Sunday, 13 October 2013

New words, new inspirations.

Good evening!

I can't tell you how much fun I've had reading your submissions this week.  There is a part of me that is always filled with such excitement when it comes time to announce winners.  Admittedly, there is also a part of me that dreads, just a tiny bit, the process of doing so.  It's because the stories, whether submitted by our small core of regulars, or those who come to visit and play only occasionally, are just so damned good.  Mind you, I'm an adventurous sort of girl and I love a challenge, so it's still great fun.

It never ceases to amaze me, the sheer joy that I get from reading a well crafted piece of dark fiction.  You are all very good at that, so I'm often quite happy, and I thank you.

This week's winner is Lee Hughes with Bad Bric-a-Brac:  I can add you, Lee, to the list of folks here who are just amazing with dialogue.  I loved the natural feel of it.  Also, the last line made me shiver and giggle at the same time.  This is a truly fine piece of writing.  Thank you!

Our runner-up this week is Asuqi with Emancipation:  I love the fairy tale feel of this.  "I ruined my hands digging through mud." is my favorite line.  It smacks of determination and faith to me.  The way you've used the prompts feels totally natural.  I find myself wondering if there will be more to this.  Thank you!

And with that, the Tome has brought forth new words for us!

Framework
Snake
Astride

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 17th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, October 18/th!

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











40 comments:

  1. Thanks :o) and to the other entrants, really enjoyed your writing. Thanks for the comments too.

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  2. Well done Lee and Asuqi - hope you hang around a little longer. I'm quick off the mark this week because on Tuesday I'll arrive in New Orleans, where I hope not to get caught up in Seth and Nate's current contretemps.

    Nigh on a High Noon Moment

    Mathias.
    Three years since he’d last been called that name.
    The vicious repetition of it sounded as a sibilant hiss, spreading towards him as would a tide of snakes, venom-charged, vowing to strike him dead.
    Unremarked beside him Drusilla’s daughter grasped the unwieldy weapon.
    The hissing ceased, eyes looked beyond him.
    Tao turned, beheld his brother Gabriel, astride a horse.
    Blood boiled between them.
    Gabriel growled revenge.
    The Parish Priest, who’d cited Gabriel’s calibre, cried ‘Let not mob-rule prevail! The law’s the framework of our civility – he ought not hang without a trial!’
    Drusilla’s daughter raised and aimed the blunderbuss.

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    Replies
    1. and ... you introduce new dangers and leave us dangling... cruelty!

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    2. "Blood boiled between them" is a great line, you can just imagine the locked glares, the depth of passion. =)

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    3. Oh, superb! I love venom-charged. I truly fear for Mathias, even as I hope he gets his due.

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  3. A change of focus [59]

    For a brief moment, the sight of his boss astride him, her tongue having flickered, snake-like but isans venom, upwards from his groin, caused a dislocation in reality, a hiatus in the hierarchy of his professional world.
    But, since what they were doing was highly unprofessional, he allowed the thought to hiccup out of sight. And did his duty.
    Just in time: a muffled thumping from behind his head destroyed the ambience.
    ‘Are you sure the framework will hold?’ Vanessa eyed the hasty-erected panel between the cockpit and the rear of the van where Jake Cherriman lay, hog-tied.
    ‘Not entirely.’

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    1. Ha! and what if it doesn't??? where does the story go then? Again, cruelty!

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    2. I like the contrast between professionalism and 'doing his duty' and the description of the mental disparity caused by their current positions compared to their professional positions. Made me laugh. =)

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    3. I agree with John. The disparity is amusing, and as discomforting to the reader as it seems to be to the man experiencing it. Well done.

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    4. Excellent juxtaposition of his professional and personal lives. The uncertainty of the last line just ups the stakes in this fantastic tale.

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  4. Thank you so much, for the honour and for the lovely comments =) And congrats to Lee! I rarely come by to write (though I read!) but it´s always a wonderful experience when I do, and it´s all because of the warm welcome you all give =)

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  5. congratulations, Lee and Asuqi. Hope to read more from both of you - hint hint hint hint hint...

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  6. So... I mentioned on my blog that I wanted to carry on with my tiny serials and Sandra suggested I come back over here and use the prompts to write them just as I had been doing before. Which I thought was a marvellous idea. =)

    Hello. =)


    (rise)

    The crab's brass shell had ruptured, exposing the mechanical guts within its steel framework. Hydraulic piping snaked through a cragged mountainscape of cogs and pistons. Steaming water pooled onto the cobblestones from its cracked boilers.

    Olivia watched the gang set about it with spanners and hammers, piling parts into cloth sacks.

    "Wish we could take it all," George said, "can't tarry though. Be others wanting a share. Dog lords and flesh punks." He spat on the ground.

    Olivia frowned at the unfamiliar terms.

    Astride the crab's remaining claw Charlie shuddered, "People as make us look well-mannered."

    Ruth grimaced, "'Orrible folk."

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    Replies
    1. Well done John!! and Olivia's tale has been nicely marinading. 'Dog lords' is wonderfully descriptive.

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    2. good one, John, complex as always, you seem to cram so much into your 100 words. Good to see you!!

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    3. Welcome back, John! I've missed you. And Olivia, too. Dog lords and flesh punks. Such evocative phrasing really helps create the world in which Olivia finds herself.

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  7. Welcome back, John! You and Olivia have been sorely missed. As always, your descriptions of the things mechanical, in this world, really brings them to life for me. Can't wait to see what happens next! Thank you!

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  8. Grats Lee and Asuqi, nice to see you back, John :D

    Here's my effort:

    Some Ancient Hotshot...
    -------------------------------


    He lounged at the bar, taking respite from congratulatory alcohol, admiring the view. That Japanese chick from the proxy-crew was especially picturesque...

    She rose to dance; he approached, warning off several subordinates, she slipped out of the arm he snaked round her waist. Was that a flinch of pain?

    "Dented the framework on the scavenger hunt, huh?"

    A blank look.

    "Bodywork, chassis?" he enacted revving, astride an imaginary bike, realised he'd drunkenly over-semaphored his intentions...

    "You wish to ride me like a motorcycle?" Her mouth crinkled: she'd been teasing. He let her win, somehow glad she was no pushover.

    .

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    Replies
    1. like this - a lot. A ton of back story hidden beneath the dialogue and imagery of the 100 words. Brilliant!

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    2. Now this is first-class seduction, complete with possible miscues. The back and forth dialogue is crisp and perfect.

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    3. Love the notion of over-semaphoring, especially in context here. =D

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    4. Enjoyed the 'congratulatory. alcohol and the laconic-but-miscued tone of this

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  9. the Captain came late tonight, almost past my closing down time but he made it and here is the next instalment of Infinity.
    The damn curio was made part of the framework of Infinity, without my knowing. I was not best pleased. I be sure as ever I be sure of anything the thing has a curse on it, some snake-like carving round the head bothers me. I can’t be seen to object, to be superstitious, even though superstitions sits astride the heart of every man jack on board.
    Still and all, we sail on for the Indees. If any one of them does anything else to hurt Infinity, I’ll set the shadows on them. They won’t care for that.

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    1. Really enjoyed "superstitions sits astride the heart" and as ever you've set the scene and spoken the language while successfully burying the prompts.

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    4. The captain has a tricky balance to maintain, trying to appear above fright while living with it daily. Great excerpt, the prompts so smoothly woven I forgot they were there.

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    5. You've managed to hold the sound of the language, and in that, crafted an atmosphere dark enough to raise the hackles of any fellow, be he superstitious or not.

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  10. The Greater Depression

    The river snaked through fields roughed by rust-flecked plow, bits of harvest gone from gold to brown sticking up like bones of hope lost. The framework of a fecund time decayed, moonlight casting stripes of cold midnight through loosened boards.

    Astride a dust-colored mare, broken like our lives, Maisie pressed against me for scant heat. Her long legs, uncovered save for muslin worn near-diaphanous, showed streaks of our passage through harder lands than these. Mute with hunger and loss, we headed for the shelter of the faltering barn, and prayed the things that hunted all would not be there, too.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, a real sense of despair and that kind of mind numbing refusal to give in. Is this the end... or the beginning?

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    2. Aching and beautiful - I was reminded of Cormac McCarthy's 'Outer Dark' which I've just finished reading

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  11. First, I was remiss in not offering my congratulations to Lee and Asuqi. Fantastic tales, both, and worth going back to read again.

    Second, I thought I'd give Seth the week off, but he insisted on showing up.

    The Hole is Greater than the Some of its Parts

    The house shuddered, framework groaning from so much evil. I squelched through slicks of dismembered bodies, trying not to see the bits rolling beneath my boots, clawing for purchase in a vain attempt to re-form into coherence. Not even they wanted that, but they were too dispersed to know it.

    Snaking past the half-torso of a party girl, I climbed the stairs. The priest wouldn’t roll in the muck with his handiwork. Neither would he keep his weakness close. I knew I’d found the right spot when the unhinging dog left his place astride two lovers, jaws opening in pieces.

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    Replies
    1. That second line is so shudderingly cringeworthy make-a-face grim. Well done! ;)

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    2. This engenders powerful revulsion, which threatened to erupt entirely at 'unhinging dog'. Excellent!

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  12. Talk about having to respond quickly! Yeesh!

    Back in the Ring
    I heard Seth move up the stairs as I gripped the withered framework of a chair and hauled myself out of the muck. I sat astride it with my arms on the back, gasping for clean air. The same finger that had stroked my lips now began to snake across my boot, as if still searching for me. I flung it away with a kick and started up the stairs after my brother.

    No matter what happened , I wouldn’t leave him alone. He was about to face his worst nightmares come true. I had to try to help.

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    1. Life doesn't get any better for those boys, does it? Sure there's a giving him the finger joke in there somewhere... probably floating next to a helping hand... ;)

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    2. Quick, yes, and with echoes of the dead too - well done Colleen.

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  13. That's it for this week, my loves. The gates are closed. Feel free to continue to comment as you will. I'll see you tomorrow evening with winners and words! Thank you all!

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  14. I'm going to add an entry, not to be judged, obviously, but I had it written then I broke my laptop screen... =(

    Fixed now though, so belatedly, the restart of Alpha, with a change of tack. I'm going to try alternating chapters with present and past to build the story, so this is the beginning of Chapter 2. =)


    (alpha)

    Adam flew fast, but they had asked for his help too late, a last resort, not quite trusting him yet.

    In the distance he saw the meteor tear through skyscrapers. Explosions of concrete and molten glass erupted where it passed, leaving gaping urban wounds with architectural framework exposed like skeletal ribs. It ploughed into the park, mercifully empty in the early morning.

    Not empty enough.

    At the centre of the crater was a sprawled and broken corpse.

    Adam landed. As he stood astride the body, glowing blue ribbons snaked across its skin, living tattoos, writhing, throbbing. Impossibly, the corpse stirred.

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