Friday, 5 August 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Thank Faust It's Friday. I'm feeling all mystical today - sparkly thoughts and twinkly fingers that belong to weekends rather than the workday week.

Congratulations to AJ Humpage and MuckieDuckie for jointly winning last week's Prediction with Final Journey, and I Cling Inside the Border-Wall.

Words for 05 August 2011

What will the the old book throw up today? Let's see...

  • Etiquette
  • Stag
  • Play


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 11th 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.

My eyes are open. My mouth is ready to read your words out loud. Can you fill it with something tasty?


  1. I'm posting this on behalf of Asuqi, who's having a lot of Blogger bovver:

    Lily, darling, thank you for doing this every week. Really. It means a lot.

    Voice of Lilith

    Animals linger about the fringe; bears, stags, wolves -- waiting.

    What is it about me that hurts you?

    You think me childish when I run to them and play, but it´s just a different take on reality. I think you think too much.

    They dance around me, sniff me, it´s their etiquette and I don´t mind.

    I spend my Summer nights in the forest, but in the end I start thinking too. It was inevitable, I suppose.

    I´m learning how to express my memories and it will be the death of me.

    I never wanted to be civilized. Know this.


    I will comment on anything written this weekend. Then I´m going away, will be back next weekend. Have fun, people =)

  2. Grandma's Legacy

    Stag beetles rustle like dead leaves, like letters, like a plague of locusts, smothering the room, their paper mandibles playing, prodding, prying bits of Sam's soul-stuff, swirls of cloud and hope, leaving a numb world. Sam screams.

    Libao cracks the door. Disheveled hair frames her face, bruised eyes. "Zhu zui." Shutup.

    She's in her moods. He points at his greater fear, the origami beetles. "But."

    "Grow up, you're ten."

    Libao leaves blood stains on the doorframe. Beatles drink, words appearing on their carapace.

    Sam reads the hanzi. His grandma's hand. "...bad etiquette. No break vows. Send my love to Sam."

  3. Card Sharp

    The stag’s head over the fireplace looks on as they play, sees cards slapped on the table, hears muttered curses as the ‘wrong’ ones appear. The card playing group has its own etiquette; each acknowledges the stag if the hand is good, turns away if it is bad. The stag has seen it all a thousand times. He knows well that this night the winner is cheating but has no voice to say it.
    Or does he? His voice was heard clear across the forest in the rutting season when he outfought the pretenders.
    The mouth opens, the words...

  4. Asuqi, get sorted soon! Wonderful imagery here and a thought which lingers.
    Aidan, creepy one!

  5. Muckie-Duckie and AJ - worthy winners with superbly crafted pieces.

    My offering this week is....

    The Devil’s Stag

    They all gathered together on the ancient Tor; Bodachs and Banshees, She-hags and Satyrs, Imps and Incubi, dragging themselves into the mortal realms for a night of festivity.

    They danced upon long forgotten barrows beneath a blood red moon, cavorting with the dead as music played all around them, intoxicating and maddening, driving them on to further depravities. The night simmered as writhing bodies copulated, delighting in the headiness of sex and death, all etiquette forgotten as the beasts drew themselves into a frenzied ecstasy.

    Tomorrow he would take his bride but tonight they would celebrate Old Nick’s stag.

  6. Aidan: exquisite language, creepy atmosphere -- I love it!

    Antonia: unexpected twist!

    Phil: great scene, I never tire of sex and death =)

  7. Asuqui - I love the mystical sense I get from this... my first thought was... faere, wood nymph... this will stay with me for some time.

    Very well written!


    Aidan... creeped me out a little... but, that is good! I just have this thing about beetles.... shudder!! Good work!


    Antonia - Now, that would send me screaming from the room! Their eyes DO follow you! I will never look at a stuffed animal the same way again!


    Phil - Colorful... great imagery... you really can't go wrong with sex and death... be they mortals, or other-worldly creatures.



    Fuck etiquette!

    The blonde man circled around the stables, making his way back to the stand of trees east of the mansion. This was a competition and all that mattered was who won. Let the other idiots play fair.

    Waiting and watching… a chill seeped into his bones.

    Behind him… a sound… he turned around… a split second to regret.


    “A splendid trophy, Audra… splendid!”

    Turning her gaze to the new plaque over the fireplace… next to the stag head…

    “I bagged that one just last week… bloody Yank was too predictable… no sport in it.”

    Audra smiled.

  9. Hehe! Almost forgot to post this. I have also "tweeted" and posted on my blog pages.

    I think I will share on Facebook too... let everybody know about all these little gems over here on Lily's page. :)

  10. I'm taking all these entries personally; they are gorgeous. I'd like to paper my walls with them. I'll be commenting later today, but here's mine:

    Dance of the Spiral Girdle

    There is an elegance to her flesh, squeezed out and pooling in handfuls of pale gifts from her bodice.

    We bow, as is the etiquette of the dance and take the pose, ready to play. Heads aloft, fingers reaching through our hair like a crown of antlers we circle – widdershins.


    Circle again.


    On and on until we rise off the ground, hands locked together in a game of stag-fight. Limbs entwined we spin in a vortex of our own skin, ephemeral and translucent. Bodies merging, we share the song of unbound love. Higher, higher...


    We fall.


  11. love this week's entries!
    Thanks for kind words.
    Phil, sex and death are the two great things in our lives, forget everything else, this is done with such skill, too!
    Veronica, nice one! a good twist on yours too!
    Lily, imagery again, something you do so well I am jealous!!!!!!

  12. The Continuing Adventures of Ink and Blot

    The doctor chuckled. "You've come a long way to die, Mr. Delver."

    He held up a huge, mutated stag beetle. Its black horns glistened.

    "This little fellow is desperate to bury these prongs in your chest. He's very hungry."


    "Eh. Hang on, then - a torture scene? What's he playing at?"

    "When did you become British?"

    "I'm something-ish."

    "Doltish, foolish, twatish - see anything you like?"

    "Twat-ish - that's a Brit thing."

    "Touché motherfucker. That's French."

    "Etiquette mind!"

    "Fine. What'll we do about this bug, then?"

    "Two words. Trouser snake."



    Delver's zipper twitched.

    Somewhere, a writer wept.

  13. Asqui - I feel sadness for Lilith, unable to fully return to where her heart is

    Aidan Fritz - A horror film in the making! The imagery of those beetles is creepy

    Antonia W - The stag's head, residence to a Loki - like prankster, or something more sinister?

    Phil Ambler - Love the dark setting - I see the silhouettes against the moon - and the Horned One looks on.

    Veronica - Great twisted story - wierdos abound

    Lily - ooo! Etherial passion!

    Chris A - I just laughed - thanks!


  14. OK, I missed last week - so I'm in early. Good words but difficult to get down to 100 wds..

    * * * *
    Summer Ball

    “Let us not play at this etiquette thing!” His foul breath slapped her face. “We have better ways to occupy ourselves, than this polite preamble.”

    “But surely, my lord, you enjoy a good meal before …” His pudgy hand groped her inner thigh.

    “My dear, I have satisfied my appetite, now I thirst only for you.” His warty nose brushed her cheek.

    She scanned the hall for a friendly face, but every man was engaged in lustful liaison; they circled like rutting stags.

    “Then drink your wine, sir, and we’ll away …” (God! That the digitalis takes effect soon enough!)

    * * * *
    Please read italics instead of brackets


  15. Asqui – Some lovely images here; I feel a hint of sadness beneath Lilith’s narration.

    Aiden – Love the sibilance and immediacy created, and the sounds like the rustling beetles.

    Antonia – Very creepy. Can’t say I like animal heads on walls…even less so now.

    Phil – Lush and lovely and dripping with lust. Loved it.

    Veronica – Creepy – I like the twist; a different trophy head on the wall.

    Lily – ‘Pooling handfuls of pale gifts’. Wonderfully evocative stuff.

    Chris – A hint of cheekiness here; made me smile.

    Kim – Poor woman…the odious creature after her is in for a painful death. You’ve captured the atmosphere well through use of dialogue.

  16. Asuqi, ah Lilith. Very close to my heart. Love the primal adoration to your piece. "I never wanted to be civilized. Know this." - it is so.

    Aidan, Oh, but this is fabulous. Origami insects that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and when I discovered they really were paper, somehow it was even more chilling.

    Antonia, again - a gasp-out-loud tale. This totally has a Tales of the Unexpected feel about it (excuse me while I go off to dance bizarrely in an all-in-one body suit). I just love this, Antonia.

    Phil, I see you've been to my club. This is absolutely exquisite; I am in extreme esoteric mood at the moment and you have heightened that to ecstatic degrees. Wonderful writing.

    Veronica, ha! Twatty toff deserved everything he got. Go Audra. I don't approve of hunting but the little shit probably looked better mounted than mounting. You do make me smile.

    Chris, such larynx-twisting linguistics; articulate accents abound all entwined in psycho-testing. Very, very different. Very, very intriguing.

    Kim, euurgh, but the lusty lord of the manor is a filthy beast. You coated this with disgust and I for one was routing for the foxglove to stop that old fucker's heart. Tasty.

  17. Bringing up the rear while I chill from writerly duties...

    Fresh Meat

    Pine scented the morning mist. The hook of the trigger became clammy against his finger.

    She drifted into view; a shy, freckled brunette.

    He held himself still, lined up her dark eyes with the rifle sight. Etiquette demanded the right distance; a clean shot would split her skull and kill her instantly.

    Then he spotted her youngster. Heartbeat muttered.

    Double delight. He aimed.

    An odious, dank smell snaked through the grass behind him, made him turn.

    Antlers, like upturned talons coated velvety red, poked from the mist.

    He stared into the stag’s solid onyx eyes.

    The beast snorted.

    Hunter, hunted.

  18. Asuqi: great voice, What is it about me that hurts you? grabs me and shakes me by my tentacles.

    Antonia: their acknowledgement of the stag on good cards has a sense of completeness. Fun premise and it would be fun to see where this goes.

    Phil: lovely word play in this gorgeous feast.

    Veronica: this man-eat-man or woman-eat-man world is finely wrought, nice twist with the second scene.

    Lily: sensual opening and closing wraps this gem in an embrace. I enjoyed how the dancers capture the essence of the stag.

    Chris: clever fun this one. Loved the repartee and ink and blot's adventure.

    Kim: hopefully for her he ate enough of his meal; I like how gross you've depicted him and the way the grossness almost takes actions.

    AJ: nice turn; his greediness leaves no sympathy for this newly hunted.

  19. MOB RULE

    We’ve no etiquette cause we’re the Mob, when everything’s free you don’t need a job.
    We’ve burned our bridges now we’re burning the hood
    Making excuses that we’re misunderstood
    Carrying loot in a Tesco bag, we firebomb a pub it’s called the Stag.
    We’re out to play, having fun, we’re not scared of you cause we’ve looted a gun.

    When daybreak comes we hide between your shadows and join in the chorus “bring back the Gallows”.
    If I had any conscience it would be pricked.
    The only language I understand “2 L8 M8 UR Nicked!”

  20. AJ - The hairs on my neck bristled at the image of the stag looming over the hunter.

    William - Sick, blood! (loosly translated - nice, mate!)

  21. asuqi - I really like the way you effortlessly link the story of Lilith with the natural world. There is a touch of sorrow here that makes it beautiful.

    Aidan - this is completely clever - the idea of vicious origami beetles is brilliant, and the message from the dead appearing on their backs- wonderful.

    Antonia ... and then the story took a surreal twist. Excellent descriptions and a novel (and cunning!) POV

    Phil I had an idea to do a "Stag Party" with these as well - glad I didn't, it would've been a pale thing next to this firy bacchanal.

    Veronica "The Most Dangerous Game" with a feminine twist. Great atmosphere!

    Lily I had to look up "deosil" - and glad I did - as it's the perfect word, and made the rest "click" - the ending made my breath catch in my throat. Stunning.

    Kim "Summer Ball" eh? lol. I hope her righteous revenge hits before he gets too far!

    AJ Once he considered the babe - it was all over for him. The end is exceptional.

    William I've been watching the events unfold with sick fascination, and disgust that so many use the slightest excuse to excuse themselves from decency. You've captured this well.

  22. William, a timely, frightening observation narrated by one of the yobs.

    Apparently, according to one girl "We're doin' it 'cos you don't respect us. You respect us - we'll respect you." And looting, stealing, mugging, killing even is going to make us respect you because...?

    I hope the rest of the world understands that the vast majority of people in England are not like this, and that we are horrified and enormously saddened at this behaviour.

  23. trying to catch up with comments, running out of time, a book awaits open under this page on the computer, so ... thanks to everyone for the amazing reads this week! It is always a pleasure to log on and read the entries, You are all so talented, not a duff story among them!
    Editing anthologies as I am at the moment, I have found that those who write on or from the dark side have more vivid imaginations and produce far better work than those who don't. I have turned down maybe 2-3 stories out of the 250,000 or so words I must have read so far. (two anthologies closed and sent to print, another closing very soon, a further 14 still building)which says much about the quality of the writing and the writers. Long may it continue!

  24. AJ - beautiful descriptions; I can smell the dew-laden pine infusing the mist. I still don't know whether the victim your hunter has in his sight is a freckled human or deer, but I think the stag would have taken action either way.

  25. A Picnic in the Park

    Mother pointed down the hill.
    “Such playful children, full of life and,” she pauses; her pink tongue licks her lips “verve. Datura, you’ll have to control yourself but I want you to –“
    "Damn your etiquette, I'm hungry now." My sister said sharply.
    Mother chuckled at the impatience and ruffled her hair.
    "I know sweetheart, but you mustn’t be caught." Her eyes flashed a warning. “Find one you like. Follow the path past the stag sculpture to the clearing. I'll watch from the shadows.”
    Datura ran to her meal; her flowing hair and sweet laughter riding in the wind.

  26. Love Mother's family, Muckie; wicked, sweet and hungry. Great name for the daughter - does she have a brother called Jimson? Deadly writing.

  27. Phew! That was a close one.

    Asqui - This was equal parts lovely and heart wrenching.

    Aidan - Great way to capture a child's fears, but what is going on behind that closed door?

    Antonia - Starts off as an event that can happen anywhere on any given day. The end is perfect and creepy.

    Phil - Thank you so much. The Devil's Stag Oh I wish I could have been there. A celebration where all creatures celebrate good and "bad" alike.

    Veronica - The only thing I wonder is if Audra is of the supernatural variety. I think it's worse if she's a regular human. Either way hunting for sport is at an all new level now.

    Lily - What beautiful imagery. I wish I could say more, but I'm afraid I'll sully it.

    Chris - You're story had me laughing so hard. You have a way of making things real.

    scratchypen - Missed you last week, glad to see you here again. Summer Ball is terrific. Will there be more to this tale, because I need to know if she's an assassin for hire or just a poor housewife who's had to much.

    AJ - Congrats to you! I've loved all the stories you've written, they punch in the gut. What's I like out of this week's offer is the unusually happy ending.

    William - Your poems are great. This time it seem to flow almost like a song.

  28. Thanks Lily. Haven't quiet figured out the brother's name yet. Their twins and complete opposites in character. Datura loves the hunt and feed. I didn't think many people would catch the reference.

  29. Stop! It's all over - no more entries, if you darn well please.

    Winner will be announced sooner than you can say...

  30. Lily –

    Such beautiful imagery!
    A delicate sensuousness to the dance… heightening…
    As passions bloom…
    “…we spin in a vortex of our own skin.”
    Consummation… perfection.

    I need a moment…

    Evocative… takes my breath away, Lily… Brava!!


    Chris –

    Excellent dialogue! I love the humor in this… made me laugh!

    I LOVE the last line… “Somewhere, a writer wept.” Perfect!


    Kim –

    Perfect imagery in these words… I wanted to pour the wine down the old bastard’s gullet myself!

    It feels like there is more to this tale? Very well done!


    AJ –

    Oh My! Predator becomes prey… a wonderful twist! One wonders if, in his final moments, the hunter saw the irony?

    I loved this… I am not a hunter, nor an advocate of the “sport?”… this is perfect justice!

    Brava, AJ… Brava!


    William –

    Dark, despairing prose.
    In light of the horrific events of late, this is particularly somber.
    You have captured so well the mentality of the ‘takers’ in our society, and their sociopathic disregard for anything not ‘me’ or ‘I’.


    MuckieDuckie –

    What a wicked little tale!

    I shall be looking a bit more closely at the shadows, next time I go to the park… my ear a little keener to the sounds…

    Delicious writing here… very nicely done!

  31. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments… you all inspire me.

    Antonia… Thank you! A week for twists… they do leave such a delicious after-taste!

    Kim… Thank you! It takes all kinds, doesn’t it?

    AJ… Thank you! I creeped myself out a little with that one!

    Lily… Thank you very much! I love your phrase “twatty toff”… I may have to ‘borrow’ that… haha! Glad I could bring a smile. I too disapprove of hunting… perhaps if the playing field were a bit more level? Ooohh… there’s a dark thought!

    Aidan… Thank you! What a wonderful compliment!

    Chris… Thank you! I read Connell’s short story as a teenager… in one of those anthologies my mother never quite approved of… and thought of it immediately when I saw the word list. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

    MuckieDuckie… Thank you very much! Alas… there is nothing supernatural about Audra… she is as ‘normal’ as any one of us can make claim.

  32. Lily - I too am deeply saddened at the events of late in England. I have met and become friends online with some truly wonderful people in England... my 'dream vacation" is to come to England and meet them all face to face. My friends here and myself do understand that the 'mobs of unruliness and destruction' in no way represent the English peoples... every society has its thugs and malcontents... we do not judge all by the actions of few. Our thoughts and prayers are with the good peoples of England as we keep our friends, both home and abroad, close to our hearts. I made a small banner on my Facebook page... a small effort to express my feelings and concern.


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.