Friday, 29 June 2012

The Prediction - an eye for an eye

This week I've launched something which people might like to partake in called the Trading Post. Basically, a chance for people to share their skills with each other in a supportive manner. Fancy someone proofreading your novel for you, can you offer them some marketing skills or website development? Hopefully you get the gist but more details in the post below this one and I hope that it is something which works well.

Ok, on to the winners for this week. Slightly less entries than usual but the quality was as high as ever. And so hearty congratulations then to my winner who is.....

... William Davoll with Consort.  William - I thought that this was horror in the vein of the Hammer films of the sixties and seventies. Through your words we experience all the horrors of this demonic birthing and the twist of who the host is was excellently played. As John said, incredibly 'horrorful'.

And speaking of John Xero, he is my runner-up this week with Homesick. John - really loved the way you painted the scene in Homesick with such ease. A demonic slob slumped with boredom dreaming of a better existence. Great fun!

As always, my thanks to everyone for playing and congrats to William and John. Great entries from all.

The air is tense around me, the heat is rising and I think the source is the ancient tome straining at its chain in the corner. I think its hungry. Before I feed it fresh treats from the butcher, let me wrestle some words from its depths. And here they are:
  • Tacky
  • Pension 
  • Bewitch

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 5 July to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 6 July 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!

Let me get stuck into your tales yet again this week.....

84 comments:

  1. Congratulations, William and John, two outstanding pieces from the week!
    Football, tennis, strange weather, everyone grabbing bits of sunshine when they can, no doubt stopped a few people entering. More this week, with luck!
    good words, Phil, the tome has done us proud - like, giving us a nightmare of concocting a story around them! they are interesting ... will go ponder. Or ask Rich. That might be easier...
    I have a Confederate soldier around me at the moment, insisting The South Will Rise Again. Hell, I said, I pray not... his anger, his hatred needs winding down a tad. They come full of their angst - I am the official Agony Aunt, I think! I might be busy with this young man for a few days. If you see what I mean...

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  2. Congratulations to William on a win very much deserved. I'm still shuddering over that. Kudos as well to John for his dread-inspiring tale. Well done, gentlemen!

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  3. Congratulations, William. Very happy to be runner up to a flash like that, one of the best entries I've ever read, I think. =)

    And thanks, Phil, and everyone! =)

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  4. Congratulations John, I loved homesick, a great story, with great imagery. I'm honoured to be in such fine company each week, and always look forward to reading the entries.

    As for me, thanks for all the kind comments, I'm cockahoop. I expect BBC sussex will report sightings of a lunatic dressed in black who appeared on the roof top of a municipal building by the sea, shrieking like a mad man before disappearing back inside.

    Now to this weeks words, an interesting Ménage à trois.

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  5. Stand-Off

    I glanced from the thing that looked too much like me to the bar, now tacky with blood and alcohol.

    “No worries,” it said, “The drunks are bewitched.”

    My jaw clenched. “I don’t make deals with monsters.”

    It chuckled. “Not even yourself? Or the angry man beside you?”

    “He’s not like me.”

    “No one is, so they all want to kill you. Even him.”

    Nate started to protest.

    I held up my hand. “Him, I’d allow.”

    “Let him go. He can marry, breed, retire with a fat pension.”

    “Bite me,” Nate snarled.

    “First, I’ll have a word with my son.”

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    1. Seamlessly-continuing episode, well up to standard and thoroughly enjoyable.

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    2. This carries on beautifully from the last installment and I love the interplay with the dialogue here. And then BOOM with that last line which made my jaw drop; definitely didn't see that coming. Hurry up and get the next segment written!

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    3. Great dialogue RR Kovar,I am enjoying, reading, this and thinking I need to go to your blog and read all you have of this series.

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    4. great one, Rebecca, smooth dialogue and lots of images!

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    5. Hi Rebecca, I loved the dialogue, but also loved how the dialogue built the image in my mind, reminded me of a place I frequented in my singleton days.

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    6. As everyone's already said, great continuation of the story, Rebecca. Packs a lot of punch.

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  6. Well done to both William and John - quality writing every time. Less so to The Book for making things exceptionally difficult this week!

    The blacksmith's wife [part 23]

    ‘For all he’s a one-legged, pensioned-off foot-soldier, the Constable knew what best to do, organised a line of buckets to the pump. It’s better than it looks.’
    Gabriel had been relieved to see me, I at his survival. Brick fireplace and chimney were undamaged, the rest a blackened lath-and-plaster-tacky, straw-strewn mess.
    ‘Your tools?’
    ‘Mostly salvaged.’
    ‘Mathias?’
    ‘Taken. This’ (he gestured) ‘revenge for what they saw as sanctuary.’
    ‘They?’
    ‘Impossible to know. The message?’
    ‘Not delivered.’
    ‘Then his life is forfeit.’
    ‘As mine when, finding letters missing, they return for me.’
    ‘He’ll likely claim bewitchment.’
    ‘Then I must make it so.’

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    1. I had a word with the book about the words this week and it told me where to go!!! Blooming cheek of the thing :-)

      Even with the challenging words this week Sandra you've done us proud as always. So Gabriel survived the inferno but what of his brother, who has taken the scoundrel? I really like the way that this is broadening out and bringing in new characters and threats. I wonder if you ever envisaged it getting this far when you started out writing with episode 1 all those months ago.

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    2. Thanks Phil - I think writing The blacksmith's wife has brought it home to me more than anything else that I have serialisation in my blood; I've long known that I'm a reactive sort of person and need the prompts to prod me into production!

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    4. Let's have another go.Another great episode Sandra, I agree with you about the prompts, magic words.;)

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    5. serialisation is not easy - if you can do it - and this proves you can, Sandra, seamlessly, too, then stay with it!

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    6. Sandra, I'm loving this series. I love how you lead the reader by the hand into the world you've created, and how strong the voice of each character is, and how well observed your continuity is linking each episode.

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    7. I love the twists and turns of this series. Looks like the stakes have been raised. The last line is fabulous.

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    8. I think the addition of the mysterious message has injected a great new hook into this series, Sandra. Another strong episode. =)

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  7. I would like to apologise for not commenting last week. I have no idea where the time went. Congratulations to William Davoll and John Xero. I will sneak in and read all the entries for last week now.

    A Tale From Bile County
    Part 9

    Uttoxeter drew brass binoculars from his saddlebags, scanned the terraces.

    “I see them, Saint, two diggers, a woman, a preacher man.”

    “That’ll be Pastor Clyde and his wife, zealots both.”

    “The diggers?”

    “Pension men, paid by the town council.”

    Uttoxeter’s neck tingled. A bewitching signal danced along his spine. Rusty hinges creaked. He cried a warning, drew a knife.

    A fiery discharge bloomed from the Tabernacle door.

    The man’s throat opened in a tacky red ribbon even as he tried to chamber another round. His eyes reflected his dying thought. It ain’t natural that a man can move so fast.

    ~To be continued~

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    1. You just keep getting better with each subsequent episode Shaun, good dialogue,again.

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    2. Nice Shaun, very nice. A deceptively slow start this week, carrying on from the atmospheric build of last week, and then hitting us from out of nowhere with some terrific action. And that last hint about Uttoexeter - 'it ain't natural....'

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    3. superb instalment, building the atmosphere.

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    4. A great installment Shaun, I particularly enjoyed the line "A fiery discharge bloomed from the Tabernacle door" Congratulations on "Jacks writing" by the way

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    5. Your prose is so descriptive and layered it makes each of the pieces of this story feel so much longer than 100 words. The pace is fast, but the reveals slow. That's true magic.

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    6. I agree with Phil, Sean, this starts off casual and explodes into action! Like Uttoxeter himself... ;)

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  8. Congratulations to both William and John on last weeks well deserved wins.

    Here’s my entry for this week


    Pension Day Blues

    He surveyed the tacky façade of The Wizard and Witches Work and Pension Department building.

    So this is what he had been reduced to - 487 years on the job, 3 years short of official retirement age and finally forced out by the Upper Council.

    His eyes were drawn to a hastily pinned piece of parchment on the door

    ‘Bewitching Strictly Prohibited - Counter Curses in Operation’

    Did they really think he would take this lying down, beaten like a dog and forced into exile?

    He felt the magic surge through him; finally he was ready to collect his dues.

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    1. So original, and funny - I loved this Nick which, with Rebecca and Shaun provides as good an illustration as ever there was of the breadth of imagination amongst Predictioneers.

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    2. Don't mess with the workers especially when they had a few tricks (literally) up their sleeves. Really enjoyed this Nick, thought it had a nice sense of humour with just the right level of menace at the end. Every time you enter you come up with something fresh; do keep them coming!

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    3. I'm intrigued by this Nick, it hints of further development.
      Dare I mention Harry Potter. Perhaps not. Why was the note pinned hastily? Why the mention of exile? Good hooks.

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    4. oh yes, potential here for all sorts!

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    5. Nick I loved this piece and the idea of the fantasy world having their own version of welfare state, I enjoyed muchly. This idea has got some legs, go with it.

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    6. I'd very much like to see the shape his revenge takes. There is so much about this idea that appeals. I agree with the others; this one could expand exponentially.

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    7. Whoops, looks like I went down a similar route to you, Nick. I wasn't peering over your shoulder, honest! ;)

      I like this, I'm guessing there was good reason they didn't just wait the few years till he was officially out. As a few others have said, this could grow if you wanted it to. =)

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  9. Evening everyone, hope that your glasses are topped up and you're helping yourselves to the nibbles. But maybe you'll want to think twice about snacking after you've read my entry this week.

    Hope it doesn't turn too many stomachs!

    Meals on wheels

    The smell is like Murray Mints left on a windowsill in the midday sun. Sweet and sickly, bringing fond memories of visits with grandparents.

    She was last on my list. I did all the pensioners hereabouts, Mr Jacobs with his dirty jokes, dotty old Beryl who thinks I'm her son, but she was new.

    Such a lovely old dear, blue rinse hair and lily of the valley perfume. And that bewitching smile which enchanted me.

    Now all I smell is Murray Mints as the bodies, mine included, my skin tacky with decay, lie piled up, festering in her basement larder.

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    1. Methinks you should be worrying about getting sued by Mr Murray too ... however did you think up that particular smell to go with the perfume? ... and the final kick was, yes, a kick indeed.

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    2. Thanks Sandra. The smell came to me from watching David Blaine do his not eating thing a few years back. The body goes into ketosis and basically starts breaking down. He described the taste as being like pear drops so I elaborated as I associate Murray Mints with old peeps :-)

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    3. That's as good an explanation as any I've heard for why I can't stand pear drops ... ;-)

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    4. Nice one Phil. Love the Murray mint association. Old people smells. Yes. Dry Lavender in old tights, placed in wardrobes. Smelling salts, Izal toilet paper. Coal. Firelighters...damn, memory overload

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    5. funny and chilling at the same time!

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    6. Phil, Pop will eat its self claimed there were "16 different flavours of hell" I hope I don't get the Murray mint one.
      A brilliant idea executed equally brilliantly with the surprise at the end.

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    7. Delightfully macabre! What really gets me is the happy tone. Such pleasure from carnage, even after the price is paid.

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    8. Oh, nice twist, Phil! I normally see them coming, but I really thought he was going to be the killer. =)

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  10. Greetings all. I'm ravenways, or Lolly, if you prefer. RRKovar and I are best buds, and currently collaborating on a Seth and Nate story. Hence, my sudden appearance here, and my use of the same characters. Didn't want anybody to think I was macking on her ideas for my own nefarious purposes. *grin* And so without further...

    Early On.


    “There’s no pension, you know…” Nate said as Seth, so much younger than he, stared up at him defiantly.

    “…no one believes you, even when the thing you just saved them from is bleeding onto their nice carpet. These things will bewitch you, curse you… kill you. This life is hard, Seth. It hurts, and it never ends, until you do.”

    Seth stood, the hatchet he’d grabbed in terror held loosely at his side, its handle tacky with drying blood.”

    “I’m in, Nate.”

    They looked at the thing on the floor.

    “You’re right, though. It really was a nice carpet.”

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    1. And you have the same lovely grasp and flow of the language too ... nice to think we might get a double dose of Seth and Nate on a regular basis.

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    2. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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    3. Hello Lolly, nice to see you here and a well written episode to begin. Look forward to more.

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    4. Thank you, Shaun. I'm very much looking forward to hanging out here with all of you!

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    5. Hi Lolly, nice to see you and especially as you bring such a well written trinket with you. It occured to me there's money to be made wandering around behind us folks, cleaning up after us.

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    6. The last line made me laugh. I so love seeing things from Nate's perspective. Also, the hatchet made me nostalgic for our days spent in company. Nicely played.

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    7. Nate and Seth, the early years! ;) I enjoyed this, Lolly, has some power to it, and a good sense of humour. =)

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    8. Hi Lolly, welcome to The Prediction here at Phlambler's World, glad to have you on board.


      Love the dialogue and the building of the back history to Nate and Seth plus a wonderfully playful last line about the carpet which made me chuckle :-) Look forward to reading more of your work and do feel free to comment on everyone else's pieces.

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    9. I cannot thank you all enough, for making me feel so welcome and for all the tasty feedback!

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  11. good to have you here, Lolly, and a great piece of all out action for us to read!

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  12. So far, nothing! no inspiration from either of my horror writers, or from me. Still got 24 hours to go... they could come up with something yet.

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  13. For all my complaints about this week's prompts, another episode has sprung forth.

    The blacksmith's wife [part 24]

    ‘Bewitching? Is that something you can do?’
    ‘If necessary, aye, but it’s a skill I rarely use … my mother said it’d more likely end in death than in a pension, given Hopkins witch-burnings in Bury.’
    ‘And did you use such tricks on me?’
    ‘Nay,’ I smiled. ‘T’was never needed, the honey of my body was sufficient tacky for you to stay adhered …’
    ‘As it was for others, among whom was my brother. Despite all, I cannot forget he shares my blood …’
    ‘And lets it too!’
    ‘Enough. Time to re-build and ensure you’re kept from vengeful harm.’

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    1. Sandra, another fine morsel in the series, this one has a playful heart, but with a hint of something building.

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    2. Apologies apostrophe police - Hopkins should, of course, be Hopkins' - Matthew Hopkins to be exact, Witchfinder General, bringing some 120 women to trial in Bury St. Edmunds in 1645.

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    3. Oh, where do I start with the love? honey of my body is such a lush phrase, and her outrage over the bloodletting was pitch-perfect. I continue to be enthralled.

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    4. That 'honey of my body' line is excellent, Sandra. Never knew that about Bury, it wasn't the kind of thing they taught us there, surprisingly... ;)

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    5. Oooooh, now I'm intrigued about this bewitching ability of hers and just what she's going to use if for in the future. For someone who was struggling with the words this week Sandra, you've come out with two cracking pieces!

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  14. Alas time has been my master this week, or rather the lack of it. I'm feeling like Tarzan, in the episode where they staked him out on an Ant hill, then tied him to a team of horses pulling in opposite directions, then they set fire to the ant hill, so unless a miracle happens, I don't think I'll get one in this week.

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  15. I couldn't help myself. This one sprang into my head this morning, and I thought it best to let the subject have his way...

    Cross-Step

    At a quaint little pension in the south of France
    the prince of midnight came to dance.
    Thin and tall, with eyes pure black,
    he waltzed the fine young ladies back
    into a room with curtains drawn
    bewitching them with siren song
    of money and status, fame and prestige.
    Not a one of them noticed, down on their knees,
    the sickly sweet smell that clung to his skin
    or the roiling darkness he stirred within,
    nor tell-tale plop from the slow drip of blood
    that came from the ceiling, tacky above
    with the corpses of those
    he would take below.

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    1. Very cool, Rebecca, and impressive. I like the juxtaposition of above and below in the last few lines.

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    2. I love the way the words rolled and turned like the dancing ladies themselves. I enjoyed that a lot.

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    3. And we have out first bit of poetry since The Prediction moved over here and what a cracking piece it is :-)

      Rebecca, this had a lovely feel to it, so playful throughout and then that delicious ending. Superb!

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  16. Couldn't help yourself eh? I can almost imagine you dancing round the room in your own prvate cross-step in joy at this taking form.
    Truly laugh out loud gloriousness!

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  17. Crazy week this week, with my blog's anniversary and my book launching. I wasn't sure I'd get something out but... I give you...

    Crone

    When I think what I did for this country...

    Of course, they don’t like to talk about magic, officially; the things we did in the wars, in secret. We saved this country from the worst of Nazi death magic and what has it come to?

    These tacky little skinheads trying to steal my pension, with their filthy mouths and hungry switchblades.

    I’ll show them a real curse. I’ll bewitch their blades right up their backsides. And when they’re done bleeding out, I’ll animate their corpses. I could do with a hand on the allotment, I’m not getting any younger.

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    1. A wholly practical solution to the problem of street crime ... so long as the bankers or the politicians don't get hold of it.
      'I’ll bewitch their blades right up their backsides' - good for a T shirt.

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    2. John I love this, absolutely cracking idea told brilliantly. Congrats on the book launch by the way.

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    3. Two stories in one here John with that back history about the war effort which I think would make an amazing novel in itself.

      I thought that the phrase 'I'll show them a real curse' was the most terrifying part of this tale as I could hear the vehemence and intent that it was said with knowing that the threat could be delivered upon.

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    4. Congrats on the book launching. Is it out or in the process of launching? Do feel free to plug it on here John.

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  18. Congratulations on your book launch! So good of you to give us a story, too.

    These tacky little skinheads trying to steal my pension, with their filthy mouths and hungry switchblades. There's such derision and dismissal inherent in that line. I love that she'd put them to use, after.

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    1. I love this, I really do, not a word out of place.

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  19. no inspiration, Rich tried several yesterday, nothing worked, we deleted them all. So this week the book has won, defeated us both. Bela joined in, still nothing even though we were doing 'tacky blood' and all sorts. What good are horror writers who can't come up with horror around three words, I ask you...
    Wonderful reads, all of you have done fine work this week. I hope to play next week, the tome and the horror writers permitting. I am 12000 words into the life of Katherine of Aragon, that could be one reason for the inability to think modern, as it were.

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  20. with Just moments to spare

    Rough Cut

    Arthur was 58, but with dyed grey hair, he passed for 70, a useful trait when your key source of income is your girlfriend’s pension. Those that knew called him tacky. “They’re my cheque book brides” he’d regale, with a twinkle in his eye, sinking another Gin Job. When her money ran drier than Jenever, he’d move on to the next. Until he met his match, Valerie didn’t bewitch him, her pensioner bling, and pert body, beat all his defences. His hardened heart turned out too frail to supply her rampant physical demands, or was it her rough cut Viagra.

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    1. Ha! 'rough cut Viagra' eh?

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    2. Hoping that this is a tale and not some nefarious plans you have for your future income William ;-)

      Loved the cheeky nature of this and the way it played out at the end, with Valerie poisoning the dear chap (I have got that right, haven't I) was a delight. So glad that you were able to sneak this in under the wire.

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    3. Arthur is a cameo character in a black comedy novella I've been working on. He's a loveable rogue really.

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  21. Just in under the wire William as I close the party for another week.

    No more entries everyone and thanks, as always, to those who have delighted us with their tales. I'm off to comment and judge with the winner announced tomorrow.

    Nighty, night :-)

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