Friday, 23 November 2018

Jiggety-jig


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

Words for next week: bristle eligible seethe

Entries by Midnight (GMT) Thursday 29th Words and Winners posted Friday 30th November
  
Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

94 comments:

  1. jdeegan536@yahoo.com23 November 2018 at 16:57

    Congratulations, Jerry! Your entry was definitely deserving of the grand prize!

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    Replies
    1. congrats, Jerry, pleased to see you reaching these heights regularly.

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  2. Very nicely done, Jerry. And boy am I glad the choice was out of my hands this past week...!!!

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  3. I may or may not be participating this week. I have a lot going on and likely will not have much time to fully summon such creative juices as I might possess. I'll be back later with comments and will submit tales as and when they demand to be told.

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  4. Huzzah Big Jerry! Well done old bean.

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  5. Thanks, guys.

    In the interest of trying something new, David and I co-wrote this piece.

    Seething
    (With David C. Wilker Jr.)

    I simply stared at her, bristling with rage. My hands curled into unfamiliar fists. I barely noticed the other man scrambling for clothes.

    Her casual statement ("Oh, it's you") had me seething, but I struggled to appear calm.

    I had suspected for over a week but... "So, dear wife, how does one become eligible for a spot on your list? And if I make the list, does that mean you won't continue with your affairs?"

    She turned, sweetly cupping my cheek. "Darling, you wouldn't make the list."

    She never saw the knife in my hand.

    But he did.

    Several times.

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    Replies
    1. Jerry, the wife's two statements were very timely and really set the tone. Just those few words spoke volumes.

      Congrats on your well deserved win last week.

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    2. Epic in scope and sweetly told, especially, as John says, the wife's interjections.

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    3. Excellent ending, and I thought the wife's responses were very well done. I also really loved the imagery of the phrase 'My hands curled into unfamiliar fists'.

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    4. great imagery and clever dialogue, loved it.

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    5. jdeegan536@yahoo.com28 November 2018 at 19:39

      Stunningly effective final three lines! Very, very nice!

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    6. Nicely done. You guys have quite the collaboration going. Hope to see more of this perfect example of "great minds."

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  6. The eligible candidates gathered in a group, smiling like the waste of flesh they were.

    “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Eldon Fisk. I believe you all knew my late daughter, Ariel.”

    The space of a heartbeat, then chaos.

    Some of the sharper people sprinted for the chained doors. Others merely bristled with ill-disguised ignorance. I smiled, while my guts continued seething.

    It wouldn’t bring my sweet Ariel back.

    We were all guilty.

    They took her life with their foolishness and jealousy, and I didn’t protect her.

    I pulled the switch.

    Fire is so pure, and so cleansing.

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    Replies
    1. Cold. calculated. nicely delivered.

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    2. Very tight writing, David. A father's wrath gone viral. I liked the turn of events when the candidates realized why they were gathered.

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    3. 'waste of flesh' - what a gruesome phrase. And how nightmarish their experience.

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    4. Thank you all. I am trying to paint a picture with spare strokes. Less is more, rather. I plan to get better.

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    5. 'Waste of flesh' definitely sets the tone for the piece very well. I also thought the imagery of everyone scrambling towards the doors ratcheted up the tension in a spectacular way.

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    6. for me it was the casually thrown in 'chained doors' which sealed the impact of this piece. Great writing.

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    7. This came across with a coldly calculating message and was so effective in its delivery.

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  7. The Playboy

    Charles missed the eligible bachelor status he once enjoyed. Blessed with extraordinary looks, he had no trouble initially but soon, the women dropped away as his exploits escalated. The tabloid stories now made him bristle. One hit wonder is what they called him.

    Rebecca seethed when Charles smiled at the coat check girl. “Charles, I do hope you don’t do that again.”

    The phantom pain from where his left testicle had been flared. “Yes dear,” he said, recalling the morning he woke from the ordeal. The coat check girl was definitely not worth his right nut.

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    Replies
    1. Ouch. Am I right in thinking Rebecca had best not be crossed?

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    2. Yes, your suspicions are correct, but then, if you had testicles, you'd know right off...

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    3. A clever story. I'm very curious how he ended up with Rebecca. :)

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    4. very clever story, hinting so much and then crushing his hopes!

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    5. Such a telling tale. And one that makes me cringe so purpose served, I suppose.

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    6. jdeegan536@yahoo.com28 November 2018 at 19:49

      "The phantom pain from..." That line really grabbed me and shook me to attention, John. Having but two, we males must be very careful. Well done!

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    7. We can always rely on you for something entirely out of the box and so thoroughly entertaining. What I wouldn't give for just a fleeting glimpse into your imaginative thought process.

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  8. Change of focus [304]

    Pettinger took the opportunity to observe the dynamics between Balincek and his hormone-seething son. The smattering of soft bristles on the youth’s top lip, long enough to suggest careful nurturing, but not yet eligible for shaving, put him no more than five years older than Aleks.
    Aleks, currently somewhere on the roof with God only knew what sort of plan in mind. He’d acted fast. Had no way of knowing his father was on the way. Could it be Valdeta was already under threat; Rowan and his father merely seeking to delay?
    No, Pettinger was sure Aleks’ instincts were sound.

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    1. Words awaiting deeds [Threshold 225]

      Raven’s soft words of greeting to the would-be Norse men were insufficient to inspire total trust; his default expression alone rendered him ineligible as an emissary of peace. He had the wit, however, to suppress his bristling fury, give a fairy-tale account of our history, state why we were there and ask a couple of intelligent questions about their beliefs.
      His shoulders testified to his suspicion.
      My ears alert, I heard, above the seething of the nearby stream, footfalls soft and stealthy to my rear.
      Only then did I became aware there was not a single female anywhere among them.



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    2. Sandra, it's good to see you, Pettinger and Raven back in the fold. Lots of action with Aleks and God only knows what the plan is there, though I'm certain God may not approve. And then Raven, an unlikely emissary of peace, is also up to his ears in trouble. Two good stories with all kinds of angles and directions for you to take them. Nice going.

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    3. Thanks John. Had a horrible moment when I thought I'd not be able to pick it up again, but phew!!

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    4. I love how you described the youth. Your scenes always come alive so vividly in my head, and the characters continue to intrigue me. :)

      I also really enjoyed how you portrayed Raven, and his emotions coming through his movements. I loved the phrase 'His shoulders testified to his suspicion'.

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    5. Pettinger: You certainly haven't lost one iota of your talent for intrigue. Oh how I have missed Pettinger!

      Threshold: As always, your ability to select exactly the right combination from a wealth of words creates scenes that come to life. Raven is such a fascinating character.

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  9. Pillow talk

    Ow!
    ‘”Ow” darling?’
    ‘Bristles.’
    ‘Sorry, darling. Didn’t think. Wanted not to waste a moment –‘
    ‘It’s just ... it leaves a rash –‘
    ‘And you’re worried he’ll notice?’
    ‘I know he’ll notice. Problem is, it renders you eligible –’
    ‘Eligible? For what, darling?’
    ‘Revenge, darling. After he’s forced me to give you his name.’
    ‘He’ll force you?’
    ‘Oh yes. He doesn’t do sweet words of persuasion while inwardly seething. He needs to let a little blood.’
    Your blood? The bastard! How can we stop him?’
    ‘You could stand between him and me. Quickly now, he’s already got his key in the door.’

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    Replies
    1. This is certainly intense. What a choice this poor fellow has to make. But then, if he'd only shaved...

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    2. I do love a dialogue-only tale and this is well done. Tells a story possibly more completely than had descriptions had been added in. So well done!

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    3. There's almost a feeling like she planned it somehow. I also enjoyed the dialogue only scene, and the ratcheting tension. Hopefully they survive!

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    4. jdeegan536@yahoo.com29 November 2018 at 17:01

      Great building of suspense until BOOM! it hits us. Beautifully done!

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    5. Lady after my own heart here and then I noticed that gender is not part of the picture. Perhaps not of the female sex at all...but that's just my mind wandering off in its own direction...isn't it?

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  10. Cripplegate Junction/Part 166 - Returns

    The Grande Dame clutched an overstuffed carpet bag to an equally overstuffed bosom and argued eligibility of her first class ticket with the Conductor. Unaccustomed to her authority being challenged. the Grande Dame seethed, feathers insufferably ruffled. She threatened the unfortunate Conductor with immediate dismissal for insolence and then, a youth wearing an "Elsie's Dairy" apron captured her attention.

    "You there, lad!" summoned the Grande Dame. "Did you find my valuable chess piece yet?"

    She bristled at the young man's blank expression as the Conductor made good his escape from her cantankerous presence.

    The delivery boy was not so lucky.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    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. The Grand Dame's cantankerous presence is certainly annoying, though she does make for a compelling character.

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    2. Yes, indeed.the Grande Dame is one of my favourites, dI hear her denouncing in tones of Margaret Rutherford.

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    3. I love how you described the Grande Dame and her strong, irritated presence. I loved the first two lines. :)

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  11. jdeegan536@yahoo.com28 November 2018 at 05:28

    CONSCRIPTION 4: NIGHTHAWKS

    The bloodied woman hesitated then retreated into darkness. I followed her to a tumbledown eatery named NIGHTHAWKS. She entered. I paused and stared with mounting fervor into Limboland’s malignant heart.

    Bone-melting deserts…bone-freezing mountaintops…bone-crushing ocean depths - places on Earth not intended for human habitation. Limboland is such a place. It seethes with decay and decadence and is layered with a foul pall that eats through board and brick like noxious acid.

    But eligibility for residency here is simple: divest yourself of all things human.

    I approached NIGHTHAWKS and peered through a grime-coated window.

    My mind began bristling with sadistic anticipation.

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    1. Had to go back and read from the beginning - the slow ratcheting-up of atmosphere and tension superbly done.

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    2. Superb continuation of a most unique serialization. This is quickly becoming necessary to the standard fare of this forum and one that I look forward to every week.

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    3. The descriptions in this piece are so vivid and captivating, and positively thrumming with menace. I really loved the line 'But eligibility for residency here is simple: divest yourself of all things human.'

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  12. This story is all about the setting and you set it up perfectly. Limboland is not to be trifled with.

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  13. Hollow

    Elle scrubbed her arms with the bristle brush, a rapid back and forth, praying each rough stroke would rip the magic from her thinning skin.

    Undante seethed beside her. “Can’t change your blood, little demon girl. You should be grateful. You should be on your knees, praising the Dark Mother.”

    “I’m not my father,” Elle said, her voice breaking.

    “No? Look at this bloody mess.” Undante barked a laugh. “You’re eligible for the Dark Hall now. You’ve made your first kill.”

    “No.” Elle scrubbed harder, tears dripping down her cheeks. “I’m not my father.”

    It sounded hollow, just like her.

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    Replies
    1. It seems Elle is on a gruesome path, though reluctantly so. Undante was an apt, well written character. Nice.

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    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com29 November 2018 at 01:15

      I love the way you craft dialog, Zaiure. It is so perfectly framed within the story.

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    3. As ever, your use words and the scene you set sets my mind afloat with possibilities - lovely stuff.

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    4. You never fail to bring a certain elegant beauty of words to this forum. I'd love to see you put in an appearance every week but the fact you sometimes go missing only brings a happy dance when I do see your name.

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  14. Kursaal (Episode One Hundred Forty) - "Brotherly Love"

    Arbuthnot and Benny Jester were the Kursaal's most eligible bachelors. Ladies worshipped Arby and lads of a certain persuasion adored Benny. Same could not be said of the lovelorn Lenny, who seethed at the innumerable romantic conquests.

    Unfortunately for Arby and Benny, discarded ex-lovers bristled at abandonment. Lenny believed such festering resentment could be used to his advantage. He vowed to enlist the Scorned Sisterhood (Arby's cast-offs) and Crow the Choleric Clown (Benny's throwaway fling) to effectuate the demise of both his brothers.

    The plan, currently embryonic, would surely be phenomenal.

    Now Lenny finally had something to look forward to!

    ---------------------------------------------
    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: The Jester Brothers (Benny, Lenny and Arbuthnot) as well as Crow (The Choleric Clown) and the Scorned Sisterhood have all featured in previous episodes.

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    1. The unrest in the Jester family makes for some good reading. I'm looking forward to hear more of Lenny's plan.

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    2. I love your creative names - 'Scorned Sisterhood (Arby's cast-offs) and Crow the Choleric Clown'. Always so intriguing!

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  15. It seems Elle is on a gruesome path, though reluctantly so. Undante was an apt, well written character. Nice.

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  16. Stop the Week, I want to get off (24)
    Bristle and seethe are the two things I experience when someone asks ‘busy?’… which people do, regularly… almost making me eligible for the local sanatorium… as does cleaning the floor, then someone tips sawdust out of ancient formers (don’t ask, I can’t begin to work out what they do but they’re big, wooden and in demand.) The beauty of this week is the damp dark afternoons, which make the shop lights glow even brighter and the Christmas decorations glitter in those lights. Loving the window displays, already planning the New Year work… but ever must we look ahead.

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    1. This imparts something Dickensian to your shop window.

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    2. I was searching for the correct description for this lovely little piece, but noticed that Sandra really said it all with "Dickensian." What wonderful, magical images this conjures.

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    3. I loved the imagery of the glowing windows during the 'damp dark afternoons'.

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  17. The Mad Italian 83
    They scream in brittle voices which make them eligible for the Club, the parliament which sits to control your life, they scream of freedom, recession, resignation and a hundred other foolish things, while the sensible ones seethe in an agony of silence while waiting for the times to change, which they always do and always will. If there is a Brexit deal, it will not be welcomed everywhere. If there is not, there will be chaos. There is no way out of this mess unless someone becomes the leader this country no longer has and really needs right now.

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    1. Not really being familiar with "Brexit," I sometime fail to recognize the significance, but the observations of the Mad Italian are not necessarily focused on one particular event and encompasses a myriad of affairs, of which it's not necessarily necessary to know every detail.

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    2. I'm also not as familiar with it, but his conversations are always multi-faceted and speak to many political climates. I can merely raise my glass in acknowledgement.

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  18. more from me tomorrow, usual migraine headache creeping in, not really 100% here but the Mad Italian was pushy tonight, get the pieces done, he was busy demanding, as only he can...

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    1. Sorry to hear about the migraine, Antonia. Hope Leonardo didn't make matters too intolerable for you with his insistence.

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    2. Hope your migraine was swift to leave! They can be horrid.

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  19. Rivalry

    The final two. What an honour!
    Eligibility did not come easy or often.
    Now, it was up to the prestigious panel.
    Work ethic was appraised. Attitude was assessed.
    The air bristled with anticipation.
    Suspense churned like a seething cauldron.
    The decision would be announced any minute.
    Wait for it. Wait for it.
    Patience was a virtue.
    Something of a stifled chuckle at that thought!
    The pair of little imps shuffled nervously from cloven hoof to cloven hoof.
    Only one could be promoted to the next level.

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    1. jdeegan536@yahoo.com29 November 2018 at 01:09

      'Suspense churned like a seething cauldron' is a splendid use of language, Patricia, in a tight and clever tale.

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    2. I love how this piece unfolded, and how my imagination sparked with the clue about 'cloven hoof to cloven hoof'. I really loved the phrasing 'Suspense churned like a seething cauldron.'

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  20. jdeegan536@yahoo.com29 November 2018 at 01:03

    DO YOU KNOW

    “Do you know that the bristlecone pine is the oldest living thing on earth?”

    “Who cares!?” my wife seethingly spat back. She waved away a cloud of cigarette smoke and grabbed her Bloody Mary.

    “Do you know that the inland taipan is world’s deadliest snake?”

    She struggled to her feet. “I don’t give a damn about this worthless crap you constantly spit out! You’re making me eligible for the funny farm!”

    I walked toward her, raised my hand.

    “Do you know the jagdkommdo tri-dagger is the world’s deadliest knife?”

    She gasped and fell backward.

    “That’s one sticking in your chest.”

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    1. My younger son frequently sends me such snippets; the last on the cubic shape of wombat poo. Have to say I never thought of a jagdkommdo tri-dagger as retaliation, but he lives 200 miles away ...

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    2. This reminded me of Michael Caine and his famous, "Not many people know that!" This moved along at a brisk pace and even provided us with some probably unknown information along the way. Wonder what other valuable facts this "gentleman" has up his sleeve.

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    3. Interesting facts, and a great, surprising twist! Very matter-of-fact and enjoyable.

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  21. Death Before Dying

    The artist bristles,
    insanity caressing his thoughts.
    Not happy with himself he whistles
    Does this makes me a naught?

    Seething emotions create a maelstrom.
    Am I as bad as many say?
    Some like where I get my tales from.
    My malfeasance always on display.

    Crazy and sane, I’m eligible to write.
    Looking at their faces
    All filled with delight.
    My words filled empty spaces.

    Capability matters less
    Than being honest with oneself.
    to have success
    admit this to yourself.

    Railing at windmills
    complaining about rules
    puts you through a grist mill
    only makes you king of fools.




    NOTE: Been very busy this week. Had an old college friend drop by and four interviews for jobs. I'll try and get some comments in tonight.

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    1. And good luck with the job interviews, by the way!

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    2. I also enjoyed the rhythm of this. Lots of great imagery and relatable lines. Loved the phrasing of 'Seething emotions create a maelstrom.'

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  22. This has something of an autobiographical feel to it. I particularly liked the sense of rhythm.

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  23. The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry - 31

    Sarg bristled and growled, ‘Who’s the stinking troublemaker?’

    ‘E’ wuz in a ‘ole protectin’ the missing parts Sarg.
    Sez he’s their guardian warrior.’

    ‘That don’t make ‘im eligible to lay ‘ands on me personal bits.’ Sarg seethed, scowling at Tosca, ‘Wats ‘e hidin in all that crap fer?’ She sniffed, ‘Smells like shite too; but knows how t’ fight, I kin see that.
    Where d’yu lern yer trade soldier?’

    Tosca rustled his crusty body armour, ‘Dunno, wuz a foundling pup. Don’t a‘member me folks, and as fer fightin’; never ‘ad a teacher. It’s summat I alus bin able to do.’

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    Replies
    1. Managed a couple of last minute entries

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  24. The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry - 32

    As Tosca was talking to Sarg, Atlas stood under the berry bush working his ponderous way through clues he knew Armi had left for him. Snouting into the seething pile of pale-winged moths he chewed them as he mused.
    He glanced up at the ripe berries and his whiskers suddenly bristled as the grimy pass-ticket flapped conspicuously in the breeze. He reached up and pulled it free. Although dirty, it was still eligible for use.
    Within moments Atlas was lumbering purposefully along the path towards the brushwood entrance to Fat Franks.
    He held out the pass-ticket to the doorkeeper.

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    1. A double dose. How totally delightful. Many things to capture the imagination here, but I believe "me personal bits" has to top my list. And there I was, worried that an installment wouldn't make this week's cut!

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    2. Woke up to this - what a treat. So good to see the solid brick by brick building of what will be a wonderful novel.

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    3. This world is always so vibrant. I loved the phrasing of the line 'Snouting into the seething pile of pale-winged moths he chewed them as he mused.'

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  25. jdeegan536@yahoo.com30 November 2018 at 01:22

    The "language" you have created for these wonderful tales, Terrie, is utterly fascinating! I love reading these installments.

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  26. The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #157
    This Person Asked Nicely


    “Hullo officials! I’d like a train if you please.”
    “Uhh, I don’t know how you got in here but we can’t-” shick-clunk
    “Now who’s next?”
    “Uhh, ma’am-” thud-clunk
    The stranger bristled. “I am not a ma’am!”
    “Sir, I can have a train ready in an hour.”
    “I suppose you may live,” they seethed, “though I’m not strictly a sir either.”
    “Oh, thank you!”
    “Shut up. An hour is enough time to-what are you writing?”
    The head elephant quaked. “A letter to the dispatcher sir-” boom-clunk
    “That’s eligible for a proper warning, now where’s my red pen?”

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    1. Slightly manic, as ever, ans that 'shick-clunk' so perfect at setting the scene - a lesson to remember.

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    2. Excellent title and I enjoyed the back and forth dialogue. Definitely sounds like someone not to get on the bad side of!

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