Saturday, 28 September 2013

Good evening once again, my friends.

Things are a bit hectic here just now and I didn't want to be late, so...

We had to bid goodbye to The Tome's favorite companion, Mofo, this week.  If you don't remember, Mofo was my housemate's tarantula.  Sadly, she passed on Tuesday.  The Tome has been sitting on top of her cage of late.  It obviously misses her, as does my housemate.  Christmas is coming, however, and I am considering the notion of gifting my friends a new friend.  We shall see.

Rest In Peace, dear.

On to winners and words.

This weeks winner is Sandra Davies with A Change of Focus (56):  This was just such a snapping good bit of writing!  As always, great use of the prompts and the story continues to surprise at every turn.  Thank you!

And in second place is Antonia Woodville with her untitled continuation of the Captain's journal:  Antonia, this story continues to fascinate.  This has a lovely, rich, texture to it.  Thank you.

Make ready, m'dears.  The Tome has brought forth new words!

Alabaster
Pore
Waxwork

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, October 3d, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, October 4th!

And with that...The Gates Are Open!



33 comments:

  1. Thank you Colleen - and congratulations too to Antonia who manages every week to have me re-read her piece, checking that the prompts are there because I never saw them.
    'Alabaster' such a lovely word, almost worthy of a heroine.

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  2. thanks, Colleen, and thanks, Sandra! Many congratulations! your writing always appeals, the clarity of the dialogue is something else, depicts so much whilst saying so little. That takes skill.

    Something 'strange' happened Thursday evening, I was having a reading with my friend, a talented medium. He said 'can you take the name Ted, or Edward?' I didn't think of the Captain at that point... although I seriously doubt anyone would have called him Ted!!!!!! The only other Edwards I know are kings and princes, who also wouldn't be known as Ted... so I am thinking the Captain came in to say hi.
    (the reading was positive... all I have to do now is get on with the work...)

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  3. as a matter of interest, how many years do tarantulas live in captivity? I am saying that as in the wild they too must have their predators.

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  4. Mofo was about ten years old. My housemate says that they CAN live up to 20 years in captivity. It may be that she got ill.

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  5. that's a real shame. Trouble is, it's not like they can say 'get me to the docs, please' ...

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  6. Congrats Sandra and Antonia! Sorry to hear about Mofo.

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  7. Plain View

    It sat on a shelf in plain view, a misshapen waxwork a child might have formed with unrestrained fingers. It’d hold no interest for a thief, as anything of value would likely be concealed in the biometric safe.

    Tucking an alabaster curl behind her ear, Syler grinned and reached for the lumpy statue. Her gloved fingers smoothed over the base, finding a small pore in the wax. ”Clever,” she said.

    All she had to do now was get it back to her lab, crack it open, and she’d be a thousand kronecks richer. Well, if she could decode it.

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    Replies
    1. Lovely, complete, entrancing tale. And enticing first sentence,

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    2. This is fantastic from start to finish. The details create a larger story and history, yet it's a self-contained story on its own.

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    3. it does stand on its own, brilliantly, but ... any chance of continuing it??????

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    4. Thanks! Yes, I think I want to see if Syler has anything else to tell me next week. :)

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  8. Dirty tricks

    Mutterings warned Drusilla not to approach too closely to the man whose gun threatened her daughter’s life, e’en as the mob parted to permit her passage. Rarely seen in daylight she shocked the elders who’d known her, biblically, who’d pressed themselves against her alabaster skin, soot-pitted pores of which now close resembled leaf-mould.
    She halted twenty feet before them.
    Described some swift finger-writ message in the air, whereupon her daughter’s face became yellow waxwork.
    ‘She curses you?’ Tao, mildly incredulous.
    ‘I stole her magic...’
    ‘Then she cannot harm...’
    Premature: his pale passenger slumped against him, causing his gun to fall.

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    Replies
    1. Another delicious turn! Eloquent descriptions as always, loved the comparison of skin to leaf-mould and yellow waxwork - very vivid imagery. And the final line was an excellent cliffhanger.

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    2. What a brilliant juxtaposition of the past and present, mother and daughter, the crowd and their witches. The last line was perfect for making me want desperately to know what comes next.

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    3. so so good! sweeping us along with the story, revealing snippets as you go. Clever.

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  9. A change of focus [57]

    Pettinger pored over the images Cherriman had smugly produced. Spread across the faux-alabaster kitchen worktop their several lurid messages were shocking.
    Not so much for what they depicted but that Cherriman knew such things had taken place
    ‘They’re fakes.’
    ‘You have to prove that. In a court of law if necessary...’
    ‘I’ll risk that.’
    Pettinger remembered a waxwork-buttocked judge, last seen handing wads of cash to greedy, now-dead, Gunita.
    He sighed.
    ‘Cherriman, now Raptor’s gone, surely we can re-negotiate? I’ve no interest in Khakbethia...’
    ‘Me neither. I need a tame policeman here.’
    ‘It won’t be me.’
    ‘I think it will.’

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    Replies
    1. I laughed at the description of the judge. :) My favorite line was "not so much for what they depicted but that Cherriman knew such things had taken place" -- tells a lot about both characters.

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    2. I doubt it will be so easy for Cherriman. Seems to me John's awfully close to his limit regarding political blackmailing. I don't know why, but I get the sense of a simmering pot about to boil over. Another great episode!

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    3. oh the plot thickens and deepens... in style!

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  10. In Deep

    My scars shone alabaster in moonlight, symbols near to glowing. Muggy night wrapped around me, mingled with the fear dripping from every pore. I could bless or curse with the best (or worst) of them, murder or save like a champ, but the thing in my pocket was so far beyond what I would do willingly it made the inside of my skin itch.

    Beside me, Nate was grinning like a maniac with the knowledge that, one way or the other, his trial would soon end.

    The door swung open, expectant, on a macabre waxwork.

    “Seth,” Nate hissed, “they’re moving.”

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  11. Excellent tension throughout! Loved the phrase "macabre waxwork" when describing the door.

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  12. Oh - the alabaster scars was utter perfection, truly wonderful observation. And the 'inside' of skin. And 'macabre waxwork'. A top-class episode.

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    1. definitely a brilliant episode, it's loaded with menace!

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  13. Infinity 25 - more of the captain's journal
    25.
    A roaring sou-sou’westerly came up and near took the Infinity to her grave, so it did. There we were, a-fighting the wheel and the sails, all of us with alabaster faces, thinking it be our last. All except the cabin boy who clutched the rigging so tight he couldn’t undo his fingers when the blow were over. Stood like a waxwork, rigid, throughout.
    Them’s as will pore over this journal when I baint here no more won’t know what it really feels like to think you’re about to lose it all, ship, men, loot, life.
    Not necessarily in that order…

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  14. 'Not necessarily in that order…' - now there's a line to ponder over, several times. He sounds such a solitary man, who bears his authority with fortitude.

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  16. Crazy Train

    Nothing could have prepared me for the alabaster nightmare in that room. Every surface writhed with a coating of something viscous, translucent. And beneath, visible, blinking eyes, moving hands, the lower half of a leg. A nose and lips, perfectly formed and coated with bright pink lipstick, bubbled to the surface, gasped, and withdrew.

    Then there were the jars, thousands of them. Shoved into freeform waxwork sculptures, reminiscent enough of sex and your worst dreams to make me want to scream through every pore. I grinned instead.

    “Seth, they’re moving.”

    “Jesus, Nate. Just find him.”

    Then everything went dark.

    “Welcome…”

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    Replies
    1. Only read this twice. Too, too horrible to contemplate, the jars ... Please tell me Nate and Seth survive.

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    2. LOL...Sandra...does that mean it was good, or...?

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    3. Stuff of nightmares, Colleen - all those jars - but if you wanted to scare me witless, then you've well succeeded.

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    4. I only needed to read this once to be aware that my already unsettled stomach couldn't cope with the images... scary stuff!

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  17. All right my loves. It's that time. The gates are closed. Feel free to continue to comment as you will.

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