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.

121 comments:

  1. Well deserved top place this week RJ. As Sandra says a haunting entry and so cleverly written.

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    1. Way to go, RJ. I just went back and read your story. I'm glad I did.

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    2. Jeffrey here, RJ, great story and congrats on the top slot for last week. Good writing keep it up.

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    3. Yay RJ Wayne! I'm so glad to see you win!

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    4. Thanks, guys. It was an unexpected piece. I wanted to come up with a twist on a "zombie apocalypse" type of story.

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    5. Does She know

      I watched her, writing her assignment for her English Lit class. Her tongue stayed between her teeth. Not in a vulgar way, but just a personal quirk when she was concentrating.

      “What’s the subject, Hun?” I asked her in a Fatherly way.

      “It’s an allegory about people who get away with murder, literally”, without looking up.

      Startled, I watched her for a minute, waiting for more, but she was back in the zone. But her words burned me. Does she know? I hoped it was just a coincidence, because trust me; I would not hesitate to protect my secret, again.

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    6. Wow David, such smooth use of the prompt words. What a brilliant story. It held me from start to finish. A wonderful image of what you think is normality coupled with a revealing killer last line. I am left wanting to know more.

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    7. Thank you, Terrie. Especially strong praise from an author I truly admire. As for wanting more, who knows?

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    8. That is good David even if it is coming from me lol.

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    9. So smooth an incorporation of the prompts, so effective in the telling. Well done David.

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    10. Thank you both! But, I am thinking I am starting to get somewhat formulaic, so I will be dreaming up some different scenarios next time, something unexpected, perhaps.

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    11. good one, David, hinting at all sorts of nasty secrets.

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    12. It's easy to write nasty things when you have a nasty subject to write about!

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    13. Excellent build up in this piece with a killer ending.

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    14. I startled anew... Now this one was speaking of "killer endings". Was she privy to secrets as well? The list was growing, it seemes...

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  2. Fact Or Fiction

    ‘I trust you don’t fine my allegoric tale too vulgar.’ she said, to the man strapped to the table, 'only I find it soothing to talk to my experiments as I work.’
    ‘Fuck you Mary.’
    ‘Now, now, Percy, this work will make me famous.’
    She bound his mouth.
    Rain pounded against the building and lightning created monstrous shadows as a hunched figure limped to her side.
    ‘Hello my love,’ Mary whispered, ‘turn on the power please and we can begin.’
    Electricity crackled ominously.
    Picking up a saw, Mary Shelley began her tale, ‘His name was Victor, Victor Frankenstein.. ’

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    1. Nice twist on a classic. Well done

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    2. argh..... just spotted a typo and in the first line too.

      should read 'find' not 'fine'

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    3. Terrie, I don't think a simple spelling mistake will cost you any comments. A very good take on a classic. Good writing and prompt use.

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    4. The typo didn't throw me at all, Terrie. I knew exactly what it was supposed to be. Magnificent twist on a tried and true tale. I always knew there was more to that Mary Shelley than met the eye.

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    5. love this twist on an old story!

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    6. I always thought there was something particularly sinister about Mary Shelley. Very creative, Terrie!

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    7. A creative imagining of a familiar tale. You captured the atmosphere beautifully.

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  3. Batshit Crazy

    I often dream of a story I read in ninth grade - Allegory of the Cave I think it was called. The claustrophobic shock upon waking is unbearable. Many of my dreams take place in ambiguous former childhood locations - the basement of our house on Sycamore mainly (I guess not so ambiguous). It’s no wonder psychiatrists always want to talk vigorously of childhood, establish trust and talk some more. I tell you, though; I’ve had my fill of psychiatry. All the sessions and medications and vulgar therapies I’d rather not mention. It almost makes me wish I hadn’t killed my family.

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    1. John, this tale presents some dark turns. If only I could turn the proverbial page for more

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    2. John, what a nicely written story, all for that great last line.

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    3. So skilfully done John, a soft and gentle opening sentence followed by one of such contrast it grabs a readers attention so that little warning light comes on... and what an effective last line it definitely hits the 'tell me more button' .

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    4. Extremely nicely put together. You certainly had me fooled. I wasn't expecting that reveal at the end. I would like to add that I adore the title by the way.

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    5. As ever, a kick in the gut following civilised introduction. Well done

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    6. a kick indeed, you do this so well.

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    7. You so skillfully draw us to a splendid, unexpected conclusion, John.

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    8. I also was surprised with the final line! A skillful and creative story.

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  4. Very nicely done, R.J. Magnificent piece of creativity.

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  5. Painted Ladies

    Don't talk to me about allegorical artistry. That takes subtlety and finesse. Trust me, I'm nowhere near that refined. Direct and to the point, that's me. But not vulgar. Never vulgar.

    My many models would attest to that...if they were able.

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    1. Short and oh so to the point. The Last line is usually what sells a short story and this one does!

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    2. Again with the macabre. Short, sweet and very well done.

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    3. I have to agree with RJ and Jeffrey here, Patricia. Short and fully loaded with such a strong,spine-shivering, last line.

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    4. your stories get shorter and in the condensing, become even nastier!

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    5. Chilling and fascinating!

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  6. Long time no see :)

    here's my effort:

    Edda
    -------

    "The Vættir haunt the Mound this night."
    He quashed objections, wrought his might

    He swiftly cleansed his blunted knife
    His pretty mark devoid of life

    And trusting not her vulgar prose
    He cast aside the tundra rose

    She writhed in unlife, veins aglow
    And from her caustic tears did flow

    "Thou scorned me once," the Draugr cooed
    "But twice? Niflhel!" Pale skin blued

    The cairn it sundered 'neath his feet
    His twisting, misty fate did meet

    The allegorist’s conclusion made?
    Be careful where you sheathe your blade...

    -------

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    1. My God, Zoe, that was great. I can't decide if it's the rhythm, the rhyme or the veins aglow, but I certainly did enjoy reading it.

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    2. Well, foo, that was me in the last two comments.

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    3. Absolutely beautiful piece. We don't get enough poetry here and it's a total delight to be presented with such a sparkling gem.

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    4. Wow, Zoe - back with a flash and a bang - hope you plan to stay around for a while.

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    5. just the kind of poem I was looking for when editing, and rarely got, I have to say.

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    6. Eerily beautiful, Zoe!

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  7. Am awesome and fantastic poem. I don't need to worry about anything else to write this week.

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  8. Dave... I can't seem to get my name on my post, sorry

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  9. The Road to Shenandoah


    The Outlaw wasn't evil and the law wasn't good. Not that simple.

    We joked a lot as we rode toward Shenandoah. A distraction from the flies. O'Brien would recite vulgar rhymes from his music hall days. Claimed they were allegories for weightier matters.

    Trust me they were not.

    “You shouldn't ought to say stuff like that in front of a lady,” Three Crows Cawing would taunt.

    He'd wink. “I'll write one about you.”

    The Outlaw would mumble beneath his Stetson. “That would be a bad move, partner.”

    Me and Three Crows would laugh at O'Brien's nervousness.

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    1. I agree with Jeffrey about your first line it really is a brilliant opening. Smooth insertion of the prompt word too, I can see all your characters clearly as they interact.
      I'm so hoping this story will keep expanding.

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    2. This was magnificent. I'm not usually a great fan of western settings, but you are changing my opinion with every new installment. This are truly fascinating characters. Keep it coming.

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    3. I agree. That opening line is great. Stays with you. A story that certainly is compelling

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    4. As has been said, first line is more than just attention-grabbing, I am much enjoying the continuation of this tale.

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  10. David, love your thought provoking first line. Good prompt placement as well.

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  11. Squatter’s Rites

    One letter and no bills...great!
    “From Gyst lawyers, Aspen, Colorado”
    I open it and see three papers, a card, and a key.
    Mr. David Plumber;
    As allegorical or vulgar as this may seem, your great grand uncle, Thaddeus Miner, passed away eleven months ago. I performed an extensive search and you are Thaddeus’s only surviving relative, trust me on this. His estate: one house in Ashcroft, Colorado. I’ve included a map of the area with directions, a key and my business card.
    You need to reply with in thirty days, or I’ll consider Thaddeus’s estate closed.

    Sincerely;
    P.T. Gyst esq.

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    1. Good use of the prompt words Jeffrey and an intriguing tale with lots of possibilities. I am drawn to the lawyers name.. is it a play on a ghostly word.

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    2. This was a lovely little exercise for the mind and could be taken in many different directions. I didn't get the "ghostly" reference of the lawyer's name, but I can be extremely dense at times!

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    3. don't worry, Patricia, neither did I. Interesting piece.

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  12. The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry 19
    Bellowing, Booting, And Bewilderment.


    ‘Enough.’ Sarg’s bellow froze everyone but Clancy, who managed a vulgar, two-clawed, movement.
    She hoisted him by his neck armour. ‘No allegoric clap-trap Clancy, show me what the bloody fing does.’
    ‘He cant,’ burbled Aubrey.
    Sarg booted him with her foot, hard.
    He passed out; spittle trailing one end and piss the other.
    Trusting Nigel to transport Aubrey, Sarg flung open the Palace doors, dragged Clancy with her, and headed for base-burrow.
    The stench of piss and cactus-gin filtered out after her.
    The other operatives collected Aubrey and followed, leaving the bewildered Palace Proprietor to survey the mess and weep.

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    1. "Vulgar, two-clawed movement"

      A really good piece with that memorable scene.

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    2. Like it, some tight writing you slipped cactus-gin in again.

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    3. So wonderfully visual and packed with action from start to finish. I'm tempted to say what a magnificent character study you've made of Sarg...but then that applies to all your 'dillos, so I'll refrain. Oh wait...I already said it!

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    4. Enjoyed this all the way through, but that final line was class!

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    5. Does anyone else want to see illustrations of these characters?

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    6. yes! they're superb characters.

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    7. Re: Character Illustrations...Me!!! Me!!! I do!!!

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  13. Do We Part...

    "One could think of this story as an allegory of trust and-" The tv was silenced as the door slammed shut.

    The fat sausages of his fingers fumbled with the flimsy buttons of her blouse. His breathing was heavy, his tiny teeth set in a vulgar smile.

    She wished, not for the first time, that he would just finish. God, did she even love him anymore? She felt disgust as he grunted and squealed his way to climax.

    Her hand slipped under the pillow as she arched her back. The handle of the knife felt cool to her fingertips.

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    1. Two sausage-like thumbs up here... ;)

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    2. Very nasty little piece. And that is meant in the most flattering of ways. My sympathies are most definitely with the female in this scenario. You've managed to make the male a thoroughly distasteful individual. Nicely done.

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    3. Clever - including the title, disgusting - as was intended, and highly effective.

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    4. that's another class piece for this week, you're all just getting better.

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    5. Well, that's one way to permanently end a relationship, and a very effective one at that. At least ole' sausage fingers died happy. Great ending, RJ.

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  14. Good story, R.J. Fat sausages of his fingers was a good line and you have used the prompts rather nicely.

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  15. Thereby Hangs A Tale

    Situations Vacant:
    Urgent need for wordsmiths of allegorical narratives. Must be trustworthy and talented. Indelicacies and vulgarity not necessarily undesirable traits. Excellent remuneration. Please provide curriculum vitae, references and apply in person to:
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm



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    1. LOL at not necessarily undesirable traits. Compact, tight and well written, a very good story.

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    2. definitely worth a chuckle, Patricia! Makes me wonder, how did they get to write so many fairy tales...

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  16. Cripplegate Junction/Part 153 - Playing Cat And Mouse (Or Caterpillar)

    "Shrinking reminiscent of Wonderland, old chap," observed the Station Master at Clive Bailey's shoulder. Nearby, Marmalade nosed a blue caterpillar through the grass. Real? A toy? Clive couldn't tell.

    The Station Master put the now miniature Wendy House in his pocket and removed a chess piece.

    "The story is a political allegory, dear boy. Wonderland symbolized England. And this," he showed Clive the Red Queen, "represented... Well, I trust you already know!"

    Unsure, Clive nodded anyway.

    "It is vulgar for proletariat to stare at the monarch, but a cat may look upon a king...or queen. Isn't that so, Marmalade?"

    -------------------------------------------------
    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. So, who's the royalty that Marmalade stares at? A well done story and so very enjoyable.

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    2. You've excelled yourself here Patricia - so very many facets to this, all shiny.

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    3. nice one for sure. What is Marmalade up to with that caterpillar?

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  17. Before and After Thoughts

    Wisdom is proof of our failures.
    Trust is the evolution of successes.
    Words aren’t vulgar.
    Yet like a ring, it’s the setting they are in.

    Is it too allegorical
    comparing myself,
    to a Titan of old;
    who’s misunderstood, like me?

    Maybe Epimetheus is my writing muse.
    Brother and others
    taunt my flawed attempts,
    Luck is a special lady, always flirting.

    Pandora no longer shares my bed.
    You see; she left me.
    Because I guzzled her jar,
    down to the last drop.

    so there would be no strain
    to remaining sane.
    I did save that last drop
    for my inkwell.

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    1. Being a poet of sorts myself, RJ, your poetry really grabs me. This one with its references to ancient mythical characters is particularly good. I loved the way you weaved the prompts into your poem.

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    2. My apologies, I of course meant Jeffrey.

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  18. Kursaal (Episode One Hundred Twenty Seven) - "Broken-Hearted Clown/Part Two"
    (100 Words)

    Libby Pepperdyne blossomed under the tutelage of Primrose Lee. She had become a competent herbalist and "Libby's Lichens" now offered prunella vulgaris products for a variety of ailments.

    Libby created an allegorical reference to accompany her newest offering. Utilizing the plant's common name of "heal-all," she suggested it also represented unrequited love and the mending of a broken heart.

    Since the termination of his brief encounter with Benny Jester, Crow had yearned for just such a curative. Despite his lack of trust in the little girl, the morose clown was desperate.

    This was something Libby had been counting on.


    -------------------------------------------------------
    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: Libby Pepperdyne (as well as "Libby's Lichens"), Primrose Lee, Benny Jester and Crow have all featured in previous episodes.

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    1. This begs the question; are you a good witch or a bad witch? So nice how you create tension with narration. That's a nice looking purple flower.

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    2. Kursaal is a place I might visit once or twice ... but I think I'd hate to live there.

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    3. absolutely, Sandra. Patricia's created a true horror scene.

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  19. Turning crisis to drama [Threshold 217]

    Inbetweentimes, attempting to make sense, I tell myself the story of our lives. Depending on my state of mind the format veers from Classic allegorical, in stark and simple black and white, to over-garish colourful cartoon. Nothing so vulgar as a soap opera, nor so saccharine as a musical. I trusted Raven neither danced nor sang (and anyway we lacked a chorus, Greek or otherwise!)

    As a child I wished my life a dark and wind-swept drama such as Wuthering Heights (its impact much reduced by hearing it in song, no matter how haunting!). Nowadays my thoughts turned to Gothic.

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    1. memory of the song revived by the reference there, someone querying Benny Green what the lyrics were about. He just said 'read the book.' Nice one, Sandra, good prompt uses.

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    2. Very enjoyable story. Good prompt use and especially liked your use of saccharine.

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    3. Absolutely lovely references that create images without hammering the point home. It's interesting to see our protagonist in such a whimsical and reflective mood.

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  20. Change of focus [295]

    Porn star? The mother of his son?
    John Pettinger hardly dare ask. What was to have been a surprise visit to her, to Aleks, had fast become a far nastier one for him!
    ’What, what sort of porn?’ He trusted Filip would’ve seen it.
    ‘Oh, nothing too vulgar – the usual heavy-handed Khakbethian allegorical. Good triumphing over evil. Eventually. Otherwise Batiste wouldn’t be allowed a licence.’
    ‘And is she ... living here? With him?’
    ‘Very likely. Last I heard he was planning some sort of variation of 101 Dalmatians –‘
    ‘Dalmatians ?‘
    ‘But using Khakbethian virgins instead’.
    ‘Valdeta’s far from virgin!’

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    1. Trouble is, Pettinger has to ask, or spend his life wondering... good one, taking us further into the murky depths of his life.

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    2. I do hate to say that a weird version of Cruella sprang to mind. Had to read this a few times to find the prompts and very good dialog.

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    3. I had to chuckle at the thought of of an erotic variation of "101 Dalmatian," although I'm not sure I want to follow the path my mind is bound on going down when it comes to possibilities. I find it quite amazing how the voices of your two serializations can be so diverse and still come from the same plume.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. comment removed as I missed a prompt! Here tis:
      Stop the week, I want to get off (10)
      It’s already been a week of goodies, no allegorical figures among them, nothing vulgar either, just things like a Moonshine advertising mirror, drunken gnome with tankard and lots of furniture. The shop emptied out, Shaun refilled it with items he snatched from under the noses of other buyers frequenting The Storeroom, where unwanted items are left for resale. I truest him to buy well and he does. Being old-fashioned these days, the thing I love most is using paper bags, we have loads from the closed down shop. It feels so good and so right. Busy and loving it.

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    2. Entirely agree with the pleasure of a paper bag - I still find myself popping the corners in for 'added strength'. (Not that I lasted long in the village shop, me fifteen and the shopkeeper a priapic paedo with a pregnant wife!)

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    3. Such a delight how you remember with such detail. Regardless, a very well presented story. Thanks so much for continuing them.

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    4. As always, these little snippets are such a delight and delivered with such a lighthearted tone. A true pleasure, Antonia.

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  22. The Mad Italian 69.
    Now it seems the other significant leader has problems to resolve, from possibly delving into more vulgar affairs than is right for such a high position. What trust can people have in this person now? And still they sing his praises and wrap him in allegorical praises and phrases, as if that will help when the crunch comes – and it will. There are always more elections to come, more chances to chisel away at the power one person holds. For in truth the position gives a single very human person too much power for their own good.

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    1. Too few people with too much power. What a mountain of truth there is in that statement! I can't believe the Mad Italian is already up to musing number 69.

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  23. I'd love to discuss politics with the signore but will settle for these very enjoyable snippets. Another very well done story.

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  24. THE ISLAND

    To my way of thinking, the tiny island was an allegory of the entire earth. Day and night existed, as did other familiar terrestrial things like weather and people. Granted, there were but two people, me and RJ, who at one time was my best friend. No longer, however, as dwindling supplies of food had turned him into a maniacal psychopath whom I could no longer trust. I was certain he wanted to murder me.

    To save myself, I furtively invaded his end of the island and killed him while he slept. Then, vulgar as it sounds, I ate him.

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    1. oh I love this, so casual, so offhand and so nasty!

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    2. A good story bringing everyone in and saving the best for last. Lovely prompt use and intrigue.

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    3. Something quite "Lord of the Flies" about this. And yet another brilliant submission to join the wonderful crop brought about by this week's prompts. I envy the way everyone so skillfully incorporated "allegory" into their tales. I struggled every step of the way with that one.

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    4. The comment I made last night obviously didn't register, certainly not as much as Patricia's 'Lord of the Flies'reference did, which explains why I found this so disturbing.

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  25. The Trees

    Harriet did not like trees. There was something sinister about how they leaned, silently observing, refusing to intercede. Oh you might see a branch sway, perhaps get a pinecone dropped on your head, but beyond that, nothing.

    Mama said trees were an allegory about the insignificance of man. Insignificance, Harriet understood.

    Trees lined the road Harriet walked every day, and as she marched past, with hood drawn up and eyes narrowed, she’d hear them whisper. She listened to their vulgar murmurs with gritted teeth, and stayed in the center of the road.

    “I don’t trust you either,” she whispered back.

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    1. How nicely crafted! You bring the reader down the same road with you.

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    2. This is almost like the description of a painting. So easy to picture the avenue of trees and a tiny hooded figure making its way along the path. The name "Harriet" just seems so fitting as well. All in all, an enviable creation.

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    3. This another one that speaks to long-held inner terror, but has taken that and trebled it!

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  26. You so expertly create a wary and somber mood, Zaiure. Wonderful!

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  27. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #143
    Parental Notification


    Time to send another crossword to Mother. The public address of course, there’s no need for allegories outside the view of vulgar bureaucrats. 4 across: “Trust us.” Cecily’s favorite phrase for her favorite castle. I’ll send a proper letter by Henry later.

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