Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Prediction - over to you

Ok, as I forewarned a couple of weeks back, I won't be able to comment on the Prediction entries for a few weeks. Wait, I hear you cry, what does that mean for us? Well, dear friends, I am handing the asylum over to the inmates (so to speak). Whilst I will cunningly arrange for new words to appear every Thursday evening after each Prediction closes I cannot fulfil my role as judge.
Solution, this week's winner will choose next week's winner(s) and runner-up(s). No obligation to comment on all entries, just to say who you felt was best. Post your winner, etc in the comments section (and preferably on the Friday if you can). Then that week's winner chooses the winner for the next week. If the winner is unable to choose for that week then no worries - there will still be words for everyone to play with, after all that's the fun of this right! Hope that's all clear and I'll resume judging duties for the Prediction the week which ends Thurs 13 September. 
Right, to my winner for this week.
First spot goes to RR Kovar with Intransigent. Rebecca - it was the shock ending which lifted this ever so slightly above the rest of the entries this week. I really wasn't expecting it and can still envisage myself shouting 'no!!!' at my computer screen as I read it. Can't wait for your response to Ravenways' retort.

I am so torn about this week's runners-up that I am collectively going to give it to all the other entries. That's not me bottling it, just recognising the level of quality from everyone this week - so tough to separate you all this week with some truly amazing pieces.
Congratulations to Rebecca and you will have the honour of choosing this coming week's winner. However, no obligation as said above. And a big round of applause to everyone else for some stellar writing.
Now, the tome is getting excited at the prospect of being unleashed from me for a bit and is fairly chomping at the bit. Please phone the police if you see it rampaging anywhere near you and, for your own safety, approach with caution! Without further ado....

...this week's words are:
  • Convert
  • Swag
  • Mishap
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 23 August to get your entries in. New words will be posted just after then around 9.30pm.  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!
That's it, The Prediction is all yours (for now), treat it kindly!

66 comments:

  1. Apologies for the formatting above, Blogger didn't want to let me have spaces between my paragraphs!!! Hopefully it will behave for you all when my back is turned! And remember, look in these comment sections for the winner(s) over the next three weeks. The words for each week will appear in the post section above each time though. Enjoy!

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  3. This week’s words conjured up a visions of Rumpelstiltskin dancing around his fire, so naturally I’ve come up with a ‘Can we have our ball back’ story – yeah it’s a bit of a stretch. I’m off on holidays for a few weeks so see you all at the beginning of September.

    Two Sides

    The old man swaggered with capering glee up the garden path towards the front door of the cottage, the ball in hand held high above his head like a trophy.

    ‘Oi! Mister, can we have our ball back’.

    ‘No you may not’.

    ‘But mister it was an accident’ protested the small boy.

    ‘A mishap maybe’ tittered the old man ‘But you have been given fair warning'.

    Unexpectedly he was brandishing a small penknife and as he converted his playful, mischievous brandishing to a stabbing motion he brought the point down to the ball with a contended sigh.

    ‘Now bugger off!!’

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    1. Fine writing. I think I know that old man. I am fairly certain we have all met someone like him. Odd memories of childhood. Good one, thanks for sending it in.

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    2. 'capering glee' nice, along with 'tittered' to complete the picture of this vindictive old man!

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    3. what a nasty old man! she said with a smile on her face ^__^

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    4. I could see this playing out. Though the details may be different, I think you hit a cultural memory for a lot of us.

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    5. The words Sandra mentioned certainly bring a rumpelstiltskinesque feel to the old codger, Nick. Nicely done. =)

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  4. Well-deserved first prize, Rebecca - always a huge pleasure to read.
    And absence has made my heart fonder for my blacksmith's wife who is likely to earn herself a second episode this week since this first is over-light-hearted and might get me fired from this supposedly noir-tilted site. (My earlier post was removed, me belatedly remembering that every ' … ' is counted as a word - and I needed more words)

    The blacksmith's wife [part 30]

    He swaggered.
    Brushed off the cinders, righted his breeches, staggered towards me and smiled, the second-hand stink of raw spirits announcing the currency the landlord’s fat wanton had tendered. 'Ish a mishap’ he slurred, mispronouncing. ‘Mishtake to take sho much drink.’

    Behind him she screeched, skin scarlet-speckled where cinders had stuck. ‘A mistake to think you could take it! I’ve had more success converting churchmen to cuckolds than you!’

    My lip curled. ’Only the blind and the desperate and churchmen are, by definition, both. Whereas your concupiscent spouse seeks other amours almost nightly, rather than lie twixt your gnarly thighs!’

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    1. Sandra I hope you are going to gather all of your stories and offer them together. Great job.

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    2. skin scarlet-speckled where cinders had stuck
      Your talent for evocative alliteration is astounding. I am captivated by this story.

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    3. Hey, I learned a new word! Great use of 'concupiscent', Sandra. =)

      I really like that whole final line, actually, with its barbed tail. =)

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    4. I agree with Marietta, this series would be so good all together!

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  5. Truth or Dare

    “I’m not Satan’s convert. Witchcraft’s my birthright.”

    “And this?” Nate grabbed the book. “Just a little murder swag?”

    “For him. That’s my mother’s.”

    “Did you kill him for it?”

    “No.” Truth

    “But he is dead.”

    “A mishap…” Truth

    He pressed on my wound. “Looks intentional.”

    I hissed. “She taught me the sigil to protect myself from him. I didn’t know.”

    “There are no male witches, so how can you be one?”

    “I don’t know.” Lie

    “Damned shame.”

    I should have realized what would happen. When I recovered from the blow to my head, Nate was gone. So was the book.

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    1. Thank you - both for 'sigil' and not making me wait too long for this next glowing episode. Of course, satisfying though it is (Truth and Lie) I'm now agog for the next.

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    2. Very impressed with the dialogue. This really moves the story along well. Nice, tight writing.

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    3. Nice sense of tension and relation between the characters, RR, and yet more intrigue! =)

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  6. Match Point

    The dirty tackle a mishap perhaps but still a penalty, sibilant words from the ref. The opposition accepts it with bractarian swagger.

    Took the ruck, powered it over the line for the try now to convert.

    Form a maggoty pile, place the bruised ball just right, eyeballing it.
    Step back, smell the charnel burnt air, feel the despairing winds.

    A lurch, a run, a kick, the ball screams away and bananas plum between the uprights.

    The Pandemonium crowd goes mad, Hades supporters crestfallen. It’s taken a while to learn how to deliver a conversion with a soul’s conscious head

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    1. Another new word (or its use at least) and rugby too - and how!! Loved this, truly, especially 'maggoty pile' and 'charnel burnt air'.

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    2. Of course if I'd spelt it right (batrachian relating to frogs or toads)as opposed to bractarian. Note to self do not try and use clever words from Clark Ashton Smith stories from memory.

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    3. Wow. What a super idea. Great stuff.

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    4. Bloody brilliant! I love rugby, and almost never get to watch it! Very creative! Made me chuckle in spite of the horrific bits.

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    5. I like the way this builds from a regular game to a rivalry between different kinds of hell. I was waiting to see what the "ball" would be. You did not disappoint.

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    6. Ha! Nice bit of writing, and cunning twist. Glad you cleared up the spelling mistake, batrachian's another great word I've learnt today. =)

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  7. This one has mouldered long enough.

    The blacksmith's wife [part 31]

    Beckoning from beyond the ditch a dirty rag-beswagged beldame who raven-croaked ‘Have pity, maid.’

    Thinking any mishap to have been deserved I would have ignored but Gabriel, sobered from a pail of water and aiming to both delay due retribution and convert me to a charitable frame of mind, said to take her food and ale.

    Reaching up she grabbed my wrist. Fingers over-strong. Fractionally faster than suspicion, mouldering hag became Mathias, hauling me a-sprawl. ‘The Earl’s new baby’s wet-nurse took fancy to me, unlocked my chains.’

    Knife against my throat, laughing, ‘I said to tell them it was you.’

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    1. Oh, that's just lovely! "Fractionally faster than suspicion..." actually gave me a chill!

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    2. There is so much to love here: rich description, tension between the spouses, and a fantastic twist. Can't wait to see where it goes next (though I think Mathias a fool for believing he can best her).

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    3. Oh, nicely done, and a great way to bring Mathias back into play. =)

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  8. congratulations, Rebecca!
    Nice writing, everyone who has already posted. Really want to play this week, off to batter the funeral dulled brain into giving me something. Funerals are lovely when conducted with solemnity and yet joyous appreciation of a life, which is what happened today, but the emotional toll is incredible. I feel battered and shattered, especially as I was stood in the 'receiving line' alongside my partner, it was his wife we were cremating, as it were. Our final goodbye, so emotionally draining.

    Good words, I will go conjure.

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  9. Just a Shot in the Dark


    “Yeah?” Jimmy’s voice on the phone and the throaty growl of my car’s engine soothed me.

    “Listen, I’m on my way to you. Seth’s gone totally Witches of Eastwick on me. Complete with carving some crazy swag shaped symbol into his palm and this weird-ass book I can’t read. I need help.”

    “That dumbass! What d’ya wanna do?”

    “Convert him back. Burn him alive. Don’t know. I need answers.”

    *sigh*

    “When you gettin’ here?”

    “Tomorrow noon.”

    “Nate, where’s your brother?”

    “Out cold on the hotel room floor. He had a little…mishap.”

    I hung up and gunned the engine harder.

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    1. New character, new direction ... and now we have to wait on next week's prompt. Such excellent suspense, dammit.

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    2. Sandra,
      I cannot thank you enough for your continued praise! I often worry that I'm having trouble keeping up with RR. She such a skilled and talented writer. I honestly don't consider myself such. But you're weekly show of enthusiasm for my "scribbles" is wonderful! I'm thrilled that you enjoy them.

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    3. One of the joys of writing this series with you is that I never know where you're going to lead me next. I shall have to think on Uncle Jim - and what he might reveal.

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    4. Some great lines in here and a real feel for the character. The "convert/ burn him" line is particularly telling, and the final line fixes his mood. This is good. =)

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    5. Now I have to know what happens next!

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  10. Swag = Gift

    He was busy drawing down the darkness, converting the light into black; swag for the Music Man who demanded his ransom, when it went wrong, a small mishap; a mistake that cost him his soul.
    The Music Man brooked no excuses, took no prisoners. His word was law, his orders an ultimatum, his visage horrendous and his soul non-existent.
    A small demon with a large task and he had failed.
    The Music Man sang his song of vengeance and the demon was no more.
    And thus it was when God said ‘let there be light’, there was light.

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    1. Poetic cleverness. Especially enjoyed "His word was law, his orders an ultimatum, his visage horrendous and his soul non-existent."

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    2. This fabulous mythology drips with wrongness. It almost wants to be a shadow play, but I don't think it would do the Music Man justice. The last line slew me.

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    3. I like the last line, but I really love the penultimate line, a Music Man who sings lesser demons out of existence! Marvellous piece. =)

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  11. I'm back and so are The Two Blokes. Had a great holiday and Spain and returned fully re-charged. Hope you like The Bloke's return too...

    The Two Blokes.

    “What happened to you? Looks a bit sore.”

    “Bit of a mishap. I was at the Post Office to get some money for our holiday. You know, convent it to Euro’s...”

    “Convert.”

    “Eh?”

    “Convert it to euro’s. You said convent - a nun’s hangout?”

    “...”

    “Never mind. So, you were saying?”

    “Well, I thought I’d be a bit “street”. I pushed my money under the hatch and said, ‘There you go – slag. Euro’s please.’ Next thing I’m on the deck.”

    “Haha.”

    “Oh, you think that’s funny?”

    “Swag.”

    “Eh?”

    “It’s swag, not slag.”

    “Wha...oh shit!”

    “Indeed! Two beers please , barman.”

    ~End~

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    1. I laughed all the way through this. I've so missed the Two Blokes. Next round's on me if that means they'll come back.

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    2. Heh. =D Classic Two Blokes banter, David. Good to see them again. =)

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    3. Thanks, guys. Appreciate the feedback. The Two Blokes have been away to long.

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  12. Hola all,

    A few weeks ago Madam Antonia told us about the site Alfiedog. Well I sent a story in and they accepted. WOW. It is short that dear friend Dorothy Davies used in one of her EXCELLENT anthologies for Static Movement. I t is live now. The story is "May's Promise". Go to Alfiedog.com to read it if you like. You will find stories by Dorothy Davies as well. These tales will shiver your timbers. Let me know what you think. Read the stories and send your own. Come on Prediction People let's go scare the hell out of some folks.

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  13. Bon jour again,

    Btw, it is a royalty paying site. Authors get roughly half of the cost of the story download. The download cost is minimal. I don't expect much money myself but I hope to get better at this writing thing through the experience. Thanks guys.

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  14. I'm back this week to join in. Here's my offering. ^_^

    The Farmer
    Fresh meat was worth premium in the market place and it was good swag. They were easy prey and no match for his weapon. He had subdued them without mishap. He counted the bodies as they squirmed and whimpered in the hold of his craft, each would convert into a tasty meal.

    A girl and boy, caught his eye as they clung together.
    “A breeding couple.” He stared at them. They looked strong and healthy. I’ll keep these and sell their offspring. Human babies are a real delicacy. His blue tongue slithered from his mouth as he imagined the taste.

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    1. Wow, that's extremely creepy! There's so much backstory implied, and I both want it and don't (as I'm not fond of nightmares). I was strangely relieved that the farmer wasn't human.

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    2. What I love is that there are so many different directions this could take, if it were continued, all of them horrific and wonderful! And I agree with RR. I was much relieved that The Farmer was not human.

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    3. Ah, um, nice? ;)

      Great writing, Helen, very unsettling. =)

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  16. I may have been playing too much Fallout: New Vegas...

    Fiat Lux

    We surround the bomb, parading and swaggering with our pride in our Great Purpose.This world of dust and ash is only part way though the sacred conversion to the promised realm, some dark mishap caused because the bombs were only filled with the death needed for the cleansing, and not the life that was needed afterwards.

    Our High Priest even now works to add life to the bomb, mounted upon its casing and thrusting against it with devout purpose. At the moment of his climax his Acolyte completes the ritual of Arming.

    Let There Be Light.

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    1. Um... Ekrixiphilia? Bomb bonking? Weird idea, it disturbs me a little, but I like it. ;)

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  17. Struggled a bit with the words this week, but got a couple out of the mix. Number 1...


    Convert

    George was a Convert. George no more. His old life, personality, name, all given up for the Common God.

    The cGod chip buzzed in his brain, advising, admonishing and administering pain. The voice of cGod gave him purpose, direction, and removed that spark of volition that had driven him to crime.

    Then, a mishap. He stumbled, fell, banged his head.

    cGod began to speak in tongues.

    George picked himself up. George again. Free.

    Now to stay free long enough to unbury the swag and buy himself a new life. He swatted the side of his head. A quiet life.

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    1. What William says - brilliant, laugh out loud, sheer cheeky enjoyment.
      Yup!

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    2. Oh I wondered how long he would remain redeemed! You didn't disappoint me John, I have a big grin on my face. ^___^

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  18. Just back from Dunkirk, penned this on the ferry back so forgive the rush.

    Shabby Chic

    She didn’t like the curtains at first, but had to admit she was a convert now the swag was pulled tight around Sebastian’s neck. The disgusting vermilion material suited the gasping pallor of his pleading face. As life departed, a damp patch bloomed in the crotch of his tightly packed Italian slacks. She smiled a cold calculated satisfaction, “£10,000 for curtains and a tub of crimson emulsion.” She muttered to herself. Thanks to his dodgy stepladders, the whole thing looked like a mishap. At least Sebastian finally lived up to the promise of his slogan, “Rooms to die for…”

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    1. Perfection - tight packed plot as well as jeans, and brilliant original use of swag. Great stuff William,

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    2. Some fantastic phrases, William. There's something pleasant about the way "The disgusting vermillion material suited the gasping pallor of his pleading face" rolls off the tongue. Great writing.

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  19. And this odd thing at number two...


    Burglarised

    A child's toy: a caricatured man: squat and broad; black trousers, black and white striped shirt, black domino mask; bulky bag labelled: SWAG.

    What if the cause was the effect? Cause: effect.

    Oh, the Earth is missing. Did I mention that?

    Earth: missing.

    A mishap, perhaps: misplaced. Or stolen, whole: thieved.

    Burglarised or magicked? Stolen, or concealed.

    Sleight of celestial event: "Look, supernova! Oh, where's you planet gone?"

    Converted, maybe, to energy. Or thought: a conceptual theft.

    Everyone in the world imagining a SWAG bag: the world in a SWAG bag in everyone's imagining.

    Are you imagining it? Good. Bye.

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  20. Typical John Xero this - totally discombobulating.

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  21. All right, I'm closing the gates so I don't keep the landlord waiting. He's got our new words, after all.

    I must admit to not realizing how difficult it is to choose each week. There's not a bad bit of writing in the bunch. Thank you all so much for making this hard on me!

    My pick this week is William Davoll's wicked Shabby Chic. There was such a matter of fact feel to the revenge tale, and considering the curtain color, I found myself in full agreement with the aggrieved homeowner.

    Runner up goes to clarkythecruel for his nasty little rugby game Match Point. The build felt like watching a real game, and the last line was the kicker.

    And now I am glad to pass the judge's baton!

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