Thursday, 8 September 2011

Prediction Winner

The word Pharaoh created a genuine challenge, I feel, in this last Prediction so it was fascinating to read the variations on what could have been an obvious theme.

Let's have a good look at the entries now...
  • Rebecca, when the executioner takes his own life in your story we are riddled with sadness; we know he was only doing his job. The Arsonist is an emotional acceptance of this man's tragic role. 
  • Aidan, I read Time Traveler's Fair several times - for pure enjoyment, and in a variety of accents. You paint a slimy picture of this stall holder trying his disgusting best to lure the lady. Clearly this is more than a game. Your final paragraph is mind-blowing.
  • Antonia, your Cleaner's Blues is so matter of fact in the midst of murder and fake ancient artefacts. Pharaoh's sounds like a classy joint - or not. In fact I might have been there - down Portsmouth way, isn't it? 
  • AJ, I could hear deepest, darkest voicest from a Hollywood choir building up to a Carmina Burana climax as I read The Colossi of Memnon. 'An infant hue' is a beautiful description. This is a mightily powerful vision.
  • John, an eternal threat pierces this myth. Is the narrator a fallen angel, the personification of evil trickling through the blood of our 'hero' and his dominion? Aeon is masterful.
    Then, oh, oh, oh! Souvenirs - pure horror. Scuttling insects, falling from Hamilton's choking mouth; vomit and chaos churning in his gut. The plunge into insanity really kicks in and when he grabs the letter opener... fabulous!
  • Ravenways, your title alone, Dreaming the Blood is divine. When she smiled, I licked my teeth. I love the feral mix, the hint of shape-shifting and the bestial suggestion of love, for true lovers they are.
  • Phil, I for one, love your London (in fiction), crawling as it does with reprobates, psychopaths and cultists. I have written about them myself on several occasions, hell - I suspect my Carlotta Borgia and Rameses XIII have even shared delectations down below the dirty streets. This could be a fantastic graphic story/novel/series.
  • Reba, a mystical history in this Hall of Truth. Interesting how fortunes turn and turn about. I feel this could exist on the map of Phil's dark London - a Victorian world of revenge.
  • Pblacksaw - a mystery to your name. ;) The Plague of arrogance, 'yes' men, no 'no' men - power is a dangerous thing. The people are as lambs to the slaughter when a spoilt dictator needs satisfying.
  • Veronica, your Retribution spills in fits and starts, in and out of consciousness, breath failing before the heart re-beats. This man was dead the moment he chose to steal from Pharaoh.
  • Chris puts Milton and Blackwood onto yet another terrifying and bizarre case in A Classical Killer. The Pharaoh serial killer is a serious contender for "novel cyring out to be written." Who better than Monsieur Allinotte?
  • William, the adulation of a daughter for her father is unique, making the father's fear all the more profound. You've captured that so perfectly in False Idol. There is no indulgence to forgive, my friend.
  • Me, I slipped in a late one with Deliverance. I wondered how it would be when those Pharaohs discovered there was no afterlife but immortal death instead. Couldn't bear it so had to invent some personal magic.

I loved these. There certainly was a Victorian Holmes feel drifting through; lots of dusty chasms and vaults, scenes of warped entertainment and a deathly sub-element pervading your words.

Excuse me. I am going to swear. It was BLOODY HARD to make a decision this week. There. I've said it. And I think we have another new situation here - John Xero is this week's winner because I totally loved both Aeon and Souvenirs; different genres, different feel to each, but equally stunning. Huge congratulations John.

Runner-up is Ravenways with Dreaming the Blood. I was at an imaginary warm fire with Kate Bush at piano as I observed this feral love affair. Well done.

Thank you, everyone, for your wordly perfection. They read like wine and chocolate all at once.

So much to dream about now. I wonder what words will appear tomorrow.


  1. Thank you, Lily. And congrats to Ravenways too. =)

    I will never envy you this task, Lily, because there are so many excellent and different pieces every week. I honestly don't enter to win, it's just great fun, to write and to read, but I am truly flattered that you picked mine. =)

    Bring on the next prediction! =D

  2. Congratulations, John Xero and Ravenways... great little 'slices' of horror!

    I'll be back later to read and comment on everyone... can't do it know... it's still light out! ;-)

  3. Gratz to John and Ravenways - great stories!

    (And thanks for the comment Lily - Milton & Blackwood seem to have a hard time staying quiet in my head - there may be a long tale for them yet.)

  4. John and Ravenways, such worthy winners! Outstanding pieces among some outstanding pieces. What would we do without this amazing challenge? I have to say two weeks was too long to wait ...

  5. Congratulations, John! Much deserved. And kudos to my girl Ravenways for pulling out all the stops this week. Well done.

  6. Congratulations John! Fabulous words! And thanks to Lily. It feels really good to be back!

  7. As promised... a few words on last week's dark little gems!

    R.S. Bohn – Horrific tale of justice and atonement. I love that last line…

    “He wondered if his screams would reach the pyramid, or like smoke, disappear into the sky.”

    I love how you leave it to the reader to wonder… was the self-immolation at the Pharaoh’s command or of the Arsonist’s own volition?

    Nicely done!


    Aidan – A great take on the fairground carny’s spiel. One wonders what other delights might await one here?

    Feels like more?

    Well done!


    Antonia – What a delightfully twisted sense of the macabre you have, dear!

    I genuinely feel sorry for that poor cleaning woman… I mean, after all… they are paid a bare pittance for their work… this little mess commands a higher price, methinks!

    Would you think bad of me for clapping my hands in glee after reading this… and then going back for seconds?

    Very nicely done! Love the humor!


    A.J. – “… an infant hue just below the horizon.” “Prayers coaxed the sun…”

    I love the imagery here… you have such a manner with words… it’s a little breathtaking!

    Smashing read!


    John Xero – The ‘casualness’ of this is a little chilling… told almost matter-of-factly, the birth of a myth?

    I love you ‘throw off’ good and evil as an ‘irrelevant concept’.

    Very well written… thank you!


    Ravenways – Beautiful, almost magical imagery… you have a marvelously dark way with words.

    I love the sense… as if on the edge of a moment… time suspended… and then… the hunt!

    Excellent read! Thank you!


    Phil – Feels a bit ‘Jack-the-Ripper’-ish…

    I love the twist you give and this ‘world’ you have created… very imaginative.

    Nicely done, indeed!


    RR Kovar – A delicious little bit of vengeance… left a nice taste.

    Thank you very much!


    Pblacksaw – I love the narrative style…

    Young Pharaoh would be wise to sleep with one eye open, methinks… lest he feel the dagger’s kiss in the middle of the night.

    Nicely done!


    Chris A – What a delightfully delicious bit of dialogue! A tiny bite of a much bigger story?

    Takes my breath… I love the feel of this… a blending of two eras.

    Very well done! Thank you for sharing this!


    William D – This absolutely sings!
    Very stirring… this touched my heart dearly. I love the symmetry… the pacing is pitch perfect… and yes, those are tears in my eyes as I read this yet again.

    As a young girl, I idolized my father… as I grew older, the realization that he was mortal, only made me love him more.

    A false idol? No… just a child’s perfect love!


    Lily – I love your finely hone prose…

    “Eternity has captured my soul.”… Exquisite!

    It appears that new life has found Pharaoh… I wonder though now… what magic will Priestess conjure to escape these chambers?

    “Brava” seems a bit small… Brilliantly done, Lily!


    John Xero – A second slice of ‘dark”? How delightful!

    How utterly horrific… to be conscious as your body is devoured from within… truly a living cancer!

    As if I did not cringe enough at the sight of those horrid little beetles one often encounters in the great Northwest… this little tale may put me off camping for good!


  8. Antonia - Congratulations! Such marvelous news! Wishing you continued success in all your endeavours!

  9. Thank you to all who read and commented on my small sacrifice...

    Chris... yes, that was a bit devilish... you all have been a 'bad' influence on this once 'wholesome' girl! Haha! Scarabs? Indeed... can't leave all those internal organs to just rot away and spoil a perfectly good mummy, can one?

    Phil... Thank you for your most kind words. The story I had in mind needed something a bit different... I've done this style before on larger stories... it seemed to work well. Thank you.

    Lily - Thank you very much, dear! I started the story paragraphically, but it wasn't working... smaller bites seemed to be better suited to the story I wanted to tell. Thank you for the wonderful compliment!

    John - Thank you, kind sir! I was quite pleased with the result here.

    R.S - Thank you very much! Sorry about the itch! :)

  10. I want to take a moment and thank everybody who posts on Lily's Friday Prediction... not just those who have commented on my stories - I do appreciate your comments immensely! Thank you!

    Your comments are a great encouragement to me... your stories inspire me and help me find my own 'voice' in this (for me) new genre.

    Just in the few stories that I have written for the Friday Prediction, I see the changes in my writing that your stories have inspired.

    For me, it has been a bit like a creative writing class... I have learned, and continue to learn, so much!

    Lily... you have gathered some amazingly talented writers here... I feel very privileged to participate with them.

    Thank you one and all!

  11. Veronica,
    thanks for the good words on my entry. I love doing off beat horror, that one translated into a full length story which is even weirder than that. Today's offering is off beat too, I seem to have some people around me (spirits) who delight in the strangeness of the genre. My last entry for Daily Frights 2012 has been accepted and shortlisted and that is very strange indeed. Gory in the extreme. Then I find something like this emerging.
    It's good to share our work in this way. I know my horror has become sharper and more targeted since writing 100 word stories, really makes you think about every word that goes down. Like finding you've overwritten by 10 and you have to go back and prune and trim and ruthlessly hack to get them out without losing the sense of it. Amazing challenge.

  12. Well done John and to Ravenways. Thank you for the comments Veronica.

    Hopefully for this week's challenge I will be able to devote some time to giving feedback - there's been waaaay too much going on just lately and things seem to be settling down. Fingers are at the 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.