Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dog Days

End of summer is always a crazy time for me. My sons start school and the plants I've been tending all season start to give in abundance, forcing me to pick and process them and do almost nothing else. I am grateful for the good harvest and my thriving offspring, but sometimes, I wish I could have another few hours each day. Perhaps then I could get more writing done.

Luckily for me, you are all writing up a storm, and I get to enjoy your creative output. The winner this week is Sandra Davies with Lesson part-learned. This serial keeps getting stronger and more complex.

The tome has come out from under the shade of the porch to offer up these 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. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. You have until 11 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) Friday, September 5.

The Gates Are Open!.


  1. many congratulations, Sandra! I agree, it does get stronger as it goes on.
    Now to ponder the new words.

  2. Thank you Rebecca, and Antonia. And I'm somewhat shocked to realise this is episode #100 for John Pettinger, the second of which was written on 1st January 2013 (I can't find the first)

    A change of focus [100]

    DI Pettinger, who had a tendency to over-analyse and deny the simplistic explanation, ascribed his sleepless night to the coincidence of a tombstone bearing his name beside that of the Cherrystone family.

    After Forensics phoned to say the jawbone was a plastic stage-prop, the flesh pork tenderloin, he converted annoyance to activity, demanding, ‘Did you decipher the tattooed script on Edward Cherrystone’s back?’

    DC Brickwood, reluctant, ‘It’s a family tree of sorts, done biblically – plenty of ‘begats’ – but also a Pettinger. Could you be related?’

    Pettinger, thinking of recent relations with Faith grimaced. ‘Perhaps it’s time I phoned my mother.’

    1. oh yes... gets better every week and another off the wall killer last line, too!

  3. I spy

    It might have been over-simplistic – simple-minded – to say my mission was to convert reluctant approval of feeble militancy to desire but it was the truth.
    And the presence of three warriors’ widows, who’d know survival depended on acquiescence and whose skills assuredly outweighed my teenage rough-tumbles, threatened my success. They were free to walk and talk with him while the ever-hungry child confined me to the cart.
    But their tendency to flinch when Ravenscar approached spoke of repugnance; not from what he’d done but what he was: the basalt nature of his body horrified.
    Watching, I perceived mutiny was imminent.

    1. and... you've done it again, left it at a point when the mind is crying out for the rest of the story!

  4. Damned blessing

    Angel-boy couldn’t convert me with his promises of luxury and glamor. A pampered slave is still a slave, and I had enough things trying to control my life. Drugs, booze, sex: I had no qualms about doing too much, often simultaneously.

    He didn’t mind my tendency to sin – liked it, in fact – but he detailed exactly what I’d done to my body in an attempt to escape its confines. There was no simplistic suggestion of rehab from heaven’s pretty demon. Instead, he offered what I wanted most: infinite capacity to recover.

    It was a sucker deal, but I took it.

    1. Of course you did! This is told through a haze of smoke in a curtained room - very atmospheric..

    2. very much so, you can almost smell the smoke! Intrigue and sin combining into an irresistible piece, which cries out for more.

  5. Infinity 69

    There be a tendency among sea-faring folk to rely on superstition rather than faith. I be a late convert to the Christian way of doing things, the old ways seem simplistic to me but safer, be that any kind of sense? So I prayed over this creature with one part of this here old Captain’s mind and with the other concocted potions and sigils and suchlike things to bind it in every way possible. This do all take time which I can ill afford, but I cannot be having it roaming loose, not yet anyway…

    1. A solid, ruminating Captain, taking no chances and letting slip at the end that he knows more than he's letting on. You have a skill for slipping in the prompt words so they don't show.

  6. so here we are, another week done, almost, how did it get to be September?? I am desperate to get back to writing, keep finding so much else to do. Tonight it was scanning the cards I use sometimes for readings, I always attach the images to the email so they can see what I used. I have yet to reduce the size of these flower cards, I did a complete suit tonight but am too weary to do more. Tomorrow, more tomorrow...
    Talking of that, I did two readings the other night. Both people wrote to ask where the readings were, both had received them as attachments to the emails. Neither had noticed... now I know I need to spell it out ...

  7. Congratulations Sandra!

    Through Charlie’s Eyes

    His tendency to garner her approval always met with pursed lips inked deep red - her lure, when not scowling at him or ignoring his needs.

    She gazed at her mirrored reflection, added another layer of lipstick.

    Charlie sat on the bed and watched her; the urge to convert a cold heart just as strong as the simplistic need for love.

    She looked up. ‘How do I look, baby?’

    Like she always did. A whore.

    She grabbed her purse, opened the door. ‘I won’t be late. Gotta earn some money. Look after your little sister, okay?’

    Like he always did.

    1. such sadness in this story, such underlying neglect and cruelty all summed up in 100 words. Brilliant.

  8. All right m'dears, I am sadly late again but not completely out of the game. The gates are closed. I will return by 11:30 PM EST, this evening with winners and words.