Friday, 15 October 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Hmmmn, just five (excellent) entries last week. Let's get the word out there today!

To review, Chris Allinotte gave us a beautiful horror story; ghostly and divine. Joleen's atmospheric Walk-In tale made me shiver in my (thigh-length) boots. Sue Harding treated us to complacent urban murder - highly disturbing. David Barber's vampiric neck-fest in misty Montmartre sent a delicious frisson. My own eponymous blade-wielding, junkie, hooker, tarot reader - well - I'm sure she had a kind heart really.

My winner is... Joleen with 'The Tourist' because I liked the eerie twist and complete change in emotion from calm pleasure to fear as the story progressed. Congratulations Joleen!!

This weeks words are:
  • Absorbent
  • Portrait
  • Bonfire
Rules, as always. 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please post in the Comments box below. If you tweet, please tweet about your entry when it's in - #fridayflash. Thanks.

Do your worst (read 'best').


  1. Human flesh was always so absorbent. Welcoming the purgative embrace of the flames. Throughout history man had anointed his triumph with a bonfire of the defeated. And the higher things of the human mind? Well they couldn't resist the fire's power from legislating over their fates either. Books, statues, paintings. Each paid briefly flickering obeisance to the potentate that sent them back to their elemental origins. Of ash and ember blowing on the wind. Save for this one portrait of a salamander. Like a marvel it stood untouched by the coruscation. Glowing eyes lapping up the searing force. Reborn.

  2. Sulci - this is great. There's something primal about this that beats like war drums. I love the ending.

  3. Here's my own attempt. I have no idea why I've been obsessed this month with sex and monsters - blame Halloween, I guess. (Or Lily, for picking such provocative subject matter ; ) j/k)

    The Final Sitting

    "Are you done yet?"

    Never, I thought. "Almost," I said.

    Colleen stretched her silky onyx wings until they brushed the walls of my flat. She pouted prettily. "I'm bored."

    "Please, darling, the portrait won't be long, but you must stay still for just a moment longer."

    She glanced at me with her brilliant yellow eyes; twin bonfires full of malice and, Lord help me, lust. "Hurry, Charles. I'm hungry."

    I daubed my forehead with an absorbent rag and sped my work until finally,

    "I'm finished."

    "At last," she moaned. "Shall we?"

    I nodded, sat down, and gladly offered my throat.

  4. Now THIS is what I want to wake up to on a Friday morning. Two gloriously dark palaces of words.

    Sulci - welcome. What a powerful first offering. I agree with Chris. It is primal, spilling with raw destruction and rebirth. A beautifully scripted homage to the mythical (I think not) and spiritual qualities of salamander vs. the weakness of human restraint. Excellent.

    Chris, as always a great write that takes me straight into the heart of the event. Loved the line "... stretched her silky onyx wings until they brushed the walls of my flat." This could have been from a children's fairy tale but we just knew - even before the encounter with "...her brilliant yellow eyes; twin bonfires full of malice" that Colleen was a delicious demon. A superb vignette.

  5. Dorian hiked into the backwoods to a glen where moonlight shone as if creating a lake. In the center, Dorian lit a bonfire with three sacred woods he had dried over the past year.

    He poked a fallen stick into the ground and leaned a mirror against it to frame a portrait. He rolled a log chair to the fire and watched the firelight gleam off his face in the mirror. A façade of dirt, grime, and lines stared from the glass. The mirror's absorbent powers pulled evil and the detritus of age into itself. His blood consumed leaving youth.

  6. Welcome Aiden. An atmospheric exploration of old magic in your fantasy piece. I liked the description of the mirror itself and - rubbing my own crow's feet - wished it were that simple! Very well written.

  7. Aidan - nice update on a classic tale - but what's to become of the mirror now?

  8. Here's my attempt; choked a bit on this one:

    Burning Shame

    Daisy stares hard into the heat. Curly locks and long eyelashes frazzle as she toddles up to Baby Suzie-Anna melting at the edge of the pyre.

    The doll’s voice cries out.

    “Mama, Maoowmaaoowhhuerhhhrrr.”

    Flames warp dolly’s sweet portrait into a monster’s grimace.

    “Suzie! Got yur’ diaper here.”

    Daisy giggles at her own voice. Mummy’s told her she sounds A-mer-ic-an. Mummy’s not watching now. She’s drinking.

    Daisy carries an absorbent nappy in pudgy hands. She throws it into the bonfire.

    “All the better to soak up pisshh.” She utters, just like Mummy, and steps forward.

    “Don’t worry baby; I’m coming.”

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  10. That last was me, with the wrong account!

    I would say this is hardly a choke Lily. The thread of sorrow that runs through this practically bleeds. Well done.

  11. Sulci - I liked the image of the salamander and the touch of art-burning gives it a dark cast.

    Chris - I like your take, the image of her wings and the room carries everything well so you can move the story through the dialogue. I like how much is here.

    Lily - Dark. I like the rich pieces of character that comes out in this piece with the mom off drinking.

  12. Late as usual, Lily. Still trying to pull my head from my arse. It's coming, slowly. Anyway, here's my attempt for this week. Fresh off the keyboard and bang on the 100 mark.

    Peace, At Last.

    She stared at me, hateful, piercing eyes boring into my very soul. The picture had been in the family for centuries, passed down until it came to me. I was to then pass it on to my daughter but that was never going to happen. My Emma would never have to endure the fear and sleepless nights that had petrified my family for generations.

    Outside the bonfire was lit. The petrol soaked into the absorbent canvas. As I threw the portrait onto the fire, I swear I heard a scream, but it was lost in the flames.

    Peace, at last.

  13. David - that was fantastic. It reads like you're relating a ghost story that someone told you around a campfire. If I don't see a full version of this on TKn'C within the month ... (what I'm trying to say is 'you done good')

  14. David, that reminds me of a Tale of the Unexpected. Really atmospheric and spooky. A great write.

    Talking of TotU - I think there are enough of us dark fiction writers to get something like that going again. I always remember a particularly scary one with Pauline Quirke and something undead in a glass jar in the shed.

  15. Been busy finishing up some projects, but wanted to comment on these fantastic shorts - must be the "bonfire" that has made these all wickedly dark and full of metamorphosing characters.

    Sulci - the depth of truth in this is haunting.

    Chris - dark and erotic, LOVE IT.

    Aidan - great imagery portraying a shift in the soul.

    Lily - damn creepy! what would mother think if she were to see? excellent.

    David - this cracks me up, because we have a picture like that in our family, and hell yes, I might burn it if it is ever passed down!

    Great stuff; I hope to join in next week!

  16. Watcha Erin! Thanks for taking the time to come in and comment. The Prediction entries just get better and better. It would be lovely to see you again next week.

  17. Oh wow, thank you, Lily! It's an honour! Sorry I'm only seeing this now. Some great entries this week. This is all I'm able to come up with...gross and gruesome of a monday morning!

    The Victory Bonfire
    They stoked up the bonfire and the heat from it radiated across the plain. Under the portrait of their great leader, the band of vengeful warriors poured flammable liquid all over their captives' absorbent clothing. Soon, they would taste true victory as the captives would sizzle on the fire. A cheer rang out as the first was tossed on the pyre.

  18. Joleen -- Mmm. Barbecue. Nice sharp writing!

  19. Joleen - a tight and disturbing write. I like that this is timeless - could be an ancient tribe, a gangland execution or a blinkered nation. Chilling.


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.