Saturday, 20 July 2013

Unexpected horror.

 Have you ever had the experience of a perfectly mundane thing becoming horrific in ways you never expected it could?  You all answered yes.  I know, because everyone has had that experience to some degree or another.  Suddenly things just become weird and awful and there's not a damned thing you can do about it, except try to come through with as few scars, physical or otherwise as possible.  And what do writers do with such experiences?  We incorporate them into our stories, of course.

My first order of business is to again thank RRKovar for her invaluable assistance whilst I was away this week.  It was a blessing knowing that I had left the Tome, our playground, and you, my wonderful friends, in her care.  Thank you again, sister-mine.

NOTE:  So, somewhere along the way my choice for winner got eaten.

Without further ado, this week's winner is Sandra Woodville with Post-operative!   There is such truth here, that I think for many people, the reading of it would bring a shudder.  And that's what makes it such good horror.  There's just enough truth in it to keep the reader grounded in reality and not allow them to suspend disbelief.  This sort of the story sticks with folk for a long time.  Thank you Sandra!

And in second place Antonia Woodville with Infinity 15:  Antonia, I cannot get enough of this story.  This week's chapter is so beautifully woven with gorgeous phrasing.  The story itself is enchanting in all the right, dark, ways.  Thank you.

The Tome seems to have missed me whilst I was away.  It sits on the desk at my side as I type this.  I have petted it and given it the usual treat of bacon, and been rewarded with the following:

Amber

Travesty

Undone


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 25th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, July 26th.

The gates are open!










61 comments:

  1. Thank you so much!
    Every week I plan on getting my entry in early, every week the Captain dallies until Thursday and then says 'let's write this...' so my plans, a bit like his, tend to go out of the window/porthole. I don't know where the story is going.
    Now, did I get it wrong or do I congratulate RR for the first place this week? tisn't entirely clear to this heat-confuddled lady.

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  2. Congrats Antonia for the win! Words look interesting this week so will see if I can scrape up some time to play and comment. I've put a quick tweet out just now to encourage people to come play too.

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  3. That was all my fault! For some reason, Prediction ate part of my post and my choice for winner didn't post the first time. Luckily, RR caught that this morning and emailed me. I have fixed it. Sandra was this week's winner. I promise to proof-read more closely from now on. I'm a bit heat addled myself.

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  4. Congtulations Sandra Woodville and Antonia Woodville - well done ladies!

    The words were tricky to use this week but I have managed I hope to use them in the right way for another episode of the Dare:

    The Dare #4

    It’s eyes narrowed. “Fun time. It’s inevitable, it cannot be undone.” It swirled around. Its mouth flew apart, a gaping hole filled with spiked teeth. Spidery fingers hung like claws as it threw itself at Freddy.

    Freddy held up his hands. An amber glow emanated from his finger tips and his eyes; an impenetrable barrier that taridigrades the impact of the phantom, tossing it backwards to reveal what it really was: a travesty of its former self.

    “I see you!” said Freddy.

    “A mere Kinchin,” it hissed. “How is it possible?”

    “I’m not like others as you will find out.”

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    1. Whilst this is part of a series (haven't read the rest, sorry Helen) it works well as a standalone piece. Lots of menace seeping through this piece and that's one hell of a monster you've created there! Like the way you flip the power from the beast to Freddy. Top stuff.

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    2. good instalment! lots happening and Freddy revealing more clever tricks.

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    3. Freddy 'A mere Kinchin' eh? Where will he go next?

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    4. This is a delightful read. Freddy continues to surprise, and I like that the monster seems quite put out that it was bested by a mere boy.

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    5. Anything with 'spidery' in it makes me shiver (not a spider fan). I definitely got a good image of the creature and enjoyed Freddy besting him.

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    6. Helen, this just gets better and better! A true spooky tale with the same tone and feel of the ones I used to devour as a teen! The creature is completely formed in my mind, thanks to your description and Freddy becomes more likable and interesting by the moment! Thank you!

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  5. Am on holiday at the moment - at a gathering of writers in Virginia - so have only just caught up with this - many many thanks. And not at all sure that time/internet connection will permit participation this week either. And well done Antonia.

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  6. Up in arms

    His concern a travesty of compassion, amber eyes an ever-ready signal of impending mayhem which could only add to that which had gone before, Raptor, recognising a moment too late that help had been summoned, seized the DCI, pulling her to stand between himself and the two men who flung open the door.
    Unsure whether it was her dignity or her life she should be more concerned about, and feeling like a woe-is-me about-to-be-undone bodice-ripper heroine, she stiletto-stamped smartly upon Raptor’s foot, smiled sweetly, ‘Sorry, didn’t meant to press the button, false alarm,’ and dismissed he would-be rescuers.
    Raptor smiled.

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    1. Ouch I could feel that stiletto stamp! ^_^ Oh what' s going to happen next...

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    2. Sandra, congratulations on the win! Well earned.
      this is a superb instalment.
      Where's everyone else? It's Thursday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. Love the phrase 'a travesty of compassion', very nice indeed. Need to read the rest of these to work out what is going on fully but, like Helen, I felt that stiletto driving down!

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    4. I like her conundrum between which mattered more, dignity or life. That's a professional woman in a man's world in a nutshell. I like her solution.

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    5. Loved the phrase 'stiletto-stamped smartly'. Very curious about the energy between the two of them. :)

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    6. Coincidentally, there are one or two males in my life right now who deserve a good "stiletto-stamping". That made reading this that much more entertaining. I believe I may start taking a page or two from this young lady's book. Great story-telling! Thank you.

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  7. Infinity 16
    Almost give myself away, so I did. If I had, it would’ve made a travesty of my ongoing journal. Even I don’t do things like that and I’m the supreme commander around here. All my work would have been undone. The shadows would love that.
    It’s an amber sunset the night, it worries me more than anything. What blows out there, what’s heading toward us to change the rays like that? Should I be ordering batten down the hatches, draw in the sails, secure our belongings… listen to me, ranting like an old woman.
    Come on, Blackbeard, this baint you!

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    1. Yes, Blackbeard - you've a journey yet to complete, the shadows to out-run

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    2. A-har! Adventure on the high seas! Again, like with Sandra's, I need to do me some catching up to know fully what is going on but this had the scent of a salty sea breeze permeating throughout :-)

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    3. I so enjoy the captain's conversations with himself and seeing the vulnerabilities he'd never dare show the crew. Another great entry!

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    4. I agree with RR, I like this view of the crew from the Captain's innermost thoughts. We generally admit things we wouldn't say outloud in journals, and it's painting such an interesting story. Curious how he will stand against the shadows! :)

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    5. I must agree with the others. Blackbeard's inner monologue reveals so much about the character. As always, you've woven the prompts in beautifully, and the story continues to enchant! Thank you!

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    6. Don't falter now Blackbeard, those shadows are still there.

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    7. thanks for the good words! I would be wishing the Captain would visit earlier than Thursday, I feel we rush it if it's done at the last moment. But I cannot command... he comes when he wishes not when I wish.

      He's busy building an actual 'Infinity' in the harbour at Shipton at the moment, (in my spirit realm) with his original crew which he has put back together again, and accompanied by Sarah, a spirit visitor from here who chose to go be with the Captain. He still has the power to draw women to him, it seems...

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  8. Weighing the odds

    If she persuaded him to marry her, how much of a travesty would it be? Certainly this child needed a father and he was as likely as anyone – well, any one of four. Carrion Jack had been easily fooled – thought he’d been the first; she’d been quite proud of her weeping and wailing that what had been done could never now be undone, her virtue all in tatters. Similarly the others.
    But she’d been under no illusion Tao’d not read her duplicity, her spurious credentials; only he’d been knowing enough to see the flies in the amber of her purity.

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    1. Another great phrase with 'flies in the amber of her purity.' I see more duplicitousness is running through this story and good to see Tao and Carrion Jack still going strong! Very intrigued to see what the outcome of this is.

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    2. She is a practical woman, and clever to boot. I said before Tao had met his match, but I wouldn't wish her such a husband, especially not as his brother might take it in his head to wreak revenge upon Tao's wife, and I rather like this saucy witch.

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    3. I agree with Phil, my favorite line is the list '...flies in the amber of her purity'. Love how she's fooled so many and yet there is one who saw through it and despite it, seems to be acting how she'd wished.

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    4. Her instinct for "survival" is impressive. And it's refreshing to see a man understand that, and seem even, to admire it! Well done!

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    5. Loved this line "only he’d been knowing enough to see the flies in the amber of her purity. "

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    6. superb line there, Sandra, and the rest is adding to the mystery and mystique generally that surrounds Tao. More, please!

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  9. Quiet week this week. Rushing to put an entry in. Let's see what you think.

    Start over

    An amber hue coloured the ocean as the sun bled into the horizon. It was peacful and serene. The perfect end to the perfect day as the tourists lazed on the liner's deck. None of them realised it would be their last day; anyone's last day.

    They had grown sick of it in the end. The travesty of humanity, the bane of their creation. An abomination of their dreams and aspirations.

    She had suggested it but the others agreed with heavy hearts, knowing it couldn't be undone.

    On 17 March 2015 Earth Mk II was born, filled with hope.

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    1. So much to love here: Creation by committee, the notion that it could all end with a snap and none the wiser, the sense that it would only be just if one considers what we've done with the place. Ending on a note of hope was a happy surprise.

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    2. It might be 'filled with hope' but I sense that thins will inevitably go downhill, yet again.

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    3. Love the idea of a committee determining the creation and fate of worlds. The final line was perfect, implying an ending though it only spoke of a new beginning, a new earth.

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    4. I agree with what everyone else has said, and yet for me, there is something deeply disturbing and frightening under the surface. I kinda love it. Thank you!

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    5. I agree that the final line implies an ending and an beginning, but the question that still hangs is the beginning of what?

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    6. this is how to intrigue the reader ... don't give it all to them, let them work it out, and we are busy trying to work it out. Good one, Phil!

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  10. Cause and Effect

    Standing at the door, Linda felt time slow, ensuring she bore witness to every moment:

    Drake, splayed across the bed, arms at odd angles.
    Drake, bathed in sweat, streaked with blood.
    Drake, eyes glazed, staring heavenward.
    Drake, undone by the whip and the woman riding him.

    Closing her eyes, she saw it all again, a travesty caught in the amber of memory:

    Drake, raging at his own nature.
    Drake, mouthing promises.
    Drake, on his knees, begging.
    Drake, undone, first by her resistance, then the snub-nose revolver he’d insisted would keep her safe.

    Funny how right he was in the end.

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    1. The repetition a hammering in the head, the shape of it returning and returning again to a killer of the final line - well done.

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    2. Loved your use of repetition and how it went from ending to the beginning and back to the end with the final line. :) I love this style of writing, especially in flash fiction.

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    3. Ok, first...I love it when you write out of our box! You come up with the best stuff! The repetition is alluring. Sandra is right about how strong it makes this piece. Amazing visuals going on here, too. Thank you!

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    4. I too loved the repetition and how it ended was just right.

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    5. yes and yes, very very powerful writing here, the repetition driving the point home. Masterful.

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  11. In under the wire!

    Secrets
    “It’s a travesty, that’s what it is,” Amber said, eyeing her chicken salad as though something unsettling had taken up residence within.

    “But what if they find out.” This from Sarah, her blue pin-up eyes wide. Her worried gaze shifted from a nearby waiter to the door of the restaurant.

    Jessica faked confidence with a bright smile. “Well it can’t be undone, and no one will find out.” She stared at Sarah. “As long as no one says anything.”

    “We’re not going to say anything,” Jen said.

    The girls fell silent, all eyes on the butter knife in her hand.

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    1. Oooh...I feel teenagers or housewives! Can't tell which. Either way, I'm dying to know what they did! Nice use of the prompts, as well.

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    2. Oh! What did they DO?? I love open-ended pieces, because they allow for infinite possibilities. This is very well staged and leaves me wondering how bad they had actually been.

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    3. Oooh what have they been up too? I have to know ^_^

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    4. Intriguing and allowing so much space for the mind to travel in - well-drawn scene with an excelletly described chicken.

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    5. oh yes, open to many and any interpretations! Love it!!!

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  12. And my entry...barely under the wire...but needing to written.

    Amber glowed, held up to the Hunter’s moon.
    Kneeling in the stream, she allowed their knavery to make a travesty of her emotions one last time.

    As the life trapped in this stone
    So shall you slowly come undone.
    May you reap as you have sowed

    For as long as water binds it
    You will seek the truth, yet never find it.
    And shall your trust erode.

    One unto the other, you will know deceit and fear
    And ne’er again, on your behalf
    Will I shed a single tear.


    It hit the water gently. Miles away, an argument began.



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    1. Oh I loved this, especially the elegant spell. I've been reading a lot of magic stories lately and this is very vivid in my imagination. Love the final line. Ripples upon the water. :)

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    2. I love the cadence of this, the depth of feeling, the sense of being wronged - pretty much everything. That last line is sublime.

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    3. Thank you! It has been long and long since I wrote a spell of my own. I shall never use this one. It was written as...therapy, shall we say? I'm so glad you like it!

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    4. That's one cool spell! The piece resonated with the emotion of someone feeling that others have been unjust towards them - I could hear the stone hitting the water.

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    5. As RR says - lovely cadence and superb final line.

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    6. oh yes, resonating with magic and mystery and emotion. Lovely piece.

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  13. And that, my loves, is that for this week. Feel free to continue to comment as you will.

    The gates are closed. See you tomorrow evening with winners and new words. Thanks to all!

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