Friday, 15 March 2013

Times, They Are A-Changing

Well, Colleen sent this to me this morning, and I completely spaced that she is in the Eastern time zone, whilst I am in Central. Pray forgive me for posting this late.  - Rebecca
 
 
Good day!

The tome has built itself a nest under my bed.  It crawled out to greet the new day covered in shamrocks.  I suppose it could be covered in far worse things and I'll not complain.  Not sure where it got into the shamrocks, but I can only imagine it's a nod toward St. Patrick's Day, which is fast approaching.  Any rate, at the moment, it's exploring the confines of my bedroom.  

Before I get to this week's winners I have a favor to ask of all of you.  The time frame for entries and judging is a bit difficult for me to juggle, due to my new training and work schedule.  Would anyone mind if I moved it by a few hours , in one direction or another, so that I can devote more time to the blog and my responsibilities as admin?  I'm trying to be mindful of the fact many of you are across the pond, and I don't want to make things inconvenient for you.  If anyone has major concerns, please feel free to let me know either in comments, or at ravenways@gmail.com.

And so on to this week's winners!

First place this week goes to Anthony Corwin with The Karmic Wheel:  Anthony, I loved this story from the first line.  I've a deep-rooted childhood fear of carnivals and I think it was brilliant to use one a the setting for your story.  Even with the 100 word limit, you moved the story quickly from start to finish while maintaining a very strong visual of your world.  Really enjoyable.  Thank you.

Our runner-up this week is Helen with The Offering:  Helen, I like this girl.  I want to know more about her.  Her casual attitude at having so easily turned the tables on her attacker is just lovely.  I want to know what that blood is going to be useful for!  This is a tightly-written and clever bit of writing.  Thank you.

As always, I want to thank everyone who came out to play this week!  I am in such fine, fine, company here and it's wonderful to see new people visiting and staying to write for us.  Thank you all.

And on that note, the tome has somehow gotten into my lap, and is making happy little chuffling sounds.  Let's see what it has for us...


Demonry  (If you really hate this, you can use any form of demon, though I would love to see what you do with "demonry", 'cause it just sounds so cool!)

Catalog

Abyss


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, March 21st, to get your entries in.  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 3:00 PM on Friday, March 22nd.

*sigh*  The tome has sneezed, and now I'm covered in shamrocks, too.

Go forth and create, my friends!

94 comments:

  1. Wow thank you I'm thrilled to get placed as the runner up! Congratulations to Anthony Corwin for winning - well done!

    I'll come back and play again later ^_^

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    1. Congratulations to both of you. And good to see you here again, Helen. =)

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  2. Kudos: much due ;).

    Now there is a pause as folks google Demonry to get better contexts than J Baillie's centenary solitary dictionary description...

    ;P

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  3. congratulations to Helen and Anthony, brilliant writing from both of you.
    Interesting words, Colleen, will see what I can do with them.

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  4. Congratulations to Anthony and Helen! Well deserved, both. I can't wait to see what everyone does with these words. They're roiling in my skull, and Seth is kicking things. ;)

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  5. Not a Seth story, after all...

    What Goes Unsaid

    “First, she shaved her head. Then, she started piercing everything.” Aunt Aggie cataloged my sins to Pastor Joe as I waited on the hard bench outside. “Now, she has a tattoo.”

    “It’s not your fault,” he soothed. “Puberty is ripe for demonry.”

    I stared at the floor. “He should know.”

    “We can save her from the Abyss, Agatha. Send her here after school, every day.”

    I started shaking.

    Amber reached for me, promise ring glinting. “Is it true, what you told me?”

    I nodded, crying.

    She grabbed my hand. “Then tonight, he finds out what a real demon can do.”

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    1. Amber to the rescue then? Hope you'll tell us what she's capable of (without neglecting Seth, of course!)

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    2. My teenage self can definitely identify with the character in regards to piercings and tattoos! :) Loved how 'normal' it felt even with the mention of demonry. Definitely interested in seeing what Amber will do to protect her friend.

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    3. Perfectly apt title, Rebecca. So much going on between the lines. Great story.

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    4. Oh I wouldn't want to be that priest!

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    5. hoping this is the start of something, want to know what happens next!

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  6. Now this is a wonderful surprise to find waiting for me on a gloomy Saturday night. With such high quality writing I really do feel privileged to have won this week. A huge congratulations to Helen too.

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  7. Well done Anthony and Helen - long may you coontinue to contribute here.

    Blinkered confrontation

    Neither, gazing into the rough-hewn abyss of suspicion that had opened up between them, suspected her. Maternal-trained, both believed the blamelessness of healing; credited her with a catalogue of unequivocally beneficial deeds.
    Neither admitted, e’en to himself, that it was the swelling promise of her body, and the to-be-quickly-quenched reciprocity of theirs that created green-eyed demonry between them: Tao assuming Jack had had her, Jack all too conscious he had not, and well aware of Tao’s reputation.
    She was neither so jaded to have tired of the effect she had on men.
    Nor so rich as to ignore their bounties.

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    1. The witch is indeed playing both men to her advantage! Wonder what her intention is? Quite a few lovely lines, as always - "rough-hewn abyss of suspicion", and "green-eyed demonry" were among my favorites. :)

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    2. What you say and the way you say it is so interesting. The language is creative and enjoyable, and understanding dawns with a bright glow. You wield the omniscient narrator well. =)

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    3. Thank you both, and John I confess I hadn't thought the witch responsble for their falling out until you mentioned it ...

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    4. Very creative writing - " gazing into the rough-hewn abyss of suspicion that had opened up between them,' was a favourite line for me. ^_^

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    5. yes, creative indeed and painting wonderful word pictures. Nice one!

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    6. I love the repetition of 'neither.' The tension sings, even though nothing has yet happened, or perhaps because it hasn't. This conflict is ripe for an eruption.

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  8. Tattoo

    This was my great undertaking: I would catalogue all the demons of the Abyss, and so bind them.

    But mere paper and ordinary ink could not match such a task, when even the tamest of names might burn a hole through wood. And so I made an ink of my own blood, with my skin to serve as paper.

    In burnt crimson I wrote hell upon my soul.

    And bind the beasts I did. But not to banishment.

    They walk the Earth in me. Their evil rides my body, guides my hand. And for my great sin, I must watch.

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    1. Now this one really does need illustration, and has an epic quality, a wide, wide-angle stretch. I'm enjoying imagining exactly the shade of 'burnt crimson'.

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    2. I would love to read a longer version of this! What actions are the demons taking through his hands and where will it lead? Will he find a way to free himself; does he want to? I agree with Sandra about needing an illustration. :)

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    3. This is very visual writing John! Good work!

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    4. expand! Elaborate! want to know more!

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    5. Ah, a chilling tale of 'careful what you wish for.' His horror at being trapped by his own design is palpable. You write such elegant despair.

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  9. Undergrad

    It wasn’t often in downward dog pose that an abyss opened up behind her, but Davine was hardly surprised. She’d had stranger Saturdays. Pressing down with her heels to deepen the stretch, Davine watched upside down as an arm reached through the inky-black fissure. Mint green and tabasco-red, the scaled arm was clearly not human, nor was the squid-like face that followed.

    “That’s not in the catalog,” Wren said, twisting awkwardly.

    Davine sighed. “Couldn’t we have stuck with marine biology and skipped advanced demonry?”

    “Well, he does have gills.”

    Davine huffed another sigh. “Time to bag and tag.”

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    1. Whoops - that wonderful opening sentence, with its 'downward dog pose' evoked the wrong sort of image for me and it took a bit of scrambling to get back - but what a wonderful colour contrast is 'Mint green and tabasco-red' for scaly arms - and then another intriguing twist and tale of fascination.

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    2. Ha ha! My mind went somewhere quite wrong with the first sentence too, sorry! u_u'

      Again, the blasé nature of their demonic encounter strikes a very interesting and unusual note. I like the idea that they're just taking demonry for the extra credit. ;)

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    3. Haha, I was wondering how that would be interpreted! :)

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    4. All in a girls day hey! This piece made me smile. ^_^

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    5. misleading first line, then into some incredible word pics, loved it!

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    6. The yoga pose didn't throw me at all but rather painted a very funny picture, especially as she handled the appearance of a hell-mouth in such a matter of fact way. The voice in this piece is fantastic.

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  10. Change of focus [28]

    Captive, Raptor might catalogue his crimes, were the journey long enough, but Pettinger knew the time had come to investigate the abyss that was his childhood.
    ‘Tell me.’
    ‘You don’t remember?’
    ‘I was five.’
    ‘You do remember. By then she was... beyond mere demonry.’
    ‘She’d tried to drown me.’
    ‘Succeeded with your sisters.’
    ‘Sisters?’
    ‘Three. None survived infancy.’
    Brakes screamed, Raptor steered to safety.
    ‘Tell me.’
    Raptor told.
    One hour later, two missed ferries, twenty-three missed calls.
    ‘So having killed your sister you then took me to live with you... but did not take my brothers?’
    ‘I hadn’t fathered them.’

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    1. What a punchline! Right in the gut. Great drama all through, actually.

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    2. I always feel a bit daunted by these, as the dialogue is so dense, and doesn't need extra descriptive text...

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    3. few people can write such descriptive dialogue, this is wonderful.

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    4. Oh. Oh dear. There's one of my buttons right there, and you mashed it hard. The catalog of things missed gives a great sense of time passing, which made the final line even more of a kick in the teeth.

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    5. I agree with RR, loved how you handled the passage of time. Really interesting backstory here. Sounds like he experienced quite the hellish childhood.

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  11. Determined not to be doing this at the last minute this week.

    Except from "The Practical Demons Guide to Perils of the Mundane Realms"

    By far the most dangerous creature in the catalog is the Human Wizard. These creatures, drunk on arcane power and their own recklessness, sometimes study the Art of Demonry, and are more than capable of summoning an unsuspecting Devil to the Mundane World and holding it there.

    However, should you become trapped, stay calm and remember that their wants are often small, involving Mortal Domination or Carnal Desires, and should be easily met. The Department recommends you comply fully with any Foolish Mortal Demands and submit a full report to the Ironic Damnation Directive upon your return to the Abyss.

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    1. They're just as afraid of us as we are of them? ;D

      Something of the tone (and content) reminds me of C.S.Lewis' Screwtape Letters. I like it. =)

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    2. I can see the thick cream parchment, ragged edges and sputtering black ink with which this is wrote; the ornate, long-tailed, capitals. As always, such authority.

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    3. Wizard's are an unknown quantity after all ^__^

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    4. Matt, this is a wry sideways look and cleverly done!

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    5. Great humor in this, and the always-apt idea that hell is an even bigger bureaucracy than our pitiful mortal realm. I especially liked remember that their wants are often small as it rang true to so many fantasy novels (and movies, and shows...). That they have official names for these common desires sealed the deal. I love this.

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    6. Loved this! Laughed out loud and the title was absolutely perfect. I really enjoy stories where it takes something and turns it on its head, in this case seeing from the demons perspective. Loved how domination is considered a small want. :)

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  12. (Rise)

    There is all manner of demonry out there, Olivia.

    She clung to the oaken tones of her father's voice in her head. It was a calm centre about which her mind and heart twisted like twin tornadoes as the grotesque man clutched her chin with strong, chubby fingers.

    He leaned in and forced her to look up at him. His breath smelt of rotting meat. His beady eyes were twin portals to the Abyss, windows onto unimaginable evils.

    "Oh, yes. Delicious." He smacked his lips and spittle flecked her cheek. "There's an 'ole catalogue of pleasure we'll be explorin' tonight."

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    1. Hugely uncomfortable, you've made us see and feel and hear and smell him far too close for comfort. And another week to wait to see if she escapes.

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    2. ...and there's my other button. I actually shook for poor Olivia, though I have faith in her father's instruction and look forward to seeing how she gets away from this terrible predator.

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    3. Excellent description here. Mostly we are experiencing the horror of Olivia's captor, but I loved the description of her father's voice - "oaken tones". It suggests a solidness, something she can hold on to.

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  13. This is the first one...

    Bring Me The Head Of...(6)
    ---------------------------------

    Spell dropped, they filed nonchalantly into the bar, keeping Ame hooded in their midst.

    The varied clientèle barely noticed; some Humanis-backed pastor on the TriD with an edgy crowd frothed inciteful invective: "... plague-spreading demonry perpetrated by subhuman freaks!", only to be headbutted by a particularly belligerent troll. A catalogue of scenes of voiced-over rioting, then: "Finally, Halley's Comet..."

    The doorman indicated: "Down the steps, last on the left. Boss's orders: stay out of the closet."

    The stairwell plunged, abysslike; 'Nina' dived in, darkness no obstacle to her 'ware. Gonzo descended with greater care, still guiding the deteriorating shaman.

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    1. Especially love the 'particularly belligerent troll' but the whole is one of those multi-populated scenes which you've drawn so vividly I can hear the cacophany ringing in my ears. And lovely subtle use of the prompts too.

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    2. Good job pushing the narrative forwards while maintaining the feel of the world. Why do I get the feeling the closet's going to be important...? ;)

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    3. crammed with images, as good writing should be!

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    4. You're obviously laying the groundwork for things to come, but in such a way that it doesn't impede the forward progress of your story. The inclusion of the hate-spewing clergyman is a nice touch. Some things never change.

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    5. Definitely love the very colorful, noisy scene! Really curious about this closet. :)

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  14. And the other one... (used brackets rather than dashes, as somehow word count thought they were extra words (that happens with speech unless I copy it from textpad too, grr...)

    Flashback(5)
    -------------

    Disorientation; she woke between Jiro's knees, ears hollow from the mini-sub's pressure. The user-friendly controls located them above some abyssal plain.

    "...must be what your father got from his contact." Always
    her father (or Sir); disowned by his own, Mother losing honour for the perceived taint. The fabled demonry of the Oni overrode sagacity: forcibly catalogued and deported like other Kawaru, they only later discovered Jiro's real father committed seppuku after fathering another Orc. By then, Ame was born (Mother having met a Gaijin Elf), yet she (like her mother) appeared human.

    "Where are they, Jiro?"

    Her brother looked away.

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    1. Yet more subtle prompts and a very complicated family history.

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    2. Wow, quite a trick fitting all that into a hundred words, with framing story too! =)

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    3. You fitted a lot into a 100 words, that's some family history.

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    4. Excellent insight into her back story, with a side-dish of world-building. I'm impressed.

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    5. I'm really enjoying your world building! This and your other story are so multifaceted, and transports the reader immediately to these wondrous places. Definitely has an interesting family. :)

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  15. Hi I said I'd come back and play - now if you're wondering what my witch was going to do with the blood she took in last weeks offering - you're about to find out. ^__^


    The Offering - Part 2

    Elspeth held the vial of blood up against the violescent twilight sky. She’d have to work fast while the blood was still warm, to cast this demonry spell and not fall into the abyss between the two worlds. She had catalogued the words and now clasped the paper tightly in one hand.

    The incantation tumbled from her lips to be whipped up and tossed outwards by the wind. She pressed the vial to her mouth. The warm liquid slid down her throat. The burning, such an exquisite pain.

    “It’s good to be back.”

    She was lost, but he was here.

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    1. I DO like "tumbled from her lips to be whipped up and tossed outwards by the wind". Good to have you back too.

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    2. Great follow up, and there has to be more, right? ;)

      Love the word 'violescent', I don't recall coming across it before. Quite beautiful.

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    3. yes, I like violescent too. Need to find a way of coming up with new startling words like that. This is a lovely follow up.

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    4. You are a boon to my vocabulary, which I once considered expansive. I shall have to rethink - and keep learning from you! This is a very satisfying follow-up, especially the comfort of their reunion. She may be wicked, but I rather like Elspeth.

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    5. Really love the final line; great cliffhanger for what's to come! Enjoy your vocabulary as well. :)

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  17. Still having trouble taking Alpha somewhere new... have an idea of where I want it to end though, so bear with me! =)


    (Alpha)

    How can you describe flight? Imagine standing on a broad, empty plain and staring up at infinite blue. Let the vast magnitude above swallow you, then double that for below. The skies are so uncrowded.

    When they are somewhere far out over the Atlantic Ocean Thunder signals to Alpha and they slow. They hang there, facing each other, shifting slightly in the air currents.

    "Don't let her prediction destroy you, Adam, like some demonry."

    "It's hard, Thom. Jigsaw's words are an abyss yawning below me. I don't feel pain, and yet I cannot begin to catalogue the ways this hurts."

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    1. this is a good piece, John, setting us up for future instalments.

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    2. That last sentence is really well wrought and made me think of how difficult that must be. Not often we get to see the emotional toll of being a superhero. The skies are so uncrowded. has an air of wistfulness about it.

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    3. Not sure why - or how - I missed commenting on this - the final line aches.

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    4. Oh it would be wonderful to fly like this! Definitely described it in a very appealing way. :) I agree that the final line was very beautifully crafted.

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  18. The boys are back...

    Save It For Later

    I dove out of the way of a serrated sword.

    “What is this thing?” Nate spat blood.

    “Let me check the catalog of demonry we don’t have.” My thrown knife hit the hell-spawn’s shoulder.

    Nate shot it. Repeatedly.

    It didn’t seem to notice. “Name’s Carlos. Daddy wants a word.”

    “Tough.” My tattoos blazed, the last of my magic.

    Nate howled, covering his own markings. “What the hell did you do to me?”

    “Later.”

    “No.” He reloaded.

    “You want to do this now?” I slammed Carlos toward the abyss.

    “I really do.”

    I couldn’t answer. Carlos had me by the throat.

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    1. Back and just as belligerent as ever - and whose Daddy are we talking about? (That Carlos needs bringing down a peg or two)

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    2. yes he does! so much action in this, it's frenetic reading, but good frenetic reading.

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    3. Ha! Back to the brothers bickering while in mortal danger. Excellent. =)

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    4. Love the fast-paced play of dialogue and action. Always feel the energy when these two get together! Really curious who Daddy is and where they're headed now.

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  19. time's getting short, no inspiration, all the attention is on Skullface, who is nearly at the end of his second to last day on this side of life. It's driving me crazy...

    thanks for the good reading. Took my mind off his coming night beautifully, for a while at least.

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  20. Under the circumstances, I didn't think it wise to allow Pettinger to stay quiet for too long.

    Change of focus [29]

    Lurching ungainly from the car Yanno narrowly missed death by juggernaut, blasted air-horn fanfare to black-bile eruption into abyss of abhorrence.

    Raptor watched, eyes stone-hooded, cheekbones savage-stark, lips a double negative, demonry as absent as regret.
    No visible intent to offer... offer what?

    Waiting, perhaps, for Pettinger to choose from a catalogue of phrases the most apt to be offered upon hearing one is the misbegotten child of incest, born of mother fucked by brother, then sent mad and subsequently murdered.

    Wondering, perhaps, to what extent past guidance – love – could overcome today’s revelation. What reasons would be understood, believed, forgiven.

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    1. This glimpse into Raptor's thoughts is riveting. He came off before as callous and brutal, but this gives him more depth. I'm still horrified, but that's as should be.

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    2. Now that is a special kind of horror... Some great, concentrated descriptions, as always. 'Lips a double negative' is particularly clever.

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    3. Loved the description of Raptor when witnessing Yanno's near death. Definitely an interesting look into his perception of the world and what he wants.

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  21. It’s been a long time since I graced the halls of the Predictioneers, however the last six months have been a very trying time personally, but now it’s time to get back in the saddle and do what I do best. It’s nice to see some familiar friends here.

    Just Another Face in the Crowd

    Crescendo. A little like music and a lot like pressure; the way it built behind his eyes, pushing aside nerves to make his skin tingle.

    Numbness crept across his palms. Demonry at work, rather than adrenaline. The deadness crawled up his hands and soaked the sensations forming in his brain. He felt as though he was standing on the edge of an abyss. Waiting.

    The busy shopping mall heaved. He stood by a catalogue stand outside a book store, watched some kids playing by the escalators.

    Nerves jangled. He fingered the detonator. Click.

    A crescendo, in all his bloody glory.

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    1. Welcome back! I'm so glad you decided to join us here.

      As usual, you give us a perfectly plausible situation, which makes the terror all that much more potent. I felt somewhat dizzy, reading about his physical sensations. It made the clarity of his intent and action powerful.

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    2. This is yet another example of how well and in what varied ways others accommodate these prompts - and what an opening line! Like RR it is the normality of the situation which escalates the horror. And good to hear your voice again.

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    3. Oh, AJ! Back with a bang. The one word sentences are particularly effective, and the subject matter close to current affairs. Brilliant piece.

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    4. Thanks for the welcome guys, it's good to be back!

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    5. Horrible scene and yet there is a beauty to the description. Interesting how he seems to be feeling more dead than alive, despite the heightened nerves. I liked the repetition of crescendo at the beginning and end; brings it back full circle.

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  22. Oh he went out with a bang! Nice use of the words here. ^_^

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  23. Evening All! The gates are officially closed for entries, but feel free to hang about and leave comments! Winners and Words tomorrow by 11:00 PM EST. Good night!

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