Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sometimes you aren't afraid...

...when you really should be.  Have you ever noticed that?  I wonder if those of us who spend so much time thinking and writing about all things horrific, somehow become desensitized to real world things we should be  afraid of.  Or...do we accept the horrors of the real world BECAUSE we play with the scary things, willingly and with joy, even, that many folks eschew?  It's just a thought I figured I'd share.

Our winner this week is Antonia Woodville with her untitled continuation of the Captain's Story.  Antonia, I love the feel of this.  "This is my journey!"  The whole of it leading up to the one thing. It felt like following along through the mental process of epiphany!  Really well done.  Thank you.

And our runner up this week is Helen with The Dare.  Was it a game of Truth or Dare that lead him into the house? ".It spoke the words with an ejective force, the lilt foreign, full of venom."  This is a brilliant line.  Hooks me on the entity right off.  I want to know more.  Thank you.

I have coaxed the tome with a treat of bacon and been rewarded with new words.

Conscript

Payload

Creep

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, July 11th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, July 12th.

The gates are open!  Let the games begin!

44 comments:

  1. Congratulations Antonia Woodville. Thanks also for placing me runner up - I'm thrilled as always to win a place in this challenge. Back later to play again. ^_^

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  2. Congratulations to Antonia and Helen! Both great choices.

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  3. Kaia was impatient. Seth retained POV, because he has control issues. ;)

    Two Out of Three

    “Appreciate you coming so quickly,” I croaked.

    “Don’t make predictions you might not live to keep.” Kaia flashed sharp teeth.

    “Fix him. Right now.” No diplomacy from Nate.

    She hissed. “I’m not your conscript, boy.”

    He drew bead on her. “Got a payload says you are.”

    She blew him a kiss, and his gun flew across the room. “You’re lucky I didn’t make it shoot you in the head. Now, sit down and let me work.”

    Her hands were warm, cold, blazing hot. I screamed as seams closed at a creeping pace.

    “Pain’s the price,” she whispered. “Second favor. Done.”

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    1. Love whip-fast banter. :) Favorite line is "I screamed as seams closed at a creeping pace". Made me shiver!

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    2. Seth does right. Never puts a foot wrong (except when he does) And Nate ... oh, boy. And this string of favours - so clever.

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    3. an object lesson in writing dialogue without a single 'he said' in sight and carrying the story ever onward. Brilliant.

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  4. Oh she's in control all right! Loved the dialogue in this piece.

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  5. THANK YOU!
    much needed... I was booked for a 4 hour slot of tarot reading at a summer fete yesterday, got organised, got connected, got there to find gates locked, bolted and no notices and so far... no email or call to say why.
    So this comes as a lovely surprise this morning. The Captain is well pleased.
    Back later with comments and another instalment...

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    Replies
    1. Oh, how disappointing! I hope today turns out to be much better for you, and I can't wait to find out what the Captain does with these words!

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  6. Congrats Antonia & Helen!

    Things have been so crazy lately, the week is already gone before I've submitted an entry! Hopefully I will have a chance to this week. :)

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  7. Payload

    "And there she was, the princess herself, pouring me coffee."

    Gladis rolled orange-rimmed eyes. "Yeah, and she thought you were a creep, staring like that."

    Wayne cocked a finger at Gladis, grinning wide. "You kicked me in the shin, you little shit."

    Tomlin shoved glasses up his razor-thin rose and arched both brows with a dubious expression. "Is she the payload?" His eyes flicked to the cargo room. "How'd you know it was her?"

    "She conscripted me, the bitch. Wouldn't forget her. Has that big tattoo on her arm."

    "Ah, the skulls. Men she's sent to die."

    "The generals."

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    1. Oh she sounds dangerous. Nice bit of dialogue.

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    2. Oh, this is such a wonderful conversation. Rich in description, and every time I read anything of yours I realise I need to widen my vocabulary.

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    3. good one, another classic lesson in writing sharp dialogue which says it all and carries the story through to the end. And yes, as Helen says, she sounds dangerous...

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    4. There is so much story implied in these few lines. I want to know the back and forward of it.

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  10. Sorry about the other two up there - I'll get it right in a minute ^_^

    THE DARE Part 2
    Freddy gasped: the entity flew through him, a sensation that left his blood cold within his veins. His heart banged, his mind said run - it’s not as if he was a conscript of the club. Given the spirit’s atrabilious mood, who would blame him? Yet the moment it touched him, he knew what it was. Its thoughts had embedded into his own. This data was the payload he needed to match it.

    Did it know he knew? “Show yourself.”

    In the far corner the eidolon began to creep out of the shadows.“ You’re no match for me, child,” it snarled.

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    Replies
    1. Yet MORE interesting vocabulary - well done Helen.

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    2. I always learn new words with your pieces. :) Very interesting, I'm curious how this will play out as it sounds like Freddy now has intimate knowledge of the phantom. Love the challenge at the end. :)

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    3. there's a lot going on here, like - a lot! Would like to know more.

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    4. Great tension and mood in this. Freddy seems to be more than we'd thought at first. I'm intrigued.

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  11. Ante-mortem

    ‘Payload?’
    ‘Yeah,’ Blue eyes glanced beyond her to the wall of double-tiered drawers, stainless-steel fronts labelled and numbered. ‘Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.’
    Exasperated and allowing it to show. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ She’d noticed him, of course, any late-twenties body stood out against the latest batch of gangly conscripts to the forensic-porn Uni course, and one as fit as his...
    ‘Oh, c’mon sweetheart, it’s not rocket science...’
    ‘No. It’s pathology.’
    ‘It’s photography I’m talking. Know what I mean?’
    Aha. The creep thought he’d muscle in on her patch. She reached for a syringe.

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    Replies
    1. Oh does he know what he's messing with! Nice hint of darkness here.

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    2. darkness indeed, very accurate dialogue and very interesting too.

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    3. Nasty little piece... come to think of it, that goes for the characters, too. I really enjoy the casual macabre conversation, the trading of hints of wickedness. I wouldn't put money on the outcome, either.

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  12. Apologies, playing hide and seek with internet connection so forgot to say well done Antonia and Helen. And although Tao was too early for payload, Pettinger is not:

    A change of focus [48]

    ‘Deal with the usual malefactors’ she’d said.
    Murderers most of them, conscripts to Death’s Army of the Premature. Only the payload changed. Used to be money but now it’s power, which equals influence, sex and money.
    And whether you kill to gain it, or kill because someone else had it over you, the result was the same.
    His job was to catch the killer.
    Bring him to justice.
    His job wasn’t to judge.
    Which was hard when the finger of suspicion was creeping unerringly towards a man who wielded power.
    A man he couldn’t help but judge.
    A murderer.
    Raptor.


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    1. I do so admire the way you end up with killer last lines!

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    2. I could actually feel the wheels turn in his mind, the conclusion more inevitable than surprising, but no less powerful for it.

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  13. Yay Antonia and Helen!

    Here's my effort...

    Intermission...
    ---------------


    "I see you got your replacement."

    "It's the least I could offer: you know my feelings about creeps that take advantage of women."

    "I hope you didn't browbeat her too much..."

    "No conscription needed; just... pointing out the facts. A woman, a child like her shouldn't be cut adrift in a city like this... plus, she's a diamond in the rough, and I recouped some losses by fencing that trinket. I'd prefer yet another member; the team's physical payload's still below par-"

    "You like her, don't you?"

    "Whatever." Mary switched off the 'link.

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    1. Very interesting! I believe Mary is as hard and practical as she appears, which is not at all diminished by her brief hints of emotional connection (though I daresay she'd argue with me about that).

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  14. Replies
    1. some 100 word entries need to be 1000 word entries, there's a lot happening here that needs expanding.

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  15. And another...

    Bring me The Head Of(16)
    ------------------------

    Removing the eye-pad dressings Ame knew something was different, but blood-matted eyelashes locked her vision down to conjunctive, blurry slits, preventing close scrutiny.

    Not blind, at least...

    She conscripted Gonzo via 'link to run a bath, and clasping a replacement outfit, made a tentative break for the bathroom, avoiding the others' looks.

    She shared the tub with her soiled garments, sluicing the detritus as best she could; the water darkened to opaque rust-pink.

    Naked, eyes shut: a full-length mirror. Time to see what Baisotei's psychic payload had wrought.

    Inari be blessed!

    The lazy grin crept upwards; sharp, grey fox-eyes sparkled.

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    1. blood-matted eyelashes, now there's an image to conjure with...

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    2. Wow! That was totally not the reaction I expected. Everything from the inability to see, to the bath, and then revelation of form was described with vivid conciseness.

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    3. As Antonia says, the blood matted eyelashes such a strong image, and an intriguing episode altogether.

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  16. Infinity 14
    14
    Gotta say there’s no conscripts aboard the Infinity, they either want to be here or they’re not here. If you see what I be meaning. I like men to be men; even the cabin boy doesn’t creep around me like I’m the Devil incarnate. They stand up on their hind legs and yell if things baint right. That’s why the hellish shadow people bother me, they don’t fight. They don’t talk. They’re part of the payload and I wish to Hell they weren’t here.
    Trouble is, I’m doomed to sail with them. Don’t know if anyone else sees them – yet.

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    1. Antonia, you do it every time: make it seem the prompts were tailored secifically for you - I know they're not, however, which makes every episode so admirable. And this is an especially strong episode too.

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  17. Love the language in this - I hear the waves splashing below!

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  18. I don't know if any of you are interested but I thought I would share just in case. My short video reading of my recently published novella - a psychic thriller - A Tarot Reader; A Serial Killer- each knows the other knows- who'll survive? - is now available to watch on You-tube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFnGrze0pM8&feature=youtu.be

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    1. Impressive - I imagine it must be quite a scary thing to do, but is certainly a tenpting trailer.

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    2. Thanks Sandra the Novella has got some really good reviews - this video is the 1st of 4 and I really enjoy recording. A lot of my friday flash fiction is also narrated.

      For information if interested the Novella is available as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon - or just e-book format from Crooked Cat Books (my publisher) or Smashwords. It's price is US $2.99 e-book or $4.94 paperback UK £1.59 or £3.60

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  19. Here I am, sneaking in late to gently close the gates on another week. With Colleen off on an adventure, I will be posting winners and words tomorrow... providing I can convince the tome to offer them up.

    Thanks to everyone for playing this week!

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