Friday, 30 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Now that the neighbours have stopped partying at 7am I'll attempt to get my brain in gear which, unlike theirs is stone-cold-sober but very, very tired. Thank you guys. 

However, not to be discombobulated I shall persevere, submit the Love story I've written (don't laugh - it's in a Lily Childs flavour) and write a synopsis on something else. Deadlines are tomorrow.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Firstly, I want to thank everyone that has taken part in the Challenge this year, and taken the time to comment and support each other in our little community of Predictioneers. The quality of writing is consistently outstanding and I just want to read more of your work! I can't count the number of times we've said of each others' entries "this needs expanding" or similar. 

I so wish I could afford to set up my own Small Press and publish you all - but that lottery win never happens. In the meantime, I wish you all a very successful 2012 for your writing - and when you're all best-selling superstar authors don't forget to pop in and give us a Prediction from time to time.

On to winners...

Hell. I wish I'd chosen one of you to guest judge - this is a killer.

As we had two weeks to write I'm being naughty and choosing two winners and two-runners up. I hope that doesn't dilute the wins.

Congratulations to my final winners of 2011 Anthony Cowin for the savage horror Apron Strings and John Xero for the epic and powerful Warsmith. Both absolutely stunning.

The runner-up shields go to Charlie Wade for the best twist I've read in ages in The Perils of Washing Up and Dion Winton-Polak for his extraordinarily beautiful and tragic poem Salvation. Very well done both.

Words for 30 December 2011

I swear this old book is getting heavier - oof. My fingers are ready:
  • Knuckle
  • Connection
  • Dial
Right. A challenge indeed.


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 5th January 2012 to enter.

Winner will be announced on Friday 6th January. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

A very Happy New Year to you all. Charge your pens - I await your creations...


  1. Maybe Massachusetts

    Butter curdled at the knife’s edge. Mutton turned to gristle on Goodie Humble’s bitching tongue.

    “Witches,” she snarled.


    “Quick. Try a different connection. She’s sussed us.”

    Joel glared at his brother’s reflection in the screen.

    “Don’t be dumb. They didn’t have dial-up in the 1600s. She’s just guessing.”

    Danny’s little heart calmed. He didn’t understand how they could see into history using the internet. Probably in the year 2000 they’d be able to time-travel too. He jumped as the old woman rapped her knuckles, and leant in closer.

    “Got you!”

    Goodie’s hands plunged through the screen, pulling the brothers in.

  2. Anthony, John, Charlie and Dion - congratulations! the standards are impossibly high here so to be chosen means you are something else, and that set of entries really was something else!
    Lily, I love this, time travel turned nasty. I must beware using my portal to the past... anything could happen...

  3. Thank you so much, Lily. And congratulations everyone else. =)

    It's great to come here every week and read work by a talented set of authors that is always fresh and new and interesting. The standard and variety here is awesome. Keep up the great work, Lily, everybody. Have a great new year... see you on the other side... ;)

  4. Congrats to all the winners. I was gutted to miss it again but I was determined to get one in before the end of 2011, so here it is. There will be another.

    Bruised and Battered

    It was the most perfect connection. Knuckle on jaw. Bone cracked and teeth loosened. There was no defence, though. Tied to a rafter in a garage, the man had no use of his arms.

    I suppose I should dial 999 and get the police round. But where would the fun in that be?

    The bruising on my fist would soon disappear, as would the marks on her battered body.

    I just needed to make sure that this drunken, abusive man never got the chance to hit my mum again.



    My knuckles are a mess. My hand looks like I’ve had a fight with a cheese grater – and I only wish that I had. I dial Julie’s number. As I wait for the connection I try and piece together the fragmented memories from last night. It’s all a haze – I can remember necking shots in the Z Bar, then Julie flirting with John, then a fight outside, John on the floor, bleeding, not moving.

    The phone goes to voicemail. Julie isn’t answering.

    There’s a knock on the door. I answer it in a daze, arms outstretched, ready for the handcuffs.

  6. David, this is a truly chilling piece with that last line which socks you straight in the face. Wonderful.
    Nick, this is good, didn't see that ending coming. Like it.

    Ok, here's mine, for what it's worth. It came to me the moment I saw the words, so...


    I scraped my knuckle levering off his coffin lid. Not sensible when you don’t want to leave DNA to connect you to the ‘crime.’ It’s not really a crime, it’s repossession. I ask you, who puts long screws in coffin lids? Who do they think is going to want to get in? Apart from me, of course but they didn’t know that at the time.
    Before you call me totally mad and dial up the men in white coats, let me explain.
    I want my heart back. If I have to take his, so be it. Fair exchange, yes?

  7. Congratulations Anthony, John, Charlie, and Dion!


    They never learn.

    I twirled the trophy before my headmounted Lytro cameras. Dead long enough the cartilage below the third knuckle dripped grey ooze. No challenge in a freshly turned individual.

    Amazingly, a diamond ring was still attached to her finger. She must've been drop dead gorgeous before virus. Now she was dead.

    I tossed it into my drained pool with a bar of Dial soap. Fingers swarmed over it.

    I vamped for a picture with my smartphone, the pool behind me. The connection vibrated with a tweet. Look behind you. A tower of digits showered over me. Poking. Prodding.

  8. Doting Daddy

    Daddy tore another finger from the hand.

    The muscles in the pinky were strong but daddies were stronger. Flesh connections severed with a wet tear.

    He removed the other digits, stripped the gristle and fat, leaving him with nineteen bones separated by chalk white knuckle joints.

    He inserted them one by one through the fractured eye socket of the freshly boiled skull and eyed his creation. The small section of spine remaining would make a fine handle.

    He picked up the new toy and rattled it.

    The baby cooed.

    Daddy smiled and began to dial for a new babysitter.

  9. Time is my enemy, but I admire all your work here and wish I could enter more often. I will try. Promise. Happy New Year.


    A flurry of sirens ripped through the night and the icy fingers of dread crawled up his spine. Empty eyes stared, but saw nothing, except vivid blue flashes illuminating his living room.

    Frantic voices, footsteps, banging doors, jolted his attention. He zoomed back from the dark chasms of his mind to see again.

    The woman’s wide red-lipstick grin registered briefly, but why did the lipstick run so? Initially, the connection eluded him.

    Realising, he slammed a knuckle onto the phone on his lap, the dial tone screaming. He’d been staring at her throat, and had gone and done it again.

  10. Happy New Year to you all. Chuffed to get runner up again, especially up against such strong competition. Hotly fought!
    Speaking of which...

    Lily, you caught me completely by surprise with Maybe Massachusetts. Great scene setting, in time and place. I had no idea where it was going until the last line. Thrilling, chilling and left field.
    David, I love the focus and detail in yours, encapsulating that feeling of shock blended with cool observation and savage victory.
    Nick, I always enjoy the variety of horror on this site. A hazy memory congealing brings all kinds of shocks - especially after drink. Nice one.
    Antonia, love the sense of hysteria bubbling away behind this. Who is she talking to? How would it feel to come across a grave robbery? Smashing.
    Aidan, you've some vivid imagery here. I've read it several times and suddenly it's clicked and I get it. Horrible and funny stuff.
    Stephen, you've properly freaked me out. There's so much that expands outwards from this flash of dark brilliance. How long has it been happening? Where is mummy? Will the baby be a victim one day or grow into a willing participant? What have they been eating? Shudders all over.

  11. Col, I had dinner in the middle of writing my post so I hadn't seen yours at the time. Smashing stuff. To be horrified by your own actions, to have that mental block lifted like that... Wonderful.

  12. Eleven years of crap marriage. Nothing in common you see. The last couple of weeks though have seen an improvement in the connection we have. I’ve soldered a chain to an iron ring that I clamped around her neck. The other end is soldered to my wedding ring which fits snugly just below the knuckle. When I move my finger her neck snaps forward. Move it the other way and it snaps back. And when I dial a number into the phone with the third finger of my left hand she sucks my cock. Successful marriages are all about persevering…

  13. Brandon stood drenched and shivering on the corner of Fifth and Main, his overcoat rustling in the breeze of a night of revelry, of New Years amateurs getting wasted and boisterous all along the bar-lined street. He stood at a payphone, one of the last in the city. His knuckle punched the metal buttons, dialing the cell of his late wife, like he did the year before when he needed a ride home. He kept her old phone on his nightstand, still in service, and he tapped on the metal box with each ring… aimlessly praying for one last connection.

  14. Dammit! Mulligan, (if I can...)

    Brandon stood drenched and shivering on the corner of Fifth and Main, his overcoat rustling in the breeze of a night of revelry, of New Years amateurs getting wasted and boisterous all along the bar-lined street. He stood at a payphone, one of the last in the city. His knuckle punched the metal buttons to dial the cell of his late wife, like he did the year before when he needed a ride home. He kept her old phone on his nightstand, still in service, and he tapped on the metal box with each ring… praying for one last connection.

  15. Wow, REALLY hungover. The title of that was "Payphone"

  16. Such a perfect parade of Prediction delights. These are superb - keep 'em coming!

    Today is my final day off before returning to the daily slog of jobs and school runs but I am out for pizza and panto today and will return to catch up (and hopefully add my comments so far) tonight.

    Enjoy the freedom.

  17. Up Yours

    She looked at her trophies and smiled. Gracie wrapped the 6 fingers up carefully and placed them in her bag with the now clean meat cleaver, to dispose of them later.

    Using his mobile and a pair of gloves to prevent the police making a connection between the two of them, she dialled for an ambulance. She didn’t want to kill him, just pay him back for what he did.

    And cutting his fingers off at the knuckles, leaving a permanent one fingered salute on each hand, that was her way of saying fuck you to him, every single day.

  18. Starting as I mean to go on by getting my entry in above- its been a while. Lots of excellent entries as usual.
    Lily, I loved this - an interesting take on time-travel!
    David, excellent - the last line delivers a brilliant final punch.
    Nick,i could sympathise with the waking up the next morning trying to remember the night before - thankfully I've never woken up to the police coming to arrest me though!
    Antonia, I liked the grave robbery - and especially the comment about the long screws in the coffin - made me smile!
    Aidan, the picture this left in my head made me shiver! in a good way of course!
    Steven, a fantastic piece - thankfully none of my babysitting adventures as a youngster turned out like that!
    Col, loved the slow awakening to his actions, the mental block being lifted.
    Stu, so very funny!
    Liam, very touching and moving.

  19. Thanks for the runner up shield, Lily, and congrats to everyone else.

    Lily - Excellent didn't see where that was going at all.
    Dave - Very dark and chilling.
    Nick - Great pace and ending.
    Antonia - Fantastic story, it's amazing how diverse you can get from just three words.
    Aidan - Scary stuff, especially the end.
    Steven - Horror at it's best. So much in so few words.
    Col - Great ending. Gone and done it again reveals so much.
    Stu - Shocking ending. Didn't see that coming at all.
    Liam - Great imagery and an unexpected ending.
    Ttofee - The ultimate payback.

  20. Congrats Tony, John, Charlie and Dion.

    Alone on the Hill

    His knuckle gleamed white.

    The connection fizzled into a palliative silence. Their connection.

    The clock dial ticked towards finality, counting down the seconds like a slow parade of nonchalance.

    The gun grew heavy in his hand, skin clammy despite the chill. Cold spectres danced across the space between them, sinewy fingers pointing with spite.

    He was grateful the hood covered his best friend’s face. He couldn’t bear looking beyond the fearful expression of a soul so lost and afraid, yet so penetrating.

    Comforting words stagnated in his mind – what he would tell Jack Dawson’s mother.


    He had no choice.

  21. Happy new year to one and all. Hoping to have a chance to read and comment on other entries over next few days. And congrats to Tony, John, Charlie and Dion - great reads as to be expected on here!


    I held the receiver, listening to the endless dial tone. If I didn’t make the call then maybe none of this would be real.


    The officer opposite looked at me expectantly.

    No choice I guess.

    I punched in numbers and waited for the connection.

    “Hello” answered a gruff voice.

    “We do not deal with terrorists!” my voice quivered at the end, my gaze held by the parents weeping on their sofa as I replaced the handset. The mother held a matchbox in her hands. Inside lay a finger severed at the knuckle.

    On a table sat four more boxes.

  22. Late Nights and Bloody Knuckles

    He swirled her blood around his knuckle. Clockwise, counterclockwise, clockwise. He licked it. It tasted bitter but good. He wondered if there was any connection between the taste of someone's blood and their sex life. She'd had lots of sex in her day even though she wouldn't have sex with him. She wouldn't have sex with anyone now, the little whore. He wondered what it would be like to be with such a beautiful woman. He stared at her body, then dialed his mom to say he would be late tonight.

  23. Welcome aboard

    He tapped his knuckle on the dial. The needle edged round a bit further.
    “How long?”
    “About thirty minutes... or I’ve got an hour, if you stop breathing.”
    The bathysphere settled in the silt, two miles down. The connections to the support vessel had severed as they scraped along the side of the Titanic.

    Now there is only emergency lighting, and whatever air is left in the tank.
    The vessel creaked under the pressure.
    “We’re not alone …” he pointed through the porthole at the spectral form outside; in full captain’s uniform, wearing a grey beard, and saluting smartly.

  24. Okay, so I've been missing for a while due to college commitments for getting into Uni...I decided to pop in and show that I've not fallen off the face of the Earth yet by giving you...


    I watched you as you dialled the number. You cursed under your breath as you heard that there was no connection.

    You glanced up. Your blue eyes turned a lighter hue, fear glazed over that delicate face of yours.

    You turned your focus to the woman; trapped centre of attention in the middle of the room. Her knuckles had turned white.

    I smiled as I poured another Disaronno, ice clinking in my glass. I handed you the knife, flicked my eyes towards the woman, then back to you. I leaned close, my breath raspy.

    ‘Kill her…’

  25. Time always seems skewed around this time of year, with quiet days and busy day and off days all in the wrong place... anyway... =)


    Kyle’s fingers had no knuckles. I stumbled backwards and tripped over the pile of my discarded clothes, landing painfully in the corner of the shed.

    “You weren’t supposed to see that.”

    His flexing fingers were like thick worms, curving rather than bending at a joint. He pulled his gloves back on.

    “You would have enjoyed it, you know.”

    I opened my mouth but nothing came out; my brain was a dead line, all dial tone and no connection.

    “It’s ok.” He reached for me, then hesitated.

    He turned his pale eyes away, sadly.

    “You won’t remember a thing.”

  26. Ha, my previous word verification was 'mania', brilliant. =D

    Lily - nice mash-up of science fantasy with a clever retro feel to it and a solid twist. Fun. =D

    David - interesting play with feelings of justice and injustice.

    Nick - I don't think Julie's going to be answering any time soon...

    Antonia - Oh, the things we do for love... ;) Love the off-hand chattiness as she digs up a dead guy. =)

    Aidan - an inspired melange of genre and technology, excellent.

    Steven - felt genuinely horrified when I though he was pulling the babies fingers off initially, then strangely relieved to discover it was only(!) the babysitter. Great twist. =)

    Back for more later! =)

  27. Bete Noir

    I woke to the hot smell of piss and a gut like a chinese burn. The night-slatted room shrugged and rolled over as I struggled upright.

    I dragged a knuckle through crusted eyes and nearly had a frickin' heart attack. Some damn... thing was in the room: a great shadow with greasy yellow glints.

    I rolled for cover, fumbling for my gat. Gone! My fingers found the phone. I dialled frantically, flinching at the growl. Shockingly close.

    Course, then I made the connection.

    The wardrobe mirror. Full moon.


    I hauled on my trench-coat and went out for a bite.

  28. Wow, even more astounding entries. Sadly, I am a hostess of the poorly variety this evening and must take to my bed so it will have to be a mass comment-fest tomorrow from me - all being well.

    Thank you to so many of you for contributing this week.


  29. "Who wants a life anyway?"

    I'd last seen him in the mid-90s. When the invite arrived I ignored it: then Dr Rodgers said "any unfinished business, it's now or never".

    Our 15 year reunion, speakers blasting Elastica's 'Connection'. I spot Symes; suggest a re-match.

    Outside, I hand him some marbles.

    He cheats again, sealing his fate.

    "One's knuckle must be placed exactly at the spot where one's previous marble ended up."

    He smirks as I quote rules at him. Screams when I enforce them with secateurs. I place ten of them, to be sure.

    He can't play with no fingers.

    But he can't cheat either...

  30. Lily - hope you feel better soon and I don't envy your task this week with so many entries to choose from.

    Gill Grim little tale of harboured revenge.

    Dion Even lycanthrops have fears of things that go bump in the night. Clever twist at the end.

    John Lot of menace oozing within this piece. Do I take it from the title Kyle is an alien lifeform?

    Pixie A chilling piece here with power play from the Disaranno sipping lady. Now who was he trying to call?

    Kim Ooooh, that didn't go where I was expecting. Are the occupants going to join the spectral captain?

    Nathaniel A disturbing tale of a frustrated man destroying what he cannot have. The nonchalence of the last line left me cold.

    AJ So much sorrow in this piece and what a task to perform for duty's sake.

    Will try and get more time tomorrow to comment on the rest.

  31. Lily: love the title and the word choice here is just wonderful.

    David: redeemed in the final twisting, I like how you played against expectations.

    Nick: like how you've threaded the emotions around his blackout showing chinks of his character.

    Antonia: the heart-repo man, I like how the protagonist needs to explain their madness.

    Steven: that is going to be one interesting adult when the baby grows up. When I first read this, I thought Daddy tore his own hand... which gave it an interesting unbelievable aspect... but maybe I was just trying to avoid the truth.

    Col: why did the lipstick run so, lovely way of capturing his fleeting innocence.

    ... more later ...

  32. Her Vow of Silence


    Our connection was unbelievable,

    But you believe everyone experiences sadness; that I just need to knuckle down and fight it off. I’ve tried and I can’t do it anymore. When I tried to find help, I’d see your face when you warned me that you’d never forgive me if the kids got taken away and I couldn’t dial the number. Silence is the answer, and there is only one way for true commitment.

    I love you all.



    The note was crumpled when Ellis hugged his children; his eyes never left her body until it was gone.

  33. Congratulations to the double winners and runner ups. I never had the chance to read the winning entries, so I'll scoot over and read them soon.

    I forgot how hard writing 100 words or less was. You lot don't seem to have that same difficulty. I'm sincerely hoping to be more regularly seen around the Feardom Halls.

    One little self publicity - please take a peek at Issue Four of 5x5, when it comes out. I've got a story in it!

    Lily - Is it odd that your piece made me smile? Loved it.

    David - This struck a cord. Did not expect the ending but it fit perfectly.

    Nick - I like it, you made the situation seem real.

    Antonia - Did the man break her heart? I think her decision is fair.

    Aidan - The end freaked me out.

    Steven - Fantastic piece for me. These type of stories light my buttons.

    Col - You really spoke to me, the mental stress is there and instead of in your face gore you merely suggest it.

    Stu - Creepily funny.

    Liam - Your ending is utterly heartbreaking.

    ttofee - Gracie, is kind of my hero. I like her way of thinking.

    AJ - Wow. Each time I read what you create, it blows my mind. Alone on the Hill does not disappoint, well done.

    philambler - Very emotional and a modern kind of horror right there.

    Nathaniel - This reminded me of Col's Again but in an opposite way. Very good.

    Kim - I had to read this twice to get it, but I really liked it.

    Pixie - Good one, will there be more?

    John - What is going on?! I like it, but my manic brain is throwing so many possibilites that it's driving me nuts.

    Dion - I've never remember reading your work, but I do have a poor memory. I really like Bete Noir it was well written, funny and scary all at the same time.

    gillhoffs - I don't want to play. Your character gave me the creeps.

  34. Aaaaaaand we're back... =)

    Col - nicely done, we share the killer's confusion as the scene unfolds to us and him, and then his horror as realisation hits.

    Stu - man, that sucks... (sorry...) ;)

    Liam - evocative and sad, alone in a busy world... nice one.

    Wow ttofee - not a woman you want to piss off. Whatever he did must have been pretty bad.

    AJ - I love the clock's 'slow parade of nonchalance', says so much about the gradual but inevitable approach of the moment. A great capture.

    Phil - A terrible scene, and a punchline that hangs so much more gravity and emotion onto it. Excellent.

    Nathaniel - guy's bitter and more than a little twisted. Great thought to leave us hanging with...

    Kim - Oxygen deprivation, or a welcoming party? Guess they'll find out soon enough...

    Pixie - so tantalising, what is the narrator's hold over the subject? What is the bigger picture?

    Dion - I enjoyed the way your writing style shifted through genres with your protagonist, from man to beast, horror noir to comedy one-liner.

    Gillhoffs - now there's a long-held grudge... but rules are rules... ;)

    Muckie - That's so achingly painful, a story that rings so true.
    Congrats on the 5x5, I can never seem to get mine to work...

    And my capture word is ROING... like the tolling of some insane bell, pealing its lamentations out across the Feardom.

  35. capture/ captcha... you know what I mean... ;)

  36. Lily - Great piece. I'd love to have a look inside your mind. Such a wonderful place.

    Nick - The morning after, indeed. "Regrets, I've had a few....."

    Antonia - Dark but heartfelt. See what I did there?? Nice write!

    Aiden - Phones with cameras get you in the shit, even with dead peeps! Cool ending!

    Stephen - Great piece, mate. enjoyed it. Sick and perfect!!!

    Col - Nice one, buddy. A stark realisation at the end. Well done.

    Stuart - You sick, sick man. I want one of those!!! LoL!

    Liam - I like this. Trying to keep hold of something that has long since gone. A sad but well written piece.

    ttofee - Very good. Made me laugh at the end. Well done!

    AJ - Excellent piece. You captured a lot of atmosphere in only a few words. Well done.

    Phil - Really liked this piece. Well done!

    Nathaniel - Talk about a woman scorned. This guys a nutjob, and I like it!!! Well done.

    Kim - Well done. Being an ex-fireman and having a lot of experience in scuba diving, watching a needle get close to zero is a worry. You captured the atmosphere of that very well in such a short piece. One you should maybe expand into a short story??

    Pixie - Great tension. Does he carry out her command though? More, please!

    John X - Excellent! Great lines in this one. Lily's words have created a fair few psychos this week!!

    Dion - Haha! A werewolf bed-wetter! Great piece with a great ending. well done!

    Gill - That took me back to my marble playing childhood. Fortunately, I never held grudges like that! Well done.

    Muckie - Great piece of writing. Sad and heart breaking and well written. Congrats on the 5x5. I had a piece in an earlier edition. Well done!

  37. Speaking of rules - aargh! I missed out 'dial'. Totally understand if can't change my entry since it is now up - but if I'm not risking secateurs ;) here's the 'proper' version!

    "Who wants a life anyway?"

    When the invite arrived I ignored it: then Dr Rodgers said "any unfinished business, it's now or never".

    Our 15 year reunion, speakers blasting Elastica's 'Connection'. I spot Symes and dial up the volume. Then suggest a re-match.

    Outside, I hand him some marbles.

    He cheats again, sealing his fate.

    "One's knuckle must be placed exactly at the spot where one's previous marble ended up."

    He smirks as I quote rules at him. Screams when I enforce them with secateurs. I place ten of them, to be sure.

    He can't play with no fingers.

    But he can't cheat either...


    By the way - here's a link to the song

    Now for some brief comments:

    Lily - enjoyed the fusion of what felt like Japanese and English horror.

    David - juicy justice.

    Nick - your description of 'fight with a cheese grater' made me wince!

    Antonia - love the tone

    Aidan - urgh!

    Steven - love the visuals - and the last line

    Col - another one with a fantastic last line

    Stu - yuck!

    Liam - one of the most romantic, melancholy stories I've read for a good while. Loved it.

    ttofee - another one with a great visual.

    AJ - very sad

    Phil - sad and poignant

    Kim - particularly apt since it's the centenary year. Very claustrophobic tale.

    Pixie - tense

    John - creepy

    Dion - funny

    Muckie - great snapshot of sadness

  38. Hand in Glove

    Phone in hand, she started to dial.
    They weren’t going to believe her. She knew how this would look. Her knuckles split, blood dripping from wounds that would scar. He’d once said she had pretty hands. Slender, perfect. That was before, though. Before all the arguements.
    The connection clicked. “Which service?”
    She gasped. “There’s been an accident.”
    “What kind of accident?”
    She sucked in air. “He’s fallen down some stairs.”
    “Okay, you want an ambulance.”
    As pan pipes filled the line she saw her gloves on the table. Picking them up she smiled. She might just get away with this.

  39. OK, it's all got away from me this week, quick visit to say THANK YOU for all the nice comments on my entry and a bigger THANK YOU for all the good reading, I read them as google drops them into the IN box for me - they lighten (if I can say that) my working days... heavily involved in an edit of an SF novel right now, which deals with a field I know nothing about (virtual gaming) so I need all my wits about me.
    Just to say there are some wonderful entries here and Pixie, it is SO good to see you here again! Hope all is well with the massive amount of work you must have on right now.
    Standards here are just SO high it isn't true.

  40. Is this a record number of entries? Wowzah! (That's how articulate I am!)

    Gotta split all these comments into two, 'cos Blogger says I'm a big mouth...

    David, a clever twist here as we move from the seeming aggression of an assault to the introduction of a female character. Once we realise who she is, it falls into place and we're on the MC's side. Dark and menacing David, I really enjoyed this.

    Nick, you've captured that dull hangover sense where you know something's wrong but you just... can't... quite... remember. Then - oh shit. It hits, just as your narrator hit John - and maybe even Julie too? Nicely left unsaid.

    Antonia, Fair Exchange? Yes indeedy. I heard those nails creak and slide from the wood, as long as Nosferatu's teeth. Creepy and matter-of-fact. Very enjoyable.

    Aidan, frickin' fabulous imagery here. Damn, I wish I was an artist to be able to draw out how this is displaying in my head. I love the urban language of your piece too and how 'virus' no longer required the Definite Article. Toe-wigglingly excellent!

    Steven, ha ha ha - Steven Chapman at his finest. I genuinely couldn't fathom what was going to happen here even with all the digits getting squashed in through the eye socket. What a pair of monsters - very tasty indeed.

    Col, wonderful to see you gracing the Feardom Halls again matey. I love the inherent horror within this, even from the title. You place us right inside the murderer's mind and we glimpse his loss of intention, countermanded by the rush of recognition. Absolutely terrifying, and needs expanding.

    Stu, one feels they are both at the end of their tether (ha!) The narrator's description of events carries that psychopathic sense of observing from above or beyond the actual scene. What happens if he doesn't dial the number and simply lifts the phone, Pavlov stylee? Dastardly, and dangerous.

    Liam, welcome to The Feardom! I feel as soaked as Brandon; you really conveyed the wet chill in the air well. There's an eerieness and hopelessness to this, all bound up with desperation. I obviously interpreted this differently to the others (I often get it wrong) because I thought he killed his wife. And if he did... why? A highly atmospheric piece of noir in so few words.

  41. ttofee, why do I feel a mighty satisfaction reading this? He done baaaaad; she done gooood ;-) I love the tidy explanation of how she'll hoodwink the cops - I'm assuming her victim lived and didn't know who the cutter was. Revenge is sickly sweet. Yum.

    AJ, such bleak and incredible sadness to this tale of moral dilemma. This feels like a modern trial of war yet it could just as easily be a gang-member deserting the tribe. Either way, the deeper argument is truly heartbreaking.

    Phil, my feeling is we are dealing with a role reversal where the terrorist is accusing the police of being terrorists themselves. You've summoned up a horribly uncomfortable scenario made worse by the narrator's casual (brainwashed?) attitude. Clever and totally chilling.

    Nathaniel, Superb title, and even better opening lines. I see him twisting his head, this way and that as he ponders the blood and the whoredom, be it real or imagined. Just love how you raise the terror with that killer last line too. Brilliant.

    Kim, ooh, dead spooky. I actually found it quite hard to breathe reading this because of the pressure and the darkness, me being claustrophobic 'n' all. There's a disturbing finality to this piece - and you cruelly leave us hanging, to await the inevitable.

    Pixie, great to see you back, Pix! You're a mistress at writing in the second person and this is classic Pixie J. King. A great vignette that leaves us asking who the narrator is and why do they have such command over their subject. Clever, nasty and highly intriguing.

    John, ah this is a tease. First I thought Kyle was a pair of gloves - until he put some on. I'm desperate to know what these two were up to, being naughty in the shed. Or would the narrator never have known what Kyle was if he hadn't accidentally revealed his knuckle-less digits?

    Dion, a gut like a chinese burn - ouch. This story grunts, grinds and strains as the beast awakens and faces his fears. I love the line "The night-slatted room shrugged and rolled over as I struggled upright." - such clever penning. A dark and twisted humour - loved it!

    Gill, see - you got me with Elastica. I loved 'em back then, stuck up Justine or not. Why are reunions always trouble? I really enjoyed the retribution here, especially when it's tenfold. A great piece, full of energy and revenge.

    MuckieDuckie, such a tragedy that tears at heart-strings. I don't know if it's deliberate but is it the note, or the body that disappears? Both have severe implications and could twist the tale one way or another. Very enjoyable.

    Charlie, you must think the sun shines out of our behinds! ;-) Will she really get away with it, I wonder. I like this fast vignette that wraps revenge (my, there's a lot of revenge this week!) up with vindication. The pan pipes on the line is a nice, cold touch as she waits... and contemplates.

  42. Sliding in under the wire. I resolve to do better next time.


    Gary throws a knuckle ball, believing I won’t make the connection. Imagine his surprise when the crack of a bat sends 5 ounces of leather-covered hell directly towards his head. He ducks, too late to miss impact entirely, too soon for my taste. He’s laid out, but not out cold. I don’t drop the bat as I head in his direction. He thinks I’m going to help him up, and maybe I would, if he hadn’t spent the last year telling me “Be a winner; dial up your game to ten.” Fucking corporate buzzwords. He deserve what comes next.

  43. Posting on behalf of Chris Allinotte:

    Out of Network Range

    Knuckles are banging on the phone booth door. A large opaque blob wants to use the phone. The glass is too filthy to see anything more.

    I dial again. The connection cannot be completed, again. It costs me a quarter to learn that. The bastards killed the cell towers first.

    The blob knocks harder.

    Going down the list of numbers, I put in another coin. Someone has to answer; someone has to be able to help.

    Whoever-it-is has started pounding the glass now. There’s a weird glimmer of yellow around the blob’s head. Oh, shit.

    Pick up.

    Pick up.

    Pick u…

  44. Ah, the hell of typos. That last line should be:

    He deserves what comes next.

  45. Reba, thwack! I sure heard that ball crack the bat and can feel the rush of adrenalin as the protag flies at Gary. "Fucking corporate buzzwords", you said it sister. Ggggrrrr.

    Chris, B-Movie loveliness! That blob glows and glows the more I read on. Who will answer? Will anyone answer - ever? Aaaarrrrgggghhhh......

    And, we're closed. No more entries now please though comments are still welcome.

    Back in the morning for results and new words. Kiss kiss xx

  46. Dastardly and Dangerous - now that is so much better than Batman and Robin!

  47. Charlie - This fast paced short had me rooting for the poor girl, even more so when I understood she had taken matters into her own hands.

    RR Kovar - At first I thought this was a story of high school rivals competing after hours. I realized that was wrong by the end. I really liked the fact that Gary was still conscious when his "help" with the bat came.

    Chris - While I'm sure I didn't get what you were writing correct, I see a world just realizing it's under attack. People don't know who's the enemy yet, until it's too late - like this poor chap. As with everything of yours I've read Chris, I enjoyed it.

  48. Lily - Superbly creative this, squashing time so chillingly.

    Dave - Great job, mate. Proper gut-punch ending.

    Nick - Jealousy gets you nowhere! Hope she was worth it.

    Dorothy - Crazy stuff. Like the premise.

    Aiden - Ooo, nasty and creepy, with images that will linger.

    Steve - Bloody’ell! Gruesome shit, man!

    Stu - Can’t believe you’re a marriage guidance counsellor, writing such warped stuff. I found it funny though, so dunno what that makes me!

    Liam - Melancholic. Really liked that, fella.

    Ttofee - Jeez. Funny, but nearly as sick as
    Stu’s ‘n’ Steve’s! Nearly. You all go to the same writing class? :-) Love the title!

    AJ - Stark, sad and, as always, very well written.

    Phil - Heavy-hitting. Dread to think what happened next…

    Nathaniel - Disturbingly good writing.

    Kim - Wasn’t expecting that, mate. Nice take, very original.

    Pixette - This has the feel of something you could expand upon. Solid writing.

    John - Where the hell did you just take me? Intriguing stuff here…

    Dion - Top writing. Great twist. Made me grin.

    Gill - Bloody hate cheat, but not THAT much! :-)

    MD - Sad. Poignant. Good stuff.

    Charlie - A woman scorned. She won’t get away with it though, got blood on her hands…

    RR - You certainly upped your game! Please tell me Gary was her boss…

    Enjoyed reading and taking part greatly. Well done to all.


  49. Well - been away awhile, but glad I managed to squeak one in this week! So much story! So little time! Forgive my brevity:

    @Reba: loved the corporate comeuppance

    @Charlie: Must've been SOME arguments. Great details.

    @Gillhoffs: 15 years worth of revenge, and you've executed it in style.

    @Muckie: Crushing. Absolutely crushing.

    @Dion: Excellent twist. I smiled.

    @John: Another novella in the making - more!

    @Pixie: Nasty. Loved it.

    @Kim - Great claustrophobic atmosphere with a ghastly turn at the end!

    @Nathaniel - Creepy bugger that loves his mother. Good monologue.

    @Phil - all those "official" rules seem so hollow when faced with a box of fingers. Good job.

    @AJ - The final word opens this up into something huge. Well done.

    @ttoffee - Stunning image. Sick- yet smile worthy.

    @Liam - This tale was cool as hell. I want the full story.

    @Stu - That's one dextrous bastard you've got there.

    @Col - Crazy is as crazy does - well penned!

    @Stephen - Aww... Ed Gein had a baby... **shudder**

    @Aidan - Reality TV- Zombie style- More please?

    @Antonia - another long form in the waiting - let's have it, then!

    @Nick - Now THAT is a serious hangover.

    @David - is it wrong to cheer this sort of retribution? Nah.

    @Lily - this is an awesome concept. Please tell me there's more!

    Whew - that's all of them. Great job this week everyone!

  50. Stu: something tells me that this wedded bliss may be as short as a honeymoon.

    Liam: this one punches fierce. I like how you capture the loss and make it poignant.

    Ttofee: now that's one unforgettable payback. I cringe at the visuals this creates.

    AJ: intrigued by the sweep of the story. The details bring out a sense of the lone wolf.

    Phil: I like how well you capture the remorse here and the way you pull it all into the theme.

    Nathaniel: this one's got a good kick in the ending; beautiful details capture his madness.

    Kim: intrigued, maybe only 20 minutes now; I like the setting and want to know more about this captain.

    Pixie: a dark turn at the end, the voice snaps through this.

    John: wonderfully efficient, capturing the alien-ness without ever stating it directly and the alien has a delectable superiority.

    Dion: I guess first thing after a shift, the brain needs a little oomph before it gets going. Fun stuff.

    Gillhoffs: this child's game takes a very grown-up twist.

    MuckieDuckie: sad, captures the odd ways minds can work at times.

    Charlie: she's got the voice of innocence, wonder how well she'll pull this off.

    Reba: office-ball gone bad. I like how you incorporated the game into this.

    Chris: nice, classic horror here. Unfortunately, I don't believe they stand much of a chance against this thing.

  51. Thank you to everyone for the comments, and thank you Lily for choosing my story as a runner-up. I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to be back here often.


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.