Friday, 18 November 2016

Lessons not needing to be taught

A workshop at a writing weekend I’ll be going to next year, to be run by Paul Finch, will be on how to add horror to crime. On his blog this week he asks ‘Just how dark can detective fiction go?’

Reading Patricia’s ‘Broth of Oblivion’ had me thinking I’d maybe already gone as far as I wanted, thank you very much (and this despite such innocent prompt words!), which is one very good reason for nominating her this week’s winner. I’m also giving Antonia a mention for her magnificent stand-alone - the first I remember seeing from her, and would nominate you all for a week’s magnificent and rich reading.

Words for next week:  chapter fair jockey

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th November, new words posted on Friday 25th

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.

74 comments:

  1. Congratulations Patricia, I think I may be more respectful to these eight legged beasts in future.
    Also congrats to Antonia for her thought provoking piece.

    Now Jockey is an interesting one.

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  2. Congrats Patricia and Antonia! Well deserved. :)

    I'm also really curious how to use jockey this week.

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  3. What a tremendous honour, to be considered last week's winner. The quality of work was so high, I felt sure I'd come nowhere near the caliber required to even count. Thank you for the continued support.

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  4. Patricia it was well deserved, I am still creeping out at being reincarnated as an arachnid.
    The deleted post from Tiny Small Fry above was mine, it is the brand I created for my visual art work and animation, I sometimes forget to log out of that blogger account when I post. It led to a double mention one week which was awkward.

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    1. You're a man of many aliases, William!

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    2. Congratulations, Patricia, amazing standard of writing. Thanks for the mention, Sandra. Really want to try some stand alone writing, along with the serial, to stop thinking editor and start thinking writer. It's tough not thinking editor, I just closed two stalled anthologies and have combined them into a double feature to get the 70,000 words I need, and started two new ones - wrote the blurb, cleared the finished product with another editor to make sure it's all right, checked the TOC with authors to make sure they're all in there and spelled correctly (one wasn't, an extra 'e' crept into Beverly, and finally sent all their contracts to the publisher. And breathe... thing is, none of this would happen if we didn't have the Internet, it would be an expensive long drawn out process instead of decision-action-completed anthology in about three days.
      Interesting words. I already have an idea of what the Captain makes of them, but the stand alone eludes me at the moment. It will come. I am determined!!

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    3. Just the three Sandra, and purely for branding purposes. :D

      Tiny Small Fry - My Art and Craft output.
      Ambiguity1 - for my musical output.
      William Davoll - For my written output.

      Although I was considering making a fast buck in Erotic Romance, I would need another name for that.

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  5. Reaction [Threshold 140]

    From behind me, deliberately misinterpreting his hand holding mine to his belly, ‘Take the girl to bed, Raven! She’s fair enough and desperate for you!’

    His room. Ceiling beamed and scented with old books like a monasterial chapter house. Shadowed corners contrasted with vivid-coloured counterpane, chequered silks, purple and scarlet, as for a royal jockey.

    An open door indicated where I needed to be. Wrenching my hand from his grasp I dashed for it. Vomited, until both throat and knees could take no more.

    He raised me. Proffered flannel. Smiled understanding. Asked, ‘Was that at thought of her or me?’

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    1. sometimes that abbreviated clipped sentence sequence jars, here it fits in perfectly and carries all the information we need to want more of this serial.

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    2. I just adore the descriptive passages with this installment. What an inspired use of "chapter." It was incredible how much trouble I had with that prompt and still not entirely satisfied with how I used it. I should take a leaf out of your book!

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    3. As Patricia said an inspired use of chapter. Love the exposure Ravens Tender caring side.

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    4. Sandra, An enjoyable story, very descriptive as well. I wounder if it's me, but is there a double meaning in the short sentence; He raised me.?

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    5. Jeff, no, no double meaning, just 'he pulled me to my feet' (which took too many words!). This is the latest part of a long-running serial; if you should want to read more (and it's not obligatory!) a link to my blog is in the RH column [lines of communication]

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  6. Change of focus [210]

    Several responses to the news of a daughter’s substitution for a son jockeyed for position in Pettinger’s mind, not least that Aleks wouldn’t be usurped. Though more than a fair chance Valdeta’s safety in jeopardy.

    This latest chapter in Jake Cherriman’s life – Australian-born, descendant of Khakbethia’s Scheraskade family, now ruling in all but name, thanks to the weakness of Pettinger’s youngest brother Teodor – was the result of his enforced deportation from Britain. The seizure of Valdeta his (surely disproportionate?) revenge.

    Her rescue being the only option, Pettinger exacted Aleks’ promise to stay behind.

    ‘Only if you swear to marry her.’

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    1. sharply observed and narrated, as usual!

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    2. Love how this serial clips along. Each one yet another glimpse into the world at hand. Again, the use of "chapter" was amazing. Was a younger brother of Pettinger mentioned before? Did I miss something?

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    3. Patricia, Teodor appears episodes 136-142, during Pettinger's incestuous reunion with his half sister. I have to admit I'd forgotten about him.

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    4. So caught up in the reading of this instalment forgot what I was here for, and also to look for the prompts till I read Patricia's comment. Seamless production in this piece.

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  7. Didn't think I'd be having so much trouble with this trio of words. "Chapter" seems to be giving me the most aggro. I may have to skip this week and hope for inspiration to strike for the upcoming one. Still, a few days left yet so I'll see what (if anything) comes to the boil.

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    1. Sorry Patricia - skipping not allowed!!

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    2. Have a two hour train journey this afternoon. With luck, I'll have a "J.K. Rowling Moment" and inspiration will hit while I'm travelling when my characters make their way along the carriage.

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  8. Doing it by the book

    All I knew of steeple-chasing had been gleaned from reading Dick Francis. Chapters on diamond smuggling and charter planes interspersed with horses and jockeys, bruises and broken bones. Also Jilly Cooper’s fair-haired and unfaithful Rupert.
    Not very helpful.
    No more than him. All he knew of making love he’d learned from some eighteenth-century manual on equine breeding.
    It was a marriage made in heaven.
    For marriage counsellors.

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    1. Antonia described this so aptly with "clever" and somehow, quite amusing in the process I think.

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    2. Yes, satirically amusing and clever.

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    3. I just inhaled my red wine! Loved the deadpan last line so much it (now) hurts.

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  9. Cripplegate Junction/Part 72-Thereby Hangs A Tail

    The children always looked forward to Miss Constance reading Lewis Carroll's classic, especially the fair-haired Alice, who considered her namesake to be a grand heroine.

    Marmalade was also exceedingly fond of the tale, jockeying for prime position on the little girl's lap and eagerly awaiting any chapter featuring the Cheshire Cat.

    He greatly admired the fictional feline's ability to disappear leaving only a lingering ear-to-ear grin and worked diligently to imitate the amazing feat.

    Thus far, Marmalade had only been able to erase the tip of his tail but he was not a cat to be so easily thwarted.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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. Magic! From the title to the tip of Marmalade's tail.

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    2. love it! I'm sure my cats spend time working out how to do things...

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    3. Very enjoyable and knowing that cats have heros and nine lives is a good thing.

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    4. So pleased to see Marmalade working up his skills. Some lovely comforting imagery in this piece.

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  10. Ok,no idea where this just came from, but here it is -
    The Fair's In Town
    A jockey on a carousel horse, riding like it were real, an actor reciting a chapter from Dickens like he wrote it one Sunday afternoon, a marksman shooting down ducks like he was out there on the water killing for a meal and a strong man tearing up pre-torn telephone directories.
    The fair is in town and the make-believe is there before the eyes of those who care to see. The lights, the music, the raucous shouts of the stall tenders adds credence to the atmosphere. Within that the shysters will try to take your money.
    You have been warned.

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    1. The pace of this echoes the fairground noises and the constant, jostling motion. Like it.

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    2. will redo the Captain, just realised what I've done, stripped the first paragraph because I needed to lose 24 words, in those 24 words were the two prompts... sigh

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    3. This was delightful. I think I need to add it to my Kursaal World. Beautiful pacing and such an overall picture of carnival amusement.

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    4. Love this dose of reality, behind the whirling exciting lights and mystery, is just a cash grabbing machine.

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  11. Infinity 174 - replacement - with part of the missing paragraph reinstalled!
    A new chapter of our journeying. The weather set fair for quiet days. Twas such a day the cook walked. Tis a shame it were cut short by there being nothing after the side of the Infinity… I said he could go below instead. It were said private, he knew what was there, he chose to walk. Be I sad? Of course. I miss the bacon he sliced so well.
    What bothered me was the crew jockeying for position to watch. I never thought them so morbid. But there, do we know everyone well?

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    1. Such a lot in this - action and reaction, and the nonchalance of "it were cut short by there being nothing after the side of the Infinity" is extremely powerful.
      [I'll delete the earlier version]

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    2. thanks, Sandra! over-enthusiastic cutting to reduce it to 100 words... best watch for that in future, I tell myself...

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    3. I've done the exact same thing, more times than I care to think about. It usually happens when I've forced a prompt in where it doesn't quite fit, then substituted a better word.

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    4. The implied darkness of this is, as Sandra noted, extremely powerful. I love the throwaway statement that the sliced bacon will be missed. And how come everyone found such a magnificent use for "chapter" apart from me?

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    5. I see this as the allure of the unknown, the mystery of what's behind door number 2. Nicely done.

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    6. I'm haunted by the dark depths of this piece. I didn't see the original post, but "Being nothing after the side of Infinity" has very power tones. On Cutting of prompt words I have done this myself, what I tend to do now is put the prompt words in bold Red text to start with and write around them as a vivid reminder.
      Just a tip that may help others.

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  12. Kursaal (Episode Forty Seven) -- "Bad Timing"

    The whimsical Cosmic Clock dominated the Kursaal's entrance. From the topmost tower, pearly gates opened to reveal twelve rotating cherubs astride cirrus clouds, rather like chubby, rosy-cheeked jockeys.

    Maximillian Corviday could recite chapter and verse on the colourful history of the timepiece, particularly the pair of caiques -- one white-bellied and the other black-headed -- carved from bristlecone pine whose beaks indicated "fair" or "foul" weather conditions.

    Despite innumerable efforts to coordinate angelic revolutions to take place on the hour, the unreliable cherubim had their own agenda and appeared at curiously random intervals.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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. Thank you for 'chapter and verse'! I so wanted to see that use. And what a marvellously inventive device is the Cosmic Clock.

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    2. intriguing, this Cosmic Clock. Can we know more, please?

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    3. Just re-read those last two lines, they gave me chills and reminded me of a fountain in my home town, I remember I would stare at in wonder at the horses and the people waving beckoning. Mum and Dad just used to say yes son it is pretty, and then take me away. Its not there anymore, I understand someone drowned in it, some say it was a small boy.

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  13. Listed

    Compared to the others, some say I'm little more than a desk jockey. It's a fair statement but then we can't always write our own chapter.

    I have no sword. I have no trumpet.

    But I do have a reed pen, papyrus scroll and set of gate keys.

    So...name?

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    1. Ha! All three words in one fabulously original sentence. And the whole of it ... tantalising. Well done!

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    2. that is so sharply observed and written! Great.

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    3. Really enjoyed this. Forgive me, but I imagined Carol Beer, in charge of the gates of Heaven.

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  14. Well greetings to all. I'm Jeffrey Yorio, I live outside of Rochester, New York. My good friend Antonia has always berated me to write first and then think later, for writing is how one gets better. Her mentioning of this group, led me to ask about participating, I'm very impressed with the the stories posted and decided to make a poem. I only hope that it's better than I feel.



    To Prognosticate

    This chapter of my life, like no book ever written.

    Dracula and Nosferatu, jockey into position.

    I might seem like fair damsel waiting to be bitten.

    My goodbye letter, yet to be penned, It's sure to be full of exposition.


    End of sight, loss of sound;

    Is this how humans now are bound?

    Night shadows descend, like an eclipse.

    Are all ready with their postscripts?


    Devoid of touch, mute of face;

    Does this mean that rats have won the race?

    Death comes to all, despite protestations.

    I wonder, will I still have my aspirations?

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    1. Jeffrey - a very warm welcome to you! I'm delighted you took Antonia's ever-wise advice and submitted this very entertaining and thought-provoking poem. Hope also that you'll comment on other's work as they'll no doubt comment on yours. I know from my own experience that regular attendance here, regular shoe-horning of the prompts into a 100 word piece does wonders for honing one's writing elsewhere.

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    2. Hi Jeffrey, I'm so pleased to see a fellow poet take part in the prediction. I'm very moved by this piece, it is indeed a harsh world right now, and I thank you for sharing this, passive resistance wins all the way.

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    3. Sandra; Thanks for your welcoming me to the group. Regularity is a form of practice.

      William; I'm flattered that you called me a poet. I've written about 15 poems in the last 18 months. I'm happy that you found a meaning in my words.

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    4. The warmest of welcomes to you, Jeffrey. Lovely to see another poet toss his hat into the ring. Now William won't feel so lonely. Lovely initial submission you have given us and the "does this mean that rats have won the race?" line is particularly spine-chilling.

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  15. I have been looking at quite a bit of history this week, and wondered about Herbert Jones, not sure I've captured it yet in this draft.

    Epsom 1913

    Derby day an event to savour,
    A gathering of folks of every flavour.
    An atmosphere like the grandest fair,
    Every one of note even the King is there.

    Both horses and riders Jockey for position
    To cross the finish line and win is your only mission
    A new Chapter of History is waiting to be composed
    as she grabbed for the bridle from your saddle you're deposed.

    Wounded, your horse runs on,
    Emily Davidson is in death, but her point is won.
    No one holds you in disgrace,
    but still haunted by her face,
    your life is done.

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    1. You constantly provide us with such thought-provoking pieces. I will have to look into this slice of equestrian history a little further since you have now sparked my desire to know more. As always, the pacing and placement is impeccable.

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    2. It's a piece of history that has always haunted me, and oft caused me to wonder how the jockey felt about it all. Thee was an interesting film a few years ago that used the latest Forensic techniques to analyse the films available to draw further conclusions, it can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W_URTWjgR0

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    3. William, I love learning about historical events, especially when they inspire such words. As an FYI, I'm a history major who was a teacher for a while. I enjoyed this...my best description is romanticized martyrdom. Thanks.

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    4. I am ever-admiring of others' ability to utilise historical events, especially when they introduce aspects I've forgotten: Emily's name always remembered, but not so Herbert Jones.

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  16. Keeping With Tradition

    We jockeyed for position, my height making it easier. "What can you see?" came the insistent voice of my baby sister, "Pick me up!" I declined, but whispered a response. "It's chapter and verse from the Old Book, just like always. They're at the post now." "But I've never been to a ceremony, it isn't fair!" She was right on both counts, though that's just how life is, sometimes. At any rate, she could easily see the pillar of smoke as it began to rise, and hear the unforgettable noises they made. That would have to be enough, this year.

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    1. This creates some intensely dark images within the imagination. Much suggested here without actual details. Masterful touch!

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    2. Exactly what Patricia says - such a catalyst for one's imagination!

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  17. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #52
    The Royal Court


    Everyone’s always jockeying for positions at these thing. I don’t understand why, it’s just a party. My parents are always fair. Our guests know they will greet everyone even if it takes all night. I’m of course back in one of my princess-princess dresses, the pink frilly one this time. I had thought the princess-princess chapter of my life was over. I guess running off with, and being inducted into, a guild of assassins doesn’t negate my princess-princess status. Oh well.

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    1. Congrats on a whole year of Rosebud! I haven't managed to be nearly consistent enough for that kind of record...

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    2. Some lovely resignation statements in this installment. I like the nonchalant disregard that's implied. Rosebud is a most unique character.

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    3. Rosebud's petulance, her youth and strength of character so beautifully captured here and, as Bill says, congratulations - and thank you - for providing us with a year's worth of her. (AND for beating the clock!)

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  18. It seems that all your 100 word stories you pst, need to be connected.

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    1. If you mean they must all be serializations, Jeff, then please be aware that's not the case at all. A few of us choose to work on week-by-week installments but there are many stand-alone pieces as well. In fact, connected pieces are more often than not the exception rather than the rule. I do hope that notion won't dissuade you from further participation.

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    2. Patricia, not at all, I just wanted to know.

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    3. Jeff, the numbers in the title are the giveaway to serials. I can't help myself but write them, but am trying to write stand-alone pieces too, even though I find them harder.

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