Friday, 5 November 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Eastbourne Bonfire Seafront 2010
Well done to Pixie J. King for winning last week's Friday Prediction with her tragic story One Man's Debt. This young woman has a very distinctive voice we need to listen out for.
So it's Bonfire Night. Fireworks a plenty. Smokin' fire and all that. In the South of England we have an ancient and rebellious adoration of Mr Fawkes - the ancient town of Lewes in East Sussex being the protector - and deliverer - of the best and most dangerous of English bonfire tradition.

However - no bonfire here. Today - and the entire week's flash fiction challenge - touches on different matters. Your three words (and you may use them in various tenses) are:

  • Admonish
  • Percussion
  • Belong


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have all week to enter. 

Winner will be announced next Friday. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Come on, tease us with your talent...


  1. The percussion between my legs belonged in my heart, but no matter how he played it, I couldn't match up, note for note, moan for moan. Instead I laid on my sister's sofa and thought of her admonishing me, all those years ago, not to wear too much make-up. I'd look like a slut. And here I was, in four coats of mascara and enough Bonne Bell lipgloss to reflect the moon back at itself, a musician I'd just met at the bar atop me, crooning off-key in my ear. At least it sounded off-key. Everything did these days.

  2. Hmmm. I shall see what I come up with things to be doing Eurgh...

  3. That was amazing R.S. The opening line is perfection and the raw emotion in the rest is...musical.

  4. Lady Bohn, what a cracking write! It felt contemporary yet Victorian in the same breath. All a bit mucky and fun. Love, love, love your last two lines.

  5. Thank you! What fun this is!

    "All a bit mucky" -- outstanding!

  6. Lily, you can blame Alan Moore for the fact that I can no longer hear about the 5th of November without thinking of "V for Vendetta."

    Here's my try for this week:

    Midnight at the Bluenote Lounge

    With a fluttering percussive flourish on the snare, McKenzie played the jam session to a close. It was exhilerating - behind those skins, he belonged to the music.

    As he returned to his seat, Maria admonished him, "I had no idea you could play drums. You're just full of surprises."

    Looking at the stage, McKenzie nodded at Slim and Miles. "Getting to play with those guys? I couldn't resist." Slim winked back, and started blowing his sax; filling the air with silky, sensual jazz.

    "Those guys?" Maria's voice shook slightly, her own smile was gone. "McKenzie... the stage is empty."

  7. Whoa, Chris! Way to end it!

    "He belonged to the music." You told us right there in the beginning, didn't you? Great piece!

  8. Really atmospheric number there Chris. You perfectly evoked that private world where we go when we are lost in the music, whether we play, listen or dance. I believe McKenzie truly did see Slim and Miles that night.

  9. Trying to get more into the (evil) spirit of things, though I don't often write to scare. . .

    - - -
    Another note. Same rough paper, odd brown ink.

    I admonish you again. Your percussion has cost another night's rest. This I cannot abide.

    "Bah, I belong here, too." He kept the notes, taped on the wall. Now five, a rough circle.

    That evening as he settled behind the drumkit, his gaze fell on the notes. Not a circle, really, a penta-whatever. He blinked, seeing the wall begin to swirl and darken. The room suddenly hot, his belly knotting with unknown fear, and. . . silence, but for tiny flames flickering across the notepapers, and a crackle from the smoldering drumsticks.

  10. LOL, Bill! I might be wishing I had that power right now...

  11. R.S. - wow! Very eloquent, I must say!

    Chris - you struck quite a chord in me with this story (do YOU play an instrument, I wonder...?)

    Bill - having lived with a drummer in the house I can empathise with note-writer! Excellent stuff, sir!

  12. A different tack (poetry, not prose) from me this week - pertinent to the time of year perhaps:

    In Memorium


    Admonished by those who thought themselves their betters.

    Seeking a last breath of freedom from their squalid trench they rose,

    Sacrificing themselves to shrill whistles and cries

    And then the staccato percussion that charted their rapid demise as over the top they went,

    Pouring like ants from a nest,

    Seeing a new horizon, briefly, before lead and shrapnel marked their bodies,
    In daubs of crimson.

    Now, here, in fields to which only the valiant can belong,
    Remain those daubs of poppy-red
    Fluttering in the breeze.

    Remembrances to the long-ago dead.

  13. Hi, Sue. That is an incredibly vivid and incredibly sad piece of poetry. Well done.

  14. Lily - thanks. Last month my "theme" was femme fatales ... maybe this month I'll be making with the "mood"? Hmm.

    Sue - Thanks! Yes, I used to play an instrument, but haven't done so for awhile. (Longer story than a simple comment allows. :) )

  15. Beautiful Sue. There's no other words for it. It's harrowing when you really stop, take a breath, and remember the thousands of individual lives that stopped so suddenly.

  16. Chris - intrigued! You will have to enlighten us at some point...! If we hum it, will you play it?

  17. Well Bill, for someone who doesn't write dark fiction you certainly touched on the sinister. Very eerie - I'd like to see more.

  18. Sue, any words I write here cannot match the emotion in your poetry. In Memorium is stunning, beautiful, tragic, reminiscent.

    Today I had to add a photo of ten thousand poppies to our work intranet (I'm a web manager by profession) and I had to gulp back the tears of respect.

    Thank you.

  19. Chris, not a complete coincidence, being the 5th an' all - but after serving up the darkest red Coq au Vin for dinner, (and I have to say the Rioja I used this time was perfect) - hubby asked if I'd mind if we dug out V for Vendetta to watch. Absolutely not; it's on right now...

  20. R.S. - Great work. You set the scene so well in so few words.

    Chris - As ever, superb. Great last line. I have a story called The Highland Piper that I wrote years ago which runs along similar lines. Thanks for the reminder!

    Bill - Nice job. Don't mess with neighbours from the dark side. Well done.

    Sue - Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nuff said!

  21. Here's my effort for the week. Not too impressed with it really. Saying that, anything I came up with would be in the shadows of Sue's poem!!

    A Dark Past.

    I was admonished many times for my actions but I never cared to listen, until it was too late. My crimes against mankind couldn’t go unpunished.

    I don’t know where it all went wrong. Truthfully, I can’t remember where it all went wrong. That part of my life is a total blank, but I do know I don’t belong here anymore.

    Now I sit here waiting while a medical examiner plays percussion on my back, listening for echoes through his stethoscope.

    How ironic it is that after my medical examination, the very same doctor will be administering the lethal injection.

  22. I can see that I'm coming into this late. Loved yours RSB! Chris - great stage play!, Sue - exceptional language in that one, and David - awesome!

    Here's my entry:

    Love and Hate, and Somewhere In Between

    They fight about the past, admonish tongues, baring scars like sharp teeth. Physical percussion: fists swing, bodies slam, throats scream. When blood spills, they lap up the memories, greedy to belong to each other’s love again.

  23. Erin - powerful stuff in so few words - awesome word-smithing!

    David - WOW! what a smack in the face that last line was!!!!
    Impressive, sir!

  24. David -- you are a very twisty writer! Did not see that last line coming!

    Erin -- How sad is it that this represents so many (far too many) relationships out there? In so few words, you made me grateful that I'm older, wiser, and happy to have left that all behind.

  25. Erin - a great write. Well written and so close to the truth.

  26. Bill - great stuff. I wonder though, if he might have been the drummer for Spinal Tap?

    David - that's dark and cold all at once. I'm reminded of something George Carlin said - "Before they give you a lethal injection, they swab your arm with alcohol. They don't want to to go to hell AND be sick ... takes the sport out of it." Well done.

    Erin - "baring scars like sharp teeth"? Phenomenal phrasing. This one almost leaves the reader black and blue with the love and pain that are fighting for dominance.

  27. David, very clever. Although he tells us right at the start that he has committed "crimes against mankind" one kind of feels he is exaggerating and that these are the words of an old man descending into ill health and experiencing a moment of regret. Then wham! He really was that bad. But what's frightening here - is that he can't remember. Chilling.

  28. Erin, wow. Such powerful passion in the fight and the reconciliation. Love and hate; two sides of the same coin.

    I love the spitting, staccato delivery; that and the entire, hard-hitting scene leaves me exhausted. I feel I'm a guilty voyeur who has witnessed something very private, very intimate.

    Beautiful in its darkness, and skilfully written.

  29. Here's mine...

    Waste Away

    I hear it drumming in my chest, bubbling in my throat. I cough it up and hide the bloody tissue before you can admonish me, disinterested; “It’s back. Go to hospital.”

    It’s been back a long time. Do you love me so little you haven’t noticed?

    I want you to suffer, to feel the guilt of your neglect. Weak as I am I’m empowered as the crackling begins, percussion clashing thunderous cymbals as my lungs breathe their last. With the crimson death rattle that sprays from my mouth I stare into your startled eyes. Your pain belongs to me.

  30. Lily - A really great read. At deaths door and she still has the strength to make him suffer for his neglect. As Erin's was, probably not too far from reality for some folk! Loved it.

    P.s. How do you get a "bold" title on your story in the comments section??

  31. Cheers David!

    You need to use html tags. This is going to be difficult to explain because if I write the tags out - it'll format my text and you won't see the tags! Here goes; to make text bold you need to use the strong tag - type < immediately before strong without a space, then > immediately after strong so that it is enclosed. Then type your title, or other text you want bold. Then add the enclosed strong tag again immediately after your title. But you need to 'close' it so after the < and immediately before strong, add a forward slash/. As below, but with the spaces:

    < strong >Title< / strong >

    You can also italicise using em in place of strong.

    Hope this works, and helps.

  32. That should be, "as below but withOUT the spaces..."

  33. Yikes, Lily! Shame she didn't live. If she could conjure up that much spite in her last few seconds, I imagine she could've really made his life a living hell if she'd survived. No little doormat there.

  34. Lily - great - the woman gets that last twist of the knife into him!!!

  35. I finally got here, to find stunning entries! Like you would not believe! And a first for me, writing flash fiction before work because I am on my own for the first time in an age! Congratulations to all of you, amazing pieces, really enjoyed them. Mine doesn't measure up but here it is, for what it is worth.

    His fingers created a percussion sound on the wheel as Flora’s voice droned on and on, gossip, tart observations and then, as he knew she would, she stopped to admonish him on his driving.
    He pulled over to the side of the road.
    “What are you doing?” The shrillness almost punctured his eardrums.
    “Had enough,” he muttered, opening the door to get out.
    Flora grabbed his arm. “Ted, what are you doing?” He took a deep breath. “You’ve been nagging me for forty seven years. I’ve had enough. The car belongs to you, I don’t.”
    And he walked away.

  36. What a great set of contrasts - we have hot and cold takes on relationships, and heat without relationship, supernatural events both happy and horrible, a gentle poem about the true horror of the trenches, lives ending with calm resignation and with spite. I like this collection. . .

  37. thought I'd try a second one.

    The spade made its own percussion on the coffin lid.
    “Would you hush ?” admonished Joseph. “The watch’ll be on us otherwise!”
    “All right, all right, didn’t realise I was that close to the bitch. Hear anything?”
    “Nah. Dead drunk’s my guess. Ha!!”
    “Here goes then.”
    A creak, a heave and the coffin lid snapped in half. The rope was fastened round the body and it was hauled out.
    “Joseph, get that earth back in fast.”
    “Give me that spade, would you? Wonder who she belonged to? Fine looking woman.”
    “But dead, Joseph, dead.”
    “And worth guineas. Let’s go!”

  38. Hey Antonia - a double whammy before I've even had time to drop in.

    First entry: I swear I know that woman! A splendid 'ending' to a life of putting up with the shrieking Flora. Applause Ted! Well done Antonia, you provoked a sense of great satisfaction there.

    Second: Lovely. Can't go wrong with a bit of grave-robbing and so de rigeurmortis at the moment with the new Burke and Hare film. Clever dialogue. I really liked this.

  39. Antonia - 1st, you written a great piece about my wife! LOL!! That was great.

    2nd, as Lily said, you can't beat a bit of the old grave robbing. Brought back memories of the early Hammer and classic Universal horror films. Great work.

  40. The crystal sky did not belong. Bony cartilage flaked from the gremlin king's claws and poisoned the earth beneath him. Heralds in white fidgeted as their horses shied catching the scent of stinkweed. The percussion of 10,000 gremlin feet filled the valley.


    The Herald's head wagged. "It is great our two kingdoms can agree --"

    "I get what?"

    "We won't ravage your lands."

    "You never have. You never will," admonished the gremlin king. "You have how many forces?"


    "Tell them to flee!" The king's warted foot landed on a crocus, which wilted into a sludge-dripped fungus.

  41. RS - couldn't match up is an understatement; the wandering mind there is nice.

    Chris - you eke a full band out of your 100 words, I like the little details, like her smile fading.

    Bill - I like the notes making up the pentagram.

    Sue - Nice imagery and the way this pulls together. Liked the image of poppy red

    David - I like the image of playing percussion on the back.

    Erin - I find that one chilling, particularly the lapping up memories.

    Lily - frightening images of sickness, you capture the character's revenge well.

    Antonia - wow, makes for an interesting threesome reading these three in order. Liked "the car belongs to you, I don't." The second made me laugh. Nice two characters you've created.

  42. Aiden - Loved that one. Great imagery in it that reminded me of Lord Of The Rings. Well done.

  43. Lily - like a few of the others this week, this was deeply affecting in the blood and guts of their relationship

    Antonia #1 - loved it. There was humour, but just as much underlying bitterness as Lily's in its own way. The scary thing is we've all had those fights.

    Antonia#2 - that's just grisly fun. Liked the specific "worth guineas"

    Aiden - I want to read a much longer story that contains this. I want to read it a lot :)

    David - an alternative "html" tag (that lazy bums like me use, less the spaces)

    Bold on = "< b >" Hey there
    Bold off = "< /b >" Hey there
    Italic on = "< i >" Hey there
    Italic off = "< /i >" Hey there

  44. Aidan - where is this wondrous land? A fabulously told vignette, full of vivid description.

    I love the juxtaposition of ugliness and beauty in your last line "The king's warted foot landed on a crocus, which wilted into a sludge-dripped fungus."

  45. Chris, re: html tags. Yes, I agree but those don't work on all browsers. Just might be worth mentioning!

  46. great stories here, really good stuff. Thanks for the good words on my entries. I enjoyed writing them.

    My grave robbing ... I have half a novel written on the subject, not Burke and Hare, the London mob, Ben Crouch and all. I'e done the research, walked the ground, took the photos, just can't seem to finish the ************ novel!

  47. Hey Lil's, I'll have something on the way shortly this evening. Not all that brilliant, but hey it's something right?

  48. Well Antonia, the novel sounds just great. I'm waiting...!

    Okeydokey Pix! Look forward to reading it.

  49. Okay, here's my effort...

    One Last Look

    It fell in gentle waves, cool and hushed at first.

    Then the darkness moved across the city and pithy droplets became heavier. The resonant hum of the city chided his conscience; he saw great concrete monoliths stretching into the air, lights glowing and winking in tandem. It was a place he once worked, a place he once belonged.

    Something flashed. The percussion of rain grew forceful as though to admonish the humidity clouding the alleys and stairwells. He looked up from his cardboard world; the downpour mottled his skin.

    And he couldn’t help but smile as the needle went in.

  50. Poetic and evocative, Ally. I could visualise the city as its lights prismed through the falling raindrops and I was fooled into believing this was a passing reminiscence for your character... until the final chilling line.

    Sensorial and beautiful.

  51. Thanks Lily, glad you liked, and great feedback, too, I wanted that last line to sum the whole story up. But you know me, I can't do happy clappy...

  52. The day you write happy clappy stuff Ally is the day I lose all faith and give up writing...just to let ya know ;)

    And here's for my naff effort...


    I scowled as my boss admonished me. He wouldn’t know talent if it came and blew a trumpet up his arse.

    I signalled to the others, the percussion starting up. I smiled as my fingers graced the piano keys. I began playing, the notes singing into my ear; such a sweet harmony, it filled with me happiness.

    I forgot I was in a scummy restaurant; my imagination transporting me to the Royal Albert Hall, playing to thousands; all loving and appreciating my music.

    That’s where I belong, with like minded people who love perfection.

    One day it will happen...

  53. Ooh, you snuck in there Pix.

    Loved "...wouldn’t know talent if it came and blew a trumpet up his arse." because I could see that, instantly.

    I like how your character can dismiss her boss and sink into her daydream so easily, becoming the adored superstar. Well done.

  54. Your time's up!! Thank you all for superb entries and comments.

    Winner will be announced at midnight.

    Tomorrow's Prediction will go out around UK breakfast time - bit later than usual but I'm dog tired so no late night ce soir.

  55. AJ & Pixie.....late but great! Liked them both.

  56. yes, agree with David, liked them both! You're clever, both of you.


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.