Friday 20 December 2019

Once upon a time …


Patricia’s comment about how far we’ve come since or beginnings her sent me searching for my first effort, back in February 2011. Entitled ‘Bastard, it ran to just 54 words: “He had coached her, not wisely, except in his own self-interest, but too well, and when her third “I’m late” was said too late, and the grey of his eyes changed as speedily as the Irish weather, from promise to perdition, she knew to jump. Into the outgoing, grey-green, full moon, Spring solstice tide.”
I ran away after this    the competition was hugely daunting! – only to creep back, already addicted, later in the year.

Somehow, several of you misinterpreted my selection of winner for last week as David and not Jim – apologies for not making it clear, The final nomination of 2019, as difficult a choice as ever, but because I’ve always had a soft spot for Hamnet, is Patricia’s ‘Hamnet’s Quandry‘, but I hope all you regulars know how much your immense contribution to this site is appreciated – thank you and may 2020 be as enjoyable.

I hadn’t intended to set words for next week, but if desired, have a go with my very first-encountered
prompt words – Irish, coach, tide.

First words for 2020 entries:  feint northern opt

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 2nd January, words and winners posted Friday 3rd

 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 uses 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.

Friday 13 December 2019

It wasn't such a dark and stormy night … and the sun rose well before morning

Which is good to see: I don’t remember December being quite so gloomy as it was yesterday.
At least no gloom here, Plenty other nasty stuff, headed by John’s ‘Unscrupulous’ but also clever stuff (David’s  Steamy Punk Tale) In the end I was torn between either Antonia’s ‘Sending a postcard home...’ or  the untitled Magi tale; then halted for an age on Patricia’s ‘Undeliverable’. In the end, however, it had to be Jim’s  ‘The Journey’ for sheer impact. 
Thank you all for your contributions.

Words for next week: replete thrill yoke

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 19th December, words and winners posted Friday 20th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 6 December 2019

Blue hills wearing a flamingo-tinted scarf


Is how today began. Regrettably, after a Blake display of cloudscapes, it all went gloomy. Back to the laptop screen where ‘bright’ added extra sparkle to this week’s entries.

Winner this week is John for the latest episode of ‘The Bray Chronicles’ detailing Bartholomew’s insatiable desire for Moroccans. Thank you all for your contributions and comments, which makes this site what it is.

Words for next week: intercourse postcard tobacco
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 12th December, words and winners posted Friday 13th*
*But maybe late because I’ll likely stay up much of the night for the election results

 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 uses 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.

Friday 29 November 2019

George talks and December looms


Those of you who have long had Windows 10 will no doubt be familiar with its read aloud facility but it was a revelation to me as George ploughed through all 405 pages of ‘Drink with a dead man’, the fourth in my ‘Love triangles with murder’ series, mis-pronouncing names, not noticing italics, and assuming en dashes (of which I’m very fond) were hyphens and thus running words together. But showing up missing words and my lack of commas.

And this week’s winner is David, for the chilling portentousness of his ‘Once Upon a Time in 1979’. Thank you all for your contributions – posts and comments being the lifeblood of this site.


Words for next week: bright enunciation scald
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th December, words and winners posted Friday 6th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 22 November 2019

Lost and found

.
Next week’s words are  accent interfere stark

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th November, words and winners Friday 29th

New laptop yesterday, files all gone AWOL or lunatic and this cobbled from a folder of years ago (and posted out of order because the margins aren't behaving). And not one of you has made an effort to make this week’s choice of “a winner” in the slightest bit easy; truly I don’t know when I’ve had a harder selection to choose from. But needs must, so I’ve picked two – Holly for the gorgeous sensuality of her ‘Climate change’ and Jim for what I think is just about the yukkiest of the many gruesome ones this week:  'Doing my job'.

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. Serialized 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 best pleases you 

Friday 15 November 2019

'November Rain' very apt this month


Oof, woken from one of those running for the train/where is he?/who’s got the tickets/forgot to put my phone on dreams to find it’s an hour later than usual. So, a hastier than usual read-through whereupon Patricia’s Cripplegate Junction/Part 211 - Connections, featuring Clive Bailey, feels particularly apt as this week’s winner.

Thank you, as ever, for participation with posts and comments without which this place would wither and die.

Words for next week: bookmark interior supine
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 21st November, words posted Friday 22nd

 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 uses 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.

Friday 8 November 2019

On road and rail again


I’m travelling today, and won’t be home until late, so herewith words for next week. Winners to be posted sometime Saturday.

And apologies - Craigievar Castle was a wonderful location for a writing retreat, in part (unexpectedly) because it totally lacked any sort of signal. I've commented on last week's entries and doubt anyone will dispute me naming David's 'There’s a Seuss Loose Aboot This Hoose' the winner.

Words for next week: augment  Eve* surgeon

*Eve to be used as a name, not a noun (so not just at the start of a sentence)

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 14th November, words posted Friday 15th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 1 November 2019

Pinch and a punch


I’ve said it so often it’s beginning to sound insincere (which definitely is not my intention, not am I complaining!)  but when, week after week, each  and every entry appears to surpass the previous ones – at least until I re-read them on Thursday prior to making a choice – the need to set one of you above the rest does feel, no matter how I shift and re-shift the goalposts, more than a little unfair. This week I juggled endlessly with three entries, all of equal merit, but in the end, my ball skills being what they are, dropped two and was left with John’s ‘Cause and effect’. And the need, again, to thank you for all the comments you make on my somewhat self-indulgent pieces.
Next week’s words have a spark of topicality:

Words for next week: census extrovert bonfire

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 7th November, words posted Friday 8th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 25 October 2019

Quality ever-rising


We’ve some good friends visiting from Alabama this week – a mini writing group – and although  time to properly read and judge has been in short supply, my early rising has enabled me to pick, from among this week’s offerings of, as Patricia says, depravity – Holly’s ‘Keeping the peace’ as this week’s winner. I’m sort of covering my eyes in anticipation of what you will make of this week’s prompts.

Words for next week: bullock odour tangent

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 31st October, words posted Friday November 1st

 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 uses 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.

Friday 18 October 2019

Hot chocolate indeed ...


As usual I began going through the week’s entries,  making a note of potential winners . Stopped myself when I realised it included every one. So, this week John gets a mention for his Bray Chronicles, all the more impressive for his saying he ‘couldn’t do’ serials. That second episode was a fine example of the several vignettes we were treated to, all magically creating unease without spelling it out. Patricia’s ‘Supply and demand ‘ a good example of that. Jim’s ‘The battle’ up-ended expectations  and David’s ‘Such big eyes you have’ a vivid modern upending of an old tale.

And since  I cannot split the four of you, and am as admiring as ever of Antonia’s weekly tale, I’m declaring every one a winner this week. Well done and thank you all for the richest of writings and caring-est of comment.

Words for next week: innocent lodge uncover
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 23th October, words 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 uses 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.

Friday 11 October 2019

A failure of communication


Too hastily posted, but unwilling to spell it out over-baldly, I failed to make my last week’s post completely clear: the old lady was blind, as well as being robbed blind by two opportunist burglars-become murders – my apologies.

At least this week’s winner is simple enough to decipher: Patricia’s five-episode ‘Reflections’ was stand-out. Not so much for the multiplicity of episodes but the skill in the build-up and repetition of prompts without them jarring. And, of course, the ever-increasing tension.

Words for next week: cardboard confluence drama
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 17th October, words posted Friday 18th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 4 October 2019

“Overheard on a saltmarsh”


A poem by Harold Monro which never fails to fascinate me, from which I’ve take the words for next week
.
Winner from this week, chosen in a bit of a rush as I’ve been to the Inner Hebrides and back since Monday, where WiFi was but fleeting, but even on a stolen glimpse Jim’s gruesome ‘Tailor-made’ haunted my imagination, sufficiently for me to declare him this week’s winner. Thank you all for your participation.

Words for next week: beads stare voice

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 10th October, words posted Friday 11th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 27 September 2019

A bad case of the bends


A week spent trying to unblock a new-installed sink, fearing the necessity of the removal of a just-laid floor; thankfully averted after half a dozen kettlefuls of boiling water (that after visits from three different professionals, the last of which probably helped). Inbetweentimes reading and enjoying the week’s wonderful offerings.

A supplementary ‘Well done’, John, for a triple episode of inflated horror (have you read Tom Sharpe’s ‘Wilt’ books? you’d enjoy the blow-up doll in one of them) and top place goes to Patricia for the complexity of emotions aroused by ‘Here comes the bride’. Thank you all for your ever-entertaining entries.

Words for next week: collar pot-pourri lint

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 3rd October, words posted Friday 4th

 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 uses 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.

Friday 20 September 2019

It’s in the rules, innit?

Thank you indeed for your participation in my semi-absence, and for the quality of the entries in both weeks. Even so, I believe you have surpassed yourselves this week because with each succeeding entry I’ve thought “It has to be that one” only to change my mind after the next. (And that despite reading from top to bottom and back again.)

So ... I was rather forcibly reminded that ‘horror’ is the first listed requirement, since we had several gagging-inducing examples including walking cadavers, several gruesome uses of eyeballs, a naked bird, alien invaders and an ancient paedophile. All superbly and vividly described and delivered. 
In the end – and it took a while – John’s combination of two of the horrors in ‘Can birds smile?’ emerged the winner, but not, I fear, without trampling one or three other contenders underfoot.

Words for next week: eighteen procrastinate sweetheart

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 26th September,
 words posted Friday 27th

Also, because I promised to let you know, 'Commission & omission' is now available from Blurb in either print or pdf. Go to my blog, lines of communication, and click on the double spread cover on top left-hand side for more details. Pettinger is not mentioned but he's definitely there, on the first page of the preview. 

Friday 13 September 2019

Precaution and playing safe


Less hazardous, but a following a week’s holiday and with departure from our lodgings in Kirkwall set for today I have scheduled words but in case my participation is not (or has not been) possible I ask you to once again please nominate your personal favourite from last week’s entries.

Words for next week: peacock recede vex

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 19th September, words posted Friday 20th


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 uses 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.

Friday 6 September 2019

A time to gaze at the horizon!


I’ll be at the very top of Scotland when this appears, shortly to be at the mercy of the Pentland Firth, and definitely no chance of wi-fi, so have scheduled words and a free choice week: please nominate your personal favourite from last week’s entries.

Words for next week: coward jeer wake

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 12th September, words posted Friday 13th

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 uses 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.

Friday 30 August 2019

Whistles and drills, dust and transformation


It’s best part of twenty-five years since our kitchen was last refurbished, and then my new-retired husband did it. (while I went out to work). This week two men, plus plasterer and electrician, have got on with it with far greater efficiency, while I am marooned upstairs. So, no excuse not to read and fully ponder on this week’s entries.

No easier to place one, however slightly, above the rest and I’m relieved that you recognise the difficulty. This week David’s ‘The Last Noel?’ rose to the top of the pile – tight writing and a heart-rending tale.

Words for next week: satchel liberty scrub    
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 5th September, words posted Friday 6th

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 uses 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.

Friday 23 August 2019

“Revenge proves its own executioner” [John Ford 1586-1639?]


And following last week’s excellent entries, and the difficulties you had choosing a winner, you seem to have tried harder still to present me with a near impossible choice this week, and from such innocuous words! I am, if it is possible, even more admiring of the lot of you. Given fourteen to choose from, and being ├╝ber ruthless,  I came up with a shortlist of four. Stuck there, reading and re-reading, rearranging and discarding until I was left with a favourite. This time it was the language which impinged; the freshness of usage, and in the end it was Terrie’s  ‘Gathering Magic’ which came top, but such a close run thing.

Words for next week: coincidence leather sage
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 29th August, words posted Friday 30th

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 uses 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.

Friday 16 August 2019

Relying on you to choose ...


Since I cannot be sure of having time enough to pay proper attention, I'm offering another free choice week: please nominate your personal favourite from last week's offerings.

Words for next week: chair industrial string

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 22nd August, words posted Friday 23rd

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 uses 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.

Friday 9 August 2019

Fire training school ...


... is where I’m headed on Saturday. Not to learn about ladders, hoses and extricating stretched bodies from a burning building but yet another international BSA gathering – 400 attendees if not motorbikes I’m told. One effect of which is that words will be scheduled for 16th August, and you once again get to name your favourite  entry using the words below, since I’ve no idea about the quality of the wi-fi, nor how much spare time I’ll have.

Many riches this week, and I thank you all for your contributions and your comments – some as richly entertaining as the post themselves – for me Terrie’s  ‘Death’s Handmaiden’ rises to the top.

Words for next week: bench counter obfuscate
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 15th August, words posted Friday 16th

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 uses 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.

Friday 2 August 2019

A less than blissful ignorance


An impressive amount of Biblical knowledge revealed this week, amidst a variety and richness of settings; for which Patricia’s ‘Deuteronomy 32:35’ gets an honourable mention. Winner, however, somewhat self-indulgently for the memories it evoked for me, is David’s ‘Moses and the Devil’ - so many lovely phrases.   Thank you all, as ever, for posts, comments and your continuing presence.

Words for next week: alphabet hopeless ribbon

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 8th August, words posted Friday 9th

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 uses 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.

Friday 26 July 2019

Feeling the heat

... and a little self-promotion: ‘Step so grave’, the first in my series of ‘love triangles with murder’ has finally been published. Although Vanessa Quintain makes a two-page appearance, John Pettinger doesn’t appear until the third book in the series (a month or so before I finalise that one). lines of communication has more details.

And so, in the temporary cool of 5.30 a.m. I re-read, re-enjoy and, eventually, select a shortlist for last week’s winner, which includes two late entries: John’s ‘What happens in Tasmania stays in Tasmania’, Terrie’s  ‘SAS diaries’ 76 (nary a mention of a ‘dillo, yet I pictured them correctly!) and Gita’s ‘Blood-letter’, which I’m delighted to declare, is my eventual winner.  As ever, the joy of seeing the umpteen uses of three innocent words is never-ending, and I thank you for the posting and the comments.

Words for next week: Moses twelve import
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 1st August, words posted Friday 2nd

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 uses 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.

Friday 19 July 2019

Too many good books, too little time


Others’ good books - there have been a few all-absorbing ones lately, plus, like Holly, I’m final-drafting and preparing for publication. So far more short of time than this week’s seemingly extra-rich entries merit. The one that had the greatest kick-in-the-gut impact on this week’s final re-reading, was Patricia’s ‘Mouthy’, although, as ever, there were several commanding almost equal attention.
And, as ever, I thank you all for your participation, both posting and commenting.

Words for next week: cricket file spindle
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th July, words posted Friday 26th

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 uses 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.

Friday 12 July 2019

Peverse?

Last week’s prompt words certainly kicked off a full-on dose of skilfully-evoked and stomach-curdling horror;  culminating, (for me) in Jim’s tongue in lap. 

But in trying to pick a winner I found myself more drawn to the more subtle uses of them, of which Holly’s ‘Glamour’ was a prime example, hinting at things gone possibly wrong which sent my mind soaring to identify. For those qualities,  I declare Holly this week's winner, But, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the criteria shift every week, so keep the horror coming.

Words for next week: abstract  insult  tongue

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 18th July, words posted Friday 19th

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 uses 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.

Friday 5 July 2019

“Nights are drawing in”


Possibly for the first time since we married (way, way back when)  my husband omitted to refer, on the 22nd June, to the passing of the summer solstice. Not that I’m complaining. No more than I am about the quantity of good writing and the resultant difficulty of choosing a winner.

Terrie, of course, gets a ‘welcome back’ back mention, especially because episode 73 of the SAS diaries so very nearly came top, but after many readings and re-readings of the other four on the shortlist, I finally plumped for Jim’s ‘Job Seeker’ version II. Thank you all for comments and critique – such a valuable part of this place.

Words for next week: crave plaster upwind

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 11th July, words posted Friday 12th

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 uses 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.

Friday 28 June 2019

White wine, Minster and memories


This week for me a get-together with a friend, not met with for forty years – a joy to roll back the years to school days. And an equal joy to return here to read this week’s offerings. But, an important question – is it only me suffering from ‘dillo deprivation?  I realise Terri has been absent for  while – does anyone know where or why she’s gone?

This week’s winner is Patricia. Initially for ‘Casting’ then, because of its title (something I too often struggle with so am all the more admiring) for "Georgie-Boy Endicott a/k/a Big Dipper", episode 169 of Kursaal  – and also I loved ‘rapscallion’.
  
Words for next week: familiar necessary thumb

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 4th July, words posted Friday 5th

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 uses 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.

Friday 21 June 2019

In a week of knockout competition


So ... back to judging, with renewed vigour having written 10K of my current wip and brought it to a first-draft close (and no, no nearer self-pubbing 1, 2 and 3, having been visited with writing inspiration for 4). Also with renewed relief, having seen, once again, that there is rarely a consensus  when each of you is given a choice and discover – as I do weekly – that it is the elimination of two or three others which is often harder than the naming of the winner. 

This week no exception: from a shortlist of four, I name John as winner, for ‘The last shebang’, with David’s ‘Children’s Crusade’, Patricia’s ‘Give it  rest’ and Jerry’s ‘The Council’ as runners-up.

Please keep them coming - both posts and comments.

Words for next week: ballot distant smith

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 27th June, words posted Friday 28th

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 uses 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.

Friday 14 June 2019

From blue sky to grey

Back late yesterday after an astonishingly blue-skyed and warm eight days in Iceland, begun and ended with Reykavik grey, damp and cold. A fascinating and beautiful country, visually and geologically, and some very, very good meals.

Thank you for the votes on my entry a couple of weeks ago; I've skim-read this week's and will pronounce a winner when I've had change to do so properly. but hope you will, as originally requested, post your own choices.

Words for next week: ashes navigate snare

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 21st June, words and winners posted Friday 22nd

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 uses 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.

Friday 7 June 2019

A Scheduled Stop

A free choice week: please post your personal favourite on Friday 14th

Words for next week: cuticle disparage generate
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 13th June, words posted Friday 14th

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 uses 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.

Friday 31 May 2019

Rickety, rackety bridge


My husband being the instigator and organiser of holidays, I was taken unawares by the news that we’ll shortly be off to Iceland for ten days.

So I will schedule words for 14th June and once again ask you to indicate your personal favourite:
1) On the 7th, from the words below, and, because I’ll return too late to do it justice,
2) On the the 14th using the scheduled words.
Normal service will be resumed thereafter.

This week’s winner ... well, as is becoming very normal, I’d plenty horrors to choose from. John offered a rattled door and a damaged dick, Patricia grasshoppers in aspic. David cultivated mermaids and Jerry failed to create a homunculus. However, Holly’s dead sycophants and translucent canines topped the lot and I declare her the week’s winner.

Words for next week: confidential midnight troll

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 6th June, words posted Friday 7th

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 uses 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.

Friday 24 May 2019

Channelling Stereophonics


Performance last week rich and varied as ever, on top of which we were treated to the extra – and to me surprising – ingredient of cocktails, only superseded by the ever-intoxicating treat of Terrie’s use of language. Yet for me there was an instant stand-out, for reasons which I’ll not attempt to analyse, as mush because it makes a change not to suffer half an hour of face-screwed indecision. So thank you David, for the wonderful  'Serengeti Incident'. And thank you to the rest of you for writing and for commenting.

Words for next week: deck, inchoate, serrate

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 30th May, words and winners posted Friday 31st

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 uses 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.

Friday 17 May 2019

Light flashing red then blue


This week one of intermittent internet, a couple of good books and writing progress. Fingers crossed I’ll get the opportunity to post words tomorrow, if nothing else, which would feel a more than a little churlish after the week’s especially rich offerings. As ever, so many worthy of top place but only one can be legitimately named if tension and momentum is to be maintained. Plus, the title as well as the content suggested it deserved first place: Patricia’s‘ ‘Runaway Rejection’, of course.
And, of course, there were several others snapping at her heels – a tough choice, as Antonia recognised.   Thank you all for comment and continuing participation.

Words for next week: disappoint grasshopper strap

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 23rd May, 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 uses 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.

Friday 10 May 2019

Cloaks of many colours


Another week of successful weaving a rich variety of tales from a trio of simple words. If nothing else, the Prediction has taught me about the divergence and uniqueness in the minds of each of us; no longer do I fear that what I put together will be so obvious as to be boring. Which of course, makes picking a ‘winner’ such a near-meaningless task, but I trust you are all able to know how close you came.
This week, despite David snapping at his heels, I declare John the winner, for his double bill of ‘So, you want to be in pictures’ and ‘The Assassin’s Creed’ – not least for the delight of the titles.

Words for next week: episode peg vixen

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 16th May, words and winners posted Friday 17th

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 uses 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.

Friday 3 May 2019

“Zounds! I was never so bethumped with words” [Shakespeare: King John]


Or not. And fascinating to see the crop of posts that grew from last week’s.

Jim (MORTHAN and I), Patricia (My Own Sweet Way)  and John (Friends) all went for the humorous/quirky; David (So High Above the Chimney Tops) and Terrie ((SAS) Diaries - entries 62 and 63 – check it out) had superb opening sentences, and Dave’s PARADISE taped into my nightmares, but I don’t think I’ll cause much dissension in declaring this week’s winner Holly for her ‘Angels’.

Thank you all for comments and contributions which make this site the pleasure that it is.

Words for next week: eradicate innocent tow

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 9th May, words and winners posted Friday 10th

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 uses 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.

Friday 26 April 2019

Richness indeed


Not sure whether it was the chocolate (which, for the most part, I avoided, with considerable regret) or the extra holidays, but there was certainly something in the air that spawned a wealth of entries. Which, having revelled in them, it is now my task to attempt to rank in some sort of order. Terrie treated us to three episodes of armadillo activities plus a stand alone, John, the top-class delight of ‘The Mobster’s Daughter’, and Patricia a pair of inventivenesses in ‘Hobson’s Choice’ and ‘Oblivium’, but for me, the top rung this week went to David for the chill of  ‘In the Valley of the Callipygian Hills’. Thank you all for participation and comment.

Words for next week: blithe notch rainbow

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 2nd May, words and winners posted Friday 3rd

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 uses 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.

Friday 19 April 2019

Whisky Bravo


A small celebration for me because I finally declared the three novels in the detective series I’ve been working on since 2011 both finished and something to be pleased with. Relief too, because I can finally get on with finishing book 4, stalled for several months until an early morning train of thought unwound the knots in the plot and set it firing again.

But, enough about me – though it was me who enjoyed another superb week of tiny Prediction tales (most offering a novel’s worth of impact) and I have no hesitation in declaring Antonia this week’s winner, for the enviable smoothness of her ‘Stop the Week’ series - number 43 already.

Some more challenging words this week - the first I have to thank my son for.  

Words for next week: callipygian vacillate yesterday

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th April, words posted Friday 26th

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 uses 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.

Friday 12 April 2019

Estuarine mud and museums


Good to see the wide variety of choices picked for last week, while I spent an enjoyable couple of days in the unanticipated sunshine of Kingston-upon-Hull. Congratulations to Dave for coming out on top of the popular vote.

My shortlist for this week began just as numerous and I have to confess to being unable to choose between  a final three: Terrie for entry 55  of The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries, Holly for the stunning descriptions and appeals to every sense, seen so vividly in ‘Enthralled’ and David T for the clever uniqueness of ‘The Cauldron Pouch’. Thank you all for yet another week of high class entries.

Words for next week: burnish log worsen

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 18th April, words posted Friday 19th

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 uses 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.

Friday 5 April 2019

Trees no longer skeleton, black against a pale blue sky


Is what I’m seeing from my window as I type this, and I look forward to reading your choice of favourites when I return home, having no doubt it has been a tricky one.
In the meantime, see what you can do with these:

Words for next week: caution pouch sweat

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 11th April, words posted Friday 12th

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 uses 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.

Friday 29 March 2019

Your wish is (sometimes) my command


Next week I invite you all to nominate your personal winner from the week’s postings from the prompts below.
I could justifiably claim it revenge for the difficulty you put me to each successive week – this week no exception! – but in truth I shall be away from home next Friday celebrating an anniversary, so will schedule only words.

This week another one of vacillation, trying to decide whether that one is marginally the most appealing, in ways which have no rules but are based on mere (and constantly variable) gut reaction. And it is the truth (and no lessening of prime position for the winner) that given an hour either way, had the sun gone behind a cloud or the phone rung, another might have taken its place . What I can say, in this particular hour, the currently most impactful tale of the week is Patricia’s ‘Party of Four. John’s ‘Once a scoundrel, always a scoundrel’ came close and Terrie’s haiku – first one ever on the Prediction? – a third delight.

Words for next week: syrup scrap wrench
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 4th April, words posted Friday 5th

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 uses 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.

Friday 22 March 2019

Worms not only in the moon


Worms enough found wriggling in this week’s stories, their nastiness insidiously, or otherwise, invading our minds. And giving enjoyment and admiration for the skill and variety with which three comparatively innocent words can be woven to tell such tales. For a master-class in succinctness – a well-trimmed worm perhaps? – check out Rosie’s perfectly-titled ‘The Short Answer is No’.

I thank you all for participation, both in posting and comment, and declare this week’s winner, for a lightly-trod but especially nasty perpetrator: Dave W’s ‘Surprise’.

Words for next week: bruise poster  revolution

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 28th March, words and winners posted Friday 29th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses 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.

Friday 15 March 2019

From new tattoos to singed ears

Another week where I am tempted to delegate, but my conscience tells me that best left for emergencies and holidays. And so, we have enjoyed John’s  episode 3 of ‘Mexican Cutie’, Patricia’s ‘Job well done’ and a yearning to go home, as was Zaiure’s narrator followed by the casual horror of Jim’s ‘Change of  Plans and the  jilting of Monica. AR took the sensible, and brave, way out, Chris fell victim to a nasty scam and Rosie produced a dark elf with singed ears.
.
After much indecision, and counting the many plaudits, I declare this week’s number 1 to be Jim.

Words for next week: digit furtive Lolita

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 21st March, words and winners posted Friday 22nd

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 uses 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.

Friday 8 March 2019

Spice of life


It’s always a pleasure and a source of  delight to see how many varieties of nastiness can be drawn from seemingly innocent words. Last week’s innocuous selection brought  tattoos, death metal and drunken gerbils.   Brought fuzzy-felt and disembowelment, poodles, Robin Hood and sexual secrets, shelf-stackers, type-casting and a Teddy in a castle.

And I’m expected to make some sort of judgement as to which this week strikes me as ‘the best’?

However, checking the tone of your comments, I doubt there’ll be any complaint about Terrie’s ‘beer-flustered gerbils being counted this week’s winner, nor that I declare there were too many second-placed to individually name.  

Words for next week: crate nerve simultaneous

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 14th March, words and winners posted Friday 15th

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 uses 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.

Friday 1 March 2019

The guilty pleasures of binge reading

Is what I’ve been experiencing this week. One after another, addictively, all six of Jane Casey’s novels featuring  detectives Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent.  And following Patricia’s question about publication, I should have mentioned ‘The Blacksmith’s Wife’ which was my first Prediction serial. Lulu seems to have lost the Preview, but if you click here  it’s possible to read all episodes and see at least the first 20 slightly disarranged illustrations.

This week’s winner? John, for both his witty comment on the English language and for the promise of ‘Mexican Cutie’, despite it having put a sliver of a relentless song in my head. In second place, Patricia, for ‘Autumnal Equinox’. Thank you all for a week of excellent reading, and I urge you to check out Zaiure’s too-late-to-qualify ‘Furrow’

Words for next week: felt map tenuous

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 7th March, words and winners posted Friday 8th

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 uses 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.

Friday 22 February 2019

The impossibility of making space


Space on my bookshelves, that is; so much so that I was almost relieved when five of the twenty-seven books I’ve read this year are destined for the charity shop;.

Near-impossible also, to choose a single  ‘winner’ this week. I’m tempted to name Patricia’s ‘Avant-Couriers’ as persuasion to take this further, and there’s three or more jostling for position, but  in the end it came down to Dave T.’s ‘Strange Voodoo and Jim Deegan’s ‘Tomorrow?’. And I simply could not choose between them. Thank you all for taking part and commenting.

Words for next week: gig plough wit

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday, 28th February words and winners posted Friday March 1st

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 uses 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.