Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Old Switcheroo!

P.S.A:  Good afternoon, loves.

RR and I have decided to try something new with admin for our lovely little playground.  We will take alternate weeks doing winners and words.  I will be choosing winners and words this week, also allowing RR to be in the running for accolades, as she will not be choosing words.  Next week, she'll wear the admin hat, so that I can play for accolades, and so on...

I'm honestly surprised it took us so long to hit on this! I fear the poor Tome may weary of the travelling.  But it's a tough little bugger.  I'm sure it will be fine.  And so, off we go!

As always, your amazing talent has made it very difficult to choose.  There was such diversity in your stories this week!

This weeks winner is Sandra Davies with Looking To The Future:  This sort of choice is one of the most horrific things to read and Sandra, you did it brilliantly.  Thank you.

Second place goes to Olivia Arieti with Kitchen Utensils:   Lovely use of the prompts here and so good to see a new face, as it were!  The almost casual tone to the inner monologue is both amusing and horrible.  These are both very good things.  Thank you!

Many thanks to all of you for your amazing work!  It's such an honor to be here with you.

And with that the Tome is ready to bring forth new words!


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. You have until Friday evening.

Happy writing, m'dears!


  1. Congratulations, Sandra and Olivia! Brava, ladies!

    I've an extremely busy week... not sure I'll have anything, although... those words... parasite, in particular....

  2. I am so thrilled and honoured! Thank you.
    Congratulations, Sandra, wonderful lines.

  3. congratulations to you both! Olivia, special congratulations, I can't remember how long now I have been telling you your writing is good!!! (I accept Olivia's stories for my anthologies...)
    Good words. Will mull over them tonight and tomorrow and then - see what the Captain has to add to his Journal.

  4. Sorry - late to thank you for this - especially welcome considering the very high standard last week - and well done Olivia too. Hope to get time to make something of these enticing words soon.

  5. A change of focus [74]

    DS Mildred Jones arrived early Left late. Inveigled herself, a bead-eyed blackbird, scavenging for sins of commission, alongside every conversation. Perched, parasite, atop the nearest desk for every briefing. Dogged heels and wheels each time they ventured from the station in pursuit of useful villains they intended to interrogate.
    Drove them mad.
    DCI and DI met incognito at a pub, whose gallery of ne’er-do-wells camouflaged their muttered tête-à-tête.
    ‘John, that dodgy couple... Gunita... Goren...’
    His eyes lit up. ‘They’d tie her in knots... you have them?’
    ‘Know where they are.’
    ‘They’re misbehaving?’
    ‘I’ll ask her to find out. Saturday night.’

    1. Absolutely love the descriptions in that first paragraph, you've excelled yourself there, Sandra. =)

    2. I LOVE this! In spite of the seriousness of the situation, there's a sort of fun, conspiratorial feeling here that made me giggle. Great use of the prompts! Thank you, Sandra.

    3. Great description of Mildred, really liked "the bead-eyed blackbird, scavenging for sins" and the dialogue flows so smoothly!

    4. What a delightfully devious pair! That first paragraph was superb for both setting the scene and establishing Mildred's irritating presence.

  6. All’s fair?

    Despite the night chill, beads of sweat trickled between my breasts.
    Dismissive, he inclined his head. ‘The father?’
    He waited, wanting more.
    ‘...None of them.’
    And waited.
    ‘...No-one of account.’
    ‘Drunk ...and needing.’ Honesty ever was my undoing; the immediate clenching of the massive fist around my upper arm told me I had erred.
    ‘So child not wanted?’
    Defensive, regrettably also petulant: ‘It’s still a child. And why destroy?’
    ‘A baby?’
    No longer listening.
    Watching the approach of a shooting-gallery of would-be sheriffs.
    Even at six to one I knew them to be doomed, unsuspecting sitting ducks.

    1. Oh, the twists and turns of this on a weekly basis. The 'brute' is so pleasingly (if scarily) complex.

    2. I knew "drunk...and needing", was the wrong thing to say. This just get better and better.

    3. It seems no matter what she says, she digs herself deeper. I don't mind if the rogues responsible for at least one of her plights fall at the hand of the creature, but I do worry for her.

  7. 74 instalments and still the tension builds...

  8. this is sooooo good, so much going on in those terse sharp sentences. Love it.

  9. (alpha)

    "Listen," Adam started, "that wasn't–"

    Thom raised his hand, "I know. Don't worry about it."

    The parasite-ridden corpse saw the opportunity and bucked, making Thom quickly grab its ankles again. It twisted its head, hissed, and glared at them with a dark beady eye.

    A hundred questions rolled through Adam's mind. He'd never met another super face to face, but in the end he said nothing, and the silence stretched into awkwardness.

    The military helicopters approached languidly, like fat whirring beetles.

    "So, uh," Thom eventually said, "How do you think they'll get him to pose for the rogues' gallery?"

    1. Fantastic reading! Have to agree with the rest, love the helocopters! Nice use of the prompts.

    2. You capture the awkward start of a friendship beautifully. The last line made me grin.

  10. I'm sure I've said it before - it's the best word to define this series - but 'laconic' beautifully underlies and punctuates this piece. And as ever you've apparently effortlessly created such vivid characters. Love the helicopters.

    1. yes, laconic is the perfect word for this, I just love the dialogue here and the way the characters come alive in each instalment.

  11. Infinity
    From the stern to the prow there is a gallery of hard blank faces. I do be wondering what parasite attacked my crew and why they did not see or sense them. Are they so … foolish captain, of course they did not. Would I sail with intelligent men? Of course not. I ask no more than orders be obeyed without question.
    This night I took a bead, strung it on fine twine and asked the question of the pendulum, will I survive this journey?
    Be damned if it did not go to ‘possible’ – not an answer.
    I despair.

    1. Such seamlessly-placed prompts, and the Captain had got his confidence back again, until that blessed pendulum swung.

    2. 'possible'... Ha!

      If something has possessed the crew then maybe the shadows will have to start pulling their weight or lose their precious captain... This series continues to take interesting turns.

    3. Love the image of the bead and the pendulum. The pendulum always strikes more than time...

    4. I agree with Olivia. The bead and the pendulum is brilliant!

    5. The captain seems hoist by his own petard, his paranoia causing him to choose less intelligent crew come back now to bite him. Seeking guidance and finding none must feel like a kick in the teeth. Great installment.

  12. Last Stand

    The Houngan howled. Spirits sporting wounds that laid them low raced toward us, a gallery of suffering turned to hate and madness. Unmarred women, all Black, all in white, encircled him, suffocating my flames.

    Spells pouring from inexpert lips slowed vengeful phantoms for precious seconds, but all knew I would shortly fail. Beads of sweat joined rain in an attempt to render me blind, subtle redirection from better-skilled opponent.

    Ghosts reached out, desperate parasites seeking to be housed in a living body, even for a moment. A young boy won the race, touched me, cold. Magic stuttered and was still.

    1. That last sentence is a desperately worrying place to be left! Creative and chilling instalment.

  13. I am left with a cold and uncomfortable feeling about this. Cold-sweating myself lest Seth has reached his end.
    Magnificent writing Rebecca.

    1. everything being said in a few words, and the longing to know more, read more, is there.

  14. The Final Countdown

    Marie Laveau appeared as Seth’s magic petered out. She held a bead, large, red/black and pulsing. It shot from her hand to hit the houngan in the chest. He screamed as it rooted into him like a parasite.

    “You dare take da power I give you and use for it for dis? For petty revenge? And you call me whore? I …made …you.”

    Everything slowed then, like viewing interactive performance art in some bugfuck mad gallery.

    She never took her eyes from her son, but she spoke only to me.

    “You are both out of time. Do it now, boy.”

    1. Oh dear ... there's a bell tolling in the background here. Excellently-wrought and wrung out tension.

  15. The gates are closed, a wee bit late. I found myself too often in the snow this week. Winners and words up tomorrow.