Friday, 29 July 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's late. Isn't it. But you don't mind - do you? I wish I could say I've been out climbing mountains or digging up buried treasure but you know that ain't the truth. So shall I just stop making excuses and get on with it? Of course.

Many thanks to Chris Allinotte for his great judging of last week's Prediction. Worthy winner and runner-up MuckieDuckie and Kim get our full congratulations for great flash fiction!

Words for 29 July 2011

If anyone is new to Lily's Friday Prediction, the rules are simple, and you can read them below this week's words:

  • Gyrate
  • Flame
  • Border


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 4th August 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.

So, let's be 'avin ya, guys and gals. Come and light my fire...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Prediction Winner

The results are in - and I shall hand straight over to Chris...

OK Lily, here we go. Do I need to say I've now got a huge appreciation for your task each week?

Excellent entries all this week, and an excellent breadth of tone and genre.
  • AJ Humpage's Hackett earns his name as he plays and flays in the name of art and Silence
  • Aidan shares an existential, futuristic Apocalypse on a nanoscopic scale
  • Antonia's MC gets biblical, then goes medieval on her captive in An Eye for an Eye
  • William shows us a true dark Cul de Sac of life, in a harrowing, affecting tale of neglect
  • Lily speaks from the broken heart of talent and artistry destroyed by illness in We Don't Accept Fan Fiction, and then gives a wicked second turn with the ghosts of Watching Out, Looking In
  • Rosie makes her Prediction debut with a tale of a twisted life in its final moments with Feathers
  • Kim gives us a horrifying end to a wasted life, witnessed only by the shady Dark John, in On the Cheap
  • My own entry gave a peak at an abusive relationship with a potentially pyrotechnic redemption in Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
  • MuckieDuckie Captures the spirit of sibling adventure in an untitled piece. Mom must be a writer at heart - she can't leave a good story hanging
  • Phil displays a grotesque massacre of an entire village in the name of Honor, truly displaying the dark side of what is so often romanticized
  • Veronica delivers terror on an all too human scale, and a Monster in the back seat as well.
Alright. This was a very, very tough decision. I don't know how Lily does this every week!

First Place goes to MuckieDuckie - I was completely charmed by this depiction of the family dynamic, and the power of make-believe. The tone and voice of the children was spot-on.

Runner up is Kim - your gritty portrayal of a life used up and discarded by the most unsympathetic of companions was chilling.

Whew! Thanks again Lily for the chance to judge these amazing stories. Everyone's take was so different, and well done. (Kind of looking forward to being a simple contributor again tomorrow!)

All the best.

Thanks again Lily!


Congrats MuckieDuckie, and well Kim! Great judging from Chris too - thank you.

New challenge on its way tomorrow...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bits and Knobs

Just catching up with a few snatches of news...

Frozen Fear Deluxe Anthology

I'm very pleased to announced that Wraiths and Stays, which first appeared as a Guest Write when deliciously dark horror and paranormal mystery author Erin Cole interviewed me back in May 2011 has been accepted into the upcoming Frozen Fear Deluxe Anthology from Static Movement Press.

The antho. is being edited by Mark Crittenden, horror author and ed. of Red Skies Press which published Their Dark Masters, Tales of Extreme Vampire Horror in which my stories The Infanta Triptych and Walls of Flesh appeared. Thanks Mark!

Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers

I'm getting my hands well and truly filthy scrabbling through the vaults of TK'n'C and have posted two crime stories up on the site so far. Sonia Gets Hers - a pacey tale of revenge with a twist by Copper Smith, and A Short Break by TK'n'C regular Keith Gingell; if you thought the UK's Mad Dogs series was great - you'll love this.

There are loads more stories waiting in the wings so I'm hoping to post the next one in the coming days.

TK'n'C on Twitter

If you're a Twitter user, the TK'n'C editors have started a new hashtag, so whenever you tweet about the site, if you add #tknc somewhere in your tweet, then Twitter will gather our tweets all together. Just type #tknc into Twitter's search box to see what I mean or go to!/search/%23tknc.

A Zombie Cock and Bull Story

My mate and fellow TK'n'C ed, the infamous crime writer Col Bury has been venturing outside of his usual genre lately. He's strayed deep into my personal comfort zone of horror with a very naughty - and rib-tickling tale of zombie love and... bits. Read Supper Time, on Christopher Grant's new site Eaten Alive. And hear more about what Col has to say on the matter on Col's blog.

Planting a Seed of Horror

I have just finished reading the Kindle version of Ania Ahlborn's SEED and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Accidents and shadows, backwoods and children whose grins reach from one side of their face to another - this terrifying story throws you in at the deep end and takes you on a trembling ride of fear. Don't take anything for granted. I loved it.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Yesterday I began reading Baudelaire again. Today I can't get my mind away from his dark debauch, his delightful horror and enticing bacchanalia. I may have to lock myself away to drown in his words.

But before I do that, I'd like to congratulate Chris Allinotte for winning last week's Friday Prediction with Lessons. Such wicked playmates!

Chris will be your judge for this week's challenge - and he has very high standards so sharpen your pen - and give him hell.

Well done too to runner-up Anthony Cowin for the creepiest concept I've read in a while, Hush Little Baby Don't You Cry.

Words for 22 July 2011

  • Slur
  • Invisible
  • Moat


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 Wednesday 27th July to enter.

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

Chris? Over to you my friend...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Prediction Winner

So who's it going to be?

I do have a winner, but believe me my final choice has shifted and changed, the entries twisting and confusing my ever-hungry brain. So here we go with a quick summary before I announce who will be next week's Prediction Challenge judge.

  • Chris's new playmates are willing but volatile. They need teaching a Lesson(s).
  • St Force's tourist does more than sightseeing as she studies someone about to take a dive off York Catherdral.
  • AJ's Lucy loses and leaves the most precious of gifts Beneath the Oak.
  • MuckieDuckie discovers another Jane Doe with Doctor Tiboy as her failing saviour in JD's Realm.
  • Veronica's victim can think only of Nana as her own ear is chewed off in Zombie Sunday.
  • My Resurrection sees a village destroyed by plague and religion revived by the manifested voice of Mother Earth.
  • Antonia questions the validity of newspaper reporting as a typo turns out to be true in Local News...
  • William delivers twice; Case Closed apparently sees the demise of Tench beneath the Devil's milk-bottle whilst M is for Inspiration is a poignant message from the heart.
  • Aidan travels up and down heavenly escalators with Vaughn - who is not ready to go anywhere, despite the ratty angel's pleas in Stairway Guides.
  • Reba takes us into the towering heights of deception before dropping Lorelei to the ground in Objective.
  • Anthony paints the walls a sucking gloss that shimmers and moves, its shine a place of wandering thieves in Hush Little Baby Don't You Cry.
  • Kim's executioner looks out for himself, regardless of the prize beneath his axe in 'Off!'
  • Phil travels through coloured thoughts as his narrator 'ups and downs' in daily doses; Fluctuation.
  • John reveals the truth of what man has done in the name of religion in our corrupted Gardens of Eden
  • Joleen finds Inspiration as Ellen works her madness from the street onto the canvas, with a promise of more to come.
  • ttofee tricks us into believing we are walking with a villain, only for The Watcher's vigilante morals to shine through.

The story that tickled my darkest corners, its writing a joy to read - and is therefore the winning entry is Lessons. Monsieur Allinotte, congratulations. You are the judge of next week's Prediction Challenge!

My runner-up, for its terrifying and daring Stephen King strangeness - Hush Little Baby Don't You Cry by Anthony Cowin. A film in the making. Well done.

Outstanding writing, everyone. Such a pleasure. Chris - I'll be in touch over the next few days.

In the meantime, there'll be a new challenge as usual in the morning. Au revoir. Bonne nuit. Dormez bien...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Erin Cole asks a probing question about demons and muses

Erin Cole
Many writers feel they can't write without their muse. Others use their craft as a means to vanquish their psychological demons.

In Erin Cole's thought-provoking article Demon or Muse, she asks if the relationship between the two is not deeper than we might imagine.

Please do take a visit to read Demon or Muse, and comment if you will. It's a fascinating discussion - I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's lunchtime - where has this morning gone? Oh yes. I had to go to work, so I'm having a quick break to post up today's words. Sorry it'll be such a passing visit.

Congratulations to the winner of last week's Prediction Challenge William Davoll with the quirky poem Toxic Girlfriend 1993 and well done to runner-up Phil Ambler with Flash. Great writing guys.

Words for 15 July 2011

Before I reveal today's words, an extra announcement - the winner of this week's challenge will get to judge the following week's competition! So let's get to it...
  • Gloss
  • Roam
  • Spire
Little'uns, aren't they! Please note the challenge will close on Wednesday next week too, not Thursday.


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 Wednesday 20th July to enter.

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

Wagons roll, if you please...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Prediction Winner

I love the diverse use of the words this week. Let's quickly summarise, and see which entry won...

  • Chris throws an ace card at Milton and Blackwood as the crime-beating duo discover another murder(er) in Coming Up Trump
  • Steven's manic pseudo-surgeon gets off on gore in the blood-spattered Rupture.
  • Antonia's narrator has enough of her date, however 'ace' he thinks he is, in Escort Duty.
  • Amber's dancer almost falls victim to the psychological damage of her defiler's Unwanted abuse, but catches herself just in time.
  • AJ exposes the horror of starvation and neglect in a very unbalanced world in Dying Away.
  • Aidan brings The Ossuary back to our plates with invitations by the Bone Mate to sculpt and worship skulls.
  • Kim puts the homeless Out With The Trash to suck on rats until Death whisks the poor man away.
  • Phil delivers a bliss of birth as Rhechévah releases her offspring in Flash.
  • William falls foul of his Toxic Girlfriend 1993 as she tears at his soul in an attempt to bring him down to her desperate level.
  • Paul's old butcher wins the game and sets up the twisted vic for hungry William in his untitled piece.
  • Kallandra freezes our perceptions as the PI grasps the evidence in this untitled thriller.
  • Jack chucks a pie at the slimeballs as The Flaming Ace's waitress knocks her abusers dead. (Good riddance).
  • My tale shows we shouldn't mock the tarot - or, at least we shouldn't try to hide the message. Love, Ill-Dignified

With a brilliant title and a fantastically crafted, caustic poem - the winner this week is William Davoll with Toxic Girlfriend 1993. Congratulations William!

My runner-up is Phil Ambler with his beautiful 'portal to the imagination' Flash. Very well done Phil.

Loved them all; everyone should be very proud.

Advance notice: the winner of the next challenge will get to judge the following Prediction. Ooh!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How does a bit of Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers grab you?

It's my pleasure to announce that I have been approached by the Editors of the wonderful Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers to give them a helping hand. After a long and painful deliberation (5 seconds and a few chocolate hobnobs) I accepted!

If you want to know more about my role as Guest Editor - or in the highly unlikely event that you're not familiar with TKnC - hop on over to take a look at what's already on offer as well as what's coming up.

I'll be adding a bio to Ye Olde Editors page on TKnC as soon as I can remember anything interesting about myself. Most importantly, I'll be dredging through any stories still lingering in the basement to see if I can help bring everything up to date.

So to my good friends and inspirational TKnC editors and authors Thriller Dude Matt Hilton, Crime Dude Col Bury and Horror Dude Lee Hughes - thank you so much for inviting me in. It's going to be a pleasure.



Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers is currently open to submissions (until 15th July). Check out the Guidelines here.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Friday - you are so welcome. May you bring peace and creativity in equal measure.

Well done to last week's Prediction winner Michael Solender for No Abdication, and runners-up Aidan Fritz for The Shaking of the Ossuary and Chris Allinotte's U.D.D.D.

Anthology Latest

Did I mention I've finally collated all the entries from the first year's Prediction? The anthology will come out at around 60,000 words if everyone agrees to be included. What a prolific bunch of talented writers you are! I've got the spreadsheet of dates/words/authors/entries on the go now so (I know I've said this before, but dammit - life gets so busy sometimes) don't be surprised if you hear from me individually soon.

Words for 8th July 2011

Tasty words this week...

  • Crust
  • Ace
  • Incision

For new contributors, you can use the root of these words in any form; noun, verb, adjective, adverb. For example crusty, incisor, but you must use all three. 


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 14th July 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 magic do you hold up your sleeve? Prepare to reveal yourselves...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Prediction Winner

The cat's come over to help me judge tonight. Her name's Lily too and she's getting on a bit; keeps forgetting who she is. That's what I'm scared of - somehow I think it's inevitable.

Summary time - a quickie.

  • Michael: No Abdication. Empirical turmoil with monarchic spite.
  • Me: An Eye for an Eye. A queenly exchange of eyeballs.
  • Sue: One For The Road. Perfect spies and conspiracy theories for the almighty Strachan.
  • AJ: Blood in the Water. Imperial Rome arrives with bloody Caesar's dictatorship.
  • Nina: What Were YOU Thinking. An optical illusion disguised in doctor's clothing.
  • William: #1 Where's the Fox PT2. Sellings and Tench get a lot more to go on, via Huxley.
    #2 The Real Guy Fawkes. Final moments of madness through torture.
  • Phil: Revolution? Hunters become the hunted and revolution turns the world upside down.
  • Chris: U.D.D.D. Flashing memories haunt the alleged traitor as he breathes his last breath - and swings.
  • Paul: #1 The Museum of Treason. All-seeing statues paralysed in innocent poses.
    #2 Untitled. Grandma Graves is a wily manipulator; the 'eyes' have it.
  • John: CyberOptical Illusion. Live visual attacks create distorted conceptions.
  • Aidan: The Shaking of the Ossuary. Bones and flesh intermingle in this battle to save Circe, and lives.
  • Asuqi: Perfect Shot. A golden-haired model twists to make the photographer sit up and take notice.

Straight to the point. My winner this week is Michael Solender with the powerful and disturbing No Abdication. Frightening, familiar and memorable. Congratulations Michael.

Two runners-up - Aidan Fritz' mad The Shaking of the Ossuary. Bizarre and wonderful. And Chris Allinotte's U.D.D.D. - a terrifying finality. Well done both.

I'd also like to make special mention of newcomer Paul/Crimson Archer's entries. Very promising - do stay with us Paul.

Am I really going to get to bed before midnight on a Thursday for once? Let's see... Back tomorrow, with Guest Judge-time news.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Interlude by Lily Childs

Do you remember the Dressing Up Box demon? It's found itself a plaything - just for this evening...


I hold her, cradle the trembling head between clawed hands and wonder at her beauty.

Eyes wide she stares up at my face. Does she recognise her own image? I stole it when I rebirthed her – she should be grateful.

A song sings, muffled behind the ribbons of satin at her mouth. I have woven them into multi-coloured braids. If she uses her tongue she will find a way out, a release for the nightingale in her throat.

We are naked, she and me; but we differ still. Her mane of gold now pours from my own scalp, studded in swathes and streaked vermilion with my old blood. I take a handful of the fine hair and use it as a paintbrush, dipping it in and out of the open slices at her belly. The thick fluids coagulate almost before I can apply them to my chest where I have tattooed her name. But all is well, the holes overflow with her juices and she is sealed to me forever.

It won’t be long. I reach down to gather the nest from between her legs. Humming an aria I sprinkle the wiry threads into a keepsake box with her brows and eyelashes.

Her last breath’s a pretty one. I help by biting the strap from her lips – I have caught her gasp before she can take another one and I hold her tight as she dies in my mouth.

It’s a hollow death. No shame in that.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Where does the time go? I mean - really? Did someone steal it when I was sleeping? They took a lot more than they were entitled to, that's for sure. Seems only moments ago I was posting about John Xero winning last week's Prediction challenge with his beautiful Poet... and indeed it was. Congratulations John.

Words for 1st July 2011

These could be interesting. What do you think?

  • Treason 
  • Optic (optician, optical etc - all OK) 
  • Pose


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 7th July 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.

Throw your words at me; make me swear with horror and delight. I'm ready...

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.