Friday, 9 December 2016

False position, too finely balanced

I don’t know how the live traffic feed at the RH side of this (inherited along with the site) works but it has me flitting between Coventry, Wolverhampton and Launceston, down in Cornwall, all 100 miles or more from my actual location. None of which, thank goodness, prevented a richness of entries this week from newcomer Jeffrey’s heavenly description to RR Kovar - the previous host of The Prediction. And we have had Patricia’s very successful first poem, despite having claimed for months she wouldn’t know where to start. (It’s my belief that good writers are naturally poetic), Zaiure’s suggestion of a new serial, Bill launching into the future, Antonia bamboozling us with pirate logic, complemented by Rosie’s alternative view, and Kai coming over nasty with a sliver of steel.

So, who to choose? Which of these do I like – admire, enjoy – enough of a fraction above the others to declare it winner? And the truth is, this week, I simply cannot say, therefore I have to declare you all winners, for your writing, but would give Antonia and Patricia extra praise for their consistency in commenting. Thank you all.

Words for next week:  paper queue yawn

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th December, new words posted on Friday 16th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 2 December 2016

December dawns dark

I spent much of this week dovetailing actions, lies and misdirections to fit around a murder. At one point I had murderer and body-to-be standing side by side, contemplating the [beautifully-described] view from a second-floor flat. Then I checked and found the sun would long have set and it would be pitch dark.

And what a week of dark offerings it has been here! Kai’s welcome  return plunged me straight into nightmare, closely followed by Patricia touching on amnesia and  Jeff’s  non-meeting of minds. I touched on the perils of prostitution and William the collapse of a good guy and Bill the aftermath of indoctrination. Only Rosie’s was imbued with innocence. But, as so often, Zaiure’s light touch of fantasy floated her piece to the top. Thank you all for your participation, both posts and comments.

Words for next week:  live inappropriate target

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th December, new words posted on Friday 9th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Coming up trumps with the goods (sorry!).

That was Patricia this week, three superb pieces after claiming she couldn’t find a use for ‘chapter’. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many definitions there were for it, most of which were eventually used. (No Hell‘s Angels!) And Antonia managed a bit of recruiting for The Prediction too – a very warm welcome, Jeff.
I was somewhat startled to see that  next week we’ll be into December, but hope you’ll all have time to participate here.
As for this week’s winner ... (this gets harder each week) ... it’s a joint, family affair: Rosie for her 52nd episode of Rosebud and Bill as runner up for as good an exercise in subtle menace as you’ll ever see.

Words for next week:  lame mouth upper

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st December, new words posted on Friday 2nd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Lessons not needing to be taught

A workshop at a writing weekend I’ll be going to next year, to be run by Paul Finch, will be on how to add horror to crime. On his blog this week he asks ‘Just how dark can detective fiction go?’

Reading Patricia’s ‘Broth of Oblivion’ had me thinking I’d maybe already gone as far as I wanted, thank you very much (and this despite such innocent prompt words!), which is one very good reason for nominating her this week’s winner. I’m also giving Antonia a mention for her magnificent stand-alone - the first I remember seeing from her, and would nominate you all for a week’s magnificent and rich reading.

Words for next week:  chapter fair jockey

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th November, new words posted on Friday 25th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Some praise at morning

It struck me this week that for words such as ‘nasty’, ‘gruesome’ and ‘eerie; to be used as praise something ... well, something dark is going on.  And what an excellent variety of darkness there is this week.

Much of it serialised, and I know I am guilty of failing to make each piece also stand alone, which must make it hard for newcomers to quickly feel at ease. But what a treat to see a long-ago fellow T10 participant MRMacrum here, leaping in with ‘A Cicatricial Reminder’, which is this week’s runner-up. Antonia’s ‘Infinity 172’ takes first place for its brilliant use of this week’s prompts (and I confess I found unquiet far harder to place than cicatrice).

Words for next week:  bake, feather tough

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th November, new words posted on Friday 18th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Dead Sharp, Ghosting and Lost Words

The titles of three books on the shelf above my monitor which just happen to be leaning side by side in conversation, awaiting the time when I refer to them again. There’s only one room in this house that is without books, and that because they’ll likely come to harm since water and paper aren’t always good together.

This week was less nerve-wracking as to whether anyone other than Patricia and I get round to posting: because there were plenty of early comments. and although, as ever it was difficult to pick a winner, I’ll declare Zaiure’s seventh episode of Consummation top of the tree this week. Thank you all for posting and your most welcome comments; it was good to catch up with a couple of time-interrupted serials..

Words for next week:  cicatrice drive unquiet

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th November, new words posted on Friday 11th


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Toffee-coloured toadstools

Dozens appeared in our lawn this week. Never seen before but apparently harmless, for all their ‘alien invasion’ characteristics. And I’ve discovered a new writer too – Benjamin Myers – who beautifully and poetically writes tales of gruesome, stomach churning events within a rural landscape. None of the coming week’s words appear to offer the opportunities for bloodshed that ‘butcher’ did, yet I am sure  each of you will bring your own brand of poetic queasiness to bear. And thank you for it.

And despite my ever-present gratitude to Antonia and Patricia for their stalwart and ever-entertaining attendance here, I nominate Bill’s last-arriving ‘Dockside’ for the number one spot this week.

Words for next week:  elaborate mend zebra

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd November, new words posted on Friday 4th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Writing and inhabiting new worlds

I’ve spent much of this week with my head in the seventeenth century, reading textbooks and novels of the period to enable me to pick up the voice of my narrator, and have been pleasantly surprised how easily I’ve invented likely-sounding phrases for her and her peers. It strikes me it’s somewhat akin to writing Fantasy, and also that I’m going to have to read something very different to re-enter the world of modern-day murder as required by my current works in progress.

And this week’s entries here well-demonstrate the practised writer’s facility for creation. I look forward to Patricia’s knitting together of her Kursaal world, to Antonia’s Captain a-sail on the high seas and add my plea for Bill to deliver a little more Emilio. This week’s winner, for her orphaned stockings and Princess Rosebud’s endlessly intriguing adventures, is Rosie, with William a brave runner-up for his paean to his absent muse.  

Words for next week:  corrugate, seventeen, butcher

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th October, new words posted on Friday 28th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fine meat for one and numb poison for another

In truth, for me, Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prej’ is more comfort food than meat for me, a book I can pick up and read with enjoyment any time, despite having read it countless times before. Yet there are many, many writers who other folk rave about but whose style of writing leaves me cold. So it is very good to see that within this small but varied band of Prediction participants, each of us is well-entertained, week after week, by the others, despite our variety of voices.  And for her conjuring up a ‘shy shadow’ in this latest well-voiced instalment of her Captain’s tale, I declare Antonia this week’s winner.

Words for next week:  orphan, pen, traipse

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th October, new words posted on Friday 21st

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Marmalade, monsters and man-eating flowers

Nice to have a week off and come back to so many differing choices of favourite. Finding I won by a whisker was very gratifying – thank you! – but it hasn’t made choosing this week’s winner any easier.
So good to learn a little more of Rosie via her comments, and by reading others' I don’t think there’ll be much dissent if I name Patricia’s ‘Felo-da-se’ as the best of a very good rest.

Words for next week:  conjure shadow shy

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th October, new words posted on Friday 14th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Necessary words to fire the imagination

Finally caught up - comments on last week and my two serials for this. Thank you for your voting.

Words for next week: articulate bud incident

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th October, new words posted on Friday 7th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 23 September 2016

You get to choose again

I’m off travelling again for the next ten days, from the North East to the South West, an area visited only a handful of times, and not for ten years. Since a second television series has just begun I anticipate seeing references to ‘Poldark country’. I re-read the first five of Winston Graham’s wonderful novel last year and found them just as enjoyable as when reading them in my teens. Couldn’t bear to watch the tv series as the characters are already so vivid in my head. As, of course, are the characters created here, week on week; I firmly believe it is more enjoyable to be able to exercise my own imagination, fired only by your words.

Yet, for me this week, the stand-out piece was Patricia’s haunting ‘Tempus Fugit’. Poignant and thought-provoking, it struck many chords, not least of which was awe at fabricating in from the prompts on offer.

Words for next week: fancy taunt visit

Entries by midnight Thursday 29th September, new words posted on Friday 30th

but I’ll ask each of you to nominate your personal winner because I’ll be staying with family in circumstances which might not allow time to do my usual summary.


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Reward and challenges

Last week began with a mingling with four hundred fellow writers (and, for me, a lovely validation by one professional and a much-needed pointing out where I was going wrong by another) only to be upended by the vituperation surrounding Lionel Shriver’s speech in Melbourne warning of  the challenge to fiction writers posed by those brandishing the ‘cultural appropriation’ banner.
So good to come here and see the eagerness and skill with which we face the weekly challenge. Patricia managed to quell her doubts and produce three excellent pieces, Jk’s vengeance was a powerfully-written gut-kick and Antonia’s Captain awaits his new sails.
Rosie has yet to face the challenge of commenting, but I have no hesitation in declaring ‘A Poor Choice of Cargo’ this week’s winner.

Words for next week  are: chafe French voyage

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd September, new words and winners posted Friday 23rd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.


Friday, 9 September 2016

Brave new worlds and final killings

Several of you commented this week on the power and glory of the worlds each of us was creating and populating. I tried using that as a measure of comparative merit, but every one a winner in its way.
In so few words the opening line is vital - you all know that too. And all are masters of the jolt at the end to complete the tale. So in terms of choosing this week’s number one I was back to where I started – where I usually am  – hoping that in selecting one you all appreciate the tight-packed rest of you were just a nose-length behind.

So, for the epic and other-worldly quality of ‘Sinners Anonymous’ I declare this week’s winner to be to be bdcharles I might even get to present the trophy in person this weekend as we’re both attending the Festival of Writing at York.
Thanks also to those of you who took time and effort to comment – always a vital part of this group.

Words for next week  are: fob, indigo, prevent

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th September, new words and winners posted on Friday 16th


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Passports and awkwardly-inspired tickets to ride

What an entertaining crop of entries we’ve had this week, especially given the somewhat uncomfortable-together prompt words. But wrestling them into something coherent and meaningful proved well within everyone’s capabilities.

And so many further insights into so many different worlds, from the piratical marine, of Rosie’s and Antonia, Jk’s galactic and Patricia’s multi-peopled Kursaal and railway station – visiting them, becoming familiar with each of them, is part of the joy. This week it is Zaiure’s gem of fantasy, Need [05] which tops the list.

Words for next week  are: channel, hike, petrichor

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th September, new words and winners posted on Friday 9th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.