Saturday, 21 December 2013

'Tis the Season

For all manner of delights and a hearty dose of frights, as well! What a fantastic group of stories you gave me last week.  I admire the way everyone rises to the challenge in such myriad ways I hardly notice the given words. That makes my task challenging, as well.

The winner this week is AJ Humpage with the all too realistic Hush, Baby. Such a terrible story made all the worse by how easily it could (and does) take place.

Honorable Mention goes to Sandra Davies for the fantastic phrasing and dark anticipation in
Dish of the Day?  I am totally hooked.

The Tome has forgiven me for putting a ribbon on its spine (which it summarily shredded in a fit of pique) and gives us these words to ponder:


The usual rules apply: 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. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Because this coming week contains a holiday or two, I'm going to extend the deadline to January 2.

Go forth, be merry, and take out any holiday frustrations with irritating relatives or rude shoppers on your poor characters. I eagerly await your tales!


  1. congrats: ~AJ and Sandra! superb writing. I am running out of superlatives...
    Have a wonderful festive season, everyone, get working on these rather intriguing words and let's see what we can do to start the New Year in style!!

  2. Well done AJ - well deserved, and thanks for permission to keep playing - excellent words for next time - the Tome deserves a little treat methinks.
    Hope you and Colleen have a well-deserved rest and all good wishes to all Predictioneers.

  3. Congrats AJ & Sandra! Well deserved. :)

  4. A change of focus [68]

    ‘Why naked?’
    Divine shrugged. ‘Tried to seduce me to forgiveness...’
    ‘She failed?’
    ‘Think I’d want her after Allington’d pronged her?’
    ‘So you strung her up?’
    ‘I’d come downstairs. She called. Waited for me, then stepped off the bannister. Instant. She ever was an obstinate cow but better than I knew at knots.’
    Sirens were heard, distention and recession on the breeze.
    ‘Jack, we need to cut her down...’
    ‘We can hardly say we didn’t know the police were on their way!’
    DCI ignored DI. ‘Do it. You can surely play the grieving spouse...’
    Half-grinned compliance, ‘While attempting resuscitation?’
    ‘Of course.’

    1. tension through dialogue - again - brilliantly done. Now where is this going...

  5. No/Holding Back

    Pure instinct: my hand shot to Nate’s temple. Satisfying to see his head bounce off glass. Too obstinate to be knocked out, though.

    Second prong: magic. It slid over scars, filling bumps like trenches, red, then black. It craved free reign – I craved it - but distention leads to bursting, and the world didn’t deserve that. Neither did Nate.

    “I want credit for you still breathing.”

    His swelling eye narrowed.

    “Last time someone attempted to make me a human sacrifice, it didn’t work out well. For anyone. So, go ahead, try to convince me why this time will be different.”

    1. Started reading these in their entirety last night, on your blog, got as far as January 2013 then had to go and be sociable. So impressive, how you and Colleen keep up the tension and momentum.

    2. yes, it is sustained tension and momentum in this story, with such nastiness, both underlying and obvious, going on all the time. Wonderful read.

  6. Served right

    Six of them had met me on the road. Side-eyed acknowledged my distended belly (and that I was no longer skewered on some spurious prong of chastity).
    Burk offered shelter. Easy smile echoed by acolytes.
    Only Julian jibbed, seemingly misliking my condition.
    I’d accepted, obstinately blind to consequence.
    Until now.

    Sure of naught but the nastiness of their intentions, I’d no time to analyse. Knew only that Julian had objected.

    The shadowed, shackled, shift-eyed man still waited, full aware of my predicament. Mocking, another hushed imperative compelled me to take a further step inside. Whereupon, arms triumphantly upraised, he lunged.

    1. oh I do like this! So much going on, as usual, underneath the 100 words allowed!

  7. Hope everyone has had a good break, and Happy New year to all. Now it's back to work as usual!

    An Unexpected Guest

    His stomach had been gurgling and aching for days, ever since they returned from their river trip.

    The sticky heat of the late Indonesian afternoon clung to them.

    David watched as Jason writhed on the bed.

    Something slithered beneath Jason’s skin. ‘I don’t care what you do; just get it out of me.’

    David moved the prong towards Jason’s distended stomach. ‘You should be in hospital.’

    ‘No way. Have you seen the hospitals here?’

    David sighed against Jason’s obstinate wall.

    The parasite in Jason’s abdomen moved again, bulged.

    ‘Christ, Jase, I knew you shouldn’t have swum in that river…’

    1. pending nastiness, as it were. Tension and suspense all in this piece. Loved it

  8. This is, presumably, where you take a stick and wait ...? Nasty, in the extreme.

  9. here goes, instalment 37 from the Captain himself:
    Damn First Mate is as obstinate as they come. Been all night clinging to that wheel with a distended stomach, fit to burst so it is, caused all manner of mayhem when the doc got there, emergency operation and all. He’d d fixed some kind of prong to the wheel and just hung on. Fool.
    Now I feels bad and that ain’t good for a captain. Curses on the addle-pated fool.
    Got Second Mate on the wheel right now, the wind she be a-blowing sommat chronic fit to blow us clear out of the water. Be that vengeance from above?

    1. Sounding a mite dyspeptic himself, the Captain ... may the winds cease soon.

  10. As expected, participation was light over the holidays. Thank you all who participated and/or commented for taking a little time out to keep us going. I am closing the gates and will put up winners and new words tomorrow.