Sunday, 2 November 2014

First of the season.

Good afternoon!
Here in the Northeast U.S., we are experiencing our first snowfall of the winter. It is perhaps a bit earlier than either expected or hoped for, but I am quietly thrilled. The weather folks are calling it  a "wintry mix".  That's is false.  This is snow, plain and simple. Snow complete with the hush in the air you can feel rather than hear, and the chill, metallic tang on the back of your tongue as you inhale.

It always strikes me as a time for both quiet reflection and rest, with periods of action and forward progress. The things I want to read and write take a much darker turn at this time of year, as if I don't read and write enough dark things the rest of the year! ; )  

Here at Prediction my hope is that we will continue our tradition of fantastically dark and entertaining stories. You are all so talented.  It is my honor to serve as your admin.

Now, let's get on, shall we?

This week's winner is Rich with Turning Point:  Really nice use of the prompts!  A really nice look at mob mentality from the opposite side of the coin.  Thank you!

Also in the winners circle this week is Sandra Davies with False Estimates: This piece is so richly descriptive both the physical hardship and emotion of her situation.  And again, the final line is brilliant!  Thank you!

The Tome has been sitting at my side, growling and chittering at the snow like an angry cat.  I have coaxed it away from this activity long enough to obtain 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. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine.  You have until Friday, Oct 7th., 11PM EST.  Winners and words will posted by 11PM EST on Saturday Oct 8th.

The Gates Are Open!


  1. Thank you so much Colleen - and very well done Rich - a worthy winner, but all were so strong I really don't know how you can select then. And this weeks words look to be very useful indeed!

  2. congratulations Sandra and Rich! we are getting really dark rich stories indeed in the Prediction, it's great. Snowfall, I dread the stuff, hope we continue with rain clear into January, which is what we are forecast. My spirit friends tell me we are in for another wet winter like last year. The downside is that it's grey and miserable, but at least we get to drive places...

  3. Sandra. It's is VERY difficult to choose each week. Our writers here at Prediction are all so talented, with such different styles, it makes it very hard to decide. But I love it, really.

  4. Thanks folks, and well done Sandra!


    My care worker thinks I envy those who haven't had their family ripped away from them. I don't. I hate them.

    Every happy family I pass in the street makes me foam at the mouth with insurmountable anger and loathing. How dare they carry on with their lives as if all is well in the world!

    I imagine myself retaliating. Snatching young children from pushchairs and hurling them into oncoming traffic.

    As the orchestra of anguished screams rises from horrified parents, I see myself standing there triumphant, shouting, 'You see? You see now how fragile a thing a family is?!!'

    1. The so-close possibility of this is what makes it horrifying, even though the reaction might be fleeting it is all too plausible under some circumstances.

    2. there is such incredible 'logic' behind the insanity of this MC, it's scary. Lovely piece of horror writing, Rich

    3. A really well written piece seething with anger, very 'real' in the sense of being direct and bringing such a dramatic moment across so quickly as it could occur in real life.

  5. Well this is horrifying! I actually felt a little sick reading it. Take that for the compliment it is. Seamless use of the prompts. Thank you!

  6. Danger: deep water

    Cacophony of dawn chorus and raft of river noises woke me.
    I’d headed east as Ravenscar went north; came soon to the water.
    Slept cold and nervous, knowing not how far I’d come; into who’s territory.
    Judging the river slow enough I stripped, swam and sang a verse or two to stave off hunger. Failing to convince myself I returned to the bank.
    No clothes.
    Three men: two carbon copies of the other, third a carbonised toad.
    They read my recognition that they were family to Ravenscar.
    I read orchestrated sibling envy.
    They all stepped closer.
    Toad spoke: ‘Oldest first.’

    1. Oh man. What an ending to the scene. I'm not sure I want to read what happens next...

    2. beautifully smooth dark writing. And a crushing last line.

    3. I love the description of the three men, I picture gruff missing link types. Sort of glad the story ended where it did though, not sure I'd want to know what happens lol but who knows really, perhaps she has a weapon on her still!

  7. Congrats to both Rich and Sandra, I have had a rough week and will try to jump in to leave better comments on the current stories but already they both are very dark and well written. Although it has become a bad week I thought it would be good to write something albeit quickly and return in the coming days in a better frame of mind.

    Bright blue eyes and golden waves of hair, she was the envy of her friends and nothing less than a precious gem to her family; she could do no wrong, not that she did. Angels would have trouble being this pure in spirit.

    The combined sounds of birds chirping, insects buzzing and animals neighing, barking and squealing was carried by the wind through the air to form an orchestra of natural beauty almost enough to mirror her own; but now the flies were multiplying adding that unmistakable drone to the forests music where her body had lain undiscovered for weeks.

    1. Gruesome indeed, Rob, setting us up and then blowing it all away in a cloud of droning flies - such a good word to use instead of the ubiquitous buzz.
      Hope your week gets better as it goes on.

    2. Another powerful piece Rob - with some great imagery, and a nasty sucker punch of an ending.

    3. clever one, so natural, so charming and then so damningly horrific. Good one, Rob!

  8. A change of focus [107]

    ‘Connections between Pettingers and Cherrystones? A great-aunt – your Dad’s grandmother’s sister – married into the Cherrystone family.’
    ‘And Dad?’
    ‘No sins at all. Sin all theirs.’
    ‘The Cherrystones?’
    ‘Yes. Skipped a generation – Edward was a lawless renegade but never evil. His father, Satan personified. Edward thought by having daughters he’d be safe: obviously not.’
    ‘But why tattoo Pettinger on Edward’s back, and scalpel it on Faith’s?’
    His mother frowned. ‘I hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but...’
    ‘But there’s another branch... low-key low-life. The absolute pits – and I don’t mean those that house orchestras!’
    ‘And their name?’
    Vanessa’s name!

    [For those new to this story, Vanessa is Pettinger's eccentric and randy boss. Apologies, this one was a pig to put together!]

    1. The more I read of this story the more I get sucked in - really enjoying the experience of seeing it unfolding. And you manage to get so much into your 100 words !

    2. Dammit Colleen - you're right - no envy - how annoying because I could easily have fitted it in somewhere :(

    3. despite the loss of one prompt, (who's counting? not me!) this is another lovely instalment, it gets murkier as it goes!

  9. I have been without internet access for two evenings (needed a new router!) and so I haven't been aoble to get to you! I am going out in half an hour, so will be back with comments tomorrow eve instead. Meantime...
    Infinity 76.
    Well, that was orchestrated well, no doubt! Crew said, where be these people to sleep, I said one can go in that there hold, the others can bunk down with the crew. They be one family cast adrift when their boat went down. Their bad luck. I chose the young man. I said, the entry to your place be there and took the others to the crew’s quarters, then heaved sommat overboard and said naught. When he didn’t come back… they said he must have fell over the side… I know I heard the Creature laugh.
    Tis done. This time.

    1. Dark stuff. Can't wait to see where this is going to go.

    2. Sandra, I love this, but...I've read it three times and you seem to be missing the prompt "envy". I've only just noticed it and I do apologize for not seeing it sooner.

    3. He sends the man off without a pause, it's amusing to see his change in behaviour from when he was so worried about his men previously compared to strangers.

  10. Definitely a still waters run deep chap this Captain. Loved the 'orchestrated' but what a nasty turn he's taken, and so convincingly.

  11. Aieeeee! My network hated me last night. However, I am here now to close up shop. As my network seems to be cooperating again, I will return this evening with your winners and words! Please feel free to continue commenting as you wish and thank you all for playing! The Gates Are Closed.

  12. OK! Now that my network is cooperating again! It is 8:52 AM EST and I am working on winners and words RIGHT NOW! Stay tuned!