Let's hope for some Blogging good behaviour today that will allow me to publish this very post...
My summary and comments herewith:
- Me, Watching Demelza. When those first two lines "She’s there. Under the oak." formed I had no idea who she would be. I still don't know where she came from but she was surely evil in priests' clothing.
- William, a cold and matter of fact message to this - don't mess with Malcolm. Steak Diane is one of those 1970's dishes where your starter would have been prawn cocktail or a very tiny glass of fruit juice. The other main course option - Chicken Kiev, and for pud Black Forest Gateaux or Banana Split. There is a warped nostalgia to Malc's Revenge that you've succinctly captured and delivered on a plate.
- Pixie, welcome back! Butterflies and Wolves is like opening a window onto carnage; a guilty peep at a scene that has been brewing for some time and I have arrived only for the final act. And that's why this works so well. I particularly love the concept of "vandalised my heart" which feels as physical as it does emotional.
- Chris, straight in with a hangover. Fizzing orange juice - I bloody hate that. Usually it's the final mouthful that sends your throat into spasms before lurching down into your body to deliver a wicked case of heartburn. Or is that just me? Hmmmnn... I'm liking Sam Collins, P.I.B. (Paranormal-Investigator-Bastard). What else does he have up his Californian sleeve - please?
- Erin, The Palm Tree is such an astounding vision of lumbering Gods silenced into solid palm trees, their limbs fodder for the creatures below. Gargle as a character is packed with intrigue - I see him as a stubby, semi-naked cave-trog with a shock of thick hair and muscles of rock. "Gargle stepped up on a knuckle, tugged a pear-shaped wish from the thumb of the palm..." - that's beautiful.
- Antonia, so many questions thrown up by the voluble Connoisseur in his self-debate on how to imbibe blood. I can imagine Frasier Crane narrating this; "The bitterness is not to be tolerated" especially. That the character then asks his audience why else would he want to drink blood makes me laugh - turning his argument around to reflect away any judgement on him for his actions/habit.
- Phil, two year old - it doesn't change much by the time they're seven mate. :-) I loved Tag's Gargle/Gargoyle play on words and didn't see it coming at all. Even within the joke you've painted an horrific picture - two graffitiists at labour to complete their art; Chad's lifeforce blending with his masterpiece and a snarling protector in stone. That Hotel California - such a lovely place.
- AJ - please just excuse me whilst I phone to postpone this week's dentist appointment. Ahum. That's better. I reread Drill Bit once I knew for sure what it was about and felt even more horrified in that knowledge. You have described every bloody bubble, each stab of pain and all the mental scars with such alarming clarity that I feel sick to my stomach. Job done!
- Jenny, simply marvellous to hear from you again. Ooh, this untitled vignette of Vandal the Perfect is such a tease. I really do want to know what will happen to his parents and how he'll worm his way out of it. Then there'll be school, clubs, college, career, marriage - a lifetime of torture to play with. Very nasty.
- Aidan, Gaia Society Ball sees authorities spouting proclamations with hidden context on the state of the world. "...her hair burned while vandals humiliated her. She grows too fond of her inequalities." is chilling - very close to the knuckle. It leaves me feeling disturbed. Thought-provoking, this could be a comic strip in Private Eye.
- Kim, I had a good giggle at the double standards in Night Shift; maybe it's even triple standards, as I'm not convinced the coppers are just looking to id the corpse - maybe they consider a little reward is in order? I have to say, your opening line was a visual/aural delight.
- Veronica (do we call you Veronica or Veronica Marie, honey?) You really have got the zombie genre nailed. The horror of these deconstructed 'creatures' is chilling enough but your well-chosen words in Dinner Time "...hands cradling a boy’s crushed head… blood dripping from her chin… down the front of her I ♥ California t-shirt. She hissed…" made my skin crawl - especially the hiss. Uuuuurgh. Splendid!
- ttofee - I have tasted so many wines that taste like piss I can quite imagine someone being fooled (please save me from Pinot Grigio or grape left 'sur lie' for too long). I really enjoyed this suburban retaliation - nothing too menacing despite the distress the evening's victim had put your protag through, but a highly satisfying conclusion nonetheless to Taste of Revenge.
The winner - because I still feel as though I'm staring, shocked and uninvited through that window, is Pixie with Butterflies and Wolves. You've left something lingering for me here Pix... Congratulations!
Joint runners-up are Erin Cole's strange and beautiful world of The Palm Tree and Jenny Dreadful's macabre good boy/bad boy thriller. Well done both.
Tomorrow I'll post the new words and (I'll explain why in the morning) you'll have a whole two weeks to play with them.