Friday, 28 December 2012

The Prediction - all of a muddle

Phew, you made it past the apocalypse and ploughed your way through richly deserved Christmas merriments. I have to apologise to everyone as I have become befuddled with days of the week over this yuletide period and thought today was Thursday hence now being a day late to proclaim my winner!

So, without further ado, and much grovelling for forgiveness, here is my winner for this week....

.....RR Kovar with Pageant. Rebecca - if I am right this is the second time you have provided poetry for us and grabbed first place. I really liked Pageant, the way it weaved stories within stories. A beautiful mythos unfolding as we discover more about the world, and the fate, that the orphan queen has thrust herself into. Just felt that this one had a wonderful sense of legend about it at this time of the year. A deserved winner.

My congratulations to Rebecca and I will abstain from naming a runner-up this week in my haste to get new words out to all. Needless to say, I have enjoyed reading all the offerings over the past fortnight and look forward to reading more of your delights over the next seven days.

Despite being on the naughty list yet again, my tome still received a Christmas treat, a fresh jacket and I understand the occupant within was warmly received too. Fully fed, my tome is slightly more docile so I shall brave retrieving three words for our pleasure....
  • Incite
  • Thread
  • Septic
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 3 January 2013 to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 4 December. 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!
May you all have joyous New Year celebrations and I hope to see all of you regularly in 2013!

42 comments:

  1. many congratulations, Rebecca! Superb writing needs to be acknowledged and this is! Wonderful imagery.

    Good words this week, Phil, will see what my zombie makes of them as he begins his adventures into the real world.

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  2. Congrats to last week's winners!

    I tend to bounce from one site to another for my weekly prompts, which is why you guys don't see posts from me every week. My submission here this week is a continuation of a series. (The first part was always written based on one of the prompts here.)

    I hope everyone is having a great holiday break. :)

    the tapestry
    Septic. That’s how she would have described what she felt. The cold energies of dark magic wove threads through the air, layer upon layer of gossamer strands creating an invisible tapestry of maleficence.

    The ledge was narrow–-predictably so. When in movies, books or life are ledges anything but dangerously thin? While she couldn’t hear him, she had no doubt Mathers continued to speak, the tumbling cadence of invocation inciting a shit-storm of terror he could not possibly understand.

    He truly was a fool.

    The wind pulled at her as she inched along, carefully making her way to his window.

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    1. I love the contrast between the delicious descriptions of sentences three and six and the matter-of-fact 'He truly was a fool'. The whole is intriguing indeed.

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    2. clever writing and sharp observations! like it!!

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    3. invisible tapestry of maleficence Magnificent phrase. I love the tension in this, only heightened by wry observation. More, please.

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    4. As is always the way with your pieces Dex, lots going on for us to think upon. Interwoven (pun intended) with great phrases, this piece sees us with a damsel in distress high on a ledge but, as we near the end, I fear for Mathers' safety from this avenging (?) angel. Top writing.

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  4. I was sickening for something, otherwise I would NEVER have confused septic with sceptic :( Now, after 21 hours in bed I have righted it.
    Congratulations to Rebecca for last week's win.

    Change of focus [11]

    Pettinger translated Gunita’s python-hissed invective directed at her brother, storming loose-wrapped in a fine-quilted emerald silk coverlet, only losing her thread at the attempted escape of the hastily-covered member of Her Majesty’s Judiciary to demand – in English – a sum of money sufficient to incite a riot amongst the thirty-quid-a-fuck dockside elite were they to hear of it.

    Blenching, he paid and left.

    To Goren, indicating Pettinger: ‘Hopgood failed, Cherriman’s disappeared, now it falls to me to break him.’

    Goren snort-laughed, ‘In the same manner? Can I watch?’

    Pondering on degrees of consanguinity, Pettinger, blank-faced, vowed to avoid that septic fate.

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    1. So very, very much happening in this short piece! Every twist and turn just makes me hungry for the next. Also, I want to see this filmed, perhaps as a web series of short vignettes.

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    2. Oh dear Sandra, I hope you are back to good health now.

      As RR says, twists and turns aplenty here. And to top it all I have learnt a new word. Blenching shall forever be indelibly marked on my brain now :-)

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  5. Encounter en route from Rhodes

    He spotted him the third day, knew he’d been identified the fifth. Ensured the inevitable took place at night.
    ‘You survived.’
    ‘No thanks to you, milord, found a whore who knew cobwebs stopped wounds going septic...’
    ‘That old wives tale! You’re still carrying?’
    ‘You still inciting rebellion? My price has doubled.’
    ‘My allegiance has changed, you’d benefit...’
    ‘I benefit only from gold...’
    ‘And silence as to your whereabouts, I’ve heard.’
    Rope-roughened fingers snagged threads of silk cravat.
    Aristocratic features coarsened, croaked, ‘Mine too, of course, Ma...’
    Grasp loosened, growled, ‘Know that, and that aboard I’m Portuguese and known as Tao.’

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    1. Oooh, political intrigue thrown into the mix! I want not to like this scoundrel, but am coming to admire him, at the very least. Well done.

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    2. Great back and forth with the dialogue here as the negotiations play a merry dance before our eyes whilst secrets tingle across their lips. I really want to see where this takes us next.

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  6. both are good, it's a bit like 'how do I follow that??' good characterisation here, like it lots.

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    1. Thanks Antonia - you 'followed that' in your own inimical style, of course!

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  7. this week's instalment...
    Skullface, we just found something out that is of tremendous benefit to all zombiekind. If you stub your toe it doesn’t turn septic. Nothing living, you see, apart from my desire to incite panic and mayhem by walking about and pretending to be alive.
    I quite like that idea. It has started a thread of thought that, if I follow it to its logical conclusion, could mean us zombies taking over the world.
    Yes, but what would we do with it?
    One foot in front of the other, moving on… our ambition will be fulfilled, you just wait and see.

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    1. Yes - what would we do if we inherited the world? And I wait to see what next you come up with ...

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    2. Such a great rumination, and I love the constant stream of discoveries about his new form. An ambitious zombie is a terrible thing to contemplate.

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    3. Oh my, a zombie with intentions of ruling the world! Clever use of the internal dialogue that he has going on within himself (very Gollum-esque) and gives so many more dimensions to what could so easily be a drab character otherwise.

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  8. A change of focus [12]

    Twin faces turned, depicting twinned intent: Goren’s vicarious, Gunita purring spurious seduction, quilt playing hide and seek with spunk-sheened breasts and belly.

    ‘You’re accusing me of rape?’
    Pettinger’s repugnance at their septic, incest-threaded confluence, their casual admission of Sally-Ann’s murder, incited near betrayal of his thus far unadmitted ancestry.

    ‘A mistake, for which I’ll make amend.’ Her lips teased his, fingers fluttered: ear, throat, wrist; hand butterflied across his groin.

    Pettinger returned impassive, nostril-flared distaste. Maintaining eye-contact, Gunita clicked her fingers. ‘Goren, perchance your soft-shelled policeman will respond more rapidly when he reviews our film of his activities with Hopgood.’

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    1. Oh, blackmail, that vile enterprise. Never works out well for anyone. I am in awe of your turn of phrase - purring spurious seduction (and others, but I will seem to gush if I go on. (I am gushing, just to be clear.)). This hero I do like, quite a lot.

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    2. I like the way that this twists from a blatant attempt at seduction for gain to outright blackmail. Has our dear Pettinger been caught out one time too many?

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  9. with apologies to C S Lewis!

    My Dear Wormwood...

    You mention that The Patient is obtaining great comfort from that peculiarly human invention “The Internet”. What you are missing is that it is the greatest tool for spreading misery and despair ever created! In the right hands it is a septic tank into which hopes and dreams rot and trust me when I tell you many here are working to keep it that way!

    Simply find a site The Patient frequents, and stalk the threads he comments on, inciting fruitless arguments on grammar and minor differences of opinion. He will be back on track in no time!

    Regards,

    Screwtape

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    1. I love this. It's positively insidious. I got a vision of a vast bureaucracy dedicated to keeping us off-balance, whether our soft spot is grammar, politics, religion or various isms. A troll factory, if you will. I'm going to think about this the next time I get outraged about some idiot on the internet.

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    2. Such implacable, matter of fact horror in this makes it feel like the one true interpretation of the prompt words.

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    3. So true Matt, so true. And very well captured to boot. What greater horror is there than the destruction of dreams and the festering of hope turning to something dark and malevolent. By the way, I believe there is a grammatical error on line....

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  10. Missed you all desperately last week! So sorry I didn't make it. I return from a frantic, wonderful, holiday with...

    The Pull

    I woke behind the wheel, realized what Seth had done, shot my fist at him. It stopped just short of his battered cheek.

    “…can’t drive Nate. You have to. It’s the only way….’m so sorry.”

    Still irate, but controlled, I drove. I glanced at my arms, saw the livid bloody streaks on them, septic threads burning toward my core. Toward the source.

    I followed them like following a map. Each twist of scarlet a twist or turn in the road, urging me, daring me, to find it. Beside me, Seth bled, cried, whispered.

    “Yes. Find it, Nate. Take us home.”

    Hope you all had lovely holidays!

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    1. The dark journey continues ... and so well, 'septic threads burning toward my core' is excellent.

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    2. That's one extreme form of satnav you've got going on there with Nate. There's a great sense of urgency here as Seth and Nate are slowly but surely closing in on there goal.

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  11. I apologize for not commenting last week. I was plague-ridden. I am now mostly recovered. Thank you all for your kind words on my strange poem. And now (despite the fact that Colleen left me little time, the wench), Seth responds:

    Tainted Love

    Inciting antibodies in his system might have saved Nate from septicemia, but not for long. I could see and smell the voodoo curse taking over. As his rage grew, his foot got heavier on the gas.

    My injuries throbbed, anticipating more. I had no magic left for defense or even to mitigate damage done. I’d given him everything. He’d given me black eyes. Dr. Phil would have a lot to say about our relationship.

    I held onto consciousness by a thread, until Nate took a sharp turn and my head hit the window.

    I woke in another field. Alone.

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    1. But you work SO well under pressure, lovey! *grin*

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    2. And another desperate to know what next sentence to end on.
      'I’d given him everything. He’d given me black eyes.' is wonderfully impactful.

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    3. Really nice take from Colleen there. And that's a cliffhanger and a half to leave us on. Has Nate abandonned Seth? Or has someone stolen him away? Can't wait for the next installment.

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  12. I am in the middle of a massive amount of work, an editor has gone MIA and I have taken over five more anthologies, all great fun. It is at this point my zombie says 'can we do instalment 2, please...' so here it is.
    Way to go, the first living person has run screaming after one look at me. One down, how many to go? Perhaps he thought I was a walking septic pit or something. Surely I am not that bad looking, am I? I need a mirror. Yes, but that might incite panic in me, and that would never do.
    My flesh unravels like a pulled thread destroys a garment. I think of myself as whole and then bits fall off. Very upsetting. But then, who needs it? Bones are clean and strong and … why don’t I believe what I’m saying?

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    1. Oh dear Antonia, just what you need at the start of a new year. At least you're able to still turn out great pieces, one after the other. The bit about inciting panic in himself really made me chuckle but also alluded to the humanity left within our 'hero'. I really get a sense that the unravelling flesh is a bit of an analogy about his unravelling sanity as we get towards this end of this one. Very good.

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  13. This just keeps getting better ...

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  14. Pant. Pant. Pant...ran home. Out and about. Had to give my offering to Mr. Phil.Not sure it sparkles but we shall see. Will comment shortly.



    Purpose
    I was not the pretty one. My sister was chosen; forced to a public house and kept with others. She would incite coupling. I last saw her through a window, no thread covering her, as soldiers took turns. I felt guilty. I felt grateful. I was processed and soon riding in an armored truck; surrounded by the elderly, the different and the broken. We passed burning cars, derelict buildings and piles of septic bodies. We stopped beyond the compound gates. Above, unearthly cries rippled through the trees and at last revealed our purpose, our gift; sacrifice.

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    1. Tight-told and terrible dilemma Marietta - breathless even - well done,

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    2. There is a lot of inner turmoil going on here (I felt guilty. I felt grateful) and it feels very profound as a piece which fills me with sorrow. The elderly, different and broken used to feed whatever evil takes flight above those trees. Sadly it reflects society a little too closely (except for maybe the winged evil).

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  15. And we are closed for yet another week. Unfortunately I was unable to find time to provide a morsel this week but hopefully next week I shall be able to.

    So, no more entries and I shall go off and judge. I also have some news to bring you which I hope is accepted in good grace.

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    1. Aye, indeed, the lump im my stomach is heavy and cold ...

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  16. I don't think I like the sound of that last bit my dear (news taken with grace and all). Rarely are folks asked to behave gracefully and there not be a reason to lose said grace. There is a lump in my stomach.

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