Friday, 7 January 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's the first challenge of 2011 - and we have a guest judge in Asuqi - who won the final Prediction of 2010 - and will decide the winner this time round. Congratulations to you Asuqi, and also to Chris Allinotte as runner-up.

In the meantime, everything else is unchanged except the deadline is 7pm not 9pm next Thursday, so please write and comment as usual - for we love it! This week's three words are:

  • Revolve
  • Savage
  • Ladder


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 7pm (not 9pm) UK time on Thursday 13 January 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.

What will this year bring...?


  1. Behind the midnight of the morning's dawn a plaintive cry rang at the end of my lane.

    The poison I'd set out for that savage beast my neighbor called his dog surely must now revolve in his gut. That he'd chewed the ladder I set out to repair my roof was of no concern to my offending neighbor. Nor the trail of fecal deposits strategically placed upon my once pristine lawn.

    I felt no remorse in doing the bidding of the entire block and our own well behaved pets in removing the interloper in our midst. My own cat, Phoebe would be most pleased.

    Oh dear, where is Phoebe?

  2. Poor Phoebe, Michael. Her life did not pass in vain. I like this declaration of neighbourhood revenge; I'd be intrigued to know how the neighbours would actually react (deny all knowledge but snigger behind closed curtains, no doubt).

  3. Amongst the Dust.

    I pleaded with Jodie not to go up. Grandma always told us to stay out of the attic. Nothing could stop her though. As the dust fell from the hatch into my eye I knew there would be trouble. Jodie started climbing, giggling like a child rather than a teenager.

    A flash of light exploded from the dark room as she reached the top. The ladder was dragged up, the hatch slammed shut. My head revolved with sickness. She’s gone.

    Jodie sends me whispers through the water pipes at night, before the savage laughter drags her back into the darkness.

  4. Henpecked

    She thinks the world revolves around her, micromanaging every detail of our lives. The savage looks when I live down to her expectations.

    Now it's the Christmas lights; I can't seem to get THEM right. I tell HER to climb up and show me, then. As she nears the eave, I jerk the ladder and she falls, bones breaking.

    I hear her piteous pleas from the trunk as I drive into the desert. Finally I find what I'm looking for: a place with heavy vulture activity. This is where I leave her.

    We will see who is henpecked NOW.

  5. Mimi- What a devilish twist on henpecked. Loved the cheeky evil of it and swear I could actually hear the bones breaking as she fell from the ladder.

    Michael- Great twist at the end. Revenge is sometimes a dish best served with pets locked indoors. I'll help you put up the 'Missing Cat' posters around the lampposts of the web.

  6. Ant: terrifically creepy..knock three times eh?

    Mimi: Ouch! Perhaps the vultures and buzzards will like her more than you do!

  7. Anthony; REALLY creeped me out - that's how Stephen King used to make me feel. A brilliant write - I loved it.

    Mimi - "...I live down to her expectations." Great line. Truly vicious; I can hear your narrator spit as he recounts his tale of revenge.

  8. Lily! What am I going to do now the timing has changed??? I guess I'll have to write something earlier now, shan't I?

    Good job something is coming to me now, isn't it???

  9. Michael, oh yes ... been there a few times ...
    Mimi, a chilling one.
    Anthony, (would be good if I could stop trying to spell your name the medieval way, wouldn't it??) a really creepy one. Just the sort of creepiness I am aiming at right now in my Static Movement submissions, brilliant!

  10. Not The Stairway to Heaven

    It’s tough being the new kid on the block, especially when everyone around you already has their wings. Turns out climbing the savage corporate ladder, is an activity not exclusive to earthly existence. Everyone jockeying for position to get closer to the master, the one around whom everything is destined to revolve.

    So my training as a bank manager will serve me well. I’ve got my sights set high, so look out seraphim because the new kid in town is very ambitious.

    Hang on, why is everything going black; it’s getting hot in here. I appear to be… Damned!

  11. Michael Fantastic revenge story, but poor phoebe
    Anthony I'll never go in my creepy attic again Brilliant.
    MimiLoved the turn about of the phrase Henpecked.

  12. William - tee hee. A cool write and great title. I know those types - can spot them a sleek-headed, waist-coated mile-off. Slide...

  13. Michael: love the justification of extreme action on behalf of "the neighbours". Well told.

    Anthony: Gahh. I HATE creepy attics. They are just terrifying by nature. Well done in getting under my skin!

    Mimi: excellent detail with the Christmas lights as the last straw, and the follow-up is just plain sinister.

    William: clever twist. Surprised that a bank manager made it THAT far. lol.

  14. Little Orphan Irwin

    Suzy climbed the creaky treefort ladder; she was shaking, but didn't know why. It was only her delinquent cousin she was coming to claim, not some monster. Still, there was something off about him.

    "Hello, Suzy"

    Dusky shadows hid Irwin's face, but he sat across from her, a bleeding bundle of fur in his lap.

    Suzy screamed. Irwin laughed.

    "You savage," she cried. "Why? Why?"

    "Curiosity," he replied, and flung the knife. It revolved twice in the air, then plunged into her chest.

    As she breathed her last, Irwin closed in, saying, "Now then, what do you look like inside?"

  15. William a great moral tale for our times I think. Nice to see the little banker got a fiery bonus.

  16. Ok, here goes ...
    He was in a savage mood, obvious from the first foot over the doorstep, crash, curse, bang. What’s the matter, I wanted to ask, just found out that the world doesn’t actually revolve around you after all? Instead I offered cocktails, nibbles and vacuous small talk.
    ‘You’re good to me,’ he mumbled around a mouthful of sugar coated bits.
    “No more than you deserve,” I lied.
    “This is strong, what is it?”
    “I call it Snakes and Ladders. You go up, you go down...”
    He was going up, reaching an alcoholic high. I waited, knowing the poison would work soon...

  17. William, definitely a boost to all of us who suffer at the hands of bankers ... brilliant!
    Chris, another nasty one! equally brilliant!

  18. Kelb-el-khela (Bush Dog)

    Cryptid howls revolved on Adrar's winds stinking of desiccation. Omar's tent snapped echoing the phantom kelb-el-khela.

    Breath cried through his teeth. Born in Western cities, Omar wasn't too proud to flee.

    Omar's feet broke the ladder's rungs clinging to the ruins' escarpment. Cracks caught the twilight like wrinkles in his grandmother's face.

    He levered himself over the edge to disturb a dog's femur. Skin crawling, sin savaged him, forcing him to remember his grandmother and the hound they put to death when he unplugged her life support.

    Mist, impossible in the desert, solidified into the dog's shape. You are mine.

  19. Hi, Lily. Tricky words this week. I'm still working on my initial idea (struggling with revolve) and as the story just won't go away, I've got to finish it. SO, here's one that just sprang to mind and came straight off.

    Worthless Money

    My life used to revolve around making money. I was like a savage when it came to cash. I’d have sold my granny: almost did once.

    I was on the property ladder when I was nineteen and at the top of it one at twenty four. By the time I was twenty eight I owned two major hotels and homes around the world. And yes, it’s vulgar to talk about money, but I had it all.

    Thing is, you piss off the wrong people and money isn’t buying you a new spine. Or bringing back a dead wife and son!


  20. Michael: poor cat's always the victim of fool's plans. Loved the voice that feels like madness intruding through it.

    Anthony: love the idea of Jodie trapped in the house. This would drive me insane; especially since I imagine everyone denies anything happened.

    Mimi: what an evil man; he unfortunately gets the last word as she is vulture-pecked. I like the understated-ness of the violence which makes it stand out more for me.

    William: I like the narrator's arc. I started out feeling naive/wonder which quickly changed to cleverness and power and ended with surprise at the final discovery. Fortunately, for the banker, I think hell has ladders too :)

    Chris: loved the image of dusky shadows and too curious Irwin makes a chilling villian.

    Antonia: I enjoyed the interesting play with the deserve line. I'm imagining he deserves what she served up.

  21. Michael - Oooh!! Poor kitty. I don't like cats anyway. Nice write.

    Anthony - Thanks, mate. I've got to put the Christmas dec's back in the attic! Great little tale!

    Mimi - Ha!! We reap what we sow. She got what she desrved. Great!

    William - A devilishly good story! Bank managers, you gotta lov.....hate them!

    Chris - Sick, slick and twisted! Awesome story! That is a killer of a last line. It would make a great movie scene. Well done!

    Antonia - You do muderous females very well. Too well to be honest. Anything you want to tell us? LOL!! Great!!

    Aidan - Fantastic story. You seem to pack so much into so few words. The way you write the stories with the imagery and details make the stories seem longer and "fuller". way to go, mate!

    David - Oops, that's me!!

  22. David, it's the best way I know of working off my frustrations with the men in my life... another killer last line in your piece this week. Great!
    Aiden, superb imagery again.
    OK, off to write another vampire story, the first having been accepted, somehow. I don't 'do' vampires usually but the expert I have with me right now is doing all the writing, so that's all right, saves me the work of researching the scary creatures.

  23. Antonia- Snakes and Ladders in a perfect name for the deadly cocktail. It reminded me of Jeffrey Deaver’s darker short stories. I swear I could see the grin on her face as she left him to drink.

    Aidan- A very atmospheric story that drew me into the world in so few words. The end caught me out and shocked me. This idea is strong enough to be written as a longer piece.

    David- A great punchy story that hits hard and finally low. The last line is a killer one in more than one sense. It made me feel a little ill at the thought of what had happened before the story began. Great stuff.

  24. Right, here's the one that wouldn't go away. I don't think its as good as the first one but like I said, it just wouldn't go away and it doesn't have a title...


    You ever seen it when the bear stands in the rapids, plucking salmon out of the air and then devours it: ripping flesh, blood and guts dripping from their mouths?

    Yes? Well, you ever seen a person doing it?

    No? I thought so.

    Well, I have. I was hunting. He was stood at the top of a salmon ladder, watching, waiting. Then he had one. Everything seemed to stop, like the world revolved around him. He tore straight into it, blood smearing his face. He was a savage.

    Yes, it’s true.

    Well, you’d better believe me. It was your father!


  25. David, you must have had a powerful image in your head to make you write that one!!! Whoo!

  26. Driftwood

    Their voices melted into the night. dust particles, swept from the bow.

    The ladder parried against the side of the boat, knuckles white against a savage God of the sea, a grotesque creature that rose up and snarled, lashing at his feet.


    Her fingers outstretched - her deviant invitation, but a malignant demon squatted in her expression, shuddered with rancour, hungry for spite.

    Fear dribbled from his face. His life revolved around the yacht, his pride and joy.

    Fingers touched.

    The slight upturn of her mouth betrayed her intention. She let go.

    His screams. Drifting. Diminishing.

    Then silence.

  27. AJ, powerful stuff here. Another crushing killer last line, too.

  28. AJ - Great imagery in this one. Well written with a great ending.!! Nice one!!

  29. Chris, oh, oh, OH that hurt. I frowned from the outset because I knew it was going to hurt - and it did. Horribly disturbing last line.

    Antonia - not sure why but I got a Marilyn Monroe feel to Snakes and Ladders. 1960s 'Little Woman at Home'. Perfectly acceptable revenge on the shite-face.

    Aidan, the sheer coldness you managed to evoke in Kelb-el-khela was so powerful. "Cracks caught the twilight like wrinkles in his grandmother's face." - astonishing line.

    David - like your Worthless Money all we need is to bring Spitting Image back and we truly are back in the 80s - the thieving bankers and rubber-faces are already there waiting.
    Your Salmon Catcher tale is wonderful - what a vision; takes me back to myths of Merlin and Arthur. I'd love to hear this expanded.

    AJ - hate to drool, but Driftwood is sublimely terrifying - and therefore delicious to the taste. Crying out for a full-scale story. Please.

  30. Thanks for the comments folks. Lily...your wish shall be granted...I'll make Driftwood into a short story very soon.

  31. David: Worthless I can hear the change in perspective of his old views and the new; I like the new one is told so simply with the "spine" (I cringe to think how he lost it) and family. Untitled, funny twist at the end. I was seeing Tarzan of the Alaskan rivers in this one. Great images.

    AJ: intriguing story to this one. This will make a great short. I particularly liked your phrase of the ladder parried.

    Antonia, congratulations on the accepted story. Good luck with the one your writing.

  32. AJ another devilish tale from you. I love the metaphor of the wooden yacht being their marriage drifting on empty seas. Then she eventually has enough and makes him the driftwood. Let him have it forever if he loves it so much. A chilling and clinical execution.

    'Fear dribbled from his face.' Loved this line so much.

  33. Just popping in to deliver a wee one! Will be back later to catch up & comment on the others...looks like another good creative crop this week!


    Mesmerising, magical and sublime, pulling and tantalising, you descend one toe at a time; a ladder into a new world. Off you sink to a land that is both everything and nothing. Exotic, delicious, sometimes lecherous, you revolve through joy and sorrow, a heady mix of passions. A sigh, a gasp, a tear, a chuckle, your experience is anything but mundane.
    Eventually you look up as distractions break through; someone’s been calling you.
    Savage is the voice that jolts you back and, callously casting your dog-eared book aside, you stand to re-enter the more real world.

  34. Susan - oh, how I wanted to stay in that world you so invitingly describe. A glorious swathe of description that has me hypnotised. A wonderful, and gorgeous write.

  35. Sorry to be late with mine; what kind of a hostess am I!


    He looks like Jesus.

    Even as I stare into his palest of blue eyes, stroke his golden skin and climb up the matted ladder of his hair I know I am lost.

    He won’t return my kisses, stares resolutely at his divine reflection – lips tight, unyielding.

    I can’t let him go.


    What madness is this?

    I see her; feel her crawling all over my wounded body, bound as it is to a crude wooden cross.

    Her wild head revolves on squat shoulders, black tongue lolling from the savage mouth.

    I stare at our entwined reflection.

    She is not there.

  36. Susan - That was great! I've been there so many times! Nice job!

    Lily - Nowt wrong with a late long as she brings a story like that. Dark and well written piece, Lily.

  37. Susan- I know that feeling so well as I guess we all do on here. The story was as mesmerising as the one your character was enthralled in herself.

    Lily- I love the duality of the piece and it works so well. Luscious and full of dark myth. In so few words we are inside the minds of both characters and feel their distinct and opposite emotions.

  38. Susan, that was magical, you really got into the heart of that one and described how we all feel! Wonderful!
    Lily, as cold and as sharp and as dark as always. Brilliant.
    Aiden, thanks for the good wishes. It should have been written by now but I was sidetracked into finding out how you go about Keeping The Ghosts Away. I know where the vampire story is going but not this one. Now,if I could just stop coughing long enough to really work ...

  39. Last week just disappeared somewhere. Going back to work after a long break wasn't conducive to good writing. This week ...

    The Dark Barn

    I could hear moist flesh being torn from the bone. As I peered into the darkness from the top of the ladder, I could just make out the hunched figure in the corner of the hayloft. Its red eyes revolved to point at me, and it bared its teeth in a savage grin. Raw flesh hung from its mouth, dripping blood onto the straw.
    I edged onto the mezzanine and levelled my old nine millimetre at a point between its eyes, but how effective would it be against this alien nightmare?

  40. I've been tardy, and you've all been busy, so I needs must be brief!

    Antonia - Bartender/girlfriend/both? It's perfect revenge, at any rate.

    Aidan - "Cracks caught the twilight like wrinkles in his grandmother's face.
    " - great line. Fantastic imagery as always.

    David - concise and blunt as a shot to the spine. Chilling. #2 - I actually like the bizarro slant to this one a little better. It's a neat style, and a good payoff.

    AJ - haunting images. What I was seeing kept switching between "killer mermaid" and "Cthulu" - either way... brr.

    Susan - we all write so much, and so often, that we forget sometimes about the simple joys in reading. Wonderful.

    Lily - that was absolutely compelling. More please!!

    Scratchy - Great "pure" monster story. Nicely detailed. The title reminds me of a joke from the 80's (I think it was on Cheers)about a horror movie - where one person goes into the barn, and disappears, then another, then another. "What's the movie called" someone asks.

    "Don't go in the Barn."

  41. Haha! Just laughing at Chris's "Cheers" joke.

    Scratchy - that put a fantastic image in my head. As Chris said, it was a 'pure' and straightforward monster tale. Great work!

  42. Oh my days....I've got less than 12 hours to produce something...(I really like pressure, don't I?)

    One day I will actually enter on time...and that will be when I've finished college! :(

  43. Monstrous, Scratch - The Dark Barn is a marvellously traditional horror; it's almost vocal in that I can hear the thing slaver and drool. Yummy, I loved it!

  44. Scratch- What a great opener for a creature feature. Very cinematic writing. If this was the beginning to a a DVD I would settle in behind my cushion and anticipate the scares to come. My cup of tea for sure.

  45. Scratch, love it! guaranteed to drag the reader in looking for more. Go write more!

  46. Tony you were spot on with your analysis of Driftwood, easily spotting the metaphor of the yacht and their marriage and the woman at her wits end. Well done you.

    Anyway, on with some comments.

    Michael - As always, there is great descriptive quality in the narrative. Poor Phoebe!

    Tony – ‘Whispers through the water pipes at night’. That one line conjures so much fear and sadness and shores up a creepy, cautionary tale of something in the attic. Gets right under the skin and stays there to feed on one’s fears.

    Mimi - Nasty, spiteful, vengeful; great!

    William - There is a subversive snigger in here, I loved the dark humour in this.

    Chris - There's something ‘off’ about Irwin all right... horribly creepy. Love the last line.

    Antonia - Snakes and ladders is a great way of describing this poison-plot, and the play on the words ‘you go up, you go down’ is very clever.

    Aiden - luscious imagery and deep, descriptive quality always brings your writing to life. Beautifully crafted.

    David No 2 - A little tale of greed and consequences. I liked ‘money isn't buying you a new spine’. Brilliant.

    David No 2 - What a scene this conjures: man scoffing a salmon, bits and all...eww!

    Susan - The sentences have a lovely sense of rhythm, almost lulling and soothing. It has a lovely pace and nicely written.

    Lily - The duality works well on this, giving a sense of emotion to both characters, allowing the reader to empathise, as well as a hinting at the underlying darkness in the narrative. Fascinating stuff.

    Scratchy - Dark, creepy, rippling with a sense of fear, cleverly leaving this ‘creature’ purely to the reader’s imagination, which is what good writing is all about.


    My life unfortunately revolves around you; you and your cruel, violent ways.

    I cradle myself, ignoring my pain, ignoring the blood stains on my back.

    I hear you call me for dinner, but I’m no loyal St Bernard, I won’t come when I’m called. I’m tired of your desperate and savage ways.

    I glance out to the green hills; I can taste the freedom on my tongue. It tastes salty.

    I touch my cheek, feel the wetness of my tears. I will never be free.

    I feel the ladder to the tree house tremble. You are coming.

  48. Pixie, your tree-house dweller...human? Animal? Your narrative cleverly makes us question who or what is delivering the message - a message that leaves us with a heavy heart, and for me, a desperate need to unleash them. Well written.

  49. Susan: nice evocation of being in a different world and then being torn out of it.

    Lily: liked the image of matted ladder of hair and loved the Jesus viewpoint that starts with the revolving and ends with madness for me.

    Scratchy: moist flesh nicely sets the ambience of this piece; I imagine very vivid images of this alien.

    Pixie: I like the way you evoke tasting freedom as salt. It lends an interesting depth for me where I partially go towards tears and a reluctance to flee. I get the feeling that the character isn't only pinned down by circumstances but by something internally that the character will have to overcome.


  50. The Prediction is no longer open to entries for this week. Thank you everyone for your splendid and sinister submissions.

    News: the results are in - and I know who the winner is!

    Great judging from Asuqi - the girl done good. All will be revealed in the next couple of hours.


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.