Friday, 13 March 2020

Batter mix


The cookery book my mother bought me before I married is still referred to every pancake day, its ‘beat until the bubbles rise, then allow to rest’ followed slavishly. Judging this week’s entries here had similarities, except that so many of them rose to the surface only to be succeeded by the next and it was hard to pick a single one as ‘best’. But having allowed myself a couple of winners for at least the last two weeks I thought I ought to be more definite, and eventually, Jim’s ‘The Dark Side’ created a the longest-lasting bubble.

Words for next week: carillon  mail  petulant

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 19th March, 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.

187 comments:

  1. Congratulations Jim a well deserved win. I reckon this weeks words will ring a few bells.

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    1. Way to go, Jim. I had a feeling about this one.

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    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com13 March 2020 at 16:35

      I am honored to have my entry selected. Many thanks!

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    3. Jim, a truly excellent story and its quality makes me question continuing with my Umbrae story from last week. Kudos and congrats on having earned the top spot.

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    4. Excellent choice. Extremely nicely done, Jim. Had a feeling that one was going to rise to the top...and deservedly so!

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    5. Just a note of concern that all of you stay safe during this pandemic.

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    6. You too! Scary times. Currently in California.

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    7. congratsm, Jim!
      the pandemic sent the UK into a total dither of 'shall we - shan't we' over things which were obvious from the start - closing the schools was never up for discussion, not really! The streets have an odd feel, empty, echo-y, especially at night when we are used to revellers at all hours. The problem is - the government talk big but this is a brand new virus and no one really knows where it's going to go or how long it will take to get there. I need customers... along with most of East Cowes, where we have the shop.
      Comment: Wight Online asked all the ferry companies and bus companies how they cleaned their vehicles. One of the major ferry companies refused to answer...
      Just beware and be aware, people. we can win this battle.

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  2. A Digital Orange Part 3

    Abbot Wood (Woodsie) was slumped against a garden wall on the corner of Carillon Crescent, a petulant smirk on his face as he WhatsApp’d about his latest find. Now he’d been excluded from school his day was his own to hang about the estate. He knew the houses where folk had gone to work, sometimes he’d steal their mail, and if really lucky deliveries left on their doorsteps. He felt really smug today though, he’d found a memory stick on the driveway of that twat who’s house they egged. That arsehole needed to learn respect, nobody yells at Woodsie.

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    1. Oh, Woodsie, you poor misguided schmuck. This is quite a character, William. I look forward to more of this guy.

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    2. jdeegan536@yahoo.com13 March 2020 at 16:40

      A porch pirate with an attitude. I wouldn't want to live in this guy's neighborhood! Very interesting, William.

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    3. How often do memory sticks get lost outside? A very good story to start the week and setting the bar a bit higher. Good job William.

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    4. An engaging first sentence. I do find myself increasing irritated with porch pirates, but I'm curious what will happen with Woodsie next. :)

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    5. What an entertaining glimpse into the mind of what might have once been called a juvenile delinquent. Love to know what exactly caused Woodsie to have been kicked out of school on this occasion.

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    6. An urban tale indeed, and as one who was bought a memory stick less than an inch long, the thought of accidentally losing it is ever-present. Trust Woodie doesn't live up here.

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    7. Clever introduction of what I know is going to be a key element in giving some 'payback' to those delinquent youths, William . I'm wondering will each one get a different pay back... I do hope so....

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    8. I've been working with memory sticks this week... need to take care of them, especially in the light of this...

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  3. The Reluctant Hussy

    She watched from her empty corner as men flocked for Misty’s attention, only to be shot down again and again. Occasionally, Patricia would benefit as second choice, but her pride was taking a beating. She was the head hooker for goddamn sake. With Mr. Boxby out of the picture, who knew where she could go.

    Misty sashayed over and suggested lunch, radiant in a sheer hand-me-down mail-order mini-dress.

    Steely eyed and petulant, Patricia accepted as the carillon tower belted three o’clock.

    “One small matter,” Misty said as they walked. “I’m a little short on funds.”

    No shit, thought Patricia.

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    1. I will say, being a reluctant hussy would spread as more and more guys would come thinking they would be the one with the key for the lock. A lovely series you've created John.

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    2. It definitely sounds like a confrontation is coming between these two! I loved the imagery of 'steely eyed and petulant.'

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    3. If I know the general character of those named Patricia, this head hooker won't be happy with second place for very long. Great continuation, John, and I'll say once again....this from someone who claimed to be rubbish at serializations.

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    4. Both "Hear, hear!" to Patricia's comment and applause for the spot-on accuracy of the final line. (Allegedly, my father wished to name me Patricia, presumably mother overruled.)

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    5. This is such a fun continuation.
      Great imagery with 'sheer mail-order mini dress' and also 'steely eyed and petulant'. I love the matter-of-fact dialogue between Misty and Patricia... I can see there's trouble brewing between them for sure, but does Misty actually realise it.

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    6. the interaction is so natural, you could almost hear it.

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    7. Misty is getting out of hand, I wonder if the head hissy will bring her back inline

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  4. jdeegan536@yahoo.com13 March 2020 at 16:46

    I sense the tension building between these gals. A petulant hooker is no one to mess with. Misty had better watch her back. Keep going with this one, John!

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  5. Snap: Baz attempts to justify more than his going out so late at night

    A carillon sounded from his phone. Belatedly Baz remembered he’d temporarily assigned it to Ed, having removed ‘Sailing’ and not yet replaced it.
    Ed’s voice, ‘I emailed Lucy; no reply, so yes, we’d better go check out her apartment. Make sure she’s safe –
    Aware of his wife’s still-angry eyes on him, Baz’s heart sunk to “in even deeper shit”.
    ‘Now?’
    Twenty minutes. See you there.
    Madigan, eyebrows arched, mouth several degrees beyond mere petulance, ‘You’re going out?’
    ‘Meeting Ed.’
    ‘Why?’
    Why indeed? Given the row they’d just had, about truth and Lucy, tact unlikely to fit the bill.

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    1. A tense, interesting piece. I loved the phrasing 'Baz’s heart sunk to “in even deeper shit”' and 'mouth several degrees beyond mere petulance.' Excellent description of Madigan!

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    2. As one who's been in deep shit with women before, hearing, 'You're going out?' is not something that will go away anytime soon. That was quite an eyebrow arch.

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    3. Magnificent incorporation of the prompt words. Eager to find out what happens next.

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    4. I concur with Patricia about how you used the prompts. The scene felt real, a wife and husband disagreeing, that realness is what Mark Twain said that fiction needs.

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    5. I have to agree with all the above. You are always clever with your incorporation of the prompt words and your brilliantly crisp dialogue really moves this along at pace.

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    6. another good example of how to use dialogue to tell the story.

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  6. Carillion, mail, petulant

    Iskaria 7


    “Do you agree to our wedding, Averia?”
    “Yes, my betrothed, father made a wonderful choice.”
    Her downcast eyes hid her inner sadness. Her heart’s carillons broke when she'd been told. With the petulance of pride, she threatened to run away and join a nunnery. Her father’s mailed wrath scared her into obedience and sorrowful regret.
    “We know little of each other, what wedding gift would you like?”
    Malik was five years her senior. She’d detested his elvan visage when they first met. Yet, now his soft words and fair countenance were…acceptable.
    “Tell me what you’ll expect of your wife?”

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    1. I loved your use of carillon and that paragraph was packed with lovely description. It sounds like Averia's husband is at least kind. (Fingers crossed as I'm quite behind on all the serials :)

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    2. The nunnery is looking pretty good about now. Elvan visage would be hard to deal with, let alone being forced to marry.

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    3. Nice use of the prompts here, Jeffrey. It's impossible not to feel sympathy for one who is forced into unwanted marriage.

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    4. Jeffrey a very considered piece. You have carefully captured the interplay within such an arrangement with respectfulness.

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    5. This is a clever and sensitive piece of writing throughout Jeffrey. I am hoping they will gel as a couple … but equally would like to see some sparks fly if they don't.

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    6. jdeegan536@yahoo.com18 March 2020 at 15:11

      Wonderful bit of give-and-take between these two, Jeffrey, but Malik's response to Averia's question may be the key to how this arrangement works out.

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  7. Favor [12]

    The ship stalled beside the Lady’s Island as a carillon announced the priestesses’ midday meal. Eyeing the limp sails and glass-like water, Caeradin gave a petulant sigh and slumped over the railing. “You’d think they’d send us a little wind,” he griped, glaring at the emerald towers.

    Haera crossed her arms and watched a white-robed priestess cross the tiled courtyard by the water’s edge. The woman did not look in their direction. “They want a favor.”

    “What?” Caerdin straightened, brow furrowed.

    “Why else would the wind die? The Sisters seek our service. Mail delivery most likely. Look, a scull.”

    Read the previous episodes of The Shepherdess here.

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    1. What a way to 'ask' for a favor from a ship. I enjoyed the banter between Haera and Caerdin.

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    2. It's about time you came back; been missing that Holly wit. I enjoyed Caeradin's griping.

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    3. Love the suspenseful ending to this episode. Wondering what request that scull is going to bring.

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    4. I love the idea of being held to ransom over the wind.

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    5. You create such a sense of an 'Avalon'esque' scene here with the island, the priestess and the scull coming across the water. Lovely imagery and wonderful, full of information dialogue, Holly. I do like this.

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    6. jdeegan536@yahoo.com19 March 2020 at 15:13

      The skull suggests some interesting possibilities, Holly. Can't imagine a good one though.

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    7. and??? how could you leave us like that???

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    8. Having the wind knocked from your sails, and skull what portents, I can’t wait to read more.

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  8. Mental seesaw [Threshold 292]

    I knew my childhood reading – half a dozen well-frayed books hoarded by grandparents, where pretty pouts or a glimpse of well-turned ankle inspired a carillon of wedding bells – were no preparation for the real world: petulant lip brought me a slap; tits out expectation of a blow-job.
    At least Raven, when he gave, gave more than that.
    Silent man gave nothing. I might as well be wearing chainmail for all the notice he took. My fears maybe no more than prudent preparation, for the worst. Carrion saying only I’d be well-fed.
    Raven might welcome me with open arms.
    Might not.

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    1. I think she's missing Raven quite ardently. I hope they meet up soon. I found it interesting she is dismayed by silent man not noticing her. You'd think she would welcome his lack of interest. But who can predict the mind of this one?

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    2. "Raven might welcome me with open arms"...."Might not"
      Now there's a scenario I did not expect. As always, great continuation.

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    3. I agree with John. The man's notice might be unwelcome if received. I also love the imagery of that first line 'half a dozen well-frayed books hoarded by grandparents.'

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    4. I've a different take on Silent Man ignorance. We are human and Sandra has capture our desire for human interaction, maybe our need for it. A very well crafted episode , Sandra.

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    5. You are really good at filling your 100 words with so much information, Sandra.I also like how you always manage to end with such cliff hanger final statements and sentences each week.

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    6. your thoughts seemed to take our thoughts in one direction and then turn them right around, how do you do that??

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    7. Raven has left quite an impression, and a yearning.

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  9. Carillon, mail, petulant
    Umbrae Calling 2

    How the heck!
    “Simple Jack, I’m you. I know what you’re thinking. I’m with you most of every day. I’m your shadow. That’s why my voice is familiar, it’s yours.”
    “No way. Who put you up to this? I bet my sister Sally did, she’s enjoys pulling pranks on me. Maybe Reid, he enjoys making me look like a fool.”
    “At least you’re not being petulant; your sister likes playing jokes, but you haven’t e-mailed her about Sherry. That’s a new development. Reid knows but today is the Sabbath, he’s playing a carillon or singing at temple, satisfied?”

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    1. I think I'd be spending all my time in the dark if I had a shadow like this. I'm not sure if that would work, though. The shadow would probably still be able to communicate even though he'd not be visible.

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    2. Gives "me and my shadow" a whole new...and sinister...meaning.

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    3. I would jump out of my skin if my shadow started talking. It does open up an entirely new world with so many possibilities and opportunities. :) There's an interesting rhythm to this piece as well.

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    4. This has all the elements of a good horror story Jeffrey. Scary, creepy and keeping us on the edge of the sofa waiting for the next instalment. The inner voice/shadow element is brilliant .

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    5. interesting concept, waiting on the next instalment to see where you're taking this.

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    6. A very trixy shadow indeed intrigued to see where this thread goes

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    7. My thanks to all of you for your kind and supportive words. I'm happy that you're enjoying the story and they remind me why I do enjoy writing here.

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  10. jdeegan536@yahoo.com15 March 2020 at 18:05

    As Lamont Cranston often said: "The Shadow knows." Well done, Jeffrey!

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  11. Here comes the bride

    From somewhere a carillon tower tolled. The mail-order bride from Siberia sweltered in the icy streets of Minneapolis. Her husband’s quirky ways and ardent petulance weighed heavy but reality was forming in shifts. She thought she could accept it now, at least live with it. Turning a corner, lights from emergency vehicles strobed in front of their house. That was certainly quick.

    She performed an elegant pirouette and walked back toward the city.

    “Hello, Harold? Natasha here.” She gripped her pink IPhone. “As it turns out, I’m available. Are you still looking for a wife?”

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    1. Doesn't sound like she had anything to do with it and this lends a new meaning to,any port in a storm. Very good story, John.

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    2. Off with the old and on with the new, huh? The image of an "elegant pirouette" under such circumstances certainly presents some picture!

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    3. 'Elegant pirouette' was a striking image for me as well. I wasn't sure if she had anything to do with it given 'she thought she could accept it now' but she doesn't seem overly upset by his death either.

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    4. Me too, appreciating the insouciance of the elegant pirouette. Sounded to me as if her plans had worked out admirably.

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    5. I really like that - did she, didn't she - element within this piece, as well as her 'elegant pirouette' and her quickness to replace husband number 1... or are there other ex hubbies we don't yet know about.

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    6. oh yes, lots going on here in the background! Some scheming plans afoot, methinks.

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    7. Back when I was a barfly, Another bar fly said he was awaiting delivery of a mail order bride. A joke was made about letterboxes and it end well for none. A well written piece here, that has legs (pun unintended)

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  12. LAST FEW DAYS IN MY HOUSE
    I was sent home from work Friday - It was only a matter of time before my knee gave out - so penned this after I stopped swearing and laughing.

    Uncollected mail gathers in folds of papered colour below the letterbox.
    I feel petulant; filled with frustration at my immobility.
    Standing sends a carillon of pain carolling through my leg, my hipbone grinding, and kneecap cracking at every movement.
    The air turns blue with expletives and my shocked son busies himself making a pot of tea.
    ‘Sit down mum, I’ll do it’ he says, ‘let the pain-killers kick in.’
    ‘ I’m starting to fossilize.’ I growl
    More expletives as I flop into the chair.
    ‘Well, your language is anything but fossilized mum.’
    Ours eyes meet and we laugh.

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    1. Sometimes, when the air turns blue with expletives, the other one often busies himself making a pot of tea. I'm glad you were able to laugh about it, despite the pain and inconvenience. Good luck with this.

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    2. I know that kneecap crack only too well, but could never describe it quite as eloquently as this. Lovely opportunistic piece, Terrie.

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    3. A beautifully described, cozy (it feels so familiar!) scene though I do hope your pain goes quickly, if this is from life! I loved the imagery of 'Uncollected mail gathers in folds of papered colour below the letterbox.'

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    4. Terrie, I hope that your knee gets better very soon. As for your story, really good visuals in this somber yet hopeful and somewhat poetic entry.

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    5. Ouch - all this on top of the current stay at home panic. Hope the pain eases so you can enjoy some relaxation. And yes indeed, sons you can laugh with are one of life's major blessings (as, of course, are daughters)

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    6. Still home for the rest of the week … Air still pretty blue at times,but the docs are sorting it over the phone as best they can amid the current crisis.

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    7. jdeegan536@yahoo.com19 March 2020 at 15:29

      So many splendid twist of language here, Terrie. This talent is a hallmark of your writing.

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    8. it's the law, isn't it, that when we want prompt medical attention, they're ultra busy doing something else - less important but still doing it. This was so natural it was like being there. Good one!

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    9. Terrie this tale has brought a whole heap of stuff to the surface for me, empathy and platonic hug sent through the virtual ether. I took a hit in my knee, an impaction injury back in 2006, trying to be their for work and family it’s a long story, but Iwish you a speedy recovery.

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  13. The Secret Armadillo Soldier (SAS) Diaries - entry 91

    Cinereus sighed petulantly, ‘Seems like another thick-skinned, thick-skulled ‘dillo,’ he said eyeing the lump-hammer slung over Atlas’s back.
    Tosca sniffed at Atlas who stayed silent.
    ‘Careful li’l mate,’ warned Nigel, ‘es the deadliest operative in the SAS. Don’t say much, but ‘es bluddy lethal.’
    Atlas chuckled silently and the hammer and ceratogaulus horn clanked in an odd carillon of metal-mailed sound.
    ‘Yu’ forgot, soft as shite, Nige,’ he said when he finished his quiet laughter. ‘What yu got there?’ he added, scenting the injured gerbil.

    ‘Found ‘im, mangled an’ bluddy, on the trail.’

    ‘Ahh, I ’oped ‘e’d ‘scaped from ‘er.

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    1. I like the interactions here. Good blend of dialog and prose.

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    2. Wonderfully crafted dialogue and such an image-driven scenario. Those 'dillos are as entertaining as always and their exploits a joy to read.

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    3. Enjoyed thick-skinned and thick-skulled being applied to dillos. Your usual humanizing dialogue and imagery re very enjoyable.

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    4. "bluddy lethal" and "soft as shite" - so very vivid, brings this to life.

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    5. I always enjoy their conversations and your descriptions. Loved the imagery of 'Atlas chuckled silently and the hammer and ceratogaulus horn clanked in an odd carillon of metal-mailed sound.'

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    6. 'dillos as enchanting as ever, in a muddy, nasty, soldier way!

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    7. I throw my hat in too loved the bluddy lethal, soft as shite counter rhythm.

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  14. Carillon, mail, petulant
    The Council of Canossa 4: The Second Dream

    I was returning to Avignon when the Carillon bells chimed. A parade consisting of a winged lion holding a codex walking next to a white horse with a dove perched on its head. Followed by Daniel and four mail armored knights carrying spears with a thorn crown. Daniel came over and asked,
    “Etienne, please join our holy quest. We search for the petra.”
    “Which Peter do you seek?”
    “Hold thy petulance,” he said in ire. “If you find no cause to join, then get thyself to your comfortable den and pray on if you deserve your new name.”

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    1. I enjoyed the simplicity of the opening sentence. It helped to set the scene and established the narrator with just a few words. That was quite an eclectic parade going on.

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    2. John, thanks for those supportive words. The hard part of writing a dream is to give meaning to the images the Etienne(his name before becoming Innocent VI) would/could understand without losing the reader.

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    3. I agree Jeffrey, dreams are so difficult to write but you have done it well here. Good incorporation of the prompt words too.

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    4. A memorable dream to be sure. Couldn't help but laugh at imagining the character's face when he said 'Hold thy petulance.' :)

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    5. I really liked this one, Jeffrey. Some lovely visuals.

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  15. Carillon, mail, petulant
    The Janus Door V

    Sertor Oceanus, Vibius's second in command, approached, obviously in shock.
    "Commander, flamen Caseo. Please come outside, it's magnificent!... We might be in Olympus!"
    The temple was on a grassy field. Bees flitted between the purple, blue, and yellow flowers. A stream was nearby and a large wood was ten stade away.
    "Caseo, I’ll leave the gods petulance to you, but are we in Olympus?"
    "No Vibius, Janus, saved us from certain death at Pompeii. There’s chicory, dandelions, and a legion of mailed snapdragons. If I had a carillon, I’d ring it in his honor."
    “Okay then, let’s get organized.”

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    1. Vibious braves on, away from Pompeii now. Nice use of carillon and using mail in this time period was pretty challenging. I hadn't heard of flamen before. Had to look it up. have you considered going on Jeopardy?

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    2. Yes I have but never made it through their questionnaire process. I'm a history major/teacher when I graduated college many years ago.

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    3. Again excellent use of some difficult prompt words Jeffrey. I knew the Janus Door would make a good serialisation.

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    4. Loved the description of the field, it really came to life. I also enjoyed your use of 'mailed snapdragons.'

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    5. You are truly on a roll with those visuals this week, Jeffrey. Yet another delightful installment.

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  16. Change of focus [368]

    Crime scene. Last night’s eerie silence become daylight cacophony: hacks’ calling questions and constant click of cameras; empty alcopop cans wind-spinning an inapt carillon and aluminium barrels clattering at the pub across the road.
    Pettinger ignored it, concentrating on the CSI’s report: ‘We’re searching bins and drains for discarded murder weapon. They think stiletto?‘
    ‘Or a sharpened screwdriver –‘
    DC Henry Moth at his shoulder. ‘Guv, this woman –‘
    Pettinger turned. Glanced. Young, blonde and petulant. Dismissed. ‘She’s from the Mail –‘
    ‘Aye, Boss, but she says she knows him –‘
    ‘Take her down the station. Keep your mouth shut.’

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    1. Ooh, a break in the case. Something tells me this woman and Pettinger may end up collaborating on non-case related things. Nicely done, Sandra.

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    2. I enjoyed the art noir of this, flashing camera bulbs add to the setting. Yes, a break in the case does seem imminent.

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    3. Atmospheric imagery Sandra coupled with sharp dialogue showing the quick witted Pettinger at work.

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    4. Loved the contrast between the crime scene in night and day. I could imagine the noise and light very well. I'm very intrigued by the woman's arrival.

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    5. "Daylight cacophony." I think I experience that every morning when I wake up. Loved the clipped dialogue here that said much without saying much. As always, an entertaining delight with much promise for what is to come.

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    6. and the next instalment will tell us all, or will it?

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  17. Gathering magic - 6

    He guessed the irony would amuse her father. Equally, he knew her mother would be horrified, and although repulsed, Batt had still collected parts of the discarded wizard’s skin to fashion an invisible mail-coat of protective enchantment. He wore the hide now but it would never protect him fully from the child’s charm casting.
    Batt eyed the child hands furtively. He was not keen to feel the carillon thunder-jolt of her commanding magic again.
    She sat, lips pursed petulantly, watching the pendulum fairy-trap sway back and forth. ‘It’s not working anymore and my belly hurts.’
    Sparks prickled at her fingertips.

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    1. There is such a solid feel to these; Batt tremendously intriguing.

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    2. This girl is just bursting with magic. That pendulum fairy trap is certainly intriguing. Great writing, Terrie.

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    3. She comes across as the embodiment of magic, contained and seeking ways to escape a prison. A intriguing series with good writing.

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    4. jdeegan536@yahoo.com17 March 2020 at 23:28

      Batt had better get the hell out of there. If not, he best be very wary of this little sorceress. Loved the image of 'an invisible mail-coat of protective enchantment.'

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    5. The girl sounds terrifying. I also thought the 'invisible mail-coat' very clever, though the use of skin did make me cringe. :)

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    6. Nothing more threatening than a child with magic at his or her disposal. Young ones are so unpredictable. I do hope Batt remains unscathed. I'm rather fond of the fellow.

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    7. setting magic loose is always dangerous and I think this child is very dangerous indeed!

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  18. Kursaal (Episode One Hundred Ninety Eight) - "Optical Illusions"

    The mysterious airborne tune, reminiscent of both carillon and calliope, originated from Roxanne Huntley's Skyward Merry-Go-Round, confirmed by jangling metal links, akin to ill-fitting chain mail, from which aerial carriages were suspended.

    Hence, the search for Constable Twittering's bicycle was abandoned in order to investigate the enigma. Even petulant Crow (The Choleric Clown) was intrigued.

    The speed of the ride was always intoxicating. Occasionally, identifiable faces of missing persons were discerned among the passengers. Alexis Champagne. Dottie Randall. And this time, a pair of identical little girls, one of whom held tight to a small dog cradled in her lap.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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: All characters named in this episode, as well as the Skyward Merry-Go-Round, have featured in previous episodes.

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    1. I'm fascinated by the "identifiable faces of missing persons".

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    2. I really enjoy this intriguingly dark series Patricia. Each episode starts so innocuously and ends with mystery. Keeps me hooked for sure.

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    3. Only at the Kursaal can a ride such as this exist. That your mind can conjure these images is delightful and scary (mostly delightful though). I can picture the merry-go-round spinning rapidly and the missing faces flashing in and out of focus. Well done, P.

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    4. Loved the description of the merry-go-round. I'd never have thought to make that chainmail comparison, awesome! Creepy and intriguing.

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    5. Re-reading, that 'airborne tune' really struck me - I remember a whole summer when the theme from 'A Summer Place' played seemingly in my head all day every day.

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    6. it's the faces, isn't it, missing people, hiding from us from behind-

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  19. How awesome that you paired calliope with carillon! That by itself makes this a story for consideration.

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  20. Venenum Calamum à la St. Mary Mead

    Poison pen letters are never mailed. They are pushed through letterboxes usually before the carillon herald morning services. They deliver odious insinuations and repugnant innuendos. We've had a rash of them lately. Of course, they are unsigned. The author prefers to remain anonymous.

    I received one such communication myself this morning. I'll take it to the Police Station and lodge a complaint, for all the good it will do. Doubtless they will consider me petulant when I refuse to be fobbed off with customary reassurances. That's fine.

    Cannot act other than outraged.

    To do so would most certainly arouse suspicion.


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    Replies
    1. That's right, make yourself a victim to help remove suspicion. Good use of the prompts in this one.

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    2. Well, yes, self-defence innit?

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    3. jdeegan536@yahoo.com17 March 2020 at 23:17

      Sounds like you're doing everything right so far, Patricia. Still, you must be careful. Nice finish to this one.

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    4. ooh I love a good mystery at St Mary Mead. Will Miss Marple solve this one or... is she the culprit. Your writing never fails to make me think beyond the words I see.

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    5. These types of authors do tend to remain anonymous. I can picture this one harassing the police to catch the culprit. One has to be careful though, kind of like the arsonist visiting the scene afterwards.

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    6. Ooooh I love this! Mysterious, dark, and utterly intriguing. Those first two sentences set the tone beautifully. I'd love to know more! :)

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    7. definitely a mystery and definitely need to take care, who knows how much the police already know?

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  21. jdeegan536@yahoo.com17 March 2020 at 23:09

    THE SHADOW SERIES: Getting To Know Me

    Your wife’s head shook like a voiceless carillon. “Another girl murdered,” she said petulantly. “What sort of monster does this?”
    Deep inside you, I laughed silently: "If you only knew!"
    I dwell within you and can be drawn out only by certain slants of light and by moonless nights when I search through the junk mail cluttering your mind for the depravity simmering in its remote recesses. I feed on the cloistered wickedness there then slip unseen from you into the darkness, my mission to fulfill your macabre desires.
    Someday I may share our secret with you.
    But not today.

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    1. An excellent continuation and again mine pales in comparison. Loved the poetic line "Slants of light and by moonless nights".

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    2. Yes, indeed. The combination of poetic language and deep-seated depravity makes this a real delight to read.

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    3. I agree with Jeffrey what a magnificent line 'slants of light and by moonless nights' and Sandra is spot on, this is a real pleasure to read.

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    4. This was quite an effort, Jim, and a successful effort at that. It really pulls you along. Would this be considered second person point of view?

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    5. Sandra said it well, this definitely has a poetic feel and yet obviously the narrator is quite chilling. I loved 'slants of light and by moonless nights' and your use of carillon.

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    6. I don't know. Can something this sinister lurk within and not be noticeable even a little? I am so looking forward to where this will be going.

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    7. intriguing, with some shudders to go with it - I like this!

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  22. Snap: Double double crossing

    Had it not been for the opportunity to lift Lucy’s keys as he left, his head swamped with a carillon stew of fury and mortification, Theo was sure he might not have reached his Stockbridge flat in one piece. Certainly thought about getting drunk. Instead he emailed Jo.
    Dinner tonight? Please. I’m badly missing you.
    Which, surprisingly, was the truth.

    Did he but know it, Jo took his invitation straight to her boss. ‘You said we needed to rehearse what lies we tell him.’
    He checked her expression. Not a hint of petulance. Perhaps this would work out. Fingers crossed.

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    1. swamped with a carillon stew of fury and mortification. was a very unique and visual use of a prompt, and an enjoyable one.

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    2. brilliant use of the prompt words yet again Sandra and such intrigue upon intrigue … i'm already eager for the next instalment.

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    3. It's always a good idea to rehearse lies before telling them, I think. Very enjoyable, Sandra.

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    4. A very curious piece and now I'm left to wonder what they're planning! Another clever use of carillon.

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    5. What an inspired use of the prompt words. I loved that "carillon stew of fury and mortification." Only you, Sandra...only you!

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    6. I've said intriguing already tonight - which shows the quality of the writing!

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    7. Carillon stew of fury and mortification, that phrase alone is pure brilliance

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  23. Carillon, mail, petulant

    I Get No Respect

    “What makes a good criminal? Why a good crime. Not carillon bells or fan mail and I’m good with it. First, my crime, such that it was. I had someone else take the rap for my familia petulance. He was the oldest, so he got the castle. But time buries all facts. So, I made new ones.
    Jack, Lizzy-one of my wives and a host of others. You could call me Legion. My birth name, Radu cel Frumos and I pinned all my crimes past, present and future on my older brother, Vlad III-Dracula. A true case of brotherly love.”

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    1. Can you hear that Jeopardy theme music playing in the background? It's very faint. So Dracula had a little help? Lots of cool tidbits in this.

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    2. An excellent new take on Dracula, or rather the brother behind him. A very true statement in 'time buries all facts.'

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    3. As always, when you utilize historical innuendos, you employ them so well. I think that might be your best week for submissions thus far, Jeffrey.

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    4. Ever thought I’d see the day that I feel sorry for Dracula.

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  24. This is great Jeffrey. I enjoyed the historical references and links to murderers and the clever interpretation of the prompt words.

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  25. Stop the Week; I Want To Get Off (89)
    No carillon, no notice in the mail, just a petulant twist of a lip and the coronavirus is upon us with all its hangers-on, worry, fear, panic, argument, bulletins, closures and all. The shop immediately died, the parking became a hundred times easier, the shops three-quarters empty of food and that’s just here on the island and where we have our shop. New stock came in over the weekend, most welcome, but not one single item has sold yet, potential customers stand outside and peer through the window. The question is, do I self-isolate or carry on?

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    1. At least the parking has improved... always light somewhere. The decision to isolate is so daunting. The world awaits...

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    2. Antonia, please take care of yourself and Shaun, as best fits your needs and situation. Glad that new stock is at least attracting window shoppers.

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    3. I fully expect things to worsen before they get better, but that's the pessimist in me raising its ugly head. I hear things are much improved in China. Hopefully, that's a good sign. In the meantime, I guess all we can do is hang in there. I think those new items will move once things improve, Antonia. It's just a case of hurry up and wait!

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    4. I'm guessing the fact we live in one of the lowest rate of infections is linked to the quietness in the streets, and am enjoying the guilty smiles of those I pass when out for necessary exercise.

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    5. Antonia my heart goes out to you. I hope these challenging times are short lived. Apart from a twice weekly trip up the coast to kent I’m normally a home worker. Thanks to company policy the 4hour round trip 2 days a week has been cancelled. Alas I ha e sore throat today.

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  26. The Mad Italian (148)
    The world is making its own carillon as the virus speeds across the landscape, affecting all it touches. The numbers of actual infection are low but fear drives everyone who, with petulant face and iron will, strip the shops of food, no thought of others with no one to shop for them. The isolation will be dreadful for many who have little strength of mind to find something to fill time. This is bad and the PM has a difficult job on his capable hands. His more than capable cabinet colleagues help but there is a way to go yet.

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    1. Trying times. Loved 'petulant force and iron will'

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    2. It is a strange world right now made even more complicated by the fact that I was supposed to be in Sweden. Now stuck in the US for who knows how long. I hope all of you stay safe!

      Loved your use of carillon and of course 'petulant force and iron will.'

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    3. Our local stores have started having 'Elderly ours" for those 60+ and as I just make that qualification, I used it this morning. History repeats itself because people do. In the Middle Ages they shopped every day and now today we're shopping every day.

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    4. As our Mad Italian is well aware, I'm sure, the human race has weathered such disasters before and will doubtless do so again. Hoarding is never recommended but it seems to be human nature to do so. What amazes me is that people are snapping up toilet tissue as soon as it hits the stores. Still wondering about that one!

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    5. Shaun tells me people use loo roll instead of tissues (it's cheaper) and colds and flu are doing the rounds along with the virus...

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  27. Cripplegate Junction/Part 225 - Key Notes

    With a petulant caw, the Rook landed atop the "Lost and Found" building until a carillon summons issued from an unknown location.

    Inside the office, unopened mail lay on the counter, but this correspondence was far from the most intriguing of items beyond the locked door.

    The Custodian, with itemized catalogue and "Confidential" manilla envelope, had earlier gone looking for the Station Master. It proved a futile mission. He had returned only to find the office key on the floor inside.

    Then, he remembered the Crossing Canteen key also opened "Lost and Found."

    He went in search of Violet.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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. Rooks do possess a petulant caw, loved that. You did well in making the unopened mail seem ominous.

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    2. Cripplegate has never lost its delicious mystery! I'm very curious what the Custodian will find beyond the door.

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    3. Petulant caw is perfect. It's impressive how you've kept going for 225 episodes. Cripplegate's off-balanced mystery

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    4. I don't trust the Rook and I fully agree with Sandra on Petulant caw.

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    5. rooks are strange creatures, not to be trusted, they have their own agenda, as this one does...

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    6. I wonder what the Rook is up to, loved the petulant cat.

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  28. Postings

    She waits for the sight that will bring the song of a joyful carillon to her lonely heart.

    Initial petulance is now replaced with a sense of despondency and yet...while there is life, is there not still hope?

    But there was no mail today, or the day before, or the day before that.

    There will likely be none tomorrow or the day after.

    And when all hope has been eradicated, can life itself be far behind?


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    1. Good god, Patricia, can it get any more desolate? Nothing like waiting and more waiting for one who is already lonely... or is she more than just lonely?

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    2. A chilling, sad and poetic piece. That first line is beautiful.

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    3. Hope is defined by the despondent, not by those with no need of it. The melancholy of this story captures a lot.

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    4. I sometimes see and feel this depth of despondency, so well captured here.

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    5. Tugged fully at my heart strings this, especially in these self isolating times.

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  29. jdeegan536@yahoo.com18 March 2020 at 23:53

    A brief but powerful tale of woe, Patricia.

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  30. Sorry I’ve struggled to comment on everything this week, no reflection on the excellent tales and I have read them all.
    I’ve found myself overwhelmed this week, not just with work, but also supporting my three daughters in their exam year,

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