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.

89 comments:

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    3. good one, JD, and John - brilliant as ever.

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  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.

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    1. I like the wording here. Nice story!

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    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.

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    3. Fun story! Thank you, Jeffery

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

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

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

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

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    7. Very nice and rather interesting tale. Thank you, Jeffery

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    8. Always interesting and entertaining with a magnificent array of names to inspire the imagination.

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  3. Cold
    1.9

    "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.

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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”

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

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

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

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    8. excellent entry - so much going on so simply told.

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    9. Thank you. I am a simple story teller.

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    10. And yet again, a beautifully-composed continuation followed by one equally as amazing. To me, this has the feel of possibly reaching a conclusion soon, but I do hope not. I am enjoying this tale...almost like a saga really...far too much to be happy about it finishing any time in the near future.

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    11. David, I catch these late because it's added as a reply. Oh well. Very good writing in blending the setting with the action and prompts.

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  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.

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

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

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

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

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    4. I have competition!! This is cleverly done, John, like it a lot.

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    5. You can always come up with the most innovative of takes on the prompt words, John. It's always easy to zone in on the pieces that are yours, even if you didn't lay claim. That is a huge testament to your style. I would love to know more of the merchandise offered by Diyu’s Underworld Curiosity Shoppe and would also love to see this as a serialization. Yes? (Hopeful glance...)

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  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.


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

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    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.

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    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.

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    4. your short short short pieces never fail to entertain and to catch me out with the last line!

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    5. Nife writing here but that ending WOW!

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

    CONSCRIPTION 2: LOOK-ALIKES

    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.

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

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

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    3. this is intriguing, more please.

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    4. This is a story that definitely hooks you in .

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    5. Very intriguing concept and lovely continuation from last week. I particularly liked the idea of Earth once being "a perfumed garden." Masterful skill at blending the prompt words as to make them part and parcel of the tale as a whole.

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  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.


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

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    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.

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    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!

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    4. new car, dead salesman, sounds like a good idea...

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    5. Innocent enough tale and that ending is dreamy!

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  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!

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  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.

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

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    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.

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

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    4. as vivid with visuals as usual, David, this one's so so good.

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    5. Beautiful description abounds here.

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    6. Oh this was a virtual classic example of the old bland-and-white horror films. The descriptions were vivid and I adored the idea of "the rawest part" remaining when every other part had fled.

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  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.

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    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.

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    2. "Caviar dreams and champagne wishes" is a line from Robin Leach, correct? Your poetry is always something of a challenge for me. I admire the way the thoughts are put together and displayed, but I always feel that I'm missing something essential. Regardless, this never does interfere with my enjoyment. Nicely done!

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  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?

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    1. wow, a veritable roller coaster of a story with so many images, all vivid, leaping out and ending with an image we don't really want to think about...

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    2. Really good opening line. Lat line is pretty good to. I loved the juxtaposed innocence she represents vs. his rage/guilt.

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    3. I have to agree with Antonia here. What a roller coaster of emotions and images in one tight, expertly written little package. And then that notion of an innocent girl scout touting her cookies door-to-door, which seems so put of place and yet so vital to the story.

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  12. Cripplegate Junction/Part 164 - Ticket To Ride Redux

    With a clickety-clack, the indicator board flickered into life, although the alphanumeric text continuously flip-flapped. A jumble of digits and letters that formed no comprehensible timetable.

    The Station Master tucked a perfumed rosebud into Clive Bailey's buttonhole.

    "A city gentleman must look dapper for his return to the world of high finance, dear chap."

    He retrieved a ticket from Clive's waistcoat pocket.

    "Don't forget this!"

    "It has no date," said Clive. "No month. No year."

    The Station Master agreed.

    "Unfortunately comes without exchange or refund," he told Clive. "On the other hand, old boy, also means it never expires."

    ----------------------------------------------------------
    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. really? never expires? until Clive tries to use it, that is... mysterious abound here. Love the flickering board image.

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    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com14 November 2018 at 18:53

      Unfortunately... never expires - drips with foreboding, Patricia. Hmm... what's next?

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    3. I noticed "...without refund." what or how much did the ticket cost? Good descriptions and prompt use.

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    4. The train ride that never ends, or never begins... so Twilight Zonish.

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  13. Stop the Week, I want to get off (22)
    Without so much as a flicker of thought it might be a Bad Thing To Do, Shaun created a barricade and cut off one side of the shop. For the first time in what feels like a year, a person who said they were coming did arrive – and wanted the desk behind the barricade… she and I got busy, moved this, shifted that, let her see the desk (old, tired, battered) which she wanted. We cleared the desk, creating a perfume of Dust, then moved everything to slide it out … just another day’s work… and I reduced the price…

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    1. I so understand Shaun and his desire to help. My wife and daughter allow me in the store when stuff needs to be moved of changed and I help with pricing. Just curious is the store on line or FB? mist of Dust was good and I liked how you wove the prompts in.

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    2. Murphy's Law worked in your favor on this one. Just another day's work...liked that.

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    3. Jeffrey, the shop is not on line and I refuse point blank to have anything to do with the proliferation of Devil's spawn, starting with Facebook and including Twitter, Instagram and all. I will not touch them. They are sleeping tigers, will turn on someone at the merest hint of anything untoward. The death of a young man because of false news is a prime example of the damage it can do. I prefer the shop where it is, small, friendly, respected and as safe as a shop can be when the person who is the titular head of it all is so well known no local villain would dare cross him. Never expose yourself to anything in your life you cannot personally protect. Cyber bullying is here to stay.
      Reverting to John's comments about the royals, today Prince William launched a new app for children to deal with cyber bullying. There have been countless suicides of young people through this. Really? Is this what the great Internet has done for us?

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    4. "I reduced the price" raised a delighted chuckle. It seemed so in tune with the rest of the little tale. These vignettes are true gems that I look forward to immensely each week. Have to be honest, didn't even notice the prompts and didn't look for them either. I knew instinctively they were there, but expertly woven into the scenario.

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  14. The Mad Italian 81
    The poppies lack perfume but make up for it in emotion for all they stand for. Was there a flicker on the faces of the royals watching the parade? Each year they watch and stand with stone faces but this 100th anniversary I did detect a hint of a tear on the Queen’s face. Would that we could be sure there would be no more conflicts, bombs or shooting but this is Man we speak of. He is inconsiderate, greedy, ego ridden and savage. There would not have been so many killings so far this year if he were not.

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    1. Unfortunately many of us are like he described. A searching installment Antonia, thanks for sharing.

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    2. I liked that the Italian is turning his attention on the royals. I get kind of sick of those people.

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    3. we need our royals, John, they give us solid tourist attraction - which is fine by me. The Queen is known for not showing her feelings. this Armistice she did and it has gone down well. When she arrived for the Remembrance service Sunday evening, she was met with cheers.

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    4. I always found the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph to be a very moving event. And I remember those poppies every year being (to quote a Beatles song) sold "from a tray." The loss of life over the centuries of war (and battles have been fought for hundreds of years) has meant such a tragic loss of life. Even today, it seems the human race has learned very little.

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  15. Kursaal (Episode One Hundred Thirty Eight) - "Oh Where, Oh Where..."

    Quinn Underwood, Manageress of "Lost and Found," reported for duty every day as the sun flickered its ascent into the heavens and moonflower perfume still permeated the atmosphere. She organized the depository several times during the year and maintained a meticulous inventory.

    It was unusual to see other early birds, so Quinn was surprised when a little girl appeared at her counter and presented a leash with a small dog collar and tag that bore the name "Lulu." Quinn recognized it as belonging to Libby Pepperdyne's pup.

    "Where did you find this?" she asked.

    But the child was gone.

    ---------------------------------------------
    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: Quinn Underwood and Lulu (Libby Pepperdyne's pup) have both featured in previous episodes.

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    1. "as the sun flickered its ascent into the heavens" is an excellent line. Another well done installment in this series, it never disappoints.

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    2. You don't describe the girl, no room to, of course, but I picture her as thin, dark haired and very demure, wearing a drab cotton dress. It says a lot about your writing that a reader conjures an image such as this with no prompting.

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    3. oh my, another mystery. Ghost, phantom, doppelganger, anything we care to put on her, I expect. Nice one.

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  16. Kandar 20:

    In a mansion outside the city of Hyphia, flickering candles helped Pelwrath review some old tomes.
    “How did that thief survive? He believed me about magic and my ring being a key. It was a key but for my brother, the Lord Commander. Now, I’m reading tomes about a dead orc king.”
    He had a bottle of perfumed Taurian wine. Some meats and three year aged cheese. He looked over the old lake.
    “Papa, I remember a simpler time almost. Despite the hardships of being an orphan, there were some good times. It’s best not to digress too much.
    **
    This series started near the end of March 2017 and ran until August 2017. It called to me, so I continued it. My apologies as I had some formatting issues.

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    1. Nice to see this return, Jeffrey. It definitely warrants resurrection.

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  17. I've managed a hurried entry for this week -

    The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry 29

    Nigel knew Tosca was a creature to be wary of, not pitied. He raised a paw to silence the platoon.
    ‘Come on soldier. Let’s get these parts back t’ base burrow, then get cleaned up and sweeten yer perfume a bit.
    A smile flickered at the corner of Tosca’s grubby snout and his nose wrinkled.
    ‘Sorry ‘bout the stink it’s what I do. It keeps enemies away and off guard but This mission weren’t what I ‘spected and the buggers shut me in. I bin diggin’ in there for ages …felt like more ’n a year I kin tells ya.’

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    1. How I do adore these 'dillos. Their attitudes and language never fail to exceed my expectations. I found the prompts particularly well woven into this episode. Perhaps my favourite line this time around is "and the buggers shut me in," but there were really too many to choose from, truth be told.

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    2. This series of yours never disappoints the reader. Nice dialogue and prompt use. You should be proud of your writing.

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  18. Yesterday there was snow, but today I am here.

    The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #155
    Sometimes There is Snow


    Lights flickered as the train sped through the tunnel...into a blinding snowstorm. The world is so fluffy!
    Screech! I suppose we’re at the station. Oh, that’s really cold! Perhaps I should invest in proper boots this year.
    “Hello sir, may I borrow those skis?”
    “Certainly,” the overly perfumed gentleman responded. “Mind the ravines though.”
    “Thank you!”
    And off I went, swishing through the drifts.

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