Friday, 7 December 2018

Shock horror! (sort of)

It did come as a bit of a shock to be reminded this time last year I was bed-bound and barely able to walk, thanks to some vicious South African infection. No less of a one was that seven weeks later I walked eleven rough-country miles, although not by choice! This week, I found making a choice from a shortlist of six almost as difficult, not least because I cannot find anything in the way of common qualities to use as criteria.

So what I did was ... throw a dice. And the dice selected, from my list of six equally-merited pieces, Terrie’s 33rd instalment of the SAS Diaries. The other five were David W’s ‘AGAIN’, David T’s ‘Ticks and Crosses’, Bill’s ‘Lips’ and either Patricia’s ‘Things that go bump in the night ’ or ‘Can do’, but I thank you for all of them.

Words for next week: contagion graft mercy
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 13th, words and winners posted Friday 14th December
  
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 November 2018

Power of poetry


The most recent post in my blog (lines of communication at the top of ‘Other places we like’) refers to a poetry anthology, and specifically to Vicki Feaver. This past week I have been working my way through her ‘The Taste of Blood‘, and time and time again I find myself compelled to read and re-read just for the sparsity of her word use and the visceral kick so many of them give.

David W’s desire to paint with spare strokes echoes this – it is something Prediction certainly helps me achieve – so for that desire, and the gruesomeness of his untitled piece, I  declare him this week’s winner

Words for next week: extraneous indelible wean

Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 6th Words and Winners posted Friday 7th December
  
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 November 2018

Jiggety-jig


Home again - and very sincere thanks to Patricia for a superbly efficient and inspirational manning of the fort while I was away. I’m relieved that my  ‘insurance’ of arranging cover worked insofar as there were no hiccups, transport, health or bike-wise and we had an absolutely brilliant and worry-free month away. Full-on too so I had very little time to read posts in the intervening weeks but have had a high- speed read of this week’s entries and been able – eventually – to pick a winner. Wonderful to re-enter the worlds each of you create – Terrie’s SAS diaries a particular delight – and to see the breadth of creativity and imagination each of you bring – David T’s ‘War of the Farmlands’ notably so – but it was Jerry’s creation of a larger world of potential that eventually won the top spot.

Words for next week: bristle eligible seethe

Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 29th Words and Winners posted Friday 30th November
  
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 November 2018

Welcome Home, Cobber


This may or may not be my last week at The Prediction's helm. Sandra is due back on November 21st but wasn't sure she'd be ready to assume the reins once more immediately. So it is possible that our leader will not be overseeing the domain until the following week (or thereabouts). I hope I've done a reasonable job of keeping the place afloat. My admiration for Sandra's efforts have done nothing but increase with every week that has passed. It's been fun...but I'm deliriously delighted to relinquish my power.

This week, I will not be listing those tales that were in the running for top spot. To do so would be to include every submission put forward. Indeed, this past week was an incredible array of top notch stories and I believe everyone excelled. That being said, I'm sure each of you realize then how difficult it was to select a winner. My choice is in recognition of the ability this writer constantly displays in making what could be the mundane into a delightful slice of day-to-day life in a little shop found on an island located in the English Channel. Congratulations to Antonia for Episode 22 of "Stop The World, I Want To Get Off," but the well-deserved accolade is really in appreciation of this captivating serialization in its entirety thus far.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Stunning  Maid  Quaint
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 22nd November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 23rd November
  
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 November 2018

From Across The Pond


It may or may not be generally known that I originally hail from good old London Towne (and remain a staunch British Citizen). Something that has never failed to surprise me is the success British programming usually garners in the United States. For instance, that Americans even "get" the unique humour that is the Pythons will always escape me and yet, they gained virtual rock star status...and, don't get me wrong, deservedly so. It seems that a British staple known as "Coronation Street" aired its first episode this week in 1960 (on December 7th) and is still going strong. "Corrie" also has a tremendous following this side of the pond. I missed decades of episodes over the years and only recently began to rewatch the world's longest running television soap opera. I caught up in no time and it was as though I'd never missed a beat. Of course, all of this has absolutely nothing to do with this forum or the selection of this week's winner but as I've already pointed out, I am full of such useless information!

And now, for something completely different, the true purpose of this post...declaration of this week's cream of the crop. I would like to say that this does not get any easier. In the end, however, it came down to a duo of really close contenders. And so....top honour to jdeegan for "CONSCRIPTION," a true out-of-the-box entry, with John's "Jailhouse Rock" just pipped at the post, for an insightful glimpse into how even the most famous with all their benefits can find themselves in a place of confinement that brings sadness and longing.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Perfume  Flicker  Year
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 15th November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 16th November
  
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 November 2018

The Envelope Please



The clocks go back this weekend...here in the United States anyway. I believe the rest of the world still has another week or so to go. It is a little known fact that the world's first Daylight Saving Time period occurred on July 1, 1908, when a few hundred Canadians (residents of Port Arthur, Ontario) turned their clocks forward by one hour. I'm full of such useless information.

And now, I imagine we all realize just how difficult it is for Sandra to choose a winner every week. The talent and range of imagination to be found here is a virtual treasure trove. We certainly have a fine crop of creativity and no mistake. However, what we've all been waiting for...INSERT DRUM ROLL.... taking this week's top of the podium by popular vote is David's "To See A Fine Lady" (one of my personal favourites). Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Prisoner  Foreign  Scrap
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 8th November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 9th November
  
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 October 2018

The Polls Are Open


Magnificent array of stories, as always. I am beginning to appreciate more and more, the dilemma Sandra must face every week. Glad this is only a temporary position! I have decided to make this week's voting an open project. Please choose your favourite tale before the entry deadline given below, post it to the forum (no need to specify why it was chosen, a simple "LOVED IT" will suffice) and I will tally the votes to be announced the next day (Friday). Sandra has done this once or twice and I think it's always nice to have a say in who makes the honor roll every now and again. In the event of a tie, I will exercise my supreme and unchallenged authority to declare the name of Top Dog.

As for this week's winners, the "COLD" collaboration between Jerry and David once again featured in the running, as did Terrie's "Back Into The Light" (Entry 26 of the "SAS Diaries"). How those 'dillos do capture our imagination every week. But, it was the beauty of language featured in Zaiure's "Tosca" (Part 7 of "Glimmer") that nosed ahead. Ye Gods, this was a difficult decision. So happy I'm off the hook next week!
 Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Loop  Blister  Prophesy
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 1st November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 2nd November
  
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 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.