Friday, 7 October 2016

Marmalade, monsters and man-eating flowers

Nice to have a week off and come back to so many differing choices of favourite. Finding I won by a whisker was very gratifying – thank you! – but it hasn’t made choosing this week’s winner any easier.
So good to learn a little more of Rosie via her comments, and by reading others' I don’t think there’ll be much dissent if I name Patricia’s ‘Felo-da-se’ as the best of a very good rest.

Words for next week:  conjure shadow shy

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th October, new words posted on Friday 14th

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. Serialised 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.

35 comments:

  1. Congratulations Patricia, a very haunting piece in 'Felo-da-se'

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  2. Change of focus [203]

    Too easy to conjure up the horror of Valdeta’s rape; God knows she’d been shy with him. To start. The thought he’d been responsible for this ultimate horror cast an even bigger shadow than the knowledge he’d have to break his promise and leave Aleks behind.

    Sally Vicksen. She’d kept quiet so far. He’d ask her to mind Aleks for the two/three days he envisaged being away. Invent some off-site task to maintain her cover.

    He was at the boarding gate when she phoned. ‘Sir, I’m sorry but –‘
    Just as Aleks’ voice rang out behind him: ‘That’s my dad!’

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    Replies
    1. I adore the way this is going. It always moves along so nicely without losing any impact in the process.

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    2. intriguing as always. You carry the story forward without a hint of disruption, the storyline is firmly there in your head.

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    3. Effortless integration of the prompts. That last line bursts the balloon of essential freedom to pursue his cause.

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  3. This was a huge surprise. Thank you. I love the selection of prompt words this week. They blend together so nicely.

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  4. Be careful what you wish for [Threshold 134]

    In lieu of sex I’d’ve settled for dry clothes. Having fallen into a mulch of river mud and black-festered leaves when my overly-nervous horse shied at a non-existent shadow I’d’ve loved Ravenscar even more had he conjured up a pile of soft-woven garments to replace the damp and chafing ones my shivering skin was wrapped in.
    Unsympathetic. ‘No chance. More useful to wish for food. Lack that and we die.’
    ‘Lack dry and I’ll die of pneumonia!’ The hoped-for sun had remained stubbornly obscured. ‘Where are we going?’
    His smile smug, secretive. ‘To the house of a woman I know.’

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    Replies
    1. That Ravenscar!. It's impossible to ever predict what he's going to get up to next. Some beautifully phrased descriptions here. Difficult choice, but I think "black-festered leaves" is my favourite.

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    2. same for me, such images those words conjure! and there goes a prompt word...

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    3. It's impressive how you always effortlessly bring the third dimension into your writing.

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  5. Cripplegate Junction/Part 66-Connections

    Marmalade halted a few feet shy of the open door at the end of the passageway. Ears twitching, he listened to the faraway mewing of kittens before disappearing stealthily into the shadows.

    To his amazement, Clive Bailey found he was no longer bound to the trolley. Indeed, the trolley itself had been conjured away. The Station Master was also missing.

    Ahead, the rattle of teacups and females chit-chatting about chess moves. Behind, the rattle of teacups and children squabbling about climbing up ladders and slithering down snakes.

    He hesitated, unsure which way to go.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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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    Replies
    1. And how magically the prompts inserted into this, along with mystery and intriguing hints of other games being played. Can't wait to discover what Clive decides.

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    2. more images being created here, lovely episode!
      and congratulations on the win last week!

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    3. The bridge between two worlds, which side does Clive want to be. This has truly tickled my fancy.

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  6. Without A Stitch

    Freedom! Who would have thought it so simple? No conjuring tricks required. No sleight-of-hand necessary, Just an overly zealous Newfoundland and the slamming of a window.

    Cannot be shy in putting a best foot forward now. Adventures to be had. People to see. Places to visit.

    However, Peter's shadow decided, a return visit to Never Land would not be on the agenda.


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    Replies
    1. A deliciously hinted-at tale of wicked deeds, unrepented.

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    2. Seems that Peter had more than a naked ambition for Wendy.

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  7. Kursaal (Episode Forty One) -- "Erasmus McDougal"

    The Theatre of Shadows, catty-cornered from Aunt Sally's coconut shy, was the brainchild of one Erasmus McDougal. A juggernaut of a man, Erasmus claimed direct descent from Macbeth. The real McCoy, not Shakespeare's garbled perception.

    The Theatre was a fascinating attraction. Illuminated walls lining fog-enhanced corridors featured reenactments of famous...and infamous...nefarious deeds, silhouettes so lifelike and animated they could have been conjured from the very fabric of living history.

    A sign at the entrance cautioned those with weak constitutions to seek entertainment elsewhere in the park.

    A few chose to ignore the warning.

    Even fewer lived to tell the tale.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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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    Replies
    1. "catty-cornered a ew one on me - I presume it means diagonal? And I love the juggernaut of Erasmus. Sounds terrifying, and much to be avoided.

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    2. Yes. "Catty-corner" does mean diagonal. It's a description I've known since I can just about remember. I have no idea of its origin though and now I'm curious to find out.

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    3. I know catty-corner, not used it for years, good to see it in this ongoing saga. Good episode, this, liked it a lot.

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    4. Another fine Job Here. Must admit Catty-cornered is a new one on me too, although something deep within knew what it meant.

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  8. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #46
    A Most Lovely Evening


    I stepped from the shadows. No one noticed except Georgiana. She offered me a dance, I accepted. What better way is there to watch the debutantes we were being paid to guard? Georgiana had conjured a ball gown somehow, while I had dug out one of my princess-princess gowns again. Luckily all the girls’ prospective suitors were too shy to try anything untoward this time. We managed to dance every dance but the first, for I was skulking through the shadows and Georgiana was observing the routes of escape in the guise of a matchmaking mother, lace cap and all.

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    Replies
    1. The title sets the scene so perfectly, and I love the conjured ball gown.

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    2. Beautifully put together, as always. Love the image of a "matchmaking mother, lace cap and all." Sound very Jane Austen.

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    3. from the little I know of Jane Austen (someone I have been assiduously avoiding all my adult life for the sheer dullness of the writing) this does sound like one of her descriptions, but very likely much better done. There's an edge on this which she would never have written... and that edge is what makes it different and vivid.

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    4. Love the image of the match making mother, the whole piece is magic. :D

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  9. Infinity 168
    Now I ask, be the tricksy man a conjurer? I be puzzled by the shadows around him, for surely a man has but one, that one being shy when the midday sun do cast a short one and the afternoon sun the long one, but the tricksy man, his be the same all the time – and more than one. I wish I had better recollection of what happened on that island. I know things were not right, but what is escaping this here cap’n and that baint good. It do mean things could go wrong and I know it will.

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    Replies
    1. Oh - how lovely, the idea of a shy shadow! And how the tricksy man has suddenly grown menacing, building on suspicion and casting doubt into the Captain's mind.

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    2. This has to count among my most favourite of the Captain's installments. Full of mystique and musings and downright amazing ponderings. (Did I really come up with so many "antiquated" phrases in one comment?) I will end with only two words...okay make it three. Absolutely Loved It...!!!

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    3. An unnerving of the Cap'n makes for nervous crew. I'm sure he has a plan though

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  10. untitled

    Hanging down like shadows shying from the light,
    were your Purple swelling bruises from where the ropes were tied too tight.
    You bragged that escapology was your finest suit,
    Shame you treated your assistant like you did. You were a brute.

    No more chance to conjure, or illude away from your behaviour,
    Today you learned you would never meet your god, and no one was your Saviour.
    You died as a failure, turning a final trick of your trade
    at least now your assistant lives with no need to be afraid.

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    Replies
    1. A conjuring of Houdini (I presume) and a colourful tale of come-uppance told in well-matched couplets. Well cone William.

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    2. AND APOLOGIES - in removing Patricia's deleted comment I've also removed her subsequent praise which read:

      Very interesting. Conjures (if you'll excuse the pun) visions of the famous escapologists/illusionists throughout history, many of whom, I'm sure, were arrogant in their abilities. You create such magnificent rhymes week after week. I really have no idea how you do it!

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