Sunday, 19 October 2014

On to the next thing.

Good evening, all.  This weekend is the last weekend of King Richard's Faire, the renaissance faire I've been working at for about 22 years now.  It's funny, at the beginning of every season there's excitement and freshness, and by the end of the season, I'm exhausted and cranky and want it to be over, except I don't really.  It's kind of like being assimilated by the Borg.  At any rate,  that's how I'm spending my weekend.  Tomorrow is closing day and as imagined, it is bittersweet to think about.


Our winner this week is RR Kovar with Dance With The Devil:  This is just gorgeous from one end to the other.  Your use of the prompts was seamless, and the story itself makes me want more and more.  Thank you!

And now the Tome has obliged with new words:

Coddle
Lock
Delete

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. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. You have until 11 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) Friday, .Oct 24th.

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.

46 comments:

  1. Very well deserved, truly enjoyed the tale; eloquently written and presented, congratulations RR Kovar!

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  2. Well deserved win Rebecca - your writing never fails to enthrall.

    News to me

    He’d cared for me when needed, never coddled and next day’s journey deleted even memory of that, insisting I walk beside the cart.
    ‘To spare the horse.’
    ‘How many more days’ travel?’
    ‘Depends.’
    ‘On what?’
    ‘Where we go.’
    ‘I thought we were heading for your world...’
    ‘My world will no longer welcome you.’
    ‘But... I thought... for breeding you said?’
    ‘In my absence, things have changed. Not for good. My brothers –’
    ‘You have brothers?’ More like him? Maybe better natured?
    Reading my regrettably transparent mind his eyes locked mine. ‘Three. Don’t judge me savage until you have met them.’

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    1. Sounds like a harsh environment, enjoyed the last line though, better the devil you know they say.

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    2. oh yes, another of your classic understated telling so much in a few words stories, Sandra! and so fast, too! The Captain takes his time before wandering in with his instalment. I am reminded of Charles Dickens' letter to his friend John Forster when writing David Copperfield, 'I am waiting for David to come.' Oh I know the feeling...

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    3. I'm intrigued where this is headed and very curious about his brothers. How will they receive her? Loved the back and forth dialogue, always seamless.

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    4. Fantastic dialogue! This story continues to make me uncomfortable with each new chapter. This is a compliment. : ) Thank you!

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  3. Thank you so much! This week's words are intriguing, too.

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    1. Congrats Rebecca! I always enjoy your writing. :) Well deserved win for sure.

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  4. Dern [2]

    “What you got for me.” His words were clipped, almost churlish, as though I’d caught him at an incredibly inopportune time. Detective Dern was not one to coddle.

    “Caught you with your pants down?” Couldn’t help myself.

    “Hah,” he sneered. “Wasting my time again, girl?”

    I could hear his finger jamming against a keyboard, probably deleting a lovely email from his own mum. “He’s killed again.” I wet my lip, tongued the ring threaded through. “A woman. Brunette.”

    I could feel his attitude change, a wire pulled taut.

    “Locked room? Staples?”

    My stomach churned. “Yes.”

    “Sonofabitch. Meet me. One hour.”

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    1. I'm in awe of how swiftly and efficiently you've presented these two already fully fledged - a master class, especially tonguing the lip ring, Put me down for a copy of this when you finish it - though I have also to say I'm even more in awe of anyone with a new baby finding the time to even think creatively!

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    2. The to and fro between characters is very well written, brings a lot of their personality through in such quick fashion, well done.

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    3. superb, Zaiure, obviously the sleepless nights are giving you time to think... it is a great instalment. Need more.

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    4. Thanks for all the comments! Glad my tired brain is still finding stories. :)

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    5. I'm so sorry you're not sleeping well, but what a wonderful use of your time! Nice use of the prompts and I can't wait to read more! Thank you!

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  6. Congratulations, Rebecca! A truly worthy winner.
    Rob, what did you delete...
    and, what is Blogger up to me? My first posting every time has to be written in the box, copied, go to publish, have Antonia Woodville come up and an empty box... so I paste back in...
    But then, Linkedin has locked up my computer twice tonight... I just think the Internet doesn't like me!!!!

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    1. I have the same issue with the text clearing when not logged in. I wrote a challenge piece that didn't save then when I rewrote it and posted I realised I left out a word... Will try again today since it was rushed and wasn't too happy with it anyway.

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  7. A change of focus [105]

    Given Faith’s profession, sympathy was polarised.
    London policemen promised revenge on what they supposed was some rogue punter – pointing out that all her records had been deleted.
    Women, locked in atavistic jealousy, asked, ‘What’d she expect?’
    Pettinger’s light-hearted promise: ‘Coddled eggs and raspberry jelly for a while yet...’ hid his fear that her attacker was much closer; motives much more convoluted.
    And the police too blinkered.
    ‘What about the bones and ribbons, baby shoes?’
    ‘Fetish.’
    ‘The bible and the bird?’
    ‘Religious nut.’
    ‘The name?’
    ‘Perhapsyou’d be the one to explain that? A Northerner, thick enough to sign your work?’

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    1. I'm glad you used the alternative meaning of coddled, had hoped to use it also but couldn't think of how to weave it into my story ideas. I like the brazenness of the killer, is he incredibly smart or so out of his mind he can't resist signing his 'work' I wonder.

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    2. this is carrying the story on in true style - focussing on the dialogue as always which is so good, as always.
      And the police too blinkered
      says it all by itself.
      This is one nasty killer who signs his name.

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    3. I agree with Rob, glad you used an alternate meaning of coddled. Spot on dialogue as usual. Very intrigued by this case. :)

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    4. I must admit I had to look up the alternate meaning of coddled. I love your usage of it here! I too, am quite fascinated with this case. Thank you!

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  8. Pressed for time and finding a good challenge in this weeks words I wasn't happy with my attempts but decided to display them both anyway since it's all practise to me, feedback in any form of course is welcome since I am still starting out.

    Oops
    “Delete it Brent!” the anger in my voice was real, I didn’t like my buttons pushed and he was hitting them all.
    “Not till you say you’re sorryyy,” he dragged the word out and I felt myself begin to lose control. I slammed my fists on the locked door till I feared my hand would break first.
    “Mum may coddle you but if you put those pictures up I’ll kill you I swear.”
    “Did it,” but he hadn’t, and as the door opened I punched him in the throat (meant to hit his face); the choking sound made me gag.

    Human Conditions
    I’d coddled him too much as a boy, he grew up to believe he was invincible but he just needed some discipline.
    Too late before this thought would occur; now he lay in the ground and I wished I’d done something differently when he was my sweet little boy.
    It’s hard to let go but I try; I may as well have bought him a gun, put it in his hand and sent him to war myself I thought.
    Now his bedroom door stays locked and I try to delete some of the pain with chores, rarely works for long.

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    1. A strong sense of inevitability in both of these pieces, and sibling misunderstandings and misjudgements uncomfortably vivid in the first.
      Parental guilt in the second - the second sentence doesn't read smoothly to me - but the impact of the whole, and the final 'rarely works for long' well evoked

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    2. Oops is a powerful piece of sibling rivalry that goes wrong with the inevitable consequences, yes, it works. Needed a few commas to make the sentences flow better but a really choice little tale, encapsulating the whole 'brother/brother' thing really well.
      Human Conditions is sadder, with insights into that parent/child relationship that is always faulty, none of us are perfect and we reap the rewards of parenthood, no matter what they are. Good one, Rob.

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    3. Siblings can be quite mean too each other for sure, often with unfortunate consequences. I thought the final line was a very fitting reaction and made me shudder.

      Human Conditions was a sad lonely piece. Very touching.

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    4. Both stories capture, very aptly, the emotions they seek to convey.
      I'd like to see more of "Oops". It feels like there are a lot of horrific ways it go from such a strong start.
      "Human Conditions" feels stronger to me, as a standalone piece, though it could definitely be taken further. Mind you, your admiring admin is quite the amateur scribbler, so make of it all what you will.
      Either way, I find both stories to be quite intriguing. Many thanks!

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  10. Infinity 74.
    Trouble is… it be locked in the hold. I be mollycoddling it and wishing I could delete all entries from this Journal but they be written in ink. Should I be afeared someone would read it? If I be dead and sailing in the spirit realms, pretending to be a pirate, would it matter? Am I not thinking these foolish things to avoid thinking of who is to be the Creature’s meal? Tis easy to say this one or that, ones I dislike or be lazy on board but is that fair? Can I use the same excuse every time?

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    1. So superbly skilful a burying of the prompts as ever, while maintaining the Captain's strong persona. He's stewed himself to dark and strong again.

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    2. The Captain has a difficult choice for sure, and I'm curious how he'll get out of it or what he'll decide. Nothing good will come of it to be sure.

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    3. You can sense the panic in the captains mind, very curious to his solution but obviously will have to wait and see. Also I agree with Sandra, the prompts dug in so well i had to reread it to see them, buried akin to treasure perhaps lol.

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    4. The feeling of desperation here is palpable. Amazing use of the prompts this week! I am pretty good at picking them out quickly, but I was so engrossed by the story first reading through, that I had to go back and reread to find them. Thank you!

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  11. The captain came, spoke and has gone. It has been a small diversion from the 15th century, I am taking a small break from the prehistoric book to revise Antony Woodville's Wars of the Roses life story. Something's pushing me to get this done and I don't (yet) know why. I go with all feelings, spirit are always right. And they know it...
    It's fun being Antonia Woodville, waiting to see how many don't realise it's a user name. I have already had letters from the NHS and had to tell them to take the name off their mailing list and tell the people who collect names and addresses to be more careful in future!!!!!!

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  12. This one might be too obscure, but it has a certain poetry I can’t bear to delete. :)

    On Mother's Bones
    Finger poised over delete, I consider the typed words, stare at the fading remnants of mud-drawn whorls on the back of my hand. I close my eyes to get away from her and she’s there in the dark, wild, small, draped in moss and nothing else, skin gleaming beneath the moon’s eye.

    She coddles a silvery songbird in delicate-boned hands, and when she raises her head, her eyes lock on mine. Accusation dances with sadness in those fern-green pools, and my heart constricts, burdened with the collective guilt of humanity’s indifference.

    I open my eyes and stare at the city.

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    1. This speaks to me of your creative spirit fighting to get noticed while your attention is necessarily elsewhere - have to say it shows a promising determination and the language certainly does not deserve deletion. Well done Zaiure.

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    2. I'm glad you had the warning lol, very poetic piece and I admit my mind fought to make more sense of it but that just means I found it intriguing. I feel it's better to take part and write than delete anything and forgo taking part, especially with your skills as a wordsmith (is that one or two words I wonder).

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    3. Thanks Sandra and Rob. :) It's fun to do these pieces every so often and see how they speak to others.

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    4. I love this - there is a sense of otherworldliness about the images you conjured,
      she’s there in the dark, wild, small, draped in moss and nothing else, skin gleaming beneath the moon’s eye.
      says so much when you just let the images sink in. Brilliant.

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    5. What gorgeous images this invokes! My inner spiritual/wild child, loves this piece. She does not find it obscure at all. It makes perfect sense to her. This is the sort of piece that each reader will find their own personal meanings in. I'm very glad you didn't delete it! Thank you.

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  13. The Mark of a Good Editor (Revelations 7)

    I kept my gaze locked with his. Damned if I’d back down when they needed me more than I needed them. His infinitesimal nod was both concession and slight.

    “Belial tells me you need no coddling.” His voice like the flat of a razor, smoothing, with threat implied.

    “Don’t try to run me. God himself couldn’t manage it, much less his test-case creations.”

    “Oh child, the things we deleted to preserve His preferred story are legion. But fear not, I’m a hands-off demon. I point, you kill, and we’ll get along famously.”

    Truth without solace. I could work with that.

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    1. Loved this! So many great lines. My favorites were 'his infinitesimal nod was both concession and slight' and 'voice like the flat of a razor...' and of course 'I point, you kill'. Strong sense of the characters with their dialogue. :)

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    2. Zaiure mentioned all the lines that sang to me - the whole of it is just delicious. I'm SO tempted to steal the razor line ...

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    3. me too... that is such a vivid description! Loved this. Saying so much, as always, within the strictures of the 100 words.

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    4. Another great chapter here! I agree with Antonia. You have an amazing way of conveying of crafting stories chock-full of detail with so few words! Thank you!

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  14. And that's the game, my loves. The gates are closed. I shall see you all tomorrow evening, by 11PM EST, with comments, winners and words! Lovely weekend to all! Thank you!

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