Friday, 12 November 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Oh for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a plate of Eggs Benedict for breakfast, but instead - with a stewed cuppa char and dry cereal too close to its sell-by date, I give you ... Lily's Friday Prediction.

Congrats to Sue Harding for winning last week's Friday Flash Prediction challenge with her moving poem In Memorium, and also to runner-up Erin Cole for her fast and passionate Love and Hate, and Somewhere In Between.

I'm liking this week's words - a lot. It still amazes me that in a huge encyclopaedic dictionary of 80,000 words my finger falls on such good ones. So:

  • Kestrel
  • Bed-chamber
  • Uriel [the Archangel]
The list contains no verbs/adjectives/adverbs this week. Interesting - freeing, or limiting? We shall see.


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 until 9pm UK time Thursday 18 November 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.

Is it possible to outdo last week's fine delectations...?


  1. Kestrels soared off through the streaky horizon. I could barely make them out as the soot coating my bed chamber's window thickened by the moment.

    Was this fate commanded by Uriel?

    I knew not, my legs frozen in place. I could not rise from my bed to see the fires I knew were burning. I'd set them you see and breathed in the sulfur meant for others.

    Indeed I created hell.

    All for the love of a woman.

    What on earth had I done?

  2. Sorry - forgot the title : Fate's Cruel Deliverance

  3. Uriel's Journal, Day 2

    I awoke with the dawn, light streaming over the horizon and into my impromptu bed-chamber. This lighthouse pleases me. Walking outside, I see sleek, savage kestrals diving for their breakfast in the roiling morning surf. The vast salt ocean stretches away to infinity, and again I feel His presence... with mixed emotions.

    Today I start my penance; there will surely be "work" for me in town.

    I stretch my cumbersome arms to Heaven, and then take another look at the bloody, foaming breakers among the rocks below, promising to remember today that I can't fly anymore.

  4. Indeed I created hell.

    All for the love of a woman.

    Fantastic line, and great depth of character within such a tight space. Great work.

  5. Ha, Chris nice floating flier! Eerie.

  6. Michael - stunning. I'm sweltering in the heat of this piece. What a woman she must be.

    Chris this is so powerful I want to read the entire novel please. Feels like an homage to the great and secret Clive Barker. Loved it.

  7. Thanks Lily, my list of "novels to write" is immense. I agree this'd be a fun one, and I'll be remembering that this one's in the pocket, but hopefully I'll be able to crack down and get one finished - then we'll talk!

  8. Ok, Lily. A bit of a rush job today as we're off down south for a few days and I had a job to finish off before we go tomorrow. Luckily, The Two Blokes helped me out.

    The Two Blokes.


    “Course I am.”


    “I’m real. Here, touch me.”

    “Sod off! It’s an answer on my crossword, Archangel, 5 letters.”

    “Oh. Ask ME one.”

    “A place for sleeping, 3 and 7.”


    “A hint…bed - 7.”

    “Snow White.”


    “Yes, she bedded 7…..dwarfs. Hahaha!”

    “Idiot! Bed, then a 7 letter word.”


    “Wha…how. Don’t tell me.”

    “Is it right? YES! Ask me another.”

    “A small feathered predator, 7 letters.”


    “Kes something.”


    “Oh yeah, the small, feathered Cumbrian town? The answer is kestrel, simpleton.”
    “Well, I bet you’d find kestrels there.”

    “There’s no hope! Two beers please, mate.”

  9. Nice one David. And good to see "Bloke 2" isn't totally full of sawdust as one would tend to think from the past.

  10. Right, why didn't "bold" work on my title??

    Michael - Only fair to create hell for a woman. They pretty much create hell for us everyday. HA!! Great write, Michael.

    Chris - Nice work as usual. Eerie and, like Lily, leaving me wanting more. Top job, Chris.

  11. Thanks. It shocked me as well, Chris. Haha! It was a very lucky guess.

  12. Dunno - I looked at the code and couldn't see any tags at all. A mystery! Sorry.

    Great Two Blokes episode! Love the idea of a "...small, feathered Cumbrian town". As usual, full of twisted understandings. Brilliant. And I couldn't believe that lengthy discussion was as short as 100 words - but it was!

    Have a great weekend.

  13. Uriel’s Foolishment

    Cold breath coiled into the morning mist. Naked silverbirch trees stuttered against the breeze. A carpet of honey and wine coloured leaves softened his approach like a silent invitation.

    He glanced up at the keep, saw the shadow at the window; the King’s bedchamber overlooked the woodland.

    Uriel’s clammy-tinged fingers tightened around his sword. The King’s dead kestrel dangled from his leather belt, next to the sword sheath.

    The troubled face in the window caught sight of the dead bird, then his falconer.

    Uriel oozed from the protective clasp of the haze.

    The King would be headless by nightfall.

  14. Ally Humpage - this is a very sexy beast.

    You are the Mistress of descriptive prose; we slink along in the fabric of a tale that is pure coiling seduction with the promise of lingering death.

    I absolutely adore the 'foolishment' word.


  15. Wow, Lily, thanks...incredible feedback. You made me work hard this week with those words! 'Sexy beast' that's made my night!

  16. Haha! Nice one Ally. And I agree about being the Mistress of descriptive prose, nothing I can write matches that.

    As for the sexy beast comment, well, I can hardly comment there ;)

  17. And here is for my effort, doubt it would be as 'sexy' as Miss Ally's here however!


    My eyes flickered open, focused on the morning rays passing into my bedchamber. I sat up, wiped my eyes.

    There; fixed in the corner, was Uriel. She’d been crying, bless her soul. Her eyes were puffy and red, the same as her hair.

    I slipped out of bed, moved towards her. ‘Uriel,’ I whispered, focusing on her drooped wings. ‘What is it that has troubled ‘ee so?’

    ‘Tis the Cult Kestrel,’ Uriel replied, her face drained of colour. ‘They’re coming for you, my sweet. They hunger your blood...for you.’

    ‘The Cult Kestrel,’ I muttered. ‘War...and a warrant for my death...’

  18. AJ - That was an excellent piece of writing. Facked full of great imagery. Well done.

    Pixie - Another fine piece. I think there's certainly longevity in this one. More please!

  19. Sorry! That should be "packed" not "facked". Sounds like I'm swearing...or The Two Blokes wrote it.

  20. The Cult Kestrel - now that has to be a title of a book. I feel as though I'm glimpsing right into the middle of this novel and want to know how it got to this, what the relationship is between Uriel and your character, and who the warring Cult Kestrel is. Great concept Pixie, well done.

    David - I like the word 'facked'. I think we should use and promote it wherever we go.

  21. Every spring, Uriel's blood burned with memories of Kirstin, her hair the color of his mantle feathers. He flew above Sørøya's heather-pocked fjords, circled Kirstin's stuga, and alighted outside her bedchamber. Every summer while other kestrel's mated, he guarded her windows, midnight sun warming his vigil.

    When he saw the disheveled bed, his heart lurched like a flailing wing. He paced his perch. The lump exposed two bodies. He flung himself against the window, battering his wings. She closed the curtain for the first time and he wheeled into the sky.

  22. Aidan - you always wield such astonishing volumes of visual fantasy with your pen. Uriel's tale of unrequited love/protection for Kirstin is truly heartbreaking. I clutched my own heart at your last line.


  23. Michael - I liked the opening image and this gets into the head of the character making me intrigued.

    Chris - Beautiful, I love how the penance really hits home and resolves who he is at the ending.

    David - facked wonderful dialogue that had me laughing, especially the initial jab/counter-jab

    AJ - Nice tale, I like the sensuous details in your writing

    Pixie - like the sound of cult kestrel; a lot of shadowings and this feels like a rich world from which you've brought us a piece.

  24. love the stories, really do, they all seem as if they could go on and on.
    No inspiration - yet.

  25. Aww thanks everyone *blushes*

    As for the novel, Lily, I might pen a fantasy/fairy novel one day. Let me get the two I'm doing first out the way...

    Love all the stories so far. :)

  26. Wasn't sure I'd come up with something this time around. Here 'tis.


    His fingers floated over the posture collar, tracing the red and black embroidery, to her shoulders.

    “See how much it has helped? You walk like one divine now.” He kissed her ear, whispering, “A goddess.”

    She said nothing, trained to perfect silence. Outside the bed-chamber, kestrels dived and swooped, sleek bodies describing patterns high above the crashing waves.

    She quivered as the first of the corset stays were tightened. Each hard tug expelled air from aching lungs. The birds were a swimming, darting cloud.

    “I told you it would be worth it, didn’t I?”

    Her lips were dry. “Yes, Uriel.”

  27. MJSolender: We create our own Hell? I get that. Great descriptions with a palpable sense of building despair and… regret? Too late now, buddy.

    Chris: Now that is the start of a novel, or at least a novella. In some ways, it reminded me of a Neil Gaiman short story. This sort of character fascinates me.

    David: I see you were eavesdropping on one of the many frustrating conversations I have with my partner. ;) Witty, dear!

    AJ: “a carpet of honey and wine-coloured leaves” – gorgeous! As is the entire piece, ending with a punch.

    Pixie: I like how you’ve turned around some roles and given us a different angle. Again, I think we’ve got the beginnings of not just a novel, but an epic.

    Aidan: That was heartbreaking. The image of a bird smashing against windows, curtains closing… Wow. What a visual for unrequited love.

  28. Very pleasing R.S. I had tightened my own corset before returning to The Feardom so had a little shiver as I read your piece. :)

    A very striking write, tinged with erotic fear. I love how Uriel seems to have her trapped in his own, sea-bound tower, also how you juxtapose the freedom of the birds with The Lady's captivity.

  29. RS - I also liked the morphing imagery of the birds and the lady. You've created two vividly different characters.

    All, thanks, for the kind words. I've begun looking forward to Friday's and these predictions. The words have been inspired and bring out an eclectic mix of stories.

  30. AJ - I love how you've chosen the perfect moment to show us - a setting that tells all and the calm before the storm - masterful!

    Pixie - this smacks of "cruel destiny", and you've done that theme great service here with the weeping angel

    Aiden - making the kestrel Uriel was a great idea. This was as touching in its way as it was unique

    RS - can't really top Lily's comment - you've given us style to spare, and tension that criesr out foor chafpter 2

    And thanks to all you wonderful authors for your comments on my 100.

  31. Thank you everyone for your comments. And reading all these entries just shows what wonderful writers I am among. It's a joy to read every entry.

    I especially loved the "heart lurched like a flailing wing" in Aiden's piece, such a rich description, and the seductive allure so eloquently captured from RS.

    And I like the way Pix has changed Uriel into a female character, turning perceptions on its head. This is what writing is about.

    Such good stuff.

    And David, a new word for us "facked"...

  32. Final Prophecy

    Alan hovered by the bar, like a kestrel tracking its prey. It was his first time here, though he knew what he was looking for. He wasn't after romance in the bed chamber, no hearts and flowers; well not this time. Uriel had delivered him another prophecy, and Alan was here to fulfil it. The clock on the wall was marking time, counting down. He fingered the cheese wire hidden from harm in his pocket. The door opened, she's here! The harlot's here! Then a hand upon his shoulder, “Alan kook, I'm arresting you for the murders of...”

  33. Hi

    Probably should have introduced myself before. I've been watching from the side lines for a while, but this is my first attempt attempt at flash fiction so please be gentle.


  34. Oh William - 'harlot' - you flatterer! Welcome in.

    There's a dark Victorian, gothic feel to your prose. I really like how you set the scene and how we don't know until near the end that Kook's heart was set on murder - divine prophecy or not. Like many of the entries this week, this has a real feel of a glimpse into a world that should be expanded upon - and made true within a novel.


  35. Thanks for the lovely comments all! It's really not that expected. I only made Uriel female because to me it sounds female...not knowing he's male...

    Also, I still can't see how it can be that amazing...

    Well done all :)

  36. What You Wish For

    Solomon inscribed the sigil, tracing timid fingertips through still smouldering ashes. He closed his ears to the demons that hammered, uninvited at the barren bedchamber’s door, desperate to enter.

    “Holy Angel,” Solomon cried. “I am your servant. Sunday dawns and we beg of you; bring us the gift of a child.”

    Outside the skies darkened, replacing morning sun with the darkness of storm. Distant drums grew louder as the hellhounds screamed for Solomon’s soul.

    Accompanying the Lords of Thunder Uriel flew with kestrel’s wings into the room. Banishing the woe-begotten souls at the door, the Angel stole Solomon’s wife away.

  37. Pix - not knowing doesn't make it wrong. In fact I believe challenging our perceptions, and what is generally accepted, makes for far more interesting reading.

    Good on ya.

  38. Thanks Lily,
    I didn't know till today what a challenge 100 words could be.

    I'm loving all the other entries too, I don't feel worthy to comment, but in the spirit of the challenge... So here goes.

    Michael- Wow, I was taken back to a place of changing my whole world for the sake of love.
    Chris- Love it a modern approach to Uriel the first recorded angel to become mortal. Note to self no flying, love it.
    David- very clever prose
    Pixie- You got me hooked I'd love to hear more of that.
    AJ - I'm Loving the naked silver birch, so descriptive.
    Aidan- You have so captured the torment and tortion of unrequited love.
    R.S. I so love the way you built the tension of your piece.

  39. Lily, TOTU!!!!!! You're on to something already with this. It's turning into something special.

    On my iPhone so I'll comment on everyones stories when I can get a laptop or get home.

  40. Cheers David!

    iPhone - everyone has one 'xcept me. I want one now! (Petulant lips pouts)

  41. I haven't got an iPhone either, Lily. Dreaming of an iPad for Christmas, though.

    William -- welcome! I'm new too! I agree, this had a Gothic feel, almost Jack the Ripper. And who doesn't love ol' Jack? Great work!

    Lily -- Oh my. I think that's a bargain Solomon didn't intend to make. I loved the detail of demons outside the door, wanting in. (kinda makes it hard to perform, eh?)

    And Pixie, a little gender reassignment is cool, even if you didn't technically mean to. I thought it lent edge to the piece, and it doesn't take away from it to find out you didn't know. Hey, that's a good lesson going forward from here... I'm going to be keeping this in mind.

  42. William - this has a feel of "Minority Report" for me. Nice expression of character in the excitement of harlot and then release as his expectations change.

    Lily - like the percussive qualities to this piece and I really like the twist to the idea of "demon summoning" to apply it to angels.

  43. Lily, if it makes you feel better, I don't have an iPhone and I'm proud. My dad has an iPhone however. Me? I've got a BlackBerry Curve, in a sexy purple, one of the only people I know who has it in purple. Makes me feel really special, it does.

    R.S. Bohn, I think it's mainly down to my age and ignorance to the fact I didn't know Uriel was a male. It just seemed a good female fairy name to me. Ah well. I'm just glad you all like it. :)

  44. Let's see if I can come up with something at least a little scary, this time. . .

    - - -

    I can no longer move my head. At the last waking I was able at least to look sidewards, see a tiny wedge of the bed-chamber beyond. My bridal chamber, now become my prison.

    He comes again, wearing his bird-face mask, a fantastic kestrel in red and black. Intoning words no sane man has ever spoken, terrible in my ears. "Azaroth, Belial, Oerophon, Uriel!" He drones, howls, voice grinding and choking on the power in each syllable. Thus it has been for seven nights, and as the room darkens again, I know this will be the last.

    - - -

    Last week's #fridayflash ended up as a dark story too, though less a horror story than a counterpoint to the current theme of romanticizing the supernatural lifestyle. Inspired both by my hatred of travel and my weekend hobby of transporting rescue dogs - yes, a strange combination ;)

  45. This is a deeply dark and evocative write, Bill. It is unsaid whether your character can no longer move her(?) head because through exhaustion or torture she is so close to death. Whether the masked being is her new husband and/or a demonic angel we can only guess - and I love that.

    Powerful, beastly and disturbing.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Oh, my. Lily says I wrote something that's disturbing; I'm well chuffed with that!

    I'm afraid that I may have made it darker than I intended, though; I had a clear image that there was black magic going on in that story, a spell being gradually woven, evil standing at the foot of the bed and speaking those words of power. Looking at the story after I'd posted it, I realized that while editing for word count I'd created a little turn of phrase in describing what the villain was doing, leaving a word that could mean "arrives" or. . . something else. And that would change the entire story, into something much nastier than I had planned. So if that's how you read it, I'm afraid that (Freudian interpretations notwithstanding) I can't take credit. . .

  48. Here's my cherry poppin' entry "Wholesale"

    When we enter the bed-chamber, the geezer is under the covers, mumbling to the rosary wrapped around his hands. The nightcap he's wearing makes him look like Scrooge and when I tell Ronni this, she laughs, tells him, "those beads ain't gonna' work old man. Ureil's fresh out of redemption today."

    He starts kissing the Cross, tears running down his face. I point toward the bird on the nightstand. It's a Kestrel, stuffed postmortem with 500K in uncut ice from Dachau jewelers. Ronni grabs it, tosses it to me, and then pushes a pillow down hard on his face.



  49. Hi Sean. Great twist of noir on this one - a very different take. I feel I'm in the room with them - and perhaps worryingly, I don't know whose side I'm on!

    A nice tight write.

  50. Thanks Lily for this way cool challenge. I really enjoy this sort of thing.

  51. Sorry, Lily! A 'skin-of-the-teeth' job again this week - (life is quite 'mad' at the moment!)
    And I haven't had a chance to read through all the entries yet!

    Anyway, better late than not at all:

    The Sentinel

    Uriel’s reflected light shone on the rich tapestries in the bedchamber, picking out fine gold threads in the weave.

    His presence disturbed the kestrel, tied to its perch, head shielded in a tiny hood. Though unseen, it sensed the emissary sent from the Most High.

    Not so, the women in repose, fever blighting her slumber in the canopied bed. Uriel leaned against one of the posts, watching. Her beauty stirred him, but only to praise her Creator.

    Charged with her protection, he glowed brightly, defying the demons that encroached upon her.

    Tonight, they would have to feast on other flesh.

  52. (er, that should read 'woman in repose' !
    ;-p (that'll teach me to submit it before checking it through properly!)

  53. Sue, I am reminded of a number of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I would love to see this depiction hanging on my wall amongst the Holman-Hunts, Waterhouses and Rosettis. I love your use of colour and light and in my mind I visualise the scene sparkling against tall candle flames. Rich, well-written and highly descriptive.

  54. Results are up. Congratulations to the winner and runner-up.

    Well done everyone. Loved 'em!

  55. Bill - I like the black magic and sensual tones to your story.

    Sean - Nice word-choice in this one creates a good feel for the characters.

    Sue - If only Uriel could keep the fevers at bay too. You squeeze a lot of story into this piece.


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.