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.

108 comments:

  1. Congrats, David. I had a feeling Candy Floss would be in the running.

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    1. Congratulations, David. Great story. Excellent use of the prompts. So well done and conceived.

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    2. sorry about the delay, Congrats, David, a stunning piece.

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  2. Boys will be boys

    Melody contemplated the words of her ten year old son. “Why would they make Trix cereal in the shape of rabbit pellets?”

    He had a point. She knew intrinsically from her childhood that Trix are for kids, and sometimes tricky rabbits. She also knew that each fruity color tasted the same, despite always searching out the red ones.

    Oh, childhood… so delightful.

    Melody watched in horror as her son augered a hole in the side of the garage.

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    1. An enjoyable trip down memory lane. Nice placement of the prompts.

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    2. I remember that sickly sweet cereal, oh so well, John. Nicely done.

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    3. Nicely done with your unmistakable stamp of humour. I do so enjoy your offerings and this was no exception, despite the fact I don't think I've ever had "Trix." Something of a "Rice Krispies" girl myself.

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    4. No Trix for me, either... nice little piece of nostalgia.

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  3. Great win, David. I had a feeling that one would steal last week's top prize. It was incredibly unique. Nicely done. I love how the exceptional competition here just makes a person strive harder.

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  4. David, a fantastic story and congrats of taking the gold for last week with it.

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  5. Confusione

    When they said they'd sent out for an auger, I assumed they'd bring back a diviner of natural signs, an intrinsic soothsayer who would deliver prophetic pellets of foreshadowing, either promising or otherwise.

    I did not expect some type of large barbaric corkscrew designed for perforation.

    I need that like a hole in the head!

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    1. Brilliant economy of words. Well done, as always, Patricia.

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    2. Well done - another master-class in succinct + effective.

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    3. Another small package with a great story.

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    4. pretty clever play with auger. using it as Sandra intended and also how it was spelled.

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    5. Wonderful use of prompt words, Patricia. Written so well and a kicker for a last line

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    6. nice one, tightly written, an object lesson on what to leave out.

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  6. Symposium VII
    “The masses are nothing but fodder, for these current Caesar’s. A Praetorian Guard, to launch en masse at their targets.”
    “Very observant, Dr. J. Our dilemma is how to augur just what those targets will be.”
    “The pellet becomes the mountain of those leaders ire, Dr. M.”
    “Dr. F, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen the targets. The intrinsic motivation will be to eliminate any challengers-that means it’s us.”
    “Then we must act first against these faux Caesars.”
    “Like Caesar before them, these Caesars must die! For our sakes and the world’s, these Caesars must die.”

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    1. This is an interesting conversation. I see two intelligent doctors talking about the threat. The threat and the conversation seem heavy with theory and observation, so it makes me wonder if the threat is real or perceived. Good job creating this intrigue.

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    2. Heavy stuff, Jeffrey. Very interesting read. Well written and conceived.

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    3. Interesting exchange, Jeffrey, and nice incorporation of the prompt words. That last line brought to mind "This Jesus Must Die" from Jesus Christ Superstar.

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  7. See-saw [Threshold 215]

    Raven pushed himself back up the bed to sit upright.
    Eyes black as lead pellets, stubble powdered residue from the self-same musket shot, amusement became derision, which didn’t augur well for helpfulness.

    ‘I’ve no desire to seek Carlotta. That bag, that syringe, have been in the cupboard ten years. Plenty of time for her to’ve died and saved you the bother. And intrinsic in her not coming to find me is her belief I’m dead. We can safely let this bitch lie.’

    Deflated I turned away.
    Behind me, in a very different tone of voice, he softly said, ‘Come here.’

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    1. stubble powdered residue is a good descriptive line. Good story Sandra.

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    2. Something tells me she's not going to let the bitch lie. You very subtly kept the Carlotta issue moving forward and added a bit of the magic that keeps Raven and the narrator together.

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    3. Beautifully done. Wonderful use of the prompts with an economy of words that say quite a bit.

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    4. Lovely switch of atmospheres there at the end. That Raven...what a charmer he can be when he likes! As always an entertaining and informative installment expertly composed.

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    5. I thought the prompts were used well in your story and overall it felt like a solid chunk of a tale that stood well on its own.

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    6. it's a good instalment, carrying the story on with an inevitability that cannot be ignored.

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  8. Change of focus [287]

    ‘She put names or dates to those sketches, Boss? Could help ID the bastard who killed her –‘
    ‘No, Henry, but guilt could be assumed inherent in all of them. Enough to being them in Any hint we’ve visual evidence they’d know wouldn’t augur well –‘
    ‘Auger? I know what I’d do with them bastards in a cell and an auger in my hand! Drill though it and nail it to the wall, After inserting some of them fiery slug pellets –‘
    ‘If I thought you’d get away with it, I’d help –‘
    ‘Nah, boss, they’d only be given counselling.’

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    1. Great minds think alike Sandra. I used both versions of the prompt word too.

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    2. Nice prompt use in a flowing story. Two very good stories this week.

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    3. That was clever, Sandra, with the auger confusion in the conversation. Really nice dialog.

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    4. Nicely done. Covered all the prompt bases, oh so well. Great story as well.

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    5. What can I say that hasn't already been said? Yet another episode that just sucks me right in from the get-go.

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  9. The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry 10 – Family Ties

    Pink-Fairy, the intrinsic personification of an oxymoron, removed his stiletto heels and twirled his moustache.
    Dropping pellets of ginseng into snifters of termite-tequila, he gave one to Armi, who drained the glass.
    ‘Steady on Armi’
    ‘Got a deep-cover snooping mission an’ it don’t augur well Pinkie, so, don’t believe anyfin’ y’hear, an’.. I ain’t dead unless the earring comes home wivout me ’. Armi touched his ear, where a flattened, auger-shank, earring hid the family crest on its underside.
    Pink-Fairy nodded, rubbing a similar ring on his left pinky-claw.
    ‘No more tequila then, can’t have you squiffy on the job.’

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    1. I truly love "snifters of termite-tequila" and what a wonderfully inventive use of auger. Plus that "No more tequila" line put a song by The Floating Men into my head and now I have to search through several CDs to find it.

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    2. Nice allusion, not dead unless the earring comes home without me. In the past soldiers were told by their wives, "Come home with your shield or on it."
      You have a very good series here Terrie.

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    3. A really good installment, Terrie. Love that Pink-Fairy. It's interesting you use termite tequila. I've always noticed the odor of ants or termites gives off that hint.

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    4. Terrific story, Terrie. Termite tequila? Great take. Hope the earring never comes home without him. Well done

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    5. These characters have such...well, character! I truly never thought I'd ever develop a liking for the armadillo but you have managed to capture my imagination and my heart!

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    6. really looking forward to watching this story develop!

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  10. THESE THINGS ARE ALL FAKES

    Ooh, a fortune teller! Let’s do go!
    No way! They are all fakes!
    I walk in anyway, knowing Gwen would follow. The fortune teller looked like a PTA mom, no special trappings, just a pretty housewife sort. “Oh, this augurs well” said Gwen, in her intrinsically snarky tone. She loves hearing her own voice. “Well, fortune teller, tell me what’s going to happen!” Gwen was in fine fettle today, yes. The lady looked in my eyes, and I gave a slight nod. She took Gwen’s hands in her own, pressing the pellet into her flesh.
    “You are going to die”

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    1. Oh yes! Great build-up, great final line.

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    2. Oh yes, an excellent story Dave.

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    3. What a concept; a fortune teller hit woman. The slight nod was perfect. And the subtle motive worked well too.

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    4. Great story, Dave. Didn't expect that ending. Wonderful!

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    5. Never trust a fortune-teller. Pity nobody ever told Gwen that...oh, wait. That was the point! Nicely done and a very unique take on the prompt words.

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    6. This flows really well, and I'm not sure if the grammar and general editing was on purpose but it seemed to fit the quick flow of the tale quite naturally as a writing style

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    7. nice one, and something I wish I could do from time to time...

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    8. Thank you Joe, Patricia, Rob and Antonia! I tried to be clever in my voice with this one, Rob, and you can see the sad results.

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  11. Each pellet was as different as the person it was for. Intrinsically they all looked alike yes but the final result was based on the needs of the individual, if they sought love then it was love they would find, whereas those who desired riches would have that in abundance instead. There was no telling for certain I suppose except that based on previous attempts all augured well, every test subject died with a smile on their face, peace in their expressions, and I guess hopefully their dreams acquired in those last sensory moments.

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    1. Surprise, surprise - what I thought might be slightly dodgy words have already shown themselves to be capable of being incorporated into sparkling and exciting tales. This a prime example, matter-of-fact and gently informative until the final line.

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    2. Rob, this is a unique story. IMHO, a version of a last meal before an execution. Very good story.

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    3. Like Jeffrey, I too got the impression of an execution and a humane attempt at improving the concept. Really clever.

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    4. Rob, I really enjoyed this. Very clever. What a way to go!

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    5. A very cleverly crafted tale indeed, Rob, and a splendid use of the prompt words. Excellent!

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    6. Clever is indeed the perfect description for this little tale. I wonder if all the "last sensory moments" were happy ones. I have a feeling there might be more here than meets the eye. This has the makings of a continuation in my opinion.

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    7. yes, it would be good to see this idea explored.

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  12. Kursaal (Episode One Hundred Nineteen) - "Blind Bartholomew Banyon
    And The Shooting Gallery"


    Owned by Blind Bartholomew Banyon, the Shooting Gallery was a prominent Midway feature and huge favourite with local likely lads eager to flaunt their prowess with a pellet gun to the latest gaggle of adoring young females.

    Given his sightless condition, the reliability of Blind Bartholomew to operate this possibly hazardous attraction might be questionable, but he claimed the skill of an augur, able to intrinsically predict and waylay potential danger before it could occur.

    And if anything went regrettably awry, he had the perfect excuse of not having witnessed (with his own two eyes anyway) what had happened.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale, please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/kursaal.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    NOTE: Blind Bartholomew Banyon and The Shooting Gallery are new additions to "The Kursaal."



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    1. Leave it to Kursaal to utilize a blind shooting gallery operator. And to use actual pellet guns. Those things can put an eye out, as my mother used to say.

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    2. Wonderful description. Blind Banyon. What a great character. And, in case of mishap, his excuse was fairly ironclad.

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    3. Perfect set-uo - and a great name. One of the Kursaal's stars.

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    4. another vivid character for the Kursaal!

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  13. Narration can be just as hard as dialog and you do a masterful job with it and with good last lines.

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  14. Pirate Doctor-4
    Nelzar had been under my knife for four hours hours, when his BP dropped. I found the leaker, a small pellet sized hole.
    Rethic was watching.
    “Doctor, a moment of intrinsic morality overcome you?”
    “Rethic, if you want to go back to augers, augurs and leaches, just let me know.”
    “Ulhan, you wound me with your dull razor wit. This is Darza Khen, our Master Mechanic. The Zaherian is Cyan Zeldra, our Cargo Master. Play nice with Ulhan, I might like him.”
    “Ladies..” Cyan’s hand covered my mouth.
    “Careful Uhlan, you don’t know us yet.”
    “Cyan, he’s cute and smart.”

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    1. Sometimes, I find your use of exotic names a little distracting but this was a sound piece nonetheless and very nice incorporation of the prompt words.

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    2. The use of the prompt words is especially creative in this piece, Jeffrey.

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  15. I liked the surgery and the conversation between the doctor and Rethic. The introductory sentence got a little confusing with a lot of names, but then I got it about the two ladies and their potentially dangerous playful antics. Really entertaining.

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    1. Very nice use of the prompts, Jeffrey. A fun read. Loved the description of the surgury.

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  16. The Virus


    “Another one. Look at his face.”
    “Damn. Looks like shotgun pellets riddled him.”
    “This virus is eating us from the inside out. I’m scared.”
    The soldiers examined the corpse from a safe distance. Its condition augured coming death to mankind. Hollis felt a tear. She wiped it away. “I think it’s intrinsic to our race. Remember that flesh eating disease? This is much worse.” She glanced at her Sergeant. “We’re doomed, aren’t we.”
    He stared at the sinister blotch on his arm. “We don’t have to die alone like him.” He reached for her. “Give me a hug.”

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    1. Man, this was scary stuff. Very well done. And since we're going to die anyway...

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    2. A very gloomy tale with a very logical conclusion. This is good stuff, Joe.

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    3. The stuff of which "The Twilight Zone" or "Outer Limits" was made. The visuals were just dramatic enough to conjure the picture.

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    4. Came to this having just finished a novel about synthetic, brain-destroying viruses and was totally charmed by the humanity of the final line.

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    5. yes, a touching one, for a change, I wish I could believe we'd all be that caring. (All as in the entire population, of course... all the old hatreds would come out, though, wouldn't they???)

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  17. This rather foreboding, yet plausible and a good last line.

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  18. A Gambling Man

    Things did not look good. The augurs were far from auspicious and to be blunt, the outlook was bleak.

    With the final destination still more than a week away, there appeared to be small chance of success minus a navigator, helmsman or any other crew member intrinsically vital to achieving the goal.

    And yet, miracles had been known to happen.

    While there is life...

    The sole survivor weighed the odds.

    Sufficient food capsules for the duration or an ampoule of cyanide pellets to bring a speedy end to a hopeless situation.

    He went to the dispenser and made his choice.



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    1. Chilling, Patricia. I love sole survivor stories. What a situation to be in. Very well done.

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    2. Time for a flip of a coin? This tale takes a marvelous step-by-step approach to a great conclusion.

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    3. Scary, Patricia. I wonder what choice was made? Is there a right one?

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    4. Reads like the prologue to a particularly enthralling novel,

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  19. THE PROBLEM

    My fiendish wife Terri and her wretched lover Rob believed they had killed me. And well they might, given the three slugs they pumped into my chest. As to what occurred immediately thereafter, I haven’t a clue. All I remember is awakening where I now am.

    And therein lies the problem.

    After hysterically screaming and futilely clawing at my surroundings, my intrinsic self gloomily informed me that the future didn’t augur well for me. That immutable fact took some time to digest.

    I spit pellets of dirt from my mouth and realized there is no way out of my grave.

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    1. I liked this story. It's almost like the opening happened, then the flash back. Well written and good prompt use.

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    2. An interesting piece of what I can see as a much larger story, not the least of which for me would be due to the mysterious narrator who took what I presume was 3 gunshots to the chest yet still has the strength to try and escape, perhaps not human? It leaves a lot for the reader to conjure, some mystery

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    3. You pressed my buttons with that one. Can't think of anything more terrifying than waking in a grave. Well done.

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    4. Have to echo Joe's comments here. I also can't think of anything more terrifying than waking up to find oneself buried below the ground....which is why I have expressed to everyone I know the intense desire to be cremated. This was a story of shuddering shivers!

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    5. Terrifying premise, and another prologue. Your second entry adds another dimension, but also allows a peek of possibility ...

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  20. Cripplegate Junction/Part 146 - The Train Now Standing At...

    Despite promising augurs that the locomotive might soon leave Cripplegate Junction -- indicated by billows of smoke from the chimney and smouldering pellets of coal sparking in the furnace -- the train remained stubbornly unmoving.

    The Conductor checked his pocket watch but much like every other timepiece in Cripplegate, it had not tick-tocked away the hours for quite a while. In any event, the action was intrinsically irrelevant since there was no current timetable by which to verify departures or arrivals.

    Regardless, the Conductor blew his whistle and declared: "ALL ABOARD!"

    Unfortunately, it was a premature announcement.

    -------------------------------------------------
    To read the earlier installments (a suggestion only) which led to this point in the tale please visit:
    http://www.novareinna.com/cripplegate.html
    A link to return to "The Prediction" can be found on the site. Thank you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

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    1. Not having read all of these episodes, I'm left with the thought that time doesn't work right in Cripplegate. Love your descriptions and the soft use of the prompts.

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    2. Business as usual, then. Have I said how impressed I am at your ability to hold the voice of this throughout?

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    3. this is entertaining as always, Cripplegate and its many strange people fascinates me!

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  21. THE PROBLEM #2

    My witch of a wife Terri and her wretched lover Rob believed they had killed me. I fully understood that belief, given the three slugs they had pumped into my chest. As to what occurred immediately thereafter, I haven’t a clue. All I remember is awakening where I am now.

    And therein lies the problem.

    After hysterically screaming and futilely clawing at my surroundings, my intrinsic self gloomily affirmed that I was buried and that the future didn’t augur well for me.

    I can only hope those two vile reprobates drank the wine I laced with dissolvable pellets of cyanide.

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    1. I get such pleasure from "my intrinsic self gloomily affirmed"

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  22. Interesting twist on Revenge from the grave. Is there a reason this is almost the same as the first one?

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    1. I was just fiddling around with different endings, Jeff. There might even be a third version.

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    2. A third version? Yes please...bring it on!!!

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  23. The Gleaning of Dorman #5

    “What do you want, Dorzak,” Zoral said.
    “I’m sorry, Zoral. I’m not intrinsically a drunk, just can’t control myself.”
    “Thanks for the apology. Dorman augured you’d be back. Offered me a purse of Imperial Tilvari Stags. All’s been covered.”
    “Anyone hurt?”
    “Just some bumps and bruises.”
    “Thanks, can I have a mug?”
    “No, he said to give you any food you wanted.”
    “How about your bacon pellet porridge with some pan eggs.”
    “Sure.”
    With food in his belly, he arrived at Caravan Park, a large field with a stone wall, one and a half logs high.

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  24. The Mad Italian 61.
    Do the current Brexit discussions augur well for the people who voted Leave? It is unlikely. Delay is an intrinsic part of the political scene, truth a mere pellet among the words thrown to the populace as part of their daily food. The ongoing discussions, caught up in controversy over tariffs, unions, borders and every other subject that can be imagined to stop the process, will drag on for some time to come. The Remain people will be content, the Leave people will not, as has been demonstrated by the recent march on Downing Street. But no one will listen.

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    1. It might be about Brexit but has just as much application to America.

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  25. THE PROBLEM #3
    My witch of a wife Terri believed I was dead, as did her pellet-brained lover Rob, who stood smugly by as the witch pumped three shots into my chest. As to what occurred immediately thereafter, I haven’t a clue. I simply remember awakening where I am now and listening to my intrinsic self gloomily affirm that the future did not augur well.

    That macabre prognosis spawned panic, and I screamed hysterically and clawed desperately at my cramped confines. It was then my problem took on an unexpected addition.

    To my left I felt an arm… a hairy arm… Rob’s arm.

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    1. ... and was Rob attached, I wonder?

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  26. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #135
    A Tumultuous Week on the Path of Adventure


    Georgiana’s rescue augured the good/bad luck of the rest of the week, though we didn’t know it yet. Prophets, pied pipers, and pellets of sky-ice appeared in their turns. The hail was most unexpected. Teamwork was, of course, intrinsic to our continued good health. We bounced, jounced, and flapped our way home just yesterday. Now, you’ve all read my report so I shan’t explain any further. Good night!

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