Friday, 20 January 2017

‘The decent obscurity of a learned language’

Often the hardest thing about this weekly posting is the title which is when I resort to a dictionary of quotations. Today’s is from Edward Gibbons (1737-1794) and begins ‘My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in (the decent obscurity ...)’.  Obscurity is what Jeffrey appeared to several of us to deliver last week, albeit it thought-provoking, and was something I was guilty of as well, with my mis-remembering one of the prompt words and forgetting to change the dates.

Less ambiguous is my choice for this week’s winner who, outstandingly, is Zaiure for her breathtaking fifth instalment of ‘Regrets’. Patricia is a close runner-up, for the double whammy of ‘He Who Hesitates ...’ and ‘Fortune Favours’. As ever, thanks are due to you all for participating and for commenting.

Words for next week:  adamant marinade tiger

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th January, new words posted on Friday 27th

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, 13 January 2017

Cats and Captains, Corvids and Clowns

How did the group get its name?  As Antonia explained, it was started by Lily Childs as Friday Prediction, back in 2010. You only need have a look at Lily’s ‘Feardom’ blog to see the scale and breadth of words  she regularly used (memo to self: must try harder!)  Although ‘Friday’ was dropped, I am loth to lose ‘Prediction’ it in case it prevents long-lost members finding us again.

It’s one of those never-lost members who pips the rest of you at the post this week – Antonia for yet another solid episode of The Captain’s adventures in Infinity  181 – but the rest of you are snapping at her heels, giving us all an excellent week’s entertainment.

Words for next week:  devastate essence joint

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th January, new words posted on Friday 20th

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, 6 January 2017

Seeking specific tunes

And so begins another year ... two short stories submitted; a beta-read novel revised and I’m back to plot-wrestling #4 in my Luke Darbyshere series. Question is, is 2017 the year I get them up and available on Lulu? Answer, as ever, who knows? 

But today, for Prediction, a delicious double helping of entries! 
I declare the winner of the final post for 2016 to be Patricia for her ‘One of these nights’ - a perfect example of tight, intriguing writing which leaves the reader to do much of the work. 
And the first for 2017 is a joint award to the Owens family. The hard-boiled of Bill’s ‘Simply a beastly evening’ such a delicious contrast to Rosie’s perfectly-titled ‘Look, a Shiny!’

My thanks, as ever, to each of you for your contributions and your comments – I sincerely hope you’ll keep them coming in 2017.

Words for next week:  chary, float, torch
Entries by midnight Thursday 12th January, new words posted on Friday 13th

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 December 2016

Present perfect, future more challenging!

‘Present’ being the birthday gift from my husband – the Shorter OED – praises for which he had heard me extolling ever since July; you can be sure 2017 promises more interesting words.

Not that I’m complaining about the lack of interest this week, or even this year! And once again I have a triplet of winners in Kai for Hopeless, which made me laugh, Antonia for Reminiscences of  a serial killer, which made me squirm and William for the optimism of his A Fresh Beginning.

I thank you all for your participation in Prediction and wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017

Words for next week:  beast exacerbate form
and, for those who’d otherwise suffer withdrawal symptoms in the second week:
lode, obliterate, pass

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th January, new words posted on Friday 6th

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, 16 December 2016

Late year, long nights, big moons

I’ve one of those unimaginable birthdays coming up next week, which perhaps explains why I’ve been on a Mary Wesley bender, re-reading one novel after another of hers which I so much enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s, revisiting in a small way, a section of my past.

Thank you for your understanding of my dilemma last week! I have tried harder this week to rank them in some order. Each week the criteria shift a little, by process more of osmosis than logic, and this week I found the delivery of initially everyday scenarios which suddenly snap sharp teeth hit the winning spot. Jeffrey’s ‘Two nights before Christmas’, Antonia’s ‘Clean-up Brigade’, and Kai’s ‘Breaking Point all came into this category, but for me Patricia’s ‘A rare breed’ took the top spot.

Words for next week:  miracle spoon still

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd December, new words posted on 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 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.