Saturday, 11 May 2013

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night...*grin*

Or rather, it is a grey and bleak morning.  It's fitting enough, I suppose.  We write some pretty bleak stuff around these parts.  And that is a beautiful thing.

The tome is glaring accusingly at me from the foot of my bed.  Poor dear sounds like it might be suffering from a bit of indigestion from holding on to the new words.  I shall make amends later.  There's bacon in the fridge.

And so let's begin.

When I first took over The Prediction, RR and I decided that her Nate and Seth stories would not be considered for award each week, because we felt it might constitute a conflict of interest, as I co-author with her.

I am thrilled, however, to be able to announce that her Dining In? is my choice for first place this week.  RR, this is just a brilliant bit of writing, all the way about.  It's lushly descriptive.  I've met the waitress with the lavender eye shadow, more than once.  She's always a bit sketchy, isn't she? I believe that we have all visited an eatery that inspires just a bit of "not quite right", and you've captured that feeling perfectly here.  And the reveal at the end is perfect.  Thank you.

In second place is John Xero with (Alpha):  Honestly, John, I had a really hard time deciding between this and (Rise).  Both are fantastic entries.  However, your use of the prompts in (Alpha) was incredibly smooth.  The dialogue felt completely natural.  And, as always, you've moved the story forward brilliantly in very few words.  Thank you.

Finally, Honorable Mention this week, must go to Matt Farr with Generals:  Matt, every now and again, one of us writes a tiny little story (that 100 word limit, you know...), that makes my head explode in thinking about a larger picture.  This did that.  A death on a battlefield is sadly commonplace in our world, but you've taken that, and expanded it into a consideration of the value and reality of faith.  Thank you.

As always, you all gave the tome and I a run for our money, this week.  Deciding was very difficult.  Thank you.

And now, without further ado:

Salvo

Modesty

Function

The tome has crawled off to nap beneath in the closet and I must get ready for work.  Many thanks for your patience this week, my friends.  I hope you find the words to your liking after the wait.


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 EST on Thursday, May 16th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, May 17th

The gates are open.  Let the games begin!




48 comments:

  1. Wow. Thank you so much. It really was the creepiest restaurant experience of my life -- and that's saying something.

    Congratulations to John and Matt. I agree with everything Colleen said about your stories.

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  2. And because the words REALLY excited me this week, I offer this!

    Back in the Ring

    Seth’s “Not now!” fell on intentionally deaf ears.

    I’d been out of joint since the opening salvo of this mess. Being splattered with carcinogenic tomato guts will do that to a guy. But the familiar, dysfunctional domesticity of whiskey in Jimmy’s kitchen, had finally snapped me back to…me.

    All honesty, I’m not a modest guy and I wanted nothing more than to dive my over-confident, evil-smiting self ,right into this “crawl inside your head” challenge Seth had presented. Right now.

    My grin widened further. I slammed back a final shot and nodded.

    Bring it, little brother. Let’s get’er done.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, the cockiness of Nate, the 'familiar, dysfunctional domesticity of whiskey' and his slamming it back, murky, self-satisfied and utterly challenging grin.

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    2. Oh that was a bit of visual writing especially "Being splattered with carcinogenic tomato guts will do that to a guy.'

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    3. "Not modest" is a gross understatement for Nate. And suggesting Seth do magic on him while both drunk is the height of crazy. I still have no idea what comes next, which is the great joy of writing this with you.

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  3. congratulations RR, and John! superb writing as always.
    The words seem cut out for the captain this week, will go ponder.

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  4. Incursion

    Letting go of myself was easy; I’d never been too attached. Harder was exploring Nate’s labyrinthine mind. Stronger wards than spells could craft kept modesty at bay – both his and mine – protecting his true nature from our world. And vice versa.

    Constant salvos left us trembling, blasts of confusion, anger, fear, and hatred. If he’d been a stranger I would have been expelled, perhaps crippled. The hive functioned as a whole but couldn’t feel or think like individual humans. Magic alone can’t overcome bone-deep love.

    Magic and a red-hot spike? That works.

    I got what I needed. As did they.

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    Replies
    1. So, so satisfying, and deeply, deeply disturbing - this piece scales the heights.

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    2. Wow I love the idea of Nate's labyrinthine mind!

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    3. Me too!
      so much going on here and so much more to be developed too!

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    4. Yep...as usual you have given me a wealth of things to work with, and a challenge. Thank you, sister-mine. I may even write another THIS week!

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  5. Congrats everyone :D

    Trying to get this down to 100 words was a job...

    Flashback(14)
    --------------

    Crane-perched, shrouded, Nina's cybereyes functioned admirably in the gloaming, relaying the dockyard to her van-ensconced teammates; she'd bugged the battered schoolbus already.

    Delivery trucks departed. The crane-operator grabbed a final shipping container; it clanged against the hull before ricocheting ashore.

    Two cars rolled up. A Suit emerged, clashed with the Vory gangmaster. The clumsy crane-minion earned a fatal salvo; this cleared the tension.

    Dazed girls shuffled onto the awaiting bus; the mark was hived off to the Suit.

    "New plan; you guys: limo. Myself: the bus. Two goons? Easy."

    ***Such
    modesty.***

    'Nina' chuckled, dropped, bugged the limo. Boarded the bus.

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    Replies
    1. Wealth of action and description here - 'Crane-perched, shrouded' and 'A Suit emerged, clashed with the Vory gangmaster' especially enjoyable.

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    2. another example of so much going on being said in so few words. I love the crane-perched' too.

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    3. Oh! This is getting totally exciting! Nina's got guts. I like her. Can't wait to see what happens next!

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    4. I like the contrast between static and frenetic in this, and how it takes casual murder to break that tension. I want this to be a TV show. :)

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  6. I like Nina, she's got what it takes!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. My offering this week - I deleted the above post as I thought of a better ending^_^

    Remembering

    The sheet covered her false modesty. Her dark eyes, luminous in the dimmed light. My mind barely functioned. I observed the curve of her body and the heave of her breasts beneath the silk. I couldn’t remember how I came to be here, and I didn’t care.

    She dropped the sheet. Her nipples, two rose buds, illuminated by the moonlight. The throbbing in my loins was unbearable. I fell upon her. An uncontrolled hunger. Our lips parted. A salvo fled from hers, words I couldn’t understand.

    The first bite was the deepest and I was lost to this world forever.

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    Replies
    1. Brilliant opening line! But now I'll have to re-write mine for Pettinger :( And a Cat Stevens song in my head.

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    2. Sorry about that Sandar, great minds and all that eh! ^__^

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    3. brilliant opening line and closing one and the bit in between very tasty...

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    4. Heh, and here I thought I was tiring of "vampire" stories. Thank you for proving me wrong! Nice work...very sexy.

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    5. This is so lush from start to finish, I can almost smell the mixture of lust and blood in the air.

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  9. Congratulations to RR, John and Matt (though I'm not in favour of Seth and Nate being excluded from top place)

    Culinary practices

    Tao’s belching of a salvo of half-chewed pickled herring caused the jade-eyed maid to flinch, her eyes to water and her grasp to loosen on the knife she’d tucked against his ribs. Twisting her wrist, he placed the blade against her bodice. With every breath she took threads snapped, threatening her modesty, star-patterning her skin.
    ‘The functions of a prick, sweetling, are myriad; they slice,’ (he demonstrated, opening a further inch) and they subdue. Alternatively, satisfying a need will earn you gold, and far more pleasurably than this.’
    ‘Touch me and ‘twill be more than herrings pickled for next winter.’

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    Replies
    1. Apologies - omitted an apostrophe before 'and they subdue - please imagine it into place.

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    2. Sandra, RR and I had discussed that when I took over admin. We felt that excluding her Seth and Nate entries from consideration would be the fairest thing, as I author Nate's sides of things. If no one has any strong objections to my considering RR's Seth and Nate stories for possible awards each week, it would be my absolute pleasure to include them!

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    3. nastiness abounds... and there is more to come, for sure!

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    4. "With every breath she took threads snapped, threatening her modesty, star-patterning her skin." This is my favorite. Beautifully woven words in this piece, Sandra. Truly.

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    5. I like that, even with tables turned, she doesn't back down. Still, bad breath as a viable weapon? Kudos to Tao for that trick.

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  10. You really have to watch out for that herring pickle! I bet she want attempt that again in a hurry.

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  11. A change of focus [40]

    Dark-eyed, supercilious, dog-fox face, Cherriman, addressing the man who’d cuckolded him, held no truck with modesty.
    ‘The dysfunctional detective, at last...’
    ‘I am sorry for the death of your wife...’
    ‘Not sufficiently to avenge her.’
    ‘I’ve yet to prove responsibility.’
    A salvo of Khakbethian curses reminded Pettinger of his brothers, the eldest of whom this man had disembowelled, presumably on Raptor’s orders.
    Patiently, ‘Here we prove guilt prior to punishing.’
    ‘And free murderers from foreign countries.’
    ‘For which you should be grateful.’
    ‘I view it as weakness.’
    ‘Not civilisation?’
    ‘It’s not civilised to let scum survive!’
    ‘You prefer to emulate?’

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    Replies
    1. again, that steady sharp ever progressing dialogue that carries this story on. Magical.

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    2. So incredibly tight and yet enough room left to be twisty. I love the way you do that.

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    3. I completely agree with Antionia. Your dialogue is quite brilliant. And as always, things move along so well.

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  12. Infinity (7)
    got the crew to fire a salvo, for no reason other than to let them know the guns function. Waste of good cannonballs but good for morale. The one offsets the other, says I. Modest to a fault, am I not? The shadow people followed me up on deck and reared back when the cannons fired. They baint of my time, then, or they’d be well used to the sound of them. Would they be telling me who they are, if I asked? Doubt it. Do they want a share of the loot? Forget it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! this is so enjoyable, from start to finish - superbly crafted and wonderfully apt voice. (sorry - 'apt' isn't the word I mean but the better one has escaped me)

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    2. I'm really liking this adventure on the high seas!

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    3. This is such a smooth use of prompts that they disappear, woven in so nicely. I am definitely intrigued by the shadow people! And of course pirates don't share...

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    4. I am supremely curious about these shadow people. From my ghost-hunting adventures, it's generally not a good idea to "ask" them anything! LOL. I half hope the captain does it anyway....
      Exceedingly enjoyable. Thank you.

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  13. Bonfire of the Vanities

    The Bright Young Things danced through the exploding streets, from Function to glittering Function, all pretence at humility and modesty finally thrown away. Each salvo from the distant guns tore into the city, turning everything – from Grand Boulevard to meagre alleyway – into blazing fragments twisting and darting through the air, black clouds and red sparks the background this carnival of the damned. They ate, and drank, and smoked, and fucked, anywhere and everywhere, even as they died with their city.

    And when the guns eventually stopped, they looked around at the ruin of their lives, and rejoiced at their freedom.

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    Replies
    1. How well you've evoked the madness of such times.

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    2. Wow...all I can think right now is...fabulously disturbing!

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    3. This is breathtaking in scope and yet focused so tightly on the revelers. There are stories upon stories in both the dying city and the ruins, yet your last line points up what actually matters.

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  14. And these are the continued bits, expanded to:

    Flashback(14a)
    --------------

    She'd slipped in among the other girls, camouflage suit and drugged indifference complementing innate and augmented nimbleness.

    Her opening salvo had been prepared earlier; 'Nina' activated the 'Armed' function on her 'link, knowing that she had ten seconds to neutralise both guards and 'jack the bus before her little 'surprises' on the docks distracted any pursuit.

    Conrad was right, in a way: modesty had no place here. If she constantly played down her obvious talents she'd never do this:

    *snick, pfft*

    Or this:

    *crack, swerve*

    She sped off with the sequestered schoolbus, to meet Mary's contact at the women's shelter.

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    Replies
    1. Okay, that was downright heroic as well as impressive. camouflage suit and drugged indifference complementing innate and augmented nimbleness is a great turn of phrase.

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    2. I must agree with RR. Amazing phrasing there. Still likin' Nina a lot.

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  15. It's that time, my loves. The gates are closed. Feel free to continue to comment. I'll be about tomorrow eve with winners and words. Sweet dreams.

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