Friday, 7 December 2018

Shock horror! (sort of)

It did come as a bit of a shock to be reminded this time last year I was bed-bound and barely able to walk, thanks to some vicious South African infection. No less of a one was that seven weeks later I walked eleven rough-country miles, although not by choice! This week, I found making a choice from a shortlist of six almost as difficult, not least because I cannot find anything in the way of common qualities to use as criteria.

So what I did was ... throw a dice. And the dice selected, from my list of six equally-merited pieces, Terrie’s 33rd instalment of the SAS Diaries. The other five were David W’s ‘AGAIN’, David T’s ‘Ticks and Crosses’, Bill’s ‘Lips’ and either Patricia’s ‘Things that go bump in the night ’ or ‘Can do’, but I thank you for all of them.

Words for next week: contagion graft mercy
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 13th, words and winners posted Friday 14th December
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.


Friday, 30 November 2018

Power of poetry


The most recent post in my blog (lines of communication at the top of ‘Other places we like’) refers to a poetry anthology, and specifically to Vicki Feaver. This past week I have been working my way through her ‘The Taste of Blood‘, and time and time again I find myself compelled to read and re-read just for the sparsity of her word use and the visceral kick so many of them give.

David W’s desire to paint with spare strokes echoes this – it is something Prediction certainly helps me achieve – so for that desire, and the gruesomeness of his untitled piece, I  declare him this week’s winner

Words for next week: extraneous indelible wean

Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 6th Words and Winners posted Friday 7th December
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Jiggety-jig


Home again - and very sincere thanks to Patricia for a superbly efficient and inspirational manning of the fort while I was away. I’m relieved that my  ‘insurance’ of arranging cover worked insofar as there were no hiccups, transport, health or bike-wise and we had an absolutely brilliant and worry-free month away. Full-on too so I had very little time to read posts in the intervening weeks but have had a high- speed read of this week’s entries and been able – eventually – to pick a winner. Wonderful to re-enter the worlds each of you create – Terrie’s SAS diaries a particular delight – and to see the breadth of creativity and imagination each of you bring – David T’s ‘War of the Farmlands’ notably so – but it was Jerry’s creation of a larger world of potential that eventually won the top spot.

Words for next week: bristle eligible seethe

Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 29th Words and Winners posted Friday 30th November
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Welcome Home, Cobber


This may or may not be my last week at The Prediction's helm. Sandra is due back on November 21st but wasn't sure she'd be ready to assume the reins once more immediately. So it is possible that our leader will not be overseeing the domain until the following week (or thereabouts). I hope I've done a reasonable job of keeping the place afloat. My admiration for Sandra's efforts have done nothing but increase with every week that has passed. It's been fun...but I'm deliriously delighted to relinquish my power.

This week, I will not be listing those tales that were in the running for top spot. To do so would be to include every submission put forward. Indeed, this past week was an incredible array of top notch stories and I believe everyone excelled. That being said, I'm sure each of you realize then how difficult it was to select a winner. My choice is in recognition of the ability this writer constantly displays in making what could be the mundane into a delightful slice of day-to-day life in a little shop found on an island located in the English Channel. Congratulations to Antonia for Episode 22 of "Stop The World, I Want To Get Off," but the well-deserved accolade is really in appreciation of this captivating serialization in its entirety thus far.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Stunning  Maid  Quaint
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 22nd November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 23rd November
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 9 November 2018

From Across The Pond


It may or may not be generally known that I originally hail from good old London Towne (and remain a staunch British Citizen). Something that has never failed to surprise me is the success British programming usually garners in the United States. For instance, that Americans even "get" the unique humour that is the Pythons will always escape me and yet, they gained virtual rock star status...and, don't get me wrong, deservedly so. It seems that a British staple known as "Coronation Street" aired its first episode this week in 1960 (on December 7th) and is still going strong. "Corrie" also has a tremendous following this side of the pond. I missed decades of episodes over the years and only recently began to rewatch the world's longest running television soap opera. I caught up in no time and it was as though I'd never missed a beat. Of course, all of this has absolutely nothing to do with this forum or the selection of this week's winner but as I've already pointed out, I am full of such useless information!

And now, for something completely different, the true purpose of this post...declaration of this week's cream of the crop. I would like to say that this does not get any easier. In the end, however, it came down to a duo of really close contenders. And so....top honour to jdeegan for "CONSCRIPTION," a true out-of-the-box entry, with John's "Jailhouse Rock" just pipped at the post, for an insightful glimpse into how even the most famous with all their benefits can find themselves in a place of confinement that brings sadness and longing.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Perfume  Flicker  Year
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 15th November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 16th November
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 2 November 2018

The Envelope Please



The clocks go back this weekend...here in the United States anyway. I believe the rest of the world still has another week or so to go. It is a little known fact that the world's first Daylight Saving Time period occurred on July 1, 1908, when a few hundred Canadians (residents of Port Arthur, Ontario) turned their clocks forward by one hour. I'm full of such useless information.

And now, I imagine we all realize just how difficult it is for Sandra to choose a winner every week. The talent and range of imagination to be found here is a virtual treasure trove. We certainly have a fine crop of creativity and no mistake. However, what we've all been waiting for...INSERT DRUM ROLL.... taking this week's top of the podium by popular vote is David's "To See A Fine Lady" (one of my personal favourites). Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Prisoner  Foreign  Scrap
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 8th November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 9th November
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 26 October 2018

The Polls Are Open


Magnificent array of stories, as always. I am beginning to appreciate more and more, the dilemma Sandra must face every week. Glad this is only a temporary position! I have decided to make this week's voting an open project. Please choose your favourite tale before the entry deadline given below, post it to the forum (no need to specify why it was chosen, a simple "LOVED IT" will suffice) and I will tally the votes to be announced the next day (Friday). Sandra has done this once or twice and I think it's always nice to have a say in who makes the honor roll every now and again. In the event of a tie, I will exercise my supreme and unchallenged authority to declare the name of Top Dog.

As for this week's winners, the "COLD" collaboration between Jerry and David once again featured in the running, as did Terrie's "Back Into The Light" (Entry 26 of the "SAS Diaries"). How those 'dillos do capture our imagination every week. But, it was the beauty of language featured in Zaiure's "Tosca" (Part 7 of "Glimmer") that nosed ahead. Ye Gods, this was a difficult decision. So happy I'm off the hook next week!
 Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
Loop  Blister  Prophesy
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 1st November
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 2nd November
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.


Friday, 19 October 2018

Stepping Into The Breach


And so, while Sandra is on walkabout, I have been appointed (for good or for worse) as her substitute....her stand-in...her understudy. I must admit, the thought of choosing a winner among the magnificent entries that are submitted week after week is both exciting and intimidating. Let's hope the power doesn't go to my head! I consulted with the random word generator oracle to come up with this week's prompts and will probably continue to do so during the course of my brief reign. I would like to bookmark a week while Sandra is gone where everyone gets a chance to vote for their favourite tale. It's always nice to have a say in who will clamber to the top of the podium and it takes some of the pressure off me, which can only be a good thing, right? Thoughts on that?

Anyway, now to the task over which I have been given jurisdiction...selection of this week's winner. As always, I do not envy Sandra the job of doing this every time. The decision is always difficult I'm sure and this week was certainly no exception. That having been said, the double offering provided by RJ ("Cold") and David W's continuation was nothing short of inspirational. Easy to see that they have worked together on this type of tale before and John's "Narrow Minds" with its imaginative and brilliant interpretation of the prompts (to say nothing of that trademark sense of humour) was a definite front runner. However, I cannot pass up this opportunity to award top honours this week to Sandra for "Considering The Nature Of An Ambush" and its ever-fascinating characterization of Raven, an episode made even more incredible by the fact that it is the 224th installment of the "Threshold" serialization.

Words for next week (selected via a random word generator):
trick  inhale  sadden
 
Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th October
Words and Winners posted by Noon (GMT) Friday 26th

If the formatting or presentation of this post appears to be out of whack, please bear with me. I am a inept novice when it comes to Blogger and still striving to master the intricacies of appearance.

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.
  

Friday, 12 October 2018

Surpassed and surprised again!


Despite last week’s horrible words – unfortunate rather than deliberate, I promise you (and they caused me a lot of trouble) – you all came up with as much top quality entertainment as ever, for which I sincerely thank you - I did fear I might have driven you all away. Rest assured, Patricia has been carefully schooled in the art of choosing words apt and challenging while I’m on holiday in Australia, a couple of weeks of which will be spent riding pillion on a 45 year-old BSA, far too rattley to risk taking my Chromebook on.

Such was the length of my short-list this week that I resorted to possibly unethical methods to reduce it, and ruled out the three who featured last week, which let me put David W’s epic ‘When we die in dreams’ in second place and  name Patricia as winner for ‘Opposites Attract’, a stunning example of her ability to pull the rug from under my feet.

Words for next week: queer  north  rowan

Entries by midnight* Thursday 18th October, words and winners posted Friday 19th
*GMT or Patricia’s preference
  
Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.


Friday, 5 October 2018

Temporarily times will be a’changing


I’m well aware I’m repeating myself, but truly the ever-rising standards of each week’s offerings both excite me and give me  a colossal headache  trying to pick what must, by custom , be labelled ‘winner’. I trust you all realise that if you are not named it means you are likely little more than a whisker away from being so. At least this week, there were suggestions from some of you as to which ought to win, and since I agree, I’m declaring David T’s ‘South of the Border, Down Mexico Way’ this week’s number one but would also honourably mention Zaiure’s  ‘Hammer & Seal [4] and newcomer Timewalkerauthor for ‘At the Edge’.

Next week will be the last week I have this problem for a bit, but I’m delighted and relieved that Patricia has agreed to step into the breach from 18th October until ~22nd November, and will be hosting, posting words and picking  winners.

Words for next week: cauterise miracle Tosca

Entries by midnight Thursday 11th October, words and winners posted Friday 12th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Dumb and insolent

What a frustrating week - the southerly wind blowing little but irritation as I scampered hither and thither trying to discover why no comments. The solution eventually coming from younger son who said ‘That’s usually an HTML problem’ and since what I’d posted  seemed to be causing the blockage, I took them down and hey presto, comments appeared again. No idea what I did wrong, because warnings of HTML usually flash red and will not be ignored. 

However, little doubt in my mind as to this week’s winner: J E Deegan’s ‘Thumbs down’ really hit the spot for me, so no doubts about awarding that one top prize.


Words for next week: border, malevolent, zeal

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th October, words and winners posted Friday 5th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Blow the wind southerly

There’s something horribly humourless about the colour of the sky today, the featureless greenish white of a well-used handkerchief. Which has me appreciating more than ever the colourful and vivid imagery presented for our delectation and delight this week. Re someone else doing the judging - more of that in a couple of weeks.

For reasons I haven’t fathomed (unlike the rest of my family I lack the analytical gene) so cannot say exactly why R J Wayne’s ‘The Guardians‘1.2  had such a strong impact, but it went into the number 1 spot early on and stayed there; David T's 'Daddy's Home' came a close second.

Words for next week: deadlock intercept maiden

Entries by midnight Thursday 27th September, words and winners posted Friday 28th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 14 September 2018

The Eroded steps ...


Title of an exquisite book of poetry, essays, photographs and drawings based upon a Halifax carpet factory, just this evening rediscovered on my bookshelf and worthy both of re-reading  and referencing  here, where so many of the week’s offerings, as ever, merit several reads, operating, as they do on several levels.

Before I pick a winner (Procrastinating? Moi?) I also thank you for the lovely comments on my two pieces this week, especially heartening because I felt they both felt short and am glad they were not perceived so; they equal the pleasure of winning, for me.

And so ... (no, Sandra, you cannot have four winners!) ...  although David T’s ‘He took her so fast the doorknob was still in her hand' really set my heart beating, and Terrie’s hiccups were such a delight, I choose Patricia’s ‘Now I lay me down ...’ for its all-encompassing potential for nightmare.

Words for next week: brim  cloister  valid

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th September, words and winners posted Friday 21st

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Help me make it through the night


Two phrases this week impressed me with a particularly well-executed horror, exquisitely evoked. The sort that leaves me hoping I sleep sound through the night, and especially between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3, which is when the blackest of ideas return to haunt me. And so, another week with dual winners: Terrie for ‘delicately, and slowly, butchered flesh from bone.’ in Demon-food and David, whose ENFANT, contained ‘screaming until they had no voices’. 

Thank you all for another week of taking innocent words and corrupting them beyond imagination.

Words for next week: deliver guardian knob

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th September, words and winners posted Friday 14th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 31 August 2018

“Pleasure after all is a safer guide than either right or duty”


And following Samuel Butler’s claim, albeit out of step, given this is supposed to be a site of horror and noir, this week I’ve chosen two stories purely because they made me smile with sheer pleasure:  John’s fantastically-titled ‘Mishmash and Hodgepodge and a slight bit of Gobbledygook’ and Rosie’s ‘Well Then’, the 144th  instalment of ‘The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess’ – a consistently delightful serial which never fails to entertain.

As, obviously, do you all, for which I thank you.                                                                                                                                                                                           
Words for next week: buckle  diagnose  parish

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th September, words and winners posted Friday 7th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 24 August 2018

The fathoming (or otherwise) of fables


I struggled so much over this week’s three prompt words, and have been so busy elsewhere, responding to beta readers’ brilliant assistance with a seventh-version novel, that it was both surprise and relief to discover already 56 comments when I finally found time to return to Prediction.

Should have known though, rather than let me down. you contrived to hitch the standard up another few rungs, and I confess I’ve had to pick a trio of you, being unable to pitch one even a smidgeon higher than the other. So congratulations to David W for ‘Does she know', to ZoĆ«, for ‘Edda’ and to David T for ‘Road to Shenandoah’, and especial thanks, as ever, to all who found time to comment.

Words for next week: cast  racecourse  wraith

Entries by midnight Thursday 30th August, words and winners posted Friday 31st

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 17 August 2018

August and the mornings grow dark again


At least I’m not awake and waiting for it to be four o’clock before allowing myself to get out of bed. Not that last week’s tales wouldn’t have been worth it – as rich a bunch as one could hope to wish for. (Given the inclusion of ‘unborn’ I was not surprised. Nor disappointed.)

As usual a struggle to pick a winner and I feel obliged to stress that, as ever, it is a subjective, but for me there was something very special in R J Wayne’s hauntingly visual ‘Dust’

Words for next week: allegory trust vulgar

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd August, words and winners posted Friday 24th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Pricking of more than thumbs


A somewhat uncomfortable week, seeing what each of you managed to do with a cactus and some gin! 
Even being ultra-picky this week my short-list went out of control again, but for once two tales by the same author kept rising to the top and I nominate Terrie as the winner for her double helping of the SAS Diaries, numbers 15 and 16.

This weekly experience of reading both posts and comments is never-endingly pleasurable – thank you all for contributing so generously to it..

Words for next week: fork quagmire unborn

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th August, words and winners posted Friday 17th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Cardiff, moorhen or a coot?


Late today, apologies – staying at my daughter’s and the days a different shape. My pleasure at reading your entries no less, nor  the difficulty of choosing a winner, therefore, too short of opportunity to insert fag papers between each of half a dozen, I’m naming three time: J E Deegan for ‘In a time past’, Dave for ‘The Liberator’ and Patricia for ‘Broken-hearted Clown’. Thank you all.

Words for next week (inspired by daughter’s kitchen) : cactus, gin percolate

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th August, words and winners posted Friday 10th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Reading books and drinking shandy


Has been the extent of my activity for much of this week, plus dragging myself into the 21st century with a new phone. Nothing like as arduous as Antonia’s wonderfully described week of scrubbing and shifting. Thank goodness, no-one’s stopped writing and providing, as Patricia pointed out, plenty of musical links, plus some truly soaring one-liners, and Bill and Rosie Owens got their pieces in on time (not that late makes them any less enjoyable a read.)

But once again I find myself having to stab blindly to select just one from the marvellous offerings. Please be assured that naming a ‘winner’ is in no way intended to imply the rest of you in any way whatsoever fell short. And so ... (this is so hard) ... I nominate David’s epic ‘Here we come’ as the one a hairsbreadth in front. That said, we are all winners for being offered such a feast of reading.

Words for next week:  exception half liberate

Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd August, words and winners posted Friday 3rd

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 20 July 2018

In expectation of at least three evils


An apology. I forgot how much the reading and writing of ‘yawn’ automatically produced one, but am happy to report that not one of the stories concocted around the use of it did anything but jolt a response of one sort or another from me.

This week, I thought I’d allow myself an honourable mention or two, as well as a winner, but when it got to four ‘must includes’ I ditched the idea and, although it feels a little bizarre – and perhaps ungrateful to all you wonderful stalwarts – I’m handing the top place rosette to Unknown’s ‘Slip-Sliding Away, for the delight of the opening sentence and the solidity of the tale.

Words for next week:  cremate monkey suede

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th July, words and winners posted Friday 27th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 13 July 2018

The cat sat on the mat

Halfway through my first judging read-through, I received an email from Theresa May but, too busy to read it, I deleted it. Then thought she might have liked to help, because for the love of me I could not find any sort of criteria which would help me decide on a winner. So many greedy attention-grabbing opening lines. So much vivid imagery underlining the horror therein. 

In the end I went for the one that grabbed me on first read, just a little harder than the rest: Chris Allinotte’s glass hearts. Truly, this week you all excelled yourself and I found myself tempted to hunt around for three supremely bland prompt words, but guessed you’d turn even them to nastiness.  So ...

Words for next week:  grease tautology yawn

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th July, words and winners posted Friday 20th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Maggot-pies and choughs and rooks ...

Macbeth, raving with powerful imagery, and sounding a lot more poetic than those harsh-calling around here all day. I'm having to be a bit more circumspect  re titles - last week's garnered a lot of interest from porn sites!

Shakespeare certainly created something akin to what we have conjured this week, unsurprising given the words but impressive in the breadth of invention. John’s ‘pending quickness’ immediately set the tone, Atlas’ huge grin after a night in the whoremadillo house continued it and David’s smutty organic life forms finished it off.
This week, Joe’s  ‘A change of mind’ is runner-up and Patricia takes first place, but I can’t decide whether it should be with Kursaal  episode 121 or ‘Pure as the Driven’, so leave each of you to decide.

Words for next week:  execute feckless Venice

Entries by midnight Thursday 12th July, words and winners posted Friday 13th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Rip settings and other devices


Sheltering from the football and selecting a shortlist I realise, for alliteration’s sake, I should pour myself a Smirnoff.  Not that vodka will help – I get the strong impression that each week each of us is spurred to further heights by others’ posts. Jim takes a new path by trying out three endings to his Problem, each of Patricia’s  strong-voiced posts held new delights and I truly loved the hugging humanity of Joe’s ‘The Virus’, but top place, by a whisker, goes to Dave for ‘These things are all fakes’.

Thank you all for your participation – both in offering such a bounty of tales and for commenting.

Words for next week: barbaric nuisance  smut

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th July, words and winners posted Friday 6th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Dreams out of the ivory gate*


And entries enough to disturb many a dream and delight me with the many wicked abuses of innocent words.  For me, candy floss, remembered for its pink and white childhood appeal and subsequent disappointing hard-edged stickiness, on face and in hair, was much more appealing as a character in David’s tale of the same name and I declare him this week’s winner.
*[Sir Thomas Browne 1605-1682]

Words for next week: auger/augur intrinsic pellet

Apologies:  once again my spelling and failure to check has let me down.
The word I meant to be used is augur but for those quick off the mark the alternative version is equally acceptable (although I will delete if instructed to do so) 

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th June, words and winners posted Friday 29th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Black trees against a sunrise sky


I don’t always say, but ought to acknowledge how much your comments validate my pieces. Primarily for me Prediction is valuable for  keeping writing muscles in trim, needless to say your input is a very  pleasurable bonus. 

And bonus points this week, following a lot of shuffling and changing of my mind, go to Terrie for ‘Going Home’. This series goes from strength to strength, plus the title reminded me of Mark Knopfler’s version, theme tune for ‘Local Hero’. 

Words for next week: floss history sketch
Entries by midnight Thursday 21st June, words and winners posted Friday 22nd

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.


Friday, 8 June 2018

Is expiration the opposite of inspiration?


Breathing life into a short story ... or not. It will come, but not, apparently, this week. (And on the subject of short, please do take a look at Rosie's entry, for a master class.) 

And so I came to re-read this week’s several inspirations, thrown up by three not entirely simple words. As ever, the breadth of response is breathtaking, but this week’s joint winners both delivered something a little bit extra. R J Wayne’s ‘The Books Of Immortality 1.1’ grew more powerful with every subsequent reading . and Rob Evangelista wrote something heavyweight and sad. I trust they’ll manage to cling together on top of the podium. 

Words for next week: apparatus deduct  jazz

Entries by midnight Thursday 14th June, words and winners posted Friday 15th June

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 1 June 2018

‘When all candles be out, all cats be grey’


From John Heywood's book of proverbs (1546), the word ‘grey’ sought because that’s been the colour of the sky in the North East of England much of the past week – dishcloth and dreary. Which meant this week’s offerings  – ranging from lizards and armadillos via a sociopath, the devil, female genital mutilation and a fairground attraction;  a dodgy mirror to a salivating diplomat – felt all the more colourful.
But to judge, to rank, to choose a winner – SO very hard. In the somewhat desperate end I decided on John’s ‘Close Shave’, as much for the perfection of the title as my involuntary shock of laughter at the end. Thank you all, for contributions and comments.  

Words for next week: excise tumultuous verify

Entries by midnight Thursday 7th June, words and winners posted Friday 8th June

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Unexpected sunshine

We’ve been visiting Orkney at least once a year since 1981. It lies on the same latitude as Oslo and the wind only ceases 10 days out of 365. With good reason I warned all participants to bring warm and waterproof clothing. So you can imagine our delight when we had four eighteen-hour days of sunshine plus two of only a little less.  Too nice to stay indoors, so much to see, and consequently very little writing done.  

Good to get back and find the choice of winner wasn’t totally unanimous. This week, first  choice was almost simple: Zaiure’s ‘Therapy’,  but I’m grateful I don’t also have to pick a runner up.

Words for next week: egregious saliva tail

Entries by midnight Thursday 31st May, words posted Friday 1st June

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Anticipation


Looking forward to the variety of top places choices and to catching up next week

Words for next week: divide model speak

Entries by midnight Thursday 24th May, words posted Friday 25th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Dereliction of duty


On Saturday,  having left home yesterday, I shall arrive in Orkney to spend a week with a group of writing friends and know I’ll not have opportunity or time to properly contemplate posts and choose a winner. I ask you, therefore, to please select your winner and post it on Friday 18th’s scheduled post, entitled ‘Anticipation’.

This week, yes ... thank you for recognising how hard a task picking a number one is.  Once again I failed to fully appreciate the horror rating of a tongue. David’s ‘The Voice of the Orphan’ came within a whisker of winning, but without wanting to create a precedent for quantity, and because I genuinely felt one should win but could not decide which, I’m declaring Patricia top Predictioneer this week.
Thank you all for your participation.

Words for next week: agony furnish thesaurus

Entries by midnight Thursday 17th May, words posted Friday 18th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 4 May 2018

By the pricking of my thumbs ...


... and because it was me supplied the wherewithal to deliver, I’ve only myself to blame for the fact that choosing one from this week’s imaginative deployment of syringes and celery is going to be difficult in the extreme, because without exception every one of them delivered a unique and entertaining enjoyment and deserved to be named ‘winner’. Nevertheless, I am sure you’ll agree Joe’s ‘A Killer Princess’ well merits a top place this week. (Do check out the last-minute entries of Bill and Rosie Owens). 
As ever, too, thank you for commenting – it’s what keeps us coming back for more.

Words for next week: orphan record tongue

Entries by midnight Thursday 10th May winners* and words posted Friday 11th
* words for sure, winners might be delayed

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Hook, line and sinker


Some  weeks, either because I have been particularly impressed with a way of incorporating prompts or there are several on a similar theme of, say, werewolves (and the only ones of those I’ve ever got excited about were Glen Duncan’s) – anything, in fact which makes my picking a winner more rational – I can pick a theme and assure myself I’m judging ‘fairly’.
 This week I know my choice is entirely a personal response, and is connected with a conversation I’ve been having elsewhere on the subject of the necessary qualities of opening lines. My comment, on first reading the opening line of John’s  ‘Texas hospitality’ –  “... so often your first lines instil a sort of greed for more” stemmed from an instant, gut-felt revelation which encapsulated what we’d spent several weeks trying to define. So, for me John is this week’s winner. As ever, though, the standard was high and armadillos in particular, inventively incorporated – thank you all.

Words for next week: celery local syringe

Entries by midnight Thursday 3rd May winners and words posted Friday 4th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Buds and birds and crooked contrails


Several pieces this week filled with excellently depicted world-wide horror, but it is the tiny, personal ones I especially liked: Patricia’s ‘Cornus Rosea’ with its beyond terrifying theme of child abduction and murder, and newcomer Terri’s beautifully-expressed observations on the travails of writing. Which is not to say I didn’t immensely enjoy the others. Thank you all for both posting and so diligently commenting.

Words for next week: armadillo cheer theft

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th April winners and words posted Friday 27th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 13 April 2018

An insufficiency of cigarette papers


A week of richness, of  fat stories threaded with slender, insidious horrors (some of which simultaneously invoke guilty laughter). I love to read them as they trickle in but on Thursday, when my initial shortlist includes everyone, I know I’m in trouble. This week’s final, post-my-bedtime  spurt of offerings doubled that  trouble. Not that I’m complaining but I am acutely aware that to pick one winner, apart from being near impossible for me, appears to suggest others were in some way lacking – not true!
But choose I must ... and it is Jim’s ‘As always’ which, so very marginally, takes the top spot. And my thanks to you all.

Words for next week: dog opportunity ridicule

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th April winners and words posted Friday 20th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Mops, buckets and disinfectant


For reasons I am unable to fathom, and  despite such innocuous words, several of last week’s entries had a high level of nastiness, reaching unanticipated depths. I thank you all for your enthusiasm and confess to a small amount of trepidation as to what those for next week will bring.
My favourite of the week, however, has to be R J Wayne’s for the action- and detail-packed account of a simple murder.
Words for next week: destination plug surreptitious

Entries by midnight Thursday 12th April winners and words posted Friday 13th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Friday: Good and wet


Well, who’d have thought such innocuous words as fledgling, prick and transfer would have brought forth such a rich diversity of entrants and a wealth of reading?

I should be used to it, but once again I found myself struggling to pick a winner this week. Eventually, I settled for two runners-up: John for ‘Where’s the Body?’, its use of menace and, as Jim said, such wonderfully-chosen verbs, and Joe’s ‘Bad Luck’ for effective dialogue and the magnificent kick of its ending. The winner , who excelled herself this week, is Zaiure, for ‘Combust' – rich and delicious.

And thank you all for so assiduously commenting each week – bringing the essential life blood to this blog.

Words for next week: grunt jettison Saturn

Entries by midnight Thursday 5th April winners and words posted Friday 6th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Horror comes in many forms


From a group of 15 other attendees and a tutor I was the only one who’d neither read not seen ’Silence of the Lambs.’ So I bought an omnibus which also contained ‘Red Dragon’ which my son said I should read first. I have tried, but ...
So it was a pleasure to return to this week’s offerings here, and instead judge these for their nightmare qualities. It doesn’t need to be blood and gore: Jim Deegan’s  ‘Sweet Revenge’, in which my namesake (not that that was relevant!) ‘raggedly pieced herself together’, truly held the quality of nightmare.

Words for next week: fledgling prick transfer

Entries by midnight Thursday 29th March winners and words posted Friday 30th

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 16 March 2018

In the event of ...


Another tricky choice! Many thanks for such a varied and imaginative response to last week’s words, and for your care in commenting on others’ posts. This week’s winner, after the usual see-sawing between possibilities, is Patricia’s ‘False Sense Of Security’, which sounds as if it had been inspired by her dizziness from the previous week (although there was no lack of pain in other entries!).

Words for next week: commission  pelvis  yesterday

Entries by midnight Thursday 22nd March winners and words posted Friday 23rd

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Anvil no longer required


I’m at a Crimewriting weekend near Gretna this weekend. Four of my favourite writers running workshops and twenty-nine fellow would-be crime writers participating. As a consequence I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to properly judge and pick a winner – maybe not until Monday. In the meantime, however, you need words to spin and weave into something so ...

Words for next week: obdurate pound waffle

Entries by midnight Thursday 15th March winners and words posted Friday 16th

and I'm awake early, as per usual, with time to say I pick Jim Deegan's 'Invitation' as this week's winner and Joe's 'Man for Hire' as runner up. Thank you all for another entertaining week.

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 2 March 2018

If symptoms persist ...


At the risk of repeating myself, it has been another week of hard choices, of reading and re-reading, seeking a minuscule reason to move a post down from first place. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. Five went to four to three and the final two were agonising to tell apart. In the end, I chose John for his ‘Daughters of Anguish’ but have to confess David was so close behind as to be treading on their heels.

Words for next week: affair orifice pedestal

Entries by midnight Thursday 8th March winners* and words posted Friday 9th

*I shall be at a writing retreat way from Thursday to Sunday next week. Words will definitely be scheduled, and if I don’t find time before, winners by Monday.

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Thursday’s child


Double-checking that the child born on a Thursday did have far to go a reference to Eartha Kitt came up and I was taken back several decades to a memory of being mesmerised by the quality of her voice, and thinking her perfectly named.
This week’s entries were pretty mesmerising too: week after week I am in awe of the talent in this group. I am also aware I don’t often acknowledge the comments made on my posts, but hope you know that is not lack of pleasure. This week’s winner, I’m delighted to say, is Zaiure for ‘Boda’.  Several of you were neck and neck but it was ‘rummages in the stolen tithe bag’ which tipped the balance when the time came to make my mind up.
Words for next week: fuse migrate song

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st March winners and words posted Friday 2nd

Usual rules: 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. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.