Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Prediction - let the games begin!

Oh, oh, oh! The Olympics are here. The Olympics are here!!! A fortnight of the world's finest coming together to compete for glory in honour of the ancient gods. So let us pay homage to the ancient gods here on this week's Prediction challenge and see what Herculean acts of writing can be achieved over the 100 words dash!
 
Before I fire my starter's pistol though, let me tell you who is on the podium this week.
 
My gold medalist this week is Matt Farr with Exhibit F - Note Found Next To First Body. Matt - I thought that this was an incredibly well written piece which drew us into the mind of the killer. A tale which tells us the dangers of letting obsession become all consuming with a killer final line. Superb.
 
My silver medallist is the ever elegant Lily Childs with 'untitled'.  Lily - there was just something wonderfully mystical about this piece. There's a lovely ambiguity to the situation which intrigued me greatly, making me read those delicious words over and over again. Gorgeous.
 
And the bronze medal goes to Ravenways with Out of Stock. Lolly - this was a great mix of darkness and humour. As I said in my comments, it was the little touches within the piece which gave it an incredible depth and, for those who peeked beneath the comedy, there were horrors to be found. Excellent.
 
So congratulations to our winners this week and my thanks, as always, to everyone for the effort put into crafting such wonderful tales for everyone to read. Plus nice to see a few old faces coming back for a visit, always welcome whenever you can stop by.
 
And now to wrestle this week's words from the ancient tome. Greco-style you understand. Wish me luck! Eeek, ouch, oooooh anywhere but there!!! Phew, made it out alive, just.....
 
This week's words are:
  • Down
  • Hem
  • Solicit
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. Just have fun!

You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 2 August to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 3 August 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!
 
Relishing reading the great stories which will you're going to bring down my way this week.

88 comments:

  1. Congratulations Matt,lily and Ravenways Great well deserved wins.

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  2. Very cool! *bows* I'm totally honored. Thank you! Congratulations to Matt and Lilly! Loved your stories! Thanks again!

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    1. congratulations, RW! superb writing.

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    2. Congratulations to the winners of last round! Well deserved guys!

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  3. As always congratulations to last week’s winners. This week I think I may have taken ‘hem’ and pushed it to its limit. Solicit jumped off the page for me so here’s my alternative to the London 2012 games.


    From Hell 2012

    London has changed much since the last time. Gone are the hemmed in back alleys and side streets, now it is all open spaces, parks, bars and cafés.

    Scratch a little beneath the surface though and you will find the filth. Prostitutes still solicit their bodies on street corners. London has a new dress but it is still a festering bitch underneath.

    I plan to bring this proud, vain city down to its knees. It has been done before, all it takes is a few dead prostitutes and this city will tear itself limb from limb.

    Let the games commence.

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    1. Truly loved the whole tone of this.

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    2. Dark and topical, Nick. Last line of the second para is fantastic.

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    3. Exceptionally good bit of writing Nick, you should be proud of yourself with this one. This has an oppressive darkness which works really well. Love the way you take the topical and intermingle it with the Ripper legend. Chilling final line.

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    4. this is chilling, Nick, and very precisely written, great stuff.

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    5. Oooh sorta of reminds me of a modern day Jack the ripper ^_^

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    6. Love this from start to finish. It's dark and dirty and spot-on. We're always half a step away from panic - if that.

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    7. Lovely visuals Nick! The chill escaping each word is so well done, I can hear this Ripper copycat whispering them while exploring the possibilities of creating a chaos in the streets of mighty Leviathan!

      Bravo Nick!

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    8. Chilling.clean writing very clear visuals. Very nice.

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  4. In Kansas at a gathering of fellow writers so no time to read or comment, congratulations however, to last week's winners and herewith a hastier-than-usual episode.

    The blacksmith's wife

    The earl himself came to solicit my presence, citing some Court Leet summons from atop his horse.
    I curtsied, black-dragged hem suggesting slatternly submission, tight-laced bodice fresh-plumped engulfing flesh.
    ‘My lord?’ Eyes mocking-meek.
    ‘Your brother-in-law Mathias attests you hold illegally letters belonging to the state.’
    ‘He lies.’
    ‘He lies indeed, within my cellar. You have the means of his release.’
    ‘Letters, for his safety?’
    ‘Letters mandatory. His safety for …’
    His eyes, having noted Gabriel’s absence, drifted downwards to my bosom.
    Sharply. ‘That of your unborn son?’
    ‘Son? You threaten? You know it is a son?’
    I smiled. ‘I know.’

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    1. Powerful, Sandra, in itself and as the latest part of the serial. You say hasty, yet still impressive. =)

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    2. She is such a manipulator, yon woman. Every time it looks like she is going to get some sort of comeupance she turns the tables. Tres bien :-)

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    3. I've missed a few, but it's still very good!

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    4. He played right into her hands. The more I read, the more I admire her ability to think on her feet.

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    5. Thank you all - in so many ways (not least the thinking on her feet) this woman is someone I aspire to be ...

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    6. He lies ...within my cellar brillant

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  5. Why, thank you Phil! Congrats Matt and Ravenways ;-)

    Should the ancient gods to whom you refer (Kronos perhaps) allow me the time this week I'd love to comment on all the Prediction delights, as well as submit something again. I fear I am a victim of the many fallen angels parading as deities in the Corporatum Pantheon that steal away human hours in torturous glee. But I'll beat them at their own game, by golly.

    And I particularly like that simple word 'hem'. Oh yes.

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    1. congratulations, Lily!
      Pesky life gets in the way of writing, though, doesn't it??

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  6. Hi all

    Just to let you know that Dion, one of our Predictioneers, was involved in a bit of an accident on the weekend and came off his motorbike. He's ok but has cracked a number of ribs and will be in hospital for a few days. One of the most extreme ways I have ever heard of trying to free up some time to write but there you go!

    Seriously though, wishing you a speedy recovery Dion and hope you can get back to normal life soon.

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    1. Message from Dion today to say that he is expecting be out of hospital tomorrow if all goes to plan. Great news!

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    2. commiserations to Dion, but at least he is alive. last night we had a fatal crash here on the island, motorbike and car, both drivers dead. Get well soon, Dion, we are all thankful you are alive.

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  7. My humble offering to the party this week. Not sure why but had an 80s vibe running through my head and reminded me of cliched middle England parties mixed with slasher flicks (must stay off the cheese!!!). Let's see what you think.

    Vicars and tarts

    Coarse fibres hung limply over his head, the rough stitching on the hem of his cassock wet and tacky.

    The invitation requested 'vicars and tarts' but all he found was a monk's costume. He almost hadn't bothered. The thought of playing gooseberry all night wasn't appealing. However, the chance of meeting a nice 'tart' had swayed him. He even had a line about soliciting worked out; well it was funny in his head.

    He wished he had stayed home. The screaming continued as the killer thinned the numbers. All he could do was lie down, playing dead, amongst the bodies.

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    1. Excellent last line Phil - you do them so well - and a reminder of why I don't go to parties.

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    2. Uck, mouth full of corpse... ;)

      Sounds like a slaughterhouse, Phil, nasty stuff.

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    3. Oh that was a dead-ly party! ^_^

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    4. Wow. That last line packed a punch. Let's hope his possum ruse worked.

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    5. Hope his idea pays off Phil! Gruesome last line, but perfect. Loved the whole piece.

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    6. Yay. Did not see that last bit coming. Loved it. I think you should be allowed to win. Most excellent.

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  8. (Kehaar here so slightly bricking it.)

    Day job

    The Dropship smacks planetside and doors fly open.

    Dash – chip it for cover
    Down – into protection of a ploughed furrow.
    Observe – shards of men and machine shower over me as Meanie armour and infantry hem us in the killing field.
    Sights – pick out a NCO directing fire
    Fire – double tap. He’s down.

    A Navy spotter next to me relays information orbitside.
    Tanks & groundpounders pop like lava popcorn.

    I can’t help thinking this is a long way from the adventure sports and tours of colonist’s virgin daughters the recruitment sergeant solicited me with.

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    1. Beware of promises of virgins ... and carry on writing.

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    2. Ha! Nice one, Kehaar.

      Those cushy tours are a myth, he sounds as if he can handle himself though... =)

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    3. like this - a lot! Sharp writing, something I have been banging on about on another site, where everyone seems intent on overwriting to an alarming degree. This says it all.

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    4. Oh never believe someone who's trying to enlist you!

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    5. Recruiters are a sneaky lot. The staccato lines invoke the battlefield well.

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    6. "Beware of such temptations. They'll only get you in grave situations"

      Nice one Kehaar, well delivered battlefield visuals.

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    7. Keehar - great to see that you've decided to come play sir. :-)

      Liked the short, sharp burst of text at the start. Gave a different feel to the battlefield than we normally see and it worked really well. Thought that the contrast between the reality of combat versus the recruitment patter was very clever.

      Do come play again!

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    8. Another great story for the site. Great story to read. Really really liked this.

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  9. Congratulations to last week's winners. =) And since I missed it, I thought I would try and fit last weeks words and this weeks words into one... ;)


    Savage

    We never solicited the goblins for their protection, always called it oppression.

    Bunch of us kids would sneak past their patrols every dark moon, down to the heather. Pretty stupid, but I was trying to impress a girl. Little Annie MacCready, a true fiery Scot with hair like a flicker of ginger flame.

    The gobs came after us one night, only it wasn't us they were hunting, was the wolf in our midst.

    I remember them surrounding us, hemming us in. I remember their savage cries, their wicked spears. And I remember Annie shifting, twisting, and tearing them apart.

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    1. Oh I bet they never bet on Annie! Nice one John.

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    2. This is delightful. The mythology is alive and believable from the start. I think I would very much like Annie.

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    3. Great one John! Loved the twist and the eeriness from the start.

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    4. Show off!!! Very clever to use both this week's and last week's words John. Nice mix of fantasy and horror here. I had this image of the kid's from Mad Max 3 in my mind when I read this and I was really rooting for them and little Annie MacCready in particular. Superb as always John.

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    5. Dagum but you are a superb writer. I do not envy Phil this week. This is a contender.

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  10. Another? Oh, go on then... =)



    Stowaway

    Down in the dirty hold of an ancient, no name cargo ship Carmen was repairing hems.

    It had been five days before they discovered her, and when the captain's solicitations got him nowhere he put her to work down here, with the rust and the rats.

    At least they hadn't spaced her. She was alive, unlike most of her kind. She had glimpsed the heaped bodies as she fled, enough fuel for a lifetime's nightmares.

    She gazed through the porthole at cold vacuum and distant stars. Behind her, the needles continued to dance, stitching to the tune of her mind.

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    1. Oh! oh, that final sentence - stitches itself into my mind too.

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    2. like both of them, John!

      Before I forget, congratulations to Matt too, superb writing. All were worthy winners.

      No inspiration yet, but I have 24 hours for someone to come up with something.

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    3. Oh I like that last line too, it really pulls it together.

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    4. There's so much backstory in this piece, and I want to know it all. Love the way the stitching starts and ends it.

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    5. They say a woman on board will bring only bad luck to the crew. I suppose those tales may turn true.

      Brilliant last line John : )

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    6. 'enough fuel for a lifetime's nightmares' is such a brilliant line John. Nice back story teasing to be told and definitely want to know more about 'her kind' as that last line alludes to some serious powers waiting to be unleashed.

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    7. Argh but that is good. You are a rock star

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  11. Hi everyone, sorry I haven't played for a while, been busy publishing my new e-book Jumping At Shadows, but now I can breath again. ^_^

    Here is my offering for this week:

    Nightcap

    He lifted the hem of her skirt to reveal her shapely ankles. Her heart raced, she thought it would never slow down. He slipped a hand around her waist, his face close to hers, his breath warm on her cheek. Her body became rigid against his own. He held her tight as his other hand explored, gliding over her soft breast to linger a moment before slipping between her legs. She hardly dared to breathe as her eyes searched the alleyway in hopes of soliciting help. It was when she saw his fangs that she thought to scream— too late.

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    1. A predator's a predator, supernatural or no. Seems she was caught between excitement and fear, until it was all too late...

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    2. That unending battle between wanting experience ... and getting it. Well done Helen.

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    3. Congrats on publishing your book!

      I like the back and forth of this and her delayed realization of what she was in for. The whole thing had a lovely Victorian feel to it.

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    4. That was one life costing distraction!

      I loved the play of doubt and curiosity in this, until it was too late to decide.

      Great vampire piece Helen!

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    5. Congrats on getting your e-book out their Helen. Do feel free to post a link here on Phlambler's World to promote it!

      A little bit of what felt like erotica to start with turned into a vampiric trap. You've got a flair for this style of writing Helen and would love to see more of it.

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    6. Congrats on your book. Not an easy task but I bet it is a great book.

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    7. Thanks everyone for your great comments about this short flash and also for your good wishes for my e-book. It's called Jumping At Shadows and it's a fantasy fiction aimed at children 9yrs - adults (if you're like me and love books like The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe or Harry Potter.) It's already had two 5 star reviews and one 4 star rating on Goodreads, very happy about that. You can find it at Smashwords if you're interested for $2.99 http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/204743 - Thank you again for taking an interest. ^_^

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  12. Gosh, thanks for picking me Phil! Now I have performance anxiety! Really struggled this week, but here goes.

    Small Circles of Order, Dancing in the Dark

    Karen was the sort of woman who said “solicit” instead of “ask”; the sort of woman who never drank merely “wine” but would tell you the vineyard and vintage. She appreciated the importance of a straight hemline, well-kept hair, and somber work clothes.

    Each night, dressed in practical shoes and sensible protective undergarments, she can be found down in the darker areas of town, waiting, just waiting for the unkept, the dirty, the violent, to take her cultured air and affluent appearance as cause to take from her money, valuables or virtue.

    And each night the Police find another body.

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    1. Very tight writing, Matt. Well captured character, too. There seems to be something intrinsically amusing about the phrase "sensible protective undergarments"... ;)

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    2. Yet more deceptive appearances - and self-deceptive virtue. Tight writ indeed.

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    3. I do love a fastidious killer. The tight writing reflects the tight character very well. Nicely done.

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    4. Superb Matt. Very well built. I agree with the above, tight writting it is! I think I like this character.

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    5. I'm sure I've met Karen but fortunately not in the darker parts of town!

      Hyacinth Bouquet (Bucket) meets Jack the Ripper. As everyone else has said, tight writing and clearly no performance anxiety from you whatsoever. For someone who didn't really 'do horror', you're starting to find your niche :-)

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    6. Descriptive and engaging. Great story

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  13. Grandma

    I fingered tiny rubies on the hem. She’d worn the gown when the world was new, full of hope and faith. They’d dribbled water on her downy hair, and she’d cried just enough to solicit reassurance.

    I’d wanted to pass on the christening outfit, to hold her baby and tell her he was beautiful when no baby really is. I’d wanted her to leave the man who replaced her joy with fear.

    I placed the gown across her stomach – distended, still – and turned away.

    Ritual blood graced the edge of my knife as I set out to kill the wolf.

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    1. Powerful, red and black powerful. And what a wonderful opening sentence.

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    2. Such a wonderfully grim tale! Loved it.

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    3. Dark, dark tale here Rebecca. Wonderful description throughout which leaves some lasting images floating through my mind. Really liked that closing sentence!

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    4. Oh dark and powerful, a real sense of the need for revenge in this piece. I read it twice and enjoyed it equally each time.

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    5. Get him good, get him real good. Great job as usual.

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  14. Hello all! Back on board after missing two weeks of Predictions, of which I'm sorry, but its been a bit crazy around me.
    I've been chewing the words for some hours, so hope you enjoy the outcome.

    Alive and Kicking

    The periphery is unholy. It exists in the shadow of God, in the corner of the eye, in a flashing thought.

    Still, for reasons society can’t explain, life just as the one in the city heart grows and flourishes there.

    A presence is noticed.

    Someone names those who live in that ground zero “Punks”.

    Well-mannered citizens fear the “creatures” with oddly colored hairs, torn leather jackets and sharp grinning faces.
    They send solicitors to hem them down and persuade them to obey rules or else be banished.

    Of course they neglect the obvious rebellious pride.

    Then stones rain upon them.

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    1. Good to have you back Cindy.

      Nice to see the use of all three prompts in the same sentence; clever. I've always been one to wonder at how society judges others for not fitting the norm. Growing up around Brighton and working in London has introduced me to all spectrums of life and I often think the least tolerant in society are those considered 'the norm'. You've captured that societal angst here beautifully Cindy.

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    2. An interesting take on how society tends to reject that which is different to them.

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    3. A bit of splatterpunk and a tad Clock Work orange. God story

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  15. And that's the party over for another week. I've got a couple more stories to comment on and then judging shall commence!!

    Good to see some old faces come visit and welcome to new friends too. Lovely mixture of stories and styles this week making my job as hard as ever!

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  16. Apologies for my absence of late. Life, work and writing are to blame. My lateness is a disgrace and I will accept the lashing.

    Master and Servant.

    I was feeling hemmed in. There was a weight on my shoulders and a dark cloud over my head. It was time.

    I made my way down to the red light district. It was quiet, although there were a couple of women dressed in nothing more than a mini-skirt and a vest top, their ample charms spilling over the top.

    It isn't the prostitutes I'm looking for, though. They are weak. I search out the others - the women who solicit blood from me for sexual pleasures.

    I am their Master.

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  17. David - no need to apologise. Life just feels like is getting more hectic with each day that passes. Good to have you here this week.

    Great writing as we always come to expect from you. You capture so many things within the 100 words with our narrator's sense of obligation, the images of the red light district and that wonderful reveal at the end. Really like the juxtapose between the servitude and sense of power which the Master feels within this.

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    1. The atmosphere you paint is perfect. Can't wait to ear more from this one

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