Friday, 7 October 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I'm late, I'm late for a very important... something or other. And that's when Blogger decides to force its new interface on me. Tsk.

So with no more ado, it's over to the winner of last week's Prediction challenge. If it's OK with all the wonderfully talented entrants, I'll change how I do this slightly as it's easier for me to comment over the week then announce a winner at the beginning of the following Friday Prediction. Is that alright, Predictioneers?

Winners of Last Week's Prediction

Because of its lush, bizarro horror my winner is Anthony Cowin's Because You're Worthless. This made me squirm with wicked delight. Congratulations Tony!

Runner-up is Laurita with her classic Poe-like tale The Cask. I can just imagine this on Tales of the Unexpected (me and David Barber were going to campaign for that to be brought back, if I recall - David?) Very well done Laurita.

Words for 07 October 2011

...heaves the fat book onto her lap. Finger at the ready. Pages - flip! Your three words are:

  • Map
  • Engage
  • Taboo


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 13th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 14th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

These words seem to be sending us off an adventure. I wonder what we'll come back with, if at all...


  1. What a fantastic way to start the weekend. Thank you so much Lily I'm really chuffed about this. Congrats to Laurita too. Her story will surely provoke nightmares in the reader.

  2. Lily, you do a great job with this weekly challenge so whatever makes it easier for you is cool by me and probably everyone else! Kudos to you for continually putting up with us all. I've been absent of late due to work, family, writing and the mag but I will try harder.

    Se you a bit later!

  3. congratulations Anthony and Laurita, worthy winners! And Lily, whatever's easiest for you is fine!

  4. Congrats, Anthony. A worthy (and chilling) choice. And thank you, Lily. This prediction of yours brings forth some delicious little bites of fiction. It was fun to take part.

  5. Congratulations Anthony & Laurita!

    Kaua: War

    The players:

    Vetea, islander: lost his hate when Francisco saved his numbfish

    Francisco, Portuguese sailor and doctor

    Aata, numbfish: speaks telepathically

    The scene:

    Francisco wobbles on the koa board, Vetea pushing through the waves, Aata's fin shadowing them. The French ship casts a long shadow.

    "Doesn't your work taboo killing?"

    "Not the French. Never the French."


    "Aata's right. We risk much freeing the Kraken."

    "The only way. You villagers can't engage the man o'war."

    "But they must be people. Individuals."

    "The French are different."

    Dive, here.

    "What, so close? Don't you have it mapped?"

    "Trust Aata."

    Huge. Huge. Flee!

  6. Congratulations Anthony and Laurita! Sorry I missed last week... I might be missing more... big projects coming up! Will try to pop over later and comment.

  7. Congrats Anthony and Laurita.

    Shockingly, one of the first entries - not done that in a while.


    Richard had been engaged on a two year contract. At the time he was THE expert in his field. He'd led the team which mapped the human genome, pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery, seeking to stand toe-to-toe with God.

    In 2017 he achieved the ultimate taboo; he realised immortality. At first it had been wonderous, a glorious gift, but then the bombs fell, scorching the earth and the skies.

    Now Richard lay there in the ash, a withered husk on a withered planet, a God amongst corpses, begging for death and greeted with silence.

  8. Laurita, weird and wonderful!
    Phil, equally weird and wonderful!
    Question, how did you do it? I am finding the words elusive and tantalising, they won't come together in a form that is worth submitting to Predictioneers to be read! If nothing breaks soon, I will go crazy. I even dreamt of writing flash fiction to a set of words the other night...

  9. Congratulations winners! Lovely stuff.
    I seem to be managing only every other week right now, and I hope that's OK.

    In my slumber I map my love of hating them.
    And yet when I awake, I try to engage their souls
    With passion and reason working in tandem.
    They see nothing but their petty fears of what is different.
    And that tastes so sweet to me, now that I am not afraid anymore.
    I sample it gently, almost lovingly,
    The way a fly seems to lap at the flesh of the rotting corpse from which it has hatched.
    It's only waiting now, until I am born again;
    Until I become terror, passion, pleasure, pain...
    An amalgam of ecstasies called Taboo.

  10. Aidan, back with a screenplay I cannot declare I fully understand but which I found fascinating nonetheless. I love Aata's telepathic thoughts; I'm just not sure anyone is listening back in this very clever dialogue scene. I need to see this on stage, Mr Fritz.

    Phil, this is exactly why one should never wish for immortality. And to aspire to being a God? It just makes matters worse! Despite my facetiousness here I'm stunned how you've given us so very much in so few words - generations and incarnations, life and death for everyone but your suffering MC. Surely he's not the only one left? This, could be a bloody good film.

    ravenways, is this a woman that complies and bows in humility in humdrum daily life, never fitting in, wanting acceptance - but not from those that deny her? Is this a woman that knows herself only in the dark of night where she needn't live up to others' expectations, where she can be the she that she deserves to be? Beautiful; I am awe-swept.

  11. Ravenways, beautiful stuff, very deep.

    I had a problem with this week's words, for one very silly reason: I sell Hustler's Taboo magazines and had a hell of a job writing something that didn't include a man reading the damn things... but blood will out in the end, here's my offering:

    Cookery Lesson (Part One)

    Food lovers know how important it is that meat be both fresh and properly prepared. Exsanguination is best; it leaves little room for contamination. Veins are the network of the body, find the right junction, as with a map, slice through and allow the blood to drain. Be aware of the problem of becoming engaged with watching the blood flow. It doesn’t help to become involved, it may make you impatient. Meat needs to settle, to cool, before you can take the choicest cuts for your enjoyment.
    Long pig is the last taboo, but hey, it’s meat and it’s free.

  12. Thank you, Antonia! I'm glad you like it.
    Your battle with this weeks words has been well worth it, I think. This is wonderful!

  13. Three In This Marriage

    Hey, baby! I been cookin’ for your ass all day. Huh? What you sayin’ to me now – you don’t want Lady Taboo’s crystal bliss? Nah, you’re playing with me – you got engaged? Con-grat-ulations honey-chile! Come on – I’m sure your fancy fiancée won’t mind you dippin’ your fingers in my pot of paradise. Why don’t you send her my way, see if I can’t join you lovebirds in holy crystal methtrimony. She don’t know you’re here? So what. She don’t need no map – here, there you go baby – take it in deep. Hmmmn. She just gotta sniff, boy – she’ll come runnin’.

  14. like it, Lily, authentic dialogue with vicious undertones! A break after editing and formatting all evening to get an anthology into shape ... at last it's done but - well pleased I posted my entry before I began the work, now brain dead...

  15. Congrats Anthony and Laurita

    No rest for the Wicked

    The varicose veins on the old woman’s upper thigh looked like a road map leading to a destination long since forgotten. Looking out from the spirit world into the rest home lounge, she was the only one to acknowledge his presence; her consciousness longed to engage with him. As he broke the last taboo and took her over, she threw back her head with a toothless cackle. Her spirit leading him on, as together they lay waste to the surprised staff and residents. The police sirens wailed closer, as she squatted amid the carnage “Your next” he whispered from within.

  16. Congratulations to Anthony and Laurita! And apologies for being away from you lovely, twisted people for so long. Stupid job.

    William and I seem to be on the same page, but I shall post this anyway:


    Her skin is a map of her life, sagging flesh making canyons of her youth, the taboo ink like a faded compass pointing to dissolution, desiccation, the desecration of the dreams they had for her.

    File said she'd fled her engagement party years ago, not seen since. Must have recognized a bad match, or maybe she needed a fix and couldn't find her way back. No returning now.

    Her hair is still yellow, but so are her teeth and skin. The heart-shaped lines on her chest ooze red. In the center, a diamond ring sits, undisturbed. Not too subtle, that.

  17. Antonia, "Be aware of the problem of becoming engaged with watching the blood flow" made me chuckle, especially on the second read. I'm dying to know what the second part of the lesson instructs us to do.

    William, you can't see my grin William, but I can see the carnage in the rest home and it's bloody manic in there. This is a brilliant scenario, perfectly captured. This pair could go far (if they live that long). Really enjoyed it.

    Reba, I almost hear the crackle of her skin, "Her hair is still yellow, but so are her teeth and skin..." - simply put but evokes such a clear image. There is poetry and mystery here; I want to know... why?

  18. My first Friday Prediction!

    Rhettick – The Map Of Mists

    I can’t even glance at the Map Of Mists without getting that shiver.

    Reading it outright feels like drinking a glass of iced water, the spidery chill spread throughout my chest; knowing that just reading it opens the doorway to engage my soul with the Mists.

    They howl inside your ears; oh my dear Brehnill, protect me even for speaking the taboo of chaos.

    But, swallow the dog to chase the cat, yes? Which chased the mouse? That wriggled, jiggled, and tickled inside her?

    They opened the Mists to Xenth, and now I must bring Matignol himself, to suppress him.

  19. Reginald, brilliant, for a first entry! The competition around here just gets fiercer by the week ...
    RR, superb imagery here - as always.
    William, I love the scenario you conjured for us!
    Lily, thanks for the good words on my entry! I still like it, which is unusual for me.

  20. Well done Anthony and Laurita.
    So much to do, so little time. Sorry missed last week. trying to catch up on many projects.

    Managed this week though ...


    She knew it was taboo, but even in death he was pretty. Her lips engaged his. There was no response. His rejection angered her, frustrated her; a low growl raised in her throat. Her nails nicked the pale skin of his face but no blood flowed, nor did he stir.
    She sat back on her haunches and scratched at the dust and debris. Alone now, she must map a plan for survival. She took his hand, and dragged him to the shadows.
    If he was no good for sex, at least he would make a good meal.

  21. Phil: the beauty of immortality countered with a curse. How soon until one goes mad. Lovely written.

    Raven: your poem captures the horrors of zombie-hood and brings just a touch of disgust to the table but concentrates on the emotions. Perfect focus.

    Antonia: there are times I'm glad I'm a vegetarian. Or perhaps because I'm a vegetarian this is viscerally more powerful.

    Lily: absolutely love her voice and the touch of voodoo and drug overtones.

    William: these characters revolve in a strong orbit that provides a nice nucleus for this tale; at least until they consume each other.

    Reba: beware the spurned. The map and yellowed teeth captured the torture of time which pales against the diamond wound.

    Reginald: an intriguing fantasy you weave. This is the way that curiosity gets under the skin and forces you to do things you might not.

    Kim: a romantic and a survivor. There must be a bleak world that she's fighting against here.

    Re: Kaua (war), I think there was too much backstory that I tried to let peep through here instead of focusing on the foreground of two men releasing the kraken to attack a colonizing ship anchored in the bay.

  22. Kim! Bloody brilliant! I love this. I felt her almost instinctual anger at his "rejection" of her sexual advance!

    Reginald: Welcome to the fray. Wonderful first entry! You've given no indication at all of what the Map Of Mists looks like, and yet you've made me see it, and feel what it does to a person.

    Reba: As I said last evening, I can SEE her, even smell her...the dusty yellow crackly smell of her! Wonderfully descriptive without giving the reader too much.

    William: This is gorgeous! I get the feeling she knew she'd be "next"; that she accepted, or even wanted it. I want to know more.

  23. Been really tired this week... not really sure if this works or not. Slightly disturbs me that I wrote it, anyway. =s

    Cartography of Provocation

    He sits at his desk, mapping taboos.

    He had trouble, at first; one person’s taboo was another’s breakfast, fetish, or badge. Then he began imagining groups, statistics, as continents, and he found tectonics... contrary taboos grinding against each other to thrust up mountains of prejudice, or repelling each other, spreading vast oceans of disgust. He found warzones between generations, religions, perversions.

    He realised that once you really engage with the subjects, people, he means – the islands, the archipelagos, the peninsulas of taboo – you can really drum up some hate and violence, out there, in the real world.

  24. Congratulations to Anthony and Laurita for last week. =)

    Aidan - I like the change in style, and I want me a numbfish. ;)

    Phil - The sting in the tail of immortality, the bitter bite to everlasting life. The mixed metaphysical metaphor... ;D

    Ravenways - too tired to properly absorb that right now, but that's some dark imagery that slips so sweetly from the tongue.

    Antonia - a lesson for the post-apocalyptic cook? Or just the cost-cutting housewife? ;)

    Lily - an inspired voice: lyrical, playful, dark. =)

    William - One last fling? The police don't stand a chance...

    Reba - wonderfully titled, and evocative, piece.

    Reginald - Great to see you here. =) So wide a world in so few words, there really is a shiver to your fantasy.

    Kim - animalistic and savage... meat is meat... ;)

  25. Reginald, welcome to The Feardom Reginald. Great to see your contribution to this week's Friday Prediction. Rhettick – The Map Of Mists immediately opens the inner eye to a startling and emotional world that intrigues and terrifies. I want to go there but am afraid. Gorgeous, evocative writing.

    Kim, Ooh yes, this is just delicious. I watched 'Splice' a couple of days ago - beautiful miscreants, sex, blood and haunches; it's as though you were there with Survival. I love how she drags him into the shadows so casually and really enjoyed the feral/demonic feel to this story.

    John, you may be tired but Cartography of Provocation must be born of a separate state of consciousness. This is huge! People are always asking me "Where did that come from?"; a question I'm sure most of us are familiar with but this... John, is a stunning concept, exquisitely penned - and I am totally in love with it. Thank you.

  26. Doors are closed, locked and bolted folks. Thank you for some phenomenal pieces this week.

    Winner(s) to be announced in the morning. Sleep tight.

  27. Dangit, I misspelled my own god... should have been "Matignagol". That's acceptable, though, right? It's not a misspelling if it doesn't exist? *loophole*


    Now I'm calm. Thanks!

  29. Reginald, it matters not here! And anyway, I believe the moment you have a deity 'out there' they grow their own personality, moulded by our thoughts until they have the power to branch out on their own.

    David - dearest; we COMPLETELY understand! Having followed your tweets this week I don't know how you're actually still standing. Have a Merlot darling; there, there...


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.