Friday, 19 October 2018

Stepping Into The Breach


And so, while Sandra is on walkabout, I have been appointed (for good or for worse) as her substitute....her stand-in...her understudy. I must admit, the thought of choosing a winner among the magnificent entries that are submitted week after week is both exciting and intimidating. Let's hope the power doesn't go to my head! I consulted with the random word generator oracle to come up with this week's prompts and will probably continue to do so during the course of my brief reign. I would like to bookmark a week while Sandra is gone where everyone gets a chance to vote for their favourite tale. It's always nice to have a say in who will clamber to the top of the podium and it takes some of the pressure off me, which can only be a good thing, right? Thoughts on that?

Anyway, now to the task over which I have been given jurisdiction...selection of this week's winner. As always, I do not envy Sandra the job of doing this every time. The decision is always difficult I'm sure and this week was certainly no exception. That having been said, the double offering provided by RJ ("Cold") and David W's continuation was nothing short of inspirational. Easy to see that they have worked together on this type of tale before and John's "Narrow Minds" with its imaginative and brilliant interpretation of the prompts (to say nothing of that trademark sense of humour) was a definite front runner. However, I cannot pass up this opportunity to award top honours this week to Sandra for "Considering The Nature Of An Ambush" and its ever-fascinating characterization of Raven, an episode made even more incredible by the fact that it is the 224th installment of the "Threshold" serialization.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
trick  inhale  sadden
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th October
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 26th

If the formatting or presentation of this post appears to be out of whack, please bear with me. I am a inept novice when it comes to Blogger and still striving to master the intricacies of appearance.

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 October 2018

Surpassed and surprised again!


Despite last week’s horrible words – unfortunate rather than deliberate, I promise you (and they caused me a lot of trouble) – you all came up with as much top quality entertainment as ever, for which I sincerely thank you - I did fear I might have driven you all away. Rest assured, Patricia has been carefully schooled in the art of choosing words apt and challenging while I’m on holiday in Australia, a couple of weeks of which will be spent riding pillion on a 45 year-old BSA, far too rattley to risk taking my Chromebook on.

Such was the length of my short-list this week that I resorted to possibly unethical methods to reduce it, and ruled out the three who featured last week, which let me put David W’s epic ‘When we die in dreams’ in second place and  name Patricia as winner for ‘Opposites Attract’, a stunning example of her ability to pull the rug from under my feet.

Words for next week: queer  north  rowan

Entries by midnight* Thursday 18th October, words and winners posted Friday 19th
*GMT or Patricia’s preference
  
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 October 2018

Temporarily times will be a’changing


I’m well aware I’m repeating myself, but truly the ever-rising standards of each week’s offerings both excite me and give me  a colossal headache  trying to pick what must, by custom , be labelled ‘winner’. I trust you all realise that if you are not named it means you are likely little more than a whisker away from being so. At least this week, there were suggestions from some of you as to which ought to win, and since I agree, I’m declaring David T’s ‘South of the Border, Down Mexico Way’ this week’s number one but would also honourably mention Zaiure’s  ‘Hammer & Seal [4] and newcomer Timewalkerauthor for ‘At the Edge’.

Next week will be the last week I have this problem for a bit, but I’m delighted and relieved that Patricia has agreed to step into the breach from 18th October until ~22nd November, and will be hosting, posting words and picking  winners.

Words for next week: cauterise miracle Tosca

Entries by midnight Thursday 11th October, words and winners posted 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 September 2018

Dumb and insolent

What a frustrating week - the southerly wind blowing little but irritation as I scampered hither and thither trying to discover why no comments. The solution eventually coming from younger son who said ‘That’s usually an HTML problem’ and since what I’d posted  seemed to be causing the blockage, I took them down and hey presto, comments appeared again. No idea what I did wrong, because warnings of HTML usually flash red and will not be ignored. 

However, little doubt in my mind as to this week’s winner: J E Deegan’s ‘Thumbs down’ really hit the spot for me, so no doubts about awarding that one top prize.


Words for next week: border, malevolent, zeal

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th October, words and winners posted 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 September 2018

Blow the wind southerly

There’s something horribly humourless about the colour of the sky today, the featureless greenish white of a well-used handkerchief. Which has me appreciating more than ever the colourful and vivid imagery presented for our delectation and delight this week. Re someone else doing the judging - more of that in a couple of weeks.

For reasons I haven’t fathomed (unlike the rest of my family I lack the analytical gene) so cannot say exactly why R J Wayne’s ‘The Guardians‘1.2  had such a strong impact, but it went into the number 1 spot early on and stayed there; David T's 'Daddy's Home' came a close second.

Words for next week: deadlock intercept maiden

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th September, words and winners posted 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 September 2018

The Eroded steps ...


Title of an exquisite book of poetry, essays, photographs and drawings based upon a Halifax carpet factory, just this evening rediscovered on my bookshelf and worthy both of re-reading  and referencing  here, where so many of the week’s offerings, as ever, merit several reads, operating, as they do on several levels.

Before I pick a winner (Procrastinating? Moi?) I also thank you for the lovely comments on my two pieces this week, especially heartening because I felt they both felt short and am glad they were not perceived so; they equal the pleasure of winning, for me.

And so ... (no, Sandra, you cannot have four winners!) ...  although David T’s ‘He took her so fast the doorknob was still in her hand' really set my heart beating, and Terrie’s hiccups were such a delight, I choose Patricia’s ‘Now I lay me down ...’ for its all-encompassing potential for nightmare.

Words for next week: brim  cloister  valid

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th September, words and winners posted 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 September 2018

Help me make it through the night


Two phrases this week impressed me with a particularly well-executed horror, exquisitely evoked. The sort that leaves me hoping I sleep sound through the night, and especially between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3, which is when the blackest of ideas return to haunt me. And so, another week with dual winners: Terrie for ‘delicately, and slowly, butchered flesh from bone.’ in Demon-food and David, whose ENFANT, contained ‘screaming until they had no voices’. 

Thank you all for another week of taking innocent words and corrupting them beyond imagination.

Words for next week: deliver guardian knob

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th September, words and winners posted 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 August 2018

“Pleasure after all is a safer guide than either right or duty”


And following Samuel Butler’s claim, albeit out of step, given this is supposed to be a site of horror and noir, this week I’ve chosen two stories purely because they made me smile with sheer pleasure:  John’s fantastically-titled ‘Mishmash and Hodgepodge and a slight bit of Gobbledygook’ and Rosie’s ‘Well Then’, the 144th  instalment of ‘The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess’ – a consistently delightful serial which never fails to entertain.

As, obviously, do you all, for which I thank you.                                                                                                                                                                                           
Words for next week: buckle  diagnose  parish

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th September, words and winners posted 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, 24 August 2018

The fathoming (or otherwise) of fables


I struggled so much over this week’s three prompt words, and have been so busy elsewhere, responding to beta readers’ brilliant assistance with a seventh-version novel, that it was both surprise and relief to discover already 56 comments when I finally found time to return to Prediction.

Should have known though, rather than let me down. you contrived to hitch the standard up another few rungs, and I confess I’ve had to pick a trio of you, being unable to pitch one even a smidgeon higher than the other. So congratulations to David W for ‘Does she know', to ZoĆ«, for ‘Edda’ and to David T for ‘Road to Shenandoah’, and especial thanks, as ever, to all who found time to comment.

Words for next week: cast  racecourse  wraith

Entries by midnight Thursday 30th August, words and winners posted 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 you prefer.

Friday, 17 August 2018

August and the mornings grow dark again


At least I’m not awake and waiting for it to be four o’clock before allowing myself to get out of bed. Not that last week’s tales wouldn’t have been worth it – as rich a bunch as one could hope to wish for. (Given the inclusion of ‘unborn’ I was not surprised. Nor disappointed.)

As usual a struggle to pick a winner and I feel obliged to stress that, as ever, it is a subjective, but for me there was something very special in R J Wayne’s hauntingly visual ‘Dust’

Words for next week: allegory trust vulgar

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd August, words and winners posted 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 you prefer.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Pricking of more than thumbs


A somewhat uncomfortable week, seeing what each of you managed to do with a cactus and some gin! 
Even being ultra-picky this week my short-list went out of control again, but for once two tales by the same author kept rising to the top and I nominate Terrie as the winner for her double helping of the SAS Diaries, numbers 15 and 16.

This weekly experience of reading both posts and comments is never-endingly pleasurable – thank you all for contributing so generously to it..

Words for next week: fork quagmire unborn

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th August, words and winners posted 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 you prefer.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Cardiff, moorhen or a coot?


Late today, apologies – staying at my daughter’s and the days a different shape. My pleasure at reading your entries no less, nor  the difficulty of choosing a winner, therefore, too short of opportunity to insert fag papers between each of half a dozen, I’m naming three time: J E Deegan for ‘In a time past’, Dave for ‘The Liberator’ and Patricia for ‘Broken-hearted Clown’. Thank you all.

Words for next week (inspired by daughter’s kitchen) : cactus, gin percolate

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th August, words and winners posted 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 you prefer.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Reading books and drinking shandy


Has been the extent of my activity for much of this week, plus dragging myself into the 21st century with a new phone. Nothing like as arduous as Antonia’s wonderfully described week of scrubbing and shifting. Thank goodness, no-one’s stopped writing and providing, as Patricia pointed out, plenty of musical links, plus some truly soaring one-liners, and Bill and Rosie Owens got their pieces in on time (not that late makes them any less enjoyable a read.)

But once again I find myself having to stab blindly to select just one from the marvellous offerings. Please be assured that naming a ‘winner’ is in no way intended to imply the rest of you in any way whatsoever fell short. And so ... (this is so hard) ... I nominate David’s epic ‘Here we come’ as the one a hairsbreadth in front. That said, we are all winners for being offered such a feast of reading.

Words for next week:  exception half liberate

Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd August, words and winners posted 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 you prefer.

Friday, 20 July 2018

In expectation of at least three evils


An apology. I forgot how much the reading and writing of ‘yawn’ automatically produced one, but am happy to report that not one of the stories concocted around the use of it did anything but jolt a response of one sort or another from me.

This week, I thought I’d allow myself an honourable mention or two, as well as a winner, but when it got to four ‘must includes’ I ditched the idea and, although it feels a little bizarre – and perhaps ungrateful to all you wonderful stalwarts – I’m handing the top place rosette to Unknown’s ‘Slip-Sliding Away, for the delight of the opening sentence and the solidity of the tale.

Words for next week:  cremate monkey suede

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th July, words and winners 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 July 2018

The cat sat on the mat

Halfway through my first judging read-through, I received an email from Theresa May but, too busy to read it, I deleted it. Then thought she might have liked to help, because for the love of me I could not find any sort of criteria which would help me decide on a winner. So many greedy attention-grabbing opening lines. So much vivid imagery underlining the horror therein. 

In the end I went for the one that grabbed me on first read, just a little harder than the rest: Chris Allinotte’s glass hearts. Truly, this week you all excelled yourself and I found myself tempted to hunt around for three supremely bland prompt words, but guessed you’d turn even them to nastiness.  So ...

Words for next week:  grease tautology yawn

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th July, words and winners 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.