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 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.


  1. Congrats to jdeegan for your winner and very good story. Nice going for John and the honorable mention for his story.

    1. I love mixing with such great writers here. I can definitely say the sheer talent presented here each week have raised the level of my writing.

    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com11 November 2018 at 00:09

      Thanks for the congrats. I'm honored to be in the company of so many talented writers.

  2. A Home spun Tale: A Short Fictional Autobiography-5

    Several of the group decided to go to their favorite club, Cocktails de Perfume. To celebrate Patty Caked’s life and the end of their first year of mortuary school.
    “She’ll be missed,” said JaDragon.
    “My best friend, gone in such a horrible manner,” said A-List.
    “Could it have anything to do with that prophecy,” asked PartTimer.
    “In our school, anything is possible,” said Zepplingal.
    “Hey, did anyone see where DaWell went,” said ReverendJdub as he lit a cigarette with a flick of his bic.
    They found him in a booth, face down with a spilled fuzzy navel next to him.

    1. I like the wording here. Nice story!

    2. Nice one. I'm glad you mentioned mortuary school. I suspected their studies had something to do with the macabre but this confirms it. Great names.

    3. Fun story! Thank you, Jeffery

    4. jdeegan536@yahoo.com11 November 2018 at 16:57

      Sounds like a fuzzy navel is a drink to avoid. Splendid use of dialog, Jeffrey.

    5. It sounds like Mr. Fuzzy has struck again.

    6. Just a thank you to those that have followed and enjoyed this series.

  3. Cold

    "We haven't got much longer." Without his medicine, he could feel the warmth leeching from his body as his blood slowed, thickened.

    Lily walked beside him, steadying him as he staggered through the snow. "That was foolishness, Rowan. Giving me your medicine."

    Rowan uttered a gasping breath, like the flicker of a candle going out. He stumbled to his knees. She knelt beside him. He remembered the perfume she always wore but he couldn't recall the current year.

    Funny what goes through your mind as you're dying, he mused.

    He couldn't get back up.

    1. Whoa, there's a twist for you. Who would have thought Rowan would die (or is it un-die) before Lily.

    2. Good one Jerry. A wintry setting and nice use of the prompts.

    3. jdeegan536@yahoo.com9 November 2018 at 16:48

      I second John's "Whoa." Just when I thought this tale couldn't get
      more moribund, it does. Very nice, Jerry.

    4. Brilliant twist to this tale. I was so drawn in, I didn't even notice the prompts

    5. “Lily, the horses’ll starve…” He was almost still, only his blue lips moved, his meager breath like the perfume of life in the deadly chilled air.

      She went to the horses

      It took only a few flicks of her knife to cut the leather stays.

      She moved as quickly as she could. It felt like it took years to get to him, back to his body.

      She felt it now. Her humanity was melting away. They wouldn’t be wandering, like the others. She waited, and let it happen.

      Her last thought was of him. “Rowan”.

      He replied, “I’m here, Lily”

    6. jdeegan536@yahoo.com11 November 2018 at 16:52

      One can feel the anguish in this tale, David. This is great writing.

    7. Thank you jdeegan536, I appreciate that! It makes me happy to entertain others.

  4. Ten Courts of Hell

    Half way through the Year of the Dog, Nico adopted a cat. Free kittens, the sign had said, though Yama was anything but free. Everyone in Chinatown new that. With perfumed fur and silk ribbons, Yama pranced the streets, receiving praise and minted shrimp from all who encountered him. With a flicker of his tail, he accepted the gifts and moved on, his arrogance on full display.

    Meanwhile, confined to her apartment, Nico lived with regret. The aftermath of the cat’s wrath and destruction was in remission but never again would she accept anything from Diyu’s Underworld Curiosity Shoppe.

    1. Minted shrimp was a good phrase. Good descriptions and use of the prompts.

    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com9 November 2018 at 16:52

      Underworld Curiosity Shoppe - great name; it fits so perfectly with your story, John.

    3. Wonder what other stories might lurk in the Underworld Shop? Good turn, John!

  5. Eternal Devotion

    It was their Ruby Anniversary. She wore the same perfume as on their wedding night. The flickering candles softened her aging features, smoothed the wrinkled skin and created a halo around her grey hair.

    She raised a glass of pink champagne to her everlasting love.

    Shame his bony fingers couldn't reciprocate but he'd been dead for fifteen years.

    1. A very god story with such a small space. A good teasing last line.

    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com11 November 2018 at 16:48

      Well, so much for the old adage "till death do us part." A brilliantly pithy story, Patricia.

    3. I like the visual here, of the toast, I can see it all. The flickering candles, the ruby anniversary, the pink champagne, all contribute to the visual.

  6. jdeegan536@yahoo.com10 November 2018 at 18:23


    I escaped my prison and am lying in wait for someone I can occupy. Humans can’t abide my true appearance; I am, after all, a rather menacing-looking celebrity. As one of them, I easily beguile and ensnare them.

    Earth, once a perfumed garden, is now a loathsome place ravaged by endless conflicts and populated with barbaric beings who slay each other without a flicker of remorse. But countless years ago God chose Earth as the breeding ground for his “look-alikes,” and my recruits, both unwilling and willing, are here.

    Ah! It appears my wait is over. A lone human approaches.

    1. A very worthy continuation, JD! Though a mystery about the MC is created the phrase "...his 'look-alikes'.."

    2. What a great concept, the earth as a breeding ground. Very enjoyable story with many future avenues for you to pursue.

  7. Myles And The Mean Machine

    Myles loved brand-new vehicles, the year's current models direct from the factory floor. Pristine, polished and freshly painted. Being the first to drive one off the dealer's lot was a dream come true.

    State-of-the-art with a dashboard of flickering lights and instruments that monitored every function imaginable, Myles' present mode of transport (which almost drove itself) was a technological marvel.

    He'd be forced to stop soon though and dispose of the dead salesperson before the stench of the body started to violate that euphoric leather-perfumed new car smell.

    1. Nice description leading to a very good last line.

    2. Quite the test drive. Very imaginative concept. It's true though, the car salespeople do put themselves at risk with every test drive.. especially with the Myles' of the world out there.

    3. jdeegan536@yahoo.com12 November 2018 at 22:07

      I'll bet there are more than a few dead car salesmen lying about Myles's habitat, Patricia. Very creative!

  8. jdeegan536@yahoo.com10 November 2018 at 21:54

    Thanks to Myles, I sense a slew of new vehicles housing dead sales people.
    Very clever, Patricia!

  9. The Unexpected Cinema

    Remember that night in Bucharest?

    The old town. A labyrinth of narrow streets. The unexpected cinema. Like a temple from antiquity. Blue carpets. Red wallpaper. Ornate angels in the alcoves.

    Perfume from a bygone year tainting the air with sour ferment. The flicker of the screen. Monochrome figures performing in grainy silence. Hunched within shadows a piano player. His bone white fingers caressing bone white ivory.

    Ghosts to the left and to the right.

    Though we fled, the rawest part of us remained. Bathed in the glow of the ectoplasmic projector our souls anticipated credits that never rolled.

    1. A very enjoyable story. Really like "Perfume from a bygone year tainting the air with sour ferment." Very good descriptions and setting.

    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com11 November 2018 at 19:49

      This is splendid stuff, David. It is poetic in its imagery, and I truly enjoyed this tale.

    3. Nice, David. This flowed so well, with lots of visual tidbits adding to the considerable flair.

  10. Tempus Fugit: I’m Not Sure I Had Any Fun

    Life’s banquet table
    A never-ending slew
    Think not if you’re able
    continue always your yearly revue.

    Perfumed accolades mix well
    With caviar dreams and champagne wishes.
    Chasing praise or rabbits doesn’t sell
    Words of silence find no riches.

    Hope’s faint rays,
    Distilled in times flickering flow.
    Belies a turn of a friendly card or phrase.
    I see a hanged-man’s shadow at the end of my plateau.

    Winter’s coming is laughably apropos.
    Pansies and snapdragon’s beauty
    Reminds me that soon it’ll be time to grow?
    My creations;better than a B-movie.

    Winning isn’t everything.
    Life is the only thing.

    1. Dang, Jeffrey. No one can say you don't entertain. It's one zinger after the other. I'd have to say, the second stanza is my favorite.

  11. Timing is everything

    His thoughts rage, like a fully automatic rifle, flickering embers of blinding light; one scene erupts in his mind, another leaves just as quickly. A lost dog, his grandmother’s perfume, a scorned attempt at love, a treehouse gone bad, the hint of happiness. He stumbles to the bathroom, splashes water on his face, chews half a dozen oxycodone, shoves his fist through the mirror. The runaway slide projector that has become his mind races, the Jack Daniels bottle empty on the floor. The bell rings. Outside a girl scout awaits. Could this be her year for a stellar cookie sale showing?