Friday, 15 April 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I am a woman of little brain this morning. I do hope you'll tolerate my ineptitude - for it is rampant.

Congratulations to Chris Allinotte for winning last week's Prediction Challenge with the delicious second episode of the Homonculus series (see how I'm putting you under pressure there Chris?) Homonculus, ça marche.

Will today's three words evoke as much twisted passion as last week? You tell me.

  • Pit
  • Structure
  • Observe


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 21st April 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.

Let's see what you've got...



  1. Just whipped this one up before starting the day job...

    Children of the Sand

    Glimmering. Hiss and spit, a scream shifts in the children’s pit. Sand and plastic counter senses with opposing structure – nature versus humankind, again and again and again.

    Whitney and Stevo hold hands, wide eyes pale to cataracts as their competitive mothers slaughter each other in the playground.


    “She’s a mess,” Stevo states as his Mama bleeds into bouncy tarmac. His girlfriend nods at the cold observation - and feels nothing.

    “Look,” she says. “My mother... is that the word? You’ve killed her.”

    “Uh, huh. Do you mind?”

    Whitney questions her skull. Nothing.

    “No,” she says. “I don’t think so.”

  2. Hoorah to Chris! These are no easy wins.
    And to whip up somethng as biting as Children in the Sands, just this morning, Lily... I have teeny, tiny brain.
    "competitive mothers slaughter each other in the playground" - so true.

  3. realised what was missing from my Friday evening, this week's words ... so came on here to find that killer of an entry from Lily herself ... now how in the name of all that is horror in this world do we compete with that...
    Give me a day or so to see what the brain cooks up.Good words, let's see what happens, if we can out-horror last week between us.

  4. A Shot To The Left

    Hunting exposes character in others, dirty tongues and polluted souls.

    We dug a pit to hide in, waiting to observe the white-tailed herd through the pines and firs. Brother’s mood paralleled the gray skies, a loathsome structure of grudge he’d fabricated to barricade himself in.

    We both heard what happened the other night. Still, he refused to consider the cold side of father’s bed, for months now.

    “Ma is just a cheap…,”

    I wasn’t about to let him finish—the bullet grazed his ear. He knew the next one wouldn’t.

  5. Terrifying, Erin. I want to quote every phrase here, so beautifully written. The menace in this tale is all pervading; I despise hunting for sport and the day they wipe each other out won't come soon enough, in my opinion.

    Antonia - thank you for your kind comments.

    So - come one everyone, Surely the words aren't too hard? Erin and I are getting lonely...

  6. Eaglewing & Mastermind to Save the Day?

    "Last damn time I work with you." Eaglewing glared at the superhero. "Only amateurs forget rope."

    "Was I supposed to predict the pit?"

    "Where'd you get the moniker Mastermind. You couldn't outfight a scarecrow slathered in rapeseed oil. Caves underground aren't like a structured playdate."

    "You don't have to taunt me. As if you've never made mistakes."

    That stung. It wasn't her fault Madoff conned her. "You bring spare batteries?"


    "Like caves are pitch black. Don't think I'll babysit your ass when your headlamp fails."

    Evil chortled. "Quite the pair to observe. Welcome to my playground. Don't die prematurely."

  7. Aidan,
    Love your creativity! Let's hope that's not the pair to save the day! Great voice too.

    Lily, Let's hunt the hunters!

  8. Aidan, good one! sharp precise dialogue carrying this forward - so much more to be said here.
    Erin, cold blooded - perfect!

  9. After four abortive attempts I think this is the definitive offering for this week, unless something else comes into my head...

    Spring Sacrifice

    Walk with me through this gentle glade. See the shadow dancing leaves, hear the trickle of spring water and observe the bluebells thrusting into sunlight. The birds sing their welcome, be grateful for their kindness. They have lives to live, after all, survival is everything. It is for humans too but some have no hope of this.
    In our structured world some things seem alien but they are part of the whole.
    Sacrifice is one such, the weak to support the strong.
    See then the pit which awaits the lamb; see the bones of those who went before.
    Join them.

  10. I'm in early, check me out!


    I observed her in my beautiful prison, the metallic structure embracing her, suffocating her.

    I smiled, edged out the murky blackness; saw her fragility, her innocence. It was all going to be mine.

    I took the golden loop made out of fairy hair, tied it around her neck and attached it to the machine.

    I took the blindfold and loosely tied it around her eyes, kissed her forehead.

    ‘W-What did you say your name was again?’ she trembled.

    I smiled slightly, leaned in close to her ear. ‘Brad Pit. One T.’

    I then pulled the lever to her death.

  11. The Unwatered Well

    The writhing awoke him.

    Wind coiled around the circular structure; whistled between the cracks. The light above speckled his blood-smeared vision.

    The stench ripped at his senses. Deep moans and squelches filled the cramped darkness. He tried to move, but couldn’t find anything solid to lean against; his hands sank into the soft, malleable flesh of those beneath him; sticky, slippery; skin against skin.

    He lifted a hand, observed the way it glistened with dead men’s entrails.

    He stared up from the pit. Warm lumps splattered against his face; blood, flesh and shit.

    They were filling up the unwatered well.

  12. Will be back to comment tomorrow. Bad cold/flu kept me from this one awhile as it is.

    Ma petite homunculus, ma fiérté.

    Michaud blinked awake. Hosti, he's strong thought Belanger.

    "What do you want?" Michaud bellowed, struggling against his bonds.

    "Let me answer, papa," said Elodie.

    There was an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach Belanger couldn't identify. What was it? He nodded at his "daughter".

    Elodie leaned over the structured chair that held Michaud.

    "You know too much, monsieur,"

    Michaud spat a reply,"You. You wouldn't exist if not for me."

    "Oui, c'est ca," said Elodie with a wicked, pointed smile. "Merci"

    She came closer, leaning in to kiss. To taste.

    Belanger recognized the feeling now. It was pride.


    I feel like I need to give a tiny glossary for this one:

    Hosti - mild to slightly offensive Quebec french curse - equivalent to saying "shit" (though there's a specific word for that too)

    ma fiérté - my pride and joy

  13. Truth and Consequences

    I murmured her true Name, sang liquid metal into a ropy structure. I’d observed her so long, sculpting her curves took little effort.

    “What is it?” She hugged me, his scent on her skin.

    Bile rose from the pit of my stomach. “A dress form. It needs to be fitted.”

    Metal vines enveloped her. She laughed until leaves sprouted to seal her lying mouth, her nose.

    “We had an agreement.”

    As thorns grew, pierced skin, her eyes offered desperate apologies. Too late.

    “All you had to do was ask first.” Why did they never believe me?

  14. I wrote this Friday, decided against posting it, tweaked it a little, and figured I should let others decide if it works. (Now without typos! I hope...)

    Sunshine Laws

    “Stand,” the matron says. “Observe.”

    We obey, wanting to look away. Stephen glares, defiant. Doomed. I want to rescue him, hold him close. I have loved him for ages. He doesn’t know my name.

    “Structure keeps us safe,” the matron says. “You know the dangers out there.”

    We don’t, having never seen. Others have been caught trying to look outside. This is my fourth Assembly, but the first time I’ve cared.

    Blades fall.

    Stephen vaults. Up, over. Gone

    He flings open the blast doors.

    We scramble for the shadows, skin smoking.

    Stephen blows me a kiss, and bursts into flame.

  15. Much deliciousness here from everyone so far - and way to go Pixie!

    Once my small hangover has subsided I'll be back to comment (Great party for the old man yesterday though, so worth the wobbles).

  16. third try. Blogger/google would not let me sign in, so I kept losing my comments ... I have just 'reset' the password by using the identical one I typed in several times already...
    Pixie, early or late, I love reading your entries. This one is no exception. Cold. Dark.
    AJ, wonderful imagery and an amazing last line to cap it.
    Chris, keep the story rolling...
    RR, love both of these equally.

  17. Your Reflection?

    Have you ever stared at the mirror, wondering what your reflection really thinks of you?

    Your life has no structure.

    Your reflection can observe, through unforgiving eyes, the life you lead.

    You are falling down a bottomless pit, trying to stop yourself but the walls crumble with each attempt.

    Your reflection sees the sickness in your eyes.

    There is no turning back the clock.

    Your reflection sees the third lifeless body lying on the bloodstained bed behind you.

    You are a murderer.

    Your reflection will show your true identity if you star at it long enough.

    Do you see it?


  18. The second to last line should have read...Your reflection will show your true identity if you stare at it long enough...

    Hectic weekend!!

  19. Aidan, and we're back in the Fritz unique world of superheroes! These two are going to end up killing each other, especially with Evil looking on. Riveting.

    Antonia, such a strong yet tender piece. I can feel the wind playing in the glade and smell the beautiful flowers. And then comes the lamb. Sacrifice indeed.

    Ooh Pixie, the voice of the murderer is dangerously fascinating. You've managed to put us straight into his mind and let us see through his eyes as he makes the kill. Excellent writing.

    AJ, oh, the horror! Gorgeous, claustrophobic and squelchy. Imagine, just imagine being stuck in this unwatered well with decaying flesh below and fresh cuts and corpses falling from above. Outstanding.

    Chris, I'm liking the word Hosti. Belanger's pride as Elodie blossoms into the daughter he had hoped to create bursts through at the end. Michaud's days are numbered. Very exciting! But sorry to hear you've not been well; hope you feel better soon.

    Reba, Truth and Consequences is a beautifully structured telling of life formed from myth; a life designed. I read this several times and found something new on each occasion. Beguiling.

    With Sunshine Laws I love how you twist from making us think we are at a boarded-up boarding school to expose instead a collective of vampires. A tragic release.

    David, a fabulous menace that will make me think twice before I look in another mirror (it's frightening enough as it is!) You've so cleverly split the perspective between the narrator, the reflection and the reader as murderer. It works so well. I like this a lot.

  20. David, love it ... I am running a Mirror, Mirror anthology over at Static Movement for just that reason, mirrors are scary things. Nearly as scary as clowns.
    Lily, thanks for the comments!

  21. Lily: I was expecting the children to enter the rings not the mothers, I like the way that twists and makes this even worse. “Pales to cataracts” is such a nice touch, I like the way it captures the horror and it seems to age them at the same time.

    Erin: “Dirty tongues and polluted souls” is a nice beginning to this full-fledged piece with one sibling sticking up for mother. I like how the protagonist takes control.

    Antonia: love the way this one whistles in the mind, dark thoughts, urging one to abandon oneself in the pit.

    Pixie: Intriguing. I like the choice of names and it makes me think about how names shape an individual. I liked the details of the fairy hair and the golden loop.

    AJ: You paint a stomach-turning image with this one. Great details.

    Chris: this series gets better and better. It doesn't bode well for Belanger though.

    Reba: Truth, I love the world you've concocted here; particularly the way you make it sing right from the start with "sang liquid metal into a ropy structure". I'd love to see more of this world. Sunshine, intriguing, does the sunlight open his eyes to see her love or did he always know her name and she doubted. This also has an intriguing world element to it.

    David: another piece subtly whispering to me... the other one might kill me but your whispers will drive me mad. ;)

  22. Lily - That's plain creepy! A reflection of our world in a cracked mirror, told through voices of detached childhood.

    Erin - some amazing turns of phrase, particularly "a loathsome structure of grudge he’d fabricated to barricade himself in"

    Aidan - love the dumb superheroes, and the supervillain just called 'evil'. =)

    Antonia - it's like a shadow passing over the sun, you start out on such a pretty day which turns cold and runs to darkness.

    Pixie - such a calm-seeming death (well, maybe not for the victim... ;) )

    AJ - So visceral, again, I can't stop imagining myself at the bottom of that well. Gotta go shower, again. ;)

    Chris - this is great, keep going! Such a well-wrung sense of dread.

    Reba - Truth is so rich, so dense, as Lily says, there is more with every read. Wonderful.
    Sunshine Laws is excellent too and the ending sings. =)

    David - very well done. Am I the murderer? I wonder... ;) Talented use of the 2nd person.

  23. Tower

    I am here, against intergalactic law, because important, anonymous people grew tired of waiting. So the galaxies turn.

    The Darkling’s tower is impenetrable to our technology, and thus, invaluable. Scientists observing the structure from the legal sanctity of space have learnt nothing.

    So impatience has brought me to this planet, to my death.

    It has been called their Tower of Babel. Though nobody knows if they have a God.

    They do have a devil. I have seen it. I have seen the pit beneath the tower, and the indescribable thing within.

    Are they imprisoning it? Or setting it free?

    Can't quite get the last line right... =(

  24. Lily - love the wordplay here- "hiss and spit"/"children's pit". Scary is always scarier when the sun is shining.

    Erin - on fine dark form here. I love the hinted at violence, followed up by the real thing. Great slice of life.

    Antonia - "walk with me" indeed - such darkness lurking among the petunias! Love it.

    Pixie - elegant and stylish - I want to know more, but the story is a meal in itself

    AJ - love this - I was overwhelmed by the sweaty clautrophobia, and the futility of the last moments

    RR - taking the two pieces together, it's very powerful. Earth magic and the deadly sunshine. Great scenes. Great description.

    David - excellent poetry - reminds me a bit of that Nietszche quote - about gazing too long into the abyss - lest the abyss look into you... Quite an "reflective" piece. :)

    John - I disagree - the last line is just about right, and gives this slick piece of sci-fi a sinister edge.

    Thanks for the comments on my own little piece. L'homunculus has now decided to move into her own, longer story, so she will be bowing out of the Prediction for now. I'll send word when she's happy with the result!

  25. Penman observed the ravens.

    Anxious with hunger, some fluttered about while others pecked at the floor of their prison.

    It was feeding time.

    Penman was patient; he savoured the moment, his hand resting on the rusty lever.

    The seat he occupied was uncomfortable but he didn’t notice, the spectacle about to take place demanded his full attention.

    After a final moment of delicious anticipation he pulled the lever and the floor of the shabby structure rolled aside, revealing the hidden pit beneath.

    The bound body bucked and jerked, testing its bonds, but it was too late.

    The ravens descended.

    Steven Chapman (writer)

  26. Having a tough week this week loads of deadlines and lots of unfinished business. If I have time I'll come back to comment the great pieces above. This is the only piece I got near to finished.

    The Devil Inside
    Outside the winter air bit, but he couldn’t observe the cold, He had the devil inside, making fire in the pit of his stomach. He had stalked his rich bitch quarry; her fox fur winked to indicate she was the one. Now came the best part, the waiting for her will to give out to his noose. Every kill had this structure, knowing how it was going to end made his dorsal nerve writhe with delightful anticipation. Soon it would be time to surrender the tease, for the final kill, but for now she danced her final foxtrot, before release...

  27. Aaargh - just realised my email is down - thought it had been quiet for two days. I'm subscribed to get emails on here whenever anyone posts a comment - and hadn't received them so John, Steven and William, apologies for the delay in commenting.

    Here goes:

    John, I love the duality of this piece, questioning faith and science all at once. The lines "It has been called their Tower of Babel. Though nobody knows if they have a God." are damning and filled with menace. Me? I think they've set their Devil free. Great writing - and feels like part of a longer piece.

    Steven, greetings! Welcome in. Oh yum, this tale gives me such wicked pleasure. Always for the ravens, I'm glad they got to feed. I do, however want to know more about Penman and the identity of his victim. A deliciously dark read.

    William, a powerful peek into the mind of a torturer and killer. There is so much in this short vignette to tease us - who is he? Who is the victim - and does it matter? Is it the fur she wears that designated her as the vic? And that dance - a natural foxtrot or one suspended by rope or suchlike? Highly intriguing; we need more.

    Everyone is teasing this week; glimpses into what could be full-scale stories or more. Keep 'em coming!

  28. Some late words from She Who Needs To Get Her Life Organized ;) I´ve enjoyed reading all of your pieces =)



    She´s been observing me lately. I know her brain structure like the back of my hand, but I also know I built in an unpredictable element; she´s able to evolve.

    ”Tell me then, gorgeous,” I finally say, watching her through coffee steam.

    She shakes her head, avoids my eyes and the sourness in the pit of my stomach has nothing to do with the crappy stuff I use for coffee.

    An electrical shock is all it takes to turn her off. I reboot her and her inviting smile is pure bliss.

    She was never meant to be a fucking enigma.


  29. catching up in haste ...
    Asuqi, this one bites!
    William, intriguing
    Steven, wonderful ending, wonderful images which is what these short pieces often convey
    John, more imagery here, almost demanding an extension to this scenario.
    Lily, I don't envy you the judging this week...

  30. Sorry reposted as the title should be this :-

    Pilot Error

    “Crucify Him!”
    It started as a joke, sarcastic words uttered under my breath.
    My words repeated as a question by others around me and then those around them. Till my words rolled like a tsunami, built by a chanting crowd as a decision, all note of the question gone.

    I was just a passer by, he was nothing to me, but guilt gnawed the pit of my stomach. I came with my guilt and the crowd of thousands to observe his destruction. As they nailed him to that Structure his eyes never left mine, till bearing no malice they closed.

  31. The Pits

    Observe. See how each combatant circles, maintaining eye contact, hands ready. Each knows he will have to fight to the death. Of course, there are no weapons in the pit so there is no quick death. To kill the opponent will take concerted effort of body and mind. Will they be strong enough to grip the throat, then overcome their humanity and continue the kill? Will they pummel the head and face of their opponent, and persist until brains spill out on the dirt?
    Such is the structure of survival; win or die.

  32. Phew! Made it, sorry, unpolished, fresh off the keyboard.

  33. Gone 9pm in the UK now, and I'm watching Martina Cole's The Runaway. So whilst I enjoy (?) the sex and violence do remember the Prediction is now closed. I'll be back later with the winner.

    In the meantime we had some late-comer entries - I'm all for that:

    Great to hear from you Asuqi, and welcome back with this e-love story. What makes us Gods or the primal Goddess? When will our creations bite back. "...never meant to be a fucking enigma". But she became that, didn't she? Lovely.

    William - oh shit. What if the major assassinations in history (and the lesser-known ones too) began as a 'joke'. How terrifying-a-concept. Thank you for bringing this into the open.

    Kim, the fight you encite is terrifying. For all I am a Fight Club fan and write of murder and horror, I am a coward of the highest degree when it comes to fighting. What you portray here scares me to death - and that's talented.


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.