Sunday, 3 October 2010

A couple of little ones

Every month on Writers News online forum 'Talkback' we run a One Word Challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction under 201 words or poetry max 40 lines to a particular theme. The winners of the prose and poetry decide on the following month's theme, and judge their peers' entries.

The standard of entries is always exceptionally high, making judging a challenge in its own right. In the last 18 months I've had the privilege of judging the prose once, and poetry three times; it's a tough job.

I didn't get shortlisted for either this month - the theme of 'Autumn' was possibly a little twee for me, and I always feel somewhat obliged to behave myself on Talkback (very difficult) - but I'm posting my submissions here anyway.

Before I do, if anyone is looking for support as a new or lonely writer - give free, members only Talkback a try. They're a great bunch with a mixture of experience - and opinions.


Don’t come at me half-baked, spitting invective and threatening to usurp. You will not win the game. 

Call that a gang? Spindly and spineless more like. I’ll show you what it means to take the lead, to take charge. We own this place and don’t you forget it. Strut in here giving it the big ‘I am’ - trust me, we’ll string you up.

Come on then. Give it your all. What’s that? You reckon you can smash me to the ground? Don’t make me laugh. I’m big and I’m tough and I’m poison through and through. I’ll crack your skull and chuck you to the pigs. Don’t think you can escape – I can chase you round the world, and back again.

I’m wired on single malt but I’m feeling dry... I need me some action. So listen hard and listen good. You’re a soft-arsed worthless chestnut, soft in the middle, floating on water.

I’m ready when you are - take me to your playground. 
I am King Conker. 
Prepare to die.

172 words [excluding title]


I am a drum.
I drum in Mabon.
I sing of the rose hips and apples and chestnuts,
The blackberries I’ve won.

I am the fire.
I rage with desire.
I colour the leaves and the skies and the conkers,
The fights I have won.

I am laid bare.
I run with the hare.
I slumber in ancient land, toiled by hand, waiting
For rewards I’ve won.

I am old age.
I defy the rage.
I die with a dignity, bold eccentricity,
Disputes I’ve won.

I am a drum.
I drum in Mabon.
I sing of the Equinox, nightly fucks, retired
From lovers I’ve won.

I am a drum.
I drum in Mabon.
I thank the ancestors, prepare the passages.

Now we are one.

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.