Let's have a good look at the entries now...
- Rebecca, when the executioner takes his own life in your story we are riddled with sadness; we know he was only doing his job. The Arsonist is an emotional acceptance of this man's tragic role.
- Aidan, I read Time Traveler's Fair several times - for pure enjoyment, and in a variety of accents. You paint a slimy picture of this stall holder trying his disgusting best to lure the lady. Clearly this is more than a game. Your final paragraph is mind-blowing.
- Antonia, your Cleaner's Blues is so matter of fact in the midst of murder and fake ancient artefacts. Pharaoh's sounds like a classy joint - or not. In fact I might have been there - down Portsmouth way, isn't it?
- AJ, I could hear deepest, darkest voicest from a Hollywood choir building up to a Carmina Burana climax as I read The Colossi of Memnon. 'An infant hue' is a beautiful description. This is a mightily powerful vision.
- John, an eternal threat pierces this myth. Is the narrator a fallen angel, the personification of evil trickling through the blood of our 'hero' and his dominion? Aeon is masterful.
Then, oh, oh, oh! Souvenirs - pure horror. Scuttling insects, falling from Hamilton's choking mouth; vomit and chaos churning in his gut. The plunge into insanity really kicks in and when he grabs the letter opener... fabulous!
- Ravenways, your title alone, Dreaming the Blood is divine. When she smiled, I licked my teeth. I love the feral mix, the hint of shape-shifting and the bestial suggestion of love, for true lovers they are.
- Phil, I for one, love your London (in fiction), crawling as it does with reprobates, psychopaths and cultists. I have written about them myself on several occasions, hell - I suspect my Carlotta Borgia and Rameses XIII have even shared delectations down below the dirty streets. This could be a fantastic graphic story/novel/series.
- Reba, a mystical history in this Hall of Truth. Interesting how fortunes turn and turn about. I feel this could exist on the map of Phil's dark London - a Victorian world of revenge.
- Pblacksaw - a mystery to your name. ;) The Plague of arrogance, 'yes' men, no 'no' men - power is a dangerous thing. The people are as lambs to the slaughter when a spoilt dictator needs satisfying.
- Veronica, your Retribution spills in fits and starts, in and out of consciousness, breath failing before the heart re-beats. This man was dead the moment he chose to steal from Pharaoh.
- Chris puts Milton and Blackwood onto yet another terrifying and bizarre case in A Classical Killer. The Pharaoh serial killer is a serious contender for "novel cyring out to be written." Who better than Monsieur Allinotte?
- William, the adulation of a daughter for her father is unique, making the father's fear all the more profound. You've captured that so perfectly in False Idol. There is no indulgence to forgive, my friend.
- Me, I slipped in a late one with Deliverance. I wondered how it would be when those Pharaohs discovered there was no afterlife but immortal death instead. Couldn't bear it so had to invent some personal magic.
I loved these. There certainly was a Victorian Holmes feel drifting through; lots of dusty chasms and vaults, scenes of warped entertainment and a deathly sub-element pervading your words.
Excuse me. I am going to swear. It was BLOODY HARD to make a decision this week. There. I've said it. And I think we have another new situation here - John Xero is this week's winner because I totally loved both Aeon and Souvenirs; different genres, different feel to each, but equally stunning. Huge congratulations John.
Runner-up is Ravenways with Dreaming the Blood. I was at an imaginary warm fire with Kate Bush at piano as I observed this feral love affair. Well done.
Thank you, everyone, for your wordly perfection. They read like wine and chocolate all at once.
So much to dream about now. I wonder what words will appear tomorrow.