Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Prediction - decisions, decisions

Firstly, may I wish you all a happy new year. May it be full of opportunity and joy for you all.

Secondly, I have news this week, something which I have been pondering for a little bit and something which I hope you will understand.

I have decided that I will retire from hosting The Prediction, having taken it on from Lily back in May last year. Whilst it has been a great honour to host such fine writers over the past eight or nine months, I am finding that my time is getting more and more limited in life and my own time for writing has dwindled greatly. Something needs to give and, unfortunately, it is The Prediction. Please be assured it is not a decision I have taken lightly and I have changed my mind a number of times (even whilst writing this) but this feels (kind of) the right decision for me at this time in my life. My biggest concern is letting you all down and I apologise that I will be unable to host this wonderfully supportive group in the future.

If anyone would wish to take over hosting The Prediction then do come forward and let me know. Who knows, maybe The Prediction will become a trusted gift passed from person to person over time. I quite like that idea. I intend that the last Prediction to be hosted on this site will close on Thursday 31 January (31.1.13 - a nice palindromic date). So that gives us four more weeks to play together and five more winners to announce as I need to crown this week's winner.

My winner this week is Marietta Miles with a late entry entitled Purpose. Marietta - this piece reminded of the atrocities that man commits. Very reminiscent of tales of the holocaust with a supernatural element mixed in. A dark mirror to be held up against the evil that men do which made me tearful as the purpose was revealed. Chilling.

My runner's up slot this week goes to Antonia Woodville for her tales of a zombie as a whole. Antonia - I really like the way that you have managed to instill a personality into a zombie, something which I have never seen before, and kept it going for so many installments. Whilst there is a lighthearted side to these pieces which frequently makes me chuckle, there is a subtle undertone of mental breakdown going on which makes these much more than may appear on the surface. Keep them coming.  

So, congratulations to Marietta and Antonia with thanks to all of you who were able to find time over the festive period to drop by with an entry or a comment.

So, my tome is getting agitated, he can sense that there is change afoot. I fear that I shall have to don the metal gauntlets and tweezers to pull forth the words this week. Let's see what they shall be....
  • vine
  • oddity
  • hoard
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 10 January to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 11 January. 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!

Come tangle me up in your words this week!

106 comments:

  1. I need to get back in and comment on the outstanding stories this week, but - I have taken over five anthologies, the editor having gone missing somewhere so everyone is resubmitting their stories!!
    And then I find two shock horrors, but first, congratulations to Marietta for a truly chilling piece. Loved it.
    Thank you, Phil, for the comments on my zombie, who continues to fascinate me as his story unfolds.
    That was one shock, being runner up to such talent. The other is, your giving up the Prediction. I wish I could take over but I have no blog and not enough knowledge to set one up, either, not to mention time... I now have 14 anthologies running... I do hope someone among us can take on the Prediction, it can't be allowed to fold, my zombie won;t permit that! He has adventures untold to experience before his skeleton finally falls apart and skullface returns to the earth somewhere.

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  2. I feared it might be that, Phil, and thank you for what you've achieved in the past months.
    I sincerely hope that someone else can take over the nurturing of this vine of writers and allow us to continue to develop our prompt-led oddities in strange and unexpected directions to add to the hoard of excellent vintage already cellared.

    And congratulations to Marietta and Antonia.

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  3. Opening negotiations

    Through the Straits, heading north, middle watch.
    ‘Four days to Lisbon?’
    ‘Three, milord, should the wind stay fair.’
    ‘I have a proposition. You disembark there?’
    Tao switched the tobacco plug hoarded in his cheek, ‘No.’
    Could you?’
    ‘Depends.’
    ‘Gold, of course.’
    Contemptuous acknowledgement.
    ‘A short journey, to a vineyard.’
    ‘And?’
    ‘A man whose death would be... convenient.’
    ‘It’s an oddity, milord, but this echoes...’
    ‘Regrettably, some people never learn.’
    ‘Not even you, it seems.’
    ‘My sister: over trusting.’
    His sister? He hadn’t realised that. How she’d scratched! And screamed: would likely even louder this time.
    ‘All right.’
    ‘Name your price.’

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    1. Fantastic dialogue that reveals so much. And now I don't like him anymore, for which I thank you. A truly nefarious duo with a distinct lack of compassion, even for family. It makes me shudder, if only because I know it's not all that rare.

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    2. And yet again your man shows his dark side, and Tao isn't much better. Rich dialogue here and well paced to boot. Let's see where this goes next.

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    3. Definitely sharp dialogue. You pack so much into this Sandra.

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    4. I love, love, love, dialogue. It's such a challenge for me, to write well that I'm always thrilled to read it. This bit flows and moves the story along beautifully. I'm very eager to see what happens next!

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    5. Your gift is dialogue. Among others. Wow. You were able to add another layer to his personality. Wonderful twists.

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  4. Good news one and all, Colleen Foley has offered to host The Prediction when my tenure ends come 31 January. Colleen has shown wonderful flair with her tales of Seth and Nate playing back and forth with RR Kovar and is always supportive of everyone else here with her comments. A great person to be handing over to, I am sure you will agree, and more details to be announced shortly.

    Cheers

    Phil

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    Replies
    1. Ginormous blessings to be heaped upon Colleen's head - SUCH a relief - and phew!!!

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  5. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. I am so happy. Thank you Colleen. Phil I hope you will continue to post stories. Long live The Prediction.

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    1. I am sure I will pop by from time to time to play...it's a bit too addictive to give up completely!

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  6. The life of this story not now to be prematurely truncated, here is part thirteen:

    A change of focus [13]

    Black bile burst at the pit of his stomach, spread like a pantomime vine to throat, seared along limbs, to extremities.
    He had, even as he acquiesced, seen the oddity of a man like him, not known for inciting instant lust, being accosted by a woman like her, but caution had been need-diluted and she skilful – warm – enough to release deep-hoarded desire.
    That it might have been bogus, witnessed, traitorous, sickened him, while strengthening his resolve to seek the truth behind her murder.
    Just in case it had not been her, but them.

    Now to school his face to inscrutable.

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    Replies
    1. yes! more superb writing, that last line is incredible, one to stick in the mind!

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    2. spread like a pantomime vine That one is going to stick with me. Just a gorgeous phrase. I love the way this story moves and am ever so glad it will have the chance to continue. Because I SO want to know what happens next!

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    3. That opening line is fabulous and you capture the inner turmoil so well here. Great as always.

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    4. Black bile burst :-) I love that. Always a pleasure to read your work.

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    5. Such wonderful phrasing! Both first and last lines are brilliant. I can feel his humiliation at thinking she might have been false and I admire his determination to find the truth of the thing anyway. What happens next?!

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    6. Hoarded desire. I am blushing. As always a tactile delight.
      Your knowledge and way with words leaves me breathless.

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    7. Thank you all - I have to say I am blushing with pleasure, and humbled, at your very kind words.

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  7. Good morning, everyone.
    Just a quick update.

    First, I must tell you how excited I am to be the new host for Prediction! I'm truly honored by the responses to Phil's announcement that he's passing it on to me to care for. Thank you!

    Special thanks must go to RR Kovar for convincing me that I'll be good at this, and also for the invaluable help she has already provided!

    The new space has been set up and I've sent Phil the link. Once he gets it posted, please feel free to come by and have a look. Again, MAJOR thanks to RR for seeing that done!

    I promise that I will do all I can to continue The Prediction as the wonderfully fun and creative place it has always been.

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    1. And the link to Colleen's new place is http://predictionfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

      I'll be plugging this a lot in the next few weeks. Please make sure you drop by for a sneak peek before the first Prediction Challenge is hosted there on 1 Feb.

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  8. so so so pleased the Prediction will continue and so so so pleased it is in your safe hands, Colleen! Looking forward to dropping by!

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  9. Let me know if you ever need help. With The Prediction that is...:-)

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  10. Ah, The Prediction - my spawn ephemeral. Glad it's got a new home with Colleen Foley, and a huge thanks to Mr Ambler for nurturing it so beautifully.

    All the best of luck Colleen - have tome, will travel.

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    1. With Colleen taking this on Lily does that give us enough for a coven? Is that what a collective of Prediction hosts would be called?

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  11. Sad about Phil, yay for Coleen... maybe that tinged my flash a little... along with some other things...


    Archive 1, Caretaker 4,159 (Mo) Log, Entries: 4 & 598-600

    Rationed meagre hoard of Bowie's "Space Oddity" and Vine's "Three Black Moons" to once per cycle (instead of eternally looping, ugh). We need the power to steer; however, I can’t totally countermand my predecessor's vapid request to “play spaaace music, duuude”. Sheesh...

    Over 8,000 years Real-time (60 subjective) to correct course discrepancies. Dumbass... still, he'd more juice in him than most... Anyhow, no more corrections (barring accidents) for 75,000 years.

    Josh is good; he'll get Us through, maybe even see the Planet, but... I'm old. I'll only reach there as reconstituted fuel and fertiliser.

    Good Luck, Exodus. Signing off.

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    1. I love the idea of rationing Bowie etc in order to have the power to steer, and the whole tone of this is masterful. Well done Zoë.

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    2. Such a beautifully forlorn piece. The narrator constrained by previous commands, cognizant of how time has passed and the resultant waning is incredibly poignant. And yet, at the end, hope remains for those traveling on.

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    3. Did you see Moon on BBC 2 over the Christmas holidays? A fantastic film which I would urge people to go watch. This reminded me greatly of that with the caretaker (version 4,159) who is resigned to his role for the greater good. A very thought provoking tale with some wonderful science fiction elements to ponder (whilst singing Bowie in my head).

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    4. Excellent if chilling Sci Fi. The total opposite of warp generators and hyper drive. This was a lonely tale of the long haul.

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    5. perfect piece of SF writing, not a slip there anywhere. Magical to read.

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    6. This tone and feel of this reminded me of Ripley's last log entry at the very end of the first Alien movie. Weary, lonely, and resigned. You've captured those emotions perfectly. I completely agree with Antonia. This is perfect.

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    7. Rocket Man drifts to mind. Lonely and frustrated...this was a great story. Well paced and then revealing. Great.

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    8. We saw Moon on LoveFilm a while back and really liked it, so possibly unconsciously a little of that lonesome vibe (I did see it on schedule over the hols but we didn't get the chance to watch again).

      What tickled Matt this week is that he did fantasy and I did SF... :D

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  12. Phil, I totally understand where you're coming from as I had the same feelings when I gave up editing The Flash Fiction Offensive. My own writing (let alone family life) was taking a back seat.

    You've done a great job and you should be proud. I've not been playing as much of late (work and writing projects) but I have been dropping by. I will try and join in with your last few weeks and hopefully carry on with it at its new home with Colleen.

    Happy New Year, my friend.

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    1. Why thank you sir and a happy new year to you!

      Will be great if you can squeeze an entry in over the next few weeks - always enjoy reading your stuff.

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  13. Can You Dig It?

    Seth would wake in the car, for all the good it would do him. I’d called Jimmy. He’d be safe.

    I followed a single vine now. I’d had to remove my shirt. It ran straight to the middle of my chest, a round, black, pulsing thing. No oddity there, eh? It becoming a tumor?

    I felt her, somewhere ahead as I ran past small mounds. A burial ground.

    The pain stopped. I wanted to dig at my chest, unearth the thing inside. I dug earth and rotted leaves instead, like a hoard of rabid gophers.

    Then I fell to her.

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    1. Umm ... Colleen, I do hope you're not going to piss Rebecca off by writing very, very tricky endings to the extent that she withdraws her technical support.
      But no doubt she'll cope, and this is a most intriguing new direction. Pretty bloody brilliant too.

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    2. No worries, Sandra. I love a challenge, and Colleen does not disappoint.

      I love how visual this is and the juxtaposition of stops and starts. The last line can be read in so many ways.

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    3. Ah, so Nate didn't abandon Seth. Now where have you taken us? And to whom? Just when I thought we had seen all the twists and turns in this series we are thrown a mysterious women. A relation to Antonia's zombie perhaps ;-)

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    4. twists and turns, more twists and turns... if there is a relation to my zombie, they haven't materialised yet, come to think of it, neither has this week's episode, but first the good bit, reading the entries. Love this, wondering how and where it can go on - and knowing the answer will come.

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    5. Clever clever. I like when they do the right thing, sometimes. Excellent twist.

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    6. Hi Colleen, I'm hopeless at following serials, but can still enjoy reading your work. You always leave me wanting more.

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  14. well, thats a shame Phil, and thanks for keeping this running whilst you can. I hope you'll continue to write here. And Hooray For Colleen, for saving the day! Anyway, for this weeks effort:

    The Sweetest Fruit

    At first we simply studied it, this botanic oddity grown from the dark places, but soon we were drawn to it, to caress it, breathe the fecundity of its scent, to sleep amongst its roots. We let its vines embrace us, weave around and penetrate us, the warm sap mingling with our blood and fluids bringing us to an ecstatic state of unlife and neverdeath.

    We are truly one now, flora and fauna, a hoard of living fruit of the eternal tree where once a village stood on the edge of darkness. Come, study us, and be embraced.

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    1. Creepy, in all senses of the word, and with such authority.

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    2. Breathtaking - in all senses of the word. The reverence and joy are almost obscene... and yet compelling. How easy to give it all up for eternal pleasure, and how horrible.

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    3. And that's the last time you eat overripe fruit Mr Farr, it's clearly been affecting your mind. But then again, maybe eat more if this is what you are going to deliver to us.

      Lovely description of the coming together of the people and the plant - the ultimate symbiotic relationship perhaps. This is dark fantasy on a grand scale and one I would want to see illustrated in a graphic novel or similar.

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    4. Agree with the comments, there is so much understated and yet said in this piece, true dark fantasy.

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    5. That they aren't horrified by what's happened to them is the most frightening part of this. RR has the right of it. The notion that it would be so easy to simply give in to ecstasy and leave all else behind is the most fearsome bit...feels rather like committing suicide without dying.

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    6. Nature's own monsters...and an organic coming together. This creepy piece felt believable in an acid trip way.

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    7. Hi Matt,

      Loved the nightmare images this produced in my mind. A kind of natural matrix enhanced by Gigeresque artwork filled my head. ice work.

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  15. OK, last one this week, promise.

    Dressing the part

    ‘Name your price.’

    The fancy-mannered shyster hadn’t meant it, never did; he hoarded gold as he did his daughters’ virginities; sweet fruit of his vine.

    Lisbon approached before hands were spat upon and shaken. Tao disembarked, disguised in a beggars-can’t-be-choosers oddity of his employer’s fourth-best outer garments. (Last time he’d been a bible-clutching Dominican, seeking influence and alms.)

    At the vineyard gate he was admitted at the showing of a letter, welcomed, wined and dined with courtesy, unrecognised. (As black friar he’d been beyond suspicion; later, in the chambered dark, unspeaking, vehement and vilipendous, he’d remained unknown).

    Tomorrow, the business.

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    1. Oh, must it be the last this week? There is a casual evil in this character, not quite delighted but neither resigned. His life and work simply reflect him. I doubt a friar has ever been so black, nor a soul neither.

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    2. Yes! layer upon layer, will the true person ever stand up and be acknowledged, I wonder...

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    3. "Fancy-mannered shyster" gave me a tiny giggle. The rest, the casual darkness of him, is wonderful. Lisbon should be very afraid, indeed, to have this man among them, except they don't know he's there. Very nice piece.

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    4. Seems to move with a confident manner; sly. Seems bad business s on the docket.

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    5. More sneaking deceitfulness within this complex tale.

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    6. You said shyster. :-) Not a word I here often enough. It makes me smile. Your writing is a joy to read as always.

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  16. Re: Generation

    The connection to Nate thinned like a vine in winter, I cursed my inability to revive it. Legs failed. I tumbled to the dirt.

    Magic struck, electric. I convulsed as my body drew it up and in, autonomous, attempting to hoard the current. For the first time, I feared my potential.

    I wanted more.
    -- Always.
    --- Forever.
    ---- My birthright.
    Mine.

    The brand on my hip flared, shattering reverie. I was on a ley line cross, a much sought oddity. If I stayed, it would consume me. Healed, I wrenched free.

    To the south, I could feel Nate. And then I couldn’t.

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    1. Clever, clever, clever way to give Seth a jump start. There is so much hidden magic out there in the world if you just know where to look (or are a little fortuitous). That last line plays so, so well with Colleen's piece. Nice bit of writing.

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    2. Something Shakespearian in the opening words, but the magic shot it forward to now, and then beyond, before the ley line cross re-grounded it. Truly you have risen to the challenge and in the final line thrown the gauntlet back again.

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    3. certainly a lot to go with here, twisting the poor guy's life into all sorts of knots. And then leaving him bereft of contact. And ... ???

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    4. I sometimes feel as if I'm watching Seth become not only more powerful, but also addicted to his magic. And look where you've left us! And "thinned like a vine in winter." is just lush reading! You have an amazing talent for phrasing my friend. I cannot wait to see where Nate takes me in response.

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    5. This is a complex sibling tale; letting go, trusting. It also feels like we are watching them evolve and grow in their own "skin".

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  17. Seeing as I didn't get time to play last week I have decided to play with this week's and last week's prompts (which were Incite, Septic and Thread). This isn't a first as John Xero did this previously using the past, current and (not that he knew it at the time) following week's prompts a few months back.

    Hope you enjoy it.

    Away with the fairies

    Idle thoughts, wicked thoughts, septic thoughts, unguarded thoughts. All the time, chitter chatter, chitter chatter, throbbing, glistening, waiting to be picked like luscious grapes from the vine. So rich and juicy and nourishing. Sometimes sour, sometimes bitter.

    I hoard them all. Some I sell. Some I devour. Some I use for mischief. My oddities, my favourites, my brainstorms. I plant them, let them fester, let them grow, ready to incite the painter, the zealot, the monarch.

    Next time you lose your thread, forget yourself, are lost for words, look for me amongst the static harvesting the evil which men dream.

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    1. A Pit Of Yellow Stars

      Alone, I lay amid twisted limbs beneath the horizon, frozen in a pit of yellow stars.

      The rain falls from a blackened rectangular sky. I am the last fruit of a withered vine, feigning death among the dead hoard.

      Liquid clay leaches out from the walls, painting my sightless brethren grey.

      Vicious concussions of heavy artillery crack the sky above as the allies move ever closer. I am an oddity, a survivor in hell.

      A shadow falls across the open grave; the guards face a twisted mask of hate, he points the Maschinenpistole 34 and my heart turns to stone.

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    2. Enjoy, Phil, yes indeed, and admire, and hope you'll keep writing. That final line is carved-in-stone monumental.

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    3. Shaun, that "Liquid clay leaches out from the walls, painting my vividly sightless brethren grey" brings all the horrors of trench warfare so very close.

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    4. good one, Shaun, superb imagery here.

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    5. Phil. I will never again experience that "loss for words" thing without envisioning some grey twisted thing sucking them away for its own twisted purposes. Thanks for that! Great story!

      Shaun, this just scared me. I'm not even sure what else to say about it. It scared me. Thank you!

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    6. Phil...I hate this guy; feeding on our fragile parts. I need this guy. I want want want the inspiration he holds. Damn this guy. Great piece.

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    7. Shaun this was scary. Sightless, grey, undead hoard. The gun and the soldier brings vintage images of WWII. Great job, excellent atmosphere.

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    8. Phil, your piece is gorgeous and wicked in all the many ways it tugs at my brain. I should be afraid of your fairy, but if it sells, I'm obviously buying.

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    9. Shaun, the harsh beauty you bring to the horrors of war make it even more chilling. It is both stark and terrible, and I can't stop reading it.

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    10. Shaun - you may encroach on my space any time when the writing is as good as that. A bleak picture of an open war time grave with the bodies piled around. Chillingly described and a heart stopping ending. So glad you were able to venture back to The Prediction.

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    11. this is magical in many ways and on many levels. Haunting images.

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  18. Sorry Phil, think I have encroached on your space. I'm out of practice.

    Thanks Sandra.

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    1. Whoops David - you are out of practice insofar as having probably edited out 'oddity' but have lost nothing in the visual impact of the tale. And yes, the numbers are getting harder to discern.

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    2. Haha! I had a 4 word sentence at the start of the second part...He was an oddity. As I said, I'm a tad rusty.

      Thanks for your kind words. I'll re-post.

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    3. Ahhhhhh. I have no clue what is happening.

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  21. Their Nightmare.

    His severely swollen joints stretched the reddish, purple skin to its limit. The illness had blighted his life for a long time and no amount of treatment or praying had helped.

    He was an oddity. People would stare when he ventured out, talking in hushed voices - no thought given to his nightmare.

    Now, with a rope cutting into his neck, he hung from the tree in his garden, his naked form resembling a bunch of over-ripe grapes hanging from a vine.

    A hoard of neighbours looked on, macabre curiosity slowly being replaced by guilt.

    His suicide was their nightmare.

    ~End~

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    1. Hm, like it a lot, just wondering about the word hoard there, which I think ... tell me I am wrong if I am ... should have been horde, meaning a group, rather than a treasure or stash, yes? Lots of my authors make the same mistake, you see.
      Other than that, your imagery is gory and great at the same time.

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    2. You're right, Antonia. Told you I was rusty. I even typed horde into the dictionary just to make sure. I'm afraid my eyes maybe going as well as my joints. :-)

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    3. I loved this story. It may be fiction but most people have no desire to help till it is too late. The sad human figure will remind them of their own weakness. Thank you for posting. I am a sucker for backhanded justice.

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    4. The implications here are just stunning. I can't decide if those are his final thoughts as he slips away, or the thoughts of his neighbors as they watch. And what a thought! That they would simply stand there watching him die, and do nothing. But as you say, his death is their nightmare. A perfectly twisted little tale of revenge here.

      Btw, I just read my own entry again. I too have misused the word "hoard" to mean "horde." Damn. And I was so proud of my "hoard of rabid gophers", too!

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    5. There is something satisfying and right about the way he makes them pay for staring by giving them something they cannot unsee and an awareness they cannot unknow.

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    6. A sad, heart wrenching tale David which shows the darker side of humanity. How often do individuals judge people on appearance, shun those who appear different to us to save our own feelings of awkwardness when a friendly wave would be welcomed so much more. Captured so well and I forgive you the use of hoard - after all it's about the tale and the emotions you evoke. Great to see you back.

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  22. verification -
    I find myself often typing xxx xxx and having the computer say the words didn't match, hey, wonder why? it's because I couldn't read the fuzzy numbers, you people out there who create these things! So I type xxx and wait until one comes up I can read. It's the only way.
    So you are not alone, Predictioneers, in not being able to read the pesky things.
    I will go work with the zombie now, see where he wants to go. Needs to go. Has to go.

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    1. If you just hit the little circular arrow thing to the right of the box, it will refresh the image until you get one you can make out. I do that all the time, because I can't be bothered to squint (and with glasses, should not have to).

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    2. Ah, as host of the site I don't get the Captcha stuff and didn't realise you all had to do this. Guess I shall have to get used to this soon when Colleen takes over!

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  23. Well, it looks interesting ... how mad is he, I wonder??

    I am hoarding good thoughts. I am collecting images half seen, the shadow people, the hunters, those with guns who would bring me down. I am after all the biggest oddity some of them have ever seen or will ever see in their pathetic lifetimes. The thoughts twist like clinging vines in my over active mind. I am hoping they will obscure the upset and give me the positive, the fact no one has yet stopped me or challenged me as I walk, steady, trying not to lose anything, through what appears to be a park – why is it deserted?

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    1. Whether you intended it or not, the park is dark and dripping after heavy rain. And this sounds not at all mad, which is scary in itself.

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    2. I fell a swell of fear comin...yay. Where is he going? What does he want to do? The great thing is I want to know more. Great job Antonia.

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    3. Antonia, so much said here and yet so much to wonder about! I'd love to read more of this. I really like the imagery and I find myself curious as to just how "odd" he or she is!

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    4. Oh, how interesting! All that work and bravery (or compulsion) to come out among the living, and there aren't any to be found. I wonder what happened.

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    5. Is this the last man standing? And he had visions of exacting revenge on a mystery lady in an earlier episode if memory serves. Have these plans been thwarted by nature or a manmade disaster? Eager to find out.

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  24. It seems I have really cocked up this week. First I edit out a sentence with oddity in and then I've used the word hoard but the meaning of horde. My bad!! I shall chastise myself with lashing of red wine and try better next time.

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  25. I recall the first flash I posted. I was sooo full of myself and what a creepy tale I had created. Of course it was well over the 100 word mark. But who needs to count silly, pesky words when you are brilliant as I. Ha. The process may be fuzzy friend but the writing was excellent. Don't stop or you WILL be punished.

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  26. How can you not be excited about "hoard". Excellent. Well let us see if I did the word any justice.


    The Hoard

    Past summer’s dying vines Little Joe stood over the ravine. At ten years he was tall and muscular; an oddity in town. The previous spring The Hoard culled those older than sixteen; consuming most in one night, saving the rest for autumn. The Hoard would not take children; kids were left to die off. Joe was an elder now; growing to a man. Kids followed him to the ravine; followed him to the edge. Their skinny arms stayed heavy with rocks, cans and bricks. The Hoard slept below. Joe smiled to his best friend, “it’ll be just like toy soldiers.”

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    1. An intriguing piece and I want to know more about what The Hoard is; man, beast or something else. Chilling that the children have been driven to this and young Joe has had to take such weight onto his shoulders. Very good.

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    2. I'd like to know too... a full length horror story in 100 words - brilliant!

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  27. Ok, very late but now closing this party down this week (sorry, something came up last night). So step away from the stale vol au vents and the curling sandwiches and I shall be away to finish commenting and judging before this hour is through to give you new words to savour.

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