Saturday, 4 January 2014

Resolutions

Welcome to a new year at The Prediction! I am grateful for each and every one who reads, writes, or comments here. You have helped to sustain a community of creativity and support. Thank you so much for that gift.

The holidays made for a short list of players over the past two weeks, but the quality was, as always, top-notch.The lush phrasing and building tension of Sandra Davies' Served right takes the honors. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do.

Blend
Exceptional (will take exception and all roots, if it so please you)
Symphony

The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum (excluding 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 and stems are fine. You have until Thursday evening.

As always, we welcome newcomers and encourage you to invite friends over to our place to play.

49 comments:

  1. Thanks Rebecca - as always, for the hosting and the encouragement. And to those who unfailingly comment - such an important part of this community.

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  2. Congratulations, Sandra!
    Outdoing us all every week, so you are...
    Good words. I will offer them to the Captain for his consideration.

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  3. Congrats Sandra! Holidays I was traveling and playing host, so wasn't able to play. :( But looking forward to the new challenge!

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  4. Seconds out

    His hands swept down as I tilted back. Double-fisted hammer encountered unanticipated bulk before recoiling. A blend of superstition and repugnance preceded realisation of potential vulnerability. Metal-twinned wrists, fingers eagle-splayed, flew at me. Fingertips, exceptionally calloused, scrabbled for purchase.
    I sidestepped.
    Caught unawares, he raised his fists again.
    A symphony of rattled chains; guttural frustration interwove with high-note fright, whilst from without jeers and cheers and a staccato shout which broke halfway as I was sideswiped to the ground.
    Shadow darkened the door.
    Too late.
    I huddled as he bestrode me, growling throat-harsh warning to Julian to leave well alone.

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    1. So much rich wordplay here and I loved the imagery it created in my mind. :) Loved 'metal-twinned wrists, fingers eagle-splayed' and 'guttural frustration interwove with high-note fright'.

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    2. "Fingers eagle-splayed," does perfectly evoke the image. But one of many dark images conjured up here. Great language doing a great job painting the scene.

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    3. excellent word pictures here, I can see everything that happened so clearly!

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    4. The tension in this is incredible, and the whole thing is frighteningly visual. Edge of the seat stuff, this.

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  5. A change of focus [69]

    Vanessa’s blending of dominatrix with devilish determination convinced the local Plods Divine’s wife’s death was due to circumstances which had been exceptional
    John Pettinger stayed dumb, his face a Symphony Fantastique of disbelief, anticipating either Witches Sabbath or a March to the Scaffold, but for whom was not apparent.
    Divine tended more to comedy. A hysterical mirth threatened to burst until, desperate to escape from the mortification visited upon him by Vanessa, the local DS insisted, ‘Okay, we’ll accept his wife topped herself, but we’ve a dozen witnesses saw him shoot Vic Allington. You’ll not wiggle him out of that!’

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    Replies
    1. More wordplay wizardry. Always so lush! Some of my favorites were 'symphony fantastique of disbelief' and 'a hysterical mirth threatened to burst'. :)

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    2. Fantastic phrasing, as usual, moving the story forward too, which is the trick of course, and you do it so well. =)

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    3. loving this serial, Pettinger is such a good MC and there are so many other characters peopling this - all intriguing.

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    4. I agree with the others; the wordplay is fantastic. I especially liked the combination of Divine and comedy. Extremely clever writing, yet the snaps along at a fast pace.

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  6. Aria

    Music had never had a face before. It'd been a feeling, an expression; never physically alive. Never flesh and bone. It'd never had eyes or hands, cruel, pinching hands, that seized her upper arms to control her.

    A harsh symphony of blended noise clambered inside Elaine's head whenever he looked at her, and she recognized her own songs played back, wrong and jumbled. Had her violin truly created this creature that'd claimed her? It was exceptional and horrible and impossible.

    He pulled her off the stage and she saw Sarah, eyes dead and bloody.

    "Stop!"

    But he was already singing.

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    1. Totally sucked into this. Little scraps and clues of story, a dead body, anthropomorphised music... I keep reading it and feeling more and more of this terrible scene unveil itself.

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    2. This invokes such terrible dread, yet it's compelling. I was sorry it came to an end.

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  7. Magical and so deep. I really love - and admire - the way you create whole other worlds, with a depth of behind-the-scenes activity, leaving my imagination to run wild.

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    1. really liked this, poetic and nasty at the same time. Brilliant!

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  8. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and your year has begun well. =)

    I apologise for this... but I seem to have done something rather foolish...

    I was going to write a little one off something, but it appears to have become a new serial, since I wrote four parts, all containing this weeks words and all 100 words long...


    Cosmic Discord

    1

    It should be easy to lose oneself in the infinite night of space.

    We thought ourselves hidden, the Silent Symphony moored inside some asteroid in a backwater planetary system of no consequence. It was not so.

    Two weeks and tempers were running short. Masters Blake and Cameron had knives drawn, eager, when Harriet cried alarm.

    We four below ran to the portal. A shadow occluded the pinpoints of distant suns, a heinous and familiar silhouette. We were not as well-blended with the scenery as we had wagered. The Dismal Outlook had found us.

    Blake groaned. "Well, this is exceptional misfortune."


    2

    "Seems to me a blend of exceptional misfortune and felicitous intervention," Doc replied, "you two are fit to kill each other."

    Blake shrugged and sheathed his knife. "It all ends in the same place, Doc."

    "This isn't over," Cameron snarled.

    "Maybe, but more interesting sport than baiting your good self stands outside our very window. I suggest we concern ourselves with that. What say you Quiet Jim?"

    Quiet, they called me. Thoughtful, I would have preferred.

    "I say survival is no sport, Master Blake. We must be serious about our business; the Silent Symphony's cargo is too precious for games."


    3

    "Quite so, Jim," Doc nodded, "well said."

    "Pay Mister Blake no heed, Quiet Jim, the tomfool hasn't a serious bone in his body. We'd be better situated spacing him, if the Symphony's crew weren't so drastically reduced already."

    Cameron was right, about the crew at least. We were five from fifteen, and me no more than cabin boy. Between us we barely had the blend of skills necessary to run and maintain our little wonder of a frigate.

    An external transmission, a woman, fuzzed through the intercom, "Stand by, Silent Symphony, and prepare to be boarded."

    "Exceptional misfortune." Blake repeated.


    4

    "If we get away," Doc said, "maybe we should rename the ship such."

    It would fit her well. Our maiden voyage had been nothing but one exceptional misfortune after another.

    "No chance, sawbones." Harriet clambered through the ceiling hatch and down the ladder. "Silent Symphony she was born and so she shall remain."

    Harriet was not crew, though she had proven herself more than capable since our predicaments began. It happened she was also the root of said predicaments.

    "Did you hear her?" she said. "Pitch perfect blend of authority, arrogance and pomposity. How did my bitch wife find us?"

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    1. Got rather carried away... =s

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    2. Carried away? I'm glad you did and with such skill as to render the prompts invisible rather than repetitively obvious. And your trademark ability to build separate characters by means of the minutest of clues enviable as ever.
      Only one complaint - where is Olivia this week?

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    3. now that is a true example of being carried away but who's worrying, what a really good read! Thank you!

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    4. Might I ask you to get carried away again? This is utterly fascinating, with the world building as the pieces are required, and all of it in such delightful rhythm. The dialogue was gorgeous and apportioned to augment rather than take over the story.

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    5. Loved this! Very rich and engaging story, each piece seamlessly blending into the other. And the cliffhanger at the end. I hope you continue!

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  9. (alpha)

    The blow made Adam's head ring. It befuddled his senses, sent his super hearing haywire and filled his mind with an unsymphonious blend of chaotic noise. It knocked him into the air.

    His vision blurred, and as his body arched and his head tilted back he saw something heading towards them at high speed. He wondered if the military, in a moment of fear and exceptional idiocy, had launched a missile.

    His sight cleared as the object reached him. It was a man, outfitted in black and blue, who locked eyes as he passed.

    A thunderous boom shook the park.

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    1. unsymphonious - it isn't a word but it should be. That characterises this instalment, breaking the rules of writing in style!

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    2. Antonia beat me to it re symphonius, and even more smoothly blended prompts amid some gorgeous action - 'outfitted in black and blue' especially appealed.

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    3. I see this serial laid out like the graphic novel it should be, and like the others, tip my hat to you for unsymphonious. I look forward to these episodes and appreciate you sharing them with us.

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    4. It would be so amazing to see this as a graphic novel! :) So many great lines. Loved '...if the military, in a moment of fear and exceptional idiocy, had launched a missile' and the description of the new man in black and blue who 'locked eyes as he passed'. Seamless and engaging writing as always.

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  10. (rise)

    A slow fire spread through Olivia's legs, unused to running, and she stumbled.

    George pulled her onwards. "No one left behind. No exceptions."

    Olivia's breathing rasped in her chest, her eyes fluttered. She remembered a few precious afternoons when her papa had put his parchment and pens aside and brought out his phonograph. He would put on a symphony, Bach or Beethoven usually, and they would listen to its harmonious perfection. High peaks of euphonic blending compared to the abyssal discord of the dog lords and their pack.

    She had been torn from peaceful heights and cast down into darkness.

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    1. Silly me! Didn't think to scroll down the page!! Phew.
      and phew again ... hope she doesn't tire.

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    2. there's a sense of true devastation in that last line.
      Great instalment, John

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    3. the captain speaks:
      38.
      A blend of herbs and oils got the First Mate back on his feet and where he should be, on the deck and running the ship for me. The wind is singing its symphony through the rigging; it speaks of fast sailing, great bow waves and distant shores. The song is exceptional, it’s reaching me and if I don’t stop this, the journal will think the Captain is going soft in his old age. It might be right at that.
      So I had best do something to stop it. I’ll give orders that no one will like.
      Coming, shadow people?

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    4. Oh a sudden threat!, Has the Captain lost his mind? Been bewitched by the music? Can't wait til next week to find out. Like the fast swell of the second sentence.

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    5. Seems to me the captain is about to have himself a little fun, stir things up. Can't wait. =)

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    6. This for John's piece: I am always impressed by your ability to make us fear for Olivia while still finding thrills in her adventures. The longing in her remembrance was palpable. I'm glad she found George.

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    7. And this for Antonia's: The captain has a gorgeous lyricism about him that I think would make him blush to hear praised. He's not the least soft, but he is obviously in love with his ship, and that makes him more real. I like that he's baiting the shadow people at the end.

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    8. @John I don't know how you've managed to continue so many awesome stories. Each unique and interesting, each grabbing my curiosity each week. Loved the description of the time spent listening to the music.

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    9. @Antonia Loved the description of the wind in the rigging. I got a good sense of how the Captain must feel on the open water. :)

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  11. On The Road Again, One Last Time.

    “Really?”

    I reached behind the seat, grabbing something to swipe the blood from my left brow, exceptionally pleased that it was Seth's favorite shirt.

    Magic snapped through the car; a deranged symphony of tiny whirlwinds.

    “Listen. I just meant...I know touching that thing is killing you.” I gestured to the lump in his jacket pocket.

    “I get it. But the blend of you and it is like a magical beacon. He's coming for us, and we're not where we need to be. Now, get out. You're driving. I can't see. And don't fuck up my car.”

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    1. Loved 'deranged symphony of tiny whirlwinds' and the oh-so-typical Nate remark about Seth's shirt. Cliffhanger again too ...

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    2. Great showcase of the blend of affection and aggravation that typifies their relationship, and the little descriptive flash of magic in the middle reminds us that this is more than just an ordinary road trip.

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    3. So much to play with here, and so much to love. I like that he's letting Seth drive, since the entire series started with Nate giving Seth grief over the state of his car. You always give me great leads for whatever comes next.

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    4. I agree with John, this is a classic representation of their relationship - 'affection and aggravation' are the perfect words to describe it! 'A deranged symphony of tiny whirlwinds' was one of my favorite lines.

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  12. Good evening all. Rebecca's a bit under the weather just now and has asked me to close the gates. Please feel free to continue commenting, as you like. She will return with winners and words on the morrow.

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  13. Happy New Year to you all, sorry I've been missing but I have a new novella coming out on 24th Jan published by Crooked Cat and was taken up with the edits etc. Will try to get back into the swing and play again soon. ^_^

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  14. I hope you will all forgive me for the delay. I fell down some stairs (no, really) and am currently hopped up on pain meds. I will post winners and words tomorrow morning, when I will actually be coherent. I appreciate your patience.

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  15. So sorry to read this, Rebecca! Having so recently fallen, I know how it shakes you up and jars muscles you didn't know you had. Get better soonest!

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