Monday, 28 April 2014

One Thing At A Time

As I'm late this week, I'm going to get right to it.  As always, thanks so much for your patience.

Our winner this week is John Xero with Cosmic Discord: The visuals here are stunning.  The pace and tightness of the writing make this a true joy to read.  Thank you.

In second place is Antonia Woodville with part 52 of the captain's tale:  I never cease to be amazed by the depth and detail in these stories.  The Captain's voice has taken root in my head.  I no longer have to think about how he sounds.  I simply hear him.  It's wonderful stuff!  Thank you.

The Tome has provided new words as I've typed.

Bible
Tissue
Riot

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 Friday evening.

Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.

45 comments:

  1. Many congratulations, John, superb writing as always.
    Many thanks for the second place! The Captain's story comes so easy to me.
    Now, anyone up for writing for Thirteen Press?
    Horrified Press have all my open anthology calls on the site along with some other exciting anthologies too. Paid ones, no less!

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    1. Antonia, John, congratulations! Great stories and perfect use of the prompts.

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  2. It's Gonna Be A Great Show! (4)

    Tim Spelling, lead guitar for Broken Mind, stands in the day room watching the cleaning crew. His hair is a riot of short white and purple spikes. He idly fingers a small silver charm hanging from his belt. It’s a bible. He turns brown, almond shaped eyes to me.

    “In Japan, we could never do this. Bad karma or feng shui, some shit like that. Thank you.”

    He hands me a bouquet of flowers wrapped in white tissue paper, kisses my cheek, and heads out.

    Several petals fall from a single red rose. Emily.

    The others don’t like him…he knows.

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    1. The title of this promises so much - and I'm 100% certain you're going to deliver, if this is anything to go by. Such a delicacy of manoeuvre in that penultimate line.

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    2. It's the little touches that create a character and you've done a great job here, with both Tim and Emily.

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    3. This is simply delicious. I cannot wait to see what horror lies down this road.

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  3. Well-deserved congratulations, John and Antonia, for sustained and entertaining excellence.

    Misdirection

    My tear-sopping tissue of lies, spun to the searching police, was sufficiently copious to distract from the milk leaking unwanted from my breasts. Barely registered amidst the biblical scale of the massacre suffered by the son of the house and five fellow victims.

    They gently escorted me ‘home’, trusting my promise to answer their questions ‘tomorrow’, failing to see that as soon as they left, so did I.

    In a riot of hormones, of a tugging of loving that even I knew was doomed, I went east, seeking the brute who had taken my four-week-old baby. And my aching heart.

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    1. Love that first phrase, for taking 'tissue of lies' and building imagery into it. A well-crafted episode all told, actually.

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    2. The sense of loss permeates this entire episode. I feel for her.

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    3. now desperate to know what she can do to get the baby back!

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  4. My first try as a newbie to this challenge:

    Fat Chance

    ‘Enough of this riotous living, come live with me. I’ll look after you,’ he said, devouring my tissues with hungry eyes.

    ‘Never!’ I cried, thrusting my bible between his descending fangs.


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    1. Welcome Michael - loved the 'riotous living' and hope the bible did the trick.

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    2. This is truly impressive. You told an interesting and terrifying story in fewer words than it takes me to tell you how much I like it! I hope to see more from you soon.

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    3. Succinct and visible, with a zing of pulp melodrama about it. A perfect tiny scene.

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    4. Welcome! This is a delightful morsel, and yet a whole story in itself. Very well played.

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    5. now go for the full 100 words and see what you can do, Michael! This is a good start!

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  6. The Sales Pitch

    The man standing at the door is beautiful in the way that a corpse is not. He holds himself so casually that the world could fall apart and he’d be lounging unruffled in the rubble.
    “Would you like to buy a bible?” He laughs, and it’s the only ugly thing about him. “Seriously though. I’ve got this book of faith for you. Faith stronger than your meager tissue-beliefs. This is faith strong enough to devour the moon. This is faith that settles like sinew beneath your skin.
    “You and me,” he whispers, “we’re going to heaven to start a riot.”

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    1. Oh, delicious!! I've my hand in the air, shouting 'Me!, me!' Beautifully, persuasively done Noah.

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    2. Marvellous. Great description and delivery.

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    3. He laughs, and it’s the only ugly thing about him. There is so very, very much revealed in this tidbit. It solidifies the whole thing for me.

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    4. so much here and such richness with it.
      More please

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  7. A[nother] change of focus [84]

    Tissue-thin pages whispered in the breeze from the open doorway as the remains of Edward John Cherrystone were stretchered into the vehicle which would take him to the mortuary.
    ‘Seventeen, sir.’
    ‘Seventeen?’ DI Pettinger turned. In the riot of memories, which had tumbled, unwanted, through his mind the minute he entered this room, he’d forgotten his original question.
    ‘Bibles, sir. Seventeen. They used the biggest one to kill him.’
    ‘But he wasn’t a clergyman.’ Not a question.
    ‘Sir?’
    ‘I knew his daughter.’
    ‘Sir?’
    Christalbollockingmighty?, how many times do I have to tell you! It’s John! Yes. I knew his daughter.’

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    1. What an excellent swear word! =D

      Killed with his own bible. Another great set-up. =)

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    2. Pettinger always gets the nastiest cases. I am creeped out by the many bibles, but absolutely dying for more of this mystery.

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    3. episode 84 and still I want to read on.

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  8. Thank you! Congratulations, Antonia. =)


    (alpha)

    The bubble over London is sixty kilometres wide. It glistens, shimmers, and allows nothing in or out. Not people, cars, calls or even light.

    From above, Alpha sees tiny figures rioting impotently against it.

    The air near him bulges black and twists, as if the very tissue of reality is being gripped and torn away. It is.

    A figure slips through, more like a figure-shaped hole in reality. So devoid of colour or shade that features are impossible to determine. It reads from a bible.

    “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge.”

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    1. My admiration for the way you build this world is only matched by the archaic perfection of the final line.

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    2. Oh, wow. This is a whole other layer to an already complex world. I'd give anything to see this as a graphic novel, but at the same time, I am loving the pictures my own mind creates.

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    3. I'm going with the mind images, they are so vivid.

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  9. (cosmic discord)

    Danger rioted around us like a pinstripe disco painted onto the black tissue of the cosmos.

    My only comfort lay in knowing it was all guesswork.

    Lasers, naturally, travel at the speed of light. If our attackers fired at where they saw us, our image also travelling at the speed of light, they would miss us twice over.

    So they guessed. Their A.I.s studied our erratic evasive actions and ran the data against their bible of battle tactics. Predicting the future. Trying to outthink our A.I.

    Or so they presumed.

    Harriet had ordered our traitorous A.I. thrown overboard weeks ago.

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    1. Impossible to pick a favourite phrase from this - as ever you create such solid worlds so effectively, and apparently effortlesly

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    2. I am convinced Harriet is a genius. This is so tightly wrought, not a word wasted, and all in service of a brilliant tension.

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    3. it's the first line which has captured me.

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  10. 53.
    If I waved a bible at these shadows that be no more than black tissue on board the Infinity, would they go or would there be a riot? Dare I find out? What if they took my bible and throwed it overboard? What if… damned if they baint the saddest words in this here English language. What if I hadn’t sailed for the tropics with the crew I have now, what if I’d stayed at Shipton and had visits from the lady who owns the realm, what if I hadn’t have gone pirating…
    Would I be safe?

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    1. What if...? Haven't we all asked ourselves that at one point or other? Safe, maybe, but yearning for the sea no doubt, and asking, "what if...?" all the same.

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    2. He's been at the melancholy rum again ... lovely use of prompts, as ever Antonia.

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    3. This is a solid rant from our good captain. I love how he waivers between bluster and doubt.

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  11. I will be back to comment over the weekend! Life keeps getting in the way...

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  12. Six of One

    “Last bible thumper tried to save me got a blowjob. One before that got a punch in the face. Which you in the market for?”

    Posh, twitchy, disdainful of my riot of curls, torn jeans, and bruises, the woman held her ground. “I represent someone with a proposal for you.”

    “Blowjob it is.”

    She sniffed. “He is above such things.”

    I snorted. “No man is.”

    “He is not… like others.” Truth, if tissue-thin.

    He emerged from the limo, shining like a god, smirking like the devil.

    “Shit,” I whispered. “Another fucking angel.”

    “It is time, daughter.”

    They’d finally caught me.

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    1. That has to rank as one of the best opening lines EVER!!! I confess I cackled. Then forgot to breathe through the rest. Rebecca you've surpassed yourself with this one.

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    2. I like stories where angels are not the purest of the pure. Great opener, and the divergence into supernatural territory was excellently done. Can we look forward to more...? =)

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    3. surely we can look forward to more... at least I hope you can carry this on!

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  13. The gates are closed, my friends. Winners and words will go up either late tonight or early tomorrow, as I am shepherding teens to the prom tonight. Horror takes many forms. ;)

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