Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Technology finally cooperates.

Oi!  As usual, I'm late because my computer seriously seems to hate loading this site.  I have no idea why.  As always, my deepest apologies.  From this point hence, if I find this happening, I will send RR my posts and have her get them up for me so we have no more delays.  I ought to have thought of that sooner!

The Tome is suffering from a serious case of indigestion and is quite grumpy with me at the moment, so I'll get right on with it.

Our winner this week is Sandra Davies with Parley:  Everything about this piece is rich and detailed.  As always, your dialogue was a pleasure to read and I am truly excited to see what happens next.  Thank you!

In second place is John Xero with Cosmic Discord (15):  A beautifully wrought piece. You've conveyed the emotions of your characters so well.  Harriet continues to inspire.  Thank you.

Our new words are:


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. Because I'm so horrifically late this week, I'm leaving the gates open until Saturday evening, July 19.  I WILL get winners and words up one way or another by Sunday evening, and we can get back on schedule from there.  Again my deepest apologies for my continuing network issues!

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.

The Gates Are Open!


  1. Thank you so much Colleen - this being the only regular prompt site I currently use I am grateful for the opportunity and aware of the huge support the other Predictioneers bring. Also somewhat awed considering how strong the rest of the pieces.
    And John - such a full piece - well deserved.
    I'll be away again between now and next week but hope to post if not comment as much as I'd like to.

  2. Congratulations Sandra and John,superb writing as always.
    The captain is broody at the moment, not sure what the next instalment will bring...

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  4. A change of focus [93]

    John Pettinger smiled at his breakfast companion, as far removed from the stereotypical decayed blowsiness of a Madam as a Calla lily from a floribunda rose.

    Faith Cherrystone, as skilled an observer of mankind as he, albeit from a different point of view, saw he was misleading her. Raising an eyebrow as elegant as the black silk shirt she wore, barely buttoned, ‘It wasn’t Hope who murdered my father? I can’t believe she’d put her hands on a bible for anything else. She needed no god but herself. So it must’ve been the sainted Charity.’

    Silently, Pettinger denied that too.

    1. I do so enjoy the Pettinger instalments, there's an air of quiet satire going on here all the time and yet, there's a real story too.

    2. I do like the characterisation; I feel I know these people so well, because of the little asides and flourishes. That takes skill. I also like the straightforward, no nonsense narrative - I've always liked this style; it reads like a full blown novel.

  5. Attendance at a burial

    Though young, Helvinsson was sufficient confident to let us travel unescorted.

    Still revelling in the aptness of his name, redolent of ruffled black menace, I questioned Ravenscar, ‘Do you fear him?’
    ‘Respect. Fear the influence of those around him.’

    The once-elegant village Helvinsson now occupied was as decayed as anywhere. An ignorant observer might not perceive it, but manoeuvring was far more evident than mourning.

    They – and I – expected me to be housed with the women but Ravenscar refused. He procured – by what currency I knew not – appropriate clothes and dressed me.

    As cracked bells ceased tolling, the trouble began.

    1. it's the quiet tension here which explodes with the last line that is so captivating!

    2. Agree with Antonia about the tension and the subtle narrative inflection. I like the last line leading the reader into the unknown.

  6. Well done Sandra and John, fine winners this week! Great writing as always.


    A casual observer to her drawn-out demise, I watched every day as the folds in her pinkness mottled and faded away as though drained by the heat of the sun. From elegant, vibrant colours that warmed the living, to the dirty grey pallor of death, she withered like the water-starved plants in my kitchen, her decay hastened by the elements.

    I left her out in my cornfield, hidden by stalks and tassels, so the stench wouldn’t drift.

    She took a while to decay; she was meatier than the last one.

    I can see the school from here; it entices me.

    1. Starts off suggesting flowers, finishes with gagging horror. Well twisted.

    2. oh yes, a brilliant twist there, cleverly done.
      Love it.

  7. The Right Tool for the Job

    His elegant fingers reached for me. Behind him, the shadow of decaying wings, a bullshit trick; earth-bound angels can’t fly. No means of escape, I suffered his touch. His resultant smile set fire to places I wish I didn’t have. When I say you shouldn’t fuck with angels, I mean it.

    “Just kill me,” I begged. “Whatever you want me to do, I’m gonna screw it up. Maybe on purpose. Your observers should’ve reported my predilections.”

    “Indeed. I hope to see you indulge them all, and then some.”


    His smile left me raw. “Because daughter, it will waken Lucifer.”

    1. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have read this with so much visceral enjoyment. But I did, and that penultimate sentence took me over the top. Wow, and thrice times wow.
      AND the title.

    2. someone else telling a full story in a few words and ending with a killer last line!
      Brilliant, Rebecca.

    3. The undercurrent builds to that final line, then the sucker punch. I especially like the power behind 'his smile left me raw'. Nice bit of writing.

  8. Vigil

    The Ensign picks up the telephone after five rings. “Sir,” he says, “it’s the Observer.”
    The Admiral holds the receiver to his ear. “Is this important?”
    “I only ever call if it is important,” says the Observer, his voice slow and elegant as continental drift. “I’ve floated around your mudball for centuries now. Give me some credit.”
    The Admiral grits his teeth. “That mudball,” he growls, “is my home, you condescending microwave.”
    “Not anymore,” says the Observer casually. “Planetary Decay has reached its final stages. If you want to say goodbye, Admiral, I suggest you turn your ship around soon.”

    1. shades of Hitch-hiker... good one, Noah!

    2. This made me smile; 'condescending microwave'. And this line, 'voice slow and elegant as a continental drift' is a marvellous simile. Lovely touches.

    3. I echo AJ's comments - that 'continental drift- is superb, and such a good size tale in so few words

  9. it's been a rough week, too much heat and not enough sleep, but I am here and so is the Captain.
    Infinity 62
    Tis passing strange, so it is, that sommat so evil in its intent – and I be asking how I know this – can be elegant in its movements but showing decay in its body. Again, how do I know this? Tis something you get from being an observer. No doubt the First Mate and others would have other words for my thoughts, like insane, beyond help, fit for nowt and sometimes I think they be right. Other times I know I be sane as the First Mate, God help us!
    I have read the ancient books. I have the answer.

    1. Intriguing indeed - added depths revealed about this Captain. Awaiting more.

  10. Ooh, I'm intrigued - the ancient books...the answer...the way that last line invites and tickles the curiosity and leaves you hanging...

  11. elegant decay

    Patrick is a patient observer. He rarely touches the corpse.

    “Lovely, isn’t it?” he asks his guest. “Such an elegant decay.”

    At 16 days in, the bloating is past. The smell, however, is still quite pungent. Flies cluster on his open eyes.

    “You’re lucky,” he says, “sharing in these intimate moments.”

    His guest mumbles inarticulately. It’s difficult to speak through a gag.

    “Till death, they say. For you, a bit beyond.”

    He chortles at the crude joke.

    Her eyes swell with tears as Patrick pulls one of her husband’s teeth loose. Soon, she will lie there.

    But not soon enough.

    1. Nasty indeed, and excellent use of the prompts.

  12. Good evening, m'dears. It's that time and my computer has actually cooperated! The gates are closed! Please feel free to continue commenting! I'll be along tomorrow with winners and words.

  13. I'm off on holiday for a few weeks folks - speak to you all again mid August. Until then, happy writing !