Friday, 20 October 2017

Body butter, blue-wrapped mints and a grubby plaster

Just some of the detritus on my desk (and note to self -‘detritus’ an excellent future prompt word).

Despite the relative quiet ordinariness of last week’s words, some pretty gruesome tales were spun. Because I have an inexplicable fondness for poor Clive  Bailey, I’m declaring Patricia’s ‘Cripplegate Junction/Part 118’ my poignant winner of the week.

Words for next week: cashmere grief upwards

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th October, winners and words posted Friday 27th

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 you prefer.


Friday, 13 October 2017

Tacking thumbs and pricking blisters

This week showed up the gap in my knowledge and understanding of several aspects of the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres this site promotes . It’s taken a couple of years for me to be revealed as a fraud but John’s ‘From the mouth of the dragon’ which garnered such praise from everyone else bypassed my understanding by miles. Nevertheless, I name him as one of a trio of winners this week, alongside Jk’s Ellis 010 and  David’s TRASH Rash, and thank you all for a thoroughly entertaining week of reading, both posts and comment.

Words for next week: score vulnerable wicked

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th October, words posted Friday 20th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Overcoming duplicity

I ceased checking for duplication of prompt words a while ago, which is why olive appeared for the third time last week. I would apologise but for the fact that you all incorporated the word in an impressively inventive and  well-oiled manner.

And because I had longer to savour it, thanks to an earlier-than-usual posting, I have no hesitation in declaring  Rosie’s ‘My Grandmother’s People’ – episode #97 of 'The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess' this week's winner. The consistently high standard and unique voice makes this one of my (many) weekly treats.
 
Words for next week: argue petechial spring

Entries by midnight Thursday 12th October, words posted Friday 13th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Hydrangeas rich as Victorian sitting rooms

By which I mean crowded, curly and richly-coloured, much as the entries for this week, providing a variety of smells and tastes and music as well as entertainment. And so impossible to separate my top three choices that I declare them joint winners:  jk for ‘Gostegodd 011’, John for ‘The Believer’ and Zaiure for ‘Distraction [9]’. As with all good stories (and several others here) each merited several readings.

Words for next week: guardian olive straddle

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th October, words posted Friday 6th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Another thudding orange sunrise in Hamnavoe

An interesting selection of responses to last week’s prompt words, a variety of moods. Shortlisted were Theresa’s ‘Nights in Whitechapel’ and John’s ‘Monarchy Smonarchy’, but Patricia’s  Kursaal #88 – ‘The Amorous Adventures Of Arbuthnot Jester/Part Six’ – nudged them into joint second place. And for a tasty treat I urge those of you who might have missed it to read Rosie’s 95th episode of The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess. 

As ever, thank you all for contributing and for commenting - so much a valuable part of this site.

Words for next week: abnegate core whisky

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th September, words posted Friday 29th September


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 you prefer.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Wild, wet but wonderful. ...

Much travelling about this week and now in the rainy West Highlands, at Ullapool as I begin this; further north to the topmost coast on Friday. I had to rush my posts and also the judging, but have no hesitation in declaring Zaiure’s ‘Just another Friday’ this week’s outright winner.... 

Words for next week: ambiguous cane solitary

Entries by midnight Thursday 21st September, words posted Friday 22nd September

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 you prefer.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Anticipating Stirling service ...

... from a weekend at Bloody Scotland, and discovering again how wide your selection of a single winner from among this week's gut-churning entries. Unavoidable with a word like entrails, in the mix but I anticipate you'll manage just as well with the following

prompt words for next week: bland chime perpetual

Entries by midnight Thursday 14th September, words posted Friday 15th September


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 you prefer.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Exit stage left, with menace and a final kick

So many excellent entries this week that once again I tried an arbitrary rule to rate them. Final lines:, I thought, but how to choose between Antonia’s ‘long pig’, Patricia’s ‘cylindrical drum’, John’s ‘I wish he hadn’t said my name’ and David’s ‘Hell would be unleashed…’?
I couldn’t, so broke another, lightly-applied, rule and chose David for a second consecutive  week, on the strength of his opening sentence, broken-winged gargoyle and the so-very-effective “eyes above the waterline”.

Next week's decision will be simpler for me: Thursday I shall be in Stirling, attending the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival  and on Friday at a workshop, one of who’s tutors is Sophie Hannah.
 Therefore I am asking each of you to nominate, on Friday 8th September, your personal winner.
Thereafter, for a couple of weeks, my presence is likely to be a bit erratic, but rest assured, prompt words are already scheduled.

Words for next week: entrails kiss perfect

Entries by midnight Thursday 7th September, words posted Friday 8th September*

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 you prefer.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Sirens and a shiny lighthouse, flashing blue

Is what I hear and see from the windows of my daughter’s apartment. Invigorating in comparison to my usual hedge-bound golf course. Prediction entries this week were varied and interesting, incorporating  the prompt words amidst imaginative phrases. I had a short-list of four:  and it was as much a stabbed-pin struggle to select a winner as it is becoming every week. In the end, it was the matter-of-fact tone with which Jenkins and the professor discussed their dreadful predicament that won David’s ‘The Purse Anomaly' this week’s vote for the number one slot

Words for next week: barge elegant wing


Entries by midnight Thursday 31st August, words and winners posted Friday 1st September


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 you prefer.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Silver fish scales on a dirty plate

With a word like ‘maggots’ as one of the prompts it was hardly surprising a high proportion of the posts gave rise to feelings of nausea and squeamishness, and there was certainly some mental cowering if not actual, at least on my part.

Six of you passed the ‘squirm’ test: - Patricia (for ‘Lure’), Jeffrey (for Midnight Service), Scott, John, David and Antonia . The one that made my gorge rise highest was Scott’s 'After death, we went to the museum' which I declare the winner.

Words for next week: purse theatre travesty

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th August, words and winners  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 you prefer.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Threading truth with fiction

My stand-alone tale last week began with ‘spearmint’ jogging my memory of a lolly and the silver three-penny bit I used to buy it. From this sprang a boring story which I refused to allow the light of day. Then I remembered Elsie. Was it she who assured me that in the woods across the road dwelt a man who ate children? That was back in the day  when, as five -year-old a two mile walk to school, unsupervised, was normal.

I thank you for all the nice things you said about it, and in many ways it would have been easiest to nominate myself, with such a very strong week of entries. I am, however, going to break a different rule, by nominating jk’s ‘Ellis; for somewhat selfish reasons. One, it is exactly the sort of story which appeals to me and two because she’s currently in a Dundee hospital awaiting an operation to fix a fractured ankle. (I’m hoping that will give her time to write the next episode)

Words for next week:  cower feature maggot

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th August, words and winners  posted on Friday 18th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 4 August 2017

And this morning the geese practising to leave

I don’t know how they know it’s time, and thanks to the height of the hedge I can no longer see the river from my window, but in the quiet of the early morning they are suddenly raucous. There’ll be weeks more before they go.

This is another week when I’m torn between the entertaining characters offered by several candidates for top place and cannot separate them: John’s cheeky itinerant, Zaiure’s Favour Man and David’s ugly Monday and because time is marching on and I know you all understand – and appreciate – my dilemma, it’s going to be a triple crown this week. Thank you all for offerings and comments.

Words for next week:  earring park spearmint

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th August, words and winners  posted on Friday 11th

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 you prefer.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Multiple impressions of a single man

I was at a funeral this week of a man I knew only slightly but whose conversation made a big impression. He was remembered by all with affection but the eulogy was a recital of others’ (surprisingly banal) memories from which I did not recognise him at all. Although I know I cannot choose the memories of those left after me I can certainly choose the music, and have begun a playlist..

Not that the music I could clearly hear when reading this week’s stand-out winner – Antonia’s ‘On the other side’ – would suit everybody: Marilyn Manson, ‘In the valley of the shadow of death’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4eh9NTzn7I

Words for next week:  favour Monday sceptic

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd August, words and winners  posted on Friday 4th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Dawns darker already ...

... reminding me how panic-stricken I’d get at the idea that summer had passed even before the schools broke up for the summer holidays. Last week’s words weren’t intended to panic but having found an opening line or two I found coming up with the rest of it, for a stand-alone, quite hard. Goodness knows how this week’s will work out, but I know I’m guaranteed some bright entertainment.

Hence the simplicity and smoothness of Rosie’s Pirate Princess #86 – ‘Going Home’ struck an especial chord and  gave her the top spot this week. As ever, thank you all for your contributions and comments.

Words for next week:  acute drench hymn

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 28th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ill-kept promises

I promised myself I’d try and stick to having only one winner per week, but in a week where every entry could have been  a winner that promise had to be broken. Truly, if each of  last week’s offerings had been a prediction, handed over via a crystal ball, quality-wise they offered nothing but good fortune (and I confess, I don’t know from whence came ‘Prediction’)  

But, as I did predict, Patricia’s ‘As Luck Would Have It’ qualified from the first, and although all the others severely threatened, ultimately only Antonia’s untitled standalone was unignorable and I’ve no choice but to declare honours even for them and honourable mentions for the rest of you, right down to Rosie’s 20 minutes before deadline entry.  Thank you all.

Words for next week:  cover olive pugnacious

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 21st


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 you prefer.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Niddering and insordescent

Two words for nastiness picked from Philip Howard’s ‘Lost Words’, in contrast to Irish crime writer Adrian McKinty, who gave me the beautiful perse.  I pass it to you as small and insufficient thanks for your comments on my pieces, and on each others’ - so very important a part of this place.

This week’s entries took me to many nasty places, down alleyways I’m incapable of imagining, never mind writing  for which I thank you, and from which I hope to learn. From a shortlist of four, and by a doubtless bloodstained whisker, John’s ‘Canine Intervention; emerged the winner.

Words for next week:  hare premonition whist

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th July, words and winners  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 you prefer.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Uses and abuses

It seemed to me that last week’s words were used and abused with an inch of their blameless lives – an exceptionally entertaining crop of stories with the emphasis strongly on the horror. With the usual result that it was extremely difficult to pick a shortlist, never mind a winner. The one I eventually chose – Emily’s ‘Exorcism’ – was because there was much in it I felt uncomfortable with. So thank you for that,  Emily, and for taking the trouble to comment – a vital part of this site’s activity. I doubt I’m the only one who hopes you, like Scott and other recent new contributors, regularly visit.

Words for next week:  divorce mongrel Victoria

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th July, words and winners  posted on Friday 7th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Innocent of skulduggery ...

And in a week that, in the southern part of the UK at least, was hotter than it’s been for forty years, we’ve had some equally high temperature writing which produced three honorary mentions: Scott for an inventive use of incumbent in ‘Opaque’ (no need to be timid), Patricia for her ‘Without Recourse’ (after claiming not to do poetry)  and Jeffrey for the clever final line of ‘I wake in a dream’.

The  winner, for writing which seemed even more breathtaking than ever, is Zaiure, for  ‘Dragon Fire’.

Words for next week:  bat purge velvet

Entries by midnight Thursday 29th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 30th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Drink not the third glass ...

A hiccupping sort of week for me, writing-wise, attempting to follow advice given in a paid-for edit, and a slowish start here too, which only seems odd after several weeks of more frenetic activity. No rhyme nor reason, and I seek none.

I’d Patricia’s Grande Dame and her 100th episode of Cripplegate Junction in line for  this week’s winner, but it was pipped at the post by Bill’s ‘Going Down’, his ability to insert so much energy into 100 words never failing to impress.

Words for next week:  recumbent thumb whelp

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd June, words and winners  posted on Friday 23rd

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 you prefer.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Arose to find a hanging ...

Sad to say, the rain was not a myth, so it was especially pleasurable to read all last week’s contributions even if time did not permit me commenting. Thank you all for your nominations of personal favourites; it is always reassuring to see how widely they differ, how narrowly they compare.

This week is no exception so I’m naming three which especially took my fancy; it goes without saying I could just as easily have picked a different three, but Patricia’s ‘Gift Horses’, John’s ‘Acrimonious measures’ and Rosie’s ‘Our bite’s worse’ made the current cut.

Words for next week:  elevate forensic stir

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 16th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Eschewing moon dune and balloon ...


... here are the words for the second of June:  huff  midnight  pulp

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th June, words and winners  posted on Friday 9th

Sorry - internet very intermittent here - did I miss everyone posting their winners  for last week or do you intend to do it next?

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 you prefer.

Friday, 26 May 2017

The rain in Spain ...

... will, I hope, confine itself to the plain next week and avoid where I’ll be staying, so it will be another week where I ask each of you to name your favourite entry; the one you consider to be the week’s winner.

Goodness knows this week has been hard to judge – so many inventive uses of the prompt words plus some forgotten songs planted in my head – and as ever I appreciate the efforts made to comment.
‘Visual’ was an oft-repeated word, scene-setting something everyone excels in – Zaiure’s  a lesson in creating intimacy in tiny detail – but tops for me this week was Jk’s ‘Gostegodd 006’, closely followed by Antonia’s ‘Musing over lunch’.

Words for next week: contempt shoelace trivial

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st June, new words posted on Friday 2nd


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 you prefer.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Natural homes for the unnatural

There has been some discussion, publicly and privately, in which discomfort about critique was expressed. For the record, Prediction exists, and has always existed, primarily for the mutual enjoyment of making natural homes for an unnatural selection of words. While appreciation of well-worked pieces is desirable – we all like to know we have been read – it is hoped that  those with sensitivity enough to know their limits will appreciate and learn by observing the skills of others.

And last week’s words were no exception – were, in fact, exceptionally good – providing a very strong shortlist of more than half a dozen. Reasoning that by choosing little pieces I can get away with naming three, I selected John for his ‘Blue Wisdom’, Patricia for ‘Lights Out’ and Ghostrunner for her untitled tale of calligraphic error, and I urge you all to go read Rosie’s most wonderfully-titled ‘Deadly, but Obviously Well Balanced’.

Thank you all for contributing to a thoroughly entertaining week.   

Words for next week: flaccid  lullaby  sack

Entries by midnight Thursday 25th May, words and winners posted on Friday 26th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bandying the wicked words

Last week’s indecisive result -– two votes each for separate pieces for Patricia and Perry, and one for me – was an illustration of how hard it is to pick a single winner from the week’s invariably excellent selection. This week was no exception but I found myself attracted to the gritty urban, in particular that of Jk’s untitled Roadie piece  and Rie’s ‘The Proposition’ and declare these joint winners.

Additional thanks go to all of you who commented and also to Patricia who sent me searching for my Bob Seeger CD - now playing.

Words for next week: aphrodisiac chew gauze

Entries by midnight Thursday 18th May, words and winners posted on Friday 19th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Scheduled words and serial thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I read Jilly Coopers latest bonk-buster, the style of which has answered a question I’ve pondered from time to time. Each episode of the serials I post here are intense, tight-written and aim to have a punch-line every hundred words. My novels are much slower-paced and at times I’ve wondered whether as a result  they are inferior. But the breathless intensity of Jilly has reassured me; a collection of Prediction episodes might not be a very comfortable read.

Words for next week: bundle truth vindaloo

Entries by midnight Thursday 11th May, new words and winners posted on Friday 12th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Another week for you to run amok!

I’m off on holiday again (it’s turning out to be an exceptionally well-stuffed year for holidays) so will schedule prompt words for 5th of May and ask each of you to nominate your winner for this week.

A very warm welcome to newcomers; Rie and Ghostrunner who both made strong starts. I’m not alone in hoping you will stay around and use this weekly exercise to entertain us. Please do make the effort to comment on others’ posts – we all like to know we’re being read.

This week’s winner has been picked from a strong field because I fell in love with the phrase ‘Pay it or chew cabbage’ – well done AR Martin for ‘the Price is The Price’. (Several others jostled for a place).

Words for next week: bruise inquisition souvenir

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th May, new words posted on Friday 5th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 21 April 2017

‘Plots, true or false, are necessary things’ [John Dryden]

At least in novels, as I am discovering, to my hair-tearing cost. When writing to Prediction prompts forward planning is best avoided and I fear has made me complacent because, 90k words into my current wip, fourth in the series, I’ve come to realise is very necessary indeed.

But in between the wrestling, I’ve enjoyed some stunning reading here, in the company of fellow writers whose words – both post and comment – provide evidence we are engaged on something valuable. There were, as ever, half a dozen which made it to my shortlist, and Perry, for his Exodust, made it to the top, for the lovely language and weightiness behind what was being said..

Words for next week: necessary pucker willow

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th April, words and winners posted on Friday 29th

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 you prefer.

Friday, 14 April 2017

‘The tumult and the shouting dies’

A hundred and ninety-four episodes, and never a week missed (unless Prediction itself was absent) is a four years acquaintance with the Captain, and while I understand, as Kipling would have it, that ‘Captains and Kings depart’ (and we have been promised a Mad Italian to take his place), it is nevertheless sad to see him wickedly settle down.
But so typically and so well did he bow out that Antonia is undoubtedly this week’s winner.
Which is a relief, for it would, once again have been hard to choose. I console myself that we are all rewarded by both what we are offered to read and by the comments of our fellow writers.

Words for next week: rubric, sparse, spendthrift

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th April, words and winners posted on Friday 21st

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 you prefer.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Delighting in the detail ...

... Of which there has been an especial richness this week.

John’s ‘He flexed his shoulders and felt the stitches pull’ first alerted me to how effectively a small detail adds colour and uniqueness to a piece of writing, then I found those put together by Rich to give us Alison’s grandfather’s room, Patricia’s Arthur, mildly murmuring, Antonia’s ‘borders on decadence’ and Perry’s ‘eyes gummed with the sherbet of sleep-deprivation’.

 Jeffrey’s  ‘Night Messenger 3’ wins the ‘leaps and bounds ‘trophy, for that’s what his writing has lately made and Patricia rises to the top with ‘Other side of the tracks’.

Words for next week: falcon, fremescent, lurch

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th April, words and winners 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 you prefer.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Dreams and predictions ought to serve ...

... according to Francis Bacon (1561-1626). And how well-served and with what invention were the prompt words used this week, with Antonia’s ‘freckle on the face of God’. John’s ‘freckled moth’, Patricia’s ‘freckled violet’ and Perry’s victim’s shitty and ‘surreal’. I  also appreciated Jeffrey having Hades as ‘Night Stalker’. And please do go back and check out Bill and Rosie’s last minute entries - invariably entertaining.

A personal choice as this week’s winner though - Rich’s ‘Otherglow’ was a perfect demonstration of how, for me, science fiction can be made irresistible and I am more pleased than I can say that it holds the promise of a long-running serial.

Words for next week: border reckless sherbet

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th April, words and winners posted on Friday 7th

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.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Misadventures in the English language ...

... is the title of Caroline Taggart’s book, bought for me as a Christmas present, by my younger son, and not a week has gone by since without me using it to check on some grammatical quirk or item I need an explanation for. Having read a lot as a child, my grammatical grounding is instinctive rather than informed; all attempts to properly teach me merely confused and left me disinclined to write. This, being able to be consulted on a ‘need to know’ basis, is perfect.
And it was a week of near perfect enjoyment of reading Prediction posts, with the usual difficulty of picking a favourite, since so many offered an especial treat. So ... I juggled, somewhat inexpertly, with three, and the one I was left with was John’s inflammable tale, as Perry’s ‘Can’t get the staff’ and Rosie’s ‘Who Spies on the Spies?’ tumbled to the floor.

Words for next week: brink freckle stalk

Entries by midnight Thursday 30th March, words and winners posted on Friday 31st

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.

Friday, 17 March 2017

If music be the food ... or someone else ...

One intriguing suggestion to come out of Tom Harper’s workshop on injecting horror at last weekend's Crime and Publishment was to use film music as background inspiration. What I do know is that I would hesitate before agreeing to share a meal with any of this week’s participants; Bill’s ‘Serving his shipmates’ being the most chillingly served.

What an excellent job of selecting personal winners you did last week – and how effectively did the final result – a tie between Patricia and AR – illustrate my weekly dilemma. Not that I’m complaining, because such variety of response to just three words is the especial delight of prompt writing.
Words for next week: belly kudos vacant

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd March, words and winners posted on Friday 24th

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.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Putting the horror in ...

This the title of one of the workshops  I shall be attending this weekend, although I’m sure I learn just as much from several participants here.
I’m hoping each of you will take time to nominate your favourite from last week and post it here before you begin to ponder the words for next week, which are

emulate   spaghetti   weak

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th March, new words ONLY posted on Friday 17th


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.

Friday, 3 March 2017

“We need to make a permanent repair”

Thus the faintly threatening and portentous headline to a letter received this morning. No repair needed to the Prediction site, all contributors (and thank you to Antonia for her sterling recruitment) functioning most excellently. So much so that it has once more been difficult to select a winner, but the clean simplicity and knock-out punch of Patricia’s ‘Those in Peril’ impressed on every reading.

Of course, it is not only the writing that adds strength to this site – reading others’ varied approaches to the same set of prompt words is ever-fascinating, but to know we’ve been read and (hopefully) enjoyed is also important, so please do make and effort to comment. 

Words for next week: fine, jargon, pecuniary         

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th March, new words ONLY posted on Friday 10th

I shall be up in Gretna on a crime writing weekend so would you please choose your favourite and let us know on next Friday’s post

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.

Friday, 24 February 2017

March of the human mind

Heavens, the comments ratcheted up fast and early this week! 50+ by Monday; 70 on Tuesday evening and finishing, this Friday morning at 85 with my comment on Rosie’s literally last-minute piece.

What a buzz of a week too, not least for comments. I was especially grateful to AR Martin for his definition of ‘lived in’  - a quality I aspire to - but also to Patricia for using ‘gargoyle’, Wondra for her imaginative FB attack and Antonia's new-vamped crew for 'Infinity'..

Not for the first time, however, first place goes to a newcomer: Perry McDaid’s ‘Siege Under’ was a beautifully-crafted, epic-sized subtly horrific entry, and I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping he will stay around.
Words for next week: dwarf eve ostentatious

Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd March, new words posted on Friday 3rd

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.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Senses working overtime

Antonia said it (and put XTC’s song into my head) : ‘understated entries saying so much more than is actually there, images that won't go away’ and yes, there were more than a few exceptionally visual, cinematic pieces, which magically supplied smell and soundtrack too.
Which is all very enjoyable until I realise I have to pick a winner from among them. A pleasurable  opportunity to read and re-read but excruciating to have to choose. In the end Patricia nosed ahead, with ‘The dealer’, but AR Martin, Zaiure and Bill were very very close behind, and in one way we were all winners, rewarded with such writings.

Words for next week:  rampart sewer unreason

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd February, new words posted on Friday 24th

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.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Elusive compulsion of an opening ...

The impact, the hooking, magnetic compulsion of a really excellent opening sentence is a concept we all know about. Choosing books, reading stories elsewhere this past week I have been both embarrassed and shocked  at the speed with which I discard the less enticing, being both unhooked and, dare I say, bored.

I thought I’d apply the same criteria to this week’s Prediction offerings, but (not unexpectedly) the great majority of this week’s bumper bundles were excellent, and I unable to pick a clear winner on that score.  

However, I doubt there’ll be much disagreement that AR Martin’s ‘rhapsody’ can be declared to have attained, even if by a whisker, the prime position, with too many others jostling for second place to call. I thank you all for a week of high quality and thoroughly entertaining reading, and for the ever-important acknowledgements to fellow writers that they have been so enjoyed.

Words for next week:  flux  jute  spoil

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th February, new words posted on Friday 17th

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.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity ...

... is the OED definition of noir, which claims it to be ‘a genre of crime fiction or film characterised by’ such. I checked this in order to assure members of one of my crime novel Facebook groups that their contributions would be both within the rules and welcome. I’ve queried it before, uncertain whether or not John Pettinger fitted the definition, and was then pleased by the ‘So long as it entertains’ verdict.

The ‘verdict’ as to this week’s winner was harder to come by, but undoubtedly Patricia wins a medal for persistence in posting. I could invent any number of categories but this week, for the best of last-minute kicks, top place is shared by Bill and Wondra. Thank you all for your wonderful contributions , and even more for the feedback – vital for the healthy continuance of this site.

Words for next week:  lone, sanguine, splay

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th February, new words posted on Friday 10th

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.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Cornish Clouds and walking words

Simple derivation of title this week - I’ll be spending the weekend in a penthouse in Cornwall in the company of 7 or 8 other writers from one of my on-line groups members of which refer to themselves as Cloudies.

As ever, I was struggling to chooses a winner from the oh-so-closely-matched in merit but have to say, firstly for the evocation of its title and secondly for the purple tigers , I unhesitatingly vote Rosie’s ‘The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #61, The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome, this week’s undoubted winner.

Words for next week:  appease crochet lodge
Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd February, new words posted on Friday 3rd

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.

Friday, 20 January 2017

‘The decent obscurity of a learned language’

Often the hardest thing about this weekly posting is the title which is when I resort to a dictionary of quotations. Today’s is from Edward Gibbons (1737-1794) and begins ‘My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in (the decent obscurity ...)’.  Obscurity is what Jeffrey appeared to several of us to deliver last week, albeit it thought-provoking, and was something I was guilty of as well, with my mis-remembering one of the prompt words and forgetting to change the dates.

Less ambiguous is my choice for this week’s winner who, outstandingly, is Zaiure for her breathtaking fifth instalment of ‘Regrets’. Patricia is a close runner-up, for the double whammy of ‘He Who Hesitates ...’ and ‘Fortune Favours’. As ever, thanks are due to you all for participating and for commenting.

Words for next week:  adamant marinade tiger

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th January, new words posted on Friday 27th

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.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Cats and Captains, Corvids and Clowns

How did the group get its name?  As Antonia explained, it was started by Lily Childs as Friday Prediction, back in 2010. You only need have a look at Lily’s ‘Feardom’ blog to see the scale and breadth of words  she regularly used (memo to self: must try harder!)  Although ‘Friday’ was dropped, I am loth to lose ‘Prediction’ it in case it prevents long-lost members finding us again.

It’s one of those never-lost members who pips the rest of you at the post this week – Antonia for yet another solid episode of The Captain’s adventures in Infinity  181 – but the rest of you are snapping at her heels, giving us all an excellent week’s entertainment.

Words for next week:  devastate essence joint

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th January, new words posted on Friday 20th

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.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Seeking specific tunes

And so begins another year ... two short stories submitted; a beta-read novel revised and I’m back to plot-wrestling #4 in my Luke Darbyshere series. Question is, is 2017 the year I get them up and available on Lulu? Answer, as ever, who knows? 

But today, for Prediction, a delicious double helping of entries! 
I declare the winner of the final post for 2016 to be Patricia for her ‘One of these nights’ - a perfect example of tight, intriguing writing which leaves the reader to do much of the work. 
And the first for 2017 is a joint award to the Owens family. The hard-boiled of Bill’s ‘Simply a beastly evening’ such a delicious contrast to Rosie’s perfectly-titled ‘Look, a Shiny!’

My thanks, as ever, to each of you for your contributions and your comments – I sincerely hope you’ll keep them coming in 2017.

Words for next week:  chary, float, torch
Entries by midnight Thursday 12th January, new words posted on Friday 13th

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.