Friday, 2 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

An important note for our lovely lady Predictioneers.  I have sent out the first round of invitations to next year's February Femmes Fatales showcase. If you haven't received your invitation and would like the opportunity to submit, please complete my online contact form and I will email you details and submission guidelines.

To get an idea of what I'm looking for - last year's stories and poems are all listed and linked on the February Femmes Fatales page.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

A quiet week; every person I know is frantically running around screaming for the gift of extra time to live their lives so I'm not surprised if Predictioneers were too busy to enter. No problem - there's always this week, next week and...

I'll jump straight in as my clock also seems to be whirring on at a rate of knots. I'm only picking a winner and not a runner-up.

And that winner is... Nick Mott with Neon Flecks of Blood. This is a sordid tale of lust and reciprocal death that I simply lapped up! Gorgeous, congratulations Nick!

Words for 02 December 2012

Flicking, clicking fingers... Here we go:

  • Affection(ate)
  • Scrape
  • Mustard
Hope these make you lick your lips.


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 8th December to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 9th December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Make me something tasty with your clever fingers.. I'm hungry..


  1. congratulations, Nick! worthy winner!
    Come on, Predictioneers, get busy!

  2. Congratulations Nick! I'm looking forward to being back after a great time in Australia & Tasmania.

    Nano Allergies

    Grashka had no affection for playing helpmeet in the triage tents. The eight-year-old kicked a stone across the dirt floor to careen against the pole of a makeshift bed before thumping against the canvas wall.

    "Grashka! The mustard plaster mustn't sit too long."

    She hated the poultice laid on the patient's chests and when she scraped the pus it left behind, it burned her fingers. "But --"

    "You'd let them die?"

    "They will anyways."

    Her mother's hand convulsed Grashka's shoulder. "Never lose hope." Papery lips moved against the girl's forehead. The world would wither before the doctor's found a cure.

  3. Aidan, what a chilling piece. The use of the eight-year-old was an excellent idea, really heightened the intensity of it.

    Been awhile for me, but was granted a short afternoon today to play.

    The Ad

    The advertisement said, “Steal babies and get paid!”

    Hell, I didn’t know they were talking about werewolf pups. Small details with significant drawbacks. One scrape and you were doomed to cannibalism. No thanks. But, we’re talking big money—

    I caked myself with mustard seed (to hide scent) and was soon twist tying a bald, little, vicious thing against a cardboard cutout. A claw grazed my thumb. A drop of blood splashed in its mouth. The wolf pup growled and writhed for more. Only a mother could give something like that affection.

    I responded to the ad, “Have babies, need antidote!”

  4. Aidan, cold chills from that one!
    Erin, good to see you and what a cracking entry!

    I feel like getting really nasty right now, writing out some serious stress (Royal Mail lost my entire December mailout. No orders, no money, no nothing this month. I could call them a few names here but it isn't worth it. Instead I wrote it out in this week's entry...

    My Turn

    Excuse me; I need to tape your eyelids back. How else can I get to your eyes? Oh be still! You needed me to be still when you did the same thing to me. Or are you going to argue the point?
    There are many ways of showing affection; I’m not sure about your method, in truth. I mean … mustard? Really? Forgive me if I question your motives and depth of feeling for me.
    You’re not answering me! Oh, sorry, the duct tape…
    It’s my turn.
    A scrape of mustard on the eyes. See how you like it.

  5. Thanks Lily for choosing my gay psycho's story as last weeks winner.

    Aidan - Very nice piece - Great scene in so few words.

    Erin - loved the last line - added a comical edge to a scary job.

    Antonia - Mustard on the eyes - Damn that had me scrunching up my eyes - Nice one!

    Will try to come back later with an entry but suffering severe lethargy (not a medical condition just being lazy) at the moment!

  6. Picnic

    Grandpa watched Nicolas with swelling affection. How wonderful it was, to enjoy his grandchildren. At fifty-eight, he was far enough removed from the daily work of parenting that Nicky's every action was a joy to behold.

    Nicky was chasing a bunny. Mustard was smeared all over his face from the half-eaten hot dog that still lay on the picnic table. His scraped knees pumped as he pursued the rabbit.

    If Nicky got much further, Grandpa thought, he'd have to get up and go after him.

    It was at that moment that he saw the bear.

    Nicky screamed.

  7. Aidan - this could be a scene from any major conflict - but the title "Nano Allergies" puts this in a very scary future. Well done.

    Erin - Style to spare here. What I really like is the casual acceptance of werewolves as just a part (albeit a dangerous one) of society. It might be the season, but the image of a baby werewolf twist tied to cardboard makes me think he/she was making the little stinker ready for a shelf at Wal-Mart!

    Antonia - nasty is right - and the revelation of history between them made this all the more powerful. The central image gave me weird thoughts - the scraping on of mustard to something you intend to eat. Yikes.

  8. Chris – love the first para – it evokes exactly what it feels like to be related to a small child but not be their parent. Kinda want to know what happens with the bear – I have images of a heroic grandfather being mauled by the bear to save the child??

  9. and now for my entry - done while skiving at work!

    Dijou Djinn

    I stop listening as she starts bitching.

    The mustard jar I turn over in my hands is heavy, cold… deadly.

    The pitch of her voice raises an octave, reverberating around the kitchen, stabbing behind my eyes like barbed wire grinding on my cerebellum.

    Affectionate hugs used to soothe her, but a smack in the mouth doesn’t stop her now.

    Her screeching gives me a migraine.

    I smash the jar into her face, red and yellow mix to create a beautiful, silent collage. I scrape both off the floor and add them to my sandwich; a new culinary masterpiece created.

  10. Ache.

    He’d half burrowed in when I found poor Toby. I pulled the bawling child from the frozen soil and he clung so fierce it hurt.

    His nails and teeth bled.

    ‘Twas evident his pa weren’t coping. ‘Midst all the tragedy seemed like they’d just not ate. I seen a lot, but watchin’ that affectionate boy scrape at his mother’s grave near ended me.

    Hunger consumed him.

    Mama made such good food. Said he could still smell it.

    I’d almost fancy I can now. Like... herring roll. With mustard.

    Did he bite me?

    the grave Smells



    God save me!

  11. Well done Nick...

    In Your Eyes

    I saw it, the tainted colour in swirls of coarse red and grey, darkening in your eyes.

    The sound scraped against the inside of the cabin, like a deep serrated belch, ripping along the fragile man-made seams and reverberating beneath our feet.

    What had been a small tear had turned into a giant hole. A high-pitched whistle wrested the chaos; the rush of air stole the screams.


    Couldn’t hold you.

    It sucked four rows of seats into oblivion.

    Including you.

    I remember mustard tears spilling down your cheeks; the fear.

    I saw it - my clouded affection. In your eyes.

  12. Wow, that was Killer!

    I've enjoyed all these stories and scenarios. Such variety from three little words.
    Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I podcast with Phil Ambler and follow Lily on Twitter. (@Dion_Scrolls or @Scrollscast)
    Hopefully I'll be showing more of my face around here and joining in the fun with you folks, as I've had a ball pulling together my first entry.

    All the best, Dion.

  13. Dion Winton-Polak - loved your first entry. Just a wonderful, subtle pull to the great ending.
    Antonia - a good release of energy-made me want to get my own knife out.
    Chris - a horrid scenario you portrayed here, innocent child, loving, old grampa, hungry, fierce bear. Someone is going to lose!
    Nick - whoa! Great play on the delicatassen of love.
    AJ - dark and delightful, the pain of seeing one ripped from us shouts loud through this one.

  14. Popping in to post. I've actually managed to write two pieces of flash fiction tonight (below and sshhhh - elsewhere) which is a rare achievement these days!

    I'll be back tomorrow night to post comments on these extraordinary entries - the words have obviously hit the mark this week - but I quickly wanted to welcome Aidan back from his travels - G'Day mate - and also welcome the venerable Dion Winton-Polak into the Feardom's bottomless pit. Good to see you here Dion!

    So, here's my effort...


    I will coil my tendrils through your hair. Beat my tender breast against your cheek is search of affection before you are snatched cruelly away, and I must seek you out once more.

    We are buboids. Swelling vessels of pulsing passion, purple with rage and ready to spill volcanic mustard eruptions across one another’s canvas. They call this Hell, but we - you and I - are of this paradise, coming together and separating in eternal ebb and flow.

    The moment your ephemeral skin cools I tear at its crust, scrape your juices forth and give birth. Our world is remade.

  15. G'day! It is wonderful to be back to get my weekly dose of fearful fiction.

    Erin: this story slips into a nice world. Love the details about as the pups feed on her; all the writhing reminds me a little of Tasmanian Devils.

    Antonia: sorry to hear about the royal mail, but this is delightfully nasty. I imagine the mustard is a magnified revenge of the "same" thing.

    Chris: you've picked some perfect details to capture the grandfather and Nicky.

    Nick: Delightful! I kinda feel for the guy and then he turns around and makes me guilty for siding with him. (Fun title).

    Dion: zombies! I like how you've evoked the dawning horror in the protagonist.

    AJ: beautiful imagery and a sense of sadness pervades the protagonists loss.

    Lily: this reminds of human botflies for some reason; all it takes is perspective to see horror or alternatively beauty.

  16. Adian another scary glimps into a future one hopes doesn't exist.

    Erin a scary occupation!
    Antonia mustard on the eyes, ow that smarts!
    Chris, that was a scary last line, chilling.
    Nick, that was some sandwich.
    AJ very visual writing
    Lily that was poetic in a strange sort of way.

  17. Cutting The Mustard

    Marianne smiled affectionately at him. There was nothing she didn’t know about him, nothing at all. How long had they shared a life now, was it fifteen, sixteen years? She put a scrape of butter on the bread, must look after his health—she’d certainly do that all right. Next came the ham. How could he think that she wouldn’t know? —fool. She spread the mustard on thickly. He loved mustard— the perfect ingredient to mask the poison.

    She wrapped the sandwiches and handed them to him. She hoped he would die in her arms….

  18. Couldn't think of a title. I must try arder next time.

    Bryan paused in the small clearing on the moors. Breathing deeply, he looked round. Nature’s beauty stared him back. He’d missed this. Like a beef and mustard sandwich or a cold beer in summer, it was a sight he’d forgotten. A sight you felt affection for only if deprived. He doubted it could ever bore you.

    “Ready?” asked Ron as he scraped some mud from his boot.

    Bryan looked at Ron and the other walker. Neither had even broken a sweat. Practice did make perfect.

    Shaking his head, he pointed at the ground. “The first one’s buried there,” he said.

  19. Congrats Nick for last week and welcome Dion; knew you'd come in with a cracking entry :-) I warn you, it's hard to escape once you're in.

    My piece for this week is....


    "..urge citizens to find shelter..."

    George stood by the window as the radio broadcast behind him.

    "Will we be ok George? asked Constance.

    George scraped ice from the window, squinting out into the desolation, the land pock marked with craters.

    "George, will we?"

    George blinked then looked up.

    "Course we will girl. Come 'ere."

    Constance forced her old bones up from her chair and hobbled into his arms.

    He kissed her forehead affectionately, hugging her close as the bombs fell, her face in his chest so she wouldn't see the drifting mustard gas or his tears.

    "Course we will."

  20. Phil this captured the hope and the despair that a situation like that brings.

    Charlie, some walk, the description is very visual.

  21. Grump, grump. Three attempts to add my comments have failed so I'm giving up until the morning. Sorry chaps - a demain...

  22. Aidan, welcome back! We hope you had some fabulous experiences in Australasia. Nano Allergies is a realistic and tragic tale of effort and desperation. The 'papery lips' a sad but clever way to describe how hot and dry the place is. Chilling.

    Erin, I just love the bizarro voice and feel to this. The pups - despite the risk - sound soooo cute - am I wrong to want one? A brilliant and witty snapshot scenario in so few words!

    Antonia, ooh, ooh, ooh - the viciousness of your revenge made me laugh out loud - you were annoyed, weren't you! At least negativie feelings can be turned into great fiction - as is this. And I agree with everyone about "mustard on the eyes" - ouch!

    Chris, you trick us with a warm, family atmosphere - a sparkling happy day that turns black with the appearance of that bear. There's nothing that could compare to that in the UK. What strikes me is that the moment of terror also fascinated me and I leant in, wanting more.

    Nick, the tension rises from the very first word here. I genuinely felt my nostrils flare with the narrator's mounting irritation. I love the casual line "Affectionate hugs used to soothe her, but a smack in the mouth doesn’t stop her now." and the sandwich ending is superb.

    Dion, hello!! So glad Phil bullied you into joining us ;). The voice and language in this chilling piece is disturbing and bleak, to accompany the scene in which it's set. "watchin’ that affectionate boy scrape at his mother’s grave" is a heart-rending line that will stay with me a long, long time. Excellent writing.

    AJ, my ears hurt with the freezing yet burning maelstrom of your tale. The opening sentence evokes a beautiful fear and we just know everythng will go wrong - and doesn't it - with fury. Excellent.

    Helen, ain't nothing affectionate here! She's got that bastard right in her clutches - he thinks he's getting away with it - HA! Enjoy that mustard, sucker.

    Charlie, great to see you at The Feardom! What? I want to know more? This is a great, atmospheric tease - are we talking the horrendous Moors Murders here? Either way, it's a really well-penned vignette that leaves us waiting for the next instalment.

    Phil, nostalgic, emotional and real. How many people listened to those radio messages, how many had that same conversation; saw the bombs drop as they clung to one-another? Beautiful, a tear is trembling in my eye (just the right one, you understand).

  23. Aiden – Clever use of the child’s pure, truthful perspective so unclouded by adult deceit.

    Erin – I like the tongue in cheek of that last line balanced with the opening.

    Antonia – Ouch! That really did make the eyes water!

    Chris – Nice gradual set up for the final, dreadful moment.

    Nick – Visual, visceral and great descriptions.

    Dion – Well written – the ‘ache’ shone through the narrative in waves. Dark and delicious.

    Lily – Love the sibilance you’ve created – ‘swelling vessels of pulsing passion’. Brilliant.

    Helen – I like the cold, clinical nuance of this whole piece.

    Charlie – A hint of what lies beneath the Moors – it makes us wonder.

    Phil – A dreadful sense of desolation and inevitability is strong, which doesn’t detract from the plaintive sadness of this.

  24. He could see her apprehension to take him on at first. It took strenuous stretching and pushing his body, for her to believe that he could cut the mustard. Although even after years of their success together she knew how to crack the whip.

    “No, No, No,” she said, simultaneously smacking the back of her hand into the other’s palm. “You scrape the barrel with these moves. Again.” He lifted her with a graceful affection that only a performer could pull off. Secretly resenting her cadence and poise exuding such excellence.

  25. A bit rushed I've been trying to get this out for two weeks.

    The Morning after the Peace before.

    Quietly dawn rises, and she’s full of surprises.
    Yesterday’s peace has been taught to beg.
    Death lifts from the field like an affectionate veil,
    The first life’s taken out, with a scrape of her nail.
    No football today both teams are away, the shooting is for their own goals.
    Then the bleakest of hell, screams out of the Mustard shells.
    Skin burning like it’s on hot coals.
    We hide under ground where our bodies were found, with all of our masks caught adrift.
    The protection of boy’s from the horror of war is no time for talking bout thrift.

  26. What is it about Thursdays lately? I buggered off out again and didn't even tell you.

    Well, the Feardom has shut down the Prediction for the week but here are my comments for Henrietta and William.

    Henrietta, welcome to the Feardom's weekly Prediction challenge. A beautifully balletic sense to your words here that dance through the subject as a pen lifting and dipping onto paper. Lovely writing.

    William - two weeks? This was well worth the wait. A powerful poem that almost reads as lyrics. "Death lifts from the field like an affectionate veil" is a stunning line that hums with a sinister acquiescence. Brilliant. Time to start a poetry collection, m'boy.

    Let's hope this wind-blasted land manages to sleep well tonight. I'll return in the morning with results and a new set of words.

  27. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Indeed, Gundel was a Gemini, tried and true, through every lifetime he ensued. Chameleonlike charm lifeforced irresistibly. Mercurian dashes mentally communicated interactions stimulating curious passions. Possibilities waltzed forth, femmes were conquered . . . myriads, with mirth. Complex? Confusing? Mais oui, though toujours the companion most amusing.

    Galiena intuited Gundel's romantic'fications once more. Virgo vixen venting volley au vex, she toasted come-hither potent eyes 'cross a crowded Viennese ballroom, slithering, sensating sex. Swallowing time-travels as others drank mead, she wondered, for her 1560's plan to succeed ~ Would he remember? That affectionate scrape of mustard caught in their 1960's kiss when she'd dubbed him HotDawg . . . ?

    ~~~~~ To Be Continued in Feardom's fray . . .

    Fellow Deardoms @ Feardom ~ I'm challenging myself to flesh out the intrigue of Gundel through whatsoever trinity of wordliness Lady Lily strews to our scribing weekly winds . . . unless of course, some supremely cool storyline pushes harder . . . We shall see.

    MEA CULPA FOR US to UK LATENESS, likewise of Holiday's hurry, flurry, scurry ... BUT I WISHED TO JOIN YOU IF EVEN PAST DEADLINE'S LIFE.

    Merriment to all, with potency!
    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  28. Kate it was I think the mustard on her lips that burned the memory into his heart maybe. One hot kiss! ^__^

  29. NOTORIOUS NICK ~ Congrats on teeming talents ... (I laud the lingering lazy too)

    WelcomeBack Aussie farin' Fritzen AIDEN

    WooHoo! Enigmatic ERIN slipslides in again!

    ~ ~ ~

    Ailing tale'ing AIDEN ~ Pity a world on the wither.

    Eeek ERIN ~ Bold told, with yet only a mother's way to behold.

    Aye Eye, nasty angers of ANTONIA ~ You tale 'em ... past all sticky injustices!

    Cripes CHRIS! ~ Bunny to Bear! Picnic to Panic! Get up Grampa, get up!!! (bravo man)

    Nefarious NICK ~ You woke up to write this?! Domestic disturbance has no interference with a man's appetite. Past your prior yawning, I roared at your title Dijonning, then grinnnned at the man most likely to say, "Pardon me, what became of the Grey Poupon?"

    Daunting DION ~ I ached with how you described ache. Last phrasings? Haunted. And *welcome* to Feardom's Fray ... as a relative newcomer myself - these talents of terror somehow make you seem time has passed and their voices scare you up so familiar.

    Holy HUMPAGE! ~ You blew me away from action, angst and . . . oh my, the lovely line ~ "my clouded affection in your eyes". Wow (whispered)

    Loving lurid LILY ~ " pulsing passion, purple with rage and ready to spill volcanic mustard eruptions across one another’s canvas" Portrait of iridescent brilliance here in reach and scope from coiling tendril to a world remade. PURE it is.

    Ho ho ho HELEN ~ Laughing at your title sandwiched the twist of your loving nourishment down to the bite of the last wish ~ "She hoped he would die in her arms…."

    Whoa WADE ~ I'll title your piece ~ HIKING TRAILS ... And how you walked us in to a piece of pleasure remembered and deftly dared to lead us to the dug graves. Masterful, sir.

    Awesome AMBLER ~ With distinctive dialogue, I felt I 'watched in' at a whole tale in the telling. Strong, soft, sweet, protective ... and painful. {applause}

    Hail HENRIETTA ~ Cracking the whip - cutting the mustard -- a lot of undertones doing a smug exude at the excel.

    Wow WILLIAM ~ The Morning After The Peace Before is a most stunning title. So glad the weeks built this one forth, for its creation is certainly line'upon'line a structure to view. This line is one a writer wishes she had writ: "Yesterday’s peace has been taught to beg." Scribe, I salute thee.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  30. Kate, we cannot tie a Gemini down, so late upon the UK deadline is fine. Gundel's gathering his own momentum here in the Mercurial whirl and whorl - that kiss will be a belter. And every flutter of the smokin' Galiena's eyes is going to start a fire somewhere.

    Fascinating; time and realm-defying. I loved it.

  31. Lily - love the analogies in Pure, and all the lovely verbs you use, 'coil,' 'tear,' 'snatched' - really add a dark dimension to the elegance of the piece.
    Helen - nothing like the slip of death, smothered in mustard at that!
    Charlie – you took this where I didn’t expect! Anything with walkers and graveyards gets my attention!
    Phil – wow, spectacular, chilling – the perfect combo of dialogue, description, and real darkness.
    Henrietta – beautiful play on words, with a slip of dark character coming through at the end. Well done.
    William – a poetic masterpiece. I liked the reference to the hardships of war played out as if it were a game – hard truths there. Well done.
    Kate – You never fail to craft the most interesting works, with sentences like, “Virgo vixen venting volley au vex, she toasted come-hither potent eyes 'cross a crowded Viennese ballroom, slithering, sensating sex.” There’s no way I can read your pieces once!


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.