Monday, 21 July 2014

Head full of angry bees

Despite being sober a vast majority of the time, I routinely wake up on Sundays with dreadful headaches. Perhaps I should start drinking. If it does not prevent the headaches, at least it will give me a good reason for them.

The winning stories this week are chock full of pure horror. First place goes to dex for elegant decay. The tension was superb and the payoff beyond frightening. That story barely edged out Token by AJ Humpage. The last line nearly did me in.

My being indisposed most of the day has put the tome's snout out of joint. It has spat out these words and gone off in a huff:


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. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. You have until 10 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) Friday, July 25.

Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.


  1. congratulations Dex and AJ! superb writing.
    Hope Rich has a good holiday...
    The words this week seem designed for the Captain, we will work on it soon, heat wave permitting.

  2. Congratulations to dex and to AJ. I'm in Tennessee this week - a writing retreat - where the heat is of a different ilk, bears come onto the deck to pinch the green tomatoes and the distractions many. Nevertheless here's my first post:

    Day of waiting

    Ravenscar seemed unperturbed, invincibility effortlessly upheld. When summoned he bade me to stay behind. Hours passed. I wandered, ignored by all. Found what I assumed to be the meeting place, beyond which an unsuspected harbour, a departing boat.
    In the prow Ravenscar, tight-packed by sentries, faces stone-carved dour.
    With what degree of willingness had he abandoned me?
    The child slung round my shoulders woke, began to whimper, wanting fed. I no sooner settled than a shadow fell across me, blotting out the sun,

    1. you certainly are the master of the cliff hanger and devastating last lines!
      Hope you're enjoying the writing retreat, lucky you!

  3. Change of focus #??

    ‘You’re saying neither sister murdered Pa?’ Faith demanded as Pettinger abandoned the breakfast table, taking cups and dishes to the sink.
    ‘Possibly,’ frown indicating he harboured doubts. ‘Which of them eviscerated bibles and then inserted birds?’
    ‘Oh - we all did that! Not bibles and not always birds. We used the Encyclopaedia Britannica, trying to match animal to letter. Charity must’ve upheld the tradition.’ She stood, ‘I must go.’
    ‘Just tell me, who got to do the zebra?’
    Laughing, she went upstairs, leaving Pettinger pondering on the possibility of a three-way split of guilt.

    1. oh my, such nastiness going on here... and Pettinger with something to think about...

  4. Well done on winning, dex.

    Lines in the Sand

    ‘Die you bastard!’

    Waves prickled against the early evening breeze as the crowd watched from the harbour. Voices rippled from one end to the other.

    The fading light dappled Mickey Johnston’s frightened, pale and bloodied face as he slipped beneath the surface, weighted by concrete. Fraught air bubbles swollen with silent screams drifted through the water.

    A decision, upheld by a closed community, had cast 19 year old Mickey to the murky depths. Abandoned to fate.

    Jim Murphy watched Mickey sink. ‘Payback, for what your Daddy did to my girl.’ He wiped the blood from his hands. ‘Now we’ve even.’

    1. Bum! Spot the deliberate error. 'Now we've even' should be 'Now we're even'. Oopsie. I blame the extreme heat and exhaustion ;)

    2. oh the fraught air bubbles swollen with silent screams... wow!

  5. Infinity 63.
    On my orders we bypassed the safe harbor on the ‘deserted’ island for the books told me different. It might look abandoned but thems as lives there don’t need homes.The books told me many things. I cast the sticks like always and read the sigils and signs. And we did not berth at that enticing harbor. And I hear the muttering even through my closed cabin door. Fools. I done saved them from certain death. I cannot sail the Infinity alone… not that they need to know that be the sole reason they still live, despite their mrmurerings.

    1. Subtle menace here, and subtle hints of the Captain's power.

  6. All right everyone. The gates are closed. See you tomorrow with winners and words. As always, please feel free to continue leaving comments! Thanks so much for playing this week!