Sunday, 20 October 2013

I swear it's possessed.

Good morning!  My apologies.  This is my sixth attempt at posting winners and words.  Hopefully it'll go through this time.  As the title says, I swear my computer is possessed.  It's quite old and sometimes just refuses to do things, like work.

Any rate, let me get right to it as I'm so abysmally late with this.

This week's winner is John Xero with his continuation of (rise):  John, as always, the Steampunk feel of this is totally engrossing.  I've read it about a dozen times now.  This week's prompts seem a perfect fit and you wove them in beautifully.  Thank you!

And in second place is RRKovar with The Greater Depression:  This whole thing just feels grey and laced with grim determination and hopelessness.  It's a wonderful read.  I find myself hoping you'll actually favor us with more of this.  Thank you!

I also must give Honorable Mention to Antonia Woodville with her continuation of the Captain's Story.  Antonia, the Captain never ceases to intrigue.  I love where you're taking this and I'm honored to be along for the ride.  Thank you!

And now, the poor Tome, who has been given a slight case of indigestion by my not being able to post, has given us new words.

Drab
Unbecoming
Gestation

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 24th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, October 25th, barring any further computer issues.  Again, my apologies for the random timing of my posts.

The Gates Are Open my friends.  Take what the Tome has offered and craft your nightmares into reality!



39 comments:

  1. Congrats John, Rebecca & Antonia! Sorry I didn't get to participate last week. Hoping this week is better. :)

    Prize
    Eyes gooey and utterly unbecoming, the prince fluttered a gilded handkerchief from one limp hand. “My heroine!” he said. “Thou hast slain the dragon!”

    Anora, dripping blood from one acid-pocked gauntlet, eyed him critically from her dented, horned helm. Faced with her prize, she was still trying to decide if the quest had been worth it.

    The furnishings of the tower were drab in comparison to the golden accouterments of Prince Vale – even the lace at his throat blazed with gilded stitching.

    An idea, already in gestation, flared in Anora’s mind. She’d request the gold.

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    1. What a gloriously anarchic update to a usually boringly predictable tale!

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    2. what can I say but agree? Stunning!
      Congratulations John and RR! always such good writing.

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    3. I love everything about this, including her mercenary bent. Fantastic way to turn old tropes on their sides.

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    4. Love the role-reversal. =)

      Imagining her riding off leaving a scrawny naked bewildered prince. ;)

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  3. Congratulations John and Rebecca, and I second the vote for Antonia.

    An uncertainty of aim

    While the wickedly interrupted gestation of her twins hadn’t killed the blacksmith’s wife, nothing, it appeared, could save her womb, therefore, believing it unbecoming in a wife not to breed, facing the wrong - and wavering uncertain - end of an ancient blunderbuss mattered little.
    A triangle of tension formed twixt her and the justice-minded priest ten yards to her left and Drusilla’s daughter ditto, right, atop the cart; Mathias in momentarily dumb attendance.
    Gabriel continued to approach on horseback.
    The drab-dressed mob formed a silent semicircle around them.
    Drusilla’s daughter swung and re-aimed the blunderbuss.
    Mathias whispered ‘Careful!’

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    1. oh nice one!
      what when and who and all the other questions a piece like this leaves hanging in the balance!!

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    2. Always excellent with titles, which I always find hard. :) So much tension packed into this piece. Loved the wording of the first line, especially the end.

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    3. Ah, she returns at last. This is so full, I keep reading it and finding more to enjoy and think about. Brilliant dovetailing of the stories.

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    4. Great job of tightening the scene up, building the tension. =)

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  4. Hi all, been away for quite a while and am a bit out of practice, so I really hope this doesn't suck to bad!

    Demonic Eye For The Straight Guy

    “Sir,” Mestrious lisped, regarding his human ‘master’ with an expression of acute disdain, “I absolutely will not be seen with you looking like that.”

    Bryan looked down at his ensemble of ripped jeans and ‘Deathfinger’ band shirt. “Why, what’s wrong with me?”

    The demon sighed, crossing his arms over his immaculately tailored grey suit jacket. Had this drab and witless individual really managed to entrap one of the Gash? Frankly, it was embarrassing.

    “As one who seeks to wield power, you should not look...unbecoming; but honestly, you dress like something that has just crawled from the Gestation Pit, Sir.”

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    1. Very humorous piece. I loved the demon's displeasure with Bryan's sense of fashion, and the line "Frankly, it was embarrassing" was perfect! Great mix of originality and humor.

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    2. Superb! I adore the idea of a demon with sartorial standards. The fact that the 'master' is clueless bodes ill for him in the long-run. Demons are pros at finding the loophole.

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    3. Excellent, very funny.

      The tone is spot on. =)

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  5. Hello Paul - I've not read your work before and, having read this, certainly hope you continue to return. Especially liked "an expression of acute disdain"

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    1. oh I like this, Paul! So glad you dropped by!!

      Message from the Captain, Blackbeard himself.
      Ms Colleen, thankee kindly for the words. Our journey to the Indees will continue, if this one's fingers hold out and the infernal machine on which she works holds out too. The journal has more to relate to you all and we will be back ere long.

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  6. A change of focus [60]

    Brief in gestation, potentially sound in execution, the plan utilised Pettinger’s contacts with Khakbethian cargo captains along with his boss’s ability to terrorise Customs into accepting bogus documentation and do Girl Guide knots, with sufficient mercy to minimise Cherriman’s hogtied discomfort. The flimsy partition had survived the five-hundred mile journey, the end of which was signalled by drab brick-built, warehouses, and cobble-surfaced docks.

    Pettinger, embarrassed, anticipated Cherriman’s sardonic expression, he having necessarily overheard their conjoined exhortations, but was unprepared, when opening the rear door, to be confronted by a knife.
    ‘Both search and knotting insufficient, Yanno, and conduct unbecoming.’

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    1. The alliteration, internal rhyming, and fantastically descriptive phrasing is a joy. And the twist at then end is full of the pleasure of anticipating how Pettinger gets out of this one.

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    2. As RR says, excellent phrasing. Fantastic last line too, I can imagine him honing the line all the way there... =)

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    3. sooo good! Such smooth captivating dialogue and a storyline that unfolds week by week with new surprises all the time. Good one.

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    4. Loved the wording in this and the reference to 'Girl Guide knots'. You definitely wrapped the scene perfectly with Pettinger's surprise.

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  7. I cannot tell you the many ways Seth is cursing me for this...

    What Should Never Be

    Even my messed up life hadn’t prepared me for the reanimated hound. It might be a slavering zombie, but in my head it was a dog, so I was reluctant to “kill” it.

    No such reservations, the beast lunged. My shriek was unbecoming an experienced hunter. Luckily, its lack of coordination caused it to slide past me, coming apart and bumping down the stairs, howling.

    I leapt over the copulating corpses and slammed my shoulder into an already splintered door.

    The drab room was absolutely ordinary, save for the nearly complete gestation of a beautiful woman.

    Her eyes hadn’t changed.

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    1. The image of the dog coming apart as it bumps down the stairs is pretty horrific, adding to the general miasma of animated decay. Excellent atmosphere.

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    2. This one of your most horrific, Rebecca! Recurring horrific magery at both beginning and end, nastily bridged by the middle.

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    3. ooh, nasty one! Images to haunt the mind, in every way. Where does the story go from here... or should I not ask??

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    4. I agree with John; I thought the description of the dog's demise was excellent. You always have such clean, effective lines. Loved this. :)

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    5. Definitely uuuurrrrrrrrrggggghhhhh

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  8. Thank you, Colleen, and congratulations RR, Antonia. =)

    Alpha is first up to bat this week...


    (alpha)

    Adam backed up as the corpse shifted. The blue whorls of tattoo settled, but still pulsed.

    What if it was a life form, transported through the depths of space, gestating in the meteor? Some parasitical alien, bonding to a host, reanimating this corpse.

    Its skin was already drab with pallor mortis. It looked up at him with milky eyes.

    "You better not be contagious," Adam warned, "blue will be most unbecoming against my red and white," he indicated his suit. He shook his head, glad no one was around to hear the terrible one-liner.

    The corpse screamed inarticulately.

    "Yeah, sorry."

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    1. Oh!! 'pallor mortis' not a phrase I've heard before and love that Adam is so self-conscious

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    2. I love hearing his thought process, strangely calm but still obviously tense. That's a neat trick. I may have laughed out loud at the last line.

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    3. a screaming corpse, now there's something I never thought of. Good one, John, so much going on here.

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    4. I loved the idea of Adam using a bad one-liner. :) Definitely refreshing to see a self-conscious superhero.

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  9. Infinity 28.
    The voyage is a period of gestation for this here journal. It grows as we go, it changes as we change course and follow the fair weather. Twould be unbecoming to reveal all that goes on in this captain’s heart, black or otherwise, but it is mostly drab dark dreary thoughts on the lack of prevailing winds and the threat of pirates. Would you be liking the irony there?
    There is a good chance that I might be coming close to understanding the shadows. I do believe they are the ones I threw overboard on the last voyage. I think.

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    1. Maybe the clue to their plans for his future lies in their past... Of course, he may only have part of the answer...

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    2. Oh, the shadows! I so much want to know more about them, yet fear the Captain's being undone by them.

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    3. I'm definitely intrigued by this new piece of the shadow puzzle. Also, the Captain admitting he may not be telling all in his journal definitely fleshes him out a bit more.

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  10. Grats everyone, in a rush tonight so:

    Key to the Door (2)
    ---------------------------

    It was a three-storey eyesore in concrete, made drabber by the all-pervading drizzle. Sharah waited in the empty bus-shelter, glad it was also devoid of second-hand takeaway.

    A skinny man, bespectacled and fusty-looking, finally arrived with two hard-hats.

    "Excuse the lateness," he fumbled with a key, "PA's on early maternity: some rare gestational skin disease, and the temp starts next Monday. Most unbecoming-"

    Sharah's attitude hardened...

    "-running around dogsbodying for the senior partners; no idea how she does it."

    ...then backpedalled, venturing: "Why meet here, Mr Foskell?"

    "Instructions: I inherited this case. My client never trusted the other partners..."

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  11. All right my loves. The Gates are Closed. Please feel free to continue commenting as you will. I'll see you tomorrow with winners and words!

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