Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Prediction - listen up!

Hear ye, hear ye! Listen up one and all. For those of you that don't know, I podcast on the Geek Syndicate network with Dion and a couple of others. As part of a Geek to Geek special the lovely Lily Childs, the wonderful Dion Winton-Polak and my good self had a good old natter about Flash Fiction. You can hear the edited version on Geek to Geek here http://geeksyndicate.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/geek-to-geek-issue-5/ about 57 minutes in and also hear Matt Farr, Keehar and I discuss horror about 1 hour 39 minutes in Both are well worth a listen and you get to hear what we all sound like!
 
A longer version of the flash discussion will be released later on Scrolls with Dion, Lily and I reading some of our favourite flash which includes some of the works to grace The Prediction. I'll let you know when it's out.
 
Right, to my winners for this week.
 
First spot goes to the is Marietta Miles with her Untitled piece. Marietta - there was such a dark lunacy running throughout this vividly gory piece. The phrase 'insides turned out and outsides set aside' was such a great line amongst an excellently painted scene. As I said at the time, nightmares await those bold enough to read this piece.
 
I have plumped for two runners-up this week. My first is......
 
......Sandra Davies with her long running saga The Blacksmith's Wife Part 29. Sandra -  the use of language in this installment was superb and that ending left me with a massive smile on my face (though I suspect Gabriel would have a different take on matters). Another great addition to this fantastic series. For those wanting to catch up on the whole saga click here.
 
My second runner-up is Matt Farr with the final entry of the week Shadows in the Dark Light. Matt - I thought this opened brilliantly and then that visciously sinister ending surpassed it. The clever bit was leaving our imaginations to go wild at the end as to just what had been dragged below. Very good and I urge those who have read it yet to go take a little peak.
 
My wholehearted congratulations to Marietta, Sandra and Matt. Thanks to everyone else for the wonderful uses of the prompts this week and a special mention to Antonia for being the only person to think of Goblin vacuum cleaners. Oh, and sorry all for Fifty Shades of Green - I couldn't resist!
 
And in homage to FSoG, the tome this week appears to be sporting a tight little leather number. Oh dear, I'm a bit nervous about what is going to come forth.....
 
...this week's words are:
  • Vaccine
  • Ground
  • Address
A brief reminder, the winner for this coming week will be choosing the following week's winner. I'll give more details when I make my judging announcements on Thursday night/Friday morning.

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 16 August to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 17 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!
 
Let your words be an antidote to the humdrum that surrounds us!

45 comments:

  1. Thank you Phil - delighted to be elevated to a runner-up in this inpsired and inspirational horde - and congratulations to Marietta, whose genious was in the final line, and to Matt.
    But 'vaccine' for next week?

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  2. Morning, thank you for a great surprise. It is such a gas being a part of The Prediction. Cheers to Sandra and Matt for their excellent storytelling. The new words are intriguing. There is a very SYFY feel to them. Maybe I should read a little Master Matherson for inspiration.

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  3. Congratulations to Marietta! That was a truly fine bit of horror. Kudos to Sandra and Matt, as well. The level of talent and skill in this place is awe-inspiring.

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  4. Since vaccines weren't invented until a century after the blacksmith's wife plied her witchcraft I've had to abandon them this week.
    Herewith Hypochondria

    ‘Vaccine? Don’t be ridiculous!’
    Contempt in every angle of her sprawled limbs, the flare of her nostrils and her lightly-raised eyebrows, the depth of her slutty depravity further exaggerated by the slatted shadows which striped both her and the screwed-up sheets. Another half-hour and there’d be sufficient light to turn this chiaroscuro soft-ground etching to something more common-place. For the moment he was both mesmerised and horrified as was apparent from the higher-than-usual pitch of his voice, addressing her from where he stood naked by the sink.
    ‘I’ve run cold water on it’ he said plaintively, ‘and it still stings.’

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    1. I shall have a word with the book Sandra!!! I have been conscious that if it threw up a word like television or spaceship then it would cause problems for your Blacksmith's Wife but its historical compass was clearly out!

      However, we are treated to a lovely flash piece from you :-) Beautifully described scene. The touches of description of our lady of mystery, in particular the way the shadows drape across her, are superb. Now, I just want to know what it is that stings! STD, an exotic love bite (maybe vampiric) or has he just rubbed something a bit too hard!

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    2. Good to read a different story from you Ms. Sandra. Your writing is very poetic and quite clever. I am glad you played this week despite the modern words.

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    3. Once more my vocabulary disintegrates when reading your words Sandra!

      Wonderful piece and I like this game of half light and shadows.

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  5. There’s a little homage to the brilliant film Angel Heart in this weeks entry – sorry but I couldn’t resist

    The Delivery

    An A to B address job, no hassle, an easy pay day. All I had to do is deliver the package - a vaccine according to the paper work.

    The address turns out to be Azazel Block on the Southside. I should have known then, but thoughts of the cash and my next fix silence my concerns.

    Now as the lift hurtles downwards and the temperature rises I check the name on the label – Mr Louis Cyphre – shit! not good.

    I’ve reached the bottom - ground level, the doors open.

    ‘Welcome Mr Jay, your expected’

    ‘Damn!’

    ‘And damned Mr Jay’

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    1. I always like a little bit of word play with names. And Azazel Block too ;-)

      A tale that shows us what happens when you're a little bit too casual about your work. As they say, the devil's in the detail. Nice piece Nick with a lovely comedic feel at the end with just the right level of menace. Nicely done.

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    2. Good job. I could not help but picture Robert DeNiro just waiting for out young man.

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    3. I think you captured it well with the tone of this piece. Little touches, like mentioning the fix, gave it depth. The last line made me smile.

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    4. Neglecting small things may lead to bigger problems! Azazel Block sounds cool and it made me smile.

      Nice job Nick :)

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  6. Really struggled to get this in at 100 words and had to chop lots of wonderful descriptive stuff which I had written but that, I guess, is what makes this such a frustrating and unique challenge!!!

    An unexplained event affects millions. See what you think.

    Light of my life

    My legs dangled over the cliff edge as we watched the setting sun. Everything was so peaceful here, we should have done it years ago.

    It had started fourteen hours ago. Millions died before anyone realised what was happening. World leaders addressed nations, asking for calm, as they tried to ground the fears across the planet.

    There was no time for research or vaccines. As the sunlight faded, time zone by time zone, people just died, dropping where they stood.

    Now it was our time. So we just sat and waited, treasuring each second together as the sun set forever.

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    1. There's only one word for this Phil: epic.

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    2. Heart wrenching, have just finished reading "I Am Legend" for the millionth time and your perfect words made me think of Robert Neville. Really nice job Mr. Phil.

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    3. There's a melancholy over this, but also a sense of peace. No point in raging against the dying of the light when the outcome is inevitable, and the sweetness of how they approached it makes it less painful.

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    4. Ah, Phil this is such a calming melancholia in this piece. Like RR said, there is peace in it.
      I suppose you are right - the sunset watched from the edge of a cliff is a view worth dying with.

      Bravo and a bow to your craft.

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  7. (thanks again for feedback folks, will leanr how to do it one day)

    Washington Desk

    I open the Manila folder, scan cutting’s headlines.

    NEW VACCINE TO IMPROVE LIVESTOCK FARMING, Kabamet Gazette, August 13

    OUTBREAK MUTANT EMBRYO STILLBIRTHS IN RIFT VALLEY, Fortean Times, March 7

    KENYA VILLAGE MASSACRE BY REBEL FORCES, Guardian, May 4

    NEW CYPTOID SIGHTINGS EAST AFRICA, Crypto-zoologists News, May 19

    WEST KENYAS LOCAL REFUGEE CRISIS, June 6

    I spend more time addressing the SOCAFRICA Intell reports from the ground.

    I’m seeing the same patterns as Cambodia ’69, Grenada, Panama and Iraq.

    I pick up the phone. “Get me the President.”

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    1. Keehar, I am always impressed by your historical knowledge and how you can translate it into so many different scenarios.

      Who here wouldn't want to deliver that final line. "Get me the President" - now there's a real sense of power. A very clever way to present a crisis building through what, at first, seem like unlinked events. Very clever indeed!


      For anyone who likes this kind of stuff, do check out Keehar and Matt Farr's podcast 'Dissecting Worlds' on Geek Syndicate. A fascinating look at the social science behind lots of different geek genres. Well worth a listen.

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    2. Good flash story. Clever way of moving the story forward. I do want to know more...yay end of world stuff.

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    3. Such a great way to show the way an epidemic develops, and especially interesting to see the unusual turn it took. I enjoyed how you tied it back to other incidents, indicating the history we think we know may not be the real story. Well done.

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    4. Keehar I like this piece a lot. It's clever and I feel like it may expand. A flash fic perhaps?

      It's a creative and interesting approach that has ground underneath its...word. : )

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  8. Thanks Sandra,

    I anyones interested there is more of my writing (and Phil and Matts) here
    http://cutthroatcreeks.wordpress.com/
    Anyone who wants to is welcome to join in.

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  9. Intransigent

    Nate awoke with a hiss. Healed or not, his body knew it had suffered traumatic injury. He grabbed his gun, pointed it at me, then frowned.

    “I took the clip and emptied the chamber, so we can address matters without you shooting me.”

    “What the hell are you?”

    I handed him a bottle of whiskey and a glass of water. He ignored the latter.

    “Your brother, or so we swore.”

    “That was before,” he ground out.

    “Being a witch is genetic. There’s no cure, no vaccine.”

    He ignored the latter. “Oh, there’s a cure.”

    The knife struck true and deep.

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    1. I know I say this so often with your closing lines but wow, wow, wow, did that one deliver or what!!! I actually winced as the blade went in. I think it's the way you removed the threat of the gun that I relaxed until then as you built things up with the wonderful dialogue. Tres bien RR, tres bien.

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    2. Oui, tres bien, classic story with heart and intrigue. Yay. I want to see the next chapter please.

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    3. Ha! Suprise at the end, and what a surpise. Knifes are dangerous too, one should not neglect the possibility of one stricking at the most obvious moment.

      Awesome, if I may say, story RR.

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  10. Repetition of 'ignored the latter' anchors this so well, amidst superb dialogue, as always.

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  11. Love the clipped noir dialogue and can only echo the power of that repetition.

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  12. Nothing


    I was created in a place that is nowhere. No coordinates, no address, no website. Ground Zero.

    I was created by no one.

    I am not real. Only virtual.

    What you do not know, can hurt you. What does not exist, will kill you.

    I am plague, phage, ageless, undying, death.

    I am fear-borne. I have gone viral. Is there any faster transmission vector than social media? Mind to mind to mind.

    Warn your friends, vaccinate them. Just a little of me, a little nothing, inside all of you. That's a lot of nothing. Enough nothing to swallow the world.

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    1. Sinister and beautiful and frighteningly true. As soon as I finished reading, I started again. Then again. This one is going to stick with me.

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    2. Terrifying in its truth ... yet we still ignore, and read and re-read (and will continue to do so) And this reads less your imagination than something you implacably know to be so

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    3. Nice and clean, perfectly structured, as always John.

      I think this voice, speaking those words may linger in my thoughts tonight. The truth always does.

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    4. Wow John, lots to think about here. It is so right what you say, a little bit or something (or rather nothing) may seem insignificant but bring that together in one giant groundswell and that way disaster lies. Intelligent as ever.

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  13. apologies to all, it has been a bad week. The funeral is Tuesday, perhaps life can return to normal after that. Says she with prayers and hope anyway. Everything seemed to conspire to keep me away from the Prediction - including an appalling edit 'shuttered retinas' for closed eyes gives you a tiny glimpse of the horrors I battled with... I hasten to add, I was paid or it would have gone back!
    Just read through the entries this week, wonderful writing, congratulations to Marietta and Sandra, and thanks for the good words, Phil, about the Goblin vacuum cleaner. Showing my age for sure...
    really hope to play next week. Missed it terribly.

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  14. Slides in seconds before leaving for work! Whew! Didn't think I was gonna make it this week.


    Skewered


    I’d feigned sleep while Seth had disabled my gun, then pretended surprise when I’d fired at him, after he told me what I’d already guessed at, and not wanted to face.

    He’d blathered about genetics and vaccines, as if he thought I’d actually care.

    The iron knife bit into his right shoulder, above the collar bone, exactly where I wanted it. I watched Seth bleed for a moment, his eyes fluttering as the sedative on the blade worked.

    “Now, we’re going to address this. And you will not lie to me. Or I will put you in the ground myself.”

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    1. I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying both sides of this story - truly wonderful stuff and I feel sated after each episode yet hungry for more ... [contented sigh]

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    2. Another twist for me to write my way out of. Nicely done, sister. For some reason, my shoulder hurts...

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    3. Skewered! I like the title... :-D

      That knife sure struck deep!

      Great work.

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    4. It's like a flash fiction of duelling banjos going on between you and RR and I really can't separate the pair of you!

      Really like the way that this is going and the writing you present to us is superb. Hearing Nate's inner dialogue/thoughts provides us with a wonderful insight. Very much wasn't expecting the blade to be laced with sedative. More, more more!!!

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  15. Congratulations to the winners (blown away guys) and evening to all! I had little time today, so apologies if this piece sounds wacky.

    Memories

    “Was it Blackthorn? No, that was back in...Uckermark. Yes. Then where was it? Oh my...Could it have been Cambodia? Yes, yes there! Remiehzla, 01. The address that does not exist... He he. The address that does not…”

    - Doctor Yefim, it’s time for your medicine. Come.

    The nurse placed her hand on the mumbling old man’s shoulder and guided him away from the window of the mental facility. His gaze held a second longer on the scenery. The sun was setting in an ocean of flaming clouds. Just like when he denied release of the vaccine and the ground shrieked.

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    1. Cindy - you drag us straightaway into the world of a shattered mind with cleverly placed references designed to tease us. And then we have this stark ending, learning of the crimes against humanity which Doctor Yefim commited. At least he is plagued by his past but what of the countless victims. Haunting.

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  16. Sorry for the lateness all. Just got back in from work. Up to Newcastle and back in a day. Anyway, enough of that malarky, you're much more interested in the writing :-)

    I bring this party to a close this week and am off to do my judging. A reminder that I won't be about for a few weeks - more details about that in the next Prediction as that won't stop the words pouring forth to be played with!!!

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