Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Prediction - planning ahead

Before I announce this week's winners, a little heads up for everyone. In a couple of weeks I'm going to have to duck out of judging for about three 'rounds'. Rather than halt The Predicition over that time I have come up with a cunning plan. The winner of each week will judge the following week's winner and runner(s)-up until I can resume my duties. I will pre-choose the words and set Blogger to auto-post for 9.01pm each Thursday (ain't technology clever) so that will all be taken care of. The 'judge' will announce the winners as soon as they can in the comments box. Hopefully that all makes sense but will explain more the week it kicks off. Right, to this week's winners.
 
My winner this week is John Xero with Savage. John - this was a story which just drew me in from the off. Great world building in so few words and I was instantly wanting our 'tribe' to best the goblins. Throwing in the werewolf was great but even better was the use of this week's words, the previous week's words and, what's this, the words for next week too (but how? see below).
 
My runner-up is Nick Roberts with From Hell 2012  Nick - FH2012 had a really dark feel to it throughout. Showing us the dark underbelly of the city, we are shown the sleaze beneath the sheen. The contemporary meets the historic as a blood thirsty anarchist looks to set panic loose in the streets. Great bit of writing.
 
So congratulations to John and Nick - great writing guys amongst a host of brilliant entries. Wonderful to read everyone's works this week and good to see old and new faces alike coming to play The Prediciton.
 
So, the words this week, where did they come from? I thought I would give the tome a week off and give a little nod to this week's winner. As John used the words from two weeks I thought I would pinch some of his spare words in Savage for the new challenge. Hopefully you'll like the ones I've pulled out:
 
This week's words are:
  • Goblin
  • Flicker
  • Spear
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 9 August to get your entries in. The winner will be announced by 9am Friday 10 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!
 
Amaze me with your writing this week, let me gobble up your delights!

72 comments:

  1. I was way too late but needed to get back into the swing of things.

    Congrats to John and Nick. I'll do some catching up over the weekend.

    You're doing a great job here, Phil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave - nice to get good feedback as never sure if doing things the right way. Was good to see you back last week and a shame you came in just after the judging. Congrats on TKnC role too!

      Delete
  2. many congratulations, John and Nick! Superb writing. Sorry I didn't get to play, I had plans, but nothing worked out as I wanted, too crappy for the Prediction, then we were heading into and finally had, a bereavement. My partner's wife died this lunch time. She has been in my life as office manager, friend, adviser, helper and then five years of invalidity with us working around her in her chair, on oxygen 24/7, so you can see, this is a huge hole in all our lives. I am shell shocked and grieving, but have Elvis' motto in mind, Taking Care of Business, and that is what I have to do.

    Intriguing words, I will definitely try and play this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Antonia, sorry to hear about your friend. Thoughts are with you.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations to John and Nick. Double helpings of the prompt in this one.

    The blacksmith’s wife [part 29]

    Fearing malevolence, and assuming I could thwart it, the earl insisted on my presence at the birth.
    His lady gave no flicker of acknowledgement, too sharp-speared with labour pain, the like of which, before winter, would be mine to suffer too, but I trusted my son would not appear so goblin-like as this wizened little red-haired gnome, the image of its father.

    Having been three days away I hastened home, to find Gabriel speared between the goblin-gnarled, lard-flickered thighs of the tavern-keeper’s wife.
    I could not judge who screamed the loudest from the bucketful of still-hot cinders I emptied over them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, he did NOT! I would see red, too. The cinders were a fine solution. Great double-use of the prompts. Very impressive!

      Delete
    2. After John's showing off with two week's worth of prompts we get a double dose of deliciousness in the use of our tantalising trio this week from you Sandra. Really liked this. Thought the language was excellent and the ending was delightful (well, maybe not for Gabriel and the taverness!!!).

      Delete
    3. Thanks Phil - we can't allow John to have it ALL his own way, although I wish I'd not been so hasty to post that I hadn't thought of 'shovelful' instead.

      Delete
    4. What a hypocrite! Seems only right that he should bear the heat-born scars for infidelity, as that was to be her punishment...

      Delete
    5. Lusty prose Sandra. As always a treat o read. More

      Delete
    6. Another great entry in your on going saga and a double word use as well - very impressive

      Delete
  5. Good morning everyone. I found a free second or fifty and I made and attempt. Thanks. Back to comment later.

    I shake my head to clear a fly. I am going to scream; about to vomit. There is something close; my fingers feel it in the gathering darkness. It is wet and sticky. Dear God no; not that. In the escaping light I see what sprawls near me. There is a body; insides turned out and outsides set aside. I look where the mouth should be. I thought of a lunatic with a blade or a lousy goblin, spears for blasted teeth? I look where the eyes should be and a flicker pops into memory. I was just so hungry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - hunger overwhelms all ... and so bloody and visceral.

      Delete
    2. This one is tangible as well as horrifically visual. I wanted to wipe my hands clean. The last line was perfection.

      Delete
    3. Marietta - that last line caught me completly by surprise and was delivered perfectly. You have painted us such a gory scene, one which will play out behind my closed eyelids tonight, and I suspect many who read this may be sleeping with the light on afterwards!

      Delete
    4. Gah! Nasty stuff, Marietta. I love the phrase "insides turned out and outsides set aside." =)

      Delete
    5. Really enjoyed this and the last line sets it all up perfectly

      Delete
  6. Congratulations to John on last weeks well deserved and frankly showing off win, thanks to Phil for picking From Hell 2012 in the runner up spot – I was blown away, thanks so much.
    I’ve dug into the heart of my Welsh heritage for this week’s entry.

    The Wild Hunt

    Gwyn ap Nudd surveys the host, the best and the worst of Annwn gathered there before him in readiness. The hounds snap, bite and fight with the damned goblins for the honour of leading them on tonight’s chase.

    Finally he lifts his spear to call for silence.

    “Brothers and sisters the time has come, the mortals gather around their fires and mouth prayers to their Gods for protection, but it will avail them not for tonight we hunt!”

    The horde, now surrounded by a blue ethereal radiance flicker, wane and then bleed onto the mortal plain, the wild hunt begins.


    Here’s another version with speech in Welsh and re jigged a bit to fit the word count

    The Wild Hunt

    Gwyn ap Nudd surveys the host, the best and the worst of Annwn gathered there before him in readiness. The hounds snap, bite and fight with the damned goblins for the honour of leading them on tonight’s chase.

    He lifts his spear to call for silence.

    “Mae'r amser wedi dod, y meidrolion casglu o amgylch eu tanau a gweddïau geg at eu Duwiau ar gyfer amddiffyn, ond ni fydd yn manteisio iddynt am heno rydym yn hela!"

    The horde, now surrounded by a blue ethereal radiance - flicker, wane and then bleed onto the mortal plain, the wild hunt begins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NOW who's showing off - Welsh as well as English, hut justified. Well done Nick.

      Delete
    2. I have always enjoyed tales of the wild hunt, and this one hits all the right notes. Wouldn't mind hearing it with the Welsh, as I expect it would sing.

      Delete
    3. Nick - this is the first time I have heard of Gwyn ap Nudd (I am ashamed to say) but found a link to the history here for any others who are as ignorant as I http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwyn_ap_Nudd. I think you have captured this perfectly and playing it out in English and Welsh was genius. Really glad that you have introduced me to Gwyn ap Nudd. Diolch.

      Delete
    4. Fantastic little set-up, Nick. So much packed in and an impressive play with myth and language. =)

      Delete
    5. Lovely and atmospheric. Although they want to eat us I find I want them to come out on top. Huh.

      Delete
    6. Oh, Nick...this is stunning! Rebecca is right when she says this hits all the right notes. I want to read more!

      Delete
  7. Congratulations to John and Nick! Both fantastic stories.

    Difficult words this week, but the boys came stomping back in to help.

    The Calm Before

    Neon signs flickered as I carried Nate to the hotel. He’s heavy with muscle created by internalized anger, sinews strengthened with resolve. Having it turned on me wasn’t new, but the look with which he’d speared me marked me as goblin, a monster to be hunted.

    A smart man would have left him behind. As his brother, I couldn’t.

    I’d ensured no one would find the thing that claimed parentage of me. The symbol I’d cut into my palm would not heal, my magic tapped. When Nate woke, he’d see it and finish me. I could almost welcome the bullet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are totally addictive and sooo satisfying in the way you write them that they make me catch my breath. Every bloody time.

      Delete
    2. Very cool, RR, again. I love the strength in the first paragraph, the contrary twist in the middle and the cliffhanger at the end... =)

      Delete
    3. Great cliffhanger. I hope he does not truly intend to die. This is a strange, trippy brother adventure. Very good indeed.

      Delete
    4. Great cliffhanger, spending time with these boys always reminds me of a more kickass version of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural

      Delete
  8. And they stomped in with style RR! The bond between the brothers continues to be such a strong force in this series and I hope that Seth's prediction about Nate will prove unfounded. Really what to know what happens next in this one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. First time I've spotted this, Phil and the first time I've tried my hand at flash fiction for 6 months or so, but here goes...

    'Sister Knows Best' by Kevin G. Bufton

    "A goblin?" Vicky sneered. "Aren't you a bit old for that?"

    Julia sat upright, sleeping bag cinched tight around her. "I saw it," she said, "outside the tent."

    "In our garden? You're such a baby." Vicky sighed theatrically and turned to the zip.

    "What are you doing?" Julia asked.

    "I'm going for a wee."

    "Vicky, don't!"

    There was a flicker of uncertainty in Vicky’s eyes, but she was the big sister and she knew better. She stuck her head out of the tent and didn’t even feel the tiny spear that was thrust through her eye and into her brain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aargh - now I know why I don't like camping! This has the innocence of childhood sandbagged with final horror. Well done.

      Delete
    2. Ah man, I just hoped she hasn't doomed her little sister too by opening the tent!

      Delete
    3. Never go out for a wee. Always a bad sign. Now who will help the little sister.

      Delete
    4. Going out for wee is such a bad idea it's the equivalent of Lets split up and look around, great last line

      Delete
    5. Welcome Kevin! For those that don't know, Kevin was the first person to publish one of my pieces (excluding online) in Cruentus Libris' 100 Horrors (check out the right hand side of my blog).

      How often do we think that wisdom comes with age! Really enjoyed this. Gentle build up, nice dialogue and then that killer (literally) ending. Hope to see more of your stuff here Kevin when you can step away from the editing!

      Delete
    6. I'll certainly try to - we're running another volume of '100 Horrors' next year, so I'm trying to keep my hand in.

      Hope you'll submit again, this time around?

      Delete
  10. (thanks for kind comments last week folks)

    Pep Talk

    “So you want to be Dungeon pickers and treasure rippers?
    This is a goblin spear – 3” shaft 2” barbed head. Fang face will thrust this in and out of you, from a alcove while you’re chipping your sword on the walls emulating a knight.”

    He’ll run and your buddies will be full of your victory against the Goblin hordes, you’ll be in pain. All the time watched by someone who knows the caves, who sees in the dark and smells our fear. Someone who thinks you invading his home makes you dinner.”
    Eyes flickered, A couple of recruits fainted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3" or 3'?

      Very sinister, Kehaar. Green (ha) recruits are always so easy to spook, although I'm guessing there's a fair amount of truth in the tale he's telling them.

      Great first line, too. =)

      Delete
    2. This is a great beginning. I hope there will be more. Great great story.

      Delete
    3. Starship Troopers with Goblins, think I'd be fainting as well!!

      Delete
    4. I think Nick nailed it Keehar, Starship Troopers with Goblins indeed! I can hear the voice of the grizzled, battle-hardened commander as he delivers this monologue to his 'green' troops. You captured this scene perfectly and could see this being the beginning of something much bigger.

      Delete
  11. Thank you, Phil! And congratulations Nick. =)

    Does that mean I can resubmit Savage this week too..? ;D

    Strange little something for you this week...


    Eternal

    Padraig was a little goblin of a man, wizened and bitter, always preceded by the tap-tap of his cane and the mumbling, grumbling cursing of all in sight. Old he might have been, ancient, but his tongue was still spear-sharp and keen as his eyes, flickering from hoodied youths to drunks to single mothers, judging.

    He seemed eternal. While Padraig tap-tapped ever onwards, younger folk would grow old and die.

    And on the other side, he was there to greet them. He would judge them, and guide them, and sometimes the path wound lazily upwards, and sometimes, dropped steeply down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The title promises the circularity of this piece ... and I'm sure there was a Padraig in the village where I grew up.

      Delete
    2. A nightmare fairy tale. We need to know more about Padraig. Really interesting idea.

      Delete
    3. Another fantastic tale John very evocative and for some reason I can smell whiskey on the wind

      Delete
    4. Nice piece John. A twisted St Peter sent to walk amongst us. That last sentence is beautifully subtle, to my mind, and the story itself carries a hint of ancient fables with it.

      Delete
  12. I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. I couldn't help myself. I just couldn't resist and gave in to temptation. It made me feel a little bit dirty but I liked it, nay, I loved it! Here is my humble offering for you all this week. Don't judge me!!!

    Fifty Shades of Green

    The silence was uncomfortable, becoming more than she could bare. She had to say something.
    "Um…"
    "Just don't!"
    "It's ok, I was just surprised, that's all."
    "You laughed!"
    She hadn't been able to help herself. She looked down at it again, standing proud and erect in the middle of his groin.
    "Is that why your mates call you Green Goblin?"
    "I'm going to go…"

    After he'd left she felt a flicker of regret but what else could she have done? It wasn't often a girl found herself at the erotic end of a penis which looked like an asparagus spear.

    Or version two

    Fifty Shades Greener

    The silence was uncomfortable. She had to say something.
    "Um…"
    "Don't!"
    "It's ok, I was just surprised, that's all."
    "You laughed!"
    She hadn't been able to help herself. She looked down at it again, standing proud and erect in the middle of his groin.
    "I'm going to go…"

    After he'd left she felt a flicker of regret but what else could she have done? It was so small, just like an asparagus spear.
    That was the last time she dated a goblin. She reminisced about her first lover Snurg the Mighty, after all, once you pork orc, nothing else compares!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was your intention to get us women crossing our legs this week, twice over?
      But I suppose it's possible to pierce asparagus with a toothpick ... (Yeah - I'm sorry too, a little bit)

      Delete
    2. This little diddy (no pun intended) will have the masses emptying their wallets. FiftybShades if Green on the best seller lst.

      Delete
    3. A lot of women are averse to goblin...

      *cough*

      Funny and a bit sick at the same time, um... nice one? ;)

      Delete
    4. once you pork orc - genius!!

      Delete
  13. I need a break from an atrocious editing job. And I do mean atrocious... like you would not believe. I don't think English is his first language...

    So, let me give my entry for the week and then go comment.

    Dirty Secrets

    You remember the Goblin vacuum cleaners? Oh sorry, you’re not as old as me. Good, they were, fat cylinders with a thick hose. Strong suction, spear anything left on the carpet and swallow it in a flicker.
    No modern ones measure up to it. No, the Goblin doesn’t work any more, it burned out years ago.
    Thing is, I can’t get rid of it. You know this DNA stuff…my Goblin’s stuffed with it.
    Where did you think all my lodgers went? All their left over bits were vacuumed up with it. Can’t take any chances on anyone finding them…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And weren't they a threatening dirty crimson sort of colour? The one I remember was parked near to a wicker carpet beater

      Delete
    2. Wow. Are the dusty little bits trophies? Very interesting character you have. A man and his vacuum.

      Delete
    3. Interesting you read it as a man, Marietta, in my head it was a woman, taking in young gentlemen lodgers... But there's nothing to suggest the gender of either.

      Another serial killer from the prediction. =)

      Delete
    4. Great point John. My image was a grumpy older man.

      Delete
    5. Brilliant and unexpected use of Goblin - loved it

      Delete
    6. Ah Antonia, I was hoping someone was going to make use of the Goblin vacuum cleaner and you've done it in such an original way :-) Sucked us in with the casual conversation of a dotty old dear (or is it a man - John/Marietta?) and then throw those last few lines at us all with an overarching black humour which you do so well. Enjoyed this one greatly.

      Delete
  14. OK. onward...
    Phil, (LOL)! what else is there to say????
    John, feel as if this wanted another 100 words.
    Clarky, love the thought of a 3" spear, but then it might be good for those vertically challenged... lots of gore potential here.
    Kevin, very nice piece of flash that, perfectly rounded off with that last line.
    Rebecca, nice one! wanted more.
    Nick, I tried to learn Welsh once upon a long time ago, religiously watched that Welsh soap, got as far as good morning, afternoon, evening, thank you very much and that was it. Like this a lot. Both versions.
    Marietta, oh oh oh, such gore, such delicious gore!
    Sandra, great instalments!
    Now should I go back to the dreaded editing ... let me find you a sample line to show why I don't want to...
    'The flighty conglomeration of a rare seen beauty raced away at first, quickly reappearing again at the beginning of the footage. He felt uneasy. Upon forwarding, the ice crystals stubbornly refused to turn to water.'
    It's all like that, with every wrong apostrophe you can think of and then some, more commas than a typesetter possesses but not used properly and the only redeeeming feature is, I have been paid to do it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Antonia - wouldn't you be better re-writing it? Or is it impossible to know what the heck is meant in the first place?
      Yes, I see that it IS - hope you're charging a LOT of money.

      Delete
  15. This one came hard. No idea why.

    Changing Lanes.

    Light spears into my eyes in a slow rhythm, synchronized with the pounding in my head. It’s streetlights, flickering past as Seth drives back to the hotel. I shift in the seat, groaning.

    “You all right? Nate?”

    To hunters, the notion of seeing a goblin is as fantastic as sighting a unicorn. Of all the evil things ever imagined, they’re one that really doesn’t exist – so far as we know. Looking at Seth, and recalling the thing that was like nothing I’ve ever seen, goblin is the only word that comes to mind.

    I close my eyes and keep silent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoyed the opening paragraph, tight and well written - well done

      Delete
    2. I love the way that you and RR are interplaying between the two points of view with these characters. As Nick said, this was very well written and I almost get a sense of sorrow from Nate. I could see this playing out as a TV series or film with you and RR as chief writers.

      Delete
  16. Came hard ... hit hard, and well constructed. Love the final, forbearing sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had an idea for a short called "Goblinesque", about a fantasy strip joint, but Phil has far surpassed anything I could *ahem* squeeze out.

    So instead, this.

    Shadows in the Dark Light

    It was giggling, a big fat smirk on its bastard goblin face as the spear twisted around in my guts. I just knew it was waiting for me to start screaming and writhing so it could dance around in the flickering torchlight in a rhapsody of bloody victory, wearing my intestines as a scarf, or whatever it is the little fuckers do with the poor sods who end up down here.

    But not this time, I thought, this time they condemned something worse than was already here, and its laughter turned to screams as I gave myself to the darkness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brutal and hard hitting Matt to quote Brucey 'Your my favourite'

      Delete
    2. I am sure that Goblinesque would have been an admirable match for my masterpiece (?!!?) yet I am glad you decided to turn your hand to Shadows in the Dark Light. Great first paragraph and then that visciously sinister ending leaving our imaginations to wonder just what the **** had been dragged down below by the goblins. Very good.

      Delete
  18. opting out for the moment, viewing my friend's body this afternoon has put me in a philosophical mood rather than a 'I want to read gore' mood, I will be back when I recover, and have done a stack more editing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So understandable Antonia. We'll see you again when you feel up to it. Know that everyone here wishes you well.

      Delete
  19. And, a little belatedly, I bring the party to a close this week. An unexpected visit from my sister and nephew threw my carefully laid plans out of kilter but I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Now, off to comment on and judge this week's tantalising entries :-)

    ReplyDelete