Sunday, 6 October 2013

In a Hurry

*Dashes in, tosses purse on table.  Grabs up a squealing tome, places it in my lap, and begins to type*

Good evening, all!

Yep, a bit late again.  I knew there was something I should have been doing last night when I was sitting on the hood of my truck in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, staring at the moon!  My apologies.

I'll get right to it then.  Our winners this week are:

Zaiure with Plain View:  I have always loved the notion of hiding things in plain sight.  I hope you plan on doing more with this. I really want to know what's inside.  Nice use of the prompts.  Thank you.

RRKovar with In Deep:  You have given us an inkling into the things that really make Seth tweaky here, and I love it.  It seems rare that you let us peek that deeply into his psyche.  Also, I love the way you used the prompts and you gave me the perfect set up.  Thank you!

Didn't have time to make bacon this week, so the Tome has made do with a bit of leftover Chinese, and has provided new words.


The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine.

You have until 11:30 PM EST on Thursday, October 10th, to get your entries in..  Winners will be announced and new words will be posted by 11:30 PM on Friday, October 11th!

And with that...The Gates Are Open!


  1. Thanks so much Colleen! And congrats Rebecca. :) Well deserved.

    1. And to you! I was remiss when I posted my story. That's what I get for doing it on the sly at work. ;)

  2. Well chosen winners Colleen - and congratulations Zaiure and RR.

    Tao loses his anonymity

    A moment of hiatus: Drusilla halted, mob silenced, Tao frozen between the need to support the lolling girl and rescue his regrettably unreliable curio of a firearm.
    Silence swelled
    Then, movement at the rear, among the women. Men turned to see. A murmur, a parting, like the Sea of Galilee.
    A solitary, semi-twisted figure, supported by a stick.
    Silence began to ring.
    Voice clear as glass, she spoke.
    ‘The laws of inheritance were turned upside down the day you were born, Mathias. No man, having done what you have done, would have the temerity to return. And expect to survive.’

    1. Well, now here's an interesting twist! "...regrettably unreliable curio of a firearm.", is a wonderful phrase! Nice use of the prompts. Waiting with bated breath to see what happens next. Thank you, Sandra.

    2. and we wait on the next instalment... this is going so well!

    3. Oh, fantastic! I have been waiting for his reckoning. Can't wait to see what happens next.

  3. Bad Bric-a-brac

    “Any news on how much you're going to inherit?”
    “Nope.” Jennings continued speaking into the recorder. “Wound, lower abdomen, stitched with cat-gut. Cutting through.”
    “Object within the cavity. A figurine, nothing more than a curio.”
    “Why'd someone stuff that in?”
    “A world of whys and whatnots.”
    “Let me take a photo.” Carter snapped off a picture and let Google Goggles do the rest.
    “Got a hit.”
    “What?” Jennings moved closer.
    “It's a voodoo thing. Says they sew it up inside the corpse to keep it dea...”
    “Carter!” O’Neill hollered as Jennings’s assistant dashed with temerity down the hall.

    1. Hello Lee - enjoyed this very much, excellent opening (whoops, sorry, no pun intended!) sentence and great use of prompts.

    2. LOVE the title, just for starters. I really like the casual feel of the dialogue and it's very skillfully written. I hope the last bit was supposed to make me chuckle just a bit, because I did. This could stand complete as is, but I honestly hope it's the beginning of something. I want to read more! Thank you, Lee!

    3. Good to see you here, Lee!
      very nice piece, good characterisation and a sense of suspense, is there more?

    4. This is fantastic! I love the conversation, and the ending is a killer (possibly, anyway). Really well done.

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  5. Apologies - a couple of minor omissions

    A change of focus [58]

    An hour short of midday, the bottle of Dawson’s Old Curio whisky, opened that morning, was seven-eighths drunk.
    As was Cherriman, to insensibility; John Pettinger had substituted ginger ale.
    Succinctly, he explained Cherriman’s would-be temerity; described the photographs.
    ‘Your choice, Ma’am. I’ve his keys; you’ll not need a search warrant; just sufficient evidence to deport. Inheriting the so-called kingdom of Khakbethia will be sufficient punishment...’
    ‘Human Rights?’
    ‘Will hate it... all the more reason for keeping it low key.’
    ‘And you don’t want it?’
    ‘Why do you think I left?’
    ‘Why did you leave?’
    ‘And this is it?’

    1. Sandra, you are one of those people who possess the skill to write really good dialogue. I love reading the conversations in your stories and this one is no exception. I've been hooked from the beginning and I'm still excited to see where else this goes! Thank you!

    2. Thank you Colleen - if it wasn't for the enthusiastic reception I wouldn't have anywhere near so much fun writing it,OR strive so hard to entertain. What this weekly exercise has done for my writing is beyond measure, and I thank you for enabling me to continue with it.

    3. I agree with Colleen, I've said it before, and we all agree on this, your dialogue is superb!

    4. Brilliant dialogue carrying both story and characters forward. You have a real gift.

  6. Darkness, Darkness

    “Oh, this a grand gift.” The voice vibrated, directionless. “My seedling come to take root, and the lost son of my worst enemy, come to inherit daddy’s punishment.”

    I froze, partly because Nate started shooting.

    “Tsk. Such temerity, to think you can kill the one as remade you. Should be grateful, boy. I gave you something better than your fickle heart. I could take it back.”

    Nate choked, fell. The sucking sound roused me.

    I gave my magic free rein, intent being all. It slithered, flowed, roared as it found the wretched curio I sought. Vial in hand, I followed.

    1. ALWAYS a good set up! Last paragraph is gorgeous!

    2. oh yes... and so the story continues, with me wanting to know each week what happened next, no mean feat in 100 words!

    3. It was the "I froze ..." sentence that startled me, Nat at it again!! But then the free range magic ...

  7. Down, not Out

    I fired several shots, hoping the muzzle flash would help me locate the vodun. It didn’t.

    Instead, I was yanked face first to the floor amongst broken curio jars and several inches of goo. My heart was on fire. I was able to gasp in one breath. Bad idea. Slop bubbled into my mouth, and a stray finger began slowly caressing my lower lip.

    I had the temerity to laugh as I watched Seth move unerringly towards our inheritance, following his own magic. He didn’t know it yet, but we were both to gain something from this.

    If we survived.

    1. the IF leaves us dangling, but surely the indomitable duo will survive, yes? good instalment!

    2. Flash, stray finger and that final 'if' - tremendously exciting stuff, Colleen.

    3. Aw, man. You got me with the finger. So, so creepy. The best thing about writing this with you is that I never know where it's going to go. Excellent episode, as usual.

  8. Infinity 26.
    Today we sank a boatload of Somali pirates who had the temerity to accost us. Us! The Infinity! Sommat rose to the surface when they went down, some kind of mask. A crew member hoiked it on board, a curio, he called it. I call it the devil’s mask but still… he who recovers it inherits the curse, if any, it brings. I want nothing to do with it. As long as it don’t damage the Infinity, they can do as they wish. I see the shadow people nodding, first time they’ve confirmed anything I wrote. About time, methinks.

    1. I'm a bit worried that the Captain is under-reacting, not sure the shadow people are on his side! Next, please!

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    3. I don't know what I find more frightening, the mask or the shadow people becoming more active. I think the captain should watch out - but then, it's likely he always does.

  9. Hi! *waves* Inspiring words...


    I chose to inherit the meadows, filled with rotten potatoes and withered lust.

    Such temerity, but I´d had an epiphany.

    My sisters glided through their new palaces in cobweb robes and sparkling youth. I ruined my hands digging through mud.

    They lost it all to cruel princes. I dug and dug.

    On the hundred day of rain I found horseshoes and a dog´s skull.

    The first day of sun an old plough emerged.

    ”More curio!” my sisters laughed, gliding into madness now, behind their bruises.

    On the last day I found a pestle made of gold. I never looked back.


    1. I keep coming back to read this fairy tale turned on its side, so rich in detail and implied history. Like Sandra, I found "gliding into madness now, behind their bruises." so evocative and chilling.

  10. Hi Asuqi - good to see you after so long. And what a stunning piece to return with, so many gorgeous phrases of which my favourite, by just a little, is "gliding into madness now, behind their bruises"

  11. it is so so so good to see you again Asuqi! Amazing imagery in this piece, which raises so many questions as it goes on. Last day of... I love unwritten back stories, there is so much here and again as poetic as I remember your writing to be.
    Welcome back!

  12. Grats Zaiure and RR, sorry I wasn't in last week's...

    Pretty much last minute today as well...

    Key to the Door

    Sharah heard the letterbox clatter and hammered downstairs to check for cards.

    FAO: Elodie (smudged)
    23A Ridyard Avenue...

    Curious... the address was in different handwriting, the envelope mildewed, though the frank was new. She almost put it down, thinking it a previous student's mail; some temeritous notion took over and she sliced it open.

    Unfolded an official-looking letter, noticed her own name upon it.

    It has come to our attention that you may be the sole benefactor of a quite substantial inheritance...

    Stunned, she skimmed the rest, read the musty card attached:

    Test Two Will Be Harder.

    1. Oooh - very intriguing, and a cliffhanger of a final line.

    2. This is brimming with mystery and more than a hint of menace. Great detail in such a short piece. I would happily read more.

    3. and more? where does Sharah go from here? and who sent the letter? and... much more please!

  13. Miss Colleen has hied herself off to the ball, where she has promised to dance and drink as if I were there to egg her on and kiss inappropriate men whenever possible (absolute truth). Alas, I am many, many leagues away from the frolic, so it is left to me to close the gates. I shan't lock them, as she may not wish to fumble with her keys when she returns, sans one glass slipper and with a pocket full of mice, smelling slightly of pumpkin and wondering who that prince was, exactly.

    Thank you all for your excellent stories. I'm glad I don't have the choosing of the winner, as I'd be hard pressed to pick between them.

  14. Good evening all. I have been invited, without notice, to see Colin Hay in concert this evening, with a friend! I will post winners and words by 11PM tomorrow! Thanks for understanding.