Friday, 16 September 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Nasa has discovered a planet orbiting two suns - Kepler-16b. Beautiful, but I can't help thinking the amount of money poured into exploring space would be better spent on looking after life on this earth. Call me an idealist, I believe that's realism.

I hope everyone has sharpened their brain pencils today. I confess my 2B's a bit of a dud - blunt, split and my eraser's fallen off. But let's see what happens. It is the end of the week after all.

Brava! to Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw for winning last week's Prediction challenge with the 'frightening' Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Well done too to Aidan Fritz and John Xero, runners-up with Haint's Fishing and Audreys; also to MuckieDuckie - thank you for explaining the story behind Echoes of September - afterlife, 9/11 and redeath. So sad..

Words for 16 September 2011

Cue spooky music - a little Saint-Saëns perhaps...

  • Fibre
  • Wretch
  • Sip
Hmmnn, little ones today. What will you make of those?


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 the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 22nd September to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday 22nd or Friday 23rd September. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

And so the weekend begins. Literary juices waiting to flow, I hope...


  1. Morning Tea

    I hated that wretch with every fiber of my very being.

    Every morning. Sip. Slurp. Sip. Slurp.

    She sloshed her tea round the cup then brought in a ritualized motion towards her rotting teeth. Mixing in alchemy with her stinking breath, she never failed to have some dribble down her whiskered chin onto her stained bed-shirt.

    Sip. Slurp. Sip. Surp.

    No jury would ever hang me. One look at her face of whiff of her breath would mean certain acquittal.

    Strychnine would be a perfect complement to her Earl Grey.

    Sip. Slurp. Sip. Slurp. ERRRCHH. Plop.

    It was finally over.

  2. Michael - it's been so long! Such a lovely beauty you evoke here with a curious vocal attack. 'She' is to die for.

    Kind of put me off my Earl Grey, might have to open some Chardonnay instead - ahhh, that's better.

    Here's mine...

    Amour Nocturnale

    I shan’t name the wretch, for it would serve no purpose.

    Her kin know not to come here; what strange curiosity taunted the girl, compelling her to linger at my gates daily until I acceded?

    I had Briskah play fiddle as we dined. After the music stopped I allowed my guest to speak, then offered a warning. She did not resist but opened her mouth in invitation. I sliced her tongue apart with a thin fibre of hemp.


    It is dawn. I gather her last into my cup. With a sob I sip her sweet life away. Is this love?

  3. Lily,

    Love indeed. A fine almost lyrical quality to this naughty tale - what better tribute than to drink her up??

  4. Death's Mistress

    With savage grace she leapt, her slim razor-edged sword whistling through the air. Sound enveloped her, an exquisite blend of piquant screams and tortured steel, and Itanya groaned. Bone snapped and flesh ripped as she spun, her lithe body curving and unfurling in an intricate pattern of motion. Itanya danced with death.

    The wretched swarmed around her, begging for her fatal touch with blades and hands and cries. "Patience, my children," Itanya said and unfurled the barbed whip from her wrist. She grinned, savage and dark, and the onyx fibre lashed outwards to sip at the blood of the fallen.

  5. Zaiure, welcome to The Feardom's weekly Prediction challenge - do come in through the front door.

    Death's Mistress is beautiful, electric prose that teases at darkness with a grasp towards hope for Itanya.

    This is gorgeous, exquisite penning Zaiure. Thank you for joining us this week.

  6. Thank you Lily! I had fun writing it. :)

    Michael, I love the use of sounds to paint a picture of the scene.

    Lily, great opening line. I love the simplicity of the piece and the lyrical tone.

  7. zaiure - a wondrous painting here - exquisite is right..

  8. Ransomed

    The empty hummingbird feeder in the basement's darkest corner, annoyed her. The ancient Chinese checker board with only seven marbles, was even worse. It lay on the table as if it's players had just this minute vanished, and would shortly return to challenge her to a game. Though every fibre of her being screamed escape, She could only sip water and stare at the silly marbles. She knew she looked a wretch. Deciding to draft a list.. she searched for a pen and paper.. If she was to be ransomed she would have a comb... and all of her marbles..

    hmmm.. maybe not dark enough.. I guess I need more practice with that.. I shall practice thie very weekend... I enjoyed eveery single one.. Have a great weekend!

  9. Ooh, Patsy. This reeled with frustration - a desperate need to achieve, to complete the game. Yet in this black and white (?) maze I sensed a panic path - a knowledge that life is every bloody shade of light and dark - and that the protagonist was searching for her own place amongst the myriad of colours.

    She needn't seek - Patsy. She is there already.

  10. Michael - Brilliant imagery of the woman... I can almost hear the slurp... *shudder*

    I'm with Lily... I think I'll switch my chamomile for merlot!

  11. Lily - A soft, haunting violin to accompany the lyrical turning of this delectable little tale... love indeed, 'tis!

    (raising cup...) More, please?

  12. Zaiure - Beautifully done... death seems almost kind... desired.

    That last bit brings this dark, dripping prose home for me..."to sip at the blood of the fallen."

    Left me a bit breathless!

  13. Night Ghūl

    "Come, sip your future."

    Maggie cringed from the hag's gaze, eyes framed by greasy tendrils plastered against cheeks. Some birthday present. She whispered to her roommate, "Isn't a good idea."

    "Shush. She'll hear you."

    "Afraid of your futures you are. Fibres of the past fray to bind your future. Sit, wretch." Splotched hands caressed a cloudy ball where an infant squirmed.

    "My brother? He died." Maggie sat.

    "Warp and weft. Pull this string and instead of SIDS, a ghūl is born to devour the boy. Develops a taste for your flesh, your progeny. You decide."

    Decide what? Maggie wouldn't apologize.

  14. Patsy - Echoes of a past that won't let go... and only the illusion of faculties still intact, to keep the terror away.

    Poignant and chilling... this one really touched me. Not dark enough? Dark enough that I could not comment on it last night and sleep would not come. I must make a note to read you only in the light of day!

  15. Aidan - I absolutely love this! What deliciously dark prose... a very clever twist on The Lady or The Tiger? Quite tasty! Warms my dark little heart!

  16. Lily... once again... as soon as I saw those three words...'zombie!'

    I have tweeted this to #fridayflash and posted to my Blogger page -

    Without further ado...

    By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

    Poor wretch!

    The zombie-like pallor of her husband’s skin appeared to be lessening… the nightmare of the last seven days receding, Cara thought hopefully, murmuring a silent prayer.

    The Kasumi knife sliced through strands of hemp fibre, and the last coil of rope slipped from Reginald’s ankles.

    “Sip slowly, darling.” Holding the water bottle up to his cracked, blood-stained grey lips, she brushed her hand lovingly through his blood-matted hair.


    Lying in bed, her arm draped across his chest, Cara was just drifting off to sleep.

    Her eyes snapped open in pain!

    Reginald’s teeth were gnawing hungrily into her forearm.

  17. I've been remiss getting to this site, but Life has called me and there is a serious clown based horror story gathering itself together to be told... there's nothing as scary as a clown, so I am told.

    Michael, yuk and wow, such intense imagery!
    Lily, once again feeling like part of a much larger picture. Gorgeous last line.
    Zaiure, what a way to join the Predictioneers! Amazing images and storytelling.
    Patsy, it as if this too needs to be part of something longer and fuller, there is so much there waiting to be explored.
    more later, we are having a storm.

  18. Ok, storm passed, we are now in the torrential rain stage. I must must must save up and get the flat roof attended to, it's right over my office... it will last perhaps this winter but no more than that.
    second thought, Lily, we need NASA to explore space. When we wreck this planet, which we will, we have to have some new place to go to start over and do it again...
    Aidan, most of the entries so far feel to me like pieces of longer work or foundations for longer work. This needs exploring, there's a lot there to be explained. If you can.
    Veronica, love this zombie piece!
    Struggling with the words at the moment, need to let the subconscious loose on them whilst I write of clowns. And cemeteries. And tears of blood. Or so the author tells me. He has one nasty twisted mind at times. I love it (and him.)

  19. My effort for this week, in the middle of clowns in cemeteries, no less...

    ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound/that saved a wretch like me...’
    He looked down, unable to join in. Just as he had been unable to sip from the communion cup. Just as he had been unable to mouth ‘amen’ to prayers uttered by the disbelieving priest, all sanctimonious smarm and insufferable godliness. It was wrong to hate, but it was all that was left to him, for the moment anyway, until the truth came out.
    That was his task, to expose the murdering disbeliever. Direct them to the fibres, prove the crime.
    The revenant drifted slowly from the church, unseen.

  20. Michael - there's a poetical rhythm to the sip, slurp, sip, slurp, which you interrupt nicely for the desired effect. Great black humour.

    Lily - lovely set up, with an aching last line.

    Zaiure - good to see you here again. =) You've created a whirling, pirouetting goddess of death, and woe betide any who choose to join her dance.

    Patsy - it never does to lose one's marbles, but being unpresentable, at the moment of one's freedom, is unthinkable! ;) Captures the mind of the solitary hostage quite well, I think. =)

    Aidan - A dark twist on a classic fortune-teller horror, painful, too.

    Veronica - Us humans have to hope, don't we? Leads us some very foolish places.

    Antonia - Great set up, whetting my appetite for more. A ghost with a purpose, a ghost story told from the other side.

  21. The first story I wrote, Vampire, had no place for the word 'fibre'... so I wrote this, in which I took some liberties with the available words... ;)


    Billy pushed himself as deeply into the narrow crevice as he could. The beast couldn't get him here, but it waited, just outside.

    Fibrous ropes of drool hung from its jaws, sliding from its yellowing teeth. A cloud of damp breath rolled over him and he gagged at the smell of rotten meat. He felt wretched, and stupid.

    Drink me, the label had said.

    “Just a sip.” Alice had cautioned.

    He should have listened. He should have locked Chester in his kennel, at least.

  22. Aidan, such strangeness to this disturbing tale. Is the hag giving Maggie the opportunity to change history with a pull on that string? Terrifying options.

    Veronica, poor wretch indeed. Did she really believe she could save him? Another zombie bites the wife in this sweet tale of ill-fated love.

    Antonia, ooh - clever. It's not until the end we realise he is not a disgruntled member of the congregation but the spirit of a murder victim come back to avenge his death. Really like this Antonia.

    John, liberties forgiven - in fact, positively encouraged, especially when you deliver something as classy as this. A great story with a wondrous twist; love those "Fibrous ropes of drool."

  23. Hoping that I've conveyed this properly. This would be my worst nightmare.


    Each day is more wretched than the last. Sipping shot after burning shot of whisky dulls the pain but it cannot change the past.

    "Daddy, come play with my cars."

    "In a minute" I shouted from the kitchen as I munched on my Fruit and Fibre.

    "Now Daddy"

    "In a minute Stephen"

    I didn't realise he could open the front door on his own. I didn't realise until I heard the sirens.

  24. Phil - I think you nailed it. That is poignant and heart-wrenching. The loss of a child is never easy, but if it's something you blame yourself for...

  25. Oh Phil - this brought a terrified and keening tear to my eye this morning. How many times have I said "In a minute" and continued with my mundane task. The message in this simple piece is so powerful. Well done - it must have hurt like hell to write.

  26. Michael - Death by onomatopoeia. Perfection.

    Lily - "I sliced her tongue apart with a thin fibre of hemp." You've been letting your wicked darlings out to play again. Beautiful and disturbing as always.

    Zaiure - there's a hint of comic-book action here (which is a good thing!) Love the crackling, electric pace, and the "wretched" who beg for death just takes this to another level.

    Patsy - Never mind "not dark enough" - this is a peek into the mind-games one might play to keep sane in an insane situation. The details are exactly right.

    Aidan - "Maggie wouldn't apologize." Wait - what? This adds so many questions to something that was already rich with atmosphere. It's much more than "damned if you do..." isn't it?

    Veronica - Lesson learned... if it looks like a zombie, and it smells like a zombie... hubby is GONE.

    Antonia - Sounds like the priest has something to do with this - I want to know what's next.

    John - I think he's turned into the Cheshire cat. When he realizes that, it's going to be AWESOME. Loved it.

    Phil - Holy $#!*, I have to go hug my kids now. You're spot on that there is no nightmare greater. This shook me up. Truly.

  27. Shirts, Skins and Violins

    Edward adjusted his collar again. He sneered at Monica.

    "Did I anger you somehow, darling?"

    Monica smiled sweetly, but her eyes glittered with malice.

    "No, love. Why?"

    "This shirt you ordered for me. Synthetic fibres. Really?"

    They strolled into the alley, hand in hand.

    "Not at all," said Monica. "You'd soiled the other, and we were running late..."

    Edward scratched again. "Maddening," he muttered.

    The stage door opened and musicians started filing out. Lagging behind came the silly, wretched, second chair violinist.

    Edward sipped at her scent in the air, and readied his blade. Soon they'd be playing real music.

  28. Phil, devastating stuff there, grabs the throat and doesn't let go. Brilliant.

    Chris, wow, lots going on here! More please!

  29. Chris, that has to be one of the best titles doing the rounds. A lovely indulgence - petty bickering before swooping in with the knife. Yum. Loved your use of 'soiled'.

  30. This is War.

    The full August moon shone down on his body. Like the others he was beautiful, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans, and quite dead. Twin puncture wounds just above his left nipple still wept a garnet trail along his ribs. She reached into his pocket and found the note and bit of fibre. Wolfsbane, tightly woven with fur. His fur.

    “Poor wretch. Your kind are so pretty. Hateful to take only one a month 'til the Blood Moon. But we must follow conventions, Carmen. Soon enough we will sip from all of you and the loup garou will end.”

  31. Just Another Echo

    The wretch in her eyes shrank behind the shadows that swallowed her sullen flesh.

    Shapes oozed into focus before vanishing into a dull blur, leaving her squinting.

    Sounds...slipping in and out of her velvet-tinted haze with a slow coiling resonance, like a soft burr, an aching hum.

    Muscle fibres tautened around her torso, rippled around her ribs. Vomit spilled down crumpled, soiled clothes but she barely noticed.

    She looked up from her stooped position; people drifted by, unaware of her pain.

    She was just another echo through the cold damp streets.

    No matter. She lifted the bottle, took another sip.

  32. Some brief comments and then beddy-byes!

    Michael - I always enjoy the horror of the everyday and this is a great example. The tea dribbling down the whiskery chin paints is a neat phrase delivering lots of background.

    Lily - did the wretch knowingly come to her death for her infatuation? A tragic end to a no doubt tragic life. I want to know more about the killer mind you ....

    Zaiure - Death's Mistress seems a colourful lady. Has she come to collect plague victims for her master's halls? Well told.

    Patsy - The first signs of insanity creeping in to the mind of this captured heiress. Power play as she makes list for her captors - a strong story here.

    Aidan - What happens to Maggie now? Tell me!!!

    Veronica - I just chuckled reading that last line (my warped mind!). A loving, tender moment shattered by her husband's 'urges'! Very nicely played out.

    Antonia - a ghost with a mission to bring their killer to justice. I agree with Chris; my money is on the priest! Do expand this for us.

    John - I enjoyed this. Size is important and no more so when confronted by man's best friend!

    Chris - such sophisticated menace you bring to the table. I can picture Edward and Monica so clearly; just hope they can't see me! Excellent piece.

    Ravenways - a war on werewolves. Didn't see that coming at all. The startings of a novel here?

    AJ - alcoholism is a terrible thing but even more so when on the streets. You always manage to highlight with your writing what so many people ignore.

  33. Michael: what great sounds and this is superb at getting across his view of her.

    Lily: the questions she leave linger, I believe the woman who opened her mouth in invitation portrays love, but isn't love about more than consuming, but being consumed?

    Zaiure: love the action and the way this is evoked. I'm whisked away in this deadly beauty and want to join Itanya's dance.

    Pblacksaw: the everyday often holds more terror for me and in here I love the sense of madness underlying everything here.

    Veronica: some of the sweet horror of zombies is the warping of someone loved into something horrorful, nicely captured here.

    Antonia: ghostly shivers here at the ties that bind after death. Like the double-meaning of drifting from the church.

    John: stomach-turning with the ropes of drool; this casts a horrendous image for me, crowning this wonderland tale.

    Phil: the twist on this is chilling. I agree on worst nightmare.

    Chris: And he'll get a replacement shirt? These are some intriguing characters. Love the inventiveness in this world and the events.

    Ravenways: beautiful urban fantasy here; the voice is a pleasure.

    AJ: such beauty in the cast of this woman's addictive prison; I love the images and way you've evoked this.

    Responding to comments, yes, I think I squeezed too much into this week's prediction that leaves a little unsaid. Worlds come to my beck and that is what I choose to write. Mayhaps this one will get a longer engagement.

  34. Ravenways, "wept a garnet trail" is simply gorgeous. I want to know who the others are and the whole history behind the loup garou. Charmingly dangerous.

    AJ, once I realised this was about a street drinker I went back and read it again; this is a raw tragedy beautifully written with such understanding. "She was just another echo through the cold damp streets" is heartbreaking.

  35. So it's a goodnight from me, and a goodnight from you - as far as entries are concerned.

    I'm now in judging mode and will post the summary in a while.

    Toodle pip.

  36. Antonia - Chilling little ghost story... beautiful prose...

    " was wrong to hate, but it was all that was left him..."

    Spectral vengeance... left a chill down my spine!

  37. John Xero - The darker (as if it isn't dark enough!) side of Alice and Wonderland... what a clever twist!!

    I LOVE this! Wonderful imagery... "fibrous ropes of drool.." "a cloud of damp breath..." "...gagging..."


  38. Phil - I still can't...

    This is unbearably sad... how did you ever...

    Parents are not supposed to outlive their children... it's just too heartbreaking to contemplate...

  39. Chris A - I love how you fed this out... a tantalizing morsel... and then another... and another... yet more... and then...

    ... that last line... DAMN!... the trap sprung!

    I jumped in my chair... Girl Scout's honor! Oh, be still, my racing heart!

  40. ravenways - This feels like prologue to something bigger... dark, rich and delicious... please do write more... this is quite breathtaking -

    "... wept a garnet trail..." WOW!

    Smashing read... just brilliant!

  41. A J - Wow... sends the senses reeling...

    "...a soft burr, an aching hum..."

    Dark, brutal, unforgiving... and unbearably sad...

    "She was just another echo through the cold, damp streets."

    Startling imagery... a prison in a bottle..

    Brava, AJ... Brava!!

  42. What a delightful assortment this week! I certainly do not envy Lily the task of choosing each week!

    A special thank you to Antonia, John, Lily, Chris, Phil, and Aidan... your comments inspire and encourage me... always!

    Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement of all the 'denizens' of Lily's Friday Prediction challenges... such an inspiring community of souls!

  43. Thank you, Phil... glad you got a little chuckle... if I'd had another ten, even just five words... haha!

    I do love the discipline though, of that tight 100 word limit!


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.