Friday, 3 December 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

The sun is shining down on the blanket of snow here in Sussex, turning icicles from daggers to drips.

Congratulations to last week's Prediction winner asuqi with her wonderfully weird tale of parallel timescapes, and well done to William Davoll whose tentacles twisted him into runner-up. Everyone's comments were welcomed by us all.

Today's words are kind of easy, I think. I'm looking forward to seeing how you can mix 'em up.

  • Outsider
  • Invite or Invitation
  • Effervescent


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 09 December to enter.

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

Who's up for the challenge?


  1. Hey Lily, how early am I? Snowed in again. A phone call at 8 o'clock was music to my ears. "Too dangerous to get to the job." Going to enjoy my day off.

    I was worried about what the words were going to be this week as I wanted to continue with my series. Perfect!! So here goes with...

    The Undead, Part 2.

    …They took a booth at the front of the pub, the man clicking his fingers to get someone’s attention.

    “It’s always the same with those two,” the barman said.

    “I’ll go over for you.”

    “But…you’re an outsider.”

    “Don’t worry.”

    The woman stared at me as I walked over, an effervescent glow behind her ebony eyes.

    “What do you want? It’s normally polite to wait for an invitation to join someone?” the man asked.

    “They’re busy,” I said.

    “Oh, well, champagne for us.”

    With extra bubbles, I said to myself, patting the small bottle in my pocket. Let the fun begin.

    To be continued…

    (Check me out with bold and italics. I may be back with another. Ideas are really flowing on this one.)

  2. Yes, I'm off work!!

    They’ll Be Sorry

    I stared at the invitation, my finger following the words as I read them.

    “…to the marriage of…”

    “Those bastards!”

    I screwed up the card and threw it across the kitchen.

    “They’ll be sorry.”

    * * *

    “We are gathered here…”

    The effervescent liquid bubbled, and then the explosion ripped through the church. The screams from the congregation soon died as the growing flames became too much.

    * * *

    I watched from the back of the graveyard. There was panic everywhere as the emergency services turned up.

    I’d always been an outsider, but they should never have wronged me.


  3. Asuqi and William, congratulations! Worthy winners! Lily, I do NOT for a moment envy you the task of judging these entries!!!!

  4. New Year's Eve Blowout

    I feel like an outsider amongst all these effervescent revelers. Why did Beverly invite me? She doesn't like me, not I her. She obviously wanted to rub my nose in the fact that she's with Jack now.

    So why did I come? Let's just say that 2011 will come in with a veritable explosion.

    And I am leaving THIS party early.

  5. David - 1 - nasty, but not undeserved. Can't wait for what's coming to them.

    2 - never mind a woman scorned - stay out of this guy's way!

    Nice writes!

    Mimi - the outsider indeed. Well done, and with "effervescent" brevity!

  6. Diana's adventures actually exist as about 5,000 words in a hand-scrawled notebook somewhere. It's lovely to see her back out and about!

    Diamonds - 2

    Diana dropped effortlessly to the ground. In moments, she'd rejoined her coal-black mare on the beach and made good her escape.

    The night was alive with moonlight, effervescing on the breaking waves.

    Diana's blood thrilled with the old fire. Had she honestly felt this life behind her? She'd been so willfully naive.

    Her thoughts flickered to Father, waiting at the tip of the foul Outsider's blade. His ransom, Curran's diamonds, were secured inside Diana's dress; their beautiful weight shifting as she galloped.

    Behind her, still distant, she heard horses.

    She smiled invitingly, thinking, Catch me if you dare.

  7. David - goodness! I'd barely whipped it out before The Undead appeared. Glad to see part 2 already. Methinks this great series is here for the long haul. Absolute Barber noir.

    Love the eye avatar, btw. Did you draw that?

    #2 They'll Be Sorry. Very nasty - I like it. Watch out the soaps don't steal your idea. ;)

  8. Welcome in, Mimi. New Year's Eve Blowout is a great quickie; succinct and to the point. Blow the f*ckers away.

    Checked out your blog - I am liking your style :)

  9. Chris - more Diamonds! How many can a girl take? And take. And take. Oh, go on then.

    I'm intrigued - part 1 felt contemporary with a female 007 feel; part 2 suggests historical fantasy. Diana's a powerful protagonist - can't wait to see how her story pans out. I'm enjoying your last-line teasers too.

  10. I left two lots of congratulations cos I thought they were deserved!

    OK, here's my offering for this week. now I can go back to work without having those three words buzzing in my brain ... this is addictive!

    I was an outsider but they let me in. Had my reputation gone ahead of me? I needed new sources and this was the best way to get them. Use others’ knowledge. Handing around effervescent drinks, I smiled and acted as if I did this every day of the week. Well, in truth I did sometimes indulge, not as often as I wished.
    The gravestones were cold, uncomfortable - and liars. Always thought so, always would.
    They dug, I watched. Soon enough the dead were exposed, an open invitation, no chance to say no. One by one we sated our lust.

  11. Antonia - is that's what is known as "stopping off for a cold one?" So very, very eerie. Great job.

  12. Ooh Antonia - where did THAT come from? How beautifully spooky. I loved it. Gorgeous line - "The gravestones were cold, uncomfortable - and liars." Yummy.

  13. Thanks, Chris!
    Lily, I have no idea. None whatsoever. Just sitting here munching rice cakes with chocolate spread ... perhaps that went to my head, who knows???? What I do know is, I had three goes at it before I got it down to 100 words I could be content with. I can only think the 'influence' of the horror writer in spirit is very evident at the moment. I am sure I can hear a great booming laugh as I write this... well, he did say he went too soon and had not done writing his horror stories.

  14. I'm giving this week a stab! Great entries so far, lots of explosions.

    David, love the vengence - wicked fun, even in a graveyard.

    Mimi, another delightful explosive plot.

    Chris, what a cool scene, a beautiful woman, escaping horseback with diamonds and waves. Wow!

    Antonia, knowledge is deadly, great darkness.

    And now for my entry:

    Bare the Bones

    Everyone has secrets; some are just more interesting. The outsider, the serpent of hedonism, knows this, hangs them from the birch, strangling the words until effervescent riddles bleed between the teeth.

    Invite the boa over, an invitation to menace, gliding, sliding around, hugging tight, tighter—choke deceit from the flesh. Venomous truths seep, mire between the fingers…dirt on the knees.

    Kiss each blue face and knot the rope. Their bones clank in a midnight wind, prattling to those who will listen.

  15. OK. David, whoo! great stuff!

    Mimi- great imagery here!

    Chris - oh yes ...

    Erin, thanks for the good words. Love the images you offered us in this one. 'their bones clank in a midnight wind.' horror writing at its best!

  16. Erin, as always the poetry in your words shines through making me want to read them out loud. Your hedonistic boa is a seductive beast, so dangerous, so... inviting. I adore "Their bones clank in a midnight wind..." - I can hear their hollow bells.


  17. Lambs

    Each an outsider, we were excited to receive an invitation and so arrived early, our cheeks flushed, our smiles effervescent. Careless, we did not take heed of the signs; not the furtive glances from lowered lids, nor the coldness that pervaded the room. We were well fed but the other diners did not speak.

    Our eyes now meet as our limbs cease to strain against leather bindings. The marble is cold against our flesh. We would speak but through pain neither of us can remember the other’s name.

    Blood spills and drips from the altar; a large silver chalice fills.

  18. Thanks Chris and Lily.
    Susan, I loved this - sacrificial rite at its best!

  19. Susan - truly chilling. I really enjoyed the change in tone from palpitations of excitement to cold realisation. And then the tense changes too.

    A disturbing and morbid read - excellent.

  20. Susan, what a picture you have drawn here! Great, really is.
    Lily, it's only Friday and look what's come in already...

  21. Erin - strangling the words until effervescent riddles bleed between the teeth

    This is why I love your writing. Lines like that. Fantastic entry.

    Susan - I can see every detail here with crystal, horrifying detail. Very disturbing - and reminds you that vampires are supposed to be scary.

  22. David Barber: The undead -- bad! In a good way =) They´ll be sorry -- very well-crafted piece.

    Mimi: Heee! Definitely more spectacular than boiling someone´s rabbit!

    Chris: That Diana´s a feisty one! I like ”…their beautiful weight shifting as she galloped.”

    Antonia: Sweet! True horror. Lack of moral/ethics plus horrifying action is win!

  23. Mine:

    That of Which the Heart is Filled

    The scene´s sketchy; typical old-style restaurant. I enter smoothly.

    I´m a dark suit, an obvious outsider, but Japanese politeness invite me and I´m pleasantly surprised by the sounds; muted steps on exclusive tatami and the quiet swoosh as the shoji doors close behind me.

    The meal´s stellar, but nothing compared to the geisha! Tiny hands performing an ancient saké ballet, alluring looks under complicated hairdos. They´re perfection; an effervescent bouquet of rare flowers.

    Mine to enjoy, but I disconnect.

    Sam stares at me as I remove my headset.

    ”They all look like her,” I say. ”You´re not over her.”

  24. Asuqi - a tale of great sadness, I feel. Beautifully done.

  25. Erin: oh, that was beautiful! I had to use my British accent and read it out loud =) ”…strangling the words until effervescent riddles bleed between the teeth. ” and ”… choke deceit from the flesh. ” So poetic! Fuck! Now I read Lily´s comment and realised I´m giving you much the same. Sorry, this is my truth, can´t give you anything new.

    Susan: beautiful horror. I love the title!

  26. Mimi - That was an "explosive" debut. Well done!

    Chris - Loving "Diamonds". Great imagery in 100 words. Great work, bud!

    Antonia - Graverobbing necrophiliacs.....sick in an awesome way! Nice work!

    Erin - Human windchimes! Awesome writing, Erin. Your horror writing skills show with some excellent lines. Excellent!

    Susan - Love this piece. Well done.

    Asuqi - An almost poetic piece with some great descriptions. Sad yet beautiful writing! Another treat!

  27. Nice words this week, not sure where I'm going with these but I've written two this week, they could be related in some way not sure yet.

    #1 - Dominion

    No outsider could resist a honey coated invite from Laura; she helped us swell our ranks with the souls of the ungodly, and feed the vermin with their unwashed bodies.

    Now she craved to join us, her urge declared, it was her time…

    Her soul passed easily into our world, like an effervescent fountain of life washing upon us, until she became part of us and we moved as one.

    As dawn approached we instinctively retreated into the shadows for our own protection, but the light traversed with her, turning our darkest shades to grey would she signal our end…

    #2 - You are what you eat

    The cold air made my naked body tingle effervescent with anticipation. An outsider to her world I’d eagerly accepted the invitation to her bedchamber, where I lay bound by feet and hands to her bed. Stretched out and proud like a sundial.


    She entered the room her face strange… like porcelain...

    The old beast roused within me, as she eased the life from my body. I floated free and watched while she feasted on my flesh, soon joined by others, they made sacrament with my body.

    My journey through the dark and vaporous veil had begun.

  28. Oh well, here's another!! Hope you don't mind but they are great words!!

    The Wrong Move

    He watched her dancing alone, her figure hugging dress effervescent in the nightclub’s lights. She caught him looking and gave a smile. That was his invitation.

    He waited outside the club, the cold night air biting into him. She saw him and motioned for him to join her, disappearing down an alley. He followed, his lust growing, his heart racing.

    She stood against the wall, her moonlit silhouette so inviting. He stood next to her, ran his hand up her back to her neck.

    As he turned her head he froze. She was an outsider and soon he would be too.


  29. William - Very nice indeed. Great imagery in both. I can't choose between them, they're both great!!

  30. William, great stuff, can't choose, both are so good.
    David, oh yes ...very 'nice'.

  31. William: great! I love them both, such beautifully descriptive writing.

    David: another great one, enjoy your flow!

  32. As an outsider, I dreamed of her each night: the claws shredding my back and the taste of sweat between her breasts. Dreams were her invitation, but not enough. Never enough.

    My fiancé paled beside Qarînah's slick skin, but she pleased me day and night.

    I repressed my demon lover's prohibition until my wedding night when a cat curled on my pillow. It had her eyes.

    After consummation, I dreamed of balancing on a sphinx-sized champagne glass. Demonic kin slathered out of bubbling lava. I punched their warted skins. My balance swayed. Qarînah laughed. Effervescent bubbles burned as I fell.

  33. yet more vivid images, Aidan, great stuff!

  34. David - #1 undead and champagne, I wonder what's in the extra bubbles. #2 I like the idea of him watching from the graveyard, appropriate. #3 I read this the second time before realizing that it is the face that is the outsider. Chilling.

    Mimimanderly - Like the play on blowout.

    Chris - I love the images of horseback on beaches with waves on the side. Liked the ending thought of "catch me if you dare".

    Antonia - Love the comment of gravestones being liars; has an interesting necrophiliac feel to it.

    Erin - I love the sounds and rhythm of your story. Great images.

    Susan - chilling sacrifice; I like the resigned tone you achieve that echoes their inability to speak. I didn't catch the tense change, but I think that might have added to my feelings on tone.

    Asuqi - I like the VR-ness of this and how it brings out the other's character.

    William - #1 intriguing; it feels like a double-cross to me. #2 the sundial creates quite an image; interesting two views on a theme

  35. Aidan: a magnificent drama! He´s well and truly lost.

  36. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Asuqi - Great use of language in this one. I particularly liked this sentence: ...muted steps on exclusive tatami and the quiet swoosh as the shoji doors close behind me. Love and sushi - both raw and delightful. Great writing.

    David - Loved the new addition of "Wrong Move"! Had that kind of heart-stopping moment at the end.

    William - women as the true beast is always a timeless tale. I enjoyed the ending of "Dominion," for everything must end, tragically beautiful.

    Adian - fantastic sinful lust and an excellent champagne finish! Fine penning.

  37. David #1 I'm loving this Series can't wait for part 3
    #2 Revenge at it's best You have a great skill in creating multiple scenes in a 100 words or less.
    #3 Absolutely masterful, and agree they are brilliant words this week.
    Mimi love the execution, and quite literally.
    Chris I could smell the salt water and sand loved the hook at the end, Diana sounds like quite a hand full.
    Antonia I love the idea that gravestones are liars, that will creep me out when I go to sleep tonight
    Erin I walked along the seafront this evening and heard the Yacht ropes tapping against their masts and when I read bare the bones that sound came back to me shudder

    Susan May James I love how you moved between literary spaces like that.
    Asuqi Really clever, Brilliant. Made me reconsider how I use my past relationships in my fiction and how it affects my partner. I'm in awe.
    AidanF I love the descriptive prose you've crafted

  38. Sorry I've not been around for a couple of days - work, visitors and poorly daughter have kept me fully occupied. But I have been keeping an eye on the entries and comments. I'm in awe of the talent spurting from your fingers, and also of the mutual support.

    Hope to comment and contribute later today.

  39. sympathies on the poorly daughter, Lily, hope she recovers soon.
    With you on the 'talent' comment and definitely the 'mutual support' which is valuable. This is turning into more than just a weekly competition, isn't it? I for one welcome that - it feels like a community, a coming together of a bunch of writers who dig into the darkness and come up with glittering gems, albeit black ones!

  40. Aiden - another fine addition. Great imagery. Well done!!

    Lily - My new avatar was made by my 4 year old daughter on my iPhone. When she showed it me I just had to use it. Her imagination is flowing already!

  41. asuqi - "Tiny hands performing an ancient saké ballet" - an exquisite description. You have captured Japan for me here; I can hear it. I can sense the haunting of calculated mannerisms and witness the extremeness in every detail. A painting in words.

    William - both excellent writes.
    #1 A true Clive Barker feel to Dominion, blended visually with a Bosch garden. I love the fluid, ever-moving feel to your descriptions.
    #2 - A brooding, teasing darkness. Does he know what he's letting himself in for? I think he knows EXACTLY what's coming. Ahum.

    David - how could I possibly mind? I loved the description of the dress as effervescent; without using sparkly or glittery adjectives. The parallel between "the cold night air biting into him" and what might happen after the audience stops reading is really clever.

    Aidan - this is just stunning. Sensual and sensuos, to me it prickles with golden rapture and I adore the demonic delirium you offer up. Divine.

  42. Here's mine - a poem. I might have a second piece, maybe.


    Unstitch the outsider’s lips.
    Breathe slowly,
    Tread closely.

    Taste his tongue within your mouth.
    Suck loosely,
    dig rudely.

    Bite, invite his soul inside.
    Get slippy.
    drink deeply.

    Gurgling effervescent spray
    rains darkly.
    Tastes nasty.

    Told you not to steal a boy.
    So pretty -
    die sweetly.

  43. Sorry, subscribers if you've received this several times!

    Tasty Bites

    Chez Garotte invites you to an epicurean evening of gastronomic delights.

    Lydia clutched the card to her breast. He’d remembered...


    Soft bubbles of Dom Perignon conversation effervesced amongst the elite. Lydia hung back, an outsider.

    “Messieurs, Mesdames. Dinner is served.”

    Champagne flutes shattered on the restaurant floor as around the room husband turned on wife; lover grasped at lover. Ravenous they tore out each others’ throats, feeding and dying in rapturous unison.

    “Marcel,” Lydia applauded. “You have excelled yourself.”

    Garotte bowed to his mistress. “Rich pickings. I chose them especially. Please,” he gestured towards the bloody pyre. “Bon appétit.”

  44. ooh, Lily, what gore! What imagery! How magical!

  45. Lily: ´Swallow´ -- love the nastiness "dig rudely", yeah! ´Tasty Bites´ -- oups! That quickly took a bad turn! Well written !

  46. Lily - #1. You do gruesome poetry so well. I'm not a poetry man, but yours I can read and really enjoy.

    #2. That was awesome. A superb bloodbath that would make a great scene in a movie!

  47. Old School Cries.

    I suspected horrible pranks waiting for me. But the old school seemed less intimidating now. No more lessons in suffering for this outsider.

    It was the first time I’d ever been invited to a reunion. All I could think of was buckets of pig’s blood and Travolta’s sloppy grin.

    An apology they told me. They wanted to make amends for all their bullying. So I suggested a toast. Everybody raised their glasses and gulped. Nobody noticed the punch was effervescent with the poison.

    Such beautiful yearbook photographs I’ll send to their families.

    Much better than the ones from the coroner.

  48. Anthony, this felt very familiar when it opened! Excellent ending here; I imagine a slow movie of the yearbook pages turning, displaying the deceased.

  49. Anthony - This was great. School reunions are pretty cringeworthy at the best of times. Love the "Carrie" reference. Truly, well done!

  50. Anthony: heee... A school reunion is a great setting. No forgiveness in sight! Nicely written.

  51. Lily, amazing dark truth in Swallow. That last line might be famous! And you reeled us all in on this:
    Suck loosely,
    dig rudely.

    Beautiful, heated penning.

    Anthony, Old School Cries is fabulous! Loved it. And if I were ever to go back, that might be what would happen.

  52. David- Razor blade sharp as usual. The image of him surveying his handy work from the back of the graveyard was creepily delicious.

    Mimi-You lit the fuse and ran out of that story fast, like the protagonist. Quick, clear and a terrifying act of revenge for stolen obsession. I can imagine her smirking in the back of the taxi as the flames burn behind her.

    Chris- I’m not sure why but the line, ‘Behind her, still distant, she heard horses.’ really took me by surprise. What a powerful line at the end of a vivid story. I love the way you left us with images of the chase to come.

    Antonia- I loved the dark character that crept through this story. The ending and the feast upon the dead were quite horrible, so much so I’d love to see it in a film lol. I loved the line about the epitaphs telling lies about the dead too. Great stuff.

    Erin-That really was a chilling story. ‘effervescent riddles bleed between the teeth’ and Their bones clank in a midnight wind,’ are such evocative gothic lines. Somewhere in my mind the lights were dimmed and a cold wind covered me as I read that.

    Susan- A great tale set at the abattoir of the sins. Each line was a step closer to an inevitable and terrifying conclusion. I hope I’m never led to that altar.

    Asqui-What a punch that last line hits you with. A beautifully written and colourful story. It conveys sadness and detachment so well that my heart did sink after reading it. Well done.

    Lily- Swallow. A lovely rhythm that unfolds a tale that is anything but lovely. ‘Girls die sweetly’-I loved that line and could imagine it being recited in drones by some maniac inside a horror tale.

    -Tasty Bites. What a devilish story and a brutal ending. There is a perfect line of unapologetic masochism running through the story that it can’t fail to make the reader shiver. It does put a whole new spin on the phrase, ‘Eat the rich’.

  53. David - love where you are going.

    Mimi - Sounds like New years will be a.. bomb!

    Chris - Nice start to fine horse ride..

    Antonia - Lusty! and Delicious!

    Erin - Yours has inspired me to try Horror !!

    Susan, Evil and dark

    Asqui - Mysterious and very Nihongo..

    William #2 is my fav..tasty morsel

    Aidan - exotic and a punch for so few words

    Lily, love that tasty bites guy is name "Garotte" you are evil.

    Anthony - Oh My scarier than Cary.

  54. I'll play:

    Hot Tub in Hades

    Heavy with the scent of minerals, steam rose from the spring as if evaporating from grand mama’s teakettle. The effervescent bubbles were the only invitation I needed to slip off my jeans and slide effortlessly into the soft grasp of the water. Outsider no longer, I peered over the ledge of what I thought to be a cleansing bath. The other skeletal figures cackled as they saw my skin dripping slowly into the cauldron I now occupied. My flesh rendering beneath the surface, what once fit snugly round me body had given way to Lucifer’s stew.

  55. That's no jacuzzi I want to slip into Michael. Lucifer's stew is a great idea and I love the fact the skeletons mock each new victim.

    The image of the skin sliding off the body is horrid and horrifying. Great stuff.

  56. Michael: wow! Loved it! From the scent of minerals over the soft grasp of the water and the cackling skeletons, to the final stew. Excellent work!

  57. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    asuqi - Loved it - you've got a wonderful feel for blending genre and bending time.

    William - #1 & #2 fantastic imagery in both. You give us beings that seem to be hugely powerful in their moments of greatest vulnerability - gripping to say the least.

    David - I really, really like the way you write vampires. It never feels tired. Great style.

    Aidan -- did he just F*** a cat??? Seriously - great description. I love that you're using non-traditional creatures.

    Lily - #1 - "Get slippy." Awesome imagery. You ARE your character from "dressing up box" - delighting in making mud-pies out of entrails. :)
    #2 - Exquisite images, gory fun.

    Anthony - never pick on "the quiet one", he's been reading...things. You captured the essence of the hs dynamic and the murderous intent very well.

    Michael - awesome image. I particularly like how lucid the narrator is, as if he's taking it all in stride. (Reminds me of a viral video called "striptease" that circulated awhile back, where the model gets down to her underwear, then unzips her flesh, and the skeleton keeps dancing - just weird macabre fun.)

  58. Lily - Swallow: I love the verb/adverb combos they ring deliciously. Creates a vivid counterpoint. Bites: Love the metaphor of champagne as conversation; a very appropriate name of the chef.

    Anthony - chilling; I can hear the pain of the pranks they used to play in edges in between these words.

    Michael - hazing got a whole new meaning for me. I like this hellish peek into the world you've created.

    Chris, interesting; I had to reread the piece, but I can see how that is a natural way of reading the story. I shouldn't get much credit for non-traditional creatures. Qarînahs are similar to succubi and can take the shape of a cat.

  59. Michael, as always you stir the emotions with your vivid descriptions. Here you stir the stew of horror. I love the slow dripping of the character's skin and how he seems to curiously observe his demise rather than scream in pain. Totally chilling.

  60. Michael, time you put some of that intense imagery into a novel - you've got enough there for a story already! Fantastic stuff, as Lily says, chilling, which is what it should be and (in some published books) isn't!

  61. is this because we are heading toward the shortest day, the very heart of Winter, with all that means in the way of cold and dark and 'huddled around fires telling stories' feeling or simply because we are all tired of Christmas/cold/snow/government and all and we are spilling it in these truly horrific tales this week?

  62. Thanks everybody for your lovely and supportive comments. There really are some gruesome and chilling stuff this week. Antonia I think you may have a point.

  63. Antonia -- Maybe we can be so nice to other people, especially at this excruciating time of the year, because we are such sick fucks with our writing.

  64. Mimi, love it! You may well have thrust a dagger or an icepick if you like, deep into the heart of the matter!

  65. Mea Culpa

    Chanting voices, myriad tones. These sounds oozed through the crowd, drew him like a seductive lull, an open invitation which clawed at his sensibilities.

    Guilt had brought him to her spectacle. The need to see what he had done.

    Sun glazed stones reflected with an iridescent sheen. Insects buzzed, their effervescent chorus somehow staining his presence.

    The outsider, on her knees, faced the mob. She had kissed another man.

    He heard the men jeer; the wail of cicadas. Stones shot across his vision, cracked against her skull, one by one.

    But no sound came from her, even as she fell.

  66. AJ - this represents a devastating miscarriage of justice; in 'her' I recognise who you're referring to. You have perfectly captured the gathering heat of the moment, the bigotted crowd mentality in a rising frenzy of assault. And all because of mass insecurity and a religious law written by mere man. Very powerful and horribly real.

  67. Thanks Lily. Surprisingly, a piece of music by John Debney sparked this little story.

    I shall read and comment on all these lovely little nuggets tomorrow.

  68. Michael - Love the story, mate. I see it as a "Twilight Zone" piece, with the skeletons mocking the new arrival. Well done.

    AJ - Totally agree with what Lily said. You wrote this piece perfectly. Excellent!!

  69. AJ, I get a feeling for the magnetic draw on the speaker and the way crowds turn into mobs. Nice.

  70. AJ- This is a brilliant piece holding a mirror up to mob rule and twisted collective morals. I'm reminded of 'The Scarlet Letter' as well as 'The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street'.
    Superbly written and powerful enough to remind us of the anger we feel at personal injustice.

  71. Thank you every one. Spot on Tony, with the morals and injustice, how we sometimes view things we understand but can't change.

    Onto some comments:

    David No 1 - The plot thickens with this story, more intrigue. Next instalment please!

    David No 2 – Revenge – my favourite subject, nicely told from the scorned lover.

    Mimi – Another tale of revenge, but told so well in the least amount of words. Quite a feat!

    Chris - I love the intrigue flowing through this story. I particularly like the line ‘her beautiful weight shifting as she galloped’.

    Antonia - Very creepy and told with a laconic coldness. ‘Gravestones were cold, un comfortable – and liars’. Brilliant line.

    Erin - Fantastic imagery balanced with a poetic charm; descriptions are excellent.

    Susan – Very chilling. The change of tense is interesting – it brings us closer to the inevitable.

    Asuqi – Lovely descriptions within an underlying story of love. I love the line ‘ancient sake ballet’.

    William No 1 – You’ve created a creepy, dark world of shadows here which broods throughout.

    William No 2 – This is nicely descriptive, and I love the line ‘stretched out and proud like a sundial’.

    David No 3 - You do intrigue so well, deftly drawing us in and making us want more.

    Aiden – Vivid descriptions and balanced narrative, this is simply bursting with imagery.

    Lily No 1 – Your poems always ooze with a dark undertone. I love the abrupt structure of the stanzas which makes it each line sound like a stabbing motion when read.

    Lily No 2 – Broody, dark, gory – great! Bon appétit indeed.

    Tony – Revenge for the once bullied kid – told with the right hint of coldness and lulling the reader to the inevitable, and the reference to Carrie conjures all sorts of images. That last line is brilliant: understated and yet powerful.

    Michael – Dark and understated horror with some powerful imagery. Great descriptions, especially ‘Lucifer’s stew’. Brilliant stuff.

  72. Oh Michael, I do like it when you write horror. I loved this image: "The other skeletal figures cackled as they saw my skin dripping slowly into the cauldron I now occupied." This was a tasty delight!

    AJ - A fantastic rendition of women bearing the consequences of evil...always the woman, right! I hope the blood on those stones stain those men's fingers permanently! Excellent descriptions too.

    Way to go Lily! Unbelievable turnout this time - thanks a bunch.

  73. Thank you everyone for their comments and encouragement there's so many brilliant flashes this week, as there are every week.
    Aidan I love the idea of the protagonist being Stalked by Qarinah in the form of a cat. A really Vivid image.
    Lily Swallow - I just keep having to come back and read it; it has a rythmic disturbing beauty about it.
    Tasty Bites - Fabulous, I can just imagine lydia dressed posh in poweder blue dress sequins and heels, picking her way through the carnage to trough.
    Anthony That Struck a chord with me, a brilliant write, I wish I'd been brave enough to attend my reunion.
    Michael When I read this I kept having this disturbing image of cackling skeletons, no more hot tub for me.
    AJ An Excellent piece that has pricked my mind all day, What tragic injustice.

  74. Struggled all week to find a few minutes to write, and I'm not particularly happy with how this worked out once squeezed down to 100 words. But for whatever it's worth. . .

    - - -

    . . . new effervescent formula! Try Fizzytabs today!

    "Honey, you've been watching TV all day. Why not go outside, the other kids want to play."

    We return to Fanged Fiends of Fresno, on Sunday afternoon theater. . .

    "What on earth are you watching? Oh, not more of those black and white movies. Do you want to be an outsider all your life? You aren't going to get an engraved invitation."

    She sighs, casts a look of loving sadness at the child only she remembers, leaves the empty room and chattering television and returns to her housework. . .

  75. Bill - how clever! I was whipped back to 1950's clean-cut America and then... My heart dropped with sadness at the implication of the final paragraph. Well written and poignant.

  76. I liked that a lot, Bill, sad though it is, nice twist at the end to catch us out. You might not be particularly happy with it but it works, oh yes it works.

  77. AJ: very strong. I like "her spectacle" and his dubious motives in particular.

    Bill: very sad, yes. But I think in a situation like that, I´d prefer insanity. Good job!

  78. there any room left for an ikkle entry from me? I'm sorry I leave it so fashionably late, but when one has coursework, assignments, and real life work to contend with...writing is taking an unfortunate back seat and I don't like it.

    Anyway, on for my entry. I hope it's not too much for some...


    A cold chill swept up my spine as I glanced to my right, eyed the glistening object with caution.

    I had no choice.

    Like an invitation, my slender hand reached for the blade; my pale dead reflection stared back at me as I looked down.

    I grasped the knife with both hands, turned it on myself.

    I swallowed, a deep sweat ignited from my pores.

    I had to do this.

    I plunged the knife deep into my chest; the effervescent crimson blood began to trickle from my stomach and into my hands.

    I was the outsider. The freak.

    No one.

  79. As an additional note:

    Disclaimer: Cold Reflection is entirely a work of fiction.

  80. Lily, each week the competition seems to get tougher and the standard gets higher, as proved by this entry by Pixie. Now tell me how you are going to judge this one ...

  81. Bill - Brilliant! You should have more faith in your words. Loved it!

    Pixie - Enjoyed that. Sad and not far from reality. Well done.

  82. Pixie - you made it. This stark and upsetting suicide is so well described; the desperate self-ultimatum is cold to the point of irrational. A disturbing read. Well done.

  83. And entries are now closed. Thank you.

  84. Bugger! Didn't get back from shopping in time! Must try harder next week.

    Mind you competition is damned good - p'raps it's just as well ...

  85. Can't leave off without saying a few more things-

    AJ - that was heartwrenching; and so true in its way that it makes the blood boil.
    Bill - loved it - you cut right through the facade of "happy home" and leave us to taste the bitter tears

    Pixie - whoa. Sharp and deep, and not a little disturbing. Your disclaimer was unnecessary(but very welcome!!)

  86. Bill - love the turn of phrase "Fanged Fiends of Fresno". I like how the final paragraph's tone is sad to mirror her feelings (chattering in particular does this for me.)

    Pixie - the final two paragraphs really hit hard to hammer home the point.


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.