Friday, 25 November 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I hope our American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

As I understand it today is Black Friday when everyone goes mad at the shops buying Christmas presents. Of course Amazon has been promoting Black Friday for a few years now, reducing the price of books and products. We don't call today anything special in the UK but it is the start of the festive frenzy, according to this morning's news. Well, as I hate shopping in public with a passion (nothing brings out the worst of behaviour in the human race as shopping) then Amazon gets my custom this year.

If you're looking for holiday reads, or books to buy for your loved ones make a note to visit Erin Cole's Book Blog Catalog from 2nd December. Find out details here. Thank you Erin for running this great feature again. 

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

I found the winning entry so different, with a feisty, intriguing character and a strong plot that could fill a whole book. Grogan picks up the (invisible) winner's cup this week, with Grace. Congratulations Grogan!

Runner-up, with a chilling, monkey's paw of a tale is Antonia with Wishes Granted. Well done Antonia! (And all the best for your new website!)

Words for 25 November 2011

Flip. It's open. Plunge and finger the pages. Here they come...
  • Toad
  • Charisma
  • Generate
Have fun!


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 1st December to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 2nd December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Open your arms to let the snow sprinkle flakes of sparkling words into your soul. Can't wait...


  1. I'm in the middle (no, lie, I am 10 pages into a 58 page book) which is boring the socks off me. I think I've read too much erotica. Horror never bores me this way. So I thought, cheer myself up, go see who won the Prediction this week. And hey, I am runner up! Thanks, Lily! That's sooooo good!

    MANY CONGRATULATIONS, GROGAN!!!!! superb stuff, more please!!!!

    Lily, intriguing words this week, going to be interesting to see what we make of them.

  2. I'm humbled to be amongst such talent. Totally thrilled! Thanks so much Lily, you made a bad week a whole lot better.

    Congrats Antonia, I shall forever have a wistful stop and stare when I see a Monsoon.

  3. Congratulations Grogan and Antonia!

  4. can I start with an offer.
    I have here on the desk a MASSIVE hardback book. It's called Horrors! 365 scary stories, it's published by Barnes and Noble and I just got through reading it. Not all the stories are outstanding, but I read them all with great pleasure. Some are very wicked indeed, some very thoughtful, one made me go 'oh good on!' which, after reading the work of the talented writers on here is something! So, the book is up for grabs for anyone in the UK. It's too heavy to post abroad, sorry to say. If you would like it, email me at
    First one gets the book. (I don't want postage refunded, this is a gift.)
    Now back to the serious work of this week's entry...

  5. I need to work ... but this had to be written first...
    Urban Fairytale 2

    The princess realized her latest suitor was loaded with charisma but she also knew that beneath the veneer was a degenerate of the first order. She turned him into a toad.
    The creature was kicked unceremoniously out the door toward the lake. Before he got there, he turned to stare at her with glittering eyes. He mouthed ‘why?’ before disappearing into the water.
    “Why?’ she called after him. “Because you’re more use to me as a food supply…”
    She returned to her lonely chambers, wondering if there would ever be one she could love instead of eat.

  6. Congrats Grogan and Antonia.


    She ran her hand over his face, felt the toad-like roughness beneath her fingertips, soft pustules waiting to erupt, despite the danger that it brought. She couldn’t leave him, unlike other mothers in the village who’d fled, pushed by the fear generated by the creeping, pervasive Pestilence that stalked the streets.

    The little boy smiled, despite blackened skin; charisma still clear in his eyes.

    They had stayed behind. They awaited the shadows together.

    She smiled back. Black as the night.

    It was only a matter of time. Hours, minutes perhaps, before she lost him.

    Then Death would come for her.

  7. oh, AJ, you're doing it again, making shudders, beautifully done.

    Notes for all: keep your Prediction entries safe! I just got the proofs of Daily Frights 2012 which includes 3 or 4 of my Prediction entries and 3 pieces of flash fiction, one of them is Comes The Sweet Autumn which Lily was good enough to feature in FFF this year. Pill Hill want 4 of my Prediction entries to be resubmitted for 2013. So, hang on to yours and get them submitted when the 2013 Frights opens!

  8. First off - Congrats to Grogan and Antonia - Both worthy winners.

    Now this weeks entries:-

    Antonia - I was left with the impression of one obese princess - must have been that last line!

    AJ - Another lovely bit of writing. The single sentences really helped convey the passage of time.

  9. And for my entry:

    Neon Flecks of Blood

    Mickey told me I generate dead bodies like he charms the woman; fast and slick with no escape.

    I hate his charisma.

    I know he can’t help himself, he’s a toad and every woman’s his princess but I’m his prince.

    The last woman he looked at with his disarming smile and smouldering eyes, I stabbed in the throat with a neon sign; the whore screamed like a virgin on a casting couch and if that didn’t attract the pub-goers attention then my blood splattered jacket did.

    Mickey and I, We’re soul-mates, and he loves it when I kill for him.

  10. And Jeremiah Smiled

    "Come on,"

    "Ew. No way."

    "Awww, why not?" asked Sammi, lifting the bulbous, saggy toad up to eye-height. "He's ugly, but he's got tons of charisma."

    "Did brains skip a generation in your family?" Jolee replied. "Toads don't have charisma."

    "This one does... listen," said Sammi. She pulled lightly on its skin, forcing its mouth open and closed.

    "KISS ME, Jolee" she growled, in a ridiculously gruff voice.

    Without warning, the toad shifted, and its sticky pink tongue flicked out, latching on to Jolee's lips with an audible "Smack."



    "Jolee? JOLEE???"


  11. Antonia, I love a twist on a classic, especially when fairy tales are so damned odd in the first place. Oh, she's a lonely little maiden your princess. Nicely told.

    AJ, plague is a ruthless killer, a horrible, erupting and stinking death. What mother wouldn't leave her infected child? What mother wouldn't gladly give her life for her son? Tender, sensitively written - and so very sad.

    Nick, camp as a neo-starlet, darling. These are a right gorgeous pair with a clever double-act going on. Stabbing the vic in the throat with a neon sign is a wonderful visual. Ha! Feeling very happily dark now. That's what great fiction should do.

    Chris, the smacking, slapping sounds are so vividly described here I can hear the tongue unroll as though in slow motion before grabbing its target. Not sure who I'm more sorry for - the toad or Jolee. Tee hee.

  12. OK, so I'm a filthy rotten cheat. I haven't written something new but have condensed a 250-word excerpt from Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow which just happened to contain a scene with a toad. (I promise it's a coincidence - not a marketing ploy!)

    It probably took me longer to strip this down and include the other two words than it would if I'd written something from scratch.

    So here's some slightly lighter dark fiction ;) by way of fantasy...

    The trembling stone revealed itself.

    “Poor thing.”

    All charm and charisma gone, the toad belched foul breath in Magenta’s face. It had seconds to live and there was nothing the shaman could do to save it.


    Maggie gave the dead creature a moment before reaching into its swollen mouth. With an effort she retrieved her stone until it slipped, covered with toad juice into her lap.

    Never one to dispose of valuable resources Maggie turned the corpse inside out, pulled away any useless, dangling organs and tucked the warty skin away. Its poison would regenerate her when death came calling.

  13. Antonia – I like the twist created on this fairy tale and that it creates empathy for both characters in so few words.

    Nick – Ah, such duplicitous darkness. The most telling line: ‘he’s a toad, every woman’s his princess but I’m his prince.’ These two characters are perfect foils – nicely done.

    Chris – There’s some nice imagery in this. ‘Bulbous, saggy’, together with a hint of prosaic rhythm – ‘sticky pink tongue flicked...’

    Lily – Sublime words. ‘Belched foul breath’, ‘covered with toad juice’ all create an odious effect. No doubt I shall read more of this - I'm in the middle of reading Magenta Shaman on my Kindle, in between umpteen projects, and Stones the Crow will be next.

  14. Nick, gorgeous imagery here!
    Chris, yukkk! and brilliant as always.
    Lily, gives everyone a taster of Magenta Shaman.

    so, where is everyone this week?????????

  15. @Antonia: The Wicked Princess... sort of cuts out the middle-man, hmm? “Because you’re more use to me as a food supply…” I like it!

    @AJ: Love in the Time of Black Death, here. The depth of a mother's love knows no bounds. This is frightening, and moving.

    @Nick: Despite the monstrous deeds he does, it's captivating to see the killer's desperate pleas for approval and love laid bare. Great writing.

    @Lily: I've got "Stones the Crow" but haven't encountered this bit yet - looking forward to it! Magenta's a winner!

  16. Chris - that was quite disgusting but makes me want to know what happens next??

    Lily - a great introduction to the world of Magenta - Should hopeful get to them both in the very near future.

  17. Antonia: A delicious ode to food love. I loved this twist on the fairytale, told with a wonderfully simple canter.

    AJ: Achingly sad. From the ugliness that is plague, you created beauty – brilliant.

    Nick: That’s one nasty pair of serial killing soul-mates. The ‘matey banter’ style in the writing is really powerful.

    Chris: That was totally audible, and I felt that slimy smack, ewwwwwww – but in a brilliant way.

    Lily: A great introduction to Magenta (for this Shaman novice.) Looking forward to delving into her world (Kindle ordered, am I the only here who doesn’t have one?)

  18. Grogan, thanks for the compliment.
    I am getting a Kindle for Christmas, but I have read Magenta Shaman on my computer, you can download from Amazon and read without a kindle!Go get!!

  19. Lily, your lady peering out of the darkness on your banner, has this figure, she fades in and out and it spooks some of the people who visit the site. I find that amusing, they are there because they profess an interest in the paranormal...

  20. Grogan and Antonia I hope you LOVE your Kindle when you get it as much as I do mine. It freaked me out initially because of the way the page turns (it appears to 'flash' in negative) but I got over that so quickly.

    I read much more with mine, and from a wider authorship. As a writer I enjoy being able to use the keyboard on it to make notes on my draft copies of ebooks before I upload them.

    Antonia - the fading lady? Ha - that's great! I 'bought' her from iStock years ago. I can imagine she's very popular.

  21. That's it! Very quiet this week. Results in the morning.


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.