Friday, 1 June 2012

The Prediction - jubilant celebrations

What with the gorgeous weather and the forthcoming four day weekend (UK only - sorry international friends) I could have forgiven people for sitting back and relaxing. But I'm glad you didn't with yet more cracking entries for last week's Prediction.

So, I've put on my judge's wig, and a mighty fine wig it is I must say, whilst I've scrutinised the offering from last week. Tough as ever but I have come to a decision.

I have two winners this week as I have been flicking between the two stories for a good twenty minutes now and just cannot separate them in my mind.

My first winner is newcomer Dex with his entry The Killing Field. Dex - I could envisage myself crouched down there in the cornfield with Peter as the reaper stalked him in the moonlight. Incredibly atmospheric and superbly written.

My second winner is the originator of The Prediction Lily Childs with her second entry of the week Lachrymosa. Lily - this was pitch perfect throughout and showed that horror can truly exist in the subtlest of writing with one word revealing so much at the end.

An honourable mention to John Xero as runner-up this week with Rewrite. John - this was such an imaginative piece of writing which blew me away as a concept. Top drawer.

So congrats to Dex, Lily and John, and thanks to everyone else for bringing such great tales and for supporting each other with your comments.

So, with some extra days off work to play with what words will we have to delight us? The great book has taken a regal air this evening and the 'ink' has turned from red to blue. And by royal command here are our trio of words:
  • Averse
  • Ink 
  • Trunk 
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 7 June to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 8 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!

Let's see what tales we can pack in this week.....

95 comments:

  1. Can't - and wouldn't want to - argue with any of those three Phil! Hearty congratulations to Dex, Lily and John.
    And now away to ponder on averse, ink and trunk.

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  2. Congratulations Dex, Lily and John!

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  3. Woo hoo! I (jointly) won The Prediction! Thank you so much Phil; now I know how it feels :-) Many congratulations Dex and very well done John.

    Skips away with a silly grin.....

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  4. Thank you so much! That was a lot of fun and I'm grinning like a madman...

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  5. A really quick post from me as we are of to wildest darkest West Wales for the week. Congratulations to last weeks winners and here's this weeks entry

    The Ritual

    ‘Now you knows I ain’t averse to the old ways Gaffer, but tell me why again?’

    ‘Heaven be hallowed boy! How many years we been at this an’ how many times I gotta tell you. The blood, well you’re blood was blessed by the red priest when you was a little ‘un. I bleeds you every year then we ink the tree trunks with the blood eye – see. Keeps the crops growing nice and keeps them that don’t belong in yonder woods. Now boy, ‘ave you got it’

    ‘Yeah, but do you ‘ave to take so bloody much!’

    ‘Boyyyyy!!!’

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    1. This was definitely a Devonian accent, at a place called Much Girning in the Marsh I trow. Brilliant take on the words (and I am ashamed I never thought of tree trunks!)

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    2. Ah Nick, I'm torn between hearing a West Country accent and Harold and his father in Steptoe and Son as Harry H Corbett's voice pleads, "..but do you 'ave to take so bloody much!" Loved that this turned into a comedic piece at the end and nicely written.

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    3. Ha! A horror set-up with a comedy turn. I can see several dark paths this story could take... =)

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    4. Good ol redneck religion. Nice. There is something creepy about em. Well done. I like the fact that how much is the boy's only complaint

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    5. For all I know where it's set, this could be Appalachia, too. I love that the ritual of performing father and son is as strong as the magic it creates.

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    6. Nice work Nick.

      I love the rural nature of this an the old religion idea.
      I was also minded of Hancock's blood donor sketch.

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  6. congratulations, winners! it does feel good, doesn't it?? I'm working hard at getting to that dizzying dazzling pinnacle again in about ten years' time...
    Good choices, Phil, outstanding writing there.

    Nick, straight in with the gore, I see!! Good one!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Gotta love it when you post something and then catch a grammatical mistake!

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  8. I feel like a broken record, but thank you again to everyone for the compliments and congrats to last week's other winners. It's certainly encouraging to feel all of that support!

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

    azure

    “I’m not averse to helping,” Beatrice said, “but he could have asked. Properly, I mean.”

    Anne nodded.

    “Can you hand me that parchment? And the ox-blood ink?” Anne complied and Beatrice placed them in the trunk with her other materials.

    “At least,” she continued, “he thought to offer us a boon for our troubles.”

    “Bee, please don’t.”

    “If Lucifer wants my aid, he can listen to me gripe about his poor manners ’til I’m blue in the face!”

    Beatrice’s body jerked and she reached for her neck, eyes wide.

    Her face turned azure as she began to gasp for breath.

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    Replies
    1. Never bitch about the devil, not even behind his back. I really like the casual dialogue in this and then, whammy, as the dark lord hears their griping. Nice piece of writing.

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    2. Thanks. It was a fun little piece to write. And I agree--never bitch about the devil. Tends to bite you in the ass.

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    3. Don't bitch at the devil is right Mr. Ambler. As one myself I know you never mess with my sister. I think/hope the girls have a few mean tricks up there sleeves.

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    4. I rather like that she was on first name terms with the devil, but maybe not a relationship you want to test the boundaries of... ;)

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    5. I think what I like best is that he did, in fact, turn her face blue.

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    6. DEX I enjoyed this very much, proves my Momma's point "If you ain't got nothin nice to say, keep it to yourself!"

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    7. Hello DEX. It is good to see you back again with another fine entry.

      I am left wondering what these two were helping the devil do.

      devil do, devil do do, Arrgh, stop that Shaun.

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    8. Thanks so much for the kind words. It was a lot of fun to write. :)

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  9. If you can't stand the heat ... Lucifer is obviously an over-sensitive kind of man ...

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    1. clever! very clever, leading us on and then bang! Nice one, Dex!

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  10. The blacksmith’s wife [part 17]

    I’d extricated sovereigns and well-hid papers, ink damp-smudged, before Gabriel returned home with his brother, his arms and trunk blood-bruised from more than falling off a horse. Face less pretty too.
    Unaverse to slander, he’d implied I’d satisfied until Gabriel threatened branding. He confined him tight-bound in the cellar, asking only ‘Did he lie?’ before we finally slept.
    To be hauled awake too soon to harsh-grained hands at throat and thigh and Gabriel’s eyes near-blind with blood, stifled roaring from behind the cloth which gagged him.
    But not so blind he did not see what his brother did to me

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    1. this gets gorier by the week! great instalment, Sandra!

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    2. Gosh Sandra, those last couple of paragraphs were tough to read and they had so much story layered into them. Excellent writing which makes me nervous to read what comes next.

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    3. Sandra, good job again. There is a whole lot gong on in that house. Yikes. What a story. Yay

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    4. Oh man, this gets nastier and nastier, Sandra! So the blacksmith can't tie knots, should have stuck to his trade and forged some manacles, strapped them on still hot...

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    5. Oh, damn. I'd hope she would escape that particular fate. Since she hasn't, I hope she finds good ways to violate him in return.

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    6. I love the line "Harsh grained hands" I could feel them. I also love how the last line Rhymes and makes it like a taunt to Gabriel. A fine job.

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    7. You pull it off week after week Sandra. I felt I was reading poetry with this entry. nice work.

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  11. Very well done Dex, Lily and John. I read and enjoyed everyone's stories. Having recovered from my operation I am now back at work so if I didn't and don't get time to comment, please accept my apologies.

    A Tale From Bile County
    Part 5


    Outside Uttoxeter’s motorcycle reclined on its stand, metal ticking as it cooled.

    “Every man needs a shovel.” He said admiring the old Harley Davidson.

    In the middle of Main Street was a discarded trunk its contents strewn across the hard packed dirt.

    On the butcher’s door a ragged piece of paper fluttered in the breeze. Uttoxetter crossed the street triggering dust devils with each footfall.

    The note said, ‘We bury our dead here. Don’t interfere.’ The ink was still wet.

    Uttoxeter thought they wouldn’t be averse to a change from tradition if they were told about the devil man contagion

    ~To be continued~

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    1. good one, Shaun. Watch your punctuation, though, still closing the sentence inside the " " with full stops instead of commas and a small letter, and missing a comma or two where it would have helped the flow a little, after trunk, after street, yes?
      Loving the storyline.

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    2. Some great descriptives in the story Shaun, just tiny little details, which bring this piece to life. Plus you've really mastered the cliffhanger in these tales as I am desperate to know what the devil man contagion is!!!

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    3. I keep getting echoes of High Noon from this, with bloody undertones ...

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    4. I love plague/sickness stories. So many places to go with them. The story gets better and better. Good job mr. Shaun.

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    5. Continues to intrigue, Shaun, and carry a flavour all of its own. The line with the note is particularly excellent.

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    6. This is a compelling tale, always something new revealed. I can't wait to see where you go with it.

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    7. Shaun, I'm really enjoying this series. The line "Outside Uttoxeter’s motorcycle reclined on its stand, metal ticking as it cooled." Is spot on I could see it, hear it, even smell it. Great job

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    8. I like the ominious line of "We bury our dead here, don't interfere", great attention grabber.

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  12. Congratulations to Dex, Lily and John! Brilliantly done!

    Great stories from everyone last week. I finally made it over and commented on everyone's a little while ago.

    Lovely words for this week... I do hope I get a chance to write something. The happy (oh, so bloody happy) task of planning and hosting a bachelorette party for a friend has befallen me and I am going to be rather busy this week... one doesn't just make a couple of phone calls for these things... much to do... much to do!

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  13. At last, I thought inspiration would not come this week!
    back with comments later, but this needed to be written - now I must hasten back to Katherine of Aragon and her arrival in this country. In the wet and the cold. After major storms in the Bay of Biscay. No wonder she wanted to go home!
    Tears of Blood

    The trunk awaits. They say you have to come with a genuine need, with tears, with longing, to leave your message in the hope of getting that which you desire.
    This piece of luggage, leather, wood and brass, is not averse to tears.
    Ancient it might be, but that which it contains is even older.
    I have a request, written in blue ink, to drop into the trunk. It is my wish list. My urgent longed-for desires. I have to believe it will respond. I trust my letter will not disturb the stake which holds down the body at the base.

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    1. Antonia, this is old, almost primeval, horror which put me partially in mind of Pandora's Box even with the differences in the tales. An ancient trunk granting hearts' desires but what is the price and whose body lies in its depths. Powerful stuff.

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    2. Of course one wonders what you will give up for those desires. There is a little itch to go and wake the thing staked at the bottom. Ooooh very good stuff. Thank you for sharing Madam Woodville.

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    3. What a curious thing. I like it. =)
      The trunk feels like one of those artefacts that sits at the crossroads of several stories. Come to think of it, they do say you should bury a vampire at crossroads, don't they...? ;)

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    4. Like John, I went immediately to the crossroads place. The staked body is a mystery I'd like to see revealed (but not for me personally; deals like that rarely work out well for the wisher).

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    5. Antonia The spirit of your piece has found it's way under my skin. A fine job as always.

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    6. Antonia,
      I heartily agree with all the comments here included.
      This story ran its course all to soon for me.

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  14. This is interesting - your mention of 'blue' ink has left me wondering when did other than black ink start to be used ...?
    And what a kick, the body at the base ...

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  15. Great to see people are finding the time to write even with the Jubilee celebrations going on. Or perhaps the good old British bank holiday weather (rain, rain and more rain) has provided ample opportunity to put pen to paper.

    Enjoy the festivities here and help yourself to a vol au vente or three. To pass the time, why not have a read of this little morsel which I have prepared for you:

    The Driven Mind

    I continually pray for a cure to my condition. Lord knows how many times I tried controlling my cravings, an interminable itch perpetually in need of scratching.

    I committed myself in '73, seeking a way to exorcise my demons. Initially they tried understanding me, placing splattered ink patterns before me to scrutinise my psyche. All it did was bring back memories. Aversion therapy subsequently failed to drive away the impure thoughts.

    I was eventually released as sane in '85. But if that is the case then why oh why is there blood seeping from the trunk of my car.

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    1. Yes...why. Very well done. I love this. Great character building in so few words. Yay Phil.

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    2. Oh nice, Phil, with a twist of black humour at the end there. If the professionals can't cure it, what hope does he have? What hope do we have, stuck out here with him...? ;)

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    3. I love the juxtaposition of the appeal to religion in the first paragraph and the evil men do in the last. And what kind of aversion therapy could be used to cure that?

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    4. Phil Your character is well drawn and has pulled me deep within to his world, he has a story to be told that must be heard.

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    5. Hey Phil,

      Care in the community? I think not. Another story begging to be expanded me thinks.

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  16. I especially love the poetry of 'splattered ink patterns before me to scrutinise my psyche' but the whole of it is beautifully-written and thoroughly entertaining.

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  17. Congratulations to Dex, Lily, and John! I am glad I found my way to the new home of the Prediction.

    Parlor Tricks

    I swore I would never get inked, was still swearing when Jax put needle to flesh.

    “Quitcher bitchin’.” Crumbs fell from Nate’s mouth. “You left your talisman in the trunk, which is now at the bottom of the lake with the rest of my friggin’ car.”

    “Not my fault,” I ground out.

    He swallowed everything but his outrage. “You were driving!”

    “And having my guts rearranged by hellspawn,” I spat. “It was averse to water, so I went off the bridge.”

    The protective tattoo sank beyond skin, settled deep, thrumming. I didn’t tell Nate how it burned my compromised soul.

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    1. Eeehhh. I need to know. That is a great story. Left me wanting more.

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    2. Awesome stuff R, and deep. Some great lines, like (as Sandra says) swallowing everything but his outrage. It has past and a wider world, so much bigger than the wordcount.

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    3. Oh boy this has to run some. I love the idea of the tattoo purging the compromised soul.

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    4. Hello RR,

      Yes, oh my. More of this please.

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    5. Glad you found the way RR and, oh man, this is some fantastically imaginative writing. Loving the way you slowly reveal the back story, loads of mythos built within, and then that superb supernatural ending. Like John, I think this expands beyond its 100 word confine and could become something bigger.

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    6. I like the reasoning for running the car into the lake. Nice matter of fact touch.

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  18. I'm glad you found your way here too - what a magically individual voice you have. Lots to like here but especially, for me, the swallowing of everything but his outrage.

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  19. Con-Carne-val

    The parade passed by, like a Smörgåsbord to satisfy my proclivities. A certain dish caught my eye, a blonde obese 50 something; all bingo wings and neon pink feathers. Later; she fell easily to my charms; none of my ménage were initially averse to me. I’d tripled the dose before black ink clouded her mind.

    I set to work, sculpting and feasting on her as I worked; I’m an Artist.
    She woke as I finalised her stitches; her cries muffled now that I’d sewn her arm to her face like a macabre fingered trunk. Behold you’re my first endangered elephant.

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    1. Damn ... read this on my way to bed, far more eventual nastiness than anticipated from the promising opening sentence ;-)

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    2. Damn fine story. Totally unexpected. Loved his hobby. One wonders what other exhibits he has created.

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    3. Going back from the end to re-read the first line is a treat, William, and stories that give more with a re-read are great things. Hints that she is not the first, a glimpse into a dark pastime, and that final line is twisted and creepy.

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    4. This creeped me out on a deep, deep level, and yet I cannot stop rereading it.

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    5. William,
      What can I say? So bizarre and freakish. Delightfully dark.
      You have a truly twisted sense of humour.;)

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    6. William, this is some wildly dark writing created with a vivid imagination. The opening is a delight and the end so shocking and unexpected. Most disturbing for me is that our victim was randomly chosen from the parading Smörgåsbord before him; what if she had been five minutes later down the crowd? Well done sir, a top piece of writing, just remind me never to come to the zoo with you!

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  20. In my hurry to post my drabble, I rather rudely forgot to congratulate last weeks winners.

    Congratulations to DEX, Lily and John

    DEX You deserve to grin like a Madman a fine piece of writing, you captured the fear of my dreams and got right under mt skin.

    Lily Childs par excellence, you caused me whiplash with the final word. Bravo!

    John Xero A clever and intelligent piece John, well crafted and observed. That had echoes of corporate life

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  21. Hi everyone. This is my first time here. I've been following Dex's writing, which led me here. I only hope my little entry lives up to what I have already read, and congratulations to last week's winners.

    It's Just a Job

    He was never averse to tracking down malcontent spirits, but he didn't like entering the target after such a vicious death. Vengeful spirits always occur within the first seven days of death. He knew ghosts cannot get physical with humans, but something unnerved him. Nevertheless, he inked the floor of the entranceway with the ancient symbols for protection and peace. As he turned around he heard a crash come from the room to his right. He peered in the darkness but saw nothing. He turned back just in time to see the vengeful's arm pierce the trunk of his body.

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    1. Yup - I'd say it hits the spot. Especially enjoyed the irresistible tug of the opening sentence.

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    2. Great...now I need to know what happens to our daring fella. Spirit hunting is dangerous stuff. It was a great building of the story and then boom a surprise. Good one.

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    3. Great work for your first go, Geraghty! =)

      A little world building, atmosphere, and a deadly twist. Nice. =)

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    4. Wonderful. This played out like a movie in my head. Now I want to know if it was really a ghost or some other kind of ghoulie whose rules are a bit different.

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    5. Geraghty I'm loving it, so glad you decided to come to the party.

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    6. Hello geraghty,

      Good to see new writers joining in and an excellent first entry.

      I look forward to reading more from you.

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    7. Welcome Geraghty, so nice of you to follow Dex to our little party here and particularly when you provide us with such a great offering.

      You paint the scene so well, subtle things like the direction of the crash, building a world that I could see so vividly when I shut my eyes. This is a ghost story which packs a punch and I'd love to see more of your writing here.

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    8. Thanks everyone for your all your comments. Funny, I didn't have an overriding story arch when I began, but after all your feedback I have some ideas.

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  22. Congratulations Dex and Lily. =) And thank you, Phil. =)


    Victim

    His footsteps followed me through moonlit back streets, to these woods.

    Now he shoves me against the trunk of an old oak, tearing my dress and exposing my swirling, black tattoos. I feel the ink crawl and he halts, confused, as the black writhes up his arms, flowing from my skin to his.

    Later, when he is nothing but pulp and bone, the twitching tendrils of the parasite slip painfully back to me. It burns incessantly, day and night.

    I have no aversion to watching that show of slow laceration. At least I still live, while I am useful.

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    1. My god John, you've done it again, in spades ... the imagery of the creeping tattoos is vivid, implying will on her part, but then to find it is not turns the whole tale around again.
      Awe-ful.

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    2. I love the idea of sentient tattoos, evil or not. Nice twist that she's a victim of this thing, as well, albeit a slightly more fortunate one.

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    3. John Woah! OMG! How great can you get in 100 words or less. John Xero Great, thats how. I loved it.

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    4. John, you lead us down one path, spin us around a ways and then just leave us reeling come the end. Shades of Venom from Spiderman here but much darker and primeval. But which is darker, the parasite within her or her lack of aversion to the skinning that happens before her? Chilling!

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  23. That's a brilliant and very cool idea John. I like it a lot.
    Sure hope my faded old tattoos don't get any ideas. :-)

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  24. Hey all. Go to the collabo story. I just put something in and I want to see what is next. Tag you are it. It is fun...yes?

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    1. So glad you decided to play Marietta. Yes all, do go and have a look (couple of posts above this week's Prediction). I've started a collaborative serial story for everyone to join in with. No word count on each entry, just what feels right to keep the story flowing. Let's see where it takes us. :-)

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  25. Morning kittens,
    John...excellent story. What an imaginative story. Excellent. Brings images of "Illustrated Man".

    Here is my attempt this week.

    "Fiend"

    "Riches, power; beautiful, lovely justice, hmm enemies will cower. Minions will repose upon your hand," moaned the grinning fiend. "Let me in, we will bleed this land," his broken lips wantonly sighed. Martina sat sweetly sewing atop her bedside trunk, pink robe fastened. Tapping her foot she sang brightly. “Lay down my burdens,” she chirped. At last, with tempered exasperation, she stared into the inky eyes of her visitor. "I have no aversion to company mister but you are not welcome," she grabbed her broom. "Git, Git now, don't you make me come out there," Marty headed for the door.

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  26. I like this a lot, such a fun tale with Martina firmly in control of proceedings. Strangely makes me want to know more about her backstory than his as I sense that she already has an untapped wealth of power within her in spite of what Marty might offer. :-)

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  27. Oh my, oh my, is that the time! I was so busy commenting on all the wonderful treats brought my way that I forgot to close the party down for another week (what a killjoy I am!!!). Please, no more presents this week but stay a while and chat with friends, maybe let them know what you thought of their tales. In the meantime I am off to judge the best of the best this week before bringing forth new words tomorrow; I may be a while!

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