Friday, 15 February 2013

New Words!

Greetings Authors!

(Hee hee!)  That was fun to say!

Sorry for the rather lame title of this post.  I'm suffering a bit of brain cramping today.

The tome was a bit recalcitrant about words today.  It's just disgorged them as I was rushing about getting ready for work.  So, winners first, and then I shall reveal its wisdom.

I don't think judging is going to get any easier from week to week.  You all positively shine every week!  It's truly an honor to judge such amazing talent.  I thank you.

OK, short on time, so...

My winners this week are:

David Barber with Hatred.  David, as I said in my comments, you have captured the nightmarish reality of such a situation to its very roots.  Brilliant writing.

I do have a runner-up this week as well:

Crimson Archer with Broken, The Devils Chapel.   Mr. Archer (or should it be Mr. Crimson??),  this is a lushly descriptive bit of work.  I could feel, hear, and smell that chapel, Sir.  And your black angel?  He's fabulous.  His unabashed and almost manic glee in his own evil was very refreshing.  Your closing lines had me chuckling for hours, by the way.

Congratulations winners!

New words!

Articulate
Pelt
Whorl

Any and all meanings and variants allowed, 'cause I'm feeling generous and happy!  *grin*

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, science fiction or noir. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine.

You have until 11:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time) Thursday, February 21, to get your entries in.  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 3:00 PM on Friday, February 22.

Create, create, create, my dears!  I'm waiting!

63 comments:

  1. GO LOOK AT SKULLFACE CHRONICLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Right, having got that off my chest... congratulations David and Crimson Archer! The standards again were impossibly high, and I have been too involved with Skullface to even attempt a go at the words. This week's look interesting, for sure.

    If you need any more of a push to read Skullface, let me tell you that the latest instalment (n my computer) has him on a bus...

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  2. WOW!! My 2nd win of this year - woohoo!! Thanks a lot Colleen, not just for choosing my story but for taking this challenge on and forward. It's great to get the grey matter working and I appreciate that.

    Cheers!!

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  3. Grats D&CA, :D

    Just had to keep going on the last one, so here goes... (first time on a sequel here)

    Bring me the head of...(you get the idea)

    After defeating his opponent Gonzo unloaded his own share of pain. The bozo wasn't peek-a-booing after that pelting. Immediate danger over, he holstered his pistol and switched his concern to the youngest 'runner, who'd taken pretty much all of the hurt; she'd dropped to her knees, hand to forehead, blood pouring from every orifice.

    "Ame...?"

    "...n-never... b-b-beyond...... Ritual: amplif-fied..." A shuddering whisper...

    ***You paramedic***, Conrad articulated via comm-translated hand-whorls, ***I, after. Then go!***

    "Sure."

    Gonzo rechecked Ame over afterwards. Now, that was odd: blood was still dripping from her eyes...

    ***Aura wrong; unstable. Changing...***

    Gonzo met his colleague's gaze. "Shit."

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    Replies
    1. Now that's intriguing. Pistols and magic, this is something like Shadowrun? I like it, and I really like the idea of his gestures being translated like language. More to come...? =D

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    2. A totally alien genre for me (I've been slow to catch on) but now I've got here I am much admiring at the tweaks administered to my imagination.

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    3. Yup, it's Shadowrun... I hope I can do more, it's a different thing than just doing a one-off, I'm finding, I have a vague framework at least, but it may hop back and forward depending on ideas...

      Hats off to those I've seen on here doing just that...

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    4. going on with something works, Skullface is at 18000 words and counting, so take this one on, it works on many levels.

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    5. I love the urgency of this, the lull when I thought Ame would be fine, and then that last bit that has me jonesing for more.

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  4. Congratulations to David and Crimson Archer! Well deserved wins, both. I've let Seth take a breather (because he isn't speaking to me), and tried something a bit different.

    Keepsake

    Throughout my schooling, father enlisted companions – poor but articulate girls who kept me focused. Caroline was my favorite, as she had a well-developed sense of fun. During mother’s parties, we slipped away to the woods, climbed trees, whorled about in semblance of dancing, fell laughing to the grass. One night, she shared with me her darkest secret. I promised never to tell – and haven’t.

    A year later, she died in a hunting accident. I was the only one who recognized her, afterward. On lonely winter nights, I remember our whispered conversations, climb into bed, and let her pelt warm me.

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    1. Now that is clever, and dark. I had to read it a couple of times, but for the dawning sense of revelation, not through any confusion. It grows, and shifts, ;) with each re-read.

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    2. As I said above to Zoe, I am slow to catch on and have not had the dawning revelation John speaks of (not convincingly so anyway) but that is not a problem because my imagination, once again, benefits from the exercise. :)

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  5. The Bloating Sickness [Nightfort 2]
    A loose stone amongst the cobbles caused the cart to jolt suddenly, shifting its heavy cargo and dropping a bloated forearm from beneath the rain pelted tarpaulin. Yellow fingernails and mottled, swollen skin made it look barely human; even the whorls on the fingertips were lost to whatever malady had affected the corpse.

    Heep could barely articulate his frustration at the interruption to his already inclement journey. Hobbling forward and bending to wrap his bony fingers around the fleshy wrist, he slipped it back under the oilcloth cover.

    “Back to sleep now, ya filthy bastard,” the old Lancer grumbled loudly.

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    1. You've retained the palpably filthy atmosphere of the first part, and heightened my curiosity. Keep it up! =)

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    2. Reading this brought that plague-cry "Bring out your dead" to my ears - such a vivid scene scene evoked here. As John says, keep it up, please.

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    3. very vivid indeed! go write more

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    4. What is he doing with the corpse? What sort of illness wiped out its fingerprints? Where is Heep going with his wagon full of death? I am thoroughly intrigued.

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  6. (Alpha)

    Adam has an understanding with the barman. He leaves his civilian clothes in a backroom, suits up, and takes to the air.

    People often ask him what it feels like to fly. It used to be the hardest feeling to articulate, and then he lost his wife.

    He shakes his head. Whisper was right. He needs to hit things.

    He approaches the destination displayed on his phone.

    A giant of a man is pelting the police with their own cars. He is naked, furred, with blue whorls patterning his skin. They call him Savage. This is something Adam can hit.

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    Replies
    1. What a lot is said by "It used to be the hardest feeling to articulate, and then he lost his wife." - tripped me up a millisecond after I'd read it.

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    2. saying so much in so few words. Brilliant!

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    3. I like that the bar is a sort of home to Adam, and the implication that in a town full of superheroes, it's just par for the course to have one change in your back room. The line about flying and his wife really struck me and reinforced the hollow feeling from earlier pieces.

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  7. (Alpha)

    Alpha takes in the scene with a practiced eye. People are in danger, other concerns recede from his mind.

    He drops in a flash and catches a police car before it can plough into a cowering huddle of citizens. He hears his name as they recognise the white and red of his suit, the bold A on his chest.

    Savage recognises him too, they have fought before. The whorls of blue on the giant's skin begin to throb in agitation and, never overly articulate, Savage roars.

    They leap, grapple, and begin to pelt one another with blows like mortar fire.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good work-out for Alpha; I like the blue whorls, a lot.

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    2. I like the way his focus narrows to protecting people. It gives good insight as to why and how he does his superhero thing. There's also a sense of release and relief in the fight. Nice follow up.

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  8. And since it was asked...

    The stories so far:

    Alpha
    Rise

    =)

    (There's an extra part in Alpha that was condensed for here, because it didn't use that week's words.)

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  9. Well done David and Crimson Archer, and thanks John for the links. Colleen, I sincerely hope next week's words will better extricate Pettinger from this:

    A change of focus [22]

    ‘Excellency!’

    Strangled articulation announced the entry of the pensioner hired to disguise the whorls of dirty espionage which hung about the Khakbethian embassy.

    Skull-knuckled hands clutching the double doors, he hung for a moment then slowly sagged until his badger-pelted head lay on the carpet, arms perforce rotated back- and upwards, nine inches of knife-handle protruding from his spine.

    The ambassador and his officially-unacknowledged brother turned as one to watch him, their mutual observation interrupted by the appearance of the man presumed responsible, the sight of whom brought relief to one brother, terror to the other, in roughly equal quantities.

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    1. Colleen - if 'articulation' is a step too far, tell me and I'll re-write ...

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    2. "... the whorls of dirty espionage which hung about the Khakbethian embassy."

      What a marvellous phrase. Sometimes the struggle to fit the words brings out the most creative uses, and that is absolutely fantastic. =)

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    3. Thank you John - that enforced struggle is one of the very best things about this site - so good for us writers!

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    4. Skull-knuckled hands and badger-pelted head are fantastic descriptors, not just visual but visceral. You are so good at setting a mood through description. And the mood here is tense! Who is at the door and why did he kill the old man?

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  10. (Rise)

    Olivia traced whorls in the broken oak desk top with her finger. Thoughts of her father pelted through her mind.

    There were no more tears, and no words. Papa had raised her to be articulate in all situations, but now he...

    Now...

    She would find him.

    She rummaged through her wardrobe, the pretty dresses torn but salvageable. And wrong. But folded neatly at the bottom were her overalls, that Papa made her wear in the workshop, that she had secretly always felt more comfortable in.

    She would leave the tower, venture into the world, alone and for the first time.

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    Replies
    1. Suddenly I am reminded of Jane Gardam - a long-loved writer - eagerly await what comes next.

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    2. need to know more, more and then a bit more, please

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    3. Olivia has captivated me. I cannot wait to see what she does, overall-clad and newly thrust into the world.

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  11. Four-leaf Clover

    It’s hard to articulate what he’s saying because every pelt from his sober fists that manages to reach my face causes my ears to ring. When it’s over I pull the clover out of my pocket and study the whorl of its leaves. Maybe it’s only lucky on St. Patrick’s Day.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent beginning! Look forward, very much, to reading more of your writing here.

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    3. Welcome! This is a tense and fraught story, in so few words. Very well done. The last line is a killer.

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    4. Very concise and neatly done. Well under the maximum word count but no less powerful for that.

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    5. Thanks for the compliments and welcome. It just popped in my head so I typed it up then went back to bed. :)

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  12. Tao takes a tumble

    Because the letters sold in Dublin were naught but well-wrapped forgeries, full pelt exit and disguise were needed.

    Tao had sovereigns enough to buy good clothes, was sufficiently articulate to inhabit them and pled urgent business so as to obtain a private cabin on a late-departing London-bound barque.

    All of which brought the necessary company to while away the night.

    None of which saved him from arrest on reaching Tilbury, since too late he discovered the woman in his bed was the mistress of the man whose pen had writ the fancy whorls of treason, and now awaited the reply.

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    Replies
    1. the adventures continue ... and now I am awaiting the reply, too

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    2. Tao seems to go from bad situations to worse, and I would be sad for him if he wasn't such a reprobate. I rather like that his penchant for the ladies is his most recent undoing. Looking forward to seeing how he slithers out of this one.

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    3. There's a certain black humour to Tao's escapades. Always jumping from the frying pan into the fire, so adept at extricating himself, but never for long. And I very much like the notion of a person being articulate enough to inhabit posh clothes. =)

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  13. I couldn't think of a title for this one but I have a feeling it will turn into something a bit longer. This 100 words certainly got the juices flowing. Hope you like.....

    untitled

    I stared at the screen, knowing I’d seen it somewhere before. A whorl, a continual circular...

    “I’ve got it.” I pulled the memory stick from the PC and ran from the room.

    I reached the chief’s office and walked straight in.

    “Oh, do come in. No need to knock.”

    “I’m sorry, boss, but I think you should see this.”

    I put the memory stick into his PC and opened the file.

    “It hadn’t been noticed at the crime scene but, see there, that circular line? How articulate it is? I think he’s back.”

    Outside the rain pelted against the window.

    ~End~

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    1. Oh yes! Certainly sparked my interest - brilliant opening line, and can't wait to know more.

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    2. Oooh! You've got me hooked already. The phrase "he's back" always gives me chills, as it almost never heralds the return of someone you'd want to meet. But, of course, I do want to meet him in your story. I hope you write more.

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    3. Definitely an good opening, a strong hook and it certainly leaves me intrigued. =)

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  14. Tao (and money) talks

    The burlier of the murrey and silver-liveried men, growled ‘Struggle and I’ll disarticulate your arms!’

    Although his vision was impaired, blood from the head wound they’d delivered adding to the whorls of pain from too much gin and insufficient sleep, Tao struggle-steered towards a crowd of urchins, pelting each other with vegetables fallen from a stall. Catching the eye of one he spoke a name, which, repeated, brought them to turn and form a circle round the trio.

    ‘A sovereign if ...’

    Hand clamped his mouth but to no avail: fifteen streetwise nippers overcame Tao’s escort and spirited him away.

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    1. Ha! That was a satisfying out. Tao obviously has connections everywhere. I do so enjoy the notion of swarming children overcoming professional thugs. I hope Tao has that sovereign, because those urchins could turn on him as easily.

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    2. Nicely done, but I'm betting he's not going to be any more welcome wherever he's being spirited away to... ;)

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  15. I think you do some nice flash fiction. Do you save it just for here?

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    1. Thanks! - Certainly I learnt to do this style of writing here, but it inevitably ends up a serial - the rest of Tao's tale is on the 'from Rhodes' page at http://sandra-linesofcommunication.blogspot.co.uk (and Pettinger's on the 'A change of focus'. Otherwise it's novels, mostly.

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  16. I've been late this week with comments and work. I will attempt a 100 instalment of Skullface and ask you please ever so please (again) to click on The Skullface Chronicles top right hand corner and read as far as I have posted as a carry on from what you have already read.

    Meantime, Skullface is storming onward, he is in Portsmouth at the moment and you have to read his going on the ferry... and, the work so far and a synopsis are with a US publisher right now. Stand by for news...

    A small instalment that may, or may not, end up in The Skullface Chronicles.

    A dead hand still carries whorls, able to identify a body, even if the body cannot articulate its thoughts any more. Or they should not, how come I can?
    Pelting with rain, again, I hate getting wet. This is when I wish I was in my grave still, unaware, uncaring, unknowing of what was going on outside. Beyond. Wherever. What I do know is, she has an awakening to come, when I remember where the hell she lives...
    When I do, oh my, then comes the reckoning.

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    1. This is such a smooth use of the prompts Antonia, with a brilliantly enticing opening line.

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    2. His fond thoughts of the grave were a nice touch. I hope he gets to return to it (or something much like) once he's enacted his revenge. Not being able to remember her address must be frustrating.

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    3. I couldn't help laughing at "when I remember where the hell she lives..."

      And good luck with the publisher! =)

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  17. Miss Colleen has been pelting about, hither and yon, as the inevitable whorls of moving house demand, so she has been unable to access the internet save briefly. However, she wished me to pass along her gratitude for your articulate and fascinating stories and her regret that she could not comment this week.

    And with that bit of fun, I hereby close the doors to this room in The Prediction. If she remains unable to get on line, I will take on the daunting task of judging the entries and the somewhat anxious task of coaxing the tome to give forth new words.

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