of my user name...

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    2. Love everything about this ...

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    3. Dex, for someone coming new to 100 word flash you are showing a real talent for it. The idiosyncracies of Helen's dialogue brings this to life along with the subtlties throughout all followed by that chilling final sentence. Very, very good.

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    4. Really love this entry, just a pitch perfect short story.

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    5. Thanks, guys. It's a fun challenge, trying to see what you can cram in so few words. I'm enjoying it...and really enjoying reading what other write on this site!

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    6. This is such a tight story. I am in awe.

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    7. I enjoyed this Dex would love to read more about the fathers revenge for this kidnap.

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    8. I liked that. I'm curious about what events might occure after the father arrives. Great start for a Prediction Dex.

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  5. Yay Anthony and Chris. Excellent stories all. Thank you for the kind words on my entry. Mr. Bradbury was a magic maker to me and I am so happy that you took note of his presence in the story. Sorry that I did not comment this week. I hate when I do that. Thursday comes every week and yet I am always surprised. With regards to writing...the very first story I had published was with Thrillers Killers and Chillers. Mrs. Lily read it and then put it on the site. I soon became interested in Lily's work and found her prediction page. I sent a story for Femme Fatales which she graciously used. From prediction I have also found new authors to read. I highly recommend Lily (Cabaret of Dread is absolute gorgeousness). After that I followed one Antonia Woodville to discover her writing. This lead to the mystery that is Dorothy Davies. Not only do I love her writing (I Bid You Welcome is an amazing read, Dorothy fans and Richard Laymon fans need to check it out) but she has edited several stories of mine and used them for her excellent anthologies. So I get the joy of new authors and hopefully learn to become a better storyteller. Finding these sites ( TKNC and Prediction) has been a joy.
    Plus everyone go to the collaborative story The Hunted it is getting good.

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  6. Markers

    The bathroom doors were labeled Stallion and Mare. Of course. I locked the stall door, ignored the state of the toilet, and counted the cash Nate had won. If we were lucky, we’d leave the hick bar before anyone attacked Nate.

    I try not to brawl, partly because I’m so big, but mostly because I like it too much. Even as a kid, I was never left unsupervised on the playground. Then again, I was never really a kid, but the doctors liked to pretend. Helped them sleep better.

    They all sleep fine, now. It was my parting gift.

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    1. There is such power in the matter-of-fact statement which ends with more than a hint of horror. "I try not to brawl, partly because I’m so big, but mostly because I like it too much" is vivid.

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    2. Rebecca, yet again you deliver us a piece that is layered with so much back history which you provide in a delightfully teasing manner. There's an overall menace to the tale which gets darker with that final line.

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    3. That last line is an absolute show stealer

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    4. Really well crafted. Nicely done.

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    5. RR, that was fascinating,the last line sent a shiver down my spine.

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    6. Brilliant last line! That's one interesting character with no name.. Great piece Rebecca.

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  7. Congratulations to Anthony, Marietta and Chris for their take on last week's words.

    The blacksmith's wife [20]

    Both brothers being too well-bled to travel it fell to me to deliver details of imminent invasion to the port authority.
    Mathias, weak, well-bandaged and firm-manacled, supervised re-stitching of the packet.
    ‘They expect me … will pay cash ..’
    ‘How much?’
    ‘Say … seven sovereigns …’
    To Gabriel, anxiously, from my mare, ‘He’ll not break free again?’
    ‘If he tries I’ll end what you began.’
    ‘I did not finish?’
    ‘You merely nicked him, bloodily ‘tis sure and he has yet to learn it, but he is still a man.’
    ‘And you’ll let him be?’
    Shame-faced, obdurate: ‘He is my brother.’

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    1. Nice change of pace to this Sandra to fit with the overall story arc. Blood and gore on hold as we get to see a bit more of the characters and build the tale around them. Clever writing.

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    2. That does it--I'm going to have to go back and read all of these...

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    3. Oh, what a betrayal! I don't think she'll take that well. "Firm-manacled" is such a strong image.

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    4. Phil s right Sandra, the pace has eased a little. No less exiting though. Just entering a new and fascinating stage.

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  8. Congratulations Tony, well deserved. Well done to Marietta and Chris.

    A Tale From Bile County
    Part 7

    He could leave Saint here to supervise this clusterfuck. Go rescue his daughter and the other children. However, he knew he wouldn’t leave his old friend alone. He crossed the street.

    “So what’s next?” Saint asked.

    “Saddle up that mare of yours; we need to get to the dead centre of town before sunset.”

    “Oh, you mean the boneyard.”
    There was no warmth in Saints smile.

    “I’m willing to bet a bundle of cash there’s a couple of burials taking place there,” said Uttoxetter.

    Saint grimaced. A memory of tortured flesh and teeth rising through dark soil crossed his mind.

    ~To be continued~

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    1. I like the way this is developing, both story and character.

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    2. Don't know why Shaun but I love the word clusterfuck; says so much in just three syllables. You've really become comfortable with your characters and the writing is top drawer. That last paragraph has me desperate to read the next installment! :-)

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    3. Nice development and story as always Shaun, and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing where yourself and Uttoxetter take us

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    4. T echo what I said about Sandra's multi-part story, I now have to go back and read this from the beginning. The parts I've read have been riveting.

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    5. I continue to be impressed by how much you convey with so little. I am really enjoying this story, both in parts and as a whole.

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  9. A bit of a light-hearted effort from me this week as I'm in a playful mood. Hopefully this will put a smile on your faces :-)

    Reaping the rewards

    "How did I do?" he asked more eagerly than intended. A day under constant supervision had made him agitated. He was used to working autonomously.

    "Well, where shall I start," his counterpart looked down his clipboard, "how about theft?"

    "Theft? Of what?"

    "Cash. Those two coins from Mr Stefanopolous, how's he meant to pay the ferryman now?"

    "Thought it was a tip," he said huffily.

    "And Mrs Upminster?"

    "What, that old mare! Clean take."

    "She wasn't dead!"

    "Oh."

    "Oh, indeed. I have no choice but to…"

    He never finished his sentence. It was rare for Death to fail an appraisal.

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    1. Oh, yes - BIG smile, every time.

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    2. Nice, Phil. Very nice, indeed!

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    3. Excellent as always Phil and a nice humorous take on the words

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    4. I like it. Dark and humorous. Nice.

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    5. Ha! This was a lovely little bit of dark humor.

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    6. Ah, you can't argue with death. Foregone conclusion really. Bet he was a spoiled child always getting his own way. ;) Loved it Phil

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    7. I like the darkness and the humor of this tale! Death is never one to trick. Great story Phil :)

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  10. This one arrived fully-formed.

    The blacksmith's wife [part 21]

    He’d seen, he’d watched, eyes raging, as his brother had taken me - it had not been passive supervision which had rasped his throat.
    He’d refused a large amount of cash for a peaceable (on his part) hiring of my body (at a time when I might have been part-willing).
    But now, when my whole body crawls with sick revulsion, aches with the nightmare forcing of this man upon me, bears five-finger bruises in many tender places and a tooth almost out of place by the force with which I bit him … now he thinks blood matters more?

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    1. And now we go darker again! Lots of anger in this piece which you capture so, so well. I fancy that both brothers have something nasty waiting in their futures.

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    2. A powerful episode Sandra, particularly taken with ‘five finger bruises’ superb

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    3. The outrage and hurt is tone perfect in this. I am raging with her, for her. I can't wait to see where this goes.

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    4. I can only echo the other comments here Sandra, and enjoy the continuing excitement.

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  12. Congrats to Anthony, Marietta and Chris. Well done!

    One Punch Johnny

    “He’s having a ‘mare!”

    “Give him a minute.”

    The cash sat in two piles on the table in front of them.

    “Ha! He’s a joke. Where’d you find him?”

    “Just watch.”

    In the roped off ‘ring’ Johnny Jordan stood toe to toe with a man six inches taller and a stone heavier. There was never a ref’, just a punter who offered to supervise.

    “It’s not looking good for your boy.”

    “Just wait. You’ll eat...”

    The crowd roared.

    “...your words. Never judge a book, and all that.”

    “I don’t believe it.”

    “They don’t call him ‘One Punch Johnny’ for nothing.”

    ~End~

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    1. Dave, this made me chuckle. As always your dialogue is superb and you create characters with such nonchalence that you bring a green streak of envy up from my deepest depths every time. Champion stuff!

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    2. Nice clean story, as a reader you get everything you need from the 100 words, well done.

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    3. Should've guessed from the title what was coming, but I was so taken in with the build-up that I didn't - nice indeed.

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    4. You've created great atmosphere with the bare description and rich dialogue. This is just fabulous.

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    5. Nice dialogue David, a pleasure to read.

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    6. The last line sounds so proudly spoken in my head. I really liked your story David.

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  13. so I said, come on, Rich, help me here! I can't not enter this week! He said, 'I already told you the magician, get writing!' so I did. I don't fully understand it, yet, I feel he is saying an awful lot in the 100 words, observations on life? Whatever, this is Rich's entry for this week, via my fingers and mind. When it is posted, I will go comment on the outstanding entries so far submitted for this exciting challenge.

    Through a glass darkly

    The magician stands waiting, his hands raised. From his fingers flows a river of cash, catch it if you can; catch it and hold it. Watch as it turns to blood. Ask yourself if this a nightmare, are you dream walking or awake? Eyes can see that which is not there as much as that which is. Cameras do lie. Nothing is as it seems. The neighbor you like is a serial killer at night. The job you have is transient. The love you have is incidental.
    The magician supervises your insanity as it takes hold.
    Beware the false illusions.

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    1. Antonia, this is mesmerising! It has such a poetic quality to it and the blurring of reality and fantasy is wonderful. Love it, love it, love it!

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    2. This is a sleght of words, sleight of mind piece for sure. I especially like the repetition of 'catch' along with cash and watch and, by a whisper, the penultimate sentence, but it is all superb.

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    3. This is quite amazing! Looking through a kaleidoscope of illusions to see the two faces of Janus, of life and not know which is real and which is not. Such is the magicians trade.

      Wonderfull story.

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    4. Oh, this gave me a shiver. The idea that free will is illusion always chills me. The language is lush and compelling. Beautiful.

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    5. Spooky tones Antonia.
      Very disconcerting.

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  14. Ok, here goes...
    David, love it - dare I say this, brilliant *punch* line...
    Sandra, keeping the good stuff going!
    Phil, lovely twist there!
    Shaun, the serial continues to hold my interest
    Rebecca, perfect piece there.
    Marietta, thanks for the compliment and description! My partner thinks I am a mystery and his friend does not know what to make of me at all...
    Dex, that is a superb piece with a chilling last line.
    Brilliant stuff, all of you!

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  15. Congratulations to Anthony, Marietta and Chris all well deserved winners, it’s getting very tough in here, the standard seems to be getting higher and higher each week.

    Magic Beans

    ‘Sold the mare for a sack o’ beans, not cash!!’ screamed the man.

    ‘Yeah, but…’

    ‘No buts boy, you gone an’ fucked up again!!’

    The man slowly, almost teasingly unbuckles his belt.

    ‘Should’ve been there supervising. ‘Can’t educate pork’ that’s what my Daddy always said. An’ if it takes a beating to get some sense into that thick skull of yours, so be it boy.’

    The man staggers backwards as the knife bites cleanly through his ribs and stills his heart.

    ‘Yeah, but I also got that there knife, an’ like I told you before I ain’t your fuckin boy.’

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    1. Would that fairy stories had been like that when I was growing up - and you've upped the standard yet further with this, Nick.

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    2. black fairy stories, yes. I recently edited an anthology of Grim Fairy Tales, some were outright stark and horrific and wonderful. This is very very good, Nick, if I do a second anthology of Grim Fairy Tales (it has been requested by writers) I will invite you in!

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    3. I've long been a fan of dark fairy tales, and this is a great addition. I'd say the boy made a very clever deal. Wickedly satisfying, this.

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    4. Nick, loved it. Favourite line,‘Can’t educate pork’ that’s what my Daddy always said. ;) Perfect.

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    5. More Mack (the knife) and the Beanstalk this one Nick. Great dialogue, lots of vitriol from both sides and such a brilliant ending. A black fairy tale to whisper in the darkness.

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    6. Love dark fairy tales! This is a brilliant one!

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    7. Thank you to everybody for your kind words they mean a lot. I've not been at this long and your feenback gives me a huge amount of encouragement.

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  16. Congrats to the winners! Well deserved for those brilliant stories!

    I came up with two pieces for this week, but coulnd't decide between them so I hope you don't mind me offering two drabbles instead of one.

    Hope you'll like and have an enjoyable read!


    The Supervisor


    There was a storm coming.

    But there is always a storm coming ain’t that right?

    Alas this one was different. Bigger.

    It needed special supervision.

    Jackson put the cigarette back on his lips.

    He observed silently.

    Blackness was descending from the sky, gulping small towns and large cities, shutting their lights off, inviting insecurity and fear to dine with their citizens.

    It was time to go.

    Jackson got in his Dodge. He fancied it more than his old mare.

    He turned on the radio and drove towards the thundering concerto of the End under the rusty voice of J. Cash.

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    1. Feels to me like Jackson is one of the four horsemen, or perhaps just an acolyte. You painted a grim but gorgeous picture.

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    2. This is my favorite of your two offerings.
      And not just because I believe that the end times must come with a Johnny Cash sound track. ;)

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    3. What a great apocalytic scene you paint for us here Cindy. I can see the storm clouds brewing, crackling, but is there some kind of intelligence/evil festering inside them? I think that Jackson is in for one hell of a fight.

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  18. Oops..net crashed..
    My second offer to the alter of Predictions:

    Hear the Whisperer


    Look at her dance.

    Come on look, don’t be shy. She wants your attention.

    You are her supervisor tonight.

    Imagine you taste those red lips, and feel the blood rush through her; imagine caressing her tin white neck with whispers until she begs for more and you hold her tight while you make love.

    You’d like that won’t you?

    To have her.

    Ha-ha…

    You can’t my friend, even if you shower her in cash.

    That’s why you punish her with guilty eyes, yes?

    I say, give that mare a lesson.

    Tear the little ballerina for not loving you!

    DO IT!

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    1. thanks for the good words, Cindy!
      not sure which of these I like best, the first one conjures images that you can play with, this is more brutal and sharp, both have a lot going for them.

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    2. Both pieces have a bleakness about them, the second more than the first, which makes me avert my mind to some extent.

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    3. This one reads like a road map for a psychopath - gut-clenchingly disturbing and yet strangely compelling.

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    4. Hello Cindy,

      Oh those voices how they whisper. ;) Nice work.

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    5. Very disturbing Cindy. I can hear the malicious words whispered with such venom, calling out for violence. This builds slowly throughout, a menacing crescendo, until the thundering climax of those last two words.

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  19. I couldn't resist another go. This is not part of the serial, which will be obvious momentarily.

    Wager

    “Five dollars!” Dan’l whistled. “What you gonna do with it, Kitsy?”

    “Bet on Joe-bee’s mare.”

    “That nag can’t win.”

    “Can too, and I’m gonna build my fortune off this race!”

    Twenty-five years later, Kitsy sat in her luxury box, remembering. One foray through the stables, unsupervised, had ensured her lifelong taste for winning. The black locust powder had cost a dollar and a handshake with a man whose accent made him hard to understand.

    Most of the horses had lived. She had no regrets.

    Twenty-five hours later, Kitsy Malone was found dead, a horseshoe-shaped hole where her heart should’ve been.

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    1. "The black locust powder had cost a dollar and a handshake with a man whose accent made him hard to understand." - another of your wonderfully effective sentences, amidst so many others.

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    2. oh nasty one here, loved it. Superb images.

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    3. I like it RR, the price of greed payed in full.

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    4. Crap! Just realized in editing, I eliminated "cash." This entry does not qualify. Still had fun writing it, though.

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    5. Love the idea of almost a horse mafia exacting revenge on Kitsy. Wonder if they leave human heads on pillows? Dark and fantastical all at the same time. Really enjoyed this.

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    6. Pay-back may come late but it always comes. Very dark and chilling story. I like what Phil said - "horse mafia" sounds pretty cool.

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  20. OK maybe i'm feeling a bit more whimsical this week.

    Cleanup in Aisle Six Six Six!

    They sit in lines on the shelves, according to their sin; the gluttons with the sweet treats and biscuits, the lustful in the Frozen Foods, the slothful in the DVD aisle. They wait, uncomfortably stacked, until chosen by some Imp, or Boggart or Mare, before being thrown into the mesh baskets and taken to the checkouts, where their new owners fumble for loose cash or demand to speak to supervisors.

    That night they are disposed of, collected, and stacked back on the shelves.

    There is a hell for everyone. This is for those who can’t use self-service checkouts in Tesco.

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    1. So it WAS you stood behind me, grumbling while I fumbled!

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    2. This gave me a chuckle. I love the idea of different hells, tailor-made for small failures instead of one big hell for primary sins. I can think of several places I might end up.

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    3. very funny and utterly surreal, wonderful!

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    4. Nice one Matt;)

      I am sure there is now a section in hell full of self service checkouts.

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    5. What a great entry this is Matt. Love the attention to detail of who is in which aisle based on their sins. Wonderful bit of social commentary (what else would I expect from you!) which had me smirking throughout. Wishing this was on a two for one deal. :-)

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    6. Even if a Tesco does not exist here, I too have observed, in other places similar to Tesco, the ritual of shopping you describe so vividly. Very nice entry indeed Matt.

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  21. And just for Cindy and Shaun (and maybe a few others) I'll put Johnny Cash on the CD player as I bring the party to a close for another week. As always, hang out and comment on the stories above but no more entries this week. Thanks to everyone who has entered this week, hope you had fun with the words. I'm off to make my judgements (gosh, that sounds ominous) and will have the winners posted up for tomorrow morning.

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