Friday, 25 March 2016

Cryptic, quick or general knowledge

Crosswords of course, one of this week’s prompt words. In our house my husband does the quick crossword, I the cryptic; he gets first go at the general knowledge. All three provide a different type of workout for the brain and he and I have long admitted we have different types of brain. What type dictates the way each week’s prompt words are used, I do not know. Am just happy at what seems never-ending variety and dedication. And the generosity of those who so generously acknowledge it in others.
Another week where an outright winner was impossible to choose, so honours are divided between Patricia for her sharp-ended episode of ’Kursaal’ and William for the opening of ‘The Truth about Your Demise,’ but perhaps the biggest news is no news of Antonia’s Captain – I trust for no other reason than an unsaved entry!

Words for the coming week are: crossword crude itinerary

Entries by midnight Thursday 31st March, new words and winners posted on Friday 1st April

Usual rules: 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. 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.

51 comments:

  1. hell and damnation! Blogger was playing up last night, big time, I thought it had saved... so when I get home, I will post it and then look at the new words! Apologies!
    Congratulations Patricia and William!!

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    1. Just read last weeks episode and left my comments. An excellent with honours.

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  2. Thank you for the honor of sharing a place with William last week. Many congratulations to William for an outstanding piece. And a question for Antonia: Will the installment with last week's words be posted here or in the one before? Don't want to miss it!

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  3. I posted it on the one before, so this week's startling instalment stands clear of the other one... words from the Captain...
    posted it earlier, it's there for you to read. Thanks for that!

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  4. Route 66

    Another big rig will roll by any minute. I am well acquainted with their itineraries. As always, the driver will stop with welcoming smile disguising crude thoughts. I do nothing to shatter expectations as I climb into the cab.

    There is a newspaper on the dash. It is open at the cryptic crossword puzzle, which must surely be a joke, but the headlines can still be seen.

    "Body of another trucker found along the Will Rogers Highway."

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    1. Great use of the prompts. Love the switch back of this tale, another series in the making or an opportunity for a longer piece me thinks.

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    2. Yes, indeed, William is right - this reads like a blurb on the back of a novel, and is a superb use of the prompts.

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    3. that's good, yes, a lovely twist!

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  5. Such cheering news to arrive to, thank you. Congratulations to podium buddy Patricia for an excellent episode of Kursaal. I've been a little under the weather hence my late arrival, hopefully I'll be well enough to get something written for this week, however on the bright side I've got lots of reading done.

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  6. Kursaal (Episode Fourteen) -- "Barnabus Dobbs"

    Barnabus Dobbs, head of the one-man maintenance operation, needed no written itinerary of duties. He overhauled each attraction every day. His manner was boorish, even crude, but his work ethic was impeccable.

    His living quarters were devoted exclusively to storage of autographed first editions, gramophone records and voluminous editions of The Times, all of the crosswords having been meticulously and accurately completed in black ink.

    Barnabus was often sighted inspecting several locations at the same time. An impossibility, of course. But those most familiar with the paradoxical and ubiquitous Barnabus knew such was well within the realm of his capabilities.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale, please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/kursaal.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

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    1. An intriguing episode, and well drawn character for Barnabus Dobbs. I would love to see Kursaal worked into a TV series, it has an enigmatic charm.

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    2. And again parroting William - 'intriguing' the perfect word for Barnabus, his description sharp.

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    3. definitely some superb characterisation going on, which will build this into something longer and even more worthwhile.

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  7. Threshold [107]

    O’Bedrun, eventually accepting me incapable of betraying secrets I’d never known, refused to say more of my father.

    False-lulled by wine and sweet-burnt wood, by the honey of his tone; pricked only to occasional full sense by the sharpness of Ravenscar’s questioning, I failed to realise O’Bedrun was as skilled at soft-spoke seduction as any man I’d met.

    Unlike sober Ravenscar, who remained suspicious. Stayed vague about intended itinerary. Obdurate about naming our destination. But was too physically weak to prevent O’Bedrun leading me, clueless, across a floor, no longer square-tiled chequered but crudely rearranged to form an impossible crossword.

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    1. that's an intriguing episode, intriguing's a word we use a lot but it's the only one to describe all that goes on in these snippets of stories which lead to all sorts of questions. Love the last line, which brings in a prompt in an unusual way.

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    2. This was mysterious and filled with some beautiful put-togethers, such as "false-lulled" and "sweet-burnt." Magnificent insertion of the "crossword" prompt. That was so imaginative. As always, the entire episode was a total joy to read.

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    3. Love the whole line "False-lulled by wine and sweet-burnt wood, by the honey of his tone"

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  8. Change of focus [172]

    Pettinger’s pale, gooseberry-green eyes raked the room. A dozen end-of-day-dispirited detectives. He indicated the red-inked map, ‘Door-to-door itinerary completed?’
    ‘Aye, boss. Like three monkeys –‘
    ‘DC Moth? Forensics? Melanie Bridges same MO as the others?’
    ‘More likely a crude copy using info from the newspaper reports –‘
    ‘Evidence?’
    ‘We kept back the fact that the first four victims had a page from a crossword puzzle book stuffed in their pocket. One clue completed. So far we’ve had ‘adulteress’, ‘bawd’, ‘concubine’ and ‘doxy’–‘
    ‘No ‘e’?’
    ‘Can you think of a suitable word beginning with ‘e’?’
    ‘Point is, Melanie had nothing.’

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    1. your dialogue led pieces are always outstanding. This is no exception.

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    2. I am constantly mesmerized when reading these pieces that are virtually dialogue only. You have an incredible talent in this area, that's for sure. Now you have me pondering on possible suitable words beginning with "e."

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    3. Love the line "Pettinger’s pale, gooseberry-green eyes raked the room." it draws you straight in to the piece and doesn't let you go. Like Patricia I had to think long and hard and came up with "Escort."

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  9. Infinity 140
    Well, there’s a revelation, First Mate doing a crossword and it be all crude words too! I never would have thought it, him being such a preacher person come Sundays. Well, there be many a person with a different skin under the one we all see. All I need is him working out an itinerary for us to go sail into the path of they merchantmen so we get some bounty before we makes port again. Then they have sommat to spend and I get time on my own that I do crave as much as I crave the loot.

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    1. This Captain observes, cogitates and takes his responsibilities seriously enough to never be free of them nor entirely content. I admire the "different skin under the one we all see" line - very insightful.

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    2. And more character insight into the Captain and his crew. His mind is set on bounty and/or loot at the moment, so he is being mercenary; however, we all know there is more to our Captain that meets the eye. And that's something we can all look forward to for a very long time, I be hoping!

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    3. "many a person with a different skin under the one we all see." is a winning line if ever there was one.another excellent episode from the captain.

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  10. I am out this Thursday, sitting in a trance/transfiguration circle. We haven't had one for an age due to holidays, illness, timetables... so I am well ready for this one. I'm hoping that the guide, or someone, will tell me the meaning of the single small metal gold star which my daughter found on my office floor. No one has sent me any stars, no gifts have arrived with stars in them, it just appeared and that usually carries a message. So, I am keen to go find out.
    So, the Captain came early and we got our instalment done and later, when daughter goes back to her boyfriend's for the remainder of the evening, I hope to get some writing done. The Queens book is 'a good read' according to the publisher and he hasn't finished reading it yet, so it bodes well for the future and his marketing plans. I need to get on with some more...
    From a storm torn island to all of you, hoping you're safe and well and undamaged (if you're in the UK, that is!) and that you stay that way.

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    1. I spent the weekend in Edinburgh with my daughter - lovely city, peaceful weather. Hope you hear news of the star.

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    2. Please let us know what, if anything, comes to light on the metal star found on your office floor. I'm always fascinated by things that suddenly appear and have no obvious reason for their presence.

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  11. Sweet Devotion Unravelled

    I thought there was nothing complex about our love.
    No cryptic crossword to unravel,
    no clue required for the direction of travel in the world of me and you.

    Our days were never numbered, not in my version of the truth.
    You were my happy ever after, through the eyes of this misguided youth.
    My belief had no reason no rhyme,
    I was just one of many, a dalliance to pass the time.

    I was never to be your final destination.
    My feelings a complication and a detour unnecessary,
    as I was just an overnight stop on your crude itinerary

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    1. William, you've beautifully achieved what I'd already deemed impossible - making coherent poetry from such awkward prompts, AND giving it a kick.

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    2. Beautifully done. My knowledge of the actual mechanics of poetry are severely limited so I'm unable to express admiration in terms of meter, genre, rhythm, etc. Suffice to say, I know what I like when I see it. And this was a total delight. Love the idea of "an overnight stop" in terms of romance.

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    3. To be honest Patricia, I have no clue about meter and form, I go with the feeling and rhythm. I keeping thinking I should maybe take a course or read a book on it, but so far theres too many choices. Tough currently studying a course with the open university on fiction writing.

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    4. that should say "Though currently studying..." I'm using an old Mac keyboard on a new MAC the keys stick and then there's auto correct,. :D

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  12. TRYING TO HARD

    His life tabbed through like there was no tomorrow
    Itinerary loaded as he jumped in the van
    Old life behind, new one ahead
    As he rode to the future, oh is this bad.
    His crude, makeshift cover over his feet,
    As he longed for alertness, but only found sleep
    Fourteen hours solid, stuck in this hovel.
    He arrived at the end, with his head in a tiz
    4 down on the crossword just had him beat,
    Till he looked above him and noticed the sign
    Come back next week and this thing RYHME.

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    1. Palpably-evoked frustration in this harsh tale Lawrence - and good use of the prompts.

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    2. This struck me as being an enigmatic little piece. I have now read it three of four times and still continue to find small nuances that escaped me before. Gorgeous submission incorporating prompts which, in my opinion, are desperately difficult to use in a poetic fashion.

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    3. A nice piece of free form poetry and as Patricia said enigmatic, loved the pairing of feet and sleep.

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  13. Cripplegate Junction/Part 39-Waiting Room Revisited

    George was beginning to wonder if his sister would ever return to the Waiting Room. The crude bandage around his forehead was now saturated with glistening blood.

    He removed the railway itinerary place-marking his book.

    "Some detective, that Sherlock Holmes," he said. "Bet he was a dab hand at crosswords and ciphers."

    He squinted.

    "Where'd the boy go?"

    It was getting difficult to focus.

    "Is that a train whistle?" he asked. "I thought you said the Express didn't stop here."

    With a pompous sniff, the Grande Dame gathered her belongings, sailed past the befuddled George and exited onto the platform.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/cripplegate.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------



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    1. So very smooth your use of the prompts, propelling the story onwards. But I hope George is rescued soon.

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    2. I think I have almost everyone gathering on the platform at this point. I may have written myself into a corner. LOL.

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    3. Let's hope next week's prompt words show you a way out.

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    4. Well, I can always search out the porter from the dairy who delivered supplies lord knows how many installments ago. Never did say where he went or what he did, other than the fact that his trolley was obviously appropriated. I've been looking for an avenue to bring him back in for a while now but it's never yet panned out. I may have no choice at this point.

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    5. I'm in admiration each week how you move each story on and keep track of the characters. It's hard enough in the longer forms of writing, but a series in flash format Must be a particularly difficult to attain, but you do it so well.

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    6. That should read "Must be a particularly difficult skill to attain, but you do it so well.

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  14. Flat Motives

    Agent Sellings noticed how the spots of blood had fell too conveniently in the squares of the crossword that lay under the arm of the victim. The scene was clearly staged, otherwise there would have been a crude spatter across the newspaper expanding across the floor. The letter in each red square would lead to another clue, he just need the solution to the puzzle. Time to revise his Itinerary, but which way to turn. It bugged him, his initial thoughts were too obvious. Red Square, Red… Suddenly, “Bring me Dimitri Roskovitz, and a map of Moscow city centre”

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    1. I love how you turned from the potentially-complex need to solve crossword clues to the simplicity of 'Red Square' - a very clever twist of the reader's expectations which added credibility. The beginnings of a serial?

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  15. Lovely cloak and dagger stuff. It had a magnificent little hint of an Agatha Christie plot about it as well. Very innovative use of the prompt words. I had to sift through more than once to find them all.

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  16. Late is not never. Today was not mine or Rosebud's day obviously. Tomorrow will be more sane.

    The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #18
    A Public Disservice Announcement


    Why do I need to publish an itinerary to sail back to school? I want to leave here and go there, it’s not that difficult. They say it’s because I’m a capturable princess. Really? Aren’t they forgetting my title? Honestly this whole business makes me more likely to get captured. Fortunately the council is too crude to have learned the fine art of reading. I usually write up a list of crossword clues in the family travel cypher. The council looks like themselves (idiots), the ill-wishers are lost in public nonsense clues, and my mother knows everything. Business as usual.

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    1. Oh Rosie, this was enjoyable on so very many levels, not least for offering the perfect - and equally clever - contrast to William's simple solution. Thank you for posting, even though lateness might mean others fail to read it.

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  17. I wrote this before the end of the week but didn't like it. That's been a recurring theme lately. Still don't, really, but I have it to the point where I think it may be worth posting.

    Calling hours will be from two to four thirty

    I guess some people spend Sunday morning reading the whole paper, doing the crossword, sipping their coffee, that kind of thing. Call me crude, I go straight for the obits. Most of the time I know which stiffs are going to be there, it's the surprises I'm looking for. And the relatives who wonder just what happened to their dearly departed: what the cops aren't telling, how that knife got there, why Uncle Leonard decided to go for a midnight swim wearing all his clothes. So I go down the list and make my itinerary of the funeral parlors.

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    1. Certainly worth posting! I'm ever admiring of that hard, laconic voice you write, never failing to deliver a final kick.

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