Friday, 21 January 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I have to shoot down a hole to the real world in a minute. These Friday mornings seem to be getting shorter and shorter.

Congrats to R.S. Bohn for winning last week's Prediction with her powerful Death Wants a Moment's Peace. And well done to Mimimanderly as runner-up with the tragic The Horse Thief. Two excellent pieces of writing amongst a platter of delicious literary offerings. I was proud to gorge myself.

So, what are we to make of this week's three words:

  • Thousand
  • Spiral
  • Hair
Hmmnn, interesting. Good luck with these, everyone.


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 on Thursday 27 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.

Now, where did that wabbit go...?


  1. Wow it appears I've gone from the last person to the first person. Amazing what emotions and the right words can do to my brain. I hope I don't disappoint anyone...


    I felt him play with my soft flowing hair as he lay on top of me and I smiled.

    I gazed into his cool green eyes; they seemed to spiral with desire.  Mine were hungry.

    I pulled him in for a soft kiss, stroked his warm chest.

    In his relaxed state, I pulled the knife from my bag, plunged it into his heart, his warm blood trickling down my hand.

    I gazed out to the sky; a thousand stars seemed to wink at me. I smiled and laughed.

    Poor bastard never saw it coming as I fed on his blood.

  2. Circe

    A thousand spirals of hair the color of burnished copper hung down her back. With her caramel voice and throaty laugh, she drew me into her web. She wanted me to come home with her. Of course, I said yes!

    She was a siren, and I dashed myself repeatedly against the reef of her body as I lost myself in her sea-colored eyes.

    I lay on her, spent, like a nearly drowned castaway, and she held me fast. As I dozed, I felt the tentacles of hair curl, on their own volition, around my neck, choking off my air sup….

  3. Mimi and Pixie, you are a couple of blood-thirsty ladies this week! Love them both with their twists.

    And Pixie, you're first! Whoot! Good for you, girl.

  4. Got blood?

    Not anymore, you don't, sucka! Bwa-ha-ha!

  5. Mount Tamalpais

    The players:

    Druid King: sudden death fungus impregnates his power.

    Booth, logger: strives to poison the memories of thousands.

    Judas: Booth's heart-broken brother.

    The scene:

    Above Marin's mists they stand beneath the Druid King's gnarled-leggy trunk. Moss hair decorates his branches.

    "God's glory."

    "Booth, something about this oak."

    "Didn't Brianna forbid you plowing her fields. Whose baby you think she bore?"

    Judas' chainsaw bites the druid's flank. Canker spirals from the wound. The druid sucks power leaving oak trunks to clatter to the ground.


    "This... wrong."

    Judas flees.

    "Just the beginning."

    Booth smears the druid's ichor on his cheeks.

  6. Pixie: nice vampiric tale; I like the emphasis this places on hunger vs. desire.

    Mimi: enjoyed the play with mythology on this one and the sea images you intertwine through the piece.

  7. Aidan, I'm sort of stunned. This is really "out there" (for me) and wild, and I just want to tap your imagination like a maple tree and see what other syrups pour into the bucket. Love this, admire your creativity.

  8. Pix - not only first in but with a fabulously blood-warm story; the kind that makes me grin with its darkness. Love it - great writing.

    Mimi, Circe (one of my favourite ladies) is totally delicious. I can smell the salt water; am as seduced as your narrator. Using that myth of strangling hair is genius. Brilliant.

    Aidan, I am completely mesmerised by the subject and your writing. I can see this played out on my mind's stage and feel I have personally been snatched back in time to witness this for myself - it feels like a memory. Stunning.

  9. The Forgotten

    Beatrice crawls on all fours, licking her lips at the prisoner’s agony as his plummeting body slaps the oubliette walls.

    Twisted and beaten he lands on Beatrice’s web of ancient chains, broken limbs poking through. She scuttles beneath him until they are face to face; waits for him to open his eyes.

    The pupils flare. Beatrice bites her cheek to release a coiled spiral of hair, a thousand strands entwined and chewed. Deft, she sews their tongues together, binding his screams to her laughter.

    Wrapping herself around him, Beatrice sucks out his life-force for supper; saves the flesh for later.

  10. Lily-- ACK!!! This one has super-awesome imagery. I've got in mind a dark well into the world, a tunnel of slime-slick stones dropping down to Beatrice's pit of horror. Man, the ladies are bringing the fright this week. Cool.

  11. The Horse's Mane

    A thousand souls passed, a thousand more. Death had a glass of wine, waiting for the man at table three to choke on his lobster. He had forty-seven seconds.

    He used those forty-seven to reflect on Moira’s hair, so lank of late. It looked more like her horse’s mane, red-blonde and tangled.

    Forty-seven. The young wife panicked. Plates broke, chairs toppled. Death slipped between busboy and wife and picked the soul, as slick now as he had been alive.

    His bag wasn’t full, but he thought a trip to the Expiry was in order.

    No one noticed the spiraling shadow.


    Sorry, had to continue this little venture, and Lily, your words came in perfect use. May do another one and be properly scary for once.

  12. Yay, Death! I LOVE him as a character! He seems so full of ennui, though. I guess as long as he's been doing the job, it becomes exceedingly difficult to maintain any level of enthusiasm about taking people's souls.

  13. Pixie - I never get to your pieces before the next week is posted - this was amazing. Your femme was so perfectly fatale you almost feel sorry for the bugger...almost.

    Mimi I love that you've given Circe new life, and lust and tentacle hair. Wait. What? Liked it a lot.

    Aidan You've got to be teasing us with these pieces. There's so much going on, and it's all engrossing. I need to see more before and after.

    Lily So much more than a spider here. Love the grotesque imagery. This, too, has lots of expansion room.

    R.S. I second Mimi- more, more, more! I was really bummed out when "Dead Like Me" got cancelled, and there's enough similar themes going on here that I'm jonesing again.

  14. Silk

    "What in Christ's name is it?" mouthed Blackwood.

    Milton couldn't respond. He knew.

    They stared at the tub.

    Fifteen dead girls, thought Milton, all shaved bald.

    "Pull the plug," he said.

    With a disgusted grimace, Blackwood reached in and yanked the chain.

    Water spiraled down the drain with a clotted, sucking sound, revealing a sopping, multicoloured tangle of organic matter.

    Milton saw the perp in his mind's eye, sitting naked in the tub, immersed in thousands of floating strands of hair, remembering their voices. Remembering their deaths.

    Fighting back the urge to scream, he whispered instead.

    "We've got him."

  15. Recompense

    He walked the spirals willingly, each step a memory. Here was her hair like fine silk on his pillow, there taut tendons as he stretched her beneath him. A twist brought mornings spent tending their bruises – some on the inside, where the dark thing grew.

    A thousand steps for the days he’d kept her. A thousand pinpricks, each in a different spot, his poisoned nerves dying upward, until he could barely make the final turn.

    She stood, pitiless and perfect, her malice a reflection of his love. At her feet, the darkling child crooned to taste his heart.

  16. Sapphire

    She leaned over him, blotting out the blue of the sky, piercing him with the blue of her eyes, her hair like the sun. The sun that shone so bright it hurt his eyes, but cast no warmth to scare away the chill that embraced him.

    A thousand jewels sparkled in her hair, woven among her golden tresses like so many diamonds catching the light, like so many stars lighting the night.

    Her lips brushed softly over his. His eyelids fluttered closed, he lost his balance, slipped right off the edge of the world, and spiraled into the night.

  17. Rebecca; I am loving this series! It's crying out to be illustrated, comic-book style. "Death had a glass of wine" has an imagery all to itself. But now I'm worried about Moira - was she there? Had Death done something to her? Do tell.

    Chris - ah ha! Gotcha. Beatrice isn't a spider; she's a forgotten prisoner, still alive. Yum.

    So Blackwood and Milton are back; and with style. Silk is superb noir, a whore of a read - I want to read the whole story in a novel. Outstanding plot.

    Melenka - welcome! Recompense is a dream of a write. It spangles in all the right places, jarring my senses. So pretty in its absolute darkness; I adore it.

    Greetings too, to Kittylefish. Your use of repetition in your piece is so articulate, and I loved the poetry in your words. To me Sapphire is a painting - a tiny legend, a huge fairy-tale. Beautiful.

  18. Chris -- Me too! Totally bummed. Sometimes I'll catch a re-run, but no one seems to run them at any specific time. There is a storyline for this; I knew it the moment I wrote the last line of the first one, so we'll see how this goes. Re: Silk, whoa! That's some imagery. This one kind of stopped me in my tracks. Now, being a bit emotionally invested: will we get to see the capture? The final showdown? I hope so.

    Melenka -- Glad you followed my link! Welcome, fresh blood. Very poetic, and the last line chills.

    Kitty -- Agree with Lily; this has a fairy tale-like quality, dreamlike and yet vivid.

  19. Lily: love the spidery images combined with chains. It creates a darker than my usual image of spiders.

    RS: the reflection on Moira's hair adds great personality to Death. Liked the staccato-ness of the plucking scene.

    Chris: nasty killer; like this noir/detective take on it. I just heard the Drabblecast's Snuggle the dead and your scene elicited the same image I got from that story.

    Melenka: great voice in this piece. The words are haunting and beautiful.

    Kittylefish: I'm intrigued by the images, dream-like but slightly (and only slightly) malevolent: blotting, no warmth, hurt, peircing, lost balance, slipped.

  20. I'm doing my account's at the moment so I guess thats why everything I've come up with so far starts with someone counting

    Hide and Seek

    “998, 999, a thousand! Coming ready or not”
    As Paul pulled away from the tree to look for his chums, he found he didn’t have a short back and sides anymore, his hair had grown. He wasn’t seven anymore either, he was forty-two.

    The shock made his mind spiral out of control.

    “Paul, Paul! You’re coming out of stasis now the year is 2022”

    As he looked around he realised his body had become a glass box. Deep inside what was left of him he began to scream.

    “Switch it off” He sensed someone say, then nothing but empty plasma.

  21. Shit, William - the whole Hide and Seek thing has me freaking; the prime cause of my claustrophobia was being left under a bottom bunk-bed during such a game when the other kids decided to play something else. An hour later I couldn't breathe. Aaaaaargh!

    Back to you, though. This is so bizarro scary, especially the glass box; the kind of dream where you wake up to find it's all true. Splendid.

  22. Song of Silence

    A thousand hollow, alabaster faces stared out from beyond the wire. Sunken eyes and lost expressions filled the heavy atmosphere. The sullen patter of rain spiralled from a slate laden sky.

    Ribs pushed through taut, parched skin. Fingers clung to the fence like broken claws. Desperation bled from grey cadaver skin; men, woman and children, stripped of clothes and dignity, stood crushed together, holding each other up.

    The air stank of misery. Fear stalked the muddy fields and stifled the birds.

    In just under an hour, they would all be dead; life stolen by poisonous gas.

    The ovens burned, ready.

  23. oh my, been busy writing for a couple of days and look what happens, everyone rushes in with first class stuff and leaves me speechless ...
    Pixie, love it. Such a heroine needs a lot more exploration, when you get the time. (after you write for me, that is!)
    Mimi, classical brought to life. Magnificent.
    Aidan, lost for words I am.
    Lily, gore and glorious writing
    Rebecca, been doing 'devil featured' stories lately, need to think about Death, but will never match the way you write of him.
    Chris, silk indeed, slippery silk writing. Loved it.
    Melenka, mesmerising imagery here.
    Kittleyfish - You summoned up a lot of images with your tight writing. Great.
    William, playing on fears. Superb little story there.
    AJ. another haunting one.
    Nothing from me yet, still busy with half a dozen other things. Just finished a story that had been in the computer for three days or so, will have to pester the guys for something for this. I know we can, it's just t i m e ...

  24. Katie – A nice dark number to start things off. Cold calculating and wrapped deceitfully in a love story.

    Mimi - lovely descriptions like this always make the narrative come alive. A deathly take mythology, and well written.

    Aiden - This reminds me of a Shakespearean play, but much darker and inhabited by dark, complex characters.

    Lily - I could almost smell the dank misery in the oubliette, and I like the metaphor of the spiderlike existence of Beatrice - the web, the chains the devouring of the male - all beautifully told, as always.

    RS - loving this series of Death and Moira, especially the way you channel his irreverence. Very addictive, this. More please.

    Chris - horror oozes beneath the surface and prods with a dark finger. Great imagery.

    Melenka - Dark enough to stir the literary loins. The narrative flows perfectly and pulls me in with its descriptions.

    Kittylefish - poetic and rhythmic. It's a lullaby read to a tragic tale. Beautiful.

    William - I liked the twist of this piece. From reality to nightmare to reality again, it messes with your mind.

  25. Nightmare

    Spiralling into darkness, clutching at hairs, hearing a thousand screaming voices as he fell, an endless turning twisting heart stopping fall. Blind in the dark, useless in the speed of his descent, deafened by heartbreaking yells of defiance and suffering, he gave up trying to stop himself, let the slick walls pass by him, or was he passing by them? Normalcy had changed to surreal in a flicker of an eye.
    What was at the end of the endless fall, what would greet him? Death, crushed bones of others and of himself? Who was screaming? Was he?
    Then he woke.

  26. William -- A horrifying nightmare. You manage to bring the worst of human fears to light each time.

    AJ -- The ovens burned, ready. Yes. You've brought some sad poetry to a miserable, sickening time in history. Well done.

    Antonia -- I've had that nightmare. It's a heart-stopping one, and you've captured it so well.

  27. AJ - I see myriads of Munsch 'Screams' in Song of Silence. Hard yet poetic writing that does nothing to protect us from the horror of war, of abuse. You capture this terror so well.

    Antonia, your man could almost be the prisoner heading towards Beatrice's sharp embrace. I like that as a reply. A poetic write which takes you down with the fall.

  28. Inspired by Lily's tweets. I said, her tweets.


    Ode to a Greek Goddess

    We have made our own Knossos at the base of a mountain. The wine flows through a spiral carved tablet into our mouths, and we sing a thousand songs during the night. Boys with dark hair and darker eyes feed us; the flesh is raw, sweet, succulent. Each lash of the whip provides us another morsel.

    In the shadow of the bull’s head, I take a lover. He cries, begs. I promise him he’ll see morning. He does, but when dawn’s first light creeps through the pavilion, I gouge his eyes to break my fast. And then I release him.

  29. Wrath.

    “Ready?” I asked.

    “Yes,” Mike said.

    “Okay, masks on and let’s go.”

    The aroma of incense filled the shop.

    “CASH NOW!”

    “No, no, no,” the owner shouted.

    I leant over the counter, grabbing him by the hair. “MONEY! NOW!”

    I glanced at the burning incense stick, the smoke rising to the ceiling in a perfect spiral.

    He handed me the cash, mumbling something.


    “I said may the wrath of a thousand killer bees descend upon you both.”

    “Fuck you, old man.”

    I counted the cash as we ran down the street. Not bad!



    “What’s that humming noise?”


    I'll be back to comment, promise!!

  30. Rebecca - I've read the Ode three times since last night and it shifts in power every time. This is the first chance I've had to comment but your beautiful take on the myth is bliss on a plate to me. Luscious in every sense of the word. And situated in one of my favourite places. Glad the tweets inspired you - I may dine on your words for some time.

    David, Wrath is right on the money. I can tell you're back in full noir mode. This is a great piece of writing with sensorial undertones - the spiralling incense dealing out the victim's spiritual curse before the perps have even hit the end of the road. Excellent.

  31. Pixie: Wow. Scary bloodthirsty femme fatale is scary, laughing at her poor foolish victim.

    Mimi: I love the images of her hair, the siren and the sea. And – tentacle hair for the win! :D

    Aidan: Very intriguing – I wonder what it’s the beginning of, and not quite sure I want to know. Very powerful in so few words.

    Luly: This felt kind of like a punch to the solar plexus – I was completely caught up in the desperate scene. And that last line is so chilling. I love it.

    R.S.: I so love your version of Death, with his casual air of insouciance as he goes about doing his job. I look forward to reading more about him and Moira.

    Chris: Very vivid and creepy. Makes me want to know more.

    Melenka: I love the rhythm of the language and the rich, dense imagery.

    William: I have to say the opening of this makes me laugh. That could almost just be life sometimes – where’d all those years go? Of course, then it turns into this delightful little sci fi horror snippet. Poor Paul.

    AJ: The imagery is so vivid I really felt immersed in that awful place with those poor people.

    Antonia: Very vivid depiction of a very hellish nightmare.

    R.S.: As always, your language is luscious. Given the mythological aspect of this, I suppose that poor lad should count himself lucky if he only lost his eyes.

    David: I really felt the urgency in this scene. Even with the scant description, I can still see the owner and his shop remarkably clearly. And I appreciate the little twist at the end.

    Thank you all for letting me play along, and for your kind words.

  32. Kittylefish, I enjoyed your writing, come play often!
    Rebecca, warmth and then ice cold, beautifully done.
    David, writing at a breathless pace brings us to the dramatic last line, great!
    Right, having no enthusiasm whatsoever for editing, I think I am going to play with the opening of the story given to me

  33. Ha! thought I deleted that last but, called away to drive the carer home ... rushed away from the puter!
    the sentence should read, play with the opening of the story given to me through a song, Burn Down The Cornfield. I have yet to see where it's going to go ...

  34. I'm at a lost end now. I don't know what to do with myself on a Thursday evening, because I've already written my Prediction this week, and two is just greedy...

    Thanks for all the comments so far! I might, if I have time (And I haven't had a doze...) I'll read and comment for once, as I'll now have the time :)

  35. Lily! Last minute again! And vastly inspired ;) I´ll be back with some comments!

    Till Death Us Depart

    I release my hair, finally -- it falls off! Who wants a bald bride?

    My love! He wants me anyway, anyhow, always!

    I dance around my withered table, my guests so lost without their flesh. I think maybe I was wrong to eat them. And the eggs from the birds´ nests -- should I have spared them?

    The shattered glasses; a thousand sharp chips. His blood like wine, rich to taste.

    I´m trapped in a mesh of cobwebs, watching the dried leaves spiral beautifully in the cleansing wind.

    Another year, my dress a long lost dream, I await you still.

  36. Pixie: poetic cruelty. I really like ”… they seemed to spiral with desire.”

    Mimi: ”caramel voice and throaty laugh” is a great description, and I LOVE tentacle hair!

    Aidan: you and your wild ominous myths! Always a treat =)

    Lily: ”…binding his screams to her laughter.” Wow! Great scene! I get spider vibes and meat-eating plant vibes all at the same time.

    R.S.: Wow, your Death -- worn down with the weight of eternity, but still having a glass of wine and reflecting on a woman´s hair… It´s a pure joy to read this!

    Chris: Very creepy. I love the title!

    Melenka: Dark and pounding with fatalism. A tale about the curse of addiction?

    Kittylefish: It starts like a beautiful dream and ends a true nightmare – great!

    William: Shit! Scary! The possibility that one´s concept of time might really go out of sync -- super-scary!

    AJ: Vivid and terrible! A strong piece about a dark period in history.

    Antonia: Is there such a thing as an existential nightmare? Well, obviously =) Well done!

    R.S.: Such succulent, exuberant prose! Cruel goddesses FTW!

    David: Nice twist! I get ”Twilight Zone” vibes.

  37. Asuqi, that opening. ARGH! Why can't I write like that!

    Okay, I'm not you. I might borrow the hair and see what happens, though.

    Loved it. Crazy and dark. Love.

  38. Becky, I love this comment but you´re insane!

    You shouldn´t let panic feast on your brain, now be a reasonable girl and go play with Steven ;)

  39. Asuqi, a bridal fugue on meltdown. I love it. Totally spacey. Great title, stunner first line. Wow!

  40. can't believe the quality of the writing this week and I know, I know, I say it every week.
    Asuqi, love it! title and all.
    OK, who is it this week, Lily??????????

  41. All done. All finished. No more.

    Thank 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.