Friday, 21 October 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's all about Halloween at the moment - as is right and correct. There are loads of comps/anthos out there but the ones that tickle my synapses are:

I've something brewing for the first two, and collecting entries for the last. 

Now down to Prediction business (can you tell I'm procrastinating? By gumbo this is a hard week)

Winners of Last Week's Prediction

Outstanding! Excruciatingly powerful words from such talented writers. You are cruel, you hear me? Cruel.

My winner from last week is Phil Ambler with Host. It takes a lot to seriously creep me out; this did it - in waves. How you've achieved that extreme sense of disquiet in 100 words... well, that is talented writing indeed. Congratulations Phil..

I have two runners-up: they are very different to each other and unusual for The Prediction challenge too. Very well done to Absolutely*Kate for her clever and cheeky EXTRA! EXTRA! Also to Chris Allinotte for his charming and strange poem Newspaper Hat.

Words for 21 October 2011

Last night the big book fell over, all by itself. What was it trying to say...?

  • Grateful
  • Drape
  • Stonehenge (Yes! Stonehenge!!!)


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 27th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 28th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Tremble my heart, touch my fears. I can't wait...



  1. Many congratulations Phil! Superb writing, as Lily said. Kate and Chris, well done both! Kate, your comments are great!!
    Everyone's contributions were outstanding, as always, the standards seem to get higher all the time. I will try for something fictional this week, if I can. Thanks for indulging me in my moment of emotion for the other side of my life. I sometimes wonder which part is the most important to me. Then I look at the men I work with and I know... it is the spirit side, all else fades into insigificance against that.

    RR, a fellow empath who knows what it's like. Thanks for the good words.I've been asked to do an evening of tarot readingsd (I did this last year for a Ladies Night, it's fun but extremely draining)and see if it works as well this year.

  2. How I've missed this! I'm back from the glittering south Aegean and land of mythology and I'm raring to go. Well kind of.

    Congrats Phil, Kate and Chris.

    Creative juices are brewing, so I shall return with something very soon.

  3. Congrats Phil, Kate, and Chris! I don't envy your job at choosing these entries at all, Lily, but you do damn good.
    And thanks for the pimping too.

  4. Congratulations Phil, Kate and Chris! Stellar, stellar, inspiring entries!

    I try to participate, in my own way. I´m so sorry it means I sometimes won´t be leaving comments. Here goes:

    A Profound Mistake

    ”We are grateful,” said the Japanese empress, three years old, and returned to her tea.

    The interpreter nodded, uncertain.

    ”You do realise, you can´t own it, the Stonehenge, I mean,” said the Dealer.

    The slant of a smile as she accepted her third cup.

    ”You´ve already given it to me!”

    The Dealer exchanged looks with the interpreter, a pasty man draped in too bright red.

    She laughed, a chilling sound, betraying her immortality.

    ”It´s already been placed in my garden. It fits perfectly.”

    The Dealer paled as he realised his mistake; ancient magic should never be revealed to a vampire.


  5. Wow, thanks for that nod Lily. It's re-motivated me to crack on with the shorts I'm playing with. Moments of self-doubt lately (the writer's curse).

    Congratulations to Chris and Kate. Great entries from both of you and from everyone else too.

    Right, off to play with these wonderful new words.....wait a second, we've had drape before!!! ;-)

    Asuqi - didn't see that twist coming! I always get creeped out by old ones in the guise of children.

  6. Just a quickie - yes, we have had Drape before Phil, you're right! Hope with the different permutations it's not a problem, and we have lots of new Predictioneers so... (Sorry matey)


    I just came to play with all the scary kids and I've been blown away! Amblin' Ambler is hot stuff personified! Jes' to show wit'the likes of youse guys from what shadows I saunter in from was cool clarity itself. But man oh man oh Childs! (Sally Fields' voice channeling: 'They liked me!') I'm still chantin' Chris's ditty so my*thanks splash a'plenty to be in such spiffy company.

    On to audacious WordSlingings anew. Happy*Hauntings to your weekend all you good gruesomes. And lilting Lily - nice describing what's scribing 'round SpookyTowne. (You do know eerie Erin makes luminescence look pale this time o'year, don't ya?)

  8. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Tough crowd."

    "Played worse."

    "Yeah, but response? They're dying."

    "Still ~ powerplay, wouldn't ya say?"

    "Give yer that mate. Rock n' rollers grooved the inner circle longer than centuries spin. Take the opening act -- "

    "The Bluestones?"

    "Precisely. Absolutely. Song in the making."

    "Rock of ages?"

    "Sage response. But I was considering attunement more venturesome."

    "Aw c'mon Baba O'Riley, all I have to do is dream, and I hear an inner voice on high."

    "Careful, dear Mr Fantasy. All along the watchtower, there's a bad moon rising."

    "Curtain's rising now."
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  9. Hunted

    He stood firm like a Stonehenge monolith, silhouetted by the pewter glare of an ascending moon, the machete tight in his hands.

    Her ragged heartbeat echoed into the silence, grateful for the deepening darkness that draped across the forest, but pain mauled her.

    Silken spider webs wavered in a soft breeze.

    Exhaustion spiralled through her body like a slow poison, numbed her.

    He sniffed the air. Her scent, raw and full of fear, lingered in the pale light. His glaucous eyes searched the umbra.

    She glanced down at the bloody, shredded stumps where her feet should have been.


  10. great entries here! AJ, good to see you back from holiday and ready to work once again. Superb last line.
    Kate, good one!
    Asuqi,I didn't guess that ending, nice work!

    OK, after much deliberation and rewriting -

    The Solstice

    The young man walked into the centre of Stonehenge. The morning mist draped itself across his body as if warming him. The stones sent out vibrations, welcoming he of the old religion, of the past.
    The Druids, so-called, were already there. They ignored him although he knew well they sensed his presence. They were intruders, he thought, they had to die.
    The chanting began as the sun appeared. The young man raised his arms and a horde of Celts swept into the circle.
    The slaughter was endless.
    The King would be grateful they had reclaimed the stones.

  11. Congratulations Phil, Kate, and Chris. Gorgeous entrants.

    A double feature this week.

    Drachmann's Society Ball

    Menhir daubed ointment, staining his cheeks granite. Just as superheroes had rituals, he deserved this space, his cave, his dressing room, the mirror surrounded by incandescents.

    "M..master, wasteful." Menhir's manservant swallowed. "I mean you don't need--"

    "You do not think. The ball tonight has a cast of villians and heroes."

    "But, the truce."

    "Nonsense. Who lets words bind them? Losers." Menhir checked his cloak's drape.

    "But, Eaglewind's words saved--"

    "She's craven."

    "But, your powers. What if they discover--"

    "They won't discover the source." The menhir of menhirs. Stonehenge. "Now begone." Menhir caught the man's grateful glance, he'd punish him later.


    When I was researching unused superhero names, I ran across this image and realized I had a second drabble I had to write.


    The earliest age is called the Age of Burning; because all the dead were consumed by fire, and over their ashes were raised standing stones.

    -Snorri Sturluson

    Will kneels on the fallen monolith outside Stonehenge's ring. He finds the diamond, hand shaking, holding Anna's fingers, afraid she'll say no. He mumbles. Waits. Impatient, he sees tears in her eyes.

    She pulls him to her, drapes her arms over his shoulders, presses her lips to his. Grateful, Will's tension dissolves.

    A burning skeleton erupts through stone. Bones split the couple. Gouging flesh. Devouring the lover's souls. Ending the Age of Love.

  12. Aidan, I like them both, a lot, no way could I choose one as being better than the other.

    BTW, The Cleaner's Blues, which I entered here a few weeks ago, grew into a full length story called I Ain't Got No Body and has been accepted for Static Movement's Weird City 3 anthology edited by George Wilhite. I am already in Weird City 1 and 2 so this suits me well!

  13. Kate: Heee… Fun story!

    AJ: Such poetic language! Love it!

    Antonia: Powerful and horrible. An unexpected take on the ol´ Solstice =)

    Aidan: Two great entries! I think I prefer the second one -- I so enjoyed the action ending =)

  14. asuqi, wow, this is really chilling. An ancient three year old - child vampires are the scariest. I love the mixture of childish language and terrible wisdom.

    Kate, ha ha. I wondered who'd be first to do something with The Grateful Drape. Lots of clever tributes going on in this circle of rock.

    AJ, welcome back! Amazing darkness to this; I adore how you flip us between the mind of the hunter and the fear of the hunted. "His glaucous eyes searched the umbra." is a beautiful line - and what an ending. Really enjoyed this.

    Antonia, congratulations on Weird City 3! The Solstice summons a vivid and stark vision of the ancient construction, its creators and possessors. And with such bloody slaughter the stones are scarred forever.

    Aidan, a double-whammy; such a treat.

    Menhir sure is a (super)man with a mission. I love the idea of Stonehenge as a theatrical arena and venue for a superhero ball - or slanging match. Superb.

    I can see why you were inspired by the Norwegian sculpture to create Bautastenar. With the Sturluson quote at the beginning I knew the simple love story of Will and Anna would twist and crawl into something far, far more damning and terrible. The Age of Love - gone. Excellent.

  15. Is D for Devotion?

    She called it love. Such devotion was like a sweet butterscotch drape around my cold dead shoulders. To me she was cheap entertainment, something to waste away some hours before dawn. The trouble was she didn’t fit with us, She was too grateful, too willing to be tossed around our crowd like a loose rag doll. She’d been hanging with our group longer than there’d been a Stonehenge. We joked that she laid to rest each sunrise in a Y shaped coffin. I guess that pissed her off, why else would she lift the lids on our coffins at midday.

  16. Gospel Truth

    Thomas isn’t of the doubting type. He doesn’t care about resurrection. Even his own crown of thorns is better than the old geezer’s. Perched atop Tom’s head, a Stonehenge constructed of toenail clippings generously donated by the residents of Valley Dale has been glued together with panache. The construction sparkles with spots of frosted pink lacquer and Mrs Geery’s carmine red.

    Tom admires his regal reflection; a messiah in the making. A cloak of skin, made from yet more residents’ peelings is draped across his shoulders. It flutters. He will wear it to dinner tonight. His disciples will be grateful.

  17. Congratulations Phil Kate and Chris - well deserved. ^__^

  18. Gratitude gazillions to great gruesomes for welcoming me In and with the heights of Phil and Chris, letting me *win*. (shocked and honoured - Love this eerie trophy!) Noticing such a broad flair in all the fire of this horridly hearty contingent of Feardom.

    avid asuqui ~ Words of three flowed in tale so swell, I had to backtrack a reread to seek their succinct spots. Smiled at the over red draped Japanese interpreter. Interesting Dealer-premise. Q: May I see that garden? Must be spectacular.

    Agean's AJ ~ Holy footnotes! You had me at silken spiderwebs, glaucous eyes and who can resist a good umbra, but wowzers -- you sink a sad ending . . . suddenly. Good job - I didn't stay to watch what happens next.

    Antonia of spirit's entity ~ Solstice indeed. Past power play for the royal right, raising arms to raise ruckus. You took us there. {And kudos on writing your way to Weird City again!}

    Aidan not on the Fritz ~ Unholy caped crusaders of dynamic duo'ism! Truces be damned 'round a Drachmann's Ball, eh? Points on the lore of *Bautastenaur* -- but geeeeeez -- I was softening to the ages venue for engagement proceedings til you proceeded to obliterate the lovers' chances (not to mention gougin' unsuspecting souls) -- Bah! ;-)

    Daring Davoll ~ From cads to coffin'ated awakenings. Such sexy stirrings, in a realistic narrative.

    Lord, Lily! ~ Messiah in the making with all the accoutrements from the skillful panache players in Valley Dale of all the crown creation joints in all the universe. Touch o'carmine was mighty gleamy. Glad Mrs Geery anted up. {Still in guffaw, and thanks for noticing the rock of references I engraved in Stone-henge)

    This week's shocker ~ Able Ambler plagued with writer's self-doubt? No way - no how!

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  19. @ asuqi Vampires are creepy enough but when they are 3 years old and ancient - chilling!

    @Kate with your swinging words Miss Kate you treated us to a rocking concert!

    @AJ Humpage very vivid writing, takes us right there with the hunter and the hunted.

    @Antonia a powerful piece capturing the mood of the moment.

    @Aidan both very good both very different, if I had to chose my vote goes for the second one - just because of it's horrific quality ^__^

    @William this made me smile, I liked the idea of her getting back at them but obviously not enough to kill them or he wouldn't be telling the story.

    @Lily, Oooo horrible, has the makings of something quite creepy - I now have visions of people in an old folks home collecting their toe nail clippings. ^_^

  20. The Awakening

    The fog draped around Stonehenge; smoky tendrils like creeping fingers reached up towards the pale moon that hung in the midnight sky. She was grateful that it covered their presence like a blanket carelessly thrown to the ground. The Raven perched on her bony shoulder, pecked relentlessly at the ebony strands that fell about her face like a dark cloud.
    “Patience my pretty, it’s nearly time.”
    The bird replied with a screeching caw.
    “Shush Croaker, you’ll wake the dead.” Maroosa cackled at her own joke. She place the casket containing Nadgar’s remains down. “Time rise and rule your world again…..”

  21. oops I see two mistakes I missed, place should be placed and "Time rise" should be Time to rise ^__^ ah well...

  22. Asuqi: such a civilized negotiation, but he was entirely outclassed by her. She makes me think a little of the girl in Låt den rätte komma i, yes I realize she was older, but it has that same creepy quality.

    Kate: such a playful tale. I haven't been to stonehenge, but the idea of an amphitheatre without lights and a night concert seems fun.

    AJ: the sense of futility in the hiding and his slow incessant chase bring a good dose of horror.

    Antonia: blood claim; sometimes the old powers decide not to law down. I like the turnaround where they ignore him not realizing the danger. Congratulations on the Cleaner's Blues.

    William: lovely, voice. Now that is what I'd call a killer repartee.

    Lily: what a gruesome concoction, love the Stonehenge toenails; they're going to be all the fashion.

    Helen: some strong images here, I particularly like characterizing the fog as a discarded blanket.

  23. Congratulations Phil, I didn't get a chance to comment last week, but that was a truly creepy thing. And congrats to Chris and Kate. Chris, I really loved the paper hat as a punctuation mark. =)


    If he couldn't have their Stonehenge, he would have his own.

    On his makeshift altar – a low coffee table draped with a black cloth – was a sliver of stone, a scoop of soil, a sprig of mistletoe and a vial of blood.

    Sympathetic magic, they called it; the spell wouldn't be as strong as if he was actually there, but he could channel a portion of the holy site's power. He was more than grateful for the convenient side effect, too, that some of his magicks would leak back, would thrust a rotten spar into the heart of Stonehenge.

  24. Asuqi - outplayed and outgunned... ;)

    Kate - Snappy bantering back chat, loads of fun. =)

    AJ - love the back and forth rhythm, almost a heartbeat in itself. And 'His glaucous eyes searched the umbra' is a superb line. =)

    Antonia - Nice, there is old, and there is older. And congratulations on the anthology news! =)

    Aidan - Drachmann's - there's something supervillainous about to occur... I can tell. =)
    Bautastenar is both mythical and personal at the same time. Harsh times are coming...

    William - Good twist, and there I was thinking the Stonehenge jibe was an exaggeration... ;)

    Lily - kinda glad I've finished my breakfast already. It just seems a bit freaky, and then you reveal the grim truth. Nicely done.

    Helen - I get the feeling Maroosa's been alone for a bit, talking to her Raven. But not for much longer, I guess. Not so good for us.

  25. Firstly congratulations Phil, a fantastic piece. AlsoCongrats to two brilliant runners up With absolutely kate and Chris Allinotte too!
    Asuqi Little ones sometimes deliver words from their ancestors and that has often left me to wonder, very chilling.
    Kate A story with more back bone than Spinal tap, what a Gig
    AJ Must agree "His glaucous eyes searched the umbra" Is a crackin line
    Antonia Where the stones stand there's energy at play and battles to own it. Loved it.
    Aidan Bautastenar: till death do us part, but death sometimes comes too soon.
    Lily Goodness Thomas is a bad man, but I bet he loves his job at the Valley Dale, especially with the perks (free suits).
    Helen "smoky tendrils like creeping fingers" is a lingering image for me
    John Love the idea that sympathetic magic, could corrupt the sacred place, but will the enrgies from the hendge rebel?

  26. John Oh wicked spells afoot! Cool story!

  27. With Halloween fast approaching there are so many creepy and macabre influences out there. Which is why you won't be surprised to see I've taken a light hearted influence from the Two Blokes (hope I've done them justice Dave) and put a neolithic spin to them:

    Up the workers

    “It’s not that I’m complaining Ogg but I don’t see why we’re dragging this bloody heavy stone whilst his Lordship, draped in his fineries, sits watching on his horse; which could be helping with the pulling by the way. And what for? To build a stone henge to tell the time?! In my father’s day you just looked where the sun was.”

    “Listen Ugg, just be grateful you’re not one of them foreign types. Apparently they bury the workers once they’ve built their pointy tombs in them there sand dunes.”

    “Guess their union can’t be up to much.”

  28. High Spirits

    Miklas coughed. Fragrant smoke came out of his nose and joined the cloud that was slowly taking over the apartment.

    He looked over at Rain, who was draped listlessly across his armchair.

    "What the hell are we listening to?"

    Rain took a huge draw from the bong, held it, and coughed a little as he said, "Stonehenge man, you know - Spinal Tap?"

    Miklas shook his head. Rain continued. "Greatest fake metal band ever?"

    "You don't have any Grateful Dead? Isn't that appropriate?"

    "Meh," said Rain. "The ghosts like it."

    "Wait. What??"

    The water pipe bubbled happily.

  29. Thanks for the 'gratz' folks - Phil's deserved the cake and Absolutely*Nobody beats the style of Absolutely*Kate. On to this week:

    @Phil - nice slice of life here. Made me smile.

    @John - there's a wicked intricacy to your plot. Wanting the magic, but wanting to corrupt - great stuff.

    @Helen - and THAT's why they've got fences up at Stonehenge. You let just anybody in, and next thing you know - bam! Zombie Queen. Every friggin' time... (I liked your story. :) )

    @Lily- "frosted pink lacquer and Mrs Geery’s carmine red" - that's a clever little turn you give the story here, which makes the rest incredibly creepy.

    @William - I hope if I say this reads like a side-plot of "True Blood", you won't be offended - it just has this established, energetic polish that works very well.

    @Aidan - both are so steeped in wonderful imagery - I wanted each to keep going and going. I liked the dialogue in the first, and the tension in the second.

    @Antonia - really great sense of action here, and the coolness and the boldness of the was amazing.

    @AJ - nasty bit of business here. I hope she still finds a way away from the butcher. Dark images galore.

    @*Kate - love the intertwining of myth and rock & roll. You make the song-titles your own, and I for one would love to see a concert at Stonehenge!

    asuqi - tell me when this story becomes a novel. Please? You've got all the makings here.

  30. @Phil Ogg is absolutely right, Ugg should listen to him! Hee he, loved this light hearted tale.

    @Chris fake metal bands are the only thing to listen to when indulging in a bong! Loved the laid back atmosphere you created here.

  31. Actually have some time to comment this week! However, feeling slightly intimidated by the commenting standards set by Absolutely*Kate!

    Kate - this is a gig I want to go and see. Tell me where the tickets are on sale.

    AJ - back from holiday and back into the groove. The main is great but that penultimate line makes this piece; excellent tale.

    Antonia - the scene before a carnage. Lots of history to this wonderful short.

    Aidan - two for the price of one. Both good but the second one shone for me. A brutal end to a tender love. Tragedy well told.

    William - Important lesson, never take anyone for granted. Is it wrong that this brought a smile to my face?

    Lily - I think I've just developed a phobia for toe nail clippings! Nicely played out dear dark lady of writing.

    Helen - creepy tale of resurrection. Love the picture you paint for us of the night.

    John - really liked this. The concept of the magic channeling two ways is very clever.

    Chris - was waiting for someone to do a Spinal Tap reference :-) That line told so nonchalently 'the ghosts like it' is brilliant.

  32. William, ouch - sizzzzzzzzllllllle and burn. Well, maybe the jock vampires deserved it; I felt kind of sorry for the nameless rag doll - how desperate must she be? Great narrative.

    Helen, I love the absolute darkness to this piece in all shades of blue. I am a lover of all things corvid (as will be seen in the soon-to-be-released Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow; apologies for the quick plug there!) The Awakening is a lush and tempting read Helen. Really enjoyed it.

    John, ooh - one has to be so careful with sympathetic magick. I want to read more about this character and the scenario - why is he doing this, what is his aim? And what is the rot with which he wants to pierce Stonehenge? So intriguing.

    Phil, killer last line. I reckon Dave would be very happy with this tribute! I could imagine watching this on Horrible Histories! Great fun, not too mention historically accurate - of course. :)

    Chris, gawd - reading this made me feel trollied and I haven't even had my brekkie yet. Ghosts with a sense of humour - I want to meet them. Lovely dialogue here, very natural.


    Yet again I am daring to go OUT tonight (don't know who the hell I think I am, having a life) so will comment on any entries that come in today by midnight UK time.

    No sneakies after 9pm please!

    Results and new words in the morning.

  33. Hmmm, what's the world telling us when our lurking Lily keeps going out around Halloweening prelude times? {Shall we put an extra twist to the front and back door locks?}

    Mmmmm, more to read and respond to ~

    Haunting Helen with a shouldered crow dubbed Croaker ~ This piece is sultry in The Awakening of powerful intent. Love name Maroosa, flickering attention to detail, and natch, the caw. Last line as it is reads more like a spell. Spirits were with you dear woman.

    Juxtaposed John ~ Makeshift majick well displayed - with a vile vial? Oooh the stones are gonna quake at the big namesake. Tight taut telling title.

    Aiming Ambler ~ hit the point, hefting historee with an inner sense of glee. As for making the point (and making this reader chortle) -- sharp last liner note.

    Cunning Chris ~ HIGH Spirits indeed in a smoky joint where all the right tunes played and attunement bonged . . . Dug the atmosphirit ... Saaaaaay, you wanta rock a roadtrip gig wit my concert boys? We'd have a ghost of a chance ya know.

    @Phil ~ Intimidated? You? Bah! Nice treat, that trick ~ Left you a pair o'ducats under the 3rd rock on the right.

    Absolutely*Kate, enjoying you spirited folks a'plenty this week. Gosh in all the almighties -- What you're gonna conjure up next week shall be a scream!

  34. William: Oooo, sweet revenge! I kind of think they had it coming…

    Lily: That´s one truly warped Messiah! Toenails – eeew! The image! The image!

    Helen: Weird ladies are scary! Great atmosphere!

    John: The whole parasite concept creep me out, every time! Sympathetic magic -- interesting, will ponder =)

    Phil: And that just might be closer to truth than all the romantic, magical ideas I nurture about Stonehenge… Fun stuff!

    Chris: Absolutely charming! Loved ”The water pipe bubbled happily” =)

  35. John: the last really captures the parasite. Love the way it amps up this character.

    Phil: gotta run and make sure my union's up to snuff. Great line about my father's day.

    Chris: this evokes such a pleasant late august evening with everything darkening and a slight buzz while everything with the universe clicks.

    I'm off to Australia, and I'm likely not going to get a chance to stop in and visit the lovely predictions. I'll miss y'all and see you in a couple of weeks.


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.