Monday, 8 December 2014

The Show Must Go On

Good morning.  I believe the issue with logging in has been solved, at least for the moment.  Many, many thanks to RRKovar for agreeing to post my posts for me!  I was considering leaving the admin position because of my internet troubles.  It would have broken my heart to do so.  Hopefully, this will be the solution to THAT difficulty!  I cannot thank you all enough for your patience and support while this got worked out!

Let’s get right to it, as I am, in fact, two days late, hopefully for the last time!

That we had but two submissions this week made my decision much harder, rather than easier.  BOTH stories were rich, vivid and full of descriptives and wonderful use of the prompts.  I therefore declare it a tie.  I simply cannot decide!

Antonia, Infinity (79) was, as always, a treat for the senses!  I can always smell the salt air and hear the creaking of the ship as I read the Captain’s words.  I can see the journal as he makes his entries.  This installment in particular instilled a deep sense of being there.  My deepest thanks to both you and the Captain!

Rob, your untitled entry this week made me sick with fear.  Again, wonderful use of the prompts. I was literally holding my breath and clenching my hands as I read.  This story will elicit a truly visceral reaction in any reader, which to me, is one of the hallmarks of good horror fiction.  Thank you!

And now the Tome, which has for once been waiting patiently, after hearing my shrieks of frustration at my internet issues, has timidly come forth and given new words.

Colony
Pastry
Increments

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, December 12th 19th. Winners and words will be posted by 11 PM, Saturday, December 20.

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.

The Gates Are Open!

49 comments:

  1. I had decided Rob was the winner this week with that totally horrifying piece of writing... agree with you, Colleen, it was scary! and I get to read a lot of scary stuff...
    Do hope your connection problems are resolved, I hate being without internet, it feels terrible, being cut off from the world. Long may the connection last...
    Good words, interesting ones, will see what the Captain makes of them this week...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Antonia. They are not "solved" per se. But the lovely RRKovar has helped me come up with a work-around for getting things posted in a timely fashion.

      Delete
    2. Congratulations Rob and Antonia - and yay!! - no need to keep proving I'm not a robot!!

      Delete
  2. Congrats Antonia and thank you, I've been rather busy so will return to comment on older competitions and work out a story for this week, good luck everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Uprising

    In the deepest crevices of the burgeoning settlement of Pastry, war was brewing between the forces of Croissant and the invading armies from the island of Leftover Baguette.

    The colony’s numbers swelled incrementally, even as strange new moulds were brought to bear. Flaky fratricide was the order of the day as microbe battled microbe for dominance.

    It was in the wee hours of the fourth day that the battle ended in global catastrophe, as the god known as “Drunken Flatmate” consumed the land entire.

    On the tiny bread-nubbin that remained, Croissant forces celebrated pyrrhic victory and eyed the pumpernickel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had to laugh at this. Great feel for the wonderful world of pastry and extending it into the world of doughs and breads. Like the flatmate touch.

      Delete
    2. Very yeasty confection, this!!

      Delete
    3. Chris, very funny, very well done! So good to see an alternative take on the words!!

      Delete
    4. If only I'd been able to work bruschetta into this somehow ...

      Delete
    5. I can't even stop laughing. Brilliant use of the prompts. Thank you!

      Delete
    6. I love this so much. What do you suppose they'd do up against a gluten-free brigade? ;)

      Delete
  4. Hidden

    The body rose breaking the surface of the dark water, white face the consistency of pastry. A colony of feeding crabs dropped off as he watched from the shadows.
    The release of built-up gases came with a belch. The body steadied then slipped incrementally beneath the water until it disappeared into the depths.
    He strode off, satisfied his work would remain undiscovered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dark and shuddery, if there is such a word. Like it.

      Delete
    2. This has such a sense of time to it - this is just the final piece of something that's been carrying on for awhile. Good one.

      Delete
    3. I love how this flows. As Chris said, it's the final piece of something...and I want to read the rest!

      Delete
    4. Such evocative descriptions paired with a disaffected attitude makes for a chilling tale.

      Delete
  5. Borne onwards

    I lacked both clothes and knowledge of geography and culture beyond mine. Generations ago my world separated into colonies. Initially similar (as from a divided lump of pastry) each fought to establish individuality, too often via ill-judged giant-sized incremental changes. Now any one was wildly different from its neighbour.

    I’d wandered blind into Burk’s decadence, followed Ravenscar after his first slaughtering, stayed beyond his second – of Helvinsson’s men – and wanted only to become his woman.

    His abandoning me changed nothing. I had to follow. Even though I could only go where the river flowed; could only hope to find him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really enjoyed how smoothly this tale read, and great use of the chosen words. Your work always seems yanked out of a larger story as it flows well.

      Delete
    2. nice one, Sandra, smooth and dark as always.

      Delete
    3. There's a combined sense of fate and despair going on here - impressive stuff in 100!

      Delete
    4. There's a great sense of quiet desperation and resignation. This story never fails to capture me.

      Delete
  6. A change of focus [110]

    Three strong black coffees, one Danish pastry and a Belgian bun helped to recolonize Vanessa’s alcohol be-fugged brain with cells capable of rational thought. To her DI, ‘Explain.’
    ‘My name, in your handwriting, tattooed on Edward Cherrystone’s back, scalpelled on Faith’s and written on this packet –‘
    ‘Other evidence?’
    ‘Bibles, dead birds, baby shoes. Hope and Charity –‘
    Vanessa’s eyebrows rose in millimetre increments.
    ‘Daughters.’ Pettinger clarified, ‘Plus a family tree connecting Pettinger, Cherrystone and Quintain.’
    ‘Quintain?’
    ‘My mother’s word was ‘scum’ –’
    ‘She’s never met me –‘
    ‘But knew your family –‘
    ‘Ah. None of us were exactly angels.’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The opening line sounds all too familiar from some heavy weekends of inebriation lol, I also enjoyed the background look at Pettinger's family, brings a certain realism to the tale when you weave family into the tale.

      Delete
    2. Rob's right, back story emerging with the family being mentioned, not the nicest people to live next door to, by the sound of it... made this much richer.

      Delete
    3. Love that "ah" at the end. A page worth of character in a single syllable!

      Delete
    4. For someone being accused of murder, she's remarkably sanguine, which only adds to the intrigue.

      Delete
  7. We all suffered, and by all I meant the entire colony; the old man thought he knew best but we’d lost so many of our community each week to his power hungry ways as he sent us to battle the natives time and time again.

    Something had to be done or all was lost, but his paranoid ways kept him well protected… not from me though.

    He trusted me, and that was his mistake. Each day he engulfed the pastries I made and left little for the others, so an incremental dose of arsenic was all it took, and time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, arsenic - the great equalizer. ;)

      Nicely done.

      Delete
    2. This creates such a huge world - back story both included and implied - in so few words that I found myself applauding the narrator for his murderous actions.

      Delete
  8. Ah ... arsenic, how very, very clever, and how smooth the prompts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good one, Rob, cleverly done, chilling last paragraph.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. An extra one since my wip has gone silent on me

    After the fall

    This close I could see the skirting-board was carelessly painted; runs and wrinkles gathering grime. Its top, abutting plaster the colour of insufficiently-egg-brushed pastry, supported furry accumulations of grey dust which undulated before my eyes, became a shrugging caterpillar.
    One became several became an entire colony which turned and made its way towards me, only halting at the edge of a scarlet lake which moved sluggishly towards them in tiny increments measurable against the mosaic-patterned lino on which I lay.
    I wondered whether they’d dip their toes or turn back, whether caterpillars could swim, why night had come so quickly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, this is rich and leaves me with so many questions! Gorgeous descriptions.

      Delete
  11. Infinity 80
    80.
    We got the gold and headed out for a colony of devotees where we could give thanks for safe arrival and for me, the knowledge to contain the Creature. I wonder if it would eat pastry, sometimes the chef does bake it so hard I can scarce eat the stuff. The Creature does grow by increments, I do afear what will happen should it get out.
    If anyone do wonder about us cut-throat pirates being all religious… we need to make our peace with our Maker when we can, we don’t know for sure when this will all be done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sense here the Captain is feeling the pressure a little, but like that he's preparing for all eventualities.

      Delete
    2. I very much want the Creature to get out.

      Delete
    3. The tension in this paired with the musings about the chef's shortcomings creates a deeply unsettling yet strangely mundane atmosphere.

      Delete
  12. I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd share what I came up with, purely for the fun of sharing it. Best of luck to everyone who had their stories in on time. Here's mine:

    pretty, pretty

    He works in increments, like he had with the ant colony. No swift kicks. He went insect by insect, savoring each.

    The cat mews.

    His fingers reach for his face. It did scratch him. He feels the ridge of the wound, puckered flesh crusting at the edges like a pastry made of skin.

    But this isn't justice. This isn't payback. This isn't revenge.

    This is a young man on a journey. This is a monster, finding himself. This is fun, pure and simple.

    He clips off the tail. Jessica watches. James, only 11, grins.

    "Pretty, huh?"

    "So pretty," she says.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't think of anything other than, "Gah!"

      So nasty - but with a pitch black sense of fun behind it.

      Delete
    2. Oh, wow. I find this utterly horrific, particularly his calm process. This one is going to haunt me.

      Delete
  13. Hallo, all! We have decided to extend the deadline to this coming Friday, so we can get back to our regular schedule. Feel free to invite friends who may want to play this week. They'll be in good company, as your entries thus far are excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Flirting with Disaster

    The plan came together in increments during a night drinking his favorite whiskey in his least favorite place. Sure, he’d needed time to recover from being possessed and slaughtering a colony of zombies, but since one of those had been a replica of my mother, and I’d processed that as best one might, he had no excuse for not returning my calls.

    I packed my car, then followed the compass-shaped scar on my arm that unerringly points to my estranged brother. I found him in a pastry shop in some backwater town.

    Not surprisingly, Nate wasn’t excited to see me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray and hallelujah - it's Seth again!!

      Delete
  15. Whew! On time and everything tonight! All right, m'dears! The Gates Are Closed. Back by 11:00 PM tomorrow, with winners and words.

    ReplyDelete