Friday, 30 September 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

We're having a late heatwave in the south of England, which is why I'll be wearing a long-sleeved heavy winter dress and spending my entire day in a hotel in Brighton tomorrow - they're going to have to change my name badge to Mrs Shiny Pinkface at FantasyCon.

As usual it's been a lunatic week of multi-tasking (for I am woman) but I've got a good deal of writing done. I am also doing the final work on my collection of dark verse, which will be published next week on Amazon. It's called Courting Demons. More on that soon.

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Although I didn't get the chance to write a summary of your entries I did comment on all of them, so do hope that will suffice.

The winner is Chris Allinotte with his looking glass slant on Alice, with Eat Me, and that literary line "Piss off, you cranky old twat. You're killing my buzz." Congratulations Chris!

And runner-up is newcomer Dee who (I confess it was personal) whisked me back to the Crete of this and other lives with her dark, untitled revelation. Well done Dee.

Words for 30 September 2011

Will this week's words be any easier? They were tough last week, weren't they. Let's see:

  • Suspend
  • Vintage
  • Split


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 6th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday 6th or Friday 7th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Are the words hanging off your fingers, tickling your synapses? Then you know what to do...



  1. many congratulations, Chris! I thought that was a stunning entry!
    And well done Dee!!!!! great stuff!!

  2. Congratulations, Chris and Dee... wonderfully delicious stories! Dee... hope to see much more of you... I never cared much for mythology in school, but you bring a wonder to it I eagerly devoured!

    Lily... I can so commiserate with you! I found myself in an unexpected heatwave in Denver a couple of years ago... stuck in meetings all day... dressed for cool autumn days... the building's air conditioning apparently deciding it was due a vacation!

  3. This might not seem like horror, but if you're on the receiving end...


    Harvey plays with her beneath a fluff of russet chrysanthemums, a vintage design splayed across the white cotton dress.

    “Ooh ‘arv. You ain’t ‘arf got the touch”

    Despite his attentions she slaps his hands away from the stocking-tugging suspenders at her thighs.

    “Aw, c’mon babe. You got me goin’.”

    “No,” she means it. “What if the thing - you know... What if it splits?”

    Harvey takes her in his arms, kisses her – a tender, experienced embrace.

    “Look,” he says. “I love you. If you loved me...”

    She bites her lip, wanting – scared.

    “OK, but don’t...”

    He does.

    He’s long gone.

  4. Congratulations Chris & Dee!

    Quadringentis Annis Sancti Martini

    Flames split the asphalt. Lori knew you stayed inside. But this? A step too far.

    She wore vintage tie-dye, not because she understood hippies' proclamations of love and war, but because it felt right. And when the flames burned their warren, cotton didn't burn like the synthetics.

    A coffin floated through apocalyptic streets. Martin of Tours balanced like a kayaker. “No one believes in me.”

    Lori waved a singed arm “Can't one earn belief. Why this?”

    “One's ghost should walk more than once per year.”

    “What about us?”

    “Too late.” His eyes transfixed her, suspending her volition, smothering her life.

  5. Congrats Chris and Dee.

    The Cask

    He lured me with the promise of a rare vintage, and I followed with great jollity through the dank catacombs, kept warm by wine consumed and the thought of more to come. Just a little further, he said. This way.

    He left me suspended by chains, surrounded by brick and mortar and the sound of my own madness. How I laughed as he stacked the brick, laughed as the last light disappeared. Laughed until I thought my sides would split. Surely it is a trick.

    I listen for his returning footsteps. My arms ache. The air grows thin.

  6. Lily, dark piece indeed!
    Aidan, this piece almost drifts through the mind but carries a punch that is hard enough to shock!
    Laurita, loved this. Someone sent me a story for one of my anthologies for Static Movement which featured someone being bricked up like that, horrific imagery.
    My idea has yet to formulate itself properly, so until then ,,,

  7. Nailed it. From the moment I read the words I knew it was a vintage car in my sights ... but how and where and what has only just come together. Now, she says with a sigh of relief, I can return to the current project, planning a non fiction book on spiritual work. First then fun task, then the hard work, as it were.
    Right, here goes ...

    The vintage car turned on its chain, suspended from the crane. The open doors revealed split leather seats, battered wooden dash, evidence of neglect. Such a shame, a beautiful vehicle doomed to be nothing more than a cube of scrap metal. It once took part in the London to Brighton race and came away with certificates and awards. It was about to die.
    I watched, feeling the way I had when taking a beloved animal to be put to sleep.
    I watched the crusher bury the car – and the body in it – and turned away to go home.

  8. Lily: wow, there is so much squeezed in here between the lines, but it feels so strongly obvious that it lends power to this piece. I liked the very vivid opening.

    Laurita: loss of oxygen is such a primal fear. The laughing brings out a sense of Poe for me.

    Antonia: lovely way to hide bodies. The calm understated way the narrator cares for the car and the body is an afterthought says volumes.

  9. Lily - and how may times does this scene play out, every week? All the darker for its reality, understated and powerful.

    Aidan - vivid and strange.

    Laurita - there's always a great sense of madness evoked by laughter in the darkness.

    Antonia - I agree with Aidan; the obvious affection for the car and barely an afterthought for the body is chilling.

  10. I tried writing something a little more horror, but it's not really working. I'll see if I can fix it before the deadline. In the meantime someone else has been clamouring for a little attention...

    The Return of a Classic

    Tomorrow would be her last day on Earth. It had been epic. Now she found herself suspended above a large tank of water, thick rope about her ankles, sharks circling below.

    Audrey Deluxe grinned despite the blood rushing to her head, this was vintage. Only Audrey Nefarious would come up with something as classic as this.

    And this was only the beginning; Audrey Deluxe had years to travel back before she reached the split in the timeline, the Alternate Audrey Anomaly.

    Just as she worked her hands free the first shark came at her.

  11. I suppose I should put in some kind of appearance...I'll see if I can come up with anything by tonight.

    Don't expect it to be perfect though...That's if I can write anything...

  12. Aidan, so wistful and unnerving; Martin is destroying pagan shrines and temples again - poor Lori hadn't a hope. Tragedy repeating itself in this beautifully haunting write.

    Laurita! It's been so long! Great to see you here on The Feardom. It's a little quiet this week - usually means we're brewing up a storm. The Cask is a fabulously chilling piece, one feels tipsier with every step as we join your narrator in the catacombs. I love how her fate is left unsaid.

    Antonia, I have seen the London to Brighton race so many times this brought an ache of nostalgia to my heart. I was quite distracted by the perfectly-described death of the vehicle that the mention of the body gave me a jolt. Great penning.

    John, The Audreys are back! Ooh I'm loving her/them - they've got so much personality you're going to have to bind them to your fingers lest they escape - such damage they could do. Make it big!!

    Pixie - yes, do enter if you get the time; it's been a while - we miss you! :-)

  13. On the Hook

    In the back store room of "Vintage Clothes & More!", Thom was swaying, lost in thought.

    He was suspended three feet off the floor by anchored leather straps that clipped to eight heavy rings pierced through his back muscles. His expression was serene.

    A quavering, cracked voice split the silence. "You look just like a fish up there."

    Thom's eyes flew open. "What do you want?" He asked. "How did you get in here?"

    "You're behind on your protection money."

    "I don't pay protection money."

    "We know," said the man, removing a fillet knife from his coat pocket.

    "You will."

  14. Lily Ooh - that bastard. I want him to meet up with some of the nastier creatures that have come to call around these parts - maybe your flesh-eating tree-goblin? Seriously well done with the dialogue, and the spare yet powerful prose.

    Aidan This is a hell of a ghost story. You're hinting at a wonderful, deep mythology that I think you could play with in all sorts of ways. Great sinister twist at the end.

    Laurita Love, love, love this. I've always sort of wondered what Montressor made of the whole thing. Now I know. Brr.

    Antonia Great details with the car - you make us feel her regret, ahead of the dark secret that comes out in the end!

    John This is oozing atmosphere - I can smell the magnesium floorlights, and hear the murmur of the crowd. The sci-fi twist is just icing. Great tale!

  15. Useless and late, as usual.

    My Collection

    I’d split with her weeks ago but the phone calls persisted.

    “We need to talk.”

    “I love you.”

    “I’ve bought you that vintage bottle of whisky.”

    Now, that made me stand up and listen.

    “Yes, maybe we could talk. Bring the whisky and maybe we could talk over a glass or two.”

    Stupid bitch.

    The whisky is now in my ever growing collection.


    Well, she’s in a state of suspended animation. She’s in the deep freeze…with the others.


  16. Chris, this is sublime! I just love how Thom hangs there happily in deviant pleasure, musing on nothing in particular. The racketeer with his fillet knife turned the story into pure horror. Gorgeous.

    David, it says everything about your MC that the whisky meant more than the woman. Makes me wonder how close the poor girl was to getting snuffed before they split; too late now. Ho hum.

  17. David Guess he doesn't have to go out for a cold one, then? The whisky collection adds a certain extra something to this baddie - makes him more real. Nicely done.

  18. Because You're Worthless.

    She picked at her vintage skin. “You’ve been suspended too long.” She unhooked the chains and let The Pig fall amongst the leaves of flesh covering the basement floor. “I need young meat. I’m old again.”

    Thick saliva drooled from his snout onto his Armani suit. He remembered the piglets. He wasn’t part human then, just swine. He grunted.

    Minutes later the air reeked of rotten pork. A mouth chewed congealing organs from the split body like a stinking fajita. His thin eyes brightened. He liked being a pig again and she didn’t taste too bad for an old woman.

  19. Okay, here's something. I don't like it (Can't stand it actually) and it's probably littered with mistakes, but here is something regardless.

    IN A BOX

    There, in a smoky room, lie something precious; vintage and pristine. A woman...

    Dressed head to toe in gorgeous red silk, poised like a ballerina, she never moved; only by invisible wires.

    Her soul was split, her heart crying crimson tears of shame. Her hand held a single white rose, tainted with blood and lies.

    Her eyes were destroyed, coated with tiny pins. She had seen too much and knew too little.

    She was his masterpiece; served as a warning to others.

    Her corpse was shown to everyone who had a dime to put in the machine; a little puppeteer.

  20. John: got a love the way Audrey laughs at danger. It takes a special kind of person to love defying death.

    Chris: something tells me Thom's going to be a little more difficult to get protection out of than the average clam. Like this setup, there's a richness to these characters.

    David: like the dual play with collections. You can rarely rekindle love... and too bad she never saw his inner side.

    Anthony: oooh, nice turnaround here. I love the way you used vintage and the shape-shifting of creatures creates a vastly interesting world.

    Pixie: the images you capture here are stellar (ballerina pose, white rose) and I like the emotional tinge the images lead into (blood & lies taint, shame).

  21. Lily- That’s the worst sort of horror, the real life possibility of terror inflicted by other humans.

    Aidan- Lore about the laws of the uncanny. I found this haunting then spikey at the end, like a bone concealed in a marshmallow that chokes.

    Laurita- Poe retold through the eyes of the victim. A graceful feel to it that adds levity to her horrific fate that waits at the end of the darkened tunnels.

    Antonia- The displaced empathy for mechanics and a mechanical dispassion for the living. This sort of coldness scares me in a story and really chilled here.

    John- Great slice of sci-fi thriller. I really like the premise of this one a lot.

    Chris- From the kinky to the kill. This story is more slippery than the oiled leather and tricks us until we forget our safe word then twists us.

    David- So that’s how people build up a cellar, I’ve taken notes. Good job I’m on the wagon…for now. I really liked the way his collection is the vintage scotch and the frozen women. One often collects the dust with the jewels.

  22. Tony, aside from a superb title this is a wonderful horror indulgence. Reeht! Reeht! - I snort and retort in ancient Pig. I just love the visuals of the snout dripping onto an Armani suit and the sensory-fest of scent and taste. I can tell you're in the zone, Mr C.

    Pixie, never doubt. A gothic tale of blooming death, a music box of a coffin. I adored the pins in her eyes - a tragic and well-crafted vision - or lack of, for the poor girl. Pix - this IS beautiful.

  23. Piie- You must have posted as I was posting so I missed you out.

    This tale is part Tales From the Crypt, part Twilight Zone. I really like the line about her eyes being coated in tiny pins, not some pins stuck in but 'coated'. Urgh-shivers.

  24. Anthony "A mouth chewed congealing organs from the split body like a stinking fajita" Nasty, nasty image. This reminded me of the Circe myth, renewing itself. Very cool.

    Pixie No need to be so hard on yourself - this has everything it needs to be a chilling little slice of macabre. What scares me is the folks who line up to put pennies in.

  25. Wrote this yesterday but couldn't post (damned Blogger) I was caught away with work, sitting in a hotel room before the customary group meal and not going to hit the deadline without just dumping straight onto the screen so forgive the quality! So, without further ado, a 10 minute composition, let the talent (?) flow!!!

    The perfect drop

    The way to get a truly great vintage is to work the grapes in the traditional manner.
    Pick the ripest sundrenched fruit and carry it straight from the vine to huge, aged oak vats. Vats soaked with the wines of yesteryear.
    Work the grapes with your feet, carressing the fruit with your soles as the skins split beneath you.

    Then, once the liquid has been left to mature for several weeks, suspend a virgin above the vat during the full moon, naked and glistening in the luminescence and let her blood drain freely.

    The taste is to die for.

  26. Phil, all you say is true. Hours tending the vines until the grapes grow fat, their skins dusty in the sunlight. This reminds me of our years in France when hubby worked the vines in the Spring and Summer then distilled the eau-de-vie to make cognac in the winter. I swear a few virgins went missing every year, but hey.

    Really like the Wicker Man without a Wicker Man feel to this.

  27. It's. All. Over. No more entries please!

    Lots of great comments on here this week and a splendid variety of entries at all shades of darkness.

    Like last week, I'll announce my winner and runner-up in the morning before revealing the new Prediction words. So sleep tight; I will.

  28. Drat, I totally didn't get mine into shape until this morning! Nevertheless, thank you for the runners-up position and all the congratulations, and good luck to everyone for today!


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.